1. Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon, Senior (5091, 186 and 4.45 E): Despite having made numerous big plays throughout the 2012 season, Barner’s stock has not changed much in the eyes of NFL scouts. Having not broken 1,000 yards rushing previously, Barner received more touches in 2012 which led to him rushing for over 1,600 yards. Not a big back, Barner’s explosive acceleration to get through holes/creases fast, elusiveness and open field running skills help him to make big plays consistently. However, a number of scouts do not believe that Barner can be a productive number one, feature back due to his lack of bulk/size, which raises concerns about his ability to be a durable NFL back if he touches the ball too often. Many that I have spoken with compare Barner’s ability to make plays out in space with that of Darren Sproles, but the big concern is that Barner does not show the same aggressiveness, deceptive playing strength and balance to be effective on inside runs at the NFL level. Overall, despite Barner’s athleticism and gaudy 2012 statistical production he is not likely to be drafted in the first two rounds and likely will be a third day draft pick and to make it in the NFL will have to contribute as a third down back, returner and possibly as a slot receiver.
2. Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois, Senior (6002, 193 and 4.50 E): Perhaps no defensive back has scouts split as much as Hawthorne and where he gets drafted will be largely determined by his performance at the All Star Games, Combine and the Illinois Pro Day. With a rare combination of 6-0+ size, top athleticism and good speed, Hawthorne looks the part of an NFL cornerback “on the hoof” and flashes the big play ability of one. However, while some scouts have told us they feel he is a raw prospect with unlimited upside and worthy of a second round pick, a number have told us that they feel he is lacking in football instincts/awareness and natural coverage skills and would not draft him until very late. Even though he has first round athleticism, his inconsistent production at Illinois where he allowed catches and did not dominate as an elite player should, Hawthorne is not likely to be drafted as highly as his physical talent warrants.
3. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Junior (6030 E, 232 E and 4.60 E): All the talk about linebacker prospects this year seems to begin and end with Notre Dame’ Manti Te’o, but from what we have heard Ogletree has the physical talent to challenge