Just how much should injuries affect the NFL Draft status of a player? It's really not a nice thing to write about. Be assured, though, that NFL teams take it into heavily into consideration, some more than others.
Week 5 of the college football season was brutal with injuries. The later in the season, injuries take a greater hit on a player's draft status because there is less recovery time. Take Ohio State safety Christian Bryant for instance. He was a late-round prospect coming into the season but broke his ankle on Saturday. Now Bryant may struggle to get drafted unless he can rehab fast and work out before the draft.
Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee suffered a knee injury that initially looked bad, but he'll try to play this week. De'Anthony Thomas spent the second half of Oregon's game on crutches. All of those are in addition to Florida's Dominique Easley being lost for the year with an ACL injury.
HaHa Clinton-Dix, safety, Alabama
Clinton-Dix has quickly established himself as not only the top safety prospect in the nation, but maybe Alabama's best player. With the talent in Tuscaloosa, that's saying something. Against a presumptuous Ole Miss team, Clinton-Dix was a tone setter. On the Rebels' first drive, Clinton-Dix stopped a fourth-down conversion by laying a hit on receiver Laquon Treadwell. The play displayed Clinton-Dix's ability to read a play and get down the field in a hurry. What Clinton-Dix may lack in pure coverage ability, he makes up with closing speed and size.
Jared Abbrederis, wide receiver, Wisconsin
Abbrederis is the player just about every NFL Draft person is talking about coming out of Week 5. He picked apart highly touted Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby to the tune of 10 for 207 yards and a score. The thing you notice studying Abbrederis, and it absolutely showed Saturday, is that he doesn't waste a step or movement. He's an efficient route runner who can craftily get himself open.
Cedric Ogbuehi, right tackle, Texas A&M
Ogbuehi didn't necessarily have a standout game against Arkansas. The Razorbacks don't really have the kind of pass rush to make a right tackle look good or bad. But Ogbuehi was technically on point. That's saying something because Ogbuehi has to block for Johnny Manziel, the most unpredictable quarterback in football. Ogbuehi is succeeding in his first year at A&M at right tackle because of his athleticism and quick feet. He can't stay stationary like other linemen because of Manziel's movement skills. When Manziel works to the right, it's often behind Ogbuehi. With other offensive tackle prospects struggling at times this season, Ogbuehi has a chance to rise by May.
Bradley Roby, cornerback, Ohio State
Roby flat out looked silly against Wisconsin on Saturday. It was the worst performance I've seen from a top-rated cornerback in quite some time. Not to diminish the talent of Abbrederis, but he's not exactly Calvin Johnson out there. Roby got an interception, which makes his stat line look respectable. But that only came because of an Adolphus Washington pass rush. It may only be Northwestern, but Roby will get challenged again Saturday. More games like he had Saturday, and it will be time to move him off the top line of cornerback prospects.
Aaron Lynch, defensive end, South Florida
By and large, Lynch has been a non-factor for South Florida, and that continued on Saturday. Against Miami, Lynch was absent for stretches and finished with just three tackles and no other notable stats. On the season, he has a paltry nine tackles, a half a tackle for loss and no sacks. It's not like Lynch is getting the Jadeveon Clowney treatment either. There's no need to double team Lynch when a single block is offering more than enough resistance. Maybe Lynch is just rusty after sitting out last season. Thus far, though, it's beginning to look like his freshman season at Notre Dame was an aberration.