Draft notes on five 2021 prospects

November 25th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

Jaycee Horn looks the part of a high pick

Today I wanted to share some thoughts on a handful of players I included in my recent two-round mock draft but haven’t really talked about on the blog yet.

Jaycee Horn (CB, South Carolina)
If you had to picture an ideal Seahawks corner, he might look a lot like Horn. He’s big, long and lean yet with great muscle definition and strength. He’s in fantastic shape. He’s also very quick and agile for his size (6-1, 205lbs) and showed, particularly against Auburn, an ability to stick tight in coverage and make plays on the ball.

You want to see top-level matchups between corners and wide receivers and that’s what we got in that game — Horn vs Seth Williams. It was a fantastic tussle with Horn living in Williams’ back-pocket. In particular there were several red-zone reps where he displayed the short area quickness to stick and the savvy awareness to consistently gain position and win with leverage. He broke up a fade, a slant and another fade. He made two interceptions — one opportunistic and the other under-cutting a route with great instinct. He looked every bit a first round corner.

Those were his only two career interceptions which is a concern. That said, when you look as good as he does and are expected to run in the 4.4’s — someone will take a chance on him early. He’s a highly talented player with outstanding physical traits and potential. If you want a big, physical, athletic corner to battle and fight, with the potential to develop into a plus tackler, he’s worth considering.

Nick Bolton (LB, Missouri)
Bolton is a classic, old-school hitter who is adept at taking it to the opponent. He does all of his best work around the LOS — knifing through gaps instinctively and with great quickness. Once he spots the ball carrier he usually finishes with aplomb.

He’s one of the toughest linebackers you’ll see in the much more diluted modern game. His hits are punishing and full force. He also doesn’t need a massive run-up to smack someone. There are several opportunistic hits where a running back reaches the second level and Bolton reads, sees the man and drops him. He’s a tone setter for the Mizzou defense.

The problem is he has a limited ceiling. He only ran a 4.80 at SPARQ at a similar weight to his current playing weight. He’s a little bit stiff in coverage and in the NFL today you’ve got to be able to get around the field. Early-round linebackers are expected to be great athletes these days. Furthermore, he’s undersized at about 6-0 and 240lbs. No doubt some teams will love the booming hits and Denzel Perryman — who ran a 4.78 at 236lbs — is testament to this type of player still having a home in the league. Yet like Perryman, I suspect he’s stock will be limited to the second half of round two at best.

Zaven Collins (LB, Tulsa)
Few players have had the impact Collins’ has had this year. He’s been a playmaking machine with four interceptions, 10.5 TFL’s, four sacks and a forced fumble. He made a game-winning interception against SMU one week then came back the next to deliver a 96-yard pick-six in overtime to defeat Tulane.

He has an unusual body-shape which teams will analyse to death over the coming months. He’s 6-4 and 260lbs and looks more like someone who might line up off the edge. He’s an unusual size for a linebacker and that often sends alarm bells ringing in scouting circles. It also needs to be noted that he ran a 5.03 forty at SPARQ, jumped a 29-inch vertical and ran a 4.62 short shuttle. He’s gained 50lbs since that test and plays a lot faster than he showed at SPARQ. Testing will be vital.

On tape he flies around the field, flows to the ball with ease and just has a knack for being a game-changer. He’s been talked up as a potential late-first round pick and if he tests well, that could easily be his range.

Kenny Yeboah (TE, Ole Miss)
Few players have elevated their stock like Yeboah in 2020. A transfer from Temple, he’s put everything together this year and is delivering major production within Lane Kiffin’s pass-happy scheme. He has 509 yards and six touchdowns in six games.

He’s very much a move-TE at 6-5 and 240lbs but he’s so fluid working in space and he’s a natural working downfield or attacking the seem. There’s very little wasted movement and he’s a matchup nightmare for linebackers or safeties. Even against Alabama’s loaded defense he managed seven catches for 181 yards and two scores and made it look easy in the process.

His mobility is incredible. He can make a defender miss to gain major YAC. He’s a chess piece you can move all over the field. Ole Miss line him up in the slot, they have him working across the formation, he’ll run sweeps, he’ll take a wheel-route or he can just run downfield or settle down the seem. He’s a major X-factor.

