Throughout each scouting course of earlier than each draft, there are a choose few video games from prospects that by no means depart your thoughts. Joe Mixon towards Texas Tech in 2016 stays essentially the most dazzling particular person efficiency from a working again I’ve seen. Erick Kendricks towards USC in 2014 was pure linebacker bliss. And final 12 months, Antoine Winfield Jr. vs. Penn State is in my Corridor of Fame for security prospect play.
That received me pondering — what video games from 2021 prospects have been burned into my mind, in a great way? I pinpoint my 5 favorites beneath.
Oklahoma RB Trey Sermon vs. Northwestern
29 carries, 331 yards, two touchdowns
Sermon had essentially the most easy 300-yard recreation I’ve ever scouted. Certain, Ohio State’s blocking was fairly good for a lot of the night within the Massive Ten title recreation — notably within the second half — however Sermon showcased his full, underrated talent set en path to the ridiculous efficiency.
He began the third quarter with a future to spark the Buckeyes, and I do not know if there is a single run during which he did not acquire additional yards after contact. Refined juking potential and second-level burst was obvious too when Sermon discovered cutback lanes on stretch run performs.
Sermon had eight runs of 10-plus yards and 5 of 20-plus within the epic effort on the massive stage.
Arkansas State WR Jonathan Adams Jr. vs. Kansas State
8 catches, 98 yards, three touchdowns
For those who’ve heard of Adams as an intriguing Day 3 prospect, it is doubtless you have seen some highlights from the Randy Moss impersonation he placed on in Manhattan, Kansas this previous fall.
Early within the recreation, he adjusted magnificently to an underthrown deep ball and elevated to make the snag. He ended that job in model, with a box-out landing on an end-zone fade. That drive was foreshadowing. Within the fourth, with the sport tied, Adams slowed his momentum and located the soccer in tight protection on a back-shoulder catch to maneuver the chains.
Then on the identical aspect of the identical finish zone of his first rating, Adams received much more contact from a defender however by some means got here down with one other fade for a landing. Together with his group down three with below a minute to go, Adams ran a publish from the skin and made the catch a cut up second earlier than the over-the-top defender tried to knock the soccer away. Sport, Arkansas State.
Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle vs. Missouri
8 catches, 134 yards, 2 touchdowns
Waddle was working on one other stage in Alabama’s season-opener towards Missouri in 2020. Late within the first quarter, he made some of the uniquely phenomenal grabs I’ve ever seen, leaping for a deep ball from Mac Jones, securing the seize and holding on regardless of getting hit by one defensive again whereas in mid-air, then taking successful from the other way as he was parallel to the bottom.
His flex after standing up was justified. His first landing demonstrated Waddle’s burst and lengthy pace, as he ran by everybody on a deep over route. Layup for Jones. Within the second quarter, he took a swing cross from Jones and offered us with the craftiest, most dynamic 13-yard acquire I’ve watched this draft season — 4 violent cuts away from defenders and a head-first dive to verify he received the primary down.
Then, a number of performs later, from the slot, Waddle juked to the skin, then exploded down on a go route and made a really troublesome over-the-shoulder catch with two defenders in tight — and one basically hugging him — within the very again of the top zone. This movie was nirvana for me.
South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn vs. Auburn
3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 cross breakups
You already know while you have been a child, and also you have been enjoying your favourite online game, and received caught on a stage since you simply could not beat the boss? Stored making an attempt all the things. Nothing labored. You contemplated if the sport was rigged.
That’s precisely like what occurred to Seth Williams and the Auburn passing assault towards South Carolina. Quarterback Bo Nix stored making an attempt towards Horn. Over and time and again. To no avail. First quarter featured two cross breakup on leap balls ultimately zone — and Williams is not any slouch in contested-catch conditions — and a cross breakup on a slant close to the top zone.
Then, Nix offered the primary reminder that he hadn’t realized. He scrambled left and tried to suit the ball right into a receiver. Horn jumped in entrance. Intercepted.
There was one contested-catch Williams got here down with, however it was an anomaly on this recreation. One other scramble drill led to a different Horn cross breakup that was in the end picked by a teammate. Early within the third, Nix tried to rifle a cross into Williams. Damaged up. Late within the third, after a number of targets that fell incomplete, Nix continued to attempt Williams, and a miscommunication paved the way in which for a straightforward Horn choose.
Purdue WR Rondale Moore vs. Ohio State (2018)
12 catches, 170 yards, two touchdowns, three carries, 10 yards, one landing
This stays essentially the most scintillating movie I’ve watched from any 2021 draft prospect. And sure, it occurred three faculty soccer seasons in the past. I do not care. In truth, it makes it much more spectacular, as a result of Moore went wild on an Ohio State protection affected by future NFL gamers on it as an 18-year-old true freshman. That sounds made up. It is not.
In that convincing upset, on these 12 catches, Moore compelled seven missed tackles, an absurd determine towards any opponent, a lot much less the Buckeyes. He put fellow 2021 classmate Shaun Wade in a blender all night, a efficiency so dominant it started the “ought to Wade transfer to security?” narrative.
The group that in the end picks Moore could have watched that Ohio State recreation a number of instances. Moore, a completely wholesome Moore, is a prime 15 general expertise on this class.