Cade Johnson Draft Diamonds

When are we going to start giving the FCS love? For too long there have been insane talents coming out of that division (not you Trey Lance) that have made an immediate impact in the NFL.

Cade Johnson balled out at South Dakota state and is ready for his time in the NFL. Tell me right now that he doesn’t fit the break out mold for a player. He was a zero-star recruit coming out of Highschool, he went to a small school for the opportunity to play, he was invited to the senior bowl and made his stock skyrocket.

Johnson has two years worth of stats to put out and they were both impressive, but I’m going to focus on his 2019 stats. 72 rec, 1,222 yards, 17 YPC, 8TDs. With Covid canceling the fall FCS season, Johnson had the opportunity to go play for a power 5 school, but ultimately decided to gamble on himself by declaring for the 2021 draft and booking his ticket to the senior bowl.

Pros:

-Great build

-Catching fundamentals are sound

-Deep threat

Cons:

-lacks second tier speed

-can have trouble with stronger defenders

Projection: 7th round, Saints

Cade is the hardest draft stock to predict right now. He had a stellar performance at the senior bowl, but a lot of scouts are still worried about the defenses he’s played. I’m going to say, none of that matters. Cade has the drive and ability to climb up the ranks of a team. The idea of him pairing up with Michael Thomas in New Orleans gets me excited, full potential for them to transform into a destructive WR duo. ⁣

D’Wayne Eskridge Draft Diamonds

Let’s just get the bold statement out right at the start, D’Wayne Eskridge is THE most lethal WR in this draft class. He doesn’t have the hype surrounding him like Chase, Smith or Waddle; but what he does have is speed, intelligence, route running prowess, and sure hands that won’t drop the ball.

Eskridge started out as a running back in high school, but despite his three star rating, he didn’t receive a lot of interest from college scouts. He would end up signing with Western Michigan and stepped into the spotlight when Corey Davis departed.

In his first two years, Eskridge would end up netting 30 rec for 506 yards (2017), then 38 rec for 776 yards and 3TDs. Because of injuries, Eskridge would switch to CB and actually led the team in coverage stats before becoming a full time WR again his Red shirt senior year.

He would finish his career with…

121 rec

2,244 yards

15TDs

But wait there’s more

17 kick returns

467 yards

1TD

Pros:

– Versatility

– Speed at all three levels

– Body control

Cons:

– Struggles in press coverage

– Needs space for success

Projection: 2nd Round

Best Fits:

Patriots

Eagles

Dolphins

D’wayne Eskridge is following in the footsteps of fellow Broncos like, Corey Davis, Greg Jennings, and Taylor Moton. He has been undervalued since high school and is now ready to destroy at the next level. Look at this scouting report, really look at it. Tell me that he doesn’t seem like the typical Belichick guy. Undervalued, small, but versatile as all hell. This kid can play all three sides of the ball. Patriot fans, Eskridge could be the new Troy Brown ⁣

Draft Diamonds: Hunter Long

This tight end class is tilted by the strong play of Kyle Pitts, but there are plenty of strong tight ends in this class and my favorite is a home town hero (New Hampshire counts as Boston don’t question it) Hunter Long.

Hunter Long is a lot of human. He stands in at 6’5 254 lean and has been a similar size since high school, but was under recruited and ended up finding his stride at Boston College.

Long’s big play ability has been on display every year at BC, but his best asset is his hands. He led the NCAA in receptions (57) and was top 5 in yards for TEs (685)

Pros

+ Big Play Ability

+ Size

+ Great Hands

+strong Blocker

Cons

-Needs to refine Route running

-I’m not kidding, this kid is a sleeper.

Projection

2nd round pick

Best Fits

•New England

•Pittsburg

•Texans

•Jets

Hunter is a strong Tight End that is going to go under the radar, but will be a starter on most NFL teams. He provides the perfect balance of catching ability with strong blocking that can overwhelm the best edge defenders. Hunter is about to make some fans very happy.

Draft Diamonds: Kellen Mond

Kellen Mond is the most slept on QB in this draft class. Mond, a 4-year starter at Texas A&M, has had projections ranging from Day 2 to day 3; but I’m telling you right now, he is the future of the NFL.

Mond took the world by storm when he won the starting job his freshman year. He was able to start each season after that with massive expectations. In 2019, His yards dropped significantly and people started to doubt as A&M finished outside of the top 25. His 2020 was the crowning year for Mond he threw for over 2,000 yards, 19 TDs and only 3 INTs.

Positives

+ Good Size

+ Strong Runner

+ Decent arm strength

+ Works well through the moderate range of yards

Negatives

– Bad pocket awareness

– Questionable throws

– Needs consistant big game ability

When I look at Mond I see a wealth of potential. I wouldn’t say he’s a day 1 starter, but that’s not a knock against him. He needs a lot more time to develop.

Best fits

•Patriots

•Bears

•Steelers

The biggest need for anyone thinking of drafting Mond is getting a veteran to groom him and help him develop. There is no doubt in my mind the Kellen Mond can and will be a starter in the NFL, just not right away. A team that trades for Stafford could also benefit from drafting Mond to become a project. The future is bright for this young QB.

Chuba Hubbard Draft Diamonds

As a Sooner fan, it’s hard for me to support anyone from Oklahoma State, but when you look at this draft class, Chuba’s name stands out with names like Etienne or Harris. 

In 2019, he was viewed as RB1, but he decided to return for a year and ultimately hurt his draft stock. He went from 2094 yards and 21 TDs in 2019 to 625 and 5 TDS in 2020. If you just look at those stats, he would get a one year wonder grade. If you dig a little deeper, you realize that his workload was cut in half and then some (328 carries 2019/133 carries 2020). The emergence of Jackson and Brown at Oklahoma State held him back from being a first round RB. 

• Positives:

+Amazing vision 

+Great speed

+Good size (6ft 207lbs)

He is able to wait for the play to develop and find a hole. Once he gets that gap and gets open field, he’s hard to catch.

• Negatives:

-Elusiveness 

-Has trouble bouncing off tackles 

-Seems to need a strong O-line

-Receiving skills are sub par 

-Pass blocking needs work

In the modern NFL, running backs have to be able to do everything. Every GM is looking for another CMC. His catching ability pulls away from what Hubbard can do, but no one looks at Hubbard and thinks he is useless. 

His ceiling is set for the third round of the NFL draft, but he could make an impact on teams that need a true runner. 

Best fits

-Chargers

-49ers

-Eagles

Final evaluation:

-Hubbard is a project RB with MASSIVE upside. He may get more play on special teams to start, but if a team can work with him and develop his route running, Hubbard has the chance to be a big time threat that goes under the radar in this year’s draft.