Throughout the season we'll take a look at some players who helped their 2012 NFL Draft stock with great performances in the previous week's games.
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Because of the team he plays on, Short doesn't get as much credit as he may deserve. Short, a junior, has 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks on the year. His best game came against Ohio State when he finished with 6 tackles and 3 sacks. Short is good at shooting gaps and was in Ohio State's backfield much of the night.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
All season Eifert has shown great potential. He hasn't looked any better than he did Saturday against South Florida. He had a career-high eight receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. If Eifert came out after this season, he would easily be the best tight end in the draft. He's big, agile and has great hands. Everyone always wants to call Eifert a junior, but he's not. He's a redshirt sophomore. Eifert suffered a back injury during his true freshman season, but only played in one game. Because of that, he could take a redshirt.
Dont'a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
Alabama won a grind-it-out 24-7 game against Mississippi State thanks in part to Hightower's run-stopping ability. Hightower had 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and he broke up a pass. Hightower has been ready for the NFL since this time last season, and now he's showing that he could be a lock as a first-round pick.
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Harnish plays in the spread option for Northern Illinois and he has a somewhat slow delivery. So how does he come up in a stock up feature? It's just hard to deny the season he's having (thus far punctuated by 294 yards passing and 151 yards rushing against Bowling Green last Tuesday). On the year, Harnish has 2,256 yards passing and 1,022 yards rushing. Harnish has plenty of issues as a prospect, but he clearly has the athleticism and good enough size (6-foot-2, 221 pounds) to get a shot at the NFL.