Risers and fallers: Florida's Harvin, Penn State's Maybin sliding
By Bucky Brooks | NFL.com
The process of tracking the draft hopefuls is similar to watching the stock market -- players see their stock rise and fall on a weekly basis. Just days before the big event, let's look at some prospects who are rising and falling on draft boards throughout the league:
Pat Kirwan's draft risers
NFL.com's Pat Kirwan has identified five players whose stock is rising in the days leading up to the 2009 NFL Draft:
T.J. Lang, OL, Eastern Michigan: Lang has been on a national tour of NFL facilities and has offensive line coaches talking about what a tough, competitive and nasty player he is on game tapes. With teams preparing for a solid run on tackles in the first round, they are looking for players who will be available in the second wave and Lang tops the list.
Cody Brown, DE, Connecticut: The undersized defensive end has caught the eye of a number of clubs. When a number of teams concluded that he could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, his stock went up again.
Eric Wood, center, Louisville: Wood has usually been the third or fourth center in many conversations, but his name has popped up recently as a player desired by offensive coaches.
Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina: Tate may only have 18 career starts and played in the shadow of Hakeem Nicks, but don't be surprised if he gets drafted in the top 90.
Corvey Irvin, DT, Georgia: He is gaining some momentum among the 4-3 teams looking for an inside player.Risers
Greg Toler, CB, St. Paul's College: The small-school standout has been very popular during the workout circuit and has drawn interest from teams interested in a corner with dynamic athleticism and movement skills. Though he is a bit raw and unrefined with his technique, he displays the potential to develop into an outstanding cover man as a pro. With few corners possessing his combination of speed, size and athleticism, it should not come as a surprise that Toler is regarded as a third-round talent in some war rooms.
Andre Brown, RB, N.C. State: The speedster from Greenville, N.C., has steadily climbed the charts since the conclusion of the college season. Riding a wave of momentum following good performances at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine, Brown has generated a buzz in league circles due to his outstanding combination of size and explosive speed. Teams looking for an every-down back with home-run potential are salivating over Brown's skills. The former Wolf Pack standout could be selected in the middle of the second round.
Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State: The former Buckeye has ascended up the charts after surprising scouts with his speed and athleticism during workouts. While the strength of his game is his route-running ability and ball skills, he possesses enough explosiveness to make plays down the field. With a combination of skills that are hallmarks of No. 1-type receivers, Robiskie has moved up and is in consideration at the bottom of the first round.
Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU: The energetic Jackson has captivated the interest of teams looking for a versatile defensive lineman capable of manning the end position in a 3-4 or 4-3. His ability to play the run while offering above-average rush skills as an edge player has pushed the former Tiger into top-10 consideration.
Eric Wood, C, Louisville: The unheralded pivot from Louisville has moved up the board after leaving a positive impression on scouts during workouts at his pro day and the NFL Scouting Combine. Though he played extensively at center at Louisville, Wood is viewed as a potential three-spot player due to his size, athleticism and football IQ. As the second-rated center on the board, Wood is squarely in the mix at the top of the second round.
Percy Harvin, WR, Florida: The do-it-all playmaker has seen his stock dip a bit after the combine with concerns about his character and durability. Though Harvin remains one of the most explosive players in the draft, teams are still uncertain as to how well he fits into a conventional offense. Thus, he may see his draft status slip to the bottom of the first round.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh: "Shady" has descended on some boards due to a less-than-stellar performance at his pro day. While he possesses enough speed and quickness to excel as a pro, scouts are concerned about his disappointing athleticism (he had a respectable 4.50 time in the 40-yard dash, but only registered a 29-inch vertical leap) and fumbling woes. After initially garnering consideration as a potential late first-round pick, McCoy will most likely come off the board near the middle of the second round.
Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State: The former Nittany Lion has slightly fallen down draft boards since the conclusion of the combine. Though the pass-rushing maven is lauded for his exceptional first step and burst, teams are concerned about his lack of bulk and questionable ability as a run defender. In spite of those concerns, Maybin still projects as a first-round prospect likely to come off the board between picks No. 18 and No. 25.
Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois: Davis is the most talented prospect at his position but is not likely to be the first cornerback chosen due to concerns regarding his character. In addition, scouts are troubled by Davis' inability to play to his potential consistently. With those red flags attached to his name, Davis has seen his draft position fall to the bottom of the first round.
Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech: The former Yellow Jacket initially shot up the charts after dazzling scouts with an exceptional combine workout. However, upon further analysis, scouts have downgraded Johnson for his inconsistent motor and spotty production. While it's possible that a team will take a chance on the enigmatic playmaker at the bottom of Round 1, it's more likely that he falls to the middle of the second round.