With the Jacksonville Jaguars set to make the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 29, NFL Network draft guru and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah provides his final prospect rankings of draft season.
The 2021 NFL Draft, taking place in Cleveland, will continue with Rounds 2-3 on Friday, April 30, and end with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, May 1.
Lawrence is a tall, long and athletic quarterback. He has a long delivery, but he still gets the ball out quickly and it explodes out of his hand. The Clemson offense features a lot of quick screens and quick hitters. He showed excellent touch and placement on those throws. He can really drive the ball down the field when called upon and he also has the ability to layer the ball (over linebackers/under safeties) in the middle of the field. His overall accuracy is excellent at all three levels. He does need to improve his pocket awareness. He doesn't always feel back-side pressure and needs to speed up his clock versus front-side pressure. Outside of his final game with the Tigers (College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Ohio State), I was impressed with his decision-making. He is a dangerous runner because of his build-up speed and toughness. Overall, Lawrence is ready to start right away, and he has the tools to ultimately emerge as a top-five player at his position.
Pitts is a long, lean tight end prospect with excellent speed, ball skills and production. He has lined up inline, flexed in the slot and split out wide. He runs routes like a wideout. The former Gator has burst off the line, sets up defenders and explodes out of the break point. He beat upper-echelon SEC cornerbacks on a weekly basis. He builds speed to separate down the seam and tracks the ball naturally down the field. Pitts has an enormous catch radius. He uses his speed to pile up yards after the catch. He showed tremendous improvement as a blocker in 2020. He fits up, doing his best to wrestle and stay attached. He will fall off at times, but the effort is there. Overall, Pitts is a unique talent with the ability to take over a game. He is the definition of a mismatch player.
Chase is a dominant player on tape. He lined up both outside and in the slot at LSU. He defeats press coverage with a combination of foot quickness and upper-body strength. He creates separation off the line of scrimmage and he can also find another gear when the ball is in the air. He is a clean route runner. He won't gear down in traffic and has very strong hands to pluck and play through contact. He attacks 50/50 balls and consistently wins. Chase is at his best after the catch. He routinely breaks tackles and can make defenders miss, too. He did have a couple drops when the ball was on his back hip, but I have no concerns about his hands. Overall, I love Chase's attacking style of play and see him as a faster version of three-time Pro Bowl selectee Anquan Boldin.
Wilson has average height and a lean/narrow frame for the quarterback position. He's an excellent athlete and generates several wow plays in every game I’ve studied. Wilson has a dynamic throwing motion. He carries the ball low, but once his hands separate, the ball comes out in a hurry with a high level of RPMs. He's extremely accurate from a variety of platforms and arm angles. He makes some incredible throws while fading away with both feet off the ground, and he can drive the ball to the boundary from the far hash. He also uses his quickness and creativity to buy time to let his targets uncover. He's effective on designed QB runs, but that part of his game will need to be limited at the next level due to his lack of size. My only real concern with Wilson is durability. He's already been through shoulder surgery (after his freshman season) and he doesn't have an ideal frame. If he can stay healthy, his upside is enormous.
Waddle is a slightly undersized receiver with extraordinary speed and playmaking ability. He has the ability to line up inside or outside. His acceleration in his release is elite. He destroys the cushions he receives from defenders in a hiccup and can find a second and third gear once the ball is in the air. He's at his best on runaway routes, but he flashes the ability to efficiently gear down and work back downhill. I thought his hands were improved this fall (see: crazy catch versus Missouri in the season opener). He's one of the most talented kickoff and punt returners (just watch the tape of his 2019 performance against Auburn) to enter the NFL over the last decade. Overall, Waddle isn't quite as strong as Tyreek Hill, but he's capable of having the same impact in the NFL.
