Every year during draft season you will hear about players rising and falling down draft boards. Analysts will point to the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine for reasons why a prospect's stock is on the move. The question is - How much can a prospect improve their draft stock? The answers depend on the player and the questions surrounding each prospect's game, but it may not be as much as you'd think. After Cincyjungle's own Jack Cassidy broke down the performances from the Senior Bowl that may have caught the Bengals eye, I'll take each player's situation under the microscope and see just how much they improved their draft stock.
Coples was regarded as a top 10 talent before his senior season. If you watched him in 2011, you, like me, would put a 2nd round grade on him. Coming into the Senior Bowl week, Coples had to show he still had that top 10 talent along with the will want determination to reach such potential. Throughout the week, Quinton Coples dominated anybody who lined up a crossed from him. He was unblock-able. During Saturday's game, Coples didn't disappoint. He was again dominate and flashed on more than a few plays.
So is Quinton Coples that top 10 talent everyone thought he was? Or does this week's performance actually raise more questions? If he could just turn it on now, why didn't he do it last year? Why does he run hot and cold? Coples definitely improved his draft stock, but I'm not ready to say he's completely repaired the damage he did in 2011 and is a lock to get drafted in the first 10 picks.
Jenkins is a lot like Quinton Coples. He was regarded as a top 15 pick after 2010 but Jenkins continued to make bad decisions and was kicked off of Florida's program. In Division II, Jenkins was average and didn't dominate like he should have. Coming into the Senior Bowl week, Jenkins had to show everyone he could regain his competitive edge vs. FBS players like he did while at Florida. He hurt himself on the first day by measuring-in less than 5'10" tall, but then showed during practice that he still has the natural man-coverage skills that will make him a coveted prospect. During the game, Jenkins was solid in coverage but bit on a double move and missed a tackle in the open field. Both mistakes are the types of plays you're going to get with Jenkins.
I'm not going to say Jenkins improved his stock because most scouts expected him to display his coverage skills the way he did, What scouts and NFL teams are looking at is Janoris Jenkins' background. He is saying all the right things now, but we've seen how that goes. Even with his physical talents, some teams won't even have him on their draft board. As of today I still think Jenkins is selected between picks 20-40.
Isaiah Pead had a great game as a punt return man and a great week of practice to backup his MVP performance on Saturday. He was considered a mid-round pick (3-5) by most before this week. The questions with Pead most scouts have are - Can he run between the tackles? - Can Pead carry the load or is he a backup? - Can he pass protect? - Everybody knows that Pead is an electrifying runner in open space and he can make guys miss with his elusiveness. That was never questioned an Isaiah didn't disappoint this week.
Stock: Slightly Up
I say Pead's stock is only slightly up because he didn't answer any of the questions most scouts had about him. He showed up this week at 193 lbs; obviously that isn't ideal weight for an every down RB at. In the game, Pead struggled between the tackles to consistently gain yardage and find the creases in the defense. On most passing plays, Pead was replaced by Dan Herron as a pass protector. That's not good for Pead's stock. Where Isaiah Pead really improved his stock was as a punt returner. He looked explosive and decisive. Pead looked like he could be one of the best in the NFL and is ready to contribute in that phase of the game from day one. Pead, in my rankings, went from the 8th best RB to the 7th best RB because of his return ability. I wouldn't draft him until round three.
Glenn has been talked about a lot around here as that road-grading guard the Bengals need. If you just look at Cordy Glenn, he's exactly how you would draw up a mauling guard. He played tackle at Georgia this past year and I'm sure he's making every effort to show teams he can play OT in the NFL. Here's where Glenn's stock is tricky, I think he showed he can be an effective RT in the NFL and I think that's how he'll be drafted in April. For the Bengals, and other teams looking for guard help, I don't think Cordy Glenn helped himself. Glenn didn't display a killer instinct that you want from a guard of his stature. He wasn't able to get to the 2nd level and still didn't play with great leverage inside. He looked much better and more comfortable playing OT.
Glenn, for the Bengals, is a guard. You only draft elite guards in round one and Glenn isn't elite. I'll keep my 2nd round grade on him and I believe most teams that view him as a guard will also. The teams that view Glenn as an OT, they'll move him up their boards and he could go between picks 15-32.
Dennard didn't play in the game but he did create a buzz during the week's practices but it wasn't for his coverage ability. Dennard is a press-man corner who is tough and physical. I've always had a 2nd round grade on him. I wanted him to show me that he could cover in off-man and on the deep balls. He also needed to display better ball skills than he did at Nebraska where he only recorded three interceptions in his career. Dennard couldn't answer any of those questions and actually showed those flaws are even bigger concerns. He needs to win at the line with a jam if he expects to stay with the WR. If beaten, Dennard has trouble locating the football and tracking it. He looked lost at times in the plays I've seen and the reports I've read.
Dennard has been mocked as a first round pick since last year when he looked better than his teammate Prince Amukamara at Nebraska. Dennard hasn't progressed from that point and those lefty projections didn't hold up. I think he's a solid 2nd round pick and the Scouting Combine will be huge for him. If he runs slowly, he will be tumbling down draft boards.
Other Notable Stock Changes:
Phillip Blake - G/C - Baylor: Up
Harrison Smith - S - Notre Dame: Up
Dan Herron - RB - Ohio State - Up
Kellen Moore - QB - Boise State - Down
Doug Martin - RB - Boise State - UP
Jeff Fuller - WR - Texas A&M - Down
Marvin Jones - WR - Cal - Up
Dwight Bentley - CB - La-Lafayette - Up
Nick Foles - QB - Arizona - Down