This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2021 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.
By Charlie Campbell.
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2021 NFL Draft Stock Up
Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh
Jones has gotten his senior year off to a phenomenal start, and entering mid-October, he leads the nation with seven sacks. He had two three-sack games - versus Louisville and Boston College. His run-defense production has been steady as well, with Jones showing the speed to cover ground and chase down ball-carriers outside of his gap.
For the NFL, Jones is quick off the edge and has the speed to get upfield. He looks a little lean, however, and needs to up his strength for the next level. Jones can have issues shedding blocks when offensive linemen get a hold of him. Pro tackles will give hime even more problems in that regard, so adding some functional strength will help him get blockers off of him. Jones has quality speed and length, and his best fit could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker. If Jones can continue this pace, his draft stock is going to rise over the weeks to come.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Horn dominated against Auburn last Saturday, shutting down Seth Williams and leading the Gamecocks to a big upset. It was phenomenal game for Horn, who showed superb coverage ability while going against a future pro receiver. Horn totaled four passes broken up and two interceptions against Auburn.
Horn has starting ability for the NFL and could be a good cover corner as a pro. He has good size to match up on big receivers and does a very good job of mirroring them without being too grabby. Horn can run with receivers downfield while doing a nice job of playing the ball in the air. With his speed, length and technique, Horn looks like a starting outside corner for the next level. He also has an NFL pedigree as the son of former Saints Pro Bowler Joe Horn. Jaycee Horn's performance against Auburn could help him to become an early-round pick in either the 2021 NFL Draft or the 2022 NFL Draft.
Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Multiple sources from different teams told WalterFootball.com that they feel Eichenberg has a second-day skill set for the 2021 NFL Draft. Multiple evaluators said they graded Eichenberg as a late second- or early third-round pick. They call the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder a solid football player, but they do not believe he has the skill set of a first-round pick or a top-20 player.
Eichenberg is not viewed as the same caliber of athlete as the four offensive tackles who went in the top half of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft: Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs. Thus, Eichenberg will need to be a star in the pre-draft workouts to change that perception. Team sources said that while Eichenberg is viewed as having Day 2 talent, it is not impossible for him to sneak into Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft because he plays a premium position which could cause teams to reach to fill a need there.
Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Houston has not played a lot this season, but Stevenson has impressed team evaluators in limited game action and in practice over the past year. The small speedster receiver is a big-play threat who can stretch defenses vertically. Team sources have compared Stevenson to Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown, a first-round pick by Baltimore in 2019. While Stevenson may not get a lot of media hype, team evaluators really like him and he feel he is rising for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Stewart Reese, G, Florida
Reese transferred from Mississippi State to the Gators prior to this season, reuniting with Dan Mullen's staff. That looks like a move that has paid off for Reese, who is playing well for Florida. He has been a tough run blocker and looks better in pass protection. Because quarterback Kyle Trask lacks mobility, it is critical for the pocket to be clean for him, and Reese has done his part as a reliable protector.
Reese (6-6, 350) should lose some weight for the NFL, but he has the size to be a power right guard at the next level. His senior year is off to a quality start.
2020 NFL Draft Stock Down
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Wilson has been one of the most disappointing prospects to me this season. He was a non-factor against both Miami and Notre Dame, making next to zero impact at the point of attack. This season, Wilson has showed a serious lack of pass-rushing skill - his one sack came against Jacksonville State. Wilson looks like a run-stuffing nose tackle, but even in that role, he has not looked like a force. Wilson needs to turn his play around immediately or he will plummet down draft boards.
Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
At the beginning of the season, some media analysts, including ESPN's Todd McShay, were hyping Jenkins and suggesting he was a top pro prospect. Multiple evaluators from multiple teams told WalterFootball.com they've been disappointed in Jenkins. They feel he's been moderately disappointing and do not sound high on him. Jenkins is going to need to play better to close out the year or he could end up going lower than expected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
Hill did not play against Texas A&M over the weekend due to a suspension. The issue was team discipline violations reportedly stemming from some locker room evidence after the Bulldogs lost to Kentucky. This suspension is not a fatal blow to Hill's draft grade, but it definitely is going to hurt him with pro teams. Scouts will find out what happened, which will lead to Hill facing questions about the incident from every team that meets with him. If Hill is seen as having bad football character and being a problem in the locker room, his draft stock could plummet.
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