2021 NFL Draft Stock – Week 4

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2021 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2021 NFL Draft Stock Up

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
I’ve had Pitts in the first round of my 2021 NFL Mock Draft for a long time, and his season opener gave more proof of that projection. Pitts was awesome, dominating the Ole Miss defense. Aside from his two short touchdown catches and a long 71-yard score, Pitts put Ole Miss away late in the fourth quarter when he made a touchdown catch over two Ole Miss defenders on a jump ball in the end zone.

NFL teams saw everything they could hope to see out of a receiving tight end in the Ole Miss game. Pitts showed the speed to run past defensive backs and get open vertically. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end’s 71-yard touchdown was astounding with the way he ran away from the defensive backs, who couldn’t catch him from behind. He used his size to win 50-50 passes, showed good hands, ran excellent routes, and was utterly unstoppable. Pitts totaled 170 yards on eight receptions with four touchdowns. The Ole Miss tape made him look like a top-20, maybe even top-10, talent.

Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Trask is a potential early-round prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft, and he got his senior year off to a good start by dominating Ole Miss. Against the Rebels, Trask completed 30-of-42 passes – 71.4 percent- for 416 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Overall, Trask showed pocket-passing ability for the NFL. He was accurate with impressive ball placement and made good decisions. Assisted his powerful arm capable of making touch passes, Trask put on display some natural passing ability for the NFL while doing a phenomenal job of getting the ball to his playmaking receivers and tight end. While Trask is not a running threat, he did use his feet some times to help produce positive plays. The Ole Miss game is going to help Trask’s draft grade.

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Like Kyle Pitts, Toney dominated the Ole Miss defense and had a breakout performance to open up his senior year. At the end of the first quarter Toney showed his big-play ability, breaking a tackle near the line of scrimmage and then exploding down the field for a 50-yard run that set up a touchdown. Shortly later, he caught a short cross and shook a tackler off his back to dart downfield for more yards. Late in the second quarter, Toney ran great reverse whip route for a gain of about 20 yards. Toney finished the drive by running another great route to get open while slashing across the end zone, notching a 16-yard score.

Toney caught five passes against Ole Miss for 59 yards and a touchdown with two rushes for 55 yards on the ground. His perfomance against Ole Miss could help Toney to be an early-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Osirius Mitchell, WR, Mississippi State
Mitchell had his way with a talented LSU secondary in the 2020 season opener. In the first quarter, Mitchell had a nice gain of about 20 yards on a bubble screen. In the second quarter, Mitchell made a phenomenal catch downfield while being covered closely. He showed late hands to snatch a 34-yard gain before falling out of bounds. Late in the second quarter, Mitchell ran a short crossing route, and after making the catch, he turned vertically to out-race the LSU defense for a 43-yard touchdown.

Mitchell ran a short crossing route in the fourth quarter that he turned upfield for a gain of 27 yards. Late in the fourth quarter, Mitchell put LSU away on a stop-and-go route to get open along the sideline for a 24-yard touchdown. Mitchell totaled 183 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.

Mitchell showed quickness to get separation, good route-running, and yards-after-the-catch ability against LSU. The tape of that contest is really going to help his draft grade, and Mitchell could produce a huge season in Mike Leach’s offense.

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle is small, but speedy receiver who is dynamic playmaker. In the first quarter Waddle got downfield and made a leaping grab while taking a big shot from a safety to snatch a 46-yard gain for Alabama. He ended the drive by running a corner post route and separating for a short touchdown. Shortly later, Waddle caught a little outlet pass in the backfield and then darted downfield to set up a short rushing touchdown for Najee Harris. Waddle juggled the pass, but he was able to control it on the run to get downfield.

Waddle scored again late in the first half, running an excellent route with a jab step to the outside and bolting vertically down the field. He ran by the corner and the safety to make a tough over-the-shoulder catch for a 23-yard touchdown. Against Missouri, Waddle totaled eight receptions for 134 yards and two scores.

