NFL Draft Prospects: Stock Up or Stock Down

Matthew Durgin

Stock Down: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

No player has hurt their draft stock more in 2021 than Rattler. He looks more like the player he did in the first few games of 2020 than the player he was down the stretch last season. Some of the troubling tendencies — sailing passes and forcing throws — haven’t been resolved. Even the Oklahoma fanbase is calling for Rattler to be benched. He was the overwhelming favorite to be the number one overall pick in the 2022 draft, but now looks like a fringe first-rounder who is better off returning for another season of college.

Stock Up: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

I saw Corral as a bit of a wild card before the season. He had the skill, but made a lot of poor decisions last year and didn’t strike me as an elite quarterback prospect. He has proved me wrong. He’s thrown for 12 touchdowns and no interceptions, completely flipping the script on what I thought about him. He’s even the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman at this point and he has Ole Miss looking like an offensive juggernaut. It seems to be him and Liberty’s Malik Willis batling for QB1 with Corral having plenty of chances against big-time SEC schools to elevate his stock even further.

Stock Down: John Metchie III, Alabama

This was supposed to be the season that Metchie III took over as the top receiver for the Crimson Tide. While he does lead the team in receptions, he hasn’t flashed like we hoped. Instead, he looks less explosive compared to 2020 and more like a complementary guy rather than the alpha receiver. It might be due to the new quarterback or new offensive coordinator, but it doesn’t seem like Metchie III will become the star we thought we’d see.

Stock Up: Drake London, USC

If the geniuses on Twitter are calling you a mini Mike Evans, you have to be doing something right. London, a former member of the USC basketball team, has looked like a dominant receiver for the Trojans. All Kedon Slovis has had to do is throw the ball in his direction and London is coming down with it. He’s proving that he’s not just a guy you draft based on potential, but rather someone you can expect to come in and start early.

2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Drake London has started to flesh out his game

Stock Down: Kedon Slovis, USC

Slovis exploded onto the scene as a freshman in 2019, but looks like a shell of his former self in 2021. His throws still lack the zip needed to be a productive NFL quarterback and his decision-making seems to be getting worse. The Trojans offense is filled with quality skill players, like Drake London, yet Slovis still isn’t lighting it up. A once top-ten pick is now looking at returning to school as his only option.

Stock Up: Carson Strong, Nevada

I loved Carson Strong in the preseason and I love him even more now. At this point, Strong is the best pure thrower and if he was around 10-15 years ago, most would see him as the top pick. He doesn’t move very well which limits the creativity of the offense, but I have no doubt he will go in the first round in 2022. Should he continue this strong play into the conference schedule, Strong could become QB1 on most draft boards.

2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Carson Strong is a throwback QB who is rising up boards

Stock Down: Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

I don’t think there’s much doubt that Billingsley is the most talented tight end prospect this year, but it’s not great when you are having trouble finding the field. Billingsley was deeeeeeeep in Saban’s doghouse at the start of the season, which is a massive red flag. He’s starting to see more of the field these past few weeks which is a positive. Still, when there are issues with you and the head coach, it’s going to make your stock fall.

Stock Up: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

I can admit when I’m wrong and boy, was I wrong about Hutchinson. I didn’t see the hype after watching his film the last two seasons, but he seems to be putting it all together in 2021. He is leading a dominant Michigan defense and causing havoc every single game. His 4.5 sacks on the season don’t truly show his full impact. He’s blowing up run plays, drawing double teams, and opening things up for his teammates. At this point, I would say Hutchinson is a top-ten pick.

Stock Down: Zach Harrison, Ohio State

Harrison seemed destined to become the next great Ohio State pass rusher, but he’s fallen short of expectations. At this point, he looks like a project and developmental player. This is extra concerning because Ohio State is known as one of the best schools at developing defensive talent. If he can’t get better under this staff, what makes you think he’s going to do it as a pro?

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Stock Up: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

The Charbonnet that I watched at Michigan looks different than the UCLA version of Charbonnet. He’s looked phenomenal in Chip Kelly’s offense and looks more assertive as a runner. As a receiver, he’s getting more opportunities to show his versatility in the passing game which helps his stock greatly. With the top two running back prospects in Breece Hall and Isaiah Spiller failing to break out this year, it opens a lane for Charbonnet to see his stock rise.

2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Charbonnet is humming in Kelly’s offense