Ohio State RB Trey Sermon, boom-or-bust prospect


Main as much as the 2021 NFL draft, which begins April 29, Yahoo Sports activities will rely down our prime 100 general prospects. We’ll rely them down in teams of 5 for Nos. 100-51, adopted by extra in-depth stories on our prime 50 gamers, with assist from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the precise to make adjustments to gamers’ grades and evaluations primarily based on damage updates, pro-day exercises or late-arriving info from NFL groups.

Earlier prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96 | 95-91 | 90-86 | 85-81 | 80-76 | 75-71 | 70-66 | 65-61

Here are how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Listed here are how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports activities)

60. Ohio State RB Trey Sermon

6-foot-1, 217 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.83 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Two-school standout whose hot-and-cold profession and lack of elite athletic traits may mood his draft grades considerably

Video games watched: Texas Tech (2018), Houston (2019), Michigan State (2020), Northwestern (2020), Clemson (2020)

The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 171 nationally), Sermon left the Atlanta space in highschool and enrolled early at Oklahoma. As a freshman in 2017, he ran 121 instances for 744 yards and 5 TDs, and caught 16 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in 14 video games (three begins). Sermon began 12 of 14 video games as a sophomore in 2018, dashing 164 instances for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 181 yards.

In an injury-shortened 2019 season, he ran 54 instances for 385 yards and 4 TDs and caught eight passes for 71 yards and one TD. Sermon opted to switch to Ohio State in 2020, operating 116 instances for 870 yards and 4 TDs and catching 12 passes for 95 yards in eight video games. He suffered an damage on the primary play from scrimmage towards Alabama within the nationwide title sport, ending his faculty profession, and Sermon was pressured to decide out of the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Upside: Properly-proportioned again with workhorse dimension. Had video games with 35, 32 and 26 touches. Low-mileage again for a four-year starter — simply over 500 profession touches.

Decided runner — breaks tackles with sheer effort. Nice contact steadiness. All the time falling ahead. Constantly productive when given the prospect — profession averages of 6.5 yards per rush and 10.0 yards per reception. Dealt with each man- and zone-blocked runs effectively. Good combination of energy and quickness.

Very clean athlete. Corners the sting extraordinarily effectively — misleading pace and burst to the surface which may not be mirrored in testing numbers. Nice lower-body flexibility — exhibits off free hips and ankles to make sudden adjustments of route whereas sustaining steadiness. 

Clutch performer who often saved his finest for the largest phases. Had enormous effort and scored go-ahead TD late towards rival Oklahoma State as a sophomore. Dominated two good defenses late in 2020: Northwestern within the Huge Ten title sport (29 rushes, 331 yards, two TDs) and Clemson within the playoff semifinals (31 carries, 193 yards, TD; 4 receptions, 61 yards).

Undersold third-down potential. Gentle palms as a receiver — ought to have been deployed extra on this division. Dependable in cross safety (after just a few hiccups early final season whereas studying totally different safety schemes). Will get after it as a blocker. Has overcome private tragedy and troublesome circumstances to thrive.

Draw back: Not a particular athlete. May have middle-of-the-road testing numbers. Lengthy pace isn’t something nice — requires time and room to construct as much as max mph.

Notable damage historical past — suffered a fracture in his again (lumbar vertebra) throughout his junior yr of highschool, suffered an LCL damage his junior yr at OU and suffered a shoulder damage in his last sport at OSU. Working model and lack of elite athleticism made him a contact magnet. Medical analysis will carry extra weight in his analysis than it should for different prospects.

A bit upright as a runner. Imaginative and prescient is a query mark — will miss cutback alternatives and head into hurt’s manner. Requires extra endurance, and is finest when lanes are clear — not essentially the most artistic runner on the market.

Underused within the passing sport — focused solely 61 instances in 45 profession video games. Not a artistic or versatile receiver. Most of his yards got here after the catch. Should adapt to extra refined pass-protection schemes and have the ability to spy oncoming blitzers a bit faster.

