2021 NFL Draft Primer: 1st Round

2021 NFL Draft Primer: 1st Round

April 29, 2021
Oct 20, 2018; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Kwity Paye (19) prepares for the snap of the ball during the second half of a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I have not delved into the NFL Draft this spring as much as I normally would. There’s a good reason for that. I got roped into coaching a spring sport this year (temporarily), and in addition to my regular football coaching duties, it has really thrown off my schedule. I’ve been struggling to stay afloat in real life, let alone writing regularly for the blog. Luckily, that coaching situation resolved itself and I am now back to regularly scheduled programming.

Briefly, I wanted to take a look at tonight’s 1st round of the NFL Draft.

There are two Michigan prospects who could hear their name called. One is almost a certainty, and the other is unlikely.

First, defensive end Kwity Paye measured in at 6’2″, 261 lbs. with a 74 4/8″ wingspan and 10″ hands. He did 36 reps on the bench, showed off a 35 1/2″ vertical, broad jumped 9’10”, and ran the forty in 4.52. (I don’t trust pro day forty times, so it was probably more like a 4.62, which is still pretty good. I’ve heard multiple draft analysts mention that they do not believe Paye was used optimally at Michigan because he moved around so much (DE, DT, NT) and was not allowed to excel at being a pass rusher. They think he will be better in the NFL once he’s able to stabilize his position.
Possible landing spots: #10 to Dallas, #12 to Philadelphia, #14 Minnesota, #17 Las Vegas

Second is offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield. Mayfield measured in at 6’5″ and 326 lbs. with a 79 5/8″ wingspan and 9 3/4″ hands. He ran a 5.31 forty (or 5.41) with a 7.86 three cone drill and a 4.91 5-10-5 shuttle. Mayfield played pretty well for a redshirt freshman in 2019, but he came back late for the 2020 season . . . and didn’t last very long before getting injured. He never reached his potential at Michigan, but he could be a right tackle or a guard in the NFL. I think he’s more likely to end up in the second or third round, but slipping into the late first is a possibility.
Possible landing spots: #23 New York Jets, #24 Pittsburgh, #27 Baltimore, #29 Green Bay, #31 Baltimore

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