Main as much as the 2021 NFL draft, which begins April 29, Yahoo Sports activities will depend down our prime 100 total prospects. We’ll depend them down in teams of 5 for Nos. 100-51, adopted by extra in-depth reviews on our prime 50 gamers, with assist from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the correct to make modifications to gamers’ grades and evaluations based mostly on damage updates, pro-day exercises or late-arriving info from NFL groups.
95. Wisconsin-Whitewater C-OG Quinn Meinerz
6-foot-3, 320 kilos
Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.73 — potential starter
TL;DR scouting report: Small-school stud with toughness and smarts who has realized to play heart and may very well be the subsequent D-III success story
Video games watched: UW-LaCrosse (2019), Mary Hardin-Baylor (2019), St. John’s (Minn.) (2019)
The thin: Regardless of being named all-state at offensive and defensive position his last yr of highschool, Meinerz was an unrated recruit out of Hartford, Wisconsin and acquired zero FCS affords. He performed in two video games as a freshman at Whitewater earlier than cracking the beginning lineup as a sophomore, when he was named first-team all-conference. In 2019, Meinerz was named to the D-III Related Press All-America first staff, was named staff captain for the nationwide runners-up and was voted the staff’s greatest lineman and MVP. After his would-be senior season was canceled, Meinerz was invited to the 2021 Senior Bowl, the place he was named the highest offensive lineman on the Nationwide staff (as voted by the defensive linemen who confronted him in observe).
Upside: Turned in dominant Senior Bowl week in one-on-ones and appeared to have zero rust from canceled season. Dealt with quickness and energy deftly in opposition to Energy 5 competitors. Took snaps at heart and each guard spots and didn’t have points with snapping regardless of not doing it in school.
Affected person, balanced footwork. Stunts and twists don’t seem to faze him. Retains legs shifting by way of contact. Maintains a large base in move safety.
Lively arms and good grip power. Excellent wingspan (82 inches) for inside blocker. Broad-chested body to hold wonderful mass. Large arms (10 1/4 inches) that are perfect for the place. Wrestling background paid off in his skill to leverage defenders and infrequently pancake them.
Imply streak is simple to identify. At all times searching for work — retains his head on a swivel and exhibits excellent response. Can routinely be seen driving his man off the display screen. Rolls off the ball with a flat again and may wash defenders down the road. Seeks to succeed in second degree and provoke contact on linebackers.
Take a look at No. 77 right here at left guard vs. St. John’s in 2019:
Self-motivated and pushed. Wanting to show doubters flawed and make it. Good and likable. Reliable chief who set the tone for a extremely profitable D-III program.
Draw back: Lack of heart expertise is regarding. Meinerz strictly performed left guard in three school seasons. Solely heart work has are available in observe and at Senior Bowl. Should fine-tune footwork at that spot, grasp shotgun snapping in sport conditions and be taught all the right checks.
Even with an inflow of sub-FBS offensive linemen making the NFL, the extent of competitors stays a priority. Suffered misplaced yr of growth when D-III cancelled soccer final fall.
Operated in a wider-split system that made blocking assignments extra clear-cut. Wasn’t as dominant in tighter areas. Common arm size (33 inches) and top.
Athletic traits would possibly fall within the center spectrum to below-average. Lacks nice flexibility and bend (however neither ought to preserve him out of the league).
Will work too aggressively downfield at occasions — responsible of some uncalled unlawful man downfield flags. Will get out over his skis at occasions and can lunge too far to make contact. Responsible of enjoying patty cake with a bump-and-steer strategy at occasions — wish to see extra dominant reps in spots. Occasional bear hugs on tape, performs which can be simple whistles within the NFL.
Finest-suited vacation spot: Ideally, Meinerz could be introduced alongside at a correct tempo as a reserve guard/heart and never requested to start out from Day 1. He might find yourself being a sensible, heady and aggressive heart who begins by the tip of 12 months 1 or the beginning of 12 months 2.
Do you know: Meinerz has spent his previous summers on a distant lake in northern Ontario working for his uncle. With no full weight room up there, Meinerz needed to improvise with a “Rocky IV”-style routine that included flattening bushes together with his arms and pushing boulders up hills.
Participant comp: Dallas Cowboys 2020 fifth-round choose Tyler Biadasz.