Manufacturing comes with an asterisk — he ran behind two deep, robust offensive traces suffering from NFL expertise and was surrounded by skill-position studs and powerful QB play. Wasn’t requested to hold the load constantly.

Reportedly received in Lincoln Riley’s doghouse in 2019 — began 4 of the primary video games that season earlier than seeing snaps and touches significantly lowered, which was unrelated to his knee damage. Took some time to regulate to OSU’s system after transferring throughout the pandemic. All however stopped speaking to Ohio State RB coach Tony Alford early final season earlier than they repaired the connection.

Ohio State RB Trey Sermon was dominant in the Big Ten championship game. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Ohio State RB Trey Sermon was dominant within the Huge Ten championship sport. (AP Picture/Darron Cummings)

Finest-suited vacation spot: Sermon has three-down potential for the precise workforce, maybe as an inside-outside zone runner, however possible can have his finest success working as much as that function, first as a change-up runner. He has the ability to thrive as a lead again however will want an growth of his third-down repertoire and may wish a while adjusting to skilled life.

Do you know: Sermon’s mom, Natoshia Mitchell, wrote a ebook in 2012 titled “When My Soul Cried,” which detailed some harrowing particulars of her life. It included each of her brothers dying, together with one who was shot seven instances, together with the surprising deaths of each her mother and father. It additionally included the demise of her son by the hands of the infant’s father, who’s now serving a life sentence in jail.

Mitchell wouldn’t let that carry her down, nonetheless, as she raised two different youngsters. She has earned bachelor’s and Grasp’s levels and is near ending her doctorate in psychology. Mitchell began a nonprofit known as Come up by Religion, which helps deal with home violence survivors and plans to open one other clinic to assist help ladies in abusive relationships.

Sermon has tattoos on every of his biceps — they learn “Belief” on his proper arm and “God” on his left arm.

Participant comp: Sermon has a considerably related model to Joe Mixon and JK Dobbins, albeit with much less athletic ability than both.

Anticipated draft vary: Rounds 3 to five

59. Pitt EDGE Rashad Weaver

6-foot-4, 265 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.83 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Lengthy, robust and versatile defensive lineman who won’t be an elite cross rusher however has robust soccer and private character

Video games watched: Clemson (2018), Louisville (2020), North Carolina State (2020), Notre Dame (2020)

The thin: A 2-star Rivals recruit out of the Miami space, Weaver headed to Pitt and redshirted in 2016. In 2017, he began 5 of 12 video games and made 28 tackles (six for losses) with three sacks and three cross breakups. Weaver was even stronger in 2018, making 47 tackles (14 for losses), 6.5 sacks, 4 cross breakups and two pressured fumbles.

Weaver’s 2019 season ended earlier than it began when he suffered an ACL damage throughout preseason apply. However after a yr of rehab, he bounced again by being named first-team AP All-America and all-ACC honors, making 35 tackles (14.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks and three pressured fumbles. He attended the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Upside: Turned in productive 2020 season following torn ACL in 2019. Shall be one other yr faraway from the damage and must be in even higher form in 2021.

Excellent manufacturing in his nine-game marketing campaign and all through his profession — 34.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 9 passes batted down, 5 pressured fumbles and 4 recoveries. Disruptive participant who finds his strategy to the ball. Lived in backfields final season — a number of pressures/hits/sacks in each sport in 2020.

Good Senior Bowl week — seemed robust and decided in each one-on-ones and workforce periods. Additionally stood out within the sport, having to play inside due to a scarcity of DTs on the roster.

Very best dimension and size. Huge, thick, stout body able to dealing with the damage of a protracted season. Nice upper-body energy — highly effective palms to pop defenders and cease their momentum. Performs an influence sport. Excellent wingspan (82 7/8 inches) to long-arm blockers and maintain their palms away from his body.

