In the wake of the cancellation of the NFL Scouting Combine, the focus has turned to college “pro days” for scouting for the 2021 NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of Thursday’s Pro Days.
When it comes to the Cardinals, the names to watch are offensive tackle Walker Little and cornerback Paulson Adebo. Both the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Little and the 6-foot-1, 192-pound Adebo were highly rated prospects a year ago before both returned for their senior seasons. However, neither played as they both opted out of the 2020 season following the Pac-12’s initial season postponement.
Walker, with prototypical size and athleticism for an NFL tackle, could find himself creeping into the first round amid a strong tackle class with a league-wide need for tackles. Adebo is a solidified Day 2 prospect who will get a lot of attention for his size and speed.
The big names from Auburn today were a pair of receivers (and former teammates of current Giants WR Darius Slayton) in juniors Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams. The 6-foot, 179-pound Schwartz commanded the most attention as one of the players predicted to run one of the fastest 40 yard dashes in the country. He did not disappoint with a blazing 4.26 time.
Williams, meanwhile, offers a different-yet-equally-intriguing skillset. At 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, he offers a jump ball threat who can make plays downfield with his respectable 4.5 40.
While Buffalo does not usually get a lot of attention, they have been known to occasionally produce incredible talent (ex. Khalil Mack). This time, however, the star of the day was running back Jaret Patterson. Patterson made headlines across the nation last season for his 36-carry, 409-yard, 8-touchdown game against Kent State. He tied the single-game rushing touchdown record and came 13 yards short of the single-game rushing yards record as well.
Patterson will likely provide solid running back depth to a team as a late Day 2/early Day 3 prospect. With Saquon Barkley returning and the addition of Devontae Booker, as well as the likely departures of Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis, would the Giants want to grab the upstate beast?
Every draft, there seems to be a small-school defender who rises up the draft boards with outstanding physicals and capabilities. In 2019, DB Nassir Adderly rose to be a second-rounder of the Chargers. A year later, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kyle Duggar did the same. Many scouting experts agree that CB Robert Rochel from FCS Central Arkansas could be that guy.
A 43-inch vertical jump, a 4.39 40, and an 11 foot broad jump are eye-popping numbers for the redshirt senior. Playing in the FCS, there will certainly be questions about Rochel’s ability to play at the highest level. But with the Giants in attendance at the pro day today, Rochel certainly made a case to be on the Day 2 draft board.