This morning, I glanced at an article on "NFL Draft Risers" at SI.com. Among those listed as a riser was South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who apparently might even go in the top 12 of the draft. Now looking back at Gilmore's career, he was certainly productive, and his draft workouts show his measurables as topnotch for his position. I don't begrudge Gilmore his high draft stock. He certainly looks like a good pick for a position that continues to grow in importance for the increasingly pass-happy NFL.
What I don't get is the complete lack of mention for our own Jamell Fleming in the draft scouting reports. Fleming was as productive a cornerback playing against better receivers in the Big 12 as Gilmore in the SEC. For example, Gilmore only had one more interception playing one more full year than Fleming. Fleming also made his mark as a physical corner, playing tough against the run and physical against opposing wide receivers (remember his strip of Mike Davis in last year's OU-Texas game?)
In Senior Bowl workouts and in the game itself,Jamell Fleming impressed scouts. And Fleming's draft combine numbers were close to Gilmore's, besting him in categories like 60 yard shuttle and bench press reps while only slightly lagging behind in other key categories. Yet Fleming is only mentioned as a second or third round pick, and some draftniks have Fleming as low as round four.
So what's up with that? Why the lack of love for Fleming?