2017 NFL Draft Week 2 Risers and Fallers

Week 2 Risers and Fallers


After a loaded Week 1 of quality matchups, Week 2 was a letdown in that there were no matchups of ranked teams. But week 2 provided many more exciting games with the outcomes not being determined until the last seconds of games such as Arkansas - TCU, Penn State - Pittsburgh, North Carolina State - East Carolina and BYU - Utah.  The emphasis on the Risers and Fallers column will again be mainly on the lightly rated players with an occasional nod to the more highly rated players.  As mentioned in the Week 1 article, fallers necessarily have to be the higher rated players as the lower rated players can't fall too far.


1.  RYAN FINLEY - QB - 6-3, 200 - North Carolina State - In what was described as a sterling performance in the Wolfpack's opening week's 48-14 rout of William & Mary, Finley followed up with an outstanding performance  in a losing effort (33 - 30) against East Carolina.  His stat line was 20-31-254 yards with 1 TD and 6 carries for 20 yards and another TD.  Going 20-for-31 is a completion percentage of 64.5, but I witnessed three drops at the end of the game which would have improved his completion percentage to 74.2.  His one passing TD was a beautiful long drop in the bucket type and his rush TD was of 15 yards and displayed that he does have some run ability. He is accurate, poised, can throw on the run and can drill the out pass.  In his next to last drive in a close game he had two drops, which killed the drive and then in the last drive with a chance for a tie to go into overtime he suffered another drop which dashed any chance that they had.  A redshirt junior after transferring from Boise State, Finley is a player to watch and with upcoming games against Clemson and Louisville, which more than likely end up in the loss column, it will still be interesting to see how Ryan performs against top-flight competition while leading an undermanned squad.

2.  CHAD HANSEN - WR - 6-2, 195 - California – After being disappointed in not receiving any offers from FBS schools out of high school, Hansen went to FCS Idaho State which extended an offer to him. After having some success in 2013 by receiving All Conference Honorable Mention honors, but not even being the top receiver at Idaho State, he still believed that he could play at a higher level and left Idaho State to walk on at California, sat out 2014 as a transfer, was buried on the depth chart in 2015 behind six returning WRs, he broke out in the Bears 1st game of 2016 by hauling in 14 receptions for 160 yards and 2 TDs against Hawaii and followed that up in Week 2 with another 14 receptions 190 yards and  1 TD against a tougher San Diego State team.  In 2015 when Cal had the other six receivers, Hansen was called the "teams fastest player" and was claimed to have run a 4.4 forty and now has become the go-to guy for the highly rated Davis Webb, the QB who transferred to Cal from Texas Tech, and who has also gotten off to a good start and should be a high draft choice in the 2017 NFL Draft.

3.  DUKE EJIOFOR - DE - 6-4, 270 – Wake Forest - Limited in 2015 by missing five games due to injury, he was slated for a breakout year in 2016 and in Week 2 he really shined as he was the ACC Defensive Player of the Week in the Demon Deacons 24-14 victory over Duke.  Ejiofor had seven tackles, three sacks an additional tackle-for-loss, two quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles, one of which was a strip-sack.  Even though I only had glimpses of this game, his take off and athleticism were apparent and he will be rising up draft boards.

Other lightly rated players who have shown that they deserve to be on the radar of NFL scouts for Week 2 are:  

KWAYDE MILLER - LT - 6-7, 310 - SR - San Diego State, who along with highly rated OG NICO SIRAGUSA, helped paved the way for RB DONNELL PUMPHREY'S record breaking performance against California.        

LUKE DEL RIO - QB - 6-1, 216 - JR - Florida, and the son of Oakland Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio, and although not as tall as desired, showed good potential against Kentucky. 

AUSTIN ALLEN - QB - 6-1, 208 - JR - Arkansas, was impressive in the last minute win over TCU. Some expected a drop off at QB for the Razorbakcs after his brother, Brandon Allen graduated and was drafted in the 6th Round by the Jacksonville Jaguars and made the team, but there has been no reduction in the quality of QB play at Arkansas.    

TAYSOM HILL - QB - 6-2, 230 - JR –BYU, In a 20 -19 losing effort in the 'Holy War' game against Utah in which BYU decided to go for a two point conversion at the end of the game, which failed, Hill displayed the arm, talent and athleticism to play at the next level.  Serious injuries have hindered him in the past.

JAMES McFARLAND - DE - 6-3, 255 - Jr – TCU, who missed all of last year due to injury flashed his take off and quickness and overall athleticism against Arkansas to be back on the radar of NFL scouts.  He would be projected to OLB in the NFL.             

JESSE ANIEBONAM -  JR – Maryland, listed at 6-3 260 he plays a "Buck" position which is a hybrid Defensive End/Outside Linebacker position and, while it can be difficult to evaluate a player when playing against a weaker team as in the Terrapins 41 - 14 blowout of FIU, Aniebonam displayed quickness, speed, athleticism combined with an ability to make plays.  Listed at 260 pounds, he could be considered as an OLB in a 4/3 defense and even and OLB in a 3/4 defense, even though NFL teams like them a little taller for the 3/4.  This evaluation is a projection based upon his upside as a quality athlete who still has another year to develop.



In my viewing, it was a great week for risers as I had many more to mention and conversely it was a slow week for fallers, with the only one coming to my attention and that being:

GUNNER KIEL - QB - 6-4, 215 - SR – Cincinnati, this former 5 star recruit, who originally enrolled at Notre Dame, has been hindered by injuries and up and down play and has been relegated to the bench.  Beaten out for the starter's job by Hayden Moore, Kiel has yet to throw a pass after two games and this former projected 1st or 2nd Round draft choice now has his career in doubt.