2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Marshall Thunder Herd
Alex Mollette NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Two-year starter who saw action at both guard positions and has experience at both guard and tackle. Quickly sets up off the snap, jolts opponents with terrific hand punch, and shows explosiveness at the point. Stays square, keeps his head on a swivel, and works well with linemates. Gets after opponents, plays with a nasty attitude, and fights through the whistle.
Negatives: Doesn’t sink his butt at the line of scrimmage and does not block with proper pad level. Stiff and struggles to adjust.
Analysis: After showing flashes of ability as a junior, Mollette watched his game take a step back last season. He’s an average athlete with limited upside who may struggle to make a practice squad.
Brenden Knox NFL Draft Scouting Report | Running Back
Positives: Productive three-year starter who rushed for 1,387 yards as a sophomore. A hard-charging underclassman ball carrier who consistently runs north and south. Displays good footwork in a small area and the ability to bounce around defenders or avoid piles.
Patient, waits for blocks to develop, and finds the running lanes. Runs hard on the inside, keeps his feet moving, and falls forward when tackled. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield. Remains disciplined with blocking assignments and keeps his head on a swivel.
Negatives: Lacks true perimeter speed. Not very big for a downhill ball carrier. Runs with an upright style.
Analysis: Knox was very productive for Marshall the past two seasons and is a terrific ball carrier who comes with marginal upside for the next level. He could be a situational back but must prove he can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Tarik Adams NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Four-year starter who primarily lined up at right tackle. Big-bodied, small-area blocker who displays power on running downs. Keeps his feet moving, effectively uses his hands, and stays square. Effective position blocker who seals opponents from the action. Large enough to engulf opponents and completely take them from the action.
Negatives: Gets tall and does not consistently block with proper leverage. Tends to fall off blocks rather than finish off defenders and must improve his blocking balance.
Analysis: Adams is a wide-bodied college tackle who projects to guard at the next level but comes with limited upside. He’s a practice-squad prospect who could develop into a backup.
For information on Marshall offensive tackle Josh Ball, check out his 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Tavante Beckett NFL Draft Scouting Report | Linebacker
Positives: Virginia Tech transfer who started the past two seasons at Marshall. A tough, disciplined linebacker with safety size. Instinctive, easily changes direction, and has a closing burst. Breaks down well, stays with assignments, and takes on blockers to allow teammates to get to the action. Quickly locates the ball handler, scrapes well laterally, and willingly defends the run.
Negatives: Possesses limited quickness and long speed. Marginally effective in pursuit. Does not display great range.
Analysis: Beckett was a hard-working college defender who made a lot of plays on the ball the past two years, but he comes with limited size and marginal upside.
Will Ulmer NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Former starter used on a rotational basis last season. Tough, stays with assignments, and looks for someone to hit. Fundamentally sound, displays outstanding vision, and quickly picks up stunts and twists. Keeps his feet moving and makes good use of angles as well as body positioning. Explosive at the point and turns defenders from the line.
Negatives: Rarely finishes blocks. Lacks top athleticism and is only effective in a small area.
Analysis: Ulmer is an underrated blocking prospect with solid size as well as growth potential. He lacks upside but could be a backup at either right tackle or guard.
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: North Texas Mean Green
Dion Novil NFL Draft Scouting Report | Defensive Tackle
Positives: Three-year starter who was productive on defense as well as special teams. An explosive interior lineman who is best in a small area. Explosive, fires off the snap, and displays terrific first-step quickness. Effective when he plays with proper pad level, good with his hands, and keeps his feet moving. Displays good change-of-direction skills and chases the action hard.
Negatives: Coming off a disappointing 2020 season. Engulfed by blockers or easily tossed aside despite his size. Plays to his 40-time and does not show the ability to pursue the action outside the box. Must do a better job bending his knees throughout the play and tends to get tall and make himself an easy target for opponents.
Analysis: Novil looked terrific as a junior in 2019 but showed no real progress in his game last season. He’s a wide-bodied defensive tackle who plays too tall and too slow for any real position at the next level.
For information on North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden, check out his 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Jaelon Darden NFL Draft Scouting Report | Wide Receiver
Positives: Three-year starter who impacted UNT as both a receiver and return specialist. Smooth releasing off the line of scrimmage and quickly gets in and out of breaks then separates from defenders. Uses the sidelines well, knows where he is on the field and plays with excellent body control. Extends his hands exposing himself to the big hit, snatches the ball out of the air, and displays good eye/hand coordination.
Comes back to the ball, competes to come away with the difficult reception, and nicely adjusts to the errant throw. Makes the reception in stride and displays himself as a solid vertical threat. Effectively uses blocks everywhere on the field and works to pick up positive yardage whenever the ball is in his hands. Shows solid run-after-the-catch skill and the ability to create his own yardage.
