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NFL Draft

5 Players Who Can Improve 2021 NFL Draft Stock Today

  • The Draft Network
  • October 10, 2020
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Happy Saturday, fellow football lovers! As we prepare for what is sure to be another action-packed day in college football, I wanted to take a moment to remind you all to take a look at Kyle Crabbs' latest mock draft, so you can know who the top players are and who your team might be targeting. Crabbs did an excellent job with his latest mock, and I’m a big fan of a lot of the player/team fits. A few of my favorites are the Jacksonville Jaguars and Patrick Surtain II, Las Vegas Raiders and Kwity Paye, and lastly the Kansas City Chiefs and Samuel Cosmi.

One thing that really stood out to me however, was just how many good players didn’t make the first round of Crabbs' mock—a sign of a very deep draft class. Ahead of today’s games, I wanted to take a quick look at some of the players who didn’t quite make it in Round 1, and what they need to do today and throughout the rest of the season to somehow sneak in there. 

Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson 

#7 Miami at #1 Clemson 7:30 p.m. ET

Penei Sewell is the unanimous OT1 in this upcoming class, but the order beneath him is still a mystery. Jackson Carman is a really good football player who can easily climb up the rankings if he continues to play at a high level. Crabbs had Carman go 37th overall as the fifth tackle off the board. Carman will be facing two quality edge rushers in Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips and NFL scouts will be paying very close attention to how he handles this assignment. If Carman can clean up some of his deficiencies in the pass game (waist bending, choppy feet) he could work his way up to the first round. 

Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia 

#16 Tennessee at #3 Georgia 3:30 p.m. ET

The Georgia secondary is absolutely loaded. With players like cornerback Tyson Campbell, who went 19th overall in the mock, and safety Richard LeCounte III, who went 41st, it is easy to forget about Eric Stokes, who one could argue is playing the best football of the three so far this season. Stokes went 40th overall in Crabbs' mock, but he may hear his name way earlier come April. Stokes, who wasn’t a highly ranked player coming out of high school, has played a ton of football for the Bulldogs over the past few seasons, and is playing at an extremely high level. Stokes has excellent size and length for the position and offers a lot of upside as a press-man corner at the next level. Evaluators will want to see him get his hand on more footballs, however, as he only has one interception in his career, which actually came this season against Arkansas.

Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

Missouri at #17 LSU 12 p.m. ET

Jabril Cox is a heck of a football player. He is currently going 46th overall in Crabbs' latest mock, and that’s a steal in my opinion. After transferring from North Dakota State to LSU, he has successfully made the transition from FCS to the best conference in the country, the SEC. Cox is a very fluid and athletic linebacker who is best utilized in space. He has tremendous range in the run game and is outstanding in coverage. One thing Cox will have to work on if he hopes to hear his name called on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft is his ability to stack and shed and get off blocks. Cox has a smaller frame and lacks strength at the point. He is easily swallowed up by blockers once they make contact. Improving this weakness will go a long ways in helping improve his draft stock.

Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

Missouri at #17 LSU 12 p.m. ET

The LSU-Missouri game is filled with stud linebackers. Missouri’s Nick Bolton is another linebacker who missed going in the first round (he went 56th overall). Bolton is a tackling machine with outstanding instincts. He’s a tone-setter for the Mizzou defense and plays with the physical mentality you want from your middle linebacker. Bolton does need to clean up some areas of his game before he can confidently expect to be drafted in Round 1. Similar to Cox, Bolton struggles with disengaging blockers and his lack of length really shows in that regard. Bolton could also stand to show more in zone drops and show he has the hip fluidity to turn and run in man. Bolton is a player I really like, and he has a strong test this weekend versus the LSU Tigers.

Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse

Duke at Syracuse 12:30 p.m. ET

The 2021 safety class is full of high-quality players, but no clear-cut No. 1 prospect. Syracuse’s Andre Cisco, who went 62nd overall in Crabbs' mock, but has a chance to be the first safety off the board with a strong finish to this season. Cisco is a natural playmaker who finds the football with ease. He has 13 career interceptions, and the saying goes, if you find the ball in college you will most likely find the ball in the pros. Cisco needs to improve his tackling to be considered a Day 1 option. He is very inconsistent in that regard and must learn to break down and wrap up instead of coming down wildly looking for the big hit. If Cisco can show more consistency in the run game and tackling in space, I believe his ball production will give him a shot to sneak in the back of the first round. 

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