2013 NFL Draft: 3 Prospects Sliding Down Draft Boards
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Every single step in the NFL Draft process can have an effect on a player's draft stock. The 2013 Senior Bowl offers players the chance to impress team scouts and move up draft boards.
The game also can do the opposite for a player. A few mistakes in practice or a bad evaluation can be enough to drop a player down several rounds in the draft.
These players will certainly find their names called during the 2013 NFL Draft, but it may not be as early as they would like.
Denard Robinson has rushed for more yards than any quarterback in major college history, and he averaged 7.2 yards per rush in 2012—the highest among qualifying runners in the Big Ten.
He has also fallen drastically down seemingly every NFL scout's draft board after a poor showing at Senior Bowl practices. His transition from quarterback to wide receiver and punt returner appears to have been disappointing.
ESPN's Draft Blog Insider wrote: Robinson has had trouble catching the ball, "if a pass has any zip on it, it's just bouncing off his hands."
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press quoted an AFC scout, saying "I think he took himself from like the third, fourth round to like the sixth, seventh round."
Robinson does not have the skill to play quarterback in the NFL and is too small—he measured 5'10 1/2", 196 pounds at the Senior Bowl—to be an every-down running back.
Robinson only caught three passes at Michigan, so he will need to work on his hands and his route running to prove he can be a receiver in the NFL.
After totaling 56 total tackles and five interceptions during his senior season at Utah State, Will Davis was beginning to look like a potential starting cornerback in the NFL. However, he failed to impress scouts during Senior Bowl practices.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports wrote: "He has struggled on an island in man coverage, playing undisciplined and often getting turned around by receivers."
Davis does not lack in athleticism, however, reporting a 4.46 time in the 40-yard dash on his Senior Bowl page. He will need to work on his technique in order to be one of the first five cornerbacks selected in the draft.
NFL teams are always searching for top offensive tackles to protect their quarterbacks. This season CBS Sports projects that as many as 10 offensive tackles could be taken in the first two rounds.
One of those players is Syracuse redshirt junior Justin Pugh, one of the first two non-seniors to ever play in the Senior Bowl.
Although he should still be picked in one of the first three rounds, Pugh may slip a bit during the pre-draft process.
"His lack of length is a concern for pro teams, wrote NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah. "His arms were just 31 1/2 inches long, and that is a major red flag amongst NFL evaluators."
For reference, two of the tackles currently projected to be drafted before Pugh, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson, measured substantially better. Fisher's arms measured 34 inches and Johnson's measured 35.
Pugh will have to perform well in other measurements and hope that NFL teams focus on his on-field production in order for him to have a chance to crack the first round.
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