2021 NFL Draft Primer: Days 2 & 3

Tag: 2021 NFL Draft

30Apr 2021
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2021 NFL Draft Primer: Days 2 & 3

Jalen Mayfield

Last night defensive end Kwity Paye went #21 overall to the Indianapolis Colts. I discussed offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield yesterday as a possible first rounder (LINK), but as expected, he did not go off the board on night one.

So besides Mayfield, who’s next?

Wide receiver Nico Collins measured in at 6’4″, 215 lbs., having lost weight since he last wore a Michigan uniform in 2019. He ran a 4.43 at Michigan’s pro day, broad jumped 10’5 3/4″, and showed a 37.5″ vertical. Even though I have doubts about that forty time, I don’t think anyone expects him to be a burner in the NFL. He can be a matchup probably with his size. I thought he might be a good fit for a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Eagles already went with a wide receiver (albeit a small one) in Devonta Smith.
Projected draft spot: Rounds 2-3

Cornerback Ambry Thomas is probably the next best bet. At 5’11” and 191 lbs., Thomas showed off a 38″ vertical, broad jumped 10’2″, and ran the forty in 4.37. He opted out of the 2020 season, but he was a shutdown corner when he last played in 2019. Will teams hold it against him that he missed 2020? That remains to be seen, but a few guys who opted out of 2020 still went in the first round.
Projected draft spot: Rounds 3-4

Linebacker Cam McGrone missed a chunk of the 2020 season with a torn ACL, and he wasn’t playing that well before the injury, anyway. At 6’0″ and 234 lbs., he was unable to run the forty and did 20 reps on the bench press. McGrone only started for part of 2019 and part of 2020, and he probably left too early. It would not surprise me if he went undrafted, and it would not surprise me if he went in the 5th round.
Projected draft spot: Rounds 6-7

Fullback Ben Mason weighed in at 6’2″ and 246 lbs. He did 29 reps on the bench, ran a 4.72, and broad jumped 9’9″. Fullbacks have gone the way of the dodo in recent years, but he’s such a devastating lead blocker that I think he can fill a role on a roster somewhere.
Projected draft spot: Rounds 6-7

Running back Chris Evans is 5’11” and 211 lbs. He clocked a 4.44 forty, did 20 bench press reps, had a 40.5″ vertical, and broad jumped 10’7″. His pro day was arguably the most impressive of any Michigan player, and yet his overall lack of production at Michigan leaves some questions about what he can really do at the next level. He never topped 685 rushing yards in a Wolverines uniform, and his final season included just 73 rushing yards and 87 receiving yards. I think he can play in the NFL, but it would be a little odd for him to get drafted.
Projected draft spot: Round 7 or UDFA

Other draft-eligible players I do not expect to get drafted:

  • LS Cameron Cheeseman
  • TE Nick Eubanks
  • DT Carlo Kemp
  • K Quinn Nordin
29Apr 2021
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2021 NFL Draft Primer: 1st Round

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

28Mar 2021
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2021 Michigan Pro Day Results

Chris Evans (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Several NFL Draft hopefuls worked out at Michigan’s pro day on Friday, March 26. Here are some of the noteworthy results:

WR Nico Collins (6’4″, 215 lbs.)
40 time: 4.43 seconds
Bench press reps: 14
Vertical jump: 37.5″
Broad jump: 10’5 3/4″
3-cone drill: 6.71 seconds
5-10-5 drill: 4.32 seconds

Hit the jump for more.

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28Apr 2020
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Michigan’s 7 Best NFL Draft Prospects for 2021

Nico Collins

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview (LINK), we now turn our eyes toward the 2020 season and the 2021 draft. A lot can happen between now and then, but you often see pro potential a year or more in advance. There are others who could make the leap, but these are the top six players who would be eligible for next year’s draft.

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