Smith is a rail-thin wideout with long arms, excellent play speed and outstanding hands. He's a silky-smooth route runner who accelerates into and out of the break point, which creates an unusual amount of separation against quality competition. He has complete faith in his hands, allowing him to run through the ball (without gathering his feet) on underneath and intermediate crossers. His leaping ability and length create some special high-point grabs. He has a second gear after the catch and surprising toughness to break tackles. He competes as a blocker, too. People inside the Alabama program rave about his character, work ethic and professionalism. Smith should emerge as a high-volume weapon as soon as his cleats hit an NFL field.
Lance has a thick/sturdy frame for the quarterback position. He only started 17 games at North Dakota State, but there is plenty to get excited about. He split his time between under center and in the shotgun. He plays with excellent patience and poise, taking what the defense gives him. He rarely puts the ball in jeopardy (he didn't throw an interception until his final collegiate game). He shows the ability to change ball speed and trajectory underneath, while also displaying the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows on intermediate throws. His deep-ball accuracy needs to improve, though. He has a bad habit of sinking his weight before he throws, which impacts his placement. He is very strong in the pocket, routinely shrugging off rushers and creating plays. He is ultra-competitive on designed QB runs, displaying build-up speed and power. Lance is going to need time to develop, but I'm going to bet on his skill set, competitiveness and decision-making.
Fields has good size, excellent arm strength and remarkable athleticism for the quarterback position. He has produced monster numbers both passing and rushing in the Buckeyes' spread system. He is at his best when he throws on time and in rhythm. The ball jumps out of his hand, and he can deliver it accurately at all three levels. When the defense takes that initial target away, he's had issues quickly aborting that opportunity, which has made him late on throws and also resulted in sacks. He has shown flashes of quickly getting deeper in his progressions (see: 2021 Sugar Bowl vs. Clemson), but that part of his game is still a work in progress. He's dynamic as a runner. His first step is explosive and he pulls away from defenders with ease. He's also incredibly tough, as evidenced by his performance after getting drilled in the semifinal game against the Tigers. Overall, I think Fields has a chance to be special, but it's going to take some time for him to speed up his clock in the passing game.
Surtain has an ideal blend of size, speed and ball skills. He's at his best in press coverage. He doesn't consistently re-route receivers, but he avoids false steps and has plenty of speed to stay on top versus the vertical passing game. He will struggle at times versus smaller/quicker pass catchers. Like most big corners, he lacks top-flight short-area quickness. He has good eyes from off coverage, though. He identifies route combinations and makes aggressive plays on the ball. He is tough to fill versus the run and he's a reliable tackler in the open field. Overall, Surtain is a very similar prospect to Marlon Humphrey when he was coming out of Alabama. I envision similar success for Surtain at the next level.
Slater is a slightly undersized tackle prospect. He plays with outstanding knee bend, foot quickness and balance. He explodes out of his stance in the passing game and does an excellent job of re-working his hands to maintain inside position. Slater gives a little ground versus power before dropping his weight and anchoring late. His best trait is his ability to recover when he finds himself in a bad position. In the run game, he plays with quickness and urgency when working up to the second level. He takes great angles and is one of the best I've seen when it comes to cutting off linebackers. He doesn't have elite power to knock back defenders over his nose, but he does a good job of running his feet and staying attached. He has excellent awareness. Overall, Slater might lack ideal length, but it doesn't hinder him, and I believe he can excel at left tackle. If a team chooses to play him inside, he should quickly develop into a Pro Bowl guard.
Sewell has a huge frame, quick feet and strong hands. He has the foot quickness to kick out and cover up speed rushers in the passing game. His hands can get too wide at times, which allows defenders to get underneath him (see: matchup against then-Auburn DT Derrick Brown in 2019). However, he stays connected and usually wins when he locks on. He has the ability to bend and drop his weight, but he gets too upright on occasion. Sewell does some special things in the run game. He can uproot defenders over his nose and he is explosive as a puller. The more I watched, I did have some concerns about his balance. He lunges at times and ends up on the ground more often than you'd like. Overall, Sewell isn't the most polished blocker in this class, but he does offer the most upside.
