By Ryan Roberts | @RiseNDraft
We are back! The closer we get to the unofficial kickoff of the 2021 NFL Draft season, the more questions begin to come down the wire. So much so, we are splitting the mailbag into multiple sections this week. Everyone wants to talk about Penei Sewell this week so let’s have the conversation! Throw in some under the radar players, and an Oklahoma State mauler and we have a party just waiting to kick off!
THOUGHTS ON OKLAHOMA STATE’S TEVEN JENKINS AND WHERE YOU HAVE HIM RANKED?
Teven Jenkins is the best offensive tackle that is not getting nearly the credit his play deserves. Coming out of the Summer, there were big questions why nobody was talking about this #73 from Oklahoma State.
So far in 2020, people are starting to take notice. Boasting a long and well proportioned frame, Jenkins is arguably the premier run blocker amongst the 2021 offensive tackle class. He creates such a high level of power in very tight windows, showing high efficiency from reaching, down blocking and working to the second level. In pass protection, Jenkins is a solid enough mover to counteract most speed rushers.
He does have a tendency to overset, begging the question if it is some overcompensation for being just an average athlete. Jenkins might never be picture perfect in the pass game but he is more than solid enough to last on the right side for a long time. There is definite starter upside here. With a big Senior Bowl week and athletic testing, there is a possibility that Jenkins could find his way on to Day One of the 2021 NFL Draft.
At worst, he should find his way on to Day Two for an NFL team with offensive line needs always at the forefront.
WHO’S THE MOST LIKELY DAY THREE QUARTERBACK TO HAVE AN IMPACT IN THE NFL?
This is a lot tougher to predict. Quarterbacks always tend to rise up the board so the tricky part is understanding who will definitely last until Day Three. The immediate thoughts were
Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) and Kellen Mond (Texas A&M). Both players boast similar skill sets and are the de facto “development signal callers” that a lot of teams can get excited about.
The problem is… those skill sets might push them into Day Two, especially if a team really falls for one of them.
In that case, let’s cheat a little here. D’Eriq King isn’t going to be a starting quarterback at the next level. He is, however, a next level athlete who could fill the gadget role working at several different positions. So if he is taking snaps at quarterback from time to time, in more of a wildcat role, that counts right?
Outside of King in a specialized role, there are a couple small school kids who have traits that are worth keeping tabs on. Those include Aqeel Glass (Alabama A&M) and Zerrick Cooper, assuming they do not take advantage of their additional year of eligibility. Both players fit the prerequisite size and arm strength thresholds that should at the very least warrant a long look in a camp. If they are able to cling to a roster spot early on, there is some developmental potential to at least see what happens.
SEWELL WAS WIDELY ANOINTED AS THE OT1 IN THIS CLASS. IS THERE ANYONE THAT HAS A CHANCE OF CATCHING HIM?
There is a whole lot of controversy surrounding Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, specifically people asserting that he is being overrated, especially without the 2020 film attached to the evaluation.
To be blunt, no I really don’t think so.
What the 2021 NFL Draft class brings to the position is it being a deep class, specifically at the right tackle position. From Teven Jenkins, to Jalen Mayfield, to Spencer Brown, amongst others, there are a lot of starter upside players at right tackle relatively early on in their careers.
Getting good left tackles is a completely different animal and those players will always rise during the process. There is a lot to like about Samuel Cosmi (Texas), Christian Darrisaw
(Virginia Tech), Liam Eichenberg and even Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State) to a lesser degree.
Then you have the Rashawn Slater dilemma. Is he an offensive tackle or is he better suited in on the interior? Measurements will be crucial to seeing how big of a player he is in the offensive tackle group.
Regardless, Sewell is in a tier all by himself in this class. The combination of size, athleticism and upside at the position is rare. Couple that with the fact that he did not turn 19 years old until halfway through his dominant 2019 campaign and we have something special here. Sewell is a top five player in the class and has a legitimate chance to end as my highest ranked player in the class when all is said and done.
WHO IS THE MOST OBSCURE PLAYER YOU’VE WATCHED SO FAR THIS YEAR AND WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THEM?
This is a fun one. Central Missouri tight end Zach Davidson or Tiffin running back JaQuan Hardy would probably best fit this discussion. Both players have gotten a little talk in random spots but neither qualifies as bigger names.
I really enjoyed Davidson. He is nowhere near ready to play on the next level but anytime we are talking 6-6+ and 245+ pounds at tight end, he is at least going to warrant a look. If you are looking for an inline blocker, keep scrolling. Davidson is still filling out and is very thin in the lower half, lacking power. He puts out good effort in the area but Davidson just can’t match up physically right now.
What he can do is run. Davidson is used both as a H back and as a big slot receiver. The linebackers and safeties he sees on a week to week basis have no chance to match up. He is equally as smooth as he is long. Oh and fun note, he is also a three time all conference punter. Not sure how much that plays in his favor but still a pretty cool case study to keep an eye on.
Hardy was another fun one. Stylistically he runs a touch like former Atlanta Falcons star Devonta Freeman. He has that low center of gravity, initial burst, compact frame and no nonsense approach that is sure to garner some fans along the way. Aside from level of competition concerns, his big question is going to be durability, impact in the passing game and just how athletic is he.
If Hardy is able to test relatively on par as an NFL athlete, he should absolutely at least receive a camp look, especially if he can show some untapped prowess in the pass game during predraft workouts.
Didn’t get enough this time around? Make sure to come back tomorrow to answer more of the gripping questions in the early portions of the 2021 NFL Draft cycle!
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