IT’S MAILBAG TIME! With Week 11 in the books, we are slowly inching closer and close to the 2021 NFL Draft. Senior Bowl invites are out and about, the holiday season is in the air and the NFL Draft Bible is telling you anything and everything you need to know to prepare for draft day!
Who are your favorite prospects currently viewed as Day 3 players? Guys who could elevate to top 100 status.
Let’s talk some defense Jack!
He’s been getting a ton more notoriety over the last few weeks but Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins could still qualify for this designation. Blessed with outstanding size and length for the position (6032/256), Collins is a perfect fit as a SAM backer for a team that utilizes a ton of under/over fronts. Don’t let the size foot you either, Collins can MOVE! He’s flexible and has some really intriguing closing speed. Collins has a ton of K.J. Wright to his game.
The return of MACtion meant the return of the Buffalo Bulls, who quietly boast several NFL Draft prospects. The top senior prospect is edge rusher Malcolm Koonce, who is again off to a fantastic start in the 2020 season. One of the premier pass rushers in the 2021 class, teams that employ a 3-4 base alignment are going to highly covet the profile that Koonce possesses. He is a fantastic athlete who threatens around the track about as good as anyone in the class. As he continues to add more of a power profile, there is Pro Bowl potential here.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped on the Missouri defensive film to get an in depth look on safety Tyree Gillespie. Boy was I surprised! Gillespie can really play. I thought I was watching a strong safety type and he sure can excel in that role. He gets downhill like he’s shot out of a cannon, showing outstanding physicality with some bad intent. Gillespie is not the potentially limited player that I assumed before watching his film. He plays a ton of deep zone coverage for the Tigers and shows outstanding eyes in zone working from depth. Add in some underrated short area quickness and we have a pretty complete football player here.
What are your thoughts on Dylan Moses’s struggles? Do you think he’s still worth a first cause of the talent ?
I was quite a bit lower on Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses heading into the 2019 season. I get the appeal. He is an impressive athlete, has an outstanding frame with growth potential and some notable upside to get excited about. In reality, his 2018 film as a sophomore film wasn’t anything special. Moses had his moments but he just looks a touch late to trigger and doesn’t make the impact in the passing game that teams warrant in today’s game. He was, of course, only a sophomore so there is obviously time for him to develop, which again had a lot of people really excited now heading into 2020. As uneven as 2018 was for Moses, 2020 has been a trainwreck. He looks tentative, still a tick slow and not quite as explosive as he did early in his career. Still, I expect the NFL to take a gamble on him sometime in the second half of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. However, I would not take that gamble in the opening round.
Two of my 2021 WR crushes are Dyami Brown & Chris Olave… can you break down what you like and don’t like about their game and tell me who’s best?
I’m both slightly lower and more tentative on both Dyami Brown (UNC) and Chris Olave (Ohio State) than the majority. Let’s break it down and then decide who I prefer at the end here.
Starting with Dyami, he is a smooth operator. He has a craftiness to his game: subtle head fakes, late hands, smooth double moves. There is a lot to like. Brown does his best work on the vertical third, stacking vertically as well as snapping his routes off for some easy completions for overcompensating defenders. With how he wins, Brown has a bit of an awkward body type. I question how much that ability will translate… especially when he doesn’t run a variety of routes in his tree or do anything special after the catch.
Olave on the other hand, is about as technically refined a route runner as you will find in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has a clear understanding of blind spots and how to attack leverage. Olave has soft hands and nice body control winning in the air. He is just so physically limited, lacking any power profile with his slender frame. More physical defensive backs could give him a bit of a problem on the next level. If he is winning with a finesse style, that’s fine. My question there is just how athletic is he?
For now, give me Olave. His ability on a route runner is an easier transition to quantify. Brown is just an odd player to figure out for me right now.
Didn’t get to your question this week? Make sure to file it away for the next mailbag. See you all again next week… same time, same place.
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