5 Players Who Raised 2021 NFL Draft Stock This Week

Photo: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 of the college football season featured its share of canceled football games, but there was still plenty of action and opportunities for NFL hopefuls to impress. These five prospects did just that and helped themselves this weekend. 

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

I praised Corral after he completed 31-of-34 passes for 412 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions against Vanderbilt and I was quickly met with feedback about how it was against lowly Vanderbilt and that Corral threw six interceptions against Arkansas. What did Corral do for an encore? He completed 28-of-32 passes for 513 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions, and another touchdown on the ground against South Carolina’s defense under the direction of Will Muschamp that features several future NFL players. Oh, by the way, against Florida, Kentucky, and Alabama, Corral has completed more than 76% of his passes for an average of 360 yards per game and a total of nine touchdown passes. 

While he’s only a redshirt sophomore and ideally the sample size would be larger, it’s OK to be impressed with the season Corral is putting together and to take him seriously as an NFL prospect. Corral is working the football to all levels of the field, handling himself well under pressure, and has an NFL arm.

Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

Hauling in catch after catch every week, everybody knows Moore is going to get the football but he still can’t be stopped and Saturday’s 59-42 win over South Carolina was just the next example of that. Against the Gamecocks, Moore caught all 13 of his targets for 225 yards with three touchdowns. 

In seven games, Moore has produced six double-digit reception performances and three games of at least 200 receiving yards. For the year, Moore has 74 receptions for 1,054 yards and eight touchdowns. He leads the nation in yards and catches. 

Moore is a perfect slot option at the next level and considering the frequency of 10- and 11-personnel formations in the NFL, his ability to get open, catch the football, and produce after the catch should make him a valuable commodity.

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

This is the first time this season that I’ve featured an offensive lineman in this piece because you truly need to focus on them during every snap to truly understand how they have performed. With Vera-Tucker bumping out to left tackle this season, I have been deliberate about paying attention to how he is holding up and so far he’s been terrific.

After a solid outing against Arizona State in USC’s first game of the season, he took another step forward in Saturday’s tight 34-30 win over Arizona. He’s quickly becoming more comfortable, showing fluid movement skills and an impressive amount of power. He kept his quarterback clean and made sure his responsibility in maintaining the proper width of the pocket on his side was taken care of. Proving he can play outside at tackle in addition to guard increases his value as a prospect and his performance on Saturday helped solidify that. 

Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

The Virginia Tech right tackle is going to have nightmares about Jaelan Phillips for a long time after getting beaten like a drum all afternoon in the Hurricanes’ 25-24 win over the Hokies on Saturday. Phillips led Miami with eight tackles and collected 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in the win.

Phillips had a sufficient but unspectacular start to his 2020 campaign but has truly come into his own over the last five games where he has eight tackles for loss and five sacks. Not only is he applying consistent heat on the quarterback but his run defense has also been outstanding. A former 5-star recruit that spent his first two seasons at UCLA, Phillips is finding his groove in Miami and rocketing up draft boards.

Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa 

A 24-7 halftime lead for SMU wasn’t enough to hold off a second-half comeback by Tulsa, who claimed a 28-24 victory on Saturday. The game was clinched with a Zaven Collins interception, his third of the season in five games. It was the icing on the cake for a dominant performance by Collins who compiled six tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, and a quarterback hurry in addition to the interception. 

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Collins has incredible versatility. Tulsa has him playing both inside and outside linebacker while frequently dropping him into coverage and having him rush the passer—and he’s productive regardless of the role he fills. In five games this season, Collins has 34 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks, three interceptions, two pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. He’s racking up the splash plays and shooting up draft boards along the way.


Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Director of Administration & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Member of the FWAA.

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