2021 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers
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The NFL Draft process is a fickle one. One piece of bad news, no matter how small, can drastically affect your draft position. Most of the time, the dynasty community is even more fickle than the NFL. One bad game, a subpar 40 time, or a less than glowing report on a player’s work ethic and dynasty owners are moving them down their draft boards. On the flip side, a guy runs a sub 4.4 40, and we get downright giddy, despite what his career college numbers are, he is fast, and fast always translates to a good NFL player…okay, that was tongue in cheek, but that’s what we do every year leading up to the draft. Here are a few of my risers and fallers in early April.
Terrace Marshall Jr. (WR – LSU)
Marshall was overshadowed by both Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson in 2019. However, in 2020 with Ja’Marr Chase opting out and Justin Jefferson in the NFL, Marshall showed us that he too could be a top-flight No. 1 receiver, albeit in a small sample size. Only playing seven games in 2020, due to the Covid shortened season, he averaged over 100 yards a game and had 10 touchdowns while averaging 15.2 yards per catch.
Fast forward to his Pro Day, where he ran a 4.40 40 shortly after his highly touted teammate, Ja’Marr Chase, ran a 4.34, and Marshall’s stock has started to rise. With the metrics we have from his Pro Day and the film I have watched on him, my comp is a poor man’s A.J. Green.
Kadarius Toney (WR – Florida)
Toney surprised many scouts when he ran a 4.38 40 at his Pro Day (official time of 4.41), had an 11-foot-4-inch broad jump, and a 41-inch vertical. He is a bit undersized to play on the outside at 5-foot-11 193lbs, but in the slot, he has all the tools to be a successful player in the NFL — and for your fantasy team.
He may be a little boom-or-bust early in his career, likely being limited to routes where he can showcase his speed, but his shiftiness and ability to beat press coverage should allow him to grow into a more complete player at the Pro level.
Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
It would be hard for Fields to rise any more than he already had if not for the fact that people were starting to doubt him by the end of the college season. He had a subpar game, and suddenly he wasn’t the sure-fire No. 2 QB in this class anymore. Not to mention, there was this new kid with the offseason hype, this new face that was throwing a “T-shirt and shorts” pass at his Pro-Day that went viral, and it was like Fields was forgotten. Then came his Pro Day, where he absolutely crushed it.
Justin Fields orchestrated one the best Pro Days by a quarterback over the past decade.
– John Laub ???????? (@GridironSchol91) March 30, 2021
Suddenly the fantasy community woke up from their Zach Wilson trance and started to notice Fields once again. He still has the Ohio State Stigma on him — that no QB from Ohio State has really amounted to anything in the NFL — but if anyone is going to break that trend, it’ll be Fields.
Sage Surratt (WR – Wake Forest)
The fall for Surratt from mid-level wide receiver prospect to barely draftable was precipitous. Once thought of as a wide receiver you could get in the mid-second round of your rookie draft, he is now someone I’ve seen him go undrafted in 3-Round Mock Drafts. His 4.6 40 time at his Pro Day did not help his stock, nor did the fact he opted out in 2020. He was compared to Michael Floyd by TheDraftNetwork.com, and I tend to agree. Unless the NFL scouts see something we don’t and give Surratt some decent draft capital, he will be off dynasty radars before long.
Jermar Jefferson (RB – Oregon State)
Jefferson has moved up and down my rankings more than any other player so far this offseason. My first assessment of him had him as a 3rd-round dynasty rookie draft pick, then I started to hear some buzz on him and started to move him up into the mid-to-late 2nd-round. His Pro Day left something to be desired, and the more film I watch on him, the less I like him. He ran a 4.5 40, which isn’t terrible for an RB, but his other metrics were pedestrian. He does not profile as an every-down running back, but he is still worth a mid-3rd-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts. However, his stock has fallen from where he was a few short weeks ago.
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