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Draft Buzz: A Potential Surprise At No. 1?

Posted Mar 28, 2016

The Ole Miss Pro Day takes place on Monday and the results could determine the outcome of several top 12 picks in next month’s draft. Later in the week, one of the biggest sleepers at the cornerback position finally works out for NFL teams. Those items plus the inside on what I’m hearing from the Tennessee Titans' war room in this week’s Draft Buzz ...

1. The NFL descends on Oxford, Mississippi for Ole Miss' Pro Day on Monday as offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who did not run at the Combine but looked brilliant in position drills, could cement himself as the first pick of the draft. Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell also has a lot riding on the line.

We’ll soon find out if concerns over Treadwell’s speed, something I mentioned in an earlier version of Draft Buzz, are justified. Before Treadwell decided to enter the draft, Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze was telling people his star receiver was a “4.7-second 40 guy.” Treadwell’s own people tell me they hope he can run in the low 4.6s on Monday. If the game-controlling wideout can’t run faster than 4.65 seconds, will any team select him in the top half of round one? Stay tuned.

2. I spoke with insiders who believe that while the Titans are leaning toward taking offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil with the draft’s first pick, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is still very much in the mix. In fact, some believe at this point it’s a coin flip between Tunsil and Bosa.

3. There’s always one player who wasn’t graded by scouts entering the season, who doesn’t get invited to the Combine and then is drafted out of nowhere. This year, that player could be Western Kentucky cornerback Prince Charles Iworah, who works out for scouts on Tuesday. Iworah, a two-year starter for the Hilltoppers, intercepted four passes last season and broke up 11 more. Scouts believe Iworah, who is listed at 5-11, 190 pounds, could be drafted as early as the fifth round next month and is one of the better sleepers at the cornerback position.

4. The lack of depth at the defensive end position means several prospects could be selected much earlier than many presently predict. One defensive end who is moving up draft boards is Bronson Kaufusi.

The senior had a bit of an erratic college career during his early years at BYU and was stamped by scouts as camp fodder entering the season. Part of the reason for his inconsistency was Kafusi was miscast on defense and asked to stand up over tackle for much of his junior season, no small feat for a defender who measured over 6-6 and a little more than 250 pounds last spring. Things were a lot different when Kafusi primarily came out of a three point stance last season as his play, and consistency, improved by leaps and bounds.

In the run-up to the draft, Kafusi was effective during the Senior Bowl, terrific at the Combine then outstanding last week during BYU's Pro Day. Considered a prospect of impeccable character, scouts feel Kafusi is developing his long frame and offers potential as a three-down lineman in a variety of defensive schemes. Word circulating is Kafusi could hear his name called somewhere in the middle of the second round.

Tony Pauline has been a draft analyst for more than 25 years, and is president and editor of DraftInsider.net, a site dedicated year-round coverage of the NFL Draft. You can follow on Twitter @TonyPauline


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