Anticipated draft vary: Rounds 3-4
94. Tulane EDGE Cameron Pattern
6-foot-3, 274 kilos
Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.73 — starter potential
TL;DR scouting report: Tweener rusher who’s a jack of all trades however lacks a single superpower apart from his effort and motor
Video games watched: Ohio State (2018), Auburn (2019), South Alabama (2020), East Carolina (2020), Tulsa (2020)
The thin: A 3-star Rivals recruit who had bother attracting main recruiting consideration, Pattern ended up at Tulane, the largest college to supply him. He cracked the DL rotation as a real freshman, beginning three video games in 2017, after which turned a full-time starter the next season. Over his last three seasons, Pattern rose to first-team all-AAC and racked up 20 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and 7 passes defended.
Upside: Workhorse who performed 78.4 p.c of the staff’s defensive snaps the previous two seasons at almost 280 kilos — and that features sitting out latter elements of some early-season laughers. Positional versatility was on show almost each sport — lined up as a rush finish, inside rusher, stand-up linebacker. Good wingspan (81 inches) and hand dimension (10 inches) to deal with trench warfare at a number of spots.
Violent, potent arms to shock blockers — punches with urgency and energy. Has good grip power and can work half a person to achieve a path to the ball. Nice lower-body energy and burst to assist keep his rush momentum. Varies his strategy and wins with pace, finesse and energy. Growing swim transfer.
Completed run defender. Takes on blockers and isn’t simply rooted off his spot. Decisive to close down the sting. Channels as a lot go off the ball as potential and marries it effectively together with his base power. Can cross blockers’ faces rapidly.
Elite competitiveness. Nearly by no means takes a play off. Tone setter up entrance who offers his all and maximizes his presents. Outworks and frustrates opponents together with his effort and pursuit. Takes it as a private affront when a blocker will get the perfect of him — even on one rep.
On the Senior Bowl, Pattern dominated one-on-ones, was voted American Crew’s greatest d-lineman by the blockers he confronted in the course of the week and had a powerful sport efficiency. Contemplating good and accountable. Ought to do effectively in interviews.
Draw back: Not an elite athlete. Strong however not nice quickness and change-of-direction expertise. Restricted size (32-inch arms and shorter-than-normal top). Tweener dimension for finish/sort out.
Wants extra instruments in his pass-rush arsenal — wins usually off of his bull rush and due to his nice pursuit. Extra of a strain participant now than a projected sack producer within the NFL. May use higher countermoves and maximize his edge as a rusher.
Just one profession pressured fumble. Requested to drop in protection extra in 2020, nevertheless it’s nonetheless an space through which he’s inexperienced.
Won’t have a super-high ceiling as a prospect — not maxed out, per se, however near reaching his potential. Positional versatility is good, however he’s possible not going to play a excessive quantity of snaps as a stand-up rusher (except he drops a number of kilos) or over the nostril (except he places on a number of).
Finest-suited vacation spot: We’d prefer to see Pattern used predominantly as a base or energy finish in a 4-3 system, though he definitely can kick inside or rise up every so often for particular defensive packages.
Do you know: Pattern had a sack of Dwayne Haskins and a pair of.5 tackles for loss in opposition to Ohio State as a sophomore.
Participant comp: Harking back to 2015 fourth-rounder Trey Flowers and 2016 fifth-rounder Ronald Blair.
Anticipated draft vary: Spherical 4
93. Ohio State LB Pete Werner
6-foot-3, 242 kilos
Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.74 — starter potential
TL;DR scouting report: Three-down linebacker with the aggressive and athletic traits to be a fixture on a protection, however maybe falling in need of Professional Bowl-level efficiency
Video games watched: Indiana (2020), Clemson (2020), Alabama (2020)
The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit, Werner initially dedicated to Notre Dame earlier than flipping to the Buckeyes. As a real freshman, Werner appeared on particular groups and as a defensive reserve earlier than incomes a beginning spot firstly of the 2018 season. Over his last three seasons, Werner collected 176 tackles (15.5 for losses), 4 sacks, 4 pressured fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Upside: Excessive-floor prospect who will enter the NFL with terrific expertise in opposition to prime competitors and in high-pressure conditions. Performed a number of LB spots for OSU below a number of defensive coordinators and was a constant standout for the previous three seasons. Textbook body for the place.
Possesses the athletic traits to run with tight ends and backs in protection. Good size to deal with larger targets and even breaks up passes. Pure really feel for zone protection — will get fast depth in his drops and retains receivers in peripheral imaginative and prescient whereas retaining his eyes affixed to the QB.
Good hitter who loves to complete. Brings a bodily edge to the place. Makes use of size and hand approach effectively to disengage from blocks and cease a runner in his tracks near the road — matches the throwback stack-and-shed mould.
