NFL Draft Stock Report Week 9
Quentin Nelson OG, Notre Dame
Last week we addressed Notre Dame running back Josh Adams’ rise and this week we will look at one of his blockers up front in offensive guard Quentin Nelson. Nelson has emerged as the premier player on one of the nation’s top offensive lines and is a huge reason for the Irish’s resurgence and dominant running game. There is a lot to love when you watch Nelson but what sets him apart is his physicality as a run blocker. Nelson essentially bullies opponents with his raw strength and aggression, and has penchant for finishing blocks. Universally considered a future first rounder there are some who see Nelson as the best overall prospect in this draft class.
Allen Lazard WR, Iowa State
Iowa State has shocked the college football world climbing into the top 15 by knocking off two top five opponents in Oklahoma State and TCU. Lazard played a big part in the Cyclone’s win over TCU catching six passes for 106 yards against a stingy Horned Frog’s defense. While Lazard’s numbers have not been eye popping this season, 39/477/5 he has had at least three catches in every game this season and has nearly 3,000 yards in his career. Measuring in at 6’5’’ 222 lbs. Lazard has the build of an NFL possession receiver and will likely factor into a team’s passing attack at the next level as such.
Duke Ejiofor EDGE, Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons are a surprising 5-3 this season and are coming off of a pretty big win against Louisville this past weekend. Leading the charge for Wake has been senior defensive end Duke Ejiofor who exploded on the scene last season with a ten sack campaign. Ejiofor has continued to harass ACC quarterbacks again this season racking up 6.5 and 14 tackles for loss through eight games this season including a sack of Lamar Jackson last weekend. Ejiofor has all the tools to be a difference maker in the NFL as a weakside defensive end.
Luke Falk QB, Washington State
What a difference a few weeks make. After beating USC Luke Falk was being praised as a potential 1st round draft pick. Now some are saying he is undraftable after a horrid five interception showing against UCLA and a benching against Arizona. He probably falls somewhere in between but his stock has taken a dive thanks to some questionable decision making, a falling passing percentage and a severe lack of mobility. Falk has a lot of work to do if he wants to be more than a late round flier in next spring’s NFL draft.
Richie James WR, Middle Tennessee
Richie James might be one of the best kept secrets in the nation despite entering the season with nearly 3,000 career receiving yards as a freshman and sophomore. The junior broke the 100 catch mark in both of his first two seasons and was on pace for a record setting career. Unfortunately the Blue Raider receiver suffered a broken collar bone and has been shelved for the remainder of the season. While James’ on-field performance is undeniable the injury hurts him and will likely force him to return to school for another season.