Dishing on the Draft (11/18/20)

Welcome back to another edition of Dishing on the Draft. This week, we talk about the latest Senior Bowl invite acceptances (of which there are many), some top prospects that have had enough of the 2020 season, more COVID effects on the CFB schedule, and more.

THIS WEEK’S DRAFT NEWS

The Senior Bowl added 39 more players to the list of invitation acceptances this week. My tape grade (if I have one yet) is in BOLD.

CB-Bryan Mills-NC Central

CB-Aaron Robinson-UCF-8.08

CB-Kary Vincent-LSU-7.75

CB-Tariq Castro-Fields-Penn State-8.08

DL-Marvin Wilson-Florida State

DL-Cameron Sample-Tulane

EDGE-Charles Snowden-Virginia

EDGE-Hamilcar Rashed-Oregon State

EDGE-Elerson Smith-Northern Iowa

EDGE-William Bradley-King-Baylor-8.08

EDGE-Malik Herring-Georgia-7.88

EDGE-Carlos Basham-Wake Forest

EDGE-Jeremiah Moon-Florida

EDGE-Quincy Roche-Miami (FL)-8.00

G-Deonte Brown-Alabama-7.67

G-Zion Johnson-Boston College

G-Michal Menet-Penn State-7.92

LB-K.J. Britt-Auburn

LB-Grant Stuard-Houston

LB-Jabril Cox-LSU

OT-Teven Jenkins-Oklahoma State

QB-Sam Ehlinger-Texas

QB-Kyle Trask-Florida-8.53

RB-Larry Roundtree III-Missouri

S-Richie Grant-UCF-7.83

S-Tyree Gillespie-Missouri

S-Shawn Davis-Florida

S-Joshuah Bledsoe-Missouri

TE-Tony Poljan-Virginia

TE-Trey McKitty-Georgia-6.92

WR-Austin Watkins, Jr.-UAB-7.8

WR-Trevon Grimes-Florida

WR-Racey McMath-LSU

QB-Kellen Mond-Texas A&M

LB-Tony Fields II-West Virginia

S-James Wiggins-Cincinnati

RB-Michael Carter-North Carolina

EDGE-Dayo Odeyingbo-Vanderbilt-7.92

LB-Chazz Surratt-North Carolina

Florida State announced that junior WR Tamorrion Terry has left the program. Terry has a chance to be a Top-100 selection. DL Marvin Wilson will also miss the rest of the season and will enter the 2021 draft. He was among the 30+ players to accept their Senior Bowl invitations this week.

East Carolina OT D’Ante Smith will also miss the rest of the season with an injury and will enter the draft. Smith will likely project to guard at the NFL level.

In a bit of sad news, Penn State junior RB Journey Brown has been forced to medically retire from football due to a heart condition. Brown was thought by many to be one of the top backs available in the 2021 class.

Multiple players have punted on the rest of the 2020 season and entered the draft early. Less than 48 hours after the firing of head coach Will Muschamp, South Carolina CBs Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu have declared for the draft. Horn is currently my #1 rated corner while Mukuamu projects into the late second-early third-round area.

Louisville redshirt sophomore RB Javian Hawkins and Texas A&M junior LB Anthony Hines, III have also entered the draft. Hines was already sitting out the 2020 season.

15 games were canceled or postponed last weekend due to COVID-19. Cal and UCLA played each other on two days’ notice after their respective games were called off. As of today, at least seven games this week have already been deleted from this week’s schedule. As the virus continues spreading exponentially across the United States, college football game cancellations are also increasing at a rapid clip.

DRAFT PREPARATION

In what I hope will be a weekly addition to Dishing on the Draft, I am going to ask five questions to various members of the draft media. This week, we welcome draft media legend Scott Wright of Draft Countdown. You can follow Scott here on Twitter and visit his website HERE.

Are you evaluating players differently in this weird COVID season?

