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April 22, 2008

The 2008 NFL Draft's fastest falling prospects

MORE: VIDEO of falling prospects | Updated Mock Draft: Round 1 | Round 2

Photos: Best No. 1 Overall Picks | Worst No. 1 Overall Picks

With the 2008 NFL Draft just days away, most of the big names are well known. But some of those big names have seen their stock drop recently.

Rivals.com NFL Draft partner Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com gives us a list of the 10 fastest-falling prospects.

Rivals.com Top 10 falling prospects
1. Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
This big, athletic, possession receiver has seen his stock fall dramatically after a thigh injury and over concerns about his knees. He ran poorly at his pro day, with a second effort that was only slightly better. He probably falls out of the first round.
2. Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma
This big defensive back had foot surgery that hindered his postseason. He ran a 40 time that was slower than 4.6. Because of that, he projects as only a "Cover 2" corner or may have to switch to safety permanently. He probably falls into the middle of the second round.
3. Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan
He had a poor NFL Combine, and there are some off-field concerns. He recovered with a good pro day, but the prior efforts most likely push him well into the second- or third-round area.
4. Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia
This fast scatback did not distinguish himself in the postseason, and he is part of a deep running back class. He probably falls to the middle rounds, which is a surprise and indicative that he should have stayed another season at West Virginia.
5. Andre' Woodson, QB, Kentucky
He fell out of the top tier of quarterbacks after an ordinary postseason. He has a big windup and needs some technical work to improve his delivery. But over time, he can develop into an NFL starter.
6. Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii
This record-setting passer had a disastrous postseason, which included an illness and a 22-pound weight swing from the Senior Bowl to the NFL Combine. He has been labeled a "system" quarterback and did nothing to dispel that notion. Incredibly, he may not even be drafted.
7. Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri
He did not distinguish himself in the postseason. He is a good pass-catching tight end, but has only adequate speed and marginal blocking skills. He likely will last beyond the top 125 picks and into the late rounds.
8. Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma State
He stumbled through the postseason with a poor Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He followed those efforts with an arrest that probably cost him a top-200 selection. He may not even be drafted.
9. Ali Highsmith, LB, LSU
A quick but smallish linebacker, Highsmith's stock has slipped. He had an average performance at the Senior Bowl and failed to impress with a weak NFL Combine effort. He should last until the late rounds.
10. Mike Hart, RB, Michigan
He has fallen hard after an injury-riddled final season. He followed that up with a poor NFL Combine performance and pro day, which pushes him to the late rounds. There is a chance Hart won't be selected.

MORE: VIDEO of falling prospects | Updated Mock Draft: Round 1 | Round 2

Photos: Best No. 1 Overall Picks | Worst No. 1 Overall Picks

Frank Coyle is a nationally known NFL scout who publishes Draft Insiders' Digest and www.draftinsiders.com. In it's 16th season, Draft Insiders' Digest is dedicated to year-round coverage of NFL and NCAA Football. He covers the NFL Draft and free agency extensively with a veteran scouting staff that provides insightful and unique information on players and team potential in the coming seasons. Draft Insiders' Digest is an extensive publication that produces 15 issues throughout the year and a Draft Yearbook with over 450 in-depth scouting reports.



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