His ability to be a dynamic weapon at the next level is going to depend on his upside. Everyone is bigger and faster in the NFL and he won’t find it quite as easy. If he tests well at the combine, there’s no reason why he can’t land a spot in round two.

Davis Mills (QB, Stanford)
He’s flying under the radar at the moment — largely because the PAC-12 is all over the place due to coronavirus. Indeed Mills had to miss one of the few games that have actually taken place so far due to being forced to self-isolate.

However, there’s a lot of potential to work with here and while he has limited starts and might need considerable time before he realistically starts in the NFL — he could be a perfect target for a competitive team aiming to transition to a younger QB over the next 2-3 years.

Mills is ideally sized at 6-4 and 225lbs with the arm strength to drive the ball downfield and the necessary touch to make accurate, catchable passes at the intermediate level. He’s poised in the pocket and has shown evidence of being able to go through progressions.

Teams are always looking for mobility at the position these days and while you wouldn’t mistake him for even a Josh Allen or Justin Herbert, he’s very capable scrambling to avoid pressure, extending plays and making gains on the ground.

He doesn’t get talked about much but don’t be surprised if he goes earlier than expected.

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70 Responses to “Draft notes on five 2021 prospects”

  1. Blitzy the Clown says:

    I caught some of the South Carolina at Ole Miss game so my review sample is admittedly very small, but Yeboah reminds me of TJ Hockenson and I really liked TJ in last year’s draft.

    I’m gonna start pushing UCLA RB Demetric Felton. Undersized by Carroll’s standards, but man can this kid play.

  2. Henry Taylor says:

    A little late to the party on yesterday’s article, but if they elect to keep Adams, I’d love to see them pair him up with his 2017 draft companion Malik Hooker.

    Dude has been really injury prone (which is obviously a negative) but they have plenty of young safety depth behind him and he’ll be really cheap for the calibre of player he is. He’s also an outstanding traditional rangy roaming FS that’ll allow Adams to play closer to the line. Something I’m not sure Diggs is able to do by himself.

  3. Isaac says:

    If Horn somehow lasts until the late second, do you see the seahawks picking him up? Sadly it is almost guaranteed that they will trade down as they have only 3 picks. But if Griffin leaves in FA, would it be realistic to expect a corner for their first or 2nd pick? Just wondering because if yes, I can start researching some options outside of Horn…

  4. Rob4q says:

    Pro Football Network Sim – way too early results!

    60. Christian Barmore, DT Alabama
    135. Walker Little, OT Stanford
    152. Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE Florida State
    166. Josh Jobe, CB Alabama
    186. Keaontay Ingram, RB Texas

    One trade:

    LAC Received:
    Pick 121 – Adrian Ealy

    SEA Received:
    Pick 135
    Pick 166

  5. Volume12 says:

    Huge fan of Jaycee Horn & Kenny Yeboah. Really like what I’ve seen from Zaven Collins too. Didn’t know about his HS SPARQ though. Bit worrisome as of now.

    Rob, have you seen Oregon St RB Jermar Jefferson or Oklahoma’s Rhamondre Stevenson at all?

    • Rob Staton says:

      Stevenson yes. Like him but not sure he’ll match Seattle’s preferences.

    • Gohawks5151 says:

      I like Yeboah and will have to check out Horn. Jermar is great. He has been the focus of opponents defenses all year while OSU searches for a consistent pass game. So far he is averaging 120 yards per game with 5 TDs. Great one cut and go guy. Good vision. Tough. Reminds me of a broke man’s Arian Foster.

  6. cha says:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/its-hard-to-measure-nfl-matchups-so-we-built-a-better-metric/

    Very intriguing data here. Matching up where on the field a QB is strong or weak vs where a pass D/defense is strong or weak.

    RW has had basically the toughest matchups the last 6 weeks.

    Carson Wentz has the 2nd most favorable matchup Monday vs the Hawks, so that’s something of note.

    However, he’s had the 7th most favorable matchup of all QB’s the last 6 games and is 2-4 while producing 10 TD, 7 INT, 6 fumbles and been sacked 25 times.

