2010 NFL Combine: Whose Stock Is Up and Whose Is Down
Going into the week of the NFL Scouting Combine, 300-plus players are participating in various events and drills in Indianapolis.
Of those players, a few names are hotter than most—and there are players who are not hot at all and need a good outing to improve their stock.
The following are the top five players whose stock is up and the top five players whose stock is down—according to this journalist's views.
Stock Up—Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss
McCluster is tiny for running back standards in the NFL at 5'8" and 165 pounds, but his smaller stature also comes in handy because he can run with the ball behind a big offensive line—and defenders will have trouble finding where he is.
A threat to score every time the ball is in his hands, McCluster is very dangerous in the open field—and his elusiveness and soft hands make him a game-breaker wherever he lines up on the field.
McCluster's stock has been on the rise since the Senior Bowl, and he may be able to push himself into the second round if he can run around a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash.
Career college stats: Rushing: 1,955 yards, 6.4 average, 15 touchdowns
Receiving: 130 receptions for 1,703 yards and seven touchdowns
Stock Down—Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Even though he is talked about more than almost any other player going into the combine, Tebow's stock is in a free fall.
After a mediocre performance at the Senior Bowl, Tebow's stock has fallen from a guaranteed first-round pick back in 2008-09 to a projected third- or fourth-round pick currently.
Declining to throw at the combine—along with what seems every other quarterback—Tebow has told the media that he is completely changing his throwing style, and the new throwing motion will be unveiled at Florida's Pro Day workouts.
Tebow's passion, dedication to football, and desire to win is second to none—but that may not be enough to increase his stock until coaches and scouts see his new throwing style.
Career college stats: Passing: 9.285 yards, 88 touchdowns, 16 interceptions
Rushing: 2.947 yards, 57 touchdowns
Stock Up—Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
There has not been a hotter safety coming into the NFL since Sean Taylor in 2004.
Berry may go as high as No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—which is unheard of not only for a defensive back, but especially for a safety.
Berry has been compared to the Ravens Ed Reed in almost every other article you may have read online—and he could very well be an impact player for the 2010 regular season.
Hotter than perhaps any other player coming into the combine, a bad performance could move Berry to the other end of this list at week's end.
He has more to lose than any other player.
Career college stats: 241 total tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, 14 interceptions with three for touchdowns
Stock Down—Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama
Two words to describe why Cody makes this side of the list: Weight issues.
Cody's weight is a big problem, and at the Senior Bowl, he was visibly overweight and out of shape.
If Cody is dedicated to shedding some pounds and maintaining a certain weight, then he could be a huge, disruptive force on the defensive line.
A overweight Cody at the combine could lead to a free fall to the third or maybe even the fourth round.
Stock Up—Brandon Graham, DE/LB, Michigan
Graham was the hottest player at the Senior Bowl, and his dominating performance earned him MVP honors for the game.
A hybrid who could play either defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or a pass- rushing linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, Graham has a very quick and powerful first step at the snap and has a nose for opposing quarterbacks.
Graham is hot ,and unless he tanks that combine, he will most likely get selected in the middle of the first round.
Career college stats: 138 total tackles, 28 sacks
Stock Down—Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
Iupati may still get drafted in the first round in April, but his Senior Bowl performance put some mixed feelings into the minds of many.
He was called out on holding quite a few times in the Senior Bowl, but if you watch that game closely, you will see he should have been called for holding many more times than he was.
He's a solid, talented lineman who needs to learn how to use his hands properly—otherwise, NFL defenders will have a field day with him.
Stock Up—Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Pierre-Paul has been jumping up mock drafts—including some of the network experts' mocks, too.
A raw talent, Pierre-Paul has the intangibles to be a stud sack specialist in the NFL, and his quickness off the line of scrimmage may be unmatched at the combine.
Career college stats: 42 total tackles, six sacks, one interception for a touchdown
Stock Down—Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford
Gerhart was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, but who would have thought that a finalist would be projected as a third- or fourthround pick?
Gerhart's lack of speed may be hurting his stock, but running a good 40-yard dash at the combine can change that.
A very strong and powerful back, many teams may still take a chance on Gerhart to pick up short yardage and goal-line plays.
Career college stats: 3.522 yards, 5.2 average, 43 touchdowns
Stock Up—Myron Rolle, S, Florida State
Everyone should know Rolle's story about how he skipped his senior year of football to study abroad as a Rhodes Scholar—and if you don't, just Google it, because it is one of the hottest stories online right now.
Rolle was able to outperform many other defenders who have played last season at the Senior Bowl, and all his critics were silenced.
A solid student of the game, not only will Rolle's physical attributes help on the field, but his mental attributes will really put him over the top.
Currently projected as a second- or third-round pick, some predict that Rolle could even work his way into the bottom of the first round.
Career college stats: 207 total tackles, one forced fumble, one interception
Stock Down - Taylor Mays, S, USC
Mays has been taking a lot of shots from critics about his abilities on the field, and his interception at the Senior Bowl quieted them down, but he needs a big performance at the combine to shut them up permanently.
A huge imposing figure playing center field (6'3" 235lbs), Mays has the body of a linebacker more than of a safety, but he is truly gifted and with good coaching he can become as famous of a safety from USC as Ronnie Lott is.
Career college stats: 268 total tackles, one forced fumble, five interceptions