NFL Rumors & Draft News: 2021 NFL Draft chatter heats up

The NFL offseason is upon us, and it’s time to dive into the mailbag to discuss various topics around the league. Without further ado, let’s dive into NFL rumors and 2021 NFL Draft news!

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This week’s installment will cover my 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings and various questions around 2021 NFL Draft rumors and items from around the league. First, Tony addresses 2021 NFL Draft rumors about Zach Wilson‘s potential off-the-field concerns.

NFL Rumors & Draft News: The Tony Pauline Mailbag (2.17.21)

I have seen references on social media to Zach Wilson being a bit of a problem child. I believe one reference phrased it as “he’s Johnny Manziel without the drugs” off the field. Are you aware of any such issues with Wilson and any rumors if anybody in the NFL believes Wilson has these issues?

I’ve seen this written, and it’s been asked of me before, but I’ve heard no confirmation about it when I asked around.  Quite the contrary — people I’ve spoken with who know Wilson or dealt with him believe he’s a good kid.

You want your quarterback to have an edge, but to some, having an edge means the person is arrogant and cocky.  

Which draft prospects do you think are the most overrated and underrated at the wide receiver position?

Overrated: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa; Nico Collins, Michigan; Anthony Schwartz, Auburn.

Underrated: Rondale Moore, Purdue; Dyami Brown, North Carolina; Shi Smith, South Carolina; Frank Darby, Arizona State; Michael Strachan, Charleston-WV

Offensive tackles Christian Darrisaw and Teven Jenkins have been hotly debated prospects recently. How do you feel about both of them? Any NFL rumors to be aware of?

I like both — a lot. Both are interchangeable tackles that can be used on the left or right side; both are really good pass protectors who also do a good job run blocking. The duo should break into the starting lineup for whichever team selects them at some point during their rookie season.

Any NFL rumors or consensus from the rest of the league in the way Brian Flores and Matt Rhule ran practices during Senior Bowl Week?

Flores ran tight, crisp sessions.  

Featured | Platte’s First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Rhule’s practices were a little more helter-skelter with not as much tempo. Yet, Rhule was much more involved with his team during practice.

I know you are high on Alabama RB Najee Harris. Is there an NFL running back you would compare Harris to in terms of his play style and ability?

Many compare Harris to former Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry, but I believe Harris is a better outside runner and more athletic.  

Similarly, he reminds me of a better exterior runner than Le’Veon Bell but with the same power, short-yardage quickness, and footwork on the inside as the former Steelers back.

Do you think Leonard Williams will re-sign with the Giants? Any NFL rumors there? If not, what teams do you think will be in play for the former first-round pick?

I think Gettleman will do all he can to sign Williams, as he still has to justify the trade for him.

What prospects are well-liked in scouting circles but overlooked in the draft media?

Quinn Meinerz fit that profile before the draft. Some in the scouting world love Teven Jenkins — ditto for Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Wyatt Davis also draws high praise in the scouting community.

Want more NFL news and analysis beyond 2021 Draft rumors?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things around the NFL. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis concerning the 2020 season and beyond.

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s Chief Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline and follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365 for all the latest NFL rumors and draft news.

Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @TonyPauline.

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