Pro day workouts can be an opportunity for players to increase their stock heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, which is exactly what Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph appears to have done this week. On the March 31 Draft Insiders show, Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline discussed other potential sleepers who could find themselves taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, including Dillon Radunz and Greg Newsome II.
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Kelvin Joseph continues to impress at Kentucky Pro Day
Joseph has been a player that has been rising up draft boards over the past couple of months. On the Draft Insiders show, Wingo asked Pauline whether Joseph is in contention to be a first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pauline: “Potentially. Ran much better. A lot of the pro day workouts, as well as the combine workouts, are about meeting or exceeding expectations, and that is what Joseph did today. Ran in the low 4.3s, looked terrific in position drills. I had a scout who told me he didn’t expect him to run that fast, didn’t expect him to look that good in position drills, specifically the ability to peddle backward and flip his hips. Because if you watch Joseph, he primarily made plays when he was facing the action. Beat expectations. I think right now, you are looking at Joseph between selections 27 to 35. There are some transgressions from his days at LSU that have to be checked out. If they are in the past and they stayed in the past, I think he has an absolute opportunity to slide into the late part of Round 1.”
Joseph transferred to Kentucky from LSU and started one season for the Wildcats. In 2020, he had 4 interceptions, returning 1 for a touchdown. In his scouting report, Pauline described Joseph as a player who “possesses outstanding size as well as ball skills.”
Which other prospects could join Kelvin Joseph as surprise first-round selections in the 2021 NFL Draft?
With just under a month until the 2021 NFL Draft, who are the other names that Pauline sees as potential sleepers as first-round selections?
Dillon Radunz could be an option at the back end of the first round
Small-school prospects such as Radunz can divide opinion. Much like Trey Lance, Radunz played just one game in the 2020 college football season, limiting his recent opportunities to impress. However, Pauline discussed why Radunz could be an option for at least one team at the back end of the first round.
Pauline: “Dillon Radunz, the offensive tackle from North Dakota state, the left tackle who protected Trey Lance, is getting a lot of late Round 1 buzz. The Kansas City Chiefs are in the market for a left tackle, so that could be a good coupling there. Radunz plays a style that Andy Reid and the Chiefs like. He’s athletic, he’s nimble, he’s mobile. He’s good on his feet. You could use him as a zone-blocking lineman. Radunz is a guy who I think would surprise people if he slides into the late part of Round 1, but he is getting that sort of buzz right now.”
Kansas City’s offensive line has been in the spotlight since the Super Bowl, where they struggled. On the show, Wingo discussed how the Chiefs still need to address the offensive line.
Wingo: “It’s interesting because the Chiefs just picked up Austin Blythe to a one-year contract. If you look at the Chiefs offensive line right now, they have got Blythe at center. They got Kyle Long out of retirement. They got Thuney, and they are also getting Duvernay-Tardif back from the year off for COVID as a doctor in Canada. So, they do need to address the tackle position, so that would make all the sense in the world.”
The Chiefs also brought Mike Remmers back and will see Lucas Niang return after he opted out of the 2020 season. However, there is still an opportunity for a player like Radunz to immediately come in and compete for a starting role.
Greg Newsome II is another corner who appears to be on the rise
The cornerback class in the 2021 NFL Draft is fascinating. With Caleb Farley’s stock falling due to his surgery, there is currently no clearly defined CB3 entering April. After discussing Joseph earlier in the show, Pauline added another potential cornerback candidate who could find himself as a sleeper to be taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
“Greg Newsome of Northwestern is a guy who I think would surprise some people.”
In his scouting report of Newsome, Pauline discussed how Newsome is a “nice-sized corner with a terrific feel for coverage.” Concerns surround Newsome’s speed was somewhat reduced when he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the Northwestern Pro Day. Newsome’s 9.65 Relative Athletic Score currently places him sixth at the position in 2021.
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