Injuries to Gresham, Bulaga, Thurmond, Johnson may alter draft stock

Oklahoma senior tight end Jermaine Gresham had the option of redshirting this season following a major knee injury. He's chosen not to and will enter the 2010 NFL Draft.Gresham's talent is undeniable. He has good hands, can block and possesses optimum size. 

However, his draft stock will ride heavily on if he can participate at the NFL Scouting Combine. Should he run poorly, it could push him to the third round. If he runs how he's expected -- between the 4.65 and the 4.75 range -- he should be a fringe first-round pick.

Iowa left tackle Bryan Bulaga is one of the more dominant players in the country, but he's missed the last three games due to a thyroid issue. He's been cleared to play again, but it's a little difficult to tell what kind of impact this condition will have on his NFL future. It will likely have some impact on how teams view Bulaga. The interview process and medical check will be keys if Bulaga decides to skip his senior season.

Walter Thurmond, the talented senior cornerback from Oregon, has torn his ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee. Viewed by most by a probable second-round pick, this will be hard for Thurmond to come back from. Ultimately, this could be a case similar to that of Jack Ikegwuonu of the Eagles. Coming out of Wisconsin, Ikegwuonu was considered by many early in his career as a top cornerback prospect. Knee injuries slowed him down and pushed him to the fourth round. The same could happen to Thurmond.

By now, you're probably aware of the unfortunate incident that happened to Southern California running back Stafon Johnson. While it might not seem that a throat injury of this nature would impact his football career, consider that Johnson won't be in football shape for the foreseeable future, and that's assuming he'll even be allowed to play again. For a player who likely would have been a late-round pick, free agency might be in Johnson's future.

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