5 Players Who Can Improve 2021 NFL Draft Stock Today

Photo: © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, Drae Harris released his second 2021 mock draft of the year. While there certainly were some surprises, there were lots of picks that made sense through all three rounds. In those rounds, there are lots of prospects who have already helped themselves this season. But there still are lots of players in all rounds who have a chance to continue to improve their stock on Saturday. 

Tyson Campbell, Cornerback, Georgia

Mock Draft Slot: No. 23 to the 49ers

Coming into summer scouting, Harris was the conductor of the Campbell hype train. Continuously reiterating that he’s not quite yet the sum of his parts and also lacks ball production, but he has all of the traits that scouts seek in first-round players at the position. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, the former 5-star recruit is starting to come into his own. As the unquestioned starter this season, the junior corner has once again displayed lots of characteristics that make him highly intriguing. In the showdown against Auburn, Campbell was at his best against another highly regarded draft prospect in wide receiver Seth Williams. Getting the best of that matchup, his mixed bag of positives and negatives returned against Tennessee as he surrendered a touchdown, but also had a near pick-six following jumping a quick out route.

Those valleys of highs and lows are what makes Campbell intriguing, but at the same time the question remains: when will he put it all together? On Saturday, Campbell will face his fiercest test of the season as the team matches up against Alabama. Facing off against the best wide receiver duo in the country in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, all eyes will be in Tuscaloosa to see who comes out on the winning end of the matchup.

Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Mock Draft Slot: No. 32 to the Chiefs

Returning for his senior season, it was clear that Leatherwood wanted to improve on his flaws and inconsistent ways from the 2019 season. Starting off his career inside at guard, he showed lots of comfort in all areas of the Crimson Tide’s scheme. Prior to last season, he officially made the move to left tackle and there were elongated periods of struggles. While Leatherwood has the natural upper-body strength to strive, leverage, and finish defenders, it’s his lower half that needed to make strides in order to take the next step in his development. Through the early stages of his final season, his patience , flexibility, and aggressiveness all seem to be improved. The biggest test of the season for Leatherwood will happen on Saturday as he faces talented redshirt sophomore edge rusher Azeez Ojulari and the rest of the Bulldogs defensive front.

Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia

Mock Draft Slot: No. 57 to the Steelers

A strong and reasonable argument can be made that Stokes has been the most consistent corner in the country. Through three games, the junior corner has only allowed two catches for 24 yards. The phenomenal feat also includes two pass breakups and the lone interception. Why has Stokes been such a standout this season? The best trait that stands out about him is his competitiveness within route stems and his ability to finish through the catch point. Stokes is superb with finding and attacking the ball in the air. A strong outing against Alabama will only help his draft stock as he continues to surge up boards in what is believed to be a strong cornerback class.  

Victor Dimukeje, Edge Rusher, Duke

Mock Draft Slot: No. 63 to the Seahawks

All of the hype entering the season surrounded his teammate and player opposite of him, Chris Rumph. It’s Dimukeje who’s been the best player on the Blue Devil defense thus far. Tied for the FBS lead in generated pressures (22), Dimukeje has been at his best against some of the better offensive fronts in the country. Collecting 3.5 sacks against Boston College, a standout game against Notre Dame, and another 1.5 sacks last week against Syracuse, he’s been an unstoppable force along the defensive line. If he’s able to stay on the consistent path that he’s been on so far this season, the senior edge rusher could be one of the draft's biggest climbers.  

Asante Samuel Jr., Cornerback, Florida State

Mock Draft Slot: No. 65 to the Jets

It isn’t just the name. Samuel Jr. is trying to exit the shadow of his father and he’s done that early on this season. Tied for the nation lead in interceptions (3), his promising sophomore season has carried over into 2020 as his ball skills have shined. His best game of the season coming in a crushing 16-13 defeat to Georgia Tech, the Seminole corner recorded two interceptions. Because of the size of Samuel Jr., there are some evaluators that like his projection to nickel rather than trying him on the outside due to his smaller frame.

Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Jordan Reid is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Gaining experience from various lenses of the game, he has previously served as a college quarterback, position coach, and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He now serves as a Color Commentator for FloSports, covering both high school and college football games around the country while also being the host of The Reid Option Podcast.