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January 14, 2012 @ 9:30 am
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Draft Stock Survey: Post-Bowl Report

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Which 2012 NFL Draft prospects helped and hurt themselves in this year's bowl season? Pewter Report's Eric Dellaratta offers up his analysis in the debut of Draft Stock Survey on PewterReport.com.

In the first edition of Draft Stock Survey, PewterReport.com’s new feature, Bucs beat writer Eric Dellaratta showcases which NFL draft prospects have improved their stock and which have hurt their stock based on their bowl-game performances. Be on the lookout for more Draft Stock Surveys to be released following the conclusion of the Senior Bowl weigh-ins, Senior Bowl practices and game, NFL Combine, and pro days.   

South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery (Junior)

Jeffery came up big for South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl against a quality opponent in Nebraska. The junior wide receiver was asked to face another potential first-round pick, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Jeffery had his way with Dennard in the first half. He burnt Dennard on a crossing route that ended up going for a 78-yard gain.

Just before halftime, Jeffery caught a Hail Mary pass from quarterback Conner Shaw. He vaulted himself over five Nebraska defensive backs, made the catch, and ran into the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown. The two standouts let their emotions get the better of them in the third quarter. The two began to fight near the sideline. There was shoving, grabbing of the facemasks, and a few punches were thrown. Both were ejected from the game by the referee.

Jeffery finished the game with four receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown. Despite the altercation, Jeffery is expected to be a first-round selection come draft day. A big game against a quality opponent is exactly what Jeffery needed to finish his college career.  

Alabama ILB Dont’a Hightower (Junior)
Hightower has been a force for the Crimson Tide’s defense, and his performance in the BCS national championship game against the LSU Tigers helped push his draft stock even higher. The junior linebacker was all over the field and was always near the action.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound prospect recorded a sack-fumble on quarterback Jordan Jefferson late in the fourth quarter. He also contributed four tackles and an assist on a tackle for loss. Hightower appeared to be at full speed, completing his recovery from a torn ACL in 2009.

The standout linebacker is very versatile. He can play inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and is frequently used as a pass-rusher on the outside in third-down situations. He’s a true thumper that won’t have trouble finding a home in the NFL. The Alabama junior projects to be a late first-round selection come draft day.

Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon (Junior)
There wasn’t much more room for Justin Blackmon’s stock to rise going into the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, but Oklahoma State’s stud wide receiver might have solidified himself as a top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The junior turned in a monster performance for the Cowboys and he did it with an infected right thigh.

Blackmon finished his dominant performance with eight receptions for 191 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys receiver showcased his explosiveness as he tallied two long touchdown catches. He scored on a go route for a 43-yard touchdown and later scored a 67-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run after hauling in a pass on a short slant route.

Blackmon was named Fiesta Bowl offensive MVP and showed NFL talent evaluators that he can be a No.1 receiver at the NFL level. The junior receiver possesses enough talent to warrant a very high first-round pick in April.

Georgia CB Brandon Boykin (Senior)
Cornerback Brandon Boykin really impressed in the Outback Bowl against Michigan State. For a smaller corner, he really plays bigger than his size would indicate. On the first drive, Boykin sniffed out a bubble screen and tackled the Michigan State receiver for a safety. Boykin showcased his explosiveness all day and was by far Georgia’s best defensive player.

Just before halftime, Boykin scored a touchdown on a 92-yard touchdown on a punt return. The senior turned his back to the opposition, side-stepped a defender, and ran for the longest punt return in school history. In addition to his spectacular defense and special teams, Boykin also caught a clutch 13-yard touchdown pass on offense.

The senior has been an exceptional playmaker for the Bulldogs, but his size will most likely keep him from being a high draft selection in April. Boykin definitely improved his stock in the Outback Bowl, and will likely end up being selected on the second day of the draft. Boykin has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl, so be sure to check PewterReport.com’s coverage to see how Georgia’s defensive back fares.

