Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
What Cameron Newton is to Auburn’s offense, Fairley is to their defense. He was barely on the radar screen entering the season, and suddenly he looks like a top-10 pick.The junior is a dominant penetrating defensive tackle who compares favorably to Gerald McCoy. I’ve moved him up to No. 5 on my Big Board, and I fully expect him to leave after his junior year.
Cameron Newton – QB – Auburn
Like Fairley, Newton wasn’t even an afterthought in the preseason draft projections. Now it looks like he may be a 1st-round pick and rumors are swirling that he’s likely to leave after this season. He’s far from a polished quarterback, but he is every bit as athletic as Vince Young and definitely has a bright future.
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos – WR – Iowa
The more I see DJK, the more I like him. There’s really nothing remarkable about him, but he is too consistent not to like. He reminds me of Jordan Shipley – not very tall, not real fast, but just knows how to play the position. He looks like a 2nd or 3rd round pick and his stock will definitely get a boost from his kick-return skills.
Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa
Clayborn may still be a top-10 pick, but his senior year has been a disappointment. After a dominant junior campaign, which he capped off with a great showing in the Orange Bowl, expectations were high. He’s been good, but hasn’t quite reached level of dominance that we hoped to see. There’s still plenty of time for him to turn things around, but the first two months could have gone better.