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
Dayo Odeyingbo, DE, Vanderbilt
Taking on a future NFL offensive lineman in Florida left tackle Stone Forsythe, Odeyingbo had an impressive performance against the Gators. In the second quarter, Odeyingbo made a good rush on which he pushed through Forsythe with power and speed to hit quarterback Kyle Trask as he threw to force a third-down incompletion. Odeyingbo came close to a sack in the third quarter after using speed to get by the right tackle and flush Trask out of the pocket. Throughout the game, Odeyingbo got upfield to put pressure on Trask and gave Florida's tackles a lot of problems.
Even though Vanderbilt is having a rough season, Odeyingbo has been impressive. He is strong at the point of attack with enough power to bull his way into the pocket and hold his ground in run defense. Thanks to his quality first-step and second gear to get upfield, Odeyingbo can use a speed rush to put heat on the quarterback. His play this season makes look like a potential second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
As we reported in the Hot Press last week, some teams have given Mond a grade on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft. "I came close to giving him a second-round grade but I ended up giving him a third," said an area scout. "I had Jalen Hurts last year, and Mond is a better passer. Hurts had the history of winning at Alabama and the hype to help him, but Mond is definitely a better passer than Hurts was at Oklahoma. Mond has plenty of arm. The ball comes off his hand fast and I was surprised at how accurate he's been this year. That was my issue with him in the past. But it seems as though [the Texas A&M coaches] are keeping it very simple with him. He's not asked to go through many real exotic progressions. His reads seem sort of predetermined."
Mond has shown improvement this season, completing 64 percent of his passes for 1,468 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions while leading Texas A&M to a top-five ranking. Other teams are lower on Mond, and some have him graded in the fourth round, but with his skill set, he has a chance at being a second-day pick given the need for quarterbacks in the NFL.
Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
Kinnard (6-5, 345) is a massive blocker at the point of attack who blocks with a mean streak. He is a power run blocker who can knock defenders off the ball and create some movement at the point of attack. For the NFL, Kinnard should slide inside to right guard and also drop some weight to help him handle NFL speed rushers. While he could stand to improve there, Kinnard has more quickness and agility than one would expect for such a big blocker. He could be a sleeper mid-round or third-day pick who ends up being a steal in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Drake Jackson, C, Kentucky
Jackson (6-2, 292) has size limitations for the NFL, but he has been an excellent blocker for Kentucky this season. Jackson has not given up a sack while also being a steady contributor in the ground offense. He is a smart technician who blocks through the whistle. His size might cause him to slide to Day 3 during the 2021 NFL Draft, but he has turned himself into a draft-able prospect this season.
Jerome Johnson, DT, Indiana
Johnson is big nose tackle prospect for the NFL, and he helped himself against Ohio State last Saturday. At the end of the first quarter, Johnson showed some outstanding hustle, running to the sideline on a short pass. The ball was being batted around, and Johnson was able to control it for an interception. Shortly later, Johnson came unblocked on a blown assignment and was able to sack Justin Fields. It was the third sack of the year for Johnson. On the very next play, Johnson got upfield and drew a holding penalty. Against Ohio State, Johnson showed quality size, power, and some athleticism for a big body at the point of attack. Johnson could end up being a mid-round pick as a nose tackle for a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense in the NFL.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
Stevenson started the season on suspension for a positive drug test, so he needs some big performances to help his draft grade, and he came through with a huge night against Oklahoma State to jump start his 2020 season. Stevenson dominated the Oklahoma State defense, breaking tackles and showing speed to go with his powerful size. He took 26 carries for 141 yards and made three receptions for 54 yards.
The power back is down in the 230s and looked quick against the Cowboys. He has the speed to hit the hole before it closes and a second gear to accelerate to the second level. At his size, Stevenson could be a power back who helps teams grind out wins and is a valuable back in short-yardage and goal-line situations. His performance against Oklahoma State was very impressive and should really help his draft grade.
2020 NFL Draft Stock Down
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Fields had an uncharacteristic poor game against Indiana in terms of ball security, throwing three terrible interceptions. Along with the picks, Fields took some sacks when he had time to get rid of the ball, plus he reacted slowly to some blitzes. There is no doubt that Fields needs to improve his awarenesses as a pocket passer for the NFL. When Indiana was sending extra pressure, Fields needed to fire the ball out and take some short completions rather than hold onto the ball hoping to make a big play downfield. There were a few times when he had Chris Olave open for short completions, but was going for the home run instead of taking what the defense was giving.
Fields' performance against Indiana shows he still has some raw elements and needs to improve his ability as a pocket passer for the next level. He has to take shorter and easier completions, get the ball out faster, and show more awareness against the pass rush. The Indiana game hurt Fields hopes of overtaking Trevor Lawrence as the top quarterback prospect for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Wade had a rough game against Penn State a few weeks ago, and he had an eventful game taking on an upstart Indiana team. Late in the third quarter with the Hoosiers trying to get back in the game down 35-21, Wade jumped a route and sprinted down the sideline from about 35 yards out for a pick-six that proved to be the game-winning score for the Buckeyes. Surprisingly, it was the first interception returned for a touchdown of Wade's career, and the pick was thanks to him making an excellent read and his break on the ball.
However in the fourth quarter, Wade was running with a receiver along the sideline and fell down as the two were fighting with each other for position. The wideout made a leaping grab and raced down the field for a 63-yard touchdown following Wade falling on his back. Wade was flagged for a pass interference that should have been a no-call because they were scrapping and pushing at each other, but still, Wade failed in coverage on that play to allow a huge score to Indiana.
Wade's Indiana performance kind of epitomized him for the next level. He has good size, speed, and can make some excellent plays. But he has lapses in coverage and gives up big plays downfield. Wade's performance this season looks more like that of second-rounder, but if he improves down the stretch, he still has a shot at being a first-rounder thanks to his skill set.
Hamilcar Reshad, DE/OLB, Oregon State
Reshad Jr. was dangerous pass rusher for the Beavers in 2019. In the strange 2020 season that has only seen three games played thus far for Oregon State, Reshad has been very quiet. He continued to underwhelm over the weeked, being held in check by the California Golden Bears.
Reshad clearly needs to get stronger for the NFL. He's listed at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and needs to add more functional strength to get off blocks. When offensive tackles get their hands on Reshad, he's in trouble, so adding some power and hand usage to break free are real needs. Reshad might be a mid-rounder who starts out as a rotational pass rusher and could grow into a bigger role if he can up his stength.
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
The majority of times prospects, who return to school for their senior years end up benefitting from the decision due further physical development, increased experience and further refined playing technique. Every year, however, there are also a few players who hurt their draft grades by going back to school, and Wilson is one of those guys this year. He really struggled as a pass rusher in 2020 before going out for the year with an injury. Wilson showed that he is limited to being more of a run stuffer and nose tackle at the pro level. The passing focus of the NFL means those kind of tackles are often downgraded, so Wilson faces a range in the 2021 NFL Draft between high in Round 2 and somewhere in Round 4. If he had entered the 2020 NFL Draft, he probably would have gone in Round 2 and no lower than Round 3.
Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
Like his teammate Wilson, returning to Florida State for 2020 also ended up not working out for Terry. Terry was banged up throughout the season be deciding to stop playing. He had a recent knee injury, but it is not clear if the injury was the nail in the coffin. Terry caught 23 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown as a senior, but also had some dropped passes and did not look like the player who averaged 19.8 and 21.3 yards per reception during the previous two seasons. Terry had a shot at being a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but after his season, he probably is more of a prospect for Day 2.
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