TCU’s Hughes, ECU’s Joseph move up draft boards

Jerry Hughes may have worked his way into the first round.
Jerry Hughes may have worked his way into the first round.

As NFL teams finish their draft meetings, here are some of the rumors floating around scouting circles:

• During the season, many scouts were impressed with TCU DE/OLB Jerry Hughes‘ competitiveness, quickness, and instincts. Many thought he would be a good third-round pick and possibly a second-rounder. However, most felt he lacked the overall athleticism and flexibility to stand up and play linebacker in the NFL.

Then after displaying excellent all-around athleticism at his pro day, Hughes convinced teams he could easily make the transition to 3-4 rush linebacker and began to rocket up draft boards. Now, he is expected to go in the mid-to-late first round or early second round.

• When East Carolina DT Linval Joseph came out early for the draft, many teams were surprised and did not know a lot about him. But after breaking down film, scouts were impressed. And now that coaches have gotten a good look at him on film, Joseph has been moving up draft boards.

He was originally expected to be a third-round pick who might slip to the fourth round, but now he is regarded as a surefire second-rounder who could move into the bottom of Round 1. From what we have heard, the Chargers could use their first-round pick (28th overall) or second-rounder (40th overall) to take Joseph and solidify their nose tackle position.

• Despite not being invited to the Scouting Combine, Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton has been climbing draft boards. When most teams began their draft meetings, he was considered a late-round possibility or — more likely — an undrafted free agent. But as teams have broken down film on Crompton, they have been impressed with his quick, compact delivery, good footwork, athleticism and arm strength.

Though he won’t be drafted as highly as we have him rated — we consider him a first-round talent — we think he is a good bet to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds. Considering he wasn’t invited to Indy, that’s a big step up.

• Though Arizona State RB Dimitri Nance isn’t going to be a high draft pick, he has definitely grabbed the attention of some teams over the last month. They have been impressed with his strength, vision and instincts to find holes, quickness through the hole and consistent ability to gain yards after contact.

He hasn’t broken into the upper echelon of running backs, but he likely will be a fourth- or fifth-round pick, which is higher than his rating of a month ago.

• As NFL teams have debated the medical issues surrounding TEs Rob Gronkowski and Jermaine Gresham, one player who has been getting a lot of attention and climbing draft boards is Iowa TE Tony Moeaki. Although Moeaki had his own injury problems in college, the main questions about him involve durability, not potential career-limiting issues.

Teams have been impressed with Moeaki’s blocking ability and receiving skills, which have convinced them he has the makeup to be a good all-around starting tight end. Look for him to be drafted in the second or third round.

• Alabama CB Kareem Jackson has been moving up draft boards after working out so well at the Combine, but teams continue to debate his status. There is little doubt he is a quick, athletic cornerback with very good ball skills, but on film he showed only solid speed and allowed separation on deep routes.

Teams that are buying into his workout speed have him rated as a mid-to-high pick in the second round. Teams that are emphasizing the speed he showed in games rate him generally as a third-round prospect.

• When scouts made school visits last fall, they really liked Vanderbilt CB Myron Lewis and considered him a likely second- or third-round pick. However, he did not look smooth, quick or comfortable during his pro day workout, leaving teams concerned about his athleticism. As a result, his draft value has fallen.

Now, he is a likely fourth-round pick who could squeeze into the bottom of the third round.

 
For more than 640 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated Mock Draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.
Jerry Hughes may have worked his way into the first round.
Jerry Hughes may have worked his way into the first round.

As NFL teams finish their draft meetings, here are some of the rumors floating around scouting circles:

• During the season, many scouts were impressed with TCU DE/OLB Jerry Hughes‘ competitiveness, quickness, and instincts. Many thought he would be a good third-round pick and possibly a second-rounder. However, most felt he lacked the overall athleticism and flexibility to stand up and play linebacker in the NFL.

Then after displaying excellent all-around athleticism at his pro day, Hughes convinced teams he could easily make the transition to 3-4 rush linebacker and began to rocket up draft boards. Now, he is expected to go in the mid-to-late first round or early second round.

• When East Carolina DT Linval Joseph came out early for the draft, many teams were surprised and did not know a lot about him. But after breaking down film, scouts were impressed. And now that coaches have gotten a good look at him on film, Joseph has been moving up draft boards.

He was originally expected to be a third-round pick who might slip to the fourth round, but now he is regarded as a surefire second-rounder who could move into the bottom of Round 1. From what we have heard, the Chargers could use their first-round pick (28th overall) or second-rounder (40th overall) to take Joseph and solidify their nose tackle position.

• Despite not being invited to the Scouting Combine, Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton has been climbing draft boards. When most teams began their draft meetings, he was considered a late-round possibility or — more likely — an undrafted free agent. But as teams have broken down film on Crompton, they have been impressed with his quick, compact delivery, good footwork, athleticism and arm strength.

Though he won’t be drafted as highly as we have him rated — we consider him a first-round talent — we think he is a good bet to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds. Considering he wasn’t invited to Indy, that’s a big step up.

• Though Arizona State RB Dimitri Nance isn’t going to be a high draft pick, he has definitely grabbed the attention of some teams over the last month. They have been impressed with his strength, vision and instincts to find holes, quickness through the hole and consistent ability to gain yards after contact.

He hasn’t broken into the upper echelon of running backs, but he likely will be a fourth- or fifth-round pick, which is higher than his rating of a month ago.

• As NFL teams have debated the medical issues surrounding TEs Rob Gronkowski and Jermaine Gresham, one player who has been getting a lot of attention and climbing draft boards is Iowa TE Tony Moeaki. Although Moeaki had his own injury problems in college, the main questions about him involve durability, not potential career-limiting issues.

Teams have been impressed with Moeaki’s blocking ability and receiving skills, which have convinced them he has the makeup to be a good all-around starting tight end. Look for him to be drafted in the second or third round.

• Alabama CB Kareem Jackson has been moving up draft boards after working out so well at the Combine, but teams continue to debate his status. There is little doubt he is a quick, athletic cornerback with very good ball skills, but on film he showed only solid speed and allowed separation on deep routes.

Teams that are buying into his workout speed have him rated as a mid-to-high pick in the second round. Teams that are emphasizing the speed he showed in games rate him generally as a third-round prospect.

• When scouts made school visits last fall, they really liked Vanderbilt CB Myron Lewis and considered him a likely second- or third-round pick. However, he did not look smooth, quick or comfortable during his pro day workout, leaving teams concerned about his athleticism. As a result, his draft value has fallen.

Now, he is a likely fourth-round pick who could squeeze into the bottom of the third round.

 
For more than 640 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated Mock Draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*