Not really.  Of course some prospects aren’t playing, whether by choice or because their season was canceled.  At one point it looked as though there might not be any games at all this Fall, so I kind of view everything we are getting as a bonus.  I do think COVID’s most dramatic effects on the NFL Draft process may be still to come.  Whether it’s an inordinate number of prospects taking advantage of the NCAA’s blanket extra season of eligibility, all-star games and other pre-draft events being impacted, etc.

As of today, which position group(s) are you viewing as the deepest?

It’s going to be another bumper crop of wide receivers with outstanding depth throughout.  Plus a stud at the top in Ja’Marr Chase of LSU, who is an even better prospect than Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb were a year ago.

Which are the weakest, in your opinion?

I am not particularly enthralled with this running back class.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a runner selected in the first round.  There are some intriguing mid-round options at the position but at this point I don’t see many dynamic playmakers in the backfield in this class.

Trevor Lawrence is QB1, Justin Fields is QB2. How do you have the rest of the quarterbacks stacking up?

Are we SURE Justin Fields is QB2?  That is where I have him right now as well, but I’m not convinced it’s set in stone.  Trey Lance of North Dakota St. and / or Zach Wilson of BYU, my #3 and #4, could have something to say about it when all is said and done.  Then there is a significant drop-off in my opinion to #5 and Kyle Trask of Florida, who I’m not as high on as most.  Trask is certainly intriguing, but if I had to bet between the Gator passer being a 1st Rounder or  3rd / 4th Rounder right now I’d probably put my chips on the latter.

How do you think the 2021 Senior Bowl is going to look this year?  Roster wise, media accessibility, etc.

I believe the possibility of a longer event has already been ruled out.  I hope Jim Nagy and the Senior Bowl will be able to work with the NFL to expand rosters this year to provide more opportunities to deserving prospects.  Especially since there won’t be an East / West Shrine Bowl or NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  As far as the logistics are concerned, I’m not even sure they have those answers yet.  I won’t be surprised if the number of media credentials are drastically cut back this year.

You are my go to for all things Notre Dame. You said the other day, perhaps jokingly, that they would produce double-digit draft picks in 2021. Rank those players as you see them today.

When I texted that I was hoping you would ask for the list!  I honestly don’t think double-digit players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft is beyond the realm of possibility for the Fighting Irish.  Here’s the list, in order of likelihood of being drafted.

  1. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (JR)
  2. OT Liam Eichenberg
  3. DE Ade Ogundeji
  4. OG Aaron Banks (JR)
  5. OT Robert Hainsey
  6. DE Daelin Hayes
  7. OG Tommy Kraemer
  8. QB Ian Book
  9. WR Javon McKinley
  10. DB Nick McCloud
  11. CB Shaun Crawford
  12. WR Ben Skowronek

S Kyle Hamilton should be one of the top prospects available regardless of position for the 2022 NFL Draft and DE Isaiah Foksey is a riser too.

Draftniks should also keep a very close eye on true freshman tight end Michael Mayer, who might be the best player the program has ever had at the position.  And that is really saying something considering their incredible track record and pro pipeline.

WHAT’S ON TAP

Buffalo-@-Bowling Green-6:00 PM-CBSSN (Tuesday)

Western Michigan-@-Central Michigan-6:00 PM-ESPN2 (Wednesday)

Syracuse-@-Louisville-6:30 PM-ESPN (Friday)

Wake Forest-@-Duke-11:00 AM-ACCN

Cal-@-Oregon State-2:30 PM-FS1

Cincinnati-@-UCF-2:30 PM-ESPN

Kansas State-@-Iowa State-3:00 PM-FOX

Missouri-@-South Carolina-6:30 PM-SECN ALT

Oklahoma State-@-Oklahoma-6:30 PM-ABC

Southern Cal-@-Utah-9:30 PM-ESPN

Boise State-@-Hawaii-10:00 PM-CBSSN

Image courtesy of FloridaGators.com