NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players Who Could Boost Their Draft Stock This Weekend
The end of the college football season is near, with questions beginning to arise surrounding the players who are entering the 2011 NFL Draft.
Only a few games are remaining, with little time left for players to boost their draft stock before the NFL combine. Facing premiere competition in their remaining games, the college athletes who will be entering the draft must be at the top of their game or else their draft stock could drop severely.
Some of these players include Auburn's Cameron Newton and Alabama's Mark Ingram.
Find out the rest...
RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
Last season as a sophomore, Mark Ingram made a name for himself by earning the Heisman Trophy. He did this by rushing 271 times for 1,658 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns, as well as making 32 catches for 334 yards and three touchdowns. This season Ingram has rushed the ball 136 times for 780 yards and 10 toouchdowns.
Now a junior, Ingram has repeated his productivity. He missed the first two games of this season due to injury but came back in Week 3 and Week 4, rushing for over 50 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns in each performance. Since then his numbers have died down a bit, but that's because he splits touches with the other Alabama running back, Trent Richardson. Even though he doesn't see the ball as much as last year, he still manages to find his way into the end zone.
This weekend Mark Ingram and the Alabama Crimson Tide take on the No. 2 ranked Auburn Tigers, who are just steps away from earning a bid into the BCS National Championship Game. If Ingram can rush for over 100 yards and score a touchdown against Auburn, Ingram would solidify his status in the upper tier of the first round of next year's NFL Draft.
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
Patrick Peterson entered his junior season at LSU as one of the top cornerbacks in college football, and that's where he has remained.
Peterson has proven to be an excellent shut-down corner and a dynamic return man. This season he has recorded four interceptions on defense, and returned a pair of punt returns for touchdowns.
In many mock NFL drafts, Peterson is expected to go in the top five without question. For him to secure that stock, a big performance would help this Saturday when LSU takes on No. 12 ranked Arkansas.
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
Take a look at Ryan Mallett's stats from the last two seasons of playing in the SEC, arguably the best conference in college football: 225 of 403 passes for 3,627 yards, 30 TDs, 7 INTs and a 152.52 QB rating.
This season he has been just as productive, completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,272 yards, 27 TDs, 9 INTs and a 168.60 QB rating.
If you still have doubt in the 6'6'', 238-pound quarterback, than watch him play.
This Saturday at 3:30 EST, Mallett and the Razorbacks will take on the LSU Tigers at home in hopes of improving their record to 10-2. If Mallett can lead Arkansas to a win this weekend, you can bet he'll be one of the first few quarterbacks selected int he draft.
WR Julio Jones, Alabama
Julio Jones is an extremely athletic 6'4'', 220-pound wide receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide. This week he will be going up against the No. 2 ranked team in the nation, the Auburn Tigers. In a game that many NFL scouts will be watching, Jones will have a chance to boost his draft stock dramatically.
Some mock drafts have Jones in the top 10, while others have him going in the mid-to-late first round.
This season Jones has been magnificent, approaching the 1,000-yard mark for receiving with 65 receptions for 885 yards and six touchdowns. Jones also has rushed the ball five times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
If he reached 1,000 yards on the season, it would be the first time in his collegiate career, and it would jump off the stat sheet at many NFL scouts and coaches. If he could be this dominant against the very competitive SEC, than he certainly should be able to develop into a solid NFL receiver.
QB Cameron Newton, Auburn
By now, everybody that follows sports probably knows who Cameron Newton is with all of the controversy surrounding him and his family. But that issue is not important; it's what he does on the field.
Before the controversy and even since I suppose, Cam Newton has been talked about as much as Tim Tebow at the height of his collegiate career. This is because Newton is a versatile quarterback who can beat you with his arms as well as his legs.
In 2010, Newton has completed 135 of 198 attempts for 2,038 yards, 21 TDs, 6 INTs and a 183.58 QB rating. On the ground he has rushed 206 times for 1,297 yards and 17 touchdowns. This season he has absolutely been dominating his competition, leading the Auburn to a perfect record of 11-0.
This Friday he goes up against the No. 11 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, who are sure to cause Newton some problems. In most NFL mock drafts Newton is predicted to go late in the first round. With a big performance against the Crimson Tide, Newton can make the case that he is the best quarterback entering the 2011 NFL Draft.