Players from across the country have begun to make their way toward Indianapolis for this week’s NFL Scouting Combine, including several former Auburn standouts who are hoping to be selected in April’s NFL Draft.
Seven former Tigers will showcase their skills live for NFL Scouts in the coming days, but the list of pro prospects coming out of The Plains does not end there. Up to twelve players hailing from Auburn’s 2017 roster are considered NFL prospects by various draft sites and experts.
Here is a look at where each of them are being rated currently:
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CB Carlton Davis
Standing at 6-foot-1, Davis carries the typical build of a starting cornerback in the NFL. The three-year starter and 2017 All-American’s size and physicality have him rated as one of the top corners in this year’s draft class and a projected first-round pick by some.
No. 3 Cornerback, Projected Round: 1-2
No. 14 Cornerback
No. 62 Overall
No. 4 Cornerback, No. 34 Overall
No. 4 Cornerback, No. 34 Overall
Projected Round: 1-2
RB Kerryon Johnson
2017 was a breakout season for Johnson that saw him go for 1,391 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games, which was enough to earn SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Johnson may not contain the breakaway speed some other running backs in the draft class present, but his vision and proven ability to handle a heavy workload have him projected to be one of the first tailbacks selected.
No. 3 Running Back, Projected Round: 2-3
No. 7 Running Back
No. 65 Overall
No. 5 Running Back, No. 26 Overall
No. 4 Running Back, Projected Round: 2
OG Braden Smith
Smith captured first-team All-American honors in his senior season at Auburn, and his draft stock has been steadily rising since the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Seemingly every NFL team is searching for more help along its offensive line each season, and Smith’s athleticism and ability to be productive while both run and pass blocking has him pegged as either a second or third round pick by most.
No. 5 Guard, Projected Round: 2-3
No. 3 Guard
No. 36 Overall
No. 2 Guard
No. 7 Offensive Tackle, Projected Round: 2-3
Projected Round: 3-4
DE/OLB Jeff Holland
It was uncertain whether Holland would decide to leave school early before he made his decision in January, but it is difficult to fault him after having as good of a 2017 season as anyone could have imagined. After setting a preseason goal of eight sacks, he surpassed it with 10 on the way to being a first-team All-SEC honoree.
Holland bears size concerns if he wants to be an every-down defensive end, but his ability as an edge rusher has him projected as a possible second-day pick.
No. 7 Outside Linebacker/Defensive End, Projected Round: 2-4
No. 4 Defensive End
No. 72 Overall
No. 8 Edge Rusher
No. 21 Outside Linebacker, Projected Round: 6
Projected Round: 3-4
K Daniel Carlson
The three-time Lou Groza Award finalist is considered as the top kicking prospect by nearly everyone. It’s unclear what point in the draft a kicker will be selected, but there appears to be a good chance Carlson could be the first one off the board.
No. 1 Kicker, Projected Round: 4-6
No. 253 Overall
No. 1 Kicker, Projected Round: 3
Projected Round: 5-6
S Tray Matthews
After starting as a true freshman at Georgia and the past three seasons at Auburn, Matthews was one of the Tigers’ snubs who failed to receive an invite to the NFL Combine.
The strong safety is known for his leadership and fearlessness on the field, but it is unsure whether his coverage skills are strong enough to play consistently at the NFL level. Matthews is widely projected as a late-round pick.
No. 12 Safety, Projected Round: 3-5
No. 5 Strong Safety
No. 13 Safety, Projected Round: 5
Projected Round: 6-7
LB Tre’ Williams
A nagging shoulder injury slowed Williams throughout most of the 2017 season, and despite an impressive week of Senior Bowl practice in January, he had to leave the game early due to weakness in one of his arms.
Like Matthews, Williams was not invited to the combine and is being projected as a possible late-round pick.
No. 8 Inside Linebacker, Projected Round: 3-5
No. 17 Outside Linebacker
No. 11 Inside Linebacker, Projected Round: 5
S Stephen Roberts
Roberts saw massive improvement during his senior campaign in 2017 and proved to be strong in both coverage and stopping the run. He finished the season with six tackles for loss, which was more than he totaled in his three previous seasons combined.
Scouts will have a tough time looking past his slim frame, but Roberts will have a chance to impress with his speed among other skills at the combine.
No. 34 Safety, Projected Round: 7-Undrafted Free Agent
No.11 Safety, Projected Round: 5
C Austin Golson
Golson was best known for his versatility while at Auburn, playing all five positions across the offensive line in 2017.
He participated in both the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game in January and will look to play center in the NFL.
No. 12 Center, Projected Round: 5-7
No. 3 Center
No. 355 Overall
No. 14 Center, Projected Round: Undrafted Free Agent
RB Kamryn Pettway
No Auburn player may have had as tough a 2017 season as Pettway, who was suspended for the season opener and saw the field sparingly the rest of the way while battling various injuries.
It did not do much to help his draft stock, but Pettway still elected to forgo his final year of eligibility and aim for the NFL. He is not expected to be drafted by most, but hopes to fit in with a team in search of a physical, downhill runner.
No. 30 Running Back, Projected Round: 6-Undrafted Free Agent
No. 217 Overall
No. 33 Running Back, Projected Round: Undrafted Free Agent
Projected Round: Undrafted Free Agent
G Darius James
James played at offensive tackle for the Tigers the last two seasons after transferring from Texas. He battled injuries in 2017 and was not a standout among Auburn offensive lineman, but some websites are considering him a prospect at guard for the NFL.
No. 17 Guard, Projected Round: 7
LS Ike Powell
Powell might not be the most exciting prospect out of Auburn this year, but the three-year starting long snapper and Senior Bowl participant is sure to get some looks.
Projected Round: 7-Undrafted Free Agent
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