Every year there’s always that one guy who maybe isn’t regarded as a top pick but goes out there and plays like one. Last time I talked about 6 players who i think can be the biggest steals of the 2021 NFL Draft depending on where they are taken.
So this week… here’s another 5 prospects who i think are going to be fantastic players at the next level from the 2021 NFL Draft.
Micah Parsons – Linebacker – Penn state
Last time i started with a controversial one in Jaylen Waddle. This time is no different with another surprising name at the top. A projected first rounder this year might leave you asking how he can be a steal? Well, Parsons has had a couple of off the field concerns which could lead to him falling. The 6’3 athletic specimen is one of the top players in this years draft. Parsons plays with such great burst and explosion which is hard to find in a linebacker. He has ability to rush the Quarterback which he showed in 2019 where he racked up 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. I think if a team can get him outside the top 10 it is sensational value. It wouldn’t shock me if he fell to the end of the first round. I also think this guy could be a great add to the Giants, if all of the top receivers are off the board.
Payton Turner – Defensive End – Houston
This guy is an absolute joy to watch as he plays with such physicality. He has a massive upside to go along with his enormous 6’5 frame, which he uses to his advantage. This guy has such great length for a 4-3 defensive end which really is something NFL scouts will fall in love with. He played in 5 games in 2020 and racked up 5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, an impressive haul considering the game time.
One cause for concern though going into the draft, is the fact Turner has suffered from some injuries during his three years as a starter. Combined with the fact he does have a lack of rush moves in his locker and can be overpowered from time to time, he is in desperate need of some work in these areas.
Despite this, Payton Turner is also a great defender against the run due to his sheer length and his outstanding agility that he possesses. This means he could operate as a three down starter. If a team can get this guy towards the middle of the Second Round or onwards it will be great value for them. I can see a team like the Browns or the Chargers taking him. I feel Turner would work best being beside another premier pass rusher such as Garrett or Bosa.
Trey Sermon-Running Back-Ohio State
This year the running back hype has been towards Travis Etienne, Najee Harris and Javonte Williams, however, don’t discount Trey Sermon. The main issue with Trey Sermon is that he has average speed, this means he struggles to break those bigger runs. He is also a fairly average pass catcher from the back field with limited route running ability. But what he does have in his locker, is that he is a patient runner who has surprisingly good feet for a bigger back at 6’1. In the open field Sermon is a tough runner averaging 7.5 yards per carry in 2020… A whopping number! Sermon can succeed if he is drafted by a team with a good offensive line. He will most likely be drafted in the third or fourth round, and will certainly contribute in the NFL wherever he does end up.
Cade Johnson-Wide Receiver-South Dakota State
Cade Johnson is a player who i thought was seriously impressive, especially at the Senior Bowl. He is a great route runner with quick feet who has the ability to consistently get open. When the DB plays ‘off man’ Johnson simply destroys them, and on tape it shows as they struggle to even get near him. One of the most impressive things with Johnson is the ability to bail his Quarterback out. Playing at South Dakota State meant that some of the balls were not exactly accurate, however, Johnson has the ability to adjust his body and make the catch. Due to his size he will most likely be a slot guy at only 5’10. I think a team looking for a kick and punt returner will take a chance on him anywhere after the fourth round.
Kellen Mond-Quarterback-Texas A&M
Watching Kellen Mond is a very love hate relationship. One play he looks seriously impressive and the next can leave fans scratching their head. To get the negatives out of the way he seems to force the ball too often which causes unnecessary turnovers. Mond also has some footwork issues as he doesn’t step into throws and is prone to throwing off his back foot.
Although it’s hard not to like what Mond brings to a team. He’s a solid runner with an above average arm. Given the opportunity to sit behind a veteran QB for a year or two, watching the way they work and feeding off their good habits, then there’s no reason Mond can’t develop into a good QB himself. I think he has the potential to go in the late second round, but it wouldn’t shock me if he slipped to the early third round. In my opinion a team like the Saints would be perfect fit for Mond. He’s a project QB, but worth the shot from a team who doesn’t need him to perform immediately.
Let us know who you think could be a NFL draft steal!