Saints Draft

Post-Combine NFL Draft Stock Watch

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The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine concluded today. After a week packed full of interviews, workouts, and measurements, NFL Scouts, Media Analysts, and prospects alike will pack their bags, returning to their homes, colleges, or training facilities respectively. In case you couldn’t follow the action live, I’ve outlined several players who helped or hurt their draft stock for different reasons, and estimate how much this weekend might have caused them to move on teams’ big boards.

Winners

Beasley runs the 40-yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson, Pre-combine: Top 25. Beasley came in 15 lbs heavier than his rumored playing weight and led his DL group in virtually every drill. 35 bench reps at his weight are just phenomenal, and it proved he can be a force against the run. Post-combine: Top 10.

Bud Dupree, 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB, Kentucky

Pre-combine: Top 25. Somewhat raw as an edge rusher, the Wildcat showed off phenomenal athleticism and posted Jamie Collins-like numbers in all the track events at 269 lbs. Post-combine: Top 15

Owa Odigizuwa, DE, UCLA

Pre-combine: Early 2nd Round. After missing all of the 2013 season with a hip injury, the UCLA DE rebounded in 2014 and put scouts on notice with impressive numbers for a man his size. Post-combine: Top 25

Ali Marpet, OG, Hobart

Pre-combine: 4th round. The D-III guard continues to climb draft boards in a hurry. After putting scouts on notice at the Senior Bowl, Marpet finished among the leaders in every O-Line drill and therefore became a Day 2 lock.

Chris Conley, WR, Georgia

Pre-combine: Round 6-Undrafted. Chris who? The Georgia wideout burst onto the scene with a 4.35 dash and a 45 inch leap! His performance causes scouts to rewatch his tape and wonder about his potential in a pass-happy offense. Post-combine: Round 4

Byron Jones, CB, UConn

Pre-combine: Day 3. Similar to Conley, Byron Jones put up insane numbers that surprised many analysts given how little fanfare he received during the season and draft process. Although he didn’t participate in the 40 yard dash, the 6’1″ defender leaped an inch short of the Combine record and topped the previously best broad jump by 8 inches. Considering his ideal height and weight, he could very well gain Day 2 consideration.

Losers

Shane Ray, 3-4 OLB, Missouri 

Pre-combine: Top 9. Despite being sidelined with a toe injury, the Mizzou product saw his stock fall this weekend, due to questions about his athleticism and dazzling competitors alike. He will need a strong Pro Day in order to be regarded as a top 5 edge defender. Post-combine: Top 15

Paul Dawson, LB, TCU

Pre-combine: Late 1st Round. Dawson failed to erase character concerns this weekend when he ascribed his reputation to being “tardy” in college. It didn’t get much better once he took the field and posted one of the slowest times among Linebackers. Post-combine: Mid 2nd Round

Randy Gregory, 3-4 OLB, Nebraska

Pre-combine: Top 3. The former Husker did a good job during the workout but questions arose this past week regarding his football character and his weight (235). With Fowler and Beasley convincing scouts of their attributes, Gregory’s length and potential upside could not keep him from falling to 3rd among pass-rushers.

Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami

Pre-combine: Top 35. The Canes’ Backer struggled to sub-par 40 times in the 4.8s in Indy. A proven force against the run, his speed will keep him off the field on 3rd down, causing his draft stock to slide. Post-combine: Mid 2nd Round

Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

Pre-combine: Late 1st Round. Entering 2014, Funchess just made the switch from TE to WR. At 6’5″ and 232 he does not possess TE size, but his slow 4.7 forty caused his stock to plummet. It’s hard to imagine a team taking a chance on him in the first round as he could be covered by linebackers with ease. Post-combine: Mid 2nd Round

LSU Watch

Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker Kwon Alexander (25) against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. LSU Tigers defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you from Louisiana or supporting the Tigers from Baton Rouge, I took a closer look at four prospects that will enter this year’s draft.

Danielle Hunter, DE

Pre-combine: Round 4. The extremely athletic edge defender posted a sub 4.6 time in the sprint but did not participate in the jumping drills. However, the biggest knock on him remains the below-average production (1.5 sacks in 2014). A team with patience willing to improve his technique could reap immense benefits in two years. Post-combine: Round 3

Kwon Alexander, LB

Pre-combine: Mid 3rd Round. The Alabama native blazed to a 4.55 time in the 40 yard dash, showed solid explosiveness in the leaping portions of the workout and put his upper-body strength on display in the bench press. The projected WLB’s draft stock continues to rise thanks to his athleticism but the tape and seemingly a lack of functional strength keep holding him from going off the board early on Day 2. Post-combine: Late 2nd Round.

La’el Collins, OL

Pre-combine: Top 25. The blindside protector had a good workout, finishing in the top half of his position group in every drill. During the position specific drills, the versatile Baton Rouge native knew how to please scouts and media alike, hence almost guaranteeing to be the second OL off the board come April. Obviously, the spot will largely depend on demand and previous selections but Miami might be eyeing him at 14 overall. Post-combine: Top 20

Jalen Collins, CB

Pre-combine: Top 45. Collins offers tremendous upside at 6-1 and 198 pounds, prototypical for a corner in today’s NFL. He does lack experience with only 10 starts under his belt and his hips seem stiff at times. Therefore he doesn’t project as a Year 1 starter. However, his sub 4.5 dash in Indy will help his draft stock and shows how great he can be in the future.

Do you agree or disagree with my observations? Did another prospect catch your eye and would you like to bring him to our attention? Feel free to comment below and give your feedback!

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