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
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
There has been massive media speculation that Jones is the target for the San Francisco 49ers with the third-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 49ers mortgaged their future for pick No. 3, giving up three first-round picks to come up from No. 12 in order to land their future franchise quarterback. Many league sources told me they think Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is who the 49ers want, but NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and ESPN's Adam Schefter both said they are hearing Jones is who San Francisco is planning on taking at No. 3.
Jones potentially going that high is shocking to many scouts. Here is what one area scout who has been going to Alabama for years said about it to me over the weekend, "I can't believe they are talking about taking Mac in the first round. He's smart, but not that talented."
Regardless of Jones lacking a first-round skill set, there is huge media buzz about him being a high pick, so his stock is on the rise in the final weeks before the 2021 NFL Draft.
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
A few weeks ago, many in the scouting community thought Surtain could be the third cornerback drafted, but then it was announced that Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley would undergo back surgery, which dropped a cloud of uncertainty around the presumptive top cornerback prospect. Surtain has benefited from that and is in the running to be the first cornerback drafted and potentially first defensive player taken. Surtain now looks safe to go as a top-13 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Along with Surtain, Horn has really benefited from Farley's back surgery to. Some teams have Horn graded higher than Surtain, while others prefer the Alabama product. Either way, Horn looks safe to go in the top half of the first round thanks to Farley's procedure. Horn has great tape and a pro pedigree. He has been a riser throughout the process and could end up being the first defensive prospect drafted.
Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Multiple team sources have been talking up Stokes in recent weeks, and he is being boosted by a strong pro-day performance to go with solid film. A few teams have Stokes in the running to be a high second-round pick, and it isn't out of the question for him to receive late first-round consideration.
Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State
Williams has not gotten a lot of media buzz in the draft process, but teams really like what he put on tape in 2020. He's been a riser, and there are a number of teams that have him in the running for a second-day pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now that the coaches getting involved in the draft process, Williams' good tape and significant amount of experience from being a 4-year starter could help him in the final weeks to end up being a possible second-round pick.
Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Robinson is another cornerback who has benefited from a strong postseason and has been buoyed by strong tape in 2020. He is a fast and fluid corner who has issues in zone coverage, but he helped himself at the Senior Bowl. Robinson looks like a potential late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2021 NFL Draft Stock Down
Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
Molden has had some media buzz, but in speaking with some team sources, they have Molden graded on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. They have concerns about his size and speed for the NFL and are thinking he is limited to being a slot corner only. Molden looks like a mid-rounder rather than the early-round prospect who some in the media have projected him as.
NFL Picks - Sept. 18
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Sept. 15
NFL Power Rankings - Sept. 14
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8