In the final day of the Stock watch series, we look at prospects who have been sliding down draft boards in recent weeks. With the NFL draft just eight days away, there couldn't be a worse time for a prospect's stock to fall.
Here's our breakdown of sliders in Part IV of our series:
QB Nate Davis, Ball State (6-foot-2, 226 pounds)
Davis was once considered a top-five quarterback prospect in the draft and looked to have the makings of a potential second-round pick. However, after measuring just under 6-foot-2 at the scouting combine (actually 6-1 3/8), Davis has seen his stock drop the past couple of weeks. He struggled with his decision-making and confidence toward the end of the season, and only one NFL team attended his pro day (Indianapolis Colts). All that, plus questions about his ability to learn an NFL playbook has caused him to drop to the fifth/sixth-round range.
RB Arian Foster, Tennessee (6-1, 226)
Foster began last season as one of the nation's top senior running backs, but a lot has changed as he's plummeted down draft boards. He possesses a nice-sized frame but doesn't run with the type of power or toughness you'd expect from a back his size. He also had trouble holding on to the ball, and at his pro day he only ran a shade below 4.70 seconds (4.68). This one-time potential second-round pick is now expected to hear his name called toward the back end of the draft and could even sign on as a free agent Sunday night.
WR Brandon Gibson, Washington State (6-1, 206)
Gibson's troubles started at the 2009 Senior Bowl as his play was less than stellar and he didn't showcase the type of burst needed to separate consistently. Even worse, he was forced to leave the game early because of a pulled hamstring. The injury kept him from working out at the combine and he was forced to hold an individual workout at the end of March. There, he could only muster a 40 time in the 4.6 range and completed just 10 reps on the bench. At the moment, Gibson can't be considered more than a mid-round pick, and I expect him to see his name come off the board during the fifth/sixth round.
OT Troy Kropog, Tulane (6-6, 309)
Kropog entered the postseason process as a possible small-school riser who possessed the feet and body control to move into that "second tier" of offensive tackles. He played well enough at Tulane to warrant a Senior Bowl invitation, but his trip to Mobile was anything but a success. He struggled with the jump in competition and didn't display the type of athleticism needed to consistently mirror some of the nation's top collegiate defensive ends. With time, he still has a chance to develop, but he definitely needs to add more strength to his base and is considered a third/fourth-round pick.
OG Travis Bright, BYU (6-4, 321)
Bright is a thickly built offensive lineman with good lower body strength and power on contact. However, questions remain about his overall quickness off the snap and ability to slide laterally in pass protection. He was consistently victimized by DT Jarron Gilbert at this year's East-West Shrine Game and lacks the fluidity to play in space. Bright's best shot in the NFL is to play in a power run scheme where he's consistently asked to play in a phone booth. The more space he's forced to play in, the less effective he becomes.
DE Ian Campbell, Kansas State (6-4, 265)
From studying Campbell on tape, it was obvious he would struggle reaching the corner as a speed rusher at the next level. Yet he consistently showed the motor and work rate to be productive and make plays against the pass. However, after a poor showing at the Kansas State pro day, scouts have even more doubts about Campbell's lack of athleticism. He finished the day with a pedestrian-like 4.99 40 time and jumped only 21 inches on his vertical leap. Those numbers are nowhere close to NFL prototypes, and his lack of power at the point of attack combined with his poor overall athleticism will likely keep his name from being called on draft weekend.
OLB/DE Phillip Hunt, Houston (6-1, 244)
I was originally very high on Hunt from studying him on tape as he reminded me a bit of undersized pass rushers Elvis Dumervil and Trent Cole. However, after showing up at his pro day and measuring only 6-feet and one-half inch and weighing just 244 pounds, scouts quickly noted that Hunt's most likely position will be at OLB in a 3-4. He's an explosive athlete, which is a direct result of his 41½-inch vertical, but he's now being viewed more as a project at OLB, and his fluidity in space and power at the point of attack are both aspects that could hinder his transition.
CB Jairus Byrd, Oregon (5-10, 207)
Byrd is a tough, physical corner who showcases fluid hips and good ball skills on all levels of the field. However, he may have restricted himself to more of a Cover 2-type role after his poor pro day performance. He was timed in the high 4.6 range (4.68 and 4.69) and will definitely struggle running with NFL receivers down the field in man coverage. He did showcase impressive quickness during the three-cone drill (6.75) and looks smooth in and out of his breaks on tape. But his lack of straight-line speed will hinder his draft stock and could push him out of the first three rounds.
FS Lendy Holmes, Oklahoma (6-0, 206)
Holmes is gifted natural athlete who came to Oklahoma as a wide receiver and made the position change to cornerback and then to safety. Yet as gifted an athlete as he is, the kid simply has not displayed the kind of vertical speed needed for the free safety position. He ran a 4.69 40 at the combine and followed that up with a 4.65 at the Oklahoma pro day. Neither time screams free safety, and Holmes may be best suited to add weight and make a move to strong safety. Either way, don't look for his name to come off the board until at least the seventh round, and he's more likely to sign as a free agent.
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- Nate Davis