Oct 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) throws in the third quarter against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Notre Dame won 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Halfway through the college football season, there’s been big changes made to 2017 NFL Draft boards across the country. Whether it’s a prospect bursting onto the scene and helping their stock, or a player falling short of expectations, seven weeks of games have allowed NFL teams to come closer to finalizing their boards.
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There’s still a long way to go before the 2017 NFL Draft next April in Philadelphia, so boards will continue to undergo makeovers. There’s plenty of action left on the field in addition to offseason workouts, all-star games and the Scouting Combine.
For this week’s prospect stock report, the NFL Mocks crew offered up their picks for the players who helped and hurt their 2017 NFL Draft stock the most through the first half of the college football season.
Sep 24, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson (22) hits Kent State Golden Flashes quarterback Mylik Mitchell (17) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Erik Lambert: Derek Barnett (DE – Tennessee): Even though he plays on a so-so defense, he continues to make plays as a pass rusher and overall defender.
Sam Beckenstein: Ryan Anderson (OLB – Alabama): He’s been living in the backfield this year and building off a productive year last year.
David Holmes: Mitch Trubisky (QB – North Carolina): He has quietly had one of the better season at the quarterback position in all of college football. He’s thrown for 2,068 yards while completing 70% of his passes and has an excellent 15:2 touchdown to interception ratio.
George Stockburger: Donnel Pumphrey (RB – San Diego State): Few people have heard of the San Diego State running back, but his NCAA-leading 1,111 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns have moved him into the spotlight.
Rodney Stokes: D’Onta Foreman (RB – Texas): In the midst of seven straight games with 100 yards or more. Teams have been stacking the box and still are struggling to slow down the 6-foot-1, 242-pound running back.
Eric Robinson: Quincy Wilson (CB – Florida): Wilson only has three picks this season but his coverage play has not only given Florida arguably the best CB duo in the country, but some have anointed Wilson as a first rounder with an even better draft stock than his CB teammate, Jalen Tabor.
Shawn Spencer: Channing Stribling (CB – Michigan): Whether he’s been paired with Jourdan Lewis or Jeremy Clark, Stribling has been a consistent force at cornerback for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines. He’s already defended and intercepted more passes in six games this season than he did in his first three seasons combined. Overshadowed by Lewis and Jabrill Peppers in the secondary, Stribling is making a name for himself in 2016.
Oct 8, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins offensive lineman Conor McDermott against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. The Sun Devils defeated the Bruins 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Erik Lambert: DeShone Kizer (QB – Notre Dame): There is no question that he’s not helped by questionable coaching, but Kizer has really made a number of bad decisions lately. He’s a great talent, but there are some red flags in his game.
Sam Beckenstein: Tim Williams (OLB – Alabama): He’s a beast as a pass-rusher, but isn’t a great three-down linebacker, not to mention the gun charges.
David Holmes: Conor McDermott (OT – UCLA): He entered the season with first-round hype, but has failed to live up to that expectation. McDermott was tasked with facing top defensive lineman Myles Garrett in Week 1 and hasn’t recovered since.
George Stockburger: Leonard Fournette (RB – LSU): He has played in just three games this year and has scored in just one. Once a favorite to win the Heisman, Fournette has fallen to the wayside with a lack of production and an increased number of injuries.
Rodney Stokes: Elijah Hood (RB – North Carolina): Hood started the year off hot with 266 yards in his first three games. In his last three games played he’s had less than 50 yards in each contest. Hood was supposed to compliment Trubisky this year, but so far it’s been all Trubisky for UNC.
Eric Robinson: JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – USC): Smith-Schuster has the talent but this season has cramped his draft stock to the point where he may not reach the level of stock he ended his 2015 on. Part of that is due to the QB play while some of it is also due to defenses keying in on making him a non-factor during games.
Shawn Spencer: Speedy Noil (WR – Texas A&M): After starring as a freshman, Speedy Noil’s last two years at Texas A&M have been a disappointment. Noil has been suspended on at least two separate occasions by head coach Kevin Sumlin and has spent the majority of 2016 buried on the depth chart. He’s currently fifth on the team with just eight receptions through the Aggies first six games.