Pitt's Rashad Weaver stood tall at the 2021 Senior Bowl. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)

Pitt’s Rashad Weaver stood tall on the 2021 Senior Bowl. (AP Picture/Rusty Costanza)

Stout run defender who will improve a protection on this respect instantly. Initiates contact and units the course. Sheds blocks and units a tough edge — forces runners again inside or takes them down himself. Controls the motion up entrance and might work by tandem blocks to make performs.

Effort rusher who finishes. Disengages shortly and might cowl quick distances shortly. Flattens down the road and makes TFLs constantly. Has countermove potential — flashed extra of it in 2020. Gained’t be bullied on the level of assault. Good inside rush strikes.

Excessive-floor prospect — laborious to image him being a bust with good well being. Technically sound. Extremely revered private and soccer character. A employee who will set the tone for his DL room and be pro-ready the minute he walks right into a facility.

Draw back: Not a dynamic athlete. Doesn’t explode off the ball. Struggles to vary instructions considerably. Can’t counter again inside with elite quickness. 

Edge-rush pace within the NFL will learn as common to barely below-average. Not a bender who carves the nook. Might be deliberate in his pass-rush strikes and has bother stringing strikes collectively. Not typically overwhelmed badly in one-on-one battles but additionally earns a whole lot of stalemates.

Tall participant who performs tall — must get his pad stage down. Might be susceptible to “half a person” blocks and lose energy on the level. Performs with a slender base. Easy cross rusher who may use extra improvement when it comes to angles and coordination between his decrease and higher halves.

Gained’t have fairly as a lot worth as a potential 5-technique with fewer groups utilizing true 3-4 fronts. Common arm size (33 1/4 inches) and hand dimension (9 3/4 inches). Nonetheless not as positive a wrap-up tackler as you’d wish to see, though appeared improved on this space final season.

Older prospect — will flip 24 years outdated in November. May very well be nearer to his peak when it comes to improvement. Well being (torn ACL in 2019) should be carefully examined.

Finest-suited vacation spot: Weaver reads as a three-down defensive lineman able to lining up inside and outside. He may by no means lead your workforce in sacks, however he’s a participant you completely can construct round who’s able to serving to your run and cross defenses in both an odd or a good entrance. Weaver ought to have mass enchantment for his versatility and excessive flooring.

Do you know: Weaver was one among solely two soccer gamers to be named a member of Pitt’s Blue and Gold Society, which is an undergraduate scholar group composed of prime college students who function ambassadors for the alumni affiliation and the college.

Participant comp: Some similarities to Brandon Graham.

Anticipated draft vary: Prime 100 choose

58. Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth

6-foot-5, 258 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.83 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Not fairly a next-gen tight finish, missing elite athletic traits, however Freiermuth has good blocking and receiving potential to be a really strong NFL tight finish

Video games watched: Michigan State (2020), Indiana (2020), Ohio State (2020), Nebraska (2020)

The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 148 nationally), Freiermuth began 9 of 19 video games as a real freshman in 2018. That season he caught 26 passes for 368 yards and eight scores, incomes honorable point out all-Huge Ten and Freshman All-American honors. In 2019, Freiermuth caught 43 passes for 507 yards and 7 scores and was named Penn State’s Most Invaluable Offensive Participant and second-team all-Huge Ten. In 2020, Freiermuth caught 23 passes for 310 yards and one TD in 4 video games, being named first-team All-Huge Ten (coaches). He suffered a shoulder damage that ended his season early and declared early for the 2021 NFL draft.

Upside: Very best NFL tight finish body. Lengthy arms, good construct and nice size. Properly-proportioned athlete with good lower-body energy. Carries his almost 260 kilos very effectively. Strikes effectively for that dimension.

Point of interest of Penn State offense that usually was restricted within the passing sport. Faculty-record for touchdowns by a good ends with 16 in 30 profession video games — efficient red-zone weapon who could be a mismatch piece on leap balls. Noticed almost 30 p.c of passing targets when wholesome in 2020.

