The 2021 NFL Draft WR class is deep. Starters will be found on Day Three. Everybody knows the name Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith. But what about those guys that will slide into Days Two and Three? Guest writer Jord has his say on some later round steals at the WE position in the 2021 NFL Draft.
D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (RS Senior, 5′ 9″, 190 lbs)
Speed kills and D’Wayne Eskridge has that by the bucket load. Mix that with explosive route running and the ability to create separation all over the field, and you could have a day one starter on most NFL teams. His height, size and age will always throw up question marks. Eskridge makes up for those issues by playing with a chip on his shoulder. Although only 5′ 9″, he possesses a spring in his leap that sees him win his fair share of contested balls. Eskridge plays angry. His hand fighting off the line of scrimmage and the success he brings blocking downfield will be traits that NFL scouts will love to see.
If a team can pick Eskridge up in the 4th round, it’s a steal. Concerns about his size are quickly put to the side with the ability he shows on the field.
Nico Collins – Michigan (Senior, 6′ 4″, 216 lbs)
Although Nico Collins opted out of the 2020 college season, the ability he has shown in the previous years with the Wolverines is enough to show huge potential. Collins lacks the speed to get downfield, but his size and strength to fight and gain separation from the line of scrimmage is impressive. Add that to his ball catching skills and his athletic ability. Collins would be a red-zone nightmare for defences in the NFL.
Opting out of the 2020 season wasn’t the only factor that hurt Collins’ draft stock. He had lesser targets than his positional rivals due to Michigan’s run heavy offence. Nico Collins could slide down draft boards. A late 2nd round pick is a steal. Anything after that is bordering on a robbery.
Dazz Newsome – North Carolina (Senior, 5′ 11″, 190 lbs)
If any NFL team is looking for a starting slot WR, then look no further than Dazz Newsome. His explosive acceleration off the line, and his habit of consistently getting open is going to be any QB’s dream. NFL scouts will love seeing what Newsome can do after the catch, and in motion out of the backfield. As soon as the ball is in his hands, the only thing in his mind is turning his head and getting downfield. On top of all that, he is a great kick/punt returner that will bolster his use on special teams.
Newsome brings a lot to the table for any team. He can be utilized in different areas and could be an unbelievable steal on day three of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tamorrion Terry – Florida State (RS Junior, 6′ 4″, 203 lbs)
Tamorrion Terry seems to be the forgotten WR in this year’s draft class. Big and physical with the speed to get downfield, he is a matchup nightmare for NFL cornerbacks.
Terry has an unbelievably long arm span, which gives him a massive advantage in contested catches. His hands are relatively good, but Terry has been known to drop catchable balls. This seems to be an issue with his concentration. In the right hands, it can be coached out of him.
After a blistering 2019 season, injury halted Terry in 2020. His catching problems and route running need addressing, but the qualities he already possesses and his physical size could make him a big player in the NFL.
Dax Milne – BYU (Junior, 6′ 0″, 190 lbs)
Nobody is talking about BYU WR Dax Milne. They should be. His route running abilities are there to see on film, even when he’s not targeted. His quick feet and acceleration off the mark help him get enough separation to make plays. He doesn’t need much to make them anyway. When a play becomes broken, Milne is excellent at moving around upfield and finding the gaps to help out a scrambling QB. I don’t really like comparing players, but I do see similarities in Dax’s game to that of Adam Thielen and Tyler Lockett.
With what looks like a year without a combine, Dax Milne could easily become an undrafted player. The negative is that he’s only really had one good productive college season, but even if he gets picked up in the later rounds, it’s a steal for any franchise.
Saturdays are for rushing, but every day is Draft Day!