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Ask 5: What prospect has most to prove before NFL draft?

The regular season has concluded, but there are still several opportunities for NFL draft prospects to improve their stock. Most of them will play in a bowl game, compete in all-star games, attend the NFL Scouting Combine and perform at their school's pro day.

With that in mind, I reached out to five NFL executives and posed this question: What prospect has the most to prove between now and the NFL draft?


In a weekly series, draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah polls five NFL personnel executives about college football's top prospects.

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» Who is most improved player this season?
» Who is best prospect from non-BCS school?
» Which NFL assistant could be best college coach?
» Who's better: Murray or Mettenberger?
» Who are most surprising NFL rookies?
» Who's better, Luke Joeckel or Jake Matthews?
» Which college coach is best fit for NFL?
» Is zone-read offense here to stay in the NFL?
» More valuable: Dominant corner or safety?
» Is Clowney top defensive prospect in last decade?
» Better player, Dion Jordan or Anthony Barr?
» Does Johnny Manziel's game translate to NFL?

Executive No. 1: Fresno State QB Derek Carr

"With all of these other quarterbacks staying in school, Carr could sky rocket with an impressive Senior Bowl. He'll interview very well at the combine."

Executive No. 2: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney

"There are a lot of names to choose from but I'll go with Clowney. He needs to do some off-the-field damage control regarding his character, makeup and desire."

Executive No. 3: Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas

"Thomas didn't have a great year but between the Senior Bowl, combine and workouts, I think a lot of people will get excited about his size and arm strength."

Executive No. 4: Fresno State QB Derek Carr

"He has a chance to go really high with a good postseason. If he has a good Senior Bowl, where he looks good in a pro offense, and then interviews well, that will really up his stock."

Executive No. 5: Arizona State DT Will Sutton

"There are serious questions about his character, fitness and athletic ability. He was out of shape this fall and wasn't nearly the same player that he was the year before."

Verdict: Two votes for Carr and one vote apiece for Clowney, Thomas and Sutton.

Conclusion: Carr has plenty to gain in the next few months. He could start building some real momentum with a big performance Saturday against USC in the Las Vegas Bowl. Logan Thomas is loaded with physical tools but he has yet to put it all together. If he interviews well, I guarantee there will be more than a few NFL coaches convinced they can unlock his potential. Clowney and Sutton could both make strong statements if they improve their conditioning prior to the combine and pro days. That will show teams that they are serious about their craft.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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