Sturdy ball expertise. Excessive-points the ball effectively and shows good physique management within the air, on the sideline and over the center. Can regulate to off-target throws readily — and might accomplish that with out gearing down an excessive amount of.

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth could be a second-round pick. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Penn State tight finish Pat Freiermuth could possibly be a second-round choose. (AP Picture/Barry Reeger)

High quality route runner who creates separation. Will get into his routes with suddenness — fairly good foot quickness. Builds as much as good pace vertically. Main menace down the seam. Prep basketball participant who can submit up safeties.

Good in-line blocking potential. Elements are all there to grow to be a really dependable and efficient run blocker. Confirmed some actual ending potential and powerful effort on sure performs. 

Wonderful deal with breaker who powers his manner by contact — you have to carry inhabitants to carry him down after the catch. Fearless over the center — took some large pictures and usually held onto the ball in site visitors. Nice stiff arm after the catch. Likes to bully would-be-tacklers.

Two-year workforce captain. Lined up vast, in-line and within the slot. Pretty well-rounded participant. Well liked by teammates for his vitality, effort and competitiveness. Self-confident participant.

Draw back: Good athlete however missing elite traits. Runs effectively however lacks a real additional gear. Not likely that sudden general. Not the form of explosive mix tester as former Nittany Lions TE Mike Gesicki was.

Most of his large receptions come after smaller tacklers bounce off him. One profession reception longer than 28 yards — a 74-yarder on a defensive bust by Nebraska (and he was caught on the 1-yard line). Can’t stack vertically all that constantly.

Gained’t separate vertically towards DBs and never as efficient shaking man protection. Brief-area separation is simply OK. Quiet the previous two years towards Ohio State — coated typically by a linebacker (Pete Werner) and held in test.

Blocking isn’t a completed product. Some technical errors, together with lunging and getting out too far over his skis. Too aggressive at instances. Doesn’t maintain sufficient and doesn’t block defenders off the display. Will attain and succumb to countermoves as a cross blocker. Simpler at this stage in run blocking.

Focus drops had been aplenty as a freshman — nonetheless can do a greater job of catching balls extra cleanly along with his palms and looking out the ball all the way in which in. Wasn’t as efficient plucking low balls off the turf.

Can do a greater job utilizing his power getting off the road and battling earlier than the seize. Didn’t make the primary man miss as a lot final season.

Turns 23 years outdated as a rookie. Shoulder damage would require additional medical scrutiny.

Finest-suited vacation spot: Freiermuth has all of the earmarks of a beginning “Y” tight finish who can influence the sport as each a receiver and blocker. He won’t be a really particular participant in any manner, however he must be extremely sought as a reliable third or fourth receiving possibility and a 60-snap performer who can take an offense up a notch.

Do you know: Freiermuth grew up in New England and has heard the “Child Gronk” nickname a couple of times earlier than. He’s additionally skilled with former Patriots security Obi Melifonwu.

As a sophomore in highschool, Freiermuth needed to be moved from tight finish to quarterback after the starter received harm. He threw 13 interceptions in 11 video games and mentioned he didn’t like taking part in QB. Fortunately, he moved again to tight finish (and linebacker on protection) to complete out his prep profession. As a senior, he caught seven TD passes, rushed for 5 scores and in addition tallied three defensive touchdowns.

Participant comp: Tyler Eifert

Anticipated draft vary: Second spherical, maybe within the prime 50 general

57. Ohio State LB Baron Browning

6-foot-3, 241 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.84 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: All-Traits Crew member who lastly began fulfilling his huge potential in breakout senior season

Video games watched: Clemson (2019), Indiana (2020), Penn State (2020), Alabama (2020)