Surprisingly good blitzer — occasions up the snap effectively and may even get dwelling on delayed strain. Took down Trevor Lawrence within the nationwide semifinals. Takes good paths to the QB, closes rapidly and hits his goal squarely. Generated excessive charge of strain in restricted possibilities dashing the passer.
Accountable, football-first prospect who earned the reward of teammates and coaches alike together with his effort and dedication. Excessive soccer IQ. Versatile and prepared to tackle no matter function is requested of him. Issue on particular groups models all 4 seasons and stood on the market his first two years.
Draw back: Struggles in protection have come in opposition to faster and quicker targets. Werner is just not a defender you stick man to man on, say, Alvin Kamara. Pace seems common for the place. Can flip his hips and switch however might be beat on double strikes. Zero profession interceptions and 7 passes defended (zero in 2020).
May do a greater job slipping blocks (versus taking them head on). Isn’t a sort out machine, even amid a proficient LB group, wasn’t across the ball fairly as a lot as you’d ideally prefer to see. Not as instinctive as his repute would possibly recommend.
Should clear up his tackling. Fails to wrap up and misses very best strike zone on ball carriers in house. Lacks very best lateral vary as a run defender and may let gamers outflank him to the flats. Not as efficient breaking down in house.
Performed alongside elite expertise and was well-shielded on this system. Declined a Senior Bowl invitation, to the dismay of some expertise evaluators.
Finest-suited vacation spot: Werner could be an excellent match as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 entrance or an outdoor linebacker in a 4-3 system, however both approach he initiatives to be a high-floor, three-down defender who brings worth on passing downs.
Do you know: Greg Werner, Fred’s father, was a good finish who spent one season with the New York Jets in 1989. His excessive level was a 61-yard efficiency at New England the place Wener caught a 36-yard move on the penultimate play to arrange the game-winning area purpose in a 27-26 victory. Greg Werner is now an orthodontist within the Indianapolis space.
Participant comp: Just like 2016 fourth-rounder Nick Kwiatkoski
Anticipated draft vary: High-100 choose
92. Florida State S-LB Hamsah Nasirildeen
6-foot-3, 220 kilos
Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.74 — starter potential
TL;DR scouting report: Freaky athlete with terrific dimension and flexibility, however medical issues and a few protection limitations might cloud his NFL analysis
Video games watched: Boise State (2019), Virginia (2019), Clemson (2019), Syracuse (2019), Duke (2020)
The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 63 nationally), Nasirildeen dedicated to the Seminoles over Alabama and a slew of colleges. He performed in 13 video games as a freshman in 2017, incomes begins in opposition to Syracuse and Clemson (a 10-tackle sport). Nasirildeen then began solely 5 of 12 video games in 2018 however led the staff in tackles. The next yr, he collected a team-best 101 tackles (two for losses), one sack, three pressured fumbles, two interceptions, three move breakups and one fumble restoration and had two 17-tackle video games. Nasirildeen suffered a torn ACL in opposition to Florida that yr and missed all however two video games as a senior in 2020. He declared early for the 2021 draft.
Upside: Big bodily athlete. Excellent size for the place. Uncommon mixture of dimension, pace, power and flexibility. Eats up floor in a rush and arrives on the ball with power. Terrific vary and fluidity.
Packs explosive hitting skill into his body — hits with with the intention of sending a message. Unafraid to tackle blocks, even by larger linemen, and can shed and displace very effectively for a DB. Makes use of his size and athleticism effectively to get freed from blocks. Has eyes on the ball when tackling and appears to dislodge it.
Glorious soccer instincts and intelligence. Sturdy want for the sport. Understands angles effectively and takes good paths to the ball. Not numerous missed tackles on tape. Marries intense strategy with good management in his efficiency — doesn’t fly round like a headless banshee. Good, measured participant who improved his protection approach over his school profession after some early struggles.
Good blitzer who might be a part of strain packages. Has lined up at nook, linebacker, security and has rushed from security and the field. Good particular groups work early in his profession, too.
Has a excessive ceiling as a prospect and a few unmet potential that may very well be mined out by a inventive defensive coordinator.
Draw back: Torn ACL sidelined him for longer than anticipated (shelved for almost 12 months). Medical analysis might be vital if knee might be a long-term concern.
Positional projection will range staff to staff and would possibly fall into that ‘tweener class as Nasirildeen is just not fairly quick sufficient to play excessive security and never fairly thick sufficient to thrive as a full-time field defender.
Struggled in one-on-one protection on the Senior Bowl in opposition to vast receivers. Fared higher in opposition to tight ends however nonetheless has limitations when matched up with top-end pace. Nonetheless studying to belief his reads, particularly in zone protection in house.