    I’d also argue the Seahawks’ entire heat map is probably green so until they stop conceding 400 passing yards a game, the opposing QB is going to be at the bottom of the list of toughest matchups.

  7. cha says:

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    Ravens-Steelers game postponed until Sunday afternoon.
    9:52 AM · Nov 25, 2020

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    ·
    35m
    Request denied. NFL is staying with those time and keeping the traditional kickoff times. Carry on. Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
    Quote Tweet
    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    · 37m

    Request to NFL and networks: Please move back the kickoff times of Texans-Lions and WFT-Cowboys. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Big Mike says:

      This means there are now zero games of interest tomorrow instead of one.
      Oh well, at least I have Gonzaga vs. Kansas at 10:30 AM in college hoops to get a sports fix.

      • TomLPDX says:

        I’ll watch the Dallas/WFT game just to scope out WFT and see how good their D is for when we play them and of course I want to see Alex Smith play a good, solid game. Really don’t care who wins.

        Friday is the civil war: OR v. OR State
        Saturday is Texas A&M v. LSU. A lot of you guys don’t know but the Aggie/LSU matchup has been going on for decades, pre-Aggie SEC move, and it has always been an exciting game. Loved talking smack to my LSU buds back in the day… 🙂

        • Happy Hawk says:

          From the war zone known as Portland Oregon you can’t call it the Civil War anymore it is politically incorrect.

          • TomLPDX says:

            I knew it as I wrote it!!! Still the state game. Hope it is a competitive game and OSU keeps it close. Too bad the WA v. WA State game got cancelled.

  8. JJ says:

    Rob,

    Don’t make me get excited about any LBers. We don’t need another one.

  9. Big Mike says:

    Sounds like there’s no chance Horn makes it to the Hawks in round 2 (which they’ll likely trade anyway).

    • Lint of AZ says:

      Given that he opted out on a losing team mid-season there could be character concerns that cause him to slide. It’ll depend on the interviews of course, but from an outside perspective it looks like he and Mukaumu both quit simply because they were losing. And yes I saw his statement, and no it doesn’t ease the concerns in my eyes. If he’s genuinely considering the health of his grandparents I applaud him, better late than never, I just wonder if he’d have made the same choice if they were 7-0 or 6-1? With all that said the Seahawks were able to get Bruce Irvin and Frank Clark in line so Horn’s questionable behavior shouldn’t be to big a task, assuming they still remember how to develop talent.

      • Rob Staton says:

        Loads of players have opted out this year.

        Him doing so to avoid getting hurt after his coach was fired and with the season lost is no big deal at all.

  10. Darnell says:

    Absolutely stacked Zags team tomorrow night is gonna be the watch.

  11. charlietheunicorn says:

    These two guys excite me out of the guys you mentioned above:

    Kenny Yeboah (TE, Ole Miss)

    Do you see him as a George Kittle type out in the field? Getting open and making plays specifically?? I aasume he is not as willing blocker as Kittle, but that is unique to his skill set. Would Yeboah fit in the Seahawks offense? What round do you project him going 3rd/4th?

    Davis Mills (QB, Stanford)

    Damn it Seattle, draft a back-up QB that sticks on the 53 man roster. He doesn’t have to be perfect and if it took 2-3 years to unlock him for the NFL game… perfect place to land in Seattle. I keep wishing for a back-up QB to be drafted by Seattle, with potential, and it really hasn’t happened yet : /

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yeboah is not a George Kittle type at all. Kittle is a complete tight end. Yeboah is a move TE. As I said in the piece, if he tests well he can go in R2.

      They can’t draft a QB next year with only three picks.

  12. Trevor says:

    Rob thanks for the heads up on Horn. It is the first time I have taken a close look at him and came away really impressed. Still not sold the Hawks will ever go CB early but given the lack of both quality and depth at the position perhaps they should. What are the chances a guy like Horn will be there at the end of Rd #2? Guess a lot depends on how he tests.

    I am really hoping Colby Parkinson can show something the balance of the year to prove he can be our move TE of the future to team with Dissly. If not then a guy like Yeboh would definitely be worth a closer look.

    My way too early dream pick for the Hawks is still the DT McNeil from NC St however. He just seems like he would provide something the DL desperately misses and explosive pocket collapser.