Parsons has a big, athletic frame and possesses excellent speed and versatility. He is quick to key/read before attacking the line of scrimmage. He can defeat blocks with his hands or use his quickness to slip past them. He has the speed to make plays sideline to sideline, although there were a few occasions where he overran the football in the games I studied. He also had some issues sniffing out the ball on zone reads. He's very gifted in coverage versus tight ends and running backs. He has timing and burst as a blitzer off the edge. Overall, there aren't many holes in Parsons' game. It's difficult to find linebackers with his size and ability to impact the passing game.
Vera-Tucker is one of the safest players in this draft class. He played guard at a very high level in 2019 before producing an outstanding campaign at tackle in 2020. He plays with excellent strength, balance and awareness in pass protection. He is quick out of his stance and has a sharp/quick punch. He can bend and does a good job of staying connected. He will underset at times, allowing defenders on his edge, but he is quick to recover and run them around the pocket. He squats down versus power rushers and quickly stops their charge. In the run game, he can latch, control and create movement on down blocks. He takes excellent angles to the second level and has a good feel on combo blocks. He isn't the most dynamic athlete, but he's always under control and rarely in bad position. Overall, I think he has a chance to stick at tackle, but he's ideally suited to play guard. He is ready to start on Day 1.
Horn is a big, physical cornerback with plenty of speed and instincts. He's physical with his hands to consistently re-route in press coverage. He is fluid when he opens up and can run/stay in phase with vertical routes. His short-area quickness is good for a big cornerback. However, he has some bad habits to break in off coverage. He catches and grabs too much. He will draw a lot of flags at the next level if that doesn't get cleaned up. He does do a good job of locating and playing the ball downfield. He has outstanding hands to finish with the ball. He is more than willing in run support (see: huge hit versus Auburn). Overall, Horn needs to play with more confidence from off coverage (to avoid panicking and grabbing), but he has the skills to excel right away as a press-man cornerback.
Owusu-Koramoah starred as an athletic hybrid defender for the Fighting Irish. He can play Will linebacker, safety or even cover in the slot. He's very fluid and twitchy to mirror tight ends, backs or slot receivers. He's very aware as a zone dropper and he's an explosive blitzer off the edge. He is quick to key/read before dipping under blocks on the front side against the run. He flashes the ability to use his length to punch off blockers, but he is much more effective beating them to spots. He has big-time speed to chase from the back side. He needs to improve his consistency as a tackler in space, though, as he has too many fly-by misses. He brings outstanding leadership to the defense. Overall, Owusu-Koramoah might lack ideal size/bulk, but he's built for a pass-happy NFL.
Moehrig has adequate size, but excellent versatility and instincts. He can play in the deep post or cover in the slot. He is a smooth, fluid mover in man coverage underneath. He also possesses ideal anticipation and range from the back end. He has the ability to consistently match patterns and position himself for plays on the ball. The former TCU star does need to improve his finishing ability, having dropped a couple interceptions in the games I studied. He takes quality angles in run support and is a reliable, low tackler. Overall, Moehrig offers a complete skill set at the position. He will provide his defensive coordinator with options, which is exactly what's desired in 2021.
Paye has the ideal frame and explosiveness for an NFL edge rusher. He's at his best playing on the outside, but Michigan had him moving all around their front, including playing head-up over the center. As a pass rusher, he is explosive out of his stance, but it looks different because of his short/choppy steps. I'd like to see him cover more ground, but that is easily correctable. He has violent hands to create a knockback, but he still needs to develop a better plan to consistently escape and finish. I love his effort and determination. Against the run, he crushes tight ends at the point of attack and can close in a hurry from the back side. He does have some stiffness in space, but he's a capable dropper in the flat. Paye is raw, but there could be a huge payoff when he puts it all together.
