Projected Risers and Fallers of The 2021 NFL Draft

With the 2021 NFL draft approaching soon there have been some players whose draft stock rose and players whose draft stock have tanked. These players have either been going later in mock drafts or higher in mock drafts recently.

Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

At the start of the year, if you would’ve asked most analysts who the number one edge rusher is they probably would’ve said, Gregory Rousseau. Some mock drafts earlier in the year had him going in the top 15. However, now there are questions on if he’ll even go in the first round, and if he is mocked in the first, it’s a very late first-round pick. So that begs the question, what happened to his stock? The first reason Rousseau is falling is because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Players left, and right started opting out of the upcoming NCAA season. Rousseau was one of those players. NFL teams weren’t a massive fan of this as he only has one full season under his belt. This also meant he only has one year of film, which isn’t positive when evaluating a player. Now Rousseau’s 2019 campaign was not only dominant, but it was one of the best seasons we’ve seen in a while from an edge rusher. With 15.5 sacks, he cracked the top fifteen of single-season sacks leaders in NCAA history. He also had 19.5 tackles for loss. This is more sacks and tackles for losses than T.J. Watt’s junior season and Khalil Mack’s senior season. One of the knocks on this season is that some of the sacks were just off offensive miscues. Whether that’s the lineman making a terrible play or the Quarterback holding the ball too long. The other knack is that there were some uncontested sacks on blitzes. This leading to people proposing the idea that he is actually a very raw prospect, and what worked in college won’t work in the NFL. Another fear is that the moves he used in college won’t work on 300+ NFL linemen. What really killed it for Gregory was his Miami pro-day performance. Many scouts were disappointed with his pro day and were left wanting more. The only drill where he impressed was the broad jump. Overall I think Gregory is raw, but with the right coaching, he can easily be the best edge rusher in the draft. I think that 6 ft 5 and 275 builds will be too hard to pass upon in the first round, so I believe you’ll see him go in the late first.

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Son of former Saints wide receiver Jaycee Horn has been shooting his way up mock drafts and draft boards. With a dominant season at the University of South Carolina, teams and scouts are loving the 21-year-old corner. At the start of the year, Horn was a projected late first-round pick. This has since changed, and Horn is now seen as a mid-first-round pick and the second-best corner in the draft. With some even putting him over Alabama’s stud cornerback Patrick Surtain II. So again, we must ask what happened? After having an impressive junior year, Horn needed to cement himself in the pro days, and boy did he. He ran an unofficial 4.39 40 yard dash, 19 reps on the bench, a 41.5 vertical, and had a broad jump of 11.1. He beat the supposed CB1 in the draft in almost every category. This proved to scouts that he had the athletic traits to be a significant impact player at the next level. The second reason I think Horn is starting to rise is due to the injuries of Caleb Farley. Farley was projected to be the corner two in the draft. Some even had him going ahead of Patrick Surtain II. However, he had multiple back surgeries, and this has NFL GMs, Scouts, analysts scared to pick him. This has made his draft stock fall significantly, which has pushed Jaycee Horn up to cornerback 2.

Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

The Quarterback position has been one of the most talked-about positions in this upcoming draft, with names shooting all over the place. Most of these QB’s draft stocks progressed positively during the season. However, that isn’t the case for former Florida Quarterback Kyle Trask. While at the start of the season, he was almost unheard of by mid-season to almost the end of the season, Kyle Trask was looking like a first-round pick. With a Heisman caliber season, he threw for 4283 yards, 43 TDs, and only 8 interceptions. He was on his way to becoming a first-round pick, and then he played Oklahoma. This was a horrific game for Trask as he threw for only 158 yards, 0 TDs, and three INTs. After this, people started questioning Trask as a Quarterback. His film didn’t help him out either. A lot of the time, he was getting bailed out by superstar TE Kyle Pitts. They also saw very poor footwork, poor decision-making, and an immobile Quarterback. While Trask has the ideal body and height of an elite NFL quarterback, there are just a lot of red flags. Kyle Trask will probably fall to a team in the second or third round and be a backup for that team.

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