The biggest news of the week came tonight when it was announced that former Ohio State/Florida head coach Urban Meyer will be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
WHO HAS DECLARED?
After winning another national championship, four players for the Alabama Crimson Tide have declared for the NFL Draft. Junior QB Mac Jones (DFD Tape Grade: 8.25), junior WR Jaylen Waddle (DFD Tape Grade: 9.27), redshirt sophomore DL Christian Barmore (DFD Tape Grade: 8.5), and junior cornerback Patrick Surtain II (DFD Tape Grade: 8.58) will all hear their name called very early during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jones is the only one that I don’t currently think will be selected in the first round. However, I expect he will soon be receiving a Senior Bowl invite and would get a chance to elevate himself into that conversation.
Of course, this list doesn’t include seniors including Heisman trophy winner, WR Devonta Smith, OT Alex Leatherwood (see below), or RB Najee Harris. Smith assuredly will be drafted in round one but it wouldn’t shock me if Leatherwood or Harris both do as well. Alabama LB Dylan Moses will also be entering the draft. Moses’ injury history will probably cause him to fall a bit.
The NFL informed teams that everyone who is going to enter the draft this year will have to do so by March 1st or they have to go back to school.
WHO’S COMING BACK
SMU WR Reggie Roberson is returning to school. I think Roberson has first-round potential if he can show he has bounced back from the leg injury that cut his 2020 season short. I had an 8.4 tape grade on Roberson this season.
Auburn edge rusher Big Kat Bryant is returning for 2021 but he has entered the transfer portal. Colorado WR K.D. Nixon will also ply his trade elsewhere.
Oklahoma WR Charleston Rambo will play for Miami (FL) next year.
Montana WR Samori Toure is transferring to Nebraska for next season.
After a brief foray into retirement, and then a commitment to Auburn, former Oklahoma TE Grant Calcaterra will now play for SMU.
SENIOR BOWL UPDATES
Matt Rhule will bring the Carolina Panthers staff and Brian Flores will bring the Miami Dolphins staff to Mobile to coach the Senior Bowl.
If you take out the teams who fired their head coaches (Jaguars, Jets, Texans, Falcons, Eagles, Lions, Chargers) that means the Bengals, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, 49ers, Vikings, Patriots, Cardinals, and Raiders staffs all had to pass on the opportunity to coach in the game.
Speaking of the game itself, Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood, Duke TE Noah Gray, and Kentucky center Drake Jackson have all accepted invites to play. The first Senior Bowl practice is less than two weeks away.