Thursday night’s NFL Draft is always a fun and interesting watch getting into the minds of NFL owners, GMs and coaches.
Stock from players like Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Mike Evans have remained high and unchanged, and all are projected as top 10 picks.
Here are five players whose stock is rising ahead of Thursday:
Odell Beckham, WR, LSU: Since the season ended, Odell Beckham has been one of the hottest rising receivers for the NFL Draft. Teams saw value and tremendous upside in Beckham’s combine and pro day receiving and returning kicks. Once considered a second-round pick, Beckham is projected as high as a top 15 pick. College football’s most versatile player could be a Percy Harvin-type in the right system.
Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: Prior to Easley tearing his ACL in 2013, he was quickly becoming a high first-round pick. But after his injury, teams held their breath – as with any injury – to see how he recovered, especially with his history of multiple knee injuries. Lately, aided by his quick recovery, scouts have been buzzing that Easley just may become a first-round pick.
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: Following his NFL Combine and a number of questions surrounding his surgically repaired knee, Kouandjio’s stock has been rising as of late. He was a top-five lock entering 2013, but a lackluster season and mediocre combine caused his projection to fall totally out of the first round. However, after a nice pro day, and with doctors coming to his aid to voice no concerns over his knee, Kouandjio is now back in the first round and figured to be a low first-round pick. Kouandjio’s stock has been the most volatile leading into the draft.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: The SEC’s leading career receiver Jordan Matthews may be a first-round pick. He’s projected as a sure second-round pick, but his stock has been increasing lately, and some have projected him as high as the low 20s. Although there have been questions about Matthews creating separation against bigger physical cornerbacks, he could find his way into the first round Thursday.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: As with any player who’s suffered a knee injury, NFL personnel waited to see Murray’s recovery. But ever since Murray chose to attend the Senior Bowl despite being hurt, his stock has been rising. Then, he had a strong pro day and showed those in attendance he’ll be just fine. The SEC’s top career passer won’t be a first-round pick, but one team could sneak up and grab him higher than projected or anticipated.
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