Negatives: Lack of height poses mismatch problems. Lacks a true second gear and home run hitting speed. Has small hands.
Analysis: Darden was incredibly productive at the college level but comes with size limitations. He’s a slot receiver who is best off the line of scrimmage or in motion before the snap and will lend a hand as a punt returner.
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Old Dominion Monarchs
Isaac Weaver NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Three-year starter who lined up at both left tackle and center. Fundamentally sound blocker with marginal athleticism. Bends his knees, blocks with terrific pad level, and keeps his head on a swivel. Effective with his hands, displays outstanding awareness, and always looks for someone to hit.
Negatives: Ineffective blocking in motion. Lacks a dominant base and gets pushed off the line.
Analysis: Weaver is a versatile prospect with size as well as growth potential, but he has marginal athleticism. He lacks upside, but his ability to play several positions on the offensive line could make him appealing as an inexpensive backup.
James Fagan NFL Draft Scouting Report | Offensive Line
Positives: Former tight end who started four games at left tackle in 2019. Athletic blocker with upside. Patient, stays square, and keeps defenders in front of him. Effective with his hands, keeps his feet moving, and seals defenders from the action. Makes outstanding use of angles and body positioning. Keeps his head on a swivel and always looks for someone to hit.
Negatives: Must improve his blocking balance. Seems unsure of himself.
Analysis: Fagan did incredibly well as a first-year starter at left tackle in 2019. He has an upside and may ultimately be kicked inside to guard, but he’s worth keeping on a practice squad this fall.
Lawrence Garner NFL Draft Scouting Report | Linebacker
Positives: Two-year starter who led Old Dominion in tackles from his sophomore season on. Athletic linebacker who works hard defending the run or covering the pass. Explosive, fires up the field, and squares into ball handlers.
Breaks down well, remains disciplined with assignments, and shows good recognition. Covers a good amount of area on the field. Flows well laterally, scrapes to the action, and is fluid pedaling in reverse. Gets depth on pass drops.
Negatives: Not a stout tackler and drags opponents down. Struggles getting off blocks and gets engulfed by a single opponent.
Analysis: Garner is an athletic linebacker who plays to his speed. He offers potential at the next level as a run-and-chase defender.
2021 NFL Draft | Conference USA Scouting Reports: Rice Owls
Austin Trammell NFL Draft Scouting Report | Wide Receiver
Positives: Super-productive receiver who was a three-year starter, leading the Owls in multiple receiving categories since his sophomore season. Focused and sure-handed wideout with poor size and play speed. Fluid releasing off the snap, sells routes, and quickly gets in and out of breaks.
Plays with balance, extends his hands, and snatches the ball away from his frame. Displays outstanding eye/hand coordination as well as a sense of timing. Tracks the deep pass in the air and makes the reception in stride. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and comes away with the difficult grab. Gives effort blocking downfield and gets results.
Negatives: Plays to one speed, lacks a second gear, and won’t beat defenders in a foot race. Size limitations will be an issue at the next level.
Analysis: Trammell is an average athlete with limited size, but he’s a terrific football player and dependable receiver. He’ll go undrafted but should have every opportunity to make an NFL roster as a fifth wideout/punt returner.
Elijah Garcia NFL Draft Scouting Report | Defensive Line
Positives: Three-year starter. Athletic defensive line prospect who is effective making plays in every direction. Bends his knees, gets leverage on opponents, and easily changes direction. Quickly gets his hands up and effectively uses them. Can be a load in the middle of the line and also gets down the line of scrimmage to make plays in pursuit. Chases the action hard.
Negatives: Lacks great first-step quickness off the snap. Average strength at the point of attack.
Analysis: Garcia is a hard-working lineman who flashes athleticism in his game and plays with great intensity. He comes with growth potential that would enhance his game.
Mike Collins NFL Draft Scouting Report | Quarterback
Positives: TCU transfer coming off a sensational senior season. Possesses an excellent sense of what’s happening on the field, knows where receivers are, and is an anticipation passer who displays timing. Smart but also tough. Effectively commands the offense and protects the football. Has nice size, throws with an over-the-top delivery, and puts air under passes to let receivers run to the ball.
Accurate, consistently throws receivers free, and remains poised in the pocket. Patient, does not get rattled, and delivers strikes downfield, hitting receivers in stride. Displays mobility and the ability to pick up yardage with his legs. Puts touch on throws and delivers a catchable ball.
Negatives: Tends to stare down the primary target or lock onto receivers. Rarely saw playing time before his transfer to Rice.
Analysis: Collins is a nice-sized passer with a next-level arm as well as the instincts to play quarterback in the NFL. He comes with upside and should be given serious consideration for the practice squad this fall.
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