With the first underclassmen declaring for the NFL Draft, Husker Corner takes a look at the draft stock of Nebraska players, including junior running back Rex Burkhead, who will have to decide in the next month whether or not he will declare for the NFL Draft.
Alfonzo Dennard – Cornerback
Late 1st Round
While Dennard’s numbers have been down a bit this season, he’s still proven that he is one of the best lock down corners in the country. Shutting down Michigan State wide receiver BJ Cunningham was big for Dennard’s stock.
Lavonte David – Linebacker
Late 2nd Round
David clocks in at only 6’1” 225 lbs, which is very small for an NFL linebacker. While his size hurts his draft stock a lot, David’s nose for the ball and acceleration make him an optimal weakside linebacker in the NFL.
Jared Crick – Defensive Tackle
Late 2nd – Early 3rd Round
Crick’s stock plummeted when he tore his pectoral muscle. The injury, which has a recovery time of eight months, produced a big question mark for Crick. That, paired with his slumping production, dropped him from a late first rounder to a third round pick.
Rex Burkhead – Running Back – Junior (Hasn’t Declared for NFL Draft)
Late 3rd – Early 4th Round
While it’s extremely unlikely that Burkhead will come out after this season, if he decided to declare, he would find a home no later than the end of the fourth round. Burkhead’s playmaking ability, leadership and balance make him an appealing NFL backup. Still, don’t count on him leaving this year.
Jermarcus Hardrick – Offensive Tackle
4th – 6th Rounds
Yoshi’s big frame alone makes him appealing for the NFL. While he still makes some mental mistakes and while his form isn’t perfect, Hardrick’s pure strength and size will be enough to get him drafted.
Mike Caputo – Center
6th – 7th Rounds
Caputo has been an underdog for years. His height has, and will continue to, play against him. Caputo, a Rimington watch-lister, began his career as a walk-on at Nebraska and earned his role as an anchor on the Husker offensive line. His go-get-it attitude will improve his draft stock.
Austin Cassidy – Safety
7th Round or Undrafted Free Agent
Cassidy, who started his career as a walk-on at Nebraska, has evolved into one of the most consistent players on the Blackshirts defense. While his speed and hit power don’t translate well to the NFL level, his playmaking ability and tackling consistency will earn him a spot on an NFL roster, most likely as a backup.
Undrafted Free Agents
Brandon Kinnie – Wide Receiver
Marcel Jones – Offensive Tackle
Terrence Moore – Defensive Tackle
Unlikely to make an NFL roster
Jon Damkroger – Punter
Jim Ebke – Linebacker
Curenski Gilleylen – Running Back
Austin Jones – Running Back
Tyler Legate – Fullback
Luke Lingenfelter – Offensive Line
Jay Martin – Tight End
Mathew May – Linebacker
Marcus Mendoza – Cornerback
Kevin Thomsen – Tight End
Lance Thorell – Defensive Back
By Chris Peters