When Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft begins next Saturday, few in the media will be paying complete attention, but it is a time when teams can unearth sleepers who can add an X-factor to rosters. Two such sleepers to keep an eye on in the 2021 NFL Draft are Marlon Williams and Ben Mason.
2021 NFL Draft Sleeper: Marlon Williams, WR, UCF
Central Florida receiver Marlon Williams is a player I highlighted a little less than two weeks ago during The Draft Insiders show with PFN’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo. While many used COVID-19 as an excuse for disappointing results during the 2020 season, Williams excelled and set career-highs in receptions (71), receiving yards (1,039), and TDs (10).
The performance by Williams — who was also productive as a junior in 2019 — would normally push a player into the middle rounds. Yet, Williams comes with average height (under 6’0″) and speed (4.63 seconds in the 40). Regardless, he’s being painted as a poor man’s Jarvis Landry in war rooms, as teams salivate at the way Williams gets the most from his ability.
Williams is a tough, rugged receiver who goes over the middle and comes away with contested grabs in a crowd. Teams love his awareness and the way he always gets past the sticks on third down. Then there are his hands, which are as reliable as they come.
The Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers both love Williams, and he’s a name to remember in the late rounds.
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2021 NFL Draft Sleeper: Ben Mason, FB, Michigan
Multi-purpose weapon Ben Mason of Michigan is an under-the-radar prospect getting rave reviews. The sometimes fullback, sometimes H-back, sometimes tight end is another player who can squeeze every ounce of talent from his body. He’s a terrific blocker and a sensational pass catcher out of the backfield. Mason also does a solid job carrying the ball when called upon.
These are skills Mason showed off during his career at Michigan and, more importantly, duplicated on a grander scale during Senior Bowl practices. Scouts didn’t grade Mason coming into the season, but he’s now a lock Day 3 selection.
Which teams are looking at Mason?
Many teams are, but keep this in mind: Mason is drawing a lot of comparisons to Kyle Juszczyk, the nine-year veteran out of Harvard and five-time Pro Bowl selection who recently signed a five-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
More and more people tell me Mason is a natural fit for the New York Jets. They will be running an offense similar to the one used in San Francisco. Expectations are that Gang Green looks Mason’s way in the middle of Day 3.
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