Steve Muench's Stock Report
Up: UCLA DE Datone Jones (61)
Jones recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in the Bruins' three-point loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game. At 6-5 and 280 pounds, he is perfect fit at end in a base 3-4 scheme. Jones has the length and strength to press offensive tackles and set the edge as a run defender. In terms of rushing the passer, he doesn't have the initial burst to turn the corner and needs to do a better job of finishing. He doesn't always break down properly, and quarterbacks can shake him. However, Jones can reduce inside where his quick hands and feet give interior offensive linemen problems.
Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton (80)
Wheaton caught seven passes for 96 yards against Oregon in the season finale, but he didn't play as well as those numbers suggest. Ball skills were an issue with Wheaton muffing a punt and dropping some passes he should have caught. He made no excuses after the game and has shown the ability to make tough catches in the past, but in a deep receiver class, Wheaton's late-season stumble opens the door for other receivers in the late-second-round area to leapfrog him.
Kevin Weidl's Stock Report
Up: Georgia WR Tavarres King (74) -- A very good vertical route runner, King (6-1, 195) is a long strider who can eat up a defender's cushion and set him up getting into breaks. He did a great job doing just that against Alabama S Robert Lester (63), starting to a flag route before sticking back to a post to get free for a long completion that set up the Bulldogs' game-tying touchdown. King shows the body control to open his hips and make catches outside his frame, though is he a little tight on underneath routes. He displays strong hands, though, and is a strong runner after the catch who flashes enough of an extra gear. He is solidly in the Day 2 area and could move up a bit more if he can impress during the pre-draft process.
Down: Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson (80)
I saw Wilson live this season, and I like his toughness to hang in the pocket and deliver accurate throws while taking hits. He has a good overall skill set and arm talent to work with, but his mechanics need work and he often makes questionable decisions. He carries the ball low and is late getting it out at times as a result, and he can be seen on film missing safeties who are able to read his eyes and make interceptions. There are things to like about Wilson and he has been in the first-round discussion, but his shortcomings keep him out of Round 1 in my opinion.
Scouts Inc. Observations
Muench: The past three drafts have seen an average of just over five centers selected, but that could change over the course of the next three-year cycle, with 14 of the 32 current starters in the NFL being age 30 or older. Players like 36-year-old Matt Birk (Baltimore) and 37-year-old Jeff Saturday (Green Bay) are the exception rather than the rule at the position, and neither was an early-round pick. Centers Maurkice Pouncey (Pittsburgh) and Mike Pouncey (Miami) were recent early-round picks and are already among the best centers in the league, but they are also exceptions to the rule. Just two centers have been taken in the first round over the past three drafts, and that's not likely to change this year, with No. 1 Khaled Holmes (USC) grading out in the third round. Teams will look to the late rounds this year for help at center and likely in the next couple of years as the current group of centers in the league continues to age.
Weidl: Some in the college football fan base and media feel the bowl schedule is too crowded and filled with games that don't matter, but from a scouting standpoint, the early games offer a chance to see plenty of prospects who fly under the radar most of the season. A lot of prospects end the season banged up, and the chance to get healthy and put one more good game tape out there is valuable for them. It's also valuable for scouts, who get to see players at full strength. The other side of that coin, though, is the top-tier prospects who enter their final collegiate games simply looking to protect themselves from injury. Scouts don't like to see that, but some guys will gear down in their final game as they look toward the draft. Just a couple things for college and NFL fans to think about as they watch 2013 prospects over the next few weeks.