Alma Ata Orange: 2015 Draft Prospect Preview

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Dec 7, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Stanford Cardinal defensive end Henry Anderson (91) sacks Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinal – Stanford

The Ivy League powerhouse tees up to throw a few helmets into the ring for this year’s Draft.  The crown jewel as far as the Bengals would be concerned is offensive tackle Andrus Peat.  The junior is a monstrous 6’7”, 312 lbs and has shown rare ability in only his first year at left tackle, a job he took from incumbent David Yankey who was moved to guard in his wake.  Peat also has pedigree; his father, Todd Peat, played six years in the NFL and his brother currently plays for Nebraska.  Scouts may be calling Peat a second rounder, but the surface is just being scratched on this top prospect.  His ability to backfill 32-year old Andrew Whitworth would be promising, provided he does not pull an ‘Andrew Luck’ and return for his senior season.

Another consideration is wide receiver Ty Montgomery.  This sleeper has been a solid four-year contributor to the Cardinal offensive, posting dependable numbers in each season.  Additionally, Montgomery has experience with kick returns.  In 2013, he was second in the NCAA, averaging 30.0 yards per return with two TD returns as well.  Strong safety Jordan Richards could also impress, but in later rounds, defensive back Wayne Lyons figures to be a bigger value.  A big cover corner with a high academic acumen, Lyons also has linage to the NFL; his cousin Frank Sanders played for the Ravens and the Cardinals from 1995-2003.  Also, keep an eye on Stanford’s other corner, Alex Carter.  The 6’0, 200-pounder runs a sub-4.5 in the 40-yard dash, but is unlikely to enter the Draft until 2016.

As final thoughts, keep Stanford defensive linemen Henry Anderson and linebacker James Vaughters in the background.  Cincinnati’s gamble on Margus Hunt looks like it is going to bear fruit, but keeping Will Clarke on the roster this season over stronger candidates like Dontay Moch or Sam Montgomery is a heavy dose of uncertainty behind the aging veteran Robert Geathers.  Anderson has solid experience within both the interior and exterior of a 4-3 scheme, and like most Stanford players comes with an impressive academic record.  As a leader in the trenches, it will be interesting to see if Anderson’s stock rises or falls in his senior year.  As for Vaughters, without Shayne Shov and Trent Murphy, he’ll have to step up an demonstrate his leadership in the Cardinal linebacking corps.  Should this happen, Vaughters could easily be a second-day steal in the 2015 NFL Draft.