You knew the name Andrew Luck last year.You’ve learned about Robert Griffin III possibly after winning the Heisman and you have your fantasy football eye on a beast named Trent Richardson, but after that, how tuned in are you to the other 2012 NFL Draft prospects?
There has been a lot of poking and prodding of the new talent. The meat market, aka the NFL combine brought us numbers and measurements while Pro Days and workouts brought us rumors and insight. Gridiron Experts has created many NFL draft profiles and have a top 200 NFL Draft Prospect board I think you will like, but with days ticking down the rumor mill is buzzing on a handful of players, both good and bad.Despite all the smoke screens, draft stocks are rising and falling, so I thought I’d take a look at he 10 biggest NFL Draft stock movers leading up to the NFL Draft.
10 Biggest NFL Draft Stock Riser’s
- QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M-What started out as a solid quarterback prospect in this years draft, has now turned into the must have buzz player at the top of the board. According to PlayTheDraft.com, Tannehill’s stock is up 137 points. This former Texas A&M QB could go as high as 3rd overall to the highest bidder. With a strong arm, tall frame and surprisingly quick feet, Ryan Tannehill is the talk of the draft after we now know where Luck and RG3 will land. Teams like the Eagles and Dolphins have been rumored to be interested. Read more on Ryan Tannehill
- CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina-SI.com’s Peter King mentioned in MMQBMonday morning that Stephon Gilmore is liked enough by NFL teams that he could be selected as high as 7th overall.The combine wasn’t suppose to be his friend, but critics were pleasantly surprised with his 40 time (4.40) vertical (36 inches) and 3 cone drill (6.61). Stephon Gilmore has risen 123 points according PlayTheDraft.com check him out on our top 200 player rankings board.
- ILB Shea McClellin, Boise State– A defensive end in college who looks to project as an elite outside linebacker in the Pros. Shea McClellin has been moving up the prospect rankings with rapid speed. The NFL announced last Thursday that McClellin is among a record 26 prospects who have accepted the leagues invitation to attend the draft April 26 in New York City.
- WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame-You could argue that Michael Floyd could be in both top 10 lists as people definitely have their mixed reviews. Some think Floyd is better than Justin Blackmon others are worried about character issues and inflated performance against sup bar teams throughout the 2011 season. I believe he is a top 10 player, read more on Michael Floyd
- DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina– More love for South Carolina, Ingram is another potential position changer for the Pros. Draft gurus are projecting Ingram to move into a defensive end role from his brief stint at OLB spot for the Gamecocks. Low center of gravity with great upper body strength. Can rip and spin past defenders with the best of them.
- SS Mark Barron, Alabama– Some may say Barron is only rising because of the lack of talent at the safety position. He’s no Eric Perry, but the Bama defense was nothing without his ball hawking leadership skills.
- DE Chandler Jones,Syracuse-A knee injury back at the start of the 2011 season has kept his stock low, but at 6’5 265lbs with a high motor and excellent upper body strength, it’s hard to dwell on the past for too long. Could fit a 3-4 if he adds more muscle, most likely a 4-3 Defense end in the NFL
- TE Coby Fleener,Stanford– A reliable hybrid Tight end/Receiver for Andrew Luck at Stanford. Possibly a target for the Colts to make Luck’s transition to the Pros a little more smooth. Being a solid blocker is probably what’s shooting him up the board.
- DT Fletcher Cox Mississippi State- The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to be interested in Cox as Defensive Line coach Jim Washburn “really likes” this young prospect. What’s not to like? Crazy off the line with a natural sickness to break through defenders and get to the quarterback.
- RB Trent Richardson,Alabama– Still valued as one of the best overall players in the draft. There is no backlash happening with this power back, as Richardson can step in and perform week 1 for a NFL team. He will be the hardest player to pass on by far. Read more on:Trent Richardson
- QB Brandon Weeden,Oklahoma State– It helps that there is really nobody in sight after Luck, RG3 and Tannehill, but Weeden does have upside. The guy is tall and has a great zip on the ball. He can make tough throws through a tight window.
10 Biggest NFL Draft Stock Faller’s
**Please Note: The stock for following the ten players is based upon the recent PlayTheDraft.com player rankings and rumors through the wire.**
- DE Quinton Coples,North Carolina–NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has gone as far as saying he wouldn’t even have Copleson his draft board.
- DT Dontari Poe, Memphis-SI’s Peter King, says that the Memphis NT is drawing the “widest disparity of opinion” of any potential early first-round pick.”AFC personnel man” who compared Poe to Ravens DT Haloti Ngata, but says he has also heard comments like “the guy just disappears in games.”
- OT Mike Adams Ohio State– Steelers are apparently smitten with Adams, but he has been called incredibly inconsistent and drew mixed reviews from media onlookers during Senior Bowl week.
- RB Lamar Miller,Miami- Personally I love the guy, you can read and watch video of his NFL Draft Profile here, but Mike Mayock, Charley Casserly, and Mike Lombardi all agreed that Miami’s Lamar Miller is an inferior running back prospect to Virginia Tech’s David Wilson. Mayock goes on to say:”If you put the Miami tape on, Miller doesn’t show up on third down, short yardage, or goal line,”
- WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State– Some teams say he isn’t on their board as a first round talent. (hard to believe, may be a smoke screen)
- LB Zach Brown,North Carolina-NFL Films guru Greg Cosell described Brown as an “avoid-contact player.”Cosell did credit Brown with “sideline-to-sideline range,” impressive speed, and movement skills, but said he has “no physicality”
- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama- Character concerns are all anyone is talking about, not a great sign. Odds are though, someone will overlook his past for a value pick.
- RB LaMichael James,Oregon– Hurts me to even put his name on the list, but many wonder if he can produce at the next level.Greg Cosell described James as a “less physical Darren Sproles.” Check out LaMichael James NFL Draft Profile
- OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford–Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki expects Stanford OT Jonathan Martin to be “considerably overdrafted”. With a lack of offensive line talent in this years draft class, it’s very likely someone will reach for OLine need.
- WR Ryan Broyles,Oklahoma– Despite coaches saying nothing but nice things, Broyles history of injuries (ACL surgery) is a red flag, and I believe everyone is trying to hype his stock, but would not touch him until maybe the 4th-5th round.
Super Stock Crash: LB Vontaze Burfict
Originally I left Burfict out, as this was a top ten list leading up to the draft, but a comment on Reddit made me add a separate section to this article to clarify. The combination of the NFL combine and a March 16th Arizona State Pro day were so terrible that any thoughts to selecting LB Vontaze Burfict in next weeks draft were out of the question. I had him off my draft board after the combine, but the Pro Day sealed the deal. Most likely a free agent that will struggle to make a roster. Vontaze Burfict is the Lehman Brothers of NFL Draft stock.
Check out our top 200 NFL draft prospect ranking board features the latest stock values for this years crop of players.