Rousseau is a tall, long and rangy defender. He aligned all over the front in Miami's scheme and was extremely productive in 2019 despite having limited experience on the defensive line (he played safety and wide receiver in high school). He lacks an elite get-off as a pass rusher, but his combination of quick hands, length and instincts leads to sacks and pressures in bunches. He has an effective swipe/rip move and he can close/finish. He didn't show much power early in the '19 season, but he got better every week. By the end of the season, he flashed the ability to convert speed to power (see: Duke game). He is very comfortable and effective rushing inside. In the run game, he uses his length to set the edge, but he does get too high at times. His effort is excellent. Overall, Rousseau is still developing, but he has found a way to post elite production while learning on the job. His best football is ahead of him.
Etienne is a compact, muscled-up running back with outstanding burst and balance. He's at his best as a one-cut runner, putting his foot in the ground and exploding up the field. He isn't overly elusive in the hole, but he hits it at full speed and absorbs contact while keeping his balance. He has plenty of speed to capture the edge on outside runs. He rarely loses a foot race once he gets into the open field. He is very valuable in the passing game, too. He has a great sense of timing and spacing in the screen game. He also possesses the ability to run away from linebackers on seams and angle routes. He has even flashed the ability to split out wide and run double moves. He improved in pass protection in 2020. Etienne doesn't have elite vision or wiggle, but his speed is real, and it's spectacular when given a runway.
Harris is a big, smooth running back who posted outstanding production during his Alabama career. He is very patient to let holes develop before sliding through the line of scrimmage on inside runs. He has tremendous contact balance, routinely absorbing a hit and finishing runs. He doesn't have the juice to really stretch to the boundary on outside runs, preferring to quickly get his shoulders squared and turn upfield. He is sneaky elusive in space, though, and can drop his shoulder to run through tacklers. He's an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield. He runs clean routes and has the ability to high-point the ball down the field. He's aware and dependable in pass protection. Overall, Harris isn't a home-run hitter, but he's a very skilled runner with excellent value in the passing game. I see similarities to former Chicago Bears star Matt Forte when he was coming out of college.
Phillips is a tall, explosive and bendy edge rusher. He splits his time between playing with his hand on the ground and standing up on the edge. As a pass rusher, he has an excellent get-off and possesses the ankle flexibility to bend and corner smoothly at the top of his rush. He has an explosive inside counter move and he also uses his length to pop/separate to generate sacks and pressures. He needs to be more consistent using his hands to control blockers against the run. He has speed/burst to quickly close from the back side. There is some concern about Phillips' durability based on his injury history during his UCLA career (he transferred to Miami in 2019), but he has as much talent as any pass rusher in this draft class.
Farley has outstanding size, length and speed for the cornerback position. He mixes up his technique and effectively re-routes wideouts with a one- or two-hand jam in press coverage. He's very fluid/loose and stays in phase with his man underneath and down the field. Farley has a quick/smooth pedal in off coverage and his patience helps him handle double moves. He shows exceptional burst when he does drive on the ball. The redshirt junior has plenty of speed to carry vertical routes. He can find and play the ball down the field. He's aggressive to fill versus the run, but he will fall off a few tackles. Overall, Farley has all of the ingredients to be a No. 1 cornerback at the next level.
Davis is a tall and lanky off-the-ball linebacker. He has excellent eyes to key, read, fill and finish. He uses his quickness to beat blockers to spots. He is much better working around blocks than taking them on, but he has outstanding lateral range, and his eyes give him a jump-start. He has stopping power as a tackler in the hole, and he really excels against the pass. He has shown the ability to carry TEs down the seam as well as mirror RBs on wheel routes (SEE: Vanderbilt game). He is instinctive as a zone dropper, picking off three passes in 2020, including an 85-yard pick-six versus Tennessee. I wish he was allowed to blitz more often, because he has the traits to excel in that department. Overall, Davis lacks some strength to bang versus blockers, but his speed and playmaking ability jump off the screen. He should be a Day 1, three-down impact player at the next level.