  13. charlietheunicorn says:

    Here is what PFN draft simulator got me in the 2021 draft

    SEA 67. Najee Harris / RB Alabama
    SEA 121. Richie Grant / S UCF
    SEA 152. Lorenzo Neal / DT Purdue
    SEA 162. Josh Sills / OG Oklahoma State
    SEA 186. Malcolm Koonce / EDGE Buffalo

    +2022 PIT 5th

    • Mick says:

      The positions sound plausible, maybe CB instead of S. But I don’t think we’ll go RB on first pick.

      • charlietheunicorn says:

        The quick research I did on Grant was he might be a good fit. Plays in a system with a lot of single high safety….. natural fit in Seattle. The blurb also mentioned he played some nickle CB as well.

        Just let me have my RB early pick dream…… Harris doesn’t really fit their RB profile. he seems like a more D. Henry type of player…. at least the physical measurements.

    • Scot04 says:

      Remember PFN gives us a 6th rounder we don’t have. Hopefully they fix in future. Plus rankings. You can currently get 1st round talent in rounds 3-5; and 2nd round talent in round 6&7.
      Still fun though, and a great tool

    • Volume12 says:

      Koonce is gonna shoot up boards. Very intriguing.

  14. New Guy says:

    Rob,

    A little OT, but what’s the difference between Jamal Adams and Jordan Brooks – their position, size, style and athleticism with which they play?

    It seems that those are two players who could meaningly interact synergistically as things move forward – both this year and (maybe) next year.

    Could this interaction become an axis within a slightly altered defense next year?

    Thanks

    .

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure what the connection is though. Why would those two players in particular unite?

      The key to this scheme, as has always been the case and we talked about it all off-season, is being able to rush with four. If you can create pressure with four everything else clicks. Especially because this team values speed so much on the second and third level and size/length at corner. Everything works with pressure up front and we saw that with San Francisco last year and Atlanta in 2016.

      I have no idea why they didn’t do more to bolster the front four this year and invested resources elsewhere. I would love an explanation. Rather than alter the defense or rely on linebackers and safeties to provide an axis — I’d rather have a competent pass rush. I want them to make that the off-season priority again but actually do something about it this time.

  15. DW says:

    From Josh Gordon via Twitter
    “It’s about that time, I gotta get it either way. #FaithWorks”
    Who knows, reinstated? A guy can dream

  16. Big Mike says:

    So apparently the stealers are pissed off that their prime time Thanksgiving night game vs. Baltimore has been postponed:
    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/ravens-steelers-thanksgiving-showdown-moved-to-sunday-due-to-covid-19-tests-175546325.html

    This from the franchise that was handed XL*
    This from the franchise who got a slap on the wrist when their coach literally went on to the field of play and tripped and opposing player headed for a TD
    This from a franchise that was given a pass on playing in Seattle for 7 years after the fiasco of XL* to “facilitate the change in scheduling formula”.
    This from a franchise who’s QB should have gone to prison but was allowed to buy off his victim by the NFL
    Etc.
    Etc.
    Etc.

    Dear stealers…………..go eff yourselves.

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      I secretly kind of want a rematch, in the SB … and the Seahawks punched them in the mouth. A little payback for past transgressions…. but there are many games to play and other teams to beat to get there. One week at a time, on to the Eagles.

  17. Paul Cook says:

    We just have to get better and better the next 4 weeks. Possible. We have to make sense of what we’ve got. Possible.

    Let’s see what the reality will be.

    Go Hawks.

  18. Volume12 says:

    Happy T’giving SDB 🦃🙏

  19. BoiseSeahawk says:

    Good thing we only need 3 picks…

    CB, EDGE, DT
    in no particular order

  20. Volume12 says:

    9-2 in my my $ league. Need some help tho.

    Should I start Claypool or McLaurin this week?

  21. Trevor says:

    Pretty grim Thanksgiving lineup without the Steelers / Ravens.

    Who you guys got for Wash/ Dal?

    I think Dal-2.5 but who the heck knows with these teams.

  22. Big Mike says:

    Volume12: Jalen Suggs is the real deal for sure!