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NFL Draft Watch: Ten with most to prove

MORE NFL DRAFT WATCH: Overrated | Underrated
The Skinny: Wright was a two-star linebacker out of Santa Rosa (Calif.) Cardinal Newman in the 2013 class. Arizona was Wright's only offer when he committed in June before his senior year.
Overview: Because of a knee injury, Wright played in only three games this season. He recorded 23 tackles and two sacks.
Farrell's Take: Wright, like Oakman, will have to prove the same thing he needed to prove out of high school. But for Scooby instead of invisibility it's all about speed and quick-twitch ability. He has never been the quickest linebacker when it comes to change of direction or covering a ton of ground but instead uses his smarts and instincts to be in the right place most of the time. Will a knee injury slow him down further?
Robert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss
The Skinny: Nkemdiche was the top-rated prospect in the 2013 class. LSU was also a finalist but the five-star waited until National Signing Day to announce what everyone expected - that he was going to play at Ole Miss.
Overview: Nkemdiche has 29 tackles in 11 games this season including seven tackles for loss and three sacks. He's been suspended for the Sugar Bowl for being charged with marijuana possession after falling out of an Atlanta hotel room.
Farrell's Take: As I mentioned in the story on the overrated draft prospects, Nkemdiche leaves you wanting quite a bit when you watch him play. Yes he's 300 pounds and as athletic as can be, but he can also be minimized too easily and is too hot and cold for a potential top-five pick. Now with off-field baggage he will also need to prove that his hotel window incident and marijuana possession charge isn't an indication of a habit.
Christian Hackenberg
Penn State
The Skinny: Hackenberg was a five-star prospect and the second-best pro-style quarterback in the 2013 class. He was No. 24 overall. The Fork Union (Va.) Fork Union Military Academy star stuck with Penn State during the Jerry Sandusky scandal and picked the Nittany Lions over Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and others.
Overview: Hackenberg completed just over 53 percent of his passes for 2,386 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season.
Farrell's Take: Hackenberg, who hasn't declared for early entry yet but is likely to, has the size and arm strength coveted by NFL scouts but his film is not overly impressive from this season or last. His mobility is a big question mark and was exposed by an awful offensive line this year. His decision-making has always been one of his drawbacks. Honestly he should come back for another year because I don't think he can prove enough with what's left (bowl game, combine) to garner a first-round grade in this draft class.
Darron Lee
Ohio State
The Skinny: Lee was a three-star prospect and the No. 44 athlete in the 2013 class out of New Albany, Ohio. He camped well at Ohio State twice, landed the offer from the Buckeyes and committed less than 30 minutes later.
Overview: Lee has 59 tackles (nine for loss), an interception, a forced fumble and 2.5 sacks so far this season.
Farrell's Take: Lee is near the end of the first round on some boards and I think he needs to show much more explosiveness to make up for a general lack of size at the linebacker position. He's a smallish NFL 'backer who regressed a bit this year as others on the Buckeyes' defense stepped up. I think he'll need a great bowl game, he'll need to test very well and even then size could push him to day two.
Kendall Fuller
Virginia Tech
The Skinny: The Olney (Md.) Good Counsel five-star cornerback was rated second at his position and ninth overall in the 2013 class. Virginia Tech and Clemson were the two legitimate finalists for Fuller, who committed to the Hokies in the summer prior to his senior season. He was also looking at Michigan and USC. Fuller's three brothers played in Blacksburg as well.
Overview: Fuller has been sidelined since late September with a knee injury.
Farrell's Take: Fuller's knee injury left him exposed badly against first-round wide receiver prospect Michael Thomas in the Hokies' season opener and that film could haunt him despite the excuse. He's an extremely gifted cornerback with good size, excellent instincts and a feel for the game unlike many others ahead of him at the position. But he's never been a burner so a sub-4.5 is needed, a great shuttle and some faith from NFL scouts that he will be the best in his NFL family.
Connor Cook
Michigan State
The Skinny: The Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit standout was a three-star prospect and the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the 2011 class. Michigan State offered Cook during Junior Day in February and the Spartans immediately became the favorite. He committed in April before his senior season with Miami (Ohio) being Cook's only other offer at the time.
Overview: Cook is completing about 57 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season.
Farrell's Take: Cook has a good - not a great arm - but there's little doubt he can make all the throws needed. He also works out of a pro-style offense which is a plus, but he can make some awful throws and his footwork isn't consistent. He's excellent on timing routes which is key, but he's not good on the run and there are some attitude/leadership questions that will be asked over and over again. He has first-round talent, but scouts worry they might be getting a less-talented Jay Cutler here. He will need to convince them that's not the case.
Myles Jack
The Skinny: Jack was ranked as the No. 16 outside linebacker and No. 199 overall in the 2013 class. Jack committed to UCLA in June but his recruitment was not wrapped up since he took some official visits to Pac-12 schools and Georgia came in late. Since Jack lived in Georgia for more than a decade growing up, there was interest, but it never materialized with the Bulldogs.
Overview: Jack has been sidelined with a knee injury since the third week of September.
Farrell's Take: Jack is an injury question mark and that's about it because, to me at least, he's the most talented linebacker on any board and that includes Jaylon Smith. What he lacks in overall positioning he makes up for in his quick-twitch explosion. His change of direction and his athleticism is off the charts. But how will he look after a knee injury and missing most of the season when it comes time to show the scouts he's recovered?
Ezekiel Elliott
Ohio State
The Skinny: Elliott was rated as the No. 12 running back and No. 84 overall in the 2013 class. The four-star was the top-rated prospect in Missouri out of St. Louis John Burroughs School. Elliott committed to Ohio State in April while on an unofficial visit, but took a late official trip to Missouri, where his father played football and his mother ran track.
Overview: Elliott has rushed for 1,672 yards and 19 touchdowns on 262 attempts this season, averaging 6.4 yards per touch.
Farrell's Take: Elliott has all the physical skills to be a first-round pick despite the lack of faith in running backs taken that high. With Todd Gurley's success and Elliott having a similar running style, he really needs to hit the interviews harder than the Combine or Pro Day. After he threw his coaches under the bus following the loss to Michigan State, you can expect NFL scouts, GMs and coaches to be looking for answers for that outburst. Coaches especially will be wary and not want to sign off approval on a guy they aren't convinced is a team player. Elliott needs to show them his three years of hard work is what should be the focus and not one emotional interview.
Laremy Tunsil
Ole Miss
The Skinny: The Lake City (Fla.) Columbia recruit was a five-star prospect and the top-rated offensive tackle in the 2013 class. Tunsil was No. 14 overall and second in the Florida state rankings behind Vernon Hargreaves III. Alabama and Georgia were Tunsil's favorites for a long time but his final official visit to Ole Miss convinced him that the Rebels were the right fit.
Overview: Tunsil played in only five games so far this season because he was under investigation by the NCAA. In the games he played, Ole Miss averaged more than 200 rushing yards and 500 total yards per outing.
Farrell's Take: Tunsil's film is excellent and he is either going to be the first or second offensive tackle off the board. But there will be some questions about the suspension and how Tunsil wasn't initially as forthcoming as expected during the investigation. He also doesn't have as much game film under his belt as some others, missing games this season and a couple last year. But it's more about the NCAA issues for him than anything else.
Adam Gorney
National Recruiting Analyst
Mike Farrell
National Recruiting Director
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