Sermon is an intriguing case study heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. After spending three seasons at Oklahoma and failing to put up eye-catching numbers, he transferred to Ohio State and played all of the 2020 CFB season there. He was coming off of a knee injury into the 2020 season, which may have played a role in his lackluster performances to start the year.
However, as the season ticked along, Sermon’s performances started to catch the eyes of NFL scouts. Against Northwestern, Sermon put up 331 yards and two scores on 29 total attempts. Additionally, Sermon continued his dominance on the ground against Clemson in the CFB Playoffs with 193 yards and a score.
What exactly does Sermon bring to the table that could separate him in this RB class? Does he have the top-end talent that’s worthy of a starting role in the NFL?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Trey Sermon:
Weight: 215 lbs.
Arms: 33 3/8
Hands: 9 3/8
40-Yard Dash: 4.57
Vertical Jump: 37
Broad Jump: 125
Short Shuttle: 4.28
3-Cone Drill: 6.83
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Vision (76): Sermon is a smart and intelligent running back prospect without traits, but he simply produces on the field. He has good vision and understands when it’s the right time to bounce outside. He is willing to get downhill if the hole is there and continuously gash a defense.
Burst (72): Has enough burst and acceleration to get downhill quickly and hit the gap before it closes up. He lacks the ability to go from a full stop to full acceleration quickly, though. He is somewhat reliant upon what the offensive line can create for him.
Change of Direction (72): Struggles to change direction laterally. Runs upright and a bit stiffly. He needs to improve his footwork and keep his legs underneath him to be in a better position to change direction from side to side.
Power (77): Willing to engage in contact and lower his shoulder. Able to meet defenders at the second level and drive them back to pick up additional yardage.
Speed (73): Has enough top-end speed to be a serviceable NFL running back, but he won’t be able to break away for long runs consistently.
Contact Balance (77): Phenomenal balance and ability to keep his feet underneath him. Able to manipulate small spaces well and use his balance as a threat. Able to break tackles and shed defenders because of his balance.
Pass Catching (76): Natural pass-catcher out of the backfield. Unlikely to be utilized heavily in this capacity in the NFL, but he has more than enough ability in this area to be serviceable.
Pass Protection (70): Tends to drop his eyes in pass protection and is often driven backward. Willing to stand in, but this isn’t an area that he’ll be asked to contribute consistently at the next level. Overall, Sermon is a fine running back prospect who will need to land in the right system to maximize his talent. He will most likely be a part of a rotation in the NFL and should go off the board as an early Day 3 pick.
That Trey Sermon stiff arm pic.twitter.com/lGkBfCBvB0
– Connor Rogers (@ConnorJRogers) April 2, 2021
Trey Sermon with the GET OFF ME! ????????
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) February 1, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Without any elite traits that could separate him from the pack, it’s hard to see Sermon rising into the second-round discussion. It’s most likely that we see Sermon go off the board in the third round or later.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a need at running back, and they may not want to spend a premium pick on the position. If Sermon is there in round three, it’d be easy to see them pull the trigger on him to be the primary ball carrier for this offense. With the assumed workload, Sermon should vault into the back-end of the first-round discussion in Dynasty rookie drafts.
When looking at the testing numbers and the running style, there are quite a few similarities between Sermon and former South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle. Dowdle and Sermon are the same height and weight, and they put up nearly identical numbers in the vertical and broad jump. Dowdle was slightly faster at 4.54 versus 4.57, though. That said, Sermon is likely to have the draft capital invested in him that Dowdle couldn’t get.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Trade Analyzer – that allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.