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Jackson surging

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Recent posts by Matt Feminis

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Posted April 23, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Matt Feminis

As first projected last week by PFW personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki, belief is circulating that LSU DL Tyson Jackson's stock is soaring to the point where he could fit into the top five selections, due in large part to his ability to anchor an odd front.

Motivation sustains Curry
Ever since being cut from the seventh-grade football team, Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry has been motivated. His drive shows consistently on tape and is one of the many traits scouts fell in love with throughout their evaluation of Curry.

Barwin draws praise
Since making the switch from tight end, it seems Cincinnati DE Connor Barwin's momentum never plateaued. "I’m starting to feel it’s real," Barwin told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’ve had head coaches say, ‘You’ve skyrocketed up our draft board. You’re the kind of guy NFL teams want now. Good character, trustworthy, versatile.’"

'Our defensive end is the IT?'
The onslaught of pre-draft information turns up stories you wouldn't normally become aware of, particularly when it comes to small-school prospects. Richmond DE Lawrence Sidbury put himself on the national radar by racking up four sacks in the I-AA national title game, then cemented his draft status by showing he belonged at the Senior Bowl. This much has been established: he's a raw talent with pass-rush ability. You might not know he graduated with a computer science degree and spent his free time tutoring high school math students. And he's good at it.

Wait-and-see for Maiava
It's tough to fly under the radar when you're playing at USC, but Kaluka Maiava did just that. A standout special-teams player, he didn't get the chance to start until his senior season. Even so, he was the "other" Trojan linebacker toiling in the sizable shadows of Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing. Maiava made the most of his opportunity, however, by producing and displaying pro-caliber speed and movement skills. Scouts quickly took notice and Maiava is now on the verge of becoming the first Maui native drafted into the NFL.

Measurables boost Fletcher
Another one-year starter, Iowa CB Bradley Fletcher, took advantage of his senior season, then showed the size, speed and athletic ability NFL defensive backs coaches like to get their hands on.

If you can play...
The aforementioned Lawrence Sidbury was put through the paces at the Spiders' pro day, as scouts wanted to see him in linebacker drills. One other prospect on display that day was Greg Toler, a little-known CB out of St. Paul's College in Virginia. He used football to stay out of trouble as a youth, but his path to the NFL has been anything but ordinary.

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