Collins is an enormous off-ball linebacker. He played outside in Tulsa's 3-3-5 alignment. He has the length and bulk to take on guards and free himself for tackles against the run. He builds speed laterally, displaying tremendous range. He has average short-area quickness, but he is still a dependable tackler in space. He is outstanding in pass coverage, using his instincts to clog throwing lanes. He is more than capable of covering tight ends all over the field. He rushed off the edge on occasion and is good with his hands to defeat tight ends and running backs. You can get a sense of his athleticism if you watch his 96-yard pick-six to defeat Tulane in overtime. Overall, Collins is a unique player because of his size/speed combination, and I believe he'll make an immediate impact at the next level.
Williams is a thick, compact running back with outstanding vision, power and quickness. He is quick to find/attack the hole with a bounce in his step on inside runs. He has tremendous lateral quickness to make defenders miss in tight quarters. He runs with a low pad level and accelerates through contact. Williams has the burst to get the edge on outside runs and he's elusive once he gets into the open field. He is effective as a checkdown option in the passing game and flashes some route polish on angle routes in the middle of the field. He has reliable hands, although you will see some double catches. He is aware in pass protection and can squat and absorb blitzers. Overall, Williams is a complete player and could emerge as the best running back in the 2021 class.
Moore is an undersized wideout with outstanding versatility, quickness and toughness. He has experience lining up outside, in the slot and in the backfield. He has excellent quickness in his release and is clean/crisp at the top of routes. He gets a lot of quick hitters, and he's very elusive after the catch. He also makes some huge plays over the top, tracking the ball naturally and showing reliable hands. He is effective when used as a runner out of the backfield, too. He hits the hole full-go and can make defenders miss. Overall, Moore lacks size, but he'll be a stud in the slot and can also help in the return game.
Newsome is a tall, agile cornerback. He played a lot of off coverage in Northwestern's scheme. He stays crouched in his pedal and is always under control. He's fluid when he opens up to turn and carry vertical routes. He stays in phase and he can locate/play the ball. He doesn't have an explosive plant/drive, but he does have the awareness to anticipate throws. He has excellent instincts versus the run and pass. Against the run, he will hang on blocks too long at times, but he is a solid tackler once he frees himself. I expect Newsome to develop into a reliable starting cornerback very early in his NFL career.
Toney is a versatile, explosive playmaker. He lines up in the slot and does a lot of damage on fly sweeps and seam routes. His combination of play strength, burst and wiggle makes him difficult to get on the ground once the ball is in his hands. He doesn't run a wide variety of routes, but he has the skill set to develop in that area. He's dangerous in the return game because of his athleticism and lack of fear. Overall, Toney isn't quite as big as Deebo Samuel, but I envision him playing the same role at the next level.
Onwuzurike is a slightly undersized defensive tackle who was highly destructive in every Washington game I studied. The Huskies moved him around in their scheme, but I believe he's best suited as a 3-technique, on the edge of the guard. He has an explosive first step and very quick hands against the pass. He flashes a twitchy slap/swim move, but there are times when he doesn't have a plan and gets stuck. He can drive interior blockers right back to the quarterback when he comes off the ball with his pads low to the ground. Against the run, he plays much bigger than his size. He can stack single opponents with one arm and refuses to stay blocked. He has lateral range and his effort is phenomenal. Overall, Onwuzurike's pass rush production isn't special, but all of the tools are there to improve the results at the next level.
Ojulari is a slightly undersized edge rusher. He split time between playing with his hand on the ground and standing up on the edge for the Bulldogs. He takes short/quick steps and has a variety of pass-rush moves. He will push/pull, utilize a jump/slap/swim move or stick his head into the chest of offensive tackles and bull through them. He isn't an elite bender at the top of his rush due to some ankle tightness. His effort is excellent. He can stack and set the edge consistently versus the run. He can turn and chase, showing the ability to quickly close. He saved his best for the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati. He was a destructive force in that contest. Overall, Ojulari has some tightness and lacks ideal size, but he made plays in every game I studied. He is best suited to stand up on the outside for an odd-front team.