Arizona State MLB Vontaze Burfict (Junior)

The Arizona State linebacker was benched by his coaching staff, and saw very little playing time in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl against Boise State. He only recorded a few tackles and really had no impact for the Sun Devils. This is extremely disappointing for someone that is being touted as the “next big thing” at linebacker.

Burfict is physical monster who plays the game with extreme intensity. He had very good seasons as a freshman and sophomore where he showed endless potential.

The best word to describe Burfict’s play-style is violent. His number one favorite thing to do on game day is crush opposing players. However, the junior has had issues controlling his emotions on the field, and is frequently penalized. This might be a cause for concern among NFL front offices. After having a great sophomore campaign, the Arizona State beast really took a step in the wrong direction as a junior. He failed to record double-digit tackles in any game in 2011.

Burfict was also benched during Arizona State’s loss to California this season. It was also reported that he got into a fight with a teammate after a practice earlier this season. If Burfict didn't have emotional issues, he could have easily ended up a top 10 selection.

If Burfict ever wants to reach his maximum potential he will have to learn to keep his emotions in check. His stock has slid from a top 15 pick to a late first-round selection.

Georgia TE Orson Charles (Junior)
The junior tight end had little to no impact against the Michigan State Spartans in the Outback Bowl. He was not very impressive as a blocker and he only caught one pass for two yards.

Charles, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 241 pounds, was one of Georgia’s most valuable threats in the passing game throughout the season, but he was invisible in the team’s biggest game of the year. In addition to his Outback Bowl performance, his size and overall strength might cause him to fall in the upcoming NFL draft.

Most teams in the NFL are looking for complete tight ends that excel in blocking and receiving, and Charles really only excels as a pass catcher. This will concern some front office members around the league, and will most likely put a ceiling on his draft stock.

Despite his size concerns, I can see Charles in an Aaron Hernandez-type roll in the NFL. If Charles is able to bulk up and improve as a blocker, I can see him being one of the better values in the draft. The junior tight end projects to be a third-round pick in April.

Last modified on Sunday, 15 January 2012 15:58

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  • avatar

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Bucs take Clayborne (CB) or Blackmon (WR) with their first pick. If they are both available (doubtful), I would go with Blackmon. He is the type of WR to make the entire WR corps better. He is a young TO without the personal problems. - - -There are plenty of LBs to take in round 2. If they have to go with Clayborne, I would have no problem with that either, the best CB prospect in awhile, better than Haden I think.
  • avatar

    The top of the draft is more interesting now. It was rare for a team in the top five to trade down with the trade compensation and big contracts payed to unproven rookies. With the new system, it's more plausable to think about trading down, which the Bucs could do in order to fill some holes. Blackmon or Claiborne would be a welcomed addition is they stay put though.
  • avatar

    I hope we grab blackmon. If he's already gone then we should get a rb or a qb. I don't know about you guys but I'm not positive that Josh is the answer anymore. We need leadership on the defense and I'm not sure we can draft that
  • avatar

    Bucs will pick a Corner with first pick maybe even with their 2nd. It depends on what happens to Talib. My guess is that Bucs will have to go after free agent receivers, offensive linemen and linebackers as well. THey have a lot of needs.
  • avatar

    The "V" person appears to be another insecure "I want to shock you" childish attention getting act. I think it is just a middle school mentality person who hasn't grown up yet. Everyone has their definition of what is "cute"; this isn't.
  • avatar

    Speaking of PR posters usually having something meaningful to say...I always enjoy Jdub's posts around this time of year. He tends to cut his own path and not just repeat what he's read or heard on other sites. Switching gears--I know there's a discussion board--but I'm still hyped from SF's performance. I just see similarities in their path to the Bucs'. Does anybody else have an opinion on Davis--his maturation? He has a monster combine. Cries at the draft. Seems like a player one would want. Then he does nothing. (Here's the point) Singeltary comes in and benches him/rides him. Then he has that game last night. How much of V. Davis' success can you contribute to Mike? As the Bucs' are looking for a coach & have a lot of immature players I thought it was an interesting thought. Could a solid coaching staff improve the current roster, as is?
  • avatar

    mjmoody, I really like Mike Singletary. I believe he would be a good Coach. Most of those players are from his drafting time except for Smith. He would especially hire someone who would turn the Defense around immediately. I know he is not a player's coach, just a coach who demands 100% effort and wants to win. I would hire him as the HC. I Believe he has already learned from his mistakes which wasn't that many.
  • avatar