The thin: A 5-star Rivals recruit (No. 9 nationally), Browning left the state of Texas to signal with the Buckeyes. As a sophomore In 2018, he had 23 tackles (3.5 for loss) and one sack whereas beginning three of 12 video games. Browning solely began one sport in 2019, however he had 43 tackles (10 for losses), 5 sacks and one cross breakup in 12 video games. As a senior, Browning shifted from inside linebacker to the surface, beginning 5 of seven video games and making 30 tackles (three for losses), one sack, two cross breakups, two pressured fumbles and two fumble recoveries for the nationwide runners-up. Browning earned third-team All-Huge Ten honors and performed within the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Upside: Very best bodily specimen for a contemporary linebacker with nice size-speed mixture. Good size and athletic twitch. Great wingspan (81 inches), good arm size (33 inches) and big palms (10 inches). Chiseled physique and well-proportioned. Sturdy body and performs large — makes use of his size to stack and shed effectively, particularly towards tight ends and athletic tackles.

Fluid athlete who can run — spectacular burst. Quick nearer who can come from off the display to make a play. Does good job of stringing out performs vast and never letting ballcarriers flip the nook. Performed quicker as a school senior.

Very efficient blitzer. WIll run by blocks or shimmy previous them. Good ending potential — see his sack towards Alabama’s Mac Jones within the nationwide title sport. Hitter who brings a thump.

Nice third-down potential. Was requested to hurry, cowl within the slot (and even outdoors) over his 4 years. Coated Indiana’s 180-pound slot WR Whop Philyor and Penn State’s 258-pound TE Pat Freiermuth. Right here’s Browning knocking away a ball in a red-zone rep towards Freiermuth:

Good positional versatility. Improved tackler as senior — displayed higher approach and was extra dependable after early-career points.

Performs with depth and energy. Simply beginning to hit his peak, with instincts catching as much as the traits.

Draw back: Late bloomer. Wasn’t a full-time starter till shortened 2020 season. Had tasks streamlined previous to breakout yr. Struggled to search out his footing and carve out an outlined function amidst a proficient LB group earlier in his profession.

Typically seemed hesitant and even a bit misplaced his first few years. Didn’t belief his eyes to diagnose what was occurring in entrance of him. Anticipation expertise nonetheless lagging — within the means of studying easy methods to learn his keys and get a leap on performs.

Can do higher taking up blocks within the run sport. Does’t play the angles in his favor. Can hit excessive and whiff. You’d wish to see him play by the ball a bit higher, though that was improved as a senior.

Protection expertise possible restricted to tight ends and H-backs. A bit of clunky flipping his hips and transitioning. Higher dropping into quick zone protection. Zero profession interceptions and solely three cross breakups — ball expertise not but refined.

Nonetheless presently a greater athlete than full soccer participant. Some improvement is required to coax out all of his pure potential. Hasn’t performed extensively on particular groups since his sophomore yr.

Finest-suited vacation spot: Together with his dimension and athletic ability, Browning figures to be both an out of doors or inside linebacker in a 3-4 system or an out of doors ‘backer in even fronts. He has good rush potential, and the power to influence special-teams items in protection and return items.

By Yr 2 or 3, you may actually have one thing particular. However there’s little doubt he is a boom-or-bust prospect who has ample work to do to get higher.

Do you know: His father, Barry, was a hard-hitting DB at TCU within the Nineties, and his brother, Barry Jr., performed cornerback at Stanford from 2010 to 2013.

Participant comp: Zach Cunningham

Anticipated draft vary: Spherical 3

56. Oregon S Jevon Holland

6-foot-1, 195 kilos

Yahoo Sports activities draft grade: 5.85 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Gifted security with terrific nostril for the ball who opted out in 2020 after nice sophomore season

Video games watched: Auburn (2019), Cal (2019), Nevada (2019), Wisconsin (2019)

The thin: A 4-star Rivals recruit, Holland intercepted 5 passes (tied for tenth in FBS) as a freshman, made 44 tackles and defended 11 passes in 13 video games (two begins). In 2019, Holland had 66 tackles (4.5 for losses), 4 interceptions (one pick-six), and eight passes defended and returned 16 punts for 244 yards (15.5-yard common). He opted out of the 2020 season and declared early for the 2021 NFL draft.