Oweh is a long, lean-muscled edge rusher. He is more disruptive than productive on 2020 tape. As a pass rusher, he explodes out of his four-point stance and flashes an effective chop/rip and an occasional up/under move. However, there are too many snaps where he doesn't have much of a plan. He does have the ability to bend at the top of his rush and collected a lot of QB hits on the tape I watched. He didn't have any sacks to show for it in 2020, though. He plays too high against the run, but he uses his length to press out tackles and set the edge. He will get washed by down blocks when aligned inside. Overall, Oweh is an intriguing talent with his best football ahead of him.
Jones has average size and athleticism for the quarterback position. He's operated out of the shotgun and pistol, showing incredible accuracy, efficiency and poise. He is a high-effort thrower, with slightly above-average arm strength. He's at his best on touch throws, where he can anticipate and place the ball on the proper shoulder of his target. He shows toughness to hang in versus pressure, although he rarely faced it with an elite offensive line protecting him. He isn't much of a threat as a runner and he lacks the twitch to consistently escape and buy extra time. Jones should become a starting NFL quarterback, but his lack of twitch and athleticism will limit the playbook with the way the game is trending.
Tryon has an ideal frame/build for an edge rusher. His game is built on his strength and power more than his speed and agility. He has an average get-off as a pass rusher, but he has shock in his hands to jolt offensive tackles, separate and close on the quarterback. He has a nasty push/pull move and can shorten the edge by powering through the outside shoulder. He isn't bendy at the top of his rush due to some ankle tightness. His effort is exceptional. He dominated tight ends at the point of attack against the run and he can reset the line of scrimmage. Overall, Tryon plays with force and effort, which affects both the run and pass game. He can make an impact on all three downs and should get on the field right away for the team that drafts him.
Bolton is a slightly undersized linebacker with excellent speed and explosiveness. He has the lateral quicks to avoid blocks, fill and chest up running backs. He has stopping power as a tackler. He improved his take-on skills as the 2020 season progressed. He has big-time lateral range because of his burst/speed. He needs to improve as a zone dropper in coverage, though. He is late to anticipate and fill throwing windows. He's much more instinctive in the run game. However, he does have the athleticism to match up and mirror tight ends. He is a dynamic blitzer. Overall, I love Bolton's speed and energy, but he does need to improve in zone coverage. If he polishes that aspect of his game, he could emerge as a top-tier starter at the next level.
Mayfield played right tackle for the Wolverines. He has a thick, square build and plays with strength and balance. In the passing game, he has average foot quickness in his set, but he does a nice job of staying square and keeping defenders off his edges. He will give a little ground versus power before dropping his weight and anchoring down. His inside hand is powerful to jolt. He stays attached once he latches on. He's very aware versus twists and blitzers in the run game. He plays with leverage, strong hands and a nasty temperament to finish. He lacks suddenness working up to the second level, but he takes excellent angles and is very effective. Overall, Mayfield doesn't have elite foot quickness, but he's very consistent on tape and looks like a Day 1 starting right tackle.
Jenkins is a big, powerful right tackle. He is very quick out of his stance in the passing game and he can cover ground in a hurry. He has no issues kicking out to cover up speed rushers. However, he does have some issues when he has to quickly redirect inside, which leads to some pressures allowed. He has strong, violent hands but he will get too aggressive at times, which affects his balance. He absorbs power rushers pretty easily, though. He's fun to watch in the run game. He can torque and dump linemen over his nose. He collects a lot of knockdowns. He has the quickness to cut off on the back side and he's very efficient climbing to the second level. Overall, Jenkins has some balance issues to correct, but I love his size, quickness and nastiness. I view him as a quality NFL starter at right tackle.
