It’s still very early in the draft process, but the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl are the first test for the top prospects. With those two all-star games behind us, we can begin to evaluate whose stock is on the rise, and whose stock is starting to fall, before we head to the Combine in late Februrary.
Josh Norman – CB – Coastal Carolina
Norman concluded the season as a relative unknown, having not been tested against top competition, and was expected to be a late-round prospect. However, he shined at the Shrine Game and impressed scouts so much that he earned a late invite to the Senior Bowl. He now looks like a top-100 lock, and could climb as high as the 2nd round.
Alfonzo Dennard – CB – Nebraska
For those that watched Dennard closely this season, his stock probably didn’t change much. But the Senior Bowl served notice to everyone that he just doesn’t have the athleticism or the technique to be considered an elite prospect. There has even been some talk of him moving to free safety in the pros. He rode the momentum of his junior year – when he played opposite Prince Amukamara – as long as he could, but we’ve now seen the real Dennard.
Bobby Wagner – OLB – Utah State
Wagner was already a solid 3rd or 4th-round prospect heading into the Senior Bowl, but may have risen into the early 2nd round with his performance. Aside from his relatively short stature, he’s the complete package. Wagner also benefits from this being a relatively weak class of linebackers. Scouts were impressed with his athleticism, and also with his play on special teams.
Dwight Jones – WR – North Carolina
The knock on Jones, which has become a theme for the Butch Davis-era Tar Heel prospects, is that he lacks effort and concentration. He drops too many balls, and isn’t always a crisp route runner. These issues are magnified due to his relative lack of speed.
Vinny Curry – DE/LB – Marshall
The all-star games are always most important for the small-school prospects, and Curry took advantage of his opportunity to play with the big boys. His best moment came in the one-on-one drills when he had little issue beating Mike Adams off the edge with his speed rush. He definitely displayed the athleticism necessary to play standing up in a 3-4 defense.
Kellen Moore – QB – Boise State
Moore was hoping to establish himself as the next Colt McCoy this offseason, as an undersized but accurate signal caller. Unfortunately, Moore simply doesn’t have an NFL arm. There were even reports of CFL scouts saying they weren’t interested in Moore because they need quarterbacks who can whip the ball through the windy conditions they sometimes face.