Wednesday's Watchers: NFL Draft Stock Up/Stock Down

Nolan Vasan@NFLDraftGeekContributor IOctober 3, 2012

Wednesday's Watchers: NFL Draft Stock Up/Stock Down

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    Wednesday's Watchers is a weekly feature breaking down the players whose draft stock was most effected by the past weekend's games, for good or for bad. Who's rising? Who's falling? Find out each week with Wednesday's Watchers!

    This week, Geno Smith wasn't the only prospect to boost his draft stock with a performance over the weekend. See which guys, some you may not be too familiar with, are moving up the draft boards!

    Nolan Vasan: NFL Draft Geek 

Stock Up: Geno Smith, QB West Virginia

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    I've never said this before about anybody, but on Saturday, Geno Smith played a perfect game. He was absolutely flawless.

    Let's put aside the fact that Baylor's defense offers about as much resistance as an old rubberband, but I've seen good QBs perform way worse in seven-on-seven drills—45-of-51 passing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns is just obscene.

    It isn't all about the numbers, either. Geno showed pinpoint accuracy, dropping passes into the tightest of windows, and on some throws, it wouldn't have mattered if it was Baylor's defense or the Baltimore Ravens.

    Also, think about the fact that Geno Smith knew he had to score a touchdown on every drive or West Virginia probably would have lost, which surely added a bit of stress.

    Many are still dogging Smith's NFL chances, but at this point, it's not inconceivable that Geno could be a top-five pick, possibly the second QB off the board.

Stock Up: Leon McFadden, CB San Diego State

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    World, please meet Leon McFadden. He's arguably the best defensive player in the country you've never heard of.

    While McFadden still isn't a household name, he didn't just come out of nowhere. A senior at San Diego State, he has started every game in his four seasons there, earning All-Conference honors as a sophomore and a junior. The way he is playing now though, he will be earning much higher accolades at season's end.

    McFadden has an interception in each of the last three games, two of which he returned for touchdowns. That includes his interception this past week against Fresno, which he returned 96 yards for a touchdown. He's got good size at 5'10" and 190 pounds, and is such a fluid athlete. As people get a better look at this kid, you will be hearing his name a ton around draft time!

Stock Up: Terrance Williams, WR Baylor

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    Just like with Geno Smith, let's put aside the fact that Saturday's game in Morgantown was nothing more than a glorified seven-on-seven—Terrance Williams' game was nothing to sneeze at. A line of 17 catches for 314 yards and two touchdowns is something few have ever even done in Madden!

    Stats aside, Terrance Williams looked the part. He used his 6'2" and 205 pounds to go up and win jump balls, and he showed outstanding hands along with top-end speed to create separation and break away from the defense.

    Williams is definitely looking like a lock for the second round and could continue to move up.

Stock Up: Cornellius Carradine, DE Florida State

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    One of the huge reasons why the Seminoles look to actually be for real this year is their dominant pass rush. Bjoern Werner was featured on this list a couple weeks ago; now it's time for running mate Cornellius Carradine to get some love.

    Carradine is currently No. 2 in the nation with seven sacks, .5 more than Werner. Like Werner, Carradine is a power-rusher, but Carradine is more athletic, showing outstanding quickness. He reminds me a lot of Eagles DE Trent Cole, who also has a big frame (Carradine is 6'5", 270 pounds). He also plays the run very well, proving to be very effective stacking and shedding blockers, evidenced by his 28 tackles in four games.

    Carradine is really moving up draft boards, and he too is definitely looking like a top-50 pick at least.

Stock Up: Desmond Trufant, CB Washington

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    Without Desmond Trufant, it's doubtful the Huskies would have upset No. 8 Stanford last Thursday.

    Washington's defense was able to totally shut down Stanford's offense, holding it to only 235 yards. The key was their ability to stack the box and stuff Stepfan Taylor, but that left their secondary (Trufant) on an island all night. It was no problem for Trufant, who shut down his side of the field all night. He finished with two passes broken up and the game-sealing interception.

    His impact went much further. He played man coverage all night, allowing the Huskies defense to shift defenders elsewhere.

    In a deep class of cornerbacks, Trufant is a very underrated prospect!

Stock Down: David Amerson, CB NC State

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    David Amerson was unfairly criticized after NC State's Week 1 loss to Tennessee when I defended him. This past week against Miami, however, I couldn't defend him again.

    While I still like Amerson, when you're supposed to be the No. 1 cornerback in the country, you can't be victimized on all five of the oppositions passing touchdowns on the day. Most of them were the fault of the safety, or just on breakdowns, but in this year's class of cornerbacks, to remain elite you have to do more.

    He's now the No. 4 cornerback on our board and many have dropped him even further.

Stock Down: Johnny Adams, CB Michigan State

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    In an extraordinarily deep class of cornerbacks this year, to keep up, you really need to be playing well. If you're not keeping up, you will be passed up.

    That is certainly proving true of Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams, whose name was mentioned right along with Xavier Rhodes, Johnthan Banks and Desmond Trufant to start the season. But while those guys and many others have flourished, Adams has disappointed.

    Once again, Adams was victimized on a crucial touchdown, getting burned by Ohio State WR Devin Smith for OSU's game-winning touchdown. This has happened far too often to Adams this year, who just doesn't seem to have the athleticism we thought we saw from him last year.

Stock Down: Landry Jones, QB Oklahoma

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    Wednesday's Watchers got bumped last week, so this is a carry over from Landry Jones' dud of a performance against Kansas State. You don't have to highlight just that one game to see how Jones' play has been steadily declining.

    Ever since he lost Ryan Broyles last year, he seems like a totally different player. He seems uncomfortable in the pocket, is rushing his throws, panics and just has been missing a lot of easy plays.

    The talent is all there for Jones, but he needs a ton of work and is looking more and more like a developmental prospect to be drafted around the third round or so.

Stock Down: Aaron Dobson, WR Marshall

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    In Marshall's last game against Purdue, the Herd put up 41 points, but Dobson only had three catches for 42 yards. And he was coming off the game before that where he only had five catches for 66 yards.

    Dobson is supposed to be the star of the team and is the only real weapon they have on offense. Aaron Dobson is a nice prospect but has been vastly overrated ever since he made his spectacular one-handed catch.

    He's a big-bodied receiver, and as you saw, he has excellent hands. Still, he is a very raw prospect overall. He's been compared to a Hakeem Nicks-type receiver, and people have talked about him being a top-50 or top-60 pick, but I'm not buying that.

    Nolan Vasan: NFL Draft Geek 


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