Radunz is a tall, lean left tackle. He has average foot quickness and athleticism. He is dependable in pass protection. He operates out of a wide stance and prefers to catch/absorb rather than punch and control. He has excellent awareness (you can see him pick up two free rushers against Central Arkansas). He flashes the ability to redirect and recover when he's beat early in the down. In the run game, he excels on combo blocks and shows some nasty to finish at the point of attack. Overall, Radunz needs to improve his hand usage and gain some strength, but he should emerge as a starting right tackle.
Darrisaw was a solid, reliable starter at left tackle during his career with the Hokies. He has ideal size, length and balance. In the passing game, he has average foot quickness in his set but can bend his knees and plays with a firm base. He has a sharp two-hand punch and generally keeps defenders away from his chest. He plays with excellent awareness. He uses his upper-body strength to torque and turn defenders in the run game. He takes good angles to the second level, where he's able to position and wall off linebackers. He will have some trouble adjusting in space because of his average change-of-direction skills. I view Darrisaw as a player who'll be starting at right tackle very early in his NFL career.
Samuel is an undersized cornerback with quick feet, trustworthy eyes and outstanding hands. He's at his best in off coverage. Samuel has a quick, fluid pedal and he is very efficient in his plant/drive on throws in front of him. He has outstanding route awareness and anticipation to position himself for ball production. There are some instances in which he gets outsized on vertical throws, but he is always in position. He isn't a physical run defender, but he is reliable to wrap up and get ball-carriers on the ground. Overall, Samuel has a very high football IQ and the skill set to start outside or in the slot.
Dickerson is an enormous interior offensive lineman. The Florida State transfer has experience at center and guard. He has very quick feet in pass protection. He keeps his hands tight and plays with a wide base. He does have some issues when redirecting, but he uses his upper-body strength to wrestle his way back into position. In the run game, he uncoils on defenders over his nose, creating movement at the point of attack. He has enough quickness to reach/cut off. I love his tenacity to finish. The only issue I see is his durability. He suffered an assortment of injuries at FSU and tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game this past season. Dickerson has first-round ability, but will likely fall to the second round based on injury concerns.
Bateman has excellent size, burst and route polish. He has spent time outside and in the slot. He’s a better fit on the perimeter at the next level, though. He is sudden in his release and gains ground quickly versus off coverage. He has had some issues freeing himself versus press coverage, but those are correctable. He is very sharp and crisp at the top of routes. He doesn’t drift and does a nice job working back to the quarterback when necessary. He can adjust on the deep ball and won several 50/50 balls in 2019. However, he did have some concentration drops in 2020. He relies more on his strength than wiggle after the catch. Overall, Bateman has some room to develop, but he has all of the tools to emerge as a quality starter at the next level.
Turner is a hulking edge rusher. He lost 10-15 pounds heading into the 2020 season and moved much better in the fall. As a pass rusher, he doesn't have an elite get-off, but he can convert speed to power. He runs right through OTs in several of the games I studied. He has shock in his hands and he runs his feet on initial contact to jolt blockers before separating to finish the play. He isn't a bendy/loose athlete, relying more on raw strength and power. He sets the edge easily in the run game. There is still plenty to refine in Turner's game, but his size/power combination provides an alluring platform to start from.
Barmore is a big, talented defensive tackle. I was disappointed in his play at the beginning of the 2020 season, but the lingering effects of a preseason knee injury might have been a factor. He turned it way up down the stretch. He is a little late off the ball against the pass, but he has good quickness and flashes the power to push the pocket. He is outstanding on games and stunts when he can use his athleticism to wrap around blockers. He has a big burst to close and finish, too. He is very inconsistent versus the run, but he plays too high and gets uprooted too often. He does flash the range to make plays on the perimeter. Watch him close to the outside on a wide receiver screen in the Auburn game to get a better appreciation for his athleticism. Overall, Barmore is young, raw and talented. There is a boom/bust aspect to his evaluation, but he has all the tools.