    Macabee -As it relates to the juvenile "V-man", click on "report user." I did.
  • avatar

    I must admit, "Vagina" is an interesting choice of names. I always try to picture what some of you look like. With Vagina, we all have a pretty good idea. We just need to know if he is clean shaven or sports a magnificent coiffure. Then again, we have others who like to have the name Buc used in place of another word that rhymes. Not real original though.
  • avatar

    Scubog, you are just amazing; only you could describe the situation so eloquently.
  • avatar

    I think Manchester United is a horrible name.
  • avatar

    What you said makes sense, how you characterize yourself doesn't. If your name was Contrarian and you disagreed with everything, I'd get it. If your name was OfftheWall and you said something stupid, I'd still get it. But you choose that name and tell me something about linebackers, I don't get it. I'm not saying you're a bad guy, I'm saying you could have chosen a better name!
  • avatar

    Not sure the term vagina is derogatory or that women are offended by it. i have to admit i was a little surprised i was allowed to use it. Now that you know that you can perhaps you should change your name to dick, ha ha.
  • avatar

    Hey V-Guy, change your website name and join the majority of PR posters that have something meaningful to say! And PR raise your level of professionalism and discourage this type of nomenclature used for the sole purpose of getting attention. It is offensive on it's face and at minimum offensive to our female posters and those who would be encouraged to join the dialogue. There are posters here pictured with their wives or other female acquaintances who would possibly find this offensive. I am surprised no one else has spoken up! Sad!
  • avatar

    Phew!! Im glad the "what we can discuss" police showed up.
  • avatar

    Good information Eric. As soon the Bucs hire a HC/OC/DC we will have a better idea as to what we will be addressing in the draft and fee agency. Right now we can speculate all we want, but it's going nowhere. I think we can discuss the subject of trading down because of so many needs. I am for trading way down because we are a couple years away from the playoff's and no need to waste all that money on a Top 5 pick like we did with McCoy.
  • avatar

    I want Hightower because i want a 3-4 defense here in Tampa.If you go look at the prospects there are more better 3-4 linebackers than 4-3 linebackers.
  • avatar

    Hey as long as we improve our front 7 on D im all for it. I still like Burfict. Mike Williams had all those problems and turned out just fine. Besides its Defense... Ray Lewis stabbed a guy. Im tired of drafting all these quire boys too, I think Bowers and McCoy are gonna start a christian rock band if we keep it up.
  • avatar

    Hightower> Burfict not even close Hightower was the leader of the the best college defense in the country. Burfict is a discipline problem waiting to happen. He was benched in college because of stupid penalties and will be even worse once he starts recieving a paycheck
  • avatar

    Trade back and pick up hightower and some extra picks. Hightower and Foster behind our D line is a nice thought. There are plenty of skill players in the late rounds and if we can pick up a big FA WR that would help.
  • avatar

    Compromise: DeSean Jackson and Michael Bush are both UFAs and we have more money than Jesus. Notice there's not topflight CB's or LB's available in free agency... gotta take em when you can get em.
  • avatar

    vagina, the key phrase "we have more money than Jesus"; no we don't because it is not ours. It is the Glazer's money and they will stick to their Budget no matter what they tell us. They love their money more than producing a play off team.
  • avatar

    I hope we draft Blackmon. Hes a game changer and will impact our team more than a corner would right now. We should draft him and the RB from Oregon Lemichael James (I think thats his name). Corner is a pressing need as is LB, but I think this explosiveness on offense will help more, right now. Lets be able to score first and let the D catch up.
  • avatar

    I want Burfict! Trade back into the first round to get him! I dont care if it takes all our draft picks. please get rid of quincy black! I dont know if that guy is lost or scared, but hes always getting outta the way.
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