Extra of a see-ball, attack-ball defender and isn’t fairly as instinctive to diagnose the place the ball goes. Playmaking numbers solely so-so.
Finest-suited vacation spot: Nasirildeen may very well be a powerful contributor if he’s cleared medically, however there’s a query of what his greatest function might be within the NFL. We envision him as a jack of all trades who is usually a field defender in passing conditions and a powerful security on working downs, which is the place he was featured within the “Star” function in 2019, in addition to a core particular groups member.
Do you know: When former head coach Willie Taggart was fired late within the 2019 season, teammates mentioned it was Nasirildeen who stepped up immensely as a frontrunner and implored his teammates to proceed working exhausting and never lose focus amid the pall that had been solid over this system.
Participant comp: He’s related as a prospect to 2020 second-rounder Kyle Dugger but in addition reminds us of 2020 fourth-rounder Mykal Walker (by way of what he might do across the line of scrimmage).
Anticipated draft vary: Spherical 3, however might go larger or decrease relying on his medical report and pro-day testing.
91. Houston EDGE Payton Turner
6-foot-5, 270 kilos
Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.74 — starter potential
TL;DR scouting report: Lengthy, agile, fascinating edge prospect whose greatest soccer got here out throughout abbreviated 2020 season
Video games watched: Oklahoma (2019), Tulane (2020), BYU (2020), UCF (2020)
The thin: A knee damage throughout his senior season of highschool restricted Turner’s recruiting choices, so the 2-star Rivals recruit dedicated to Houston, the largest program that provided him. Turner performed as a real freshman in 2017, notching 14 tackles (two for losses) and an interception in 11 video games. He began all 11 video games in 2018 and 12 extra in 2019, logging a mixed 12 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and a blocked area purpose. Turner then had a breakout season in 2020, regardless of enjoying solely 5 video games (lacking two contests with foot and knee accidents), gathering 10.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, one pressured fumble and one other blocked area purpose. He performed within the 2021 Senior Bowl.
Upside: Excellent size — 35-inch arms and large arms (10 1/4 inches). Broad shoulders and properly developed body. Desired athletic traits for taking part in on the sting — nice mixture of energy and quickness.
Makes use of his highly effective punch to shock defenders and acquire a shorter path to the ball. Good hand fighter who savors mixing it up within the trenches. Displayed good move rush and run-defending expertise in 2020 — a better degree of efficiency not seen beforehand on tape.
Terrific effort most snaps. Rallies in pursuit and makes tackles downfield. Performs by way of the whistle and takes on all comers. Hardly ever seen taking snaps off. Motor ran sizzling even in hotter situations and on the finish of some 60-snap video games.
Not a pure edge rusher from his “Bandit” function however can bend surprisingly effectively when it’s known as for. Can line up inside and outside — multiple-technique performer. Flashes good long-arm and rip rush strikes. Supreme third-down inside rusher.
Draw back: Lacks nice soccer expertise. Turner missed his senior season of highschool soccer and was solely a two-year common contributor in school. Won’t be immediate espresso within the NFL and will use a affected person DL coach to coax the perfect out of him. Lacks very best processing expertise — can do a greater job of recognizing the ball, studying keys and beating blockers to their spots.
Wants a greater rush plan as Turner repeats strikes and will stand to range his strategy. Dominated in opposition to lesser expertise and was quieter in opposition to higher competitors. Restricted success in one-on-one drills on the Senior Bowl, principally dashing from the inside (partly due to an absence of inside gamers on his staff’s roster).
Off steadiness an excessive amount of. Performs too usually with excessive pad degree — pops up out of his stance and offers blockers an even bigger goal. Doesn’t all the time get off cleanly and can waste motion. Struggles to defeat double groups — loses leverage and tries handy struggle his approach by way of them. Excessive-cut and will stand so as to add lower-body power.
Finest-suited vacation spot: Turner’s versatility is interesting, however he would possibly match greatest as a base finish in a 4-3 scheme or as a 5-technique in an odd entrance. Ideally, he’ll be given time to develop and acquire power and understanding of an NFL system. In time, he seems to be a future starter.
Do you know: Turner arrived on campus as a freshman as a 6-foot-5, 215-pound athlete. His weight ballooned to a reported 290 earlier than settling again at his senior weight of 270.
Participant comp: The same participant to 2017 fourth-rounder Deatrich Smart Jr.
Anticipated draft vary: Rounds 2 or 3
Earlier prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96
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