Perkins is a powerful edge rusher with active hands and impressive instincts. As an edge rusher, he has a quick first step and he can quickly generate power without much of a runway. He has a wide variety of moves: push/pull, club, up-and-under and speed-to-power. (To see his pure power, watch what he does to Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins.) Perkins doesn’t have elite bend at the top of his rush, but he is a good finisher once he arrives at the quarterback. Against the run, he can stack and hold blocks on the front side, and he does a nice job of squeezing down from the back side. Overall, Perkins is a little undersized, but I love his combination of strength, skill and savvy. He should be an impact pass rusher as soon as he steps onto an NFL field.
Meinerz is a unique player evaluation. He didn't play in 2020, as Wisconsin-Whitewater's season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he spent the fall training and showed up looking like a different player at the Reese's Senior Bowl in January. He saw snaps at guard and center at the annual all-star game. He has the prototype frame, length, power and athleticism for an interior lineman. When I studied his 2019 tape, I loved his nastiness and physicality but he had some balance issues in both the run and passing game. He cleaned that up during the week at the Senior Bowl. He has a unique ability to leverage and roll his hips on contact to uproot and dump defenders over his nose in the run game. He can sink his hips and anchor down easily in pass protection. He has the athleticism to slide/mirror, using his length to keep defenders off his chest. Overall, Meinerz comes with some risk due to the jump in competition but he has all of the traits and the right temperament to develop into an elite starter at the next level.
Freiermuth is a big tight end with toughness and strong/reliable hands. In the passing game, he plays inline, on the wing or flexed out. He is a one-speed route runner, but he has a good feel for setting up defenders and using his big body to wall them off when the ball is in the air. He attacks the ball and flashes the ability to make special one-handed grabs. He is physical and fights for extra yards after the catch. He doesn't offer much top speed or wiggle. He fights to stalemate at the point of attack in the run game, but he will fall off at times. His willingness is apparent. Freiermuth isn't a dynamic athlete, but he has a good feel for the position and should be a steady, reliable starter.
Eichenberg, the former starting left tackle for the Fighting Irish, has ideal height and awareness. He lacks quickness and ideal knee bend in pass protection, but does a good job of staying square and shooting his hands. He usually stays connected when he lands his punch. However, there are times he gets a little aggressive with his punch, which impacts his balance. He flashes the ability to latch and drive defenders over his nose in the run game. He takes good angles when working up to the second level. Overall, Eichenberg needs to clean up some balance issues, but I view him as a capable starter at right tackle.
Marshall is a tall, long and athletic wideout. He's played in the slot and outside. He is at his best as a vertical target on seams, corners and post routes. The former Tiger has a smooth, easy stride and he builds speed down the field. He isn't a crisp route runner, but he does know how to use his body to shield off defenders. He had some drops on the tape I watched, but he makes up for them with big plays. He's very physical and competitive after the catch. He breaks a lot of tackles. Marshall hasn't put it all together yet, but all of the tools are there for him to be a solid No. 2 receiver in the NFL.
Holland has an ideal blend of size, fluidity and ball skills. He has the athleticism to range over the top, but he is at his best when patrolling underneath. He has the agility to mirror in the slot or match up with TEs. He is quick to the alley and has some snap as a tackler. He has excellent ball awareness and dependable hands. Overall, Holland has the skill set to fit any scheme and should be an immediate starter.
Stokes is a size/speed cornerback with good ball skills. He flashes a one-hand jam to re-route in press coverage, but he's a little rigid when he has to open up and turn/run. He has plenty of recovery speed if he's beat off the line. He has good eyes to key/read and drive on the ball in off coverage. He is very aware in the deep third, showing the ability to find and play the ball. He isn't a smooth/fluid mover, but he is very explosive in a straight line. He's an effective blitzer with timing and burst to close. He is a reliable tackler in space, as well. Overall, Stokes has some tightness, but I love his size/speed combination. He has a chance to develop into a solid starter at the next level.