Sources with NFL teams said that they love Waddle’s game-changing speed and playmaking ability, but want to see Waddle become a more polished receiver rather than just a gadget player, a la T.Y. Hilton rather than Tavon Austin. Alabama’s 2020 season opener was a good start for Waddle, who ran some good routes and showed improved technique with late hands while making more traditional receiver plays. His performance against Missouri is definitely going to help his draft grade.

Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
As we reported in the Hot Press last week, some NFL teams are grading Ford in the first round, although some others have him on Day 2. Ford is listed at 6-foot, 190-pounds, which is adequate height but less than ideal weight for a NFL safety. Even though Ford is thinner-framed, he is a physical defender who hits hard and is not afraid to tackle. In 2019, Ford led Pittsburgh in tackles with 97 while also recording three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 11 passes broken up. He is off to a good start in 2020, notching interceptions in the first two games.

Some team sources believe that Ford could slip to the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft because of his size, but they feel he is a pure football player who is worthy of going on the opening night of draft for what he does on the field. It would help Ford to gain some weight before pre-draft workouts and maintain that size for the next level, but even without it he has pro evaluators very excited and optimistic for his NFL potential.

Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
Hill came back to school even though he could have been a second-day or mid-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Hill needed to show more ability in the passing game to help his draft grade, and he showed massive improvement in that regard in his 2020 season opener. , Hill had a dynamic performance in Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense to get his 2020 season off to a great start.

Hill took a reception for seven yards in the first quarter, which included him hurdling a tackler, and he later made a very nice play in pass protection, stonewalling a blitz with a hard hit at the point of attack. In the second quarter, Hill ran a nice route and caught the short pass before darting downfield and spinning out of a few tackles to pick up 22 yards. In the third quarter, he made a huge play, catching a pass in the flat after running a wheel route. Hill dodged two tacklers in the open field after making the catch before exploding for a 75-yard touchdown.

Hill only had 34 yards rushing on seven carries, but he caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown. The LSU performance will really help Hill, who was a dangerous receiver and a superb weapon in the open field after the catch. He also showed some blocking ability. If he can maintain this quality of play in the passing game throughout 2020, Hill could be a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida
Miller broke out in the 2020 season opener against Ole Miss. In the first half, he dished out some punishing hits and was a big presence in the ground game, including a third-and-short on which he fired into the backfield to bury the back into the turf. Miller also notched a sack that displayed quality vision to weave around the scrum, which let him close on the quarterback in a hurry. Miller had another tackle for a loss in the fourth quarter; this time on the perimeter from sniffing out a bubble screen. On the next play, Miller ran with a tight end deep down the middle of the field, and while the tight end made a nice catch over Miller, it was impressive that Miller was able to run with him and maintain close coverage deep downfield.

2021 NFL Draft Stock Down

Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Bolton has the potential to get picked in the top half of the 2021 NFL Draft, but he got his 2020 season off to a slow start versus Alabama. Bolton was very quiet in the early going as the Crimson Tide built their lead. Early in the first quarter, Bolton got knocked backward at the goal line, and that helped open space for Najee Harris to fall into the end zone. Bolton managed to scoop up a fumble in the fourth quarter, but he did not have any other splash plays. Bolton showed throughout the game that he needs to improve his ability to take on and shed blocks for the NFL. It was a disappointing and underwhelming season opener for Bolton.

Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Wilson is a potential early-round pick for the 2021 NFL Draft, but he has not looked as as good thus far in 2020 compared to how he played last year. Wilson was quiet in the early going against Miami, failing to get off blocks or cause disruption as a pass rusher. In the second quarter, he got a hit on the quarterback after pushing through a block from a tight end that was a complete mismatch, but Wilson still got there late and the pass went for a long touchdown. In the third quarter, Wilson made a nice play, hustling downfield to get a tackle on a receiver screen. Wilson, however, led with his helmet on the tackle and was called for targeting, which disqualified him from playing the rest of the game. Wilson has been stout at the point of attack as a run defender so far this season, but has not shown improvement as a pass rusher early into his senior year.

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