Stock Up, Stock Down for 2013 Draft Prospects, NFL Week 7 Edition
Another week of college football is in the books, which means another week of draft prospects doing the football version of the Texas Two Step.
Based on play, health and production, each week players are moving up and down the draft board. This week we're highlighting five players who have jumped up the board—and in some cases jumped onto our radar—and five players who are dropping down the board.
Stock Up: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Last Week: Not Ranked | This Week: No. 30
The Missouri defensive tackle has flashed his potential before, but on a very bad team, Richardson continues to stand out.
I broke down three games in preparation for my visit to Columbia on October 27, and in each game Richardson showed the burst, leverage and hand use to warrant a first-round selection in the April draft. Richardson has the size to play in either a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 set, but ideally you'd like to see him in a three-technique position, where he can line up between the guard and tackle and shoot the gap to make plays in the backfield.
If you're the Denver Broncos or Atlanta Falcons, Richardson should be on your radar.
Stock Down: DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Last Week: No. 11 | This Week: Not Ranked
A ruptured pectoral muscle has Jackson Jeffcoat falling completely off the big board this week.
Jeffcoat is a promising prospect at defensive end, but his injury all but guarantees a return to Texas for his senior season in 2013. Jeffcoat has been plagued by nagging injuries in his career, but this one is much more serious and will require much more time to recover.
The junior will miss the rest of the 2012 season and is best served by coming back to Austin for another season and another shot at driving his draft stock up.
Stock Up: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Last Week: No. 12 | This Week: No. 8
Manti Te'o is on a path to being a very high pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.
In a year that's heavy on pass-rushers, Te'o stands out as the best inside linebacker available. Even more, he would have been the top inside linebacker in the 2012 draft had he decided to leave Notre Dame a year early.
Te'o has the strength to play inside in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, showing the speed to run down the ball outside the hash marks and the vision to diagnose plays in a hurry.
As the big board stands now, Te'o should be a top-10 pick in the first round.
Stock Down: QB Casey Pachall, TCU
Last Week: No. 300 | This Week: Not Ranked
Casey Pachall was never ranked very high in this year's class—not after his admission of drug use in the offseason. That slip-up had Pachall falling down the board, but his leaving the TCU program for rehab has Pachall completely off the chart now.
Pachall should be credited for taking his problems seriously and making the tough decision to put his personal needs above football. However, from a pure football standpoint, Pachall has likely ended his chances of being drafted in 2013.
Stock Up: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
Last Week: No. 19 | This Week: No. 12
Players who are 350 pounds aren't supposed to move like John Jenkins does. Even the rare few who are nimble shouldn't be as strong as he is at the point of attack.
Jenkins had been hovering in the late 20s of our big board all through September, but as the season has progressed, his stock has too. Jenkins has a chance to enter the top 10 with another strong performance in SEC play.
Defensive tackle will always be a premium position in the draft, and Jenkins looks like one of three potential top-10 picks there.
Stock Down: OT Alex Hurst, LSU
Last Week: No. 122 | This Week: No. 200
Alex Hurst is doing a good job of killing his draft stock this season.
The LSU right tackle looked like a nice option for a power run-based NFL team, but his lack of mobility this season has really limited those options. Hurst is too stiff to play in pass protection at the NFL level, and he may not have the lateral quickness to play guard in a scheme that asks him to move post-snap.
Hurst has strong hand play, but unless his feet catch up with his upper body, he'll have trouble seeing minutes in the NFL.
Stock Up: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Last Week: No. 25 | This Week: No. 18
The 2013 draft class of offensive tackles looked very strong before the season began, but as the weeks pass by, fewer players are standing out. One guy who has done well for himself is Michigan's Taylor Lewan.
As gimmicky as the Michigan offense can be at times, it does give us a nice look at Lewan's ability to play in space at left tackle. He's asked to lead block, get out to the flats on screens and move his feet to protect a mobile quarterback. Everything the Michigan offensive line does will translate well to the NFL.
If Lewan keeps up his high level of play, he'll be looking at a top-15 selection in the first round.
Stock Down: OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Last Week: No. 49 | This Week: No. 58
One of the offensive tackles who has seen his stock fall this year is Alabama's D.J. Fluker. Once seen as a potential Tyron Smith-level prospect, Fluker's lack of mobility is alarming for those projecting him to the NFL.
The best-case scenario for Fluker would be to find himself in a man-blocking scheme, and at right tackle only. Fluker isn't quick enough to play on the left side, and playing on the right side also plays in to his strength as a run-blocker.
Fluker started the year as a potential top-10 pick, but the lack of agility and burst has him falling to the bottom of the second round.
Stock Up: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
Last Week: Not Ranked | This Week: No. 35
It is rare to see a redshirt sophomore ranked on a big board, but sometimes you can't ignore the talent.
Kony Ealy isn't likely to enter the 2013 NFL draft, but he is eligible, and if his stock keeps rising at this rate, he will need to consider leaving Missouri for the NFL.
Ealy is built in the mold of an Aldon Smith—big, strong, lean and fast. Like Smith, he's a defensive end in college, but his athletic ability makes him an ideal flex linebacker/defensive end who can be moved around depending on the down and distance.
Even if Ealy doesn't enter the 2013 draft, he's already making a name for himself in consideration for 2014.
Stock Down: OT Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Last Week: No. 64 | This Week: No. 91
The strength of the offensive-tackle class in the preseason has been highlighted. As has the lack of impressive play from most of those prospects this season.
Dallas Thomas is a great example of a very good college tackle who will need to move inside to guard in the NFL. In fact, Tennessee already realized this and moved Thomas inside. He's a much better fit on the inside at guard, where he's not asked to shuffle and slide to block off the blind side.
Thomas' play hasn't been terrible, but the premium on a right guard vs. a left tackle is much different. Thomas could be a rookie starter, but one that is drafted in Round 3.