Upside: Excellent manufacturing as freshman and sophomore — 9 picks and 19 PBUs in 27 video games. Terrific ball expertise — locates the ball superbly and will get in good physique place to make a play. Prep expertise at vast receiver with smooth palms.

Good top and size to play a number of spots in a secondary. Excessive-cut physique. Nice physique management and burst. Confirmed some actual playmaking potential with the ball in his palms.

Very best versatility to be a hybrid security. Has performed the submit, could be a issue up within the field and routinely lined up within the slot towards receivers, operating backs and tight ends. Sources say he’s labored on his CB expertise throughout his opt-out yr and believes he can play it on the NFL stage.

Sensible soccer participant regardless of solely two years of school ball. In a position to step in as a giant contributor straight away as a real freshman . Dealt with a wide range of roles and barely seemed misplaced. Deft in a number of coverages and alignments. Task-sound soccer participant who earned the workers’s belief shortly. 

In a position to course of effectively from a number of ranges of the sphere — performs along with his head and eyes up and appears by his man to the ball. Closes shortly, particularly as an overhang/curl defender and patrolling the center of the sphere.

This was a terrific play by Holland in his last faculty sport towards Wisconsin within the Rose Bowl. Watch as Holland slips the block try by Garrett Groshek on the reverse and take the ball provider down for a loss:

Jevon Holland does a great job of not falling for the misdirection and making the tackle for loss.

Jevon Holland does an incredible job of not falling for the misdirection and making the deal with for loss.

Nice run-defending instincts and energy. Bodily for his dimension — comes crashing all the way down to ship a message on the level of influence. Has some blitzing potential to put money into — seemed comfy the extra he did it by the tip of his sophomore season. Manned special-teams items for greater than a dozen snaps a sport regardless of taking part in protection extensively.

Draw back: Little bit of a slender, leaner body — won’t have the ability to survive full time within the field. Must be well-shielded to play up tight. Had just a few of his blitzed stoned by blocking tight ends and linemen.

Athletic expertise good however hardly elite — some questions on his lengthy pace in protection (though he appeared fairly quick on the 81-yard punt return vs. Auburn).

Inexperienced — not fairly two full years of beginning expertise (1,500 snaps). Opted out of the 2020 season, leaving scouts to surprise how a lot momentum he missed out on in his improvement. Nonetheless confirmed some greenness in protection his first two seasons — responsible of guessing and freelancing at instances. A little bit of a gambler who must know when to carry and when to fold.

Tackling wants continued work — 18 missed tackles charted by PFF in 27 profession video games. Can overrun performs, make arm-tackle makes an attempt and take suspect angles to the ball the longer the space he should journey.

Slot-coverage expertise won’t be finely tuned sufficient vs. faster and quicker slot receivers and well-built backs and tight ends. May give too large a cushion and lose floor on the break level in man protection. Has let receivers get behind him a bit too typically.

Finest-suited vacation spot: Holland profiles as a do-it-all security — maybe within the “large nickel” function that has grow to be the soup du jour within the NFL. He has the power to hold tight ends down the seam, spy athletic quarterbacks, cowl the slot, play the flat/curl space in zone and in addition man the deep halves at security. There’s some surprise if he’s extra of a jack of all trades and grasp of none.

Do you know: His father, John “Robert” Holland, was on the roster of the San Francisco 49ers however made his mark as a defensive again within the Canadian Soccer League and NFL Europe. He gained a Gray Cup with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1993, and later performed with the B.C. Lions.

The Hollands stayed in British Columbia, the place Jevon was born, earlier than the household moved to California. Jevon performed in highschool for former NFL operating again Napoleon Kaufman.

Participant comp: There are a whole lot of similarities to Justin Simmons, although that’s admittedly a giant comp.

Anticipated draft vary: Spherical 2

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