Welcome in Nerds! It is officially April and that means everyone is in full mock draft mode. While most mock drafts we will see will be diving into the 2021 class of incoming rookies, we at the #NerdHerd are going to dive a little deeper. In this recent mock draft, we dive into a one-round Superflex mock of incoming college football freshmen to give you an idea of some of the stars of tomorrow. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
1.01 TreVeyon Henderson, RB Ohio State
Another recruiting cycle and another reloading of top talent for the Buckeyes, and Henderson is the cream of the crop. Trey Sermon was serviceable and made himself some money in the college football playoffs. Despite his emergence, Ohio State was noticeably missing a key cog in their offense after the departure of J.K Dobbins to the NFL. Henderson looks to be the missing piece in the Buckeyes’ annual chase for a championship. Coming in at 5’11” 195 pounds, Henderson has elite vision and lateral agility in between the tackles. He bursts through the open hole and can cut on a dime with ease. He also shows the speed to be able to house long runs and the pass-catching chops to be dangerous out of the backfield. Henderson should start day one, and be an early pick in your Devy and Campus to Canton leagues.
1.02 Emeka Egbuka, WR Ohio State
I had to continue the Buckeye run here at the start of the draft and go with my WR1 in this class in Egbuka. The surprise return of Chris Olave might mean that he has to wait until 2022 to get any meaningful snaps. The Buckeyes have depth at the position, but once he sees the field, watch out. Egbuka ran a blistering 4.42 40-yard dash in high school and only figures to get quicker in college as he matures and hits the weight room. He should have no trouble showcasing his talent either, given the embarrassment of riches the Buckeyes have at the quarterback position in CJ Stroud, Kyle McCord, and Jack Miller (with 5-star prospect Quinn Ewers coming in 2022). The sky’s the limit as far as his potential – strap in and enjoy the ride.
1.03 Caleb Williams, QB Oklahoma
It seems like Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma Sooner football program always have the next great QB locked and loaded. As DJ Khalid would say, another one, as Oklahoma just landed the #1 dual-threat quarterback in the 2021 class in Caleb Williams. Williams is the definition of a do-it-all QB. He feels pressure and shows an innate ability to move around in the pocket extending plays. With verified 4.6 speed, when he takes off: look out. Williams isn’t just a run-first QB by any means. He has a quick release that, with the flick of his wrist, sends the ball out of his hands like it’s been shot out of a cannon. Williams throws accurately off balance and can make the needed throws at the next level. While he will have to wait a year on Spencer Rattler, the Sooner program got themselves a good one.
1.04 Sam Huard, QB Washington
Huard, a MaxPreps National Freshman of the year in high school, is a football legacy. His father, Damon, played eight seasons in the NFL while his uncle, Brock, played three. The knowledge they can pass down to him will undoubtedly make him a better QB and give him a leg up on many other incoming freshmen. I also really love the landing spot for Huard, as the Huskies have one of the most electric young WR groups in the Pac-12, with Cade Otton, Rome Odunza, and Jalen McMillan all returning to campus. Huard has the tools to succeed, and he’s definitely worth taking a shot on at this point in the draft.
1.05 Camar Wheaton, RB Alabama
The rich get richer, and the Alabama Crimson Tide get themselves another 5-star recruit in the form of RB Camar Wheaton. Wheaton has true game-breaking ability, and when he hits the hole, he’s gone. He has good lateral agility and cuts without losing much speed. With an ability to be a force in the return game, Wheaton has a path to immediate snaps. If there is one thing that I’ve learned while playing Devy. it is when Alabama takes an RB you need to make sure you draft him to your roster. I’m excited to get him in the middle of the first.
1.06 Will Shipley, RB Clemson
With Wheaton off the board, I’ll take the last 5-star running back left on the board in Will Shipley. While Wheaton will have to fight for playing time at Alabama, Shipley seems to have a much clearer path to earlier playing time with the transfer of Demarkcus Bowman and the graduation of Travis Etienne. Shipley already possesses three-down level talent given his pass-catching ability. He was a member of the track team in high school, so he’s definitely got the wheels. Dabo Swinney let Etienne step right in and get 112 touches in his freshman season. Shipley is a higher-rated recruit, and it’s not inconceivable that he could take over the starting job in week one and never look back. That kind of production would be invaluable for your C2C teams and could make him a steal this late in the draft.
1.07 Brock Vandagriff, QB Georgia
For as long as most can remember, the Georgia Bulldogs have had one game plan in mind; run the ball down your throat. 2020 was an unexpected year and the Bulldog offense in 2020 was an unexpected offense. With J.T Daniels at the helm, we saw a passing attack flourish under Kirby Smart. One player that will help take this offense to the next level is incoming freshman Brock Vandergriff. A 5-star and the #2 dual-threat QB in his class, Vandergriff is a mobile QB who is also a pass-first one. He shows an innate ability to extend plays and throws his best ball while on the run. While I may have to wait a year on him, I am excited to get him in the middle of the first round in this freshman-only mock.
1.08 Jacorey Brooks, WR Alabama
With the eighth pick in the draft, I’ll lock up my WR2 in this class in Brooks. Alabama has been a breeding ground for first-round wide receivers over the past few seasons, and Brooks might be the best of the bunch. Given Nick Saban’s unwillingness to give freshmen significant playing time at WR, you might have to wait until 2022 to see big returns. Still, given the graduation of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, there’s a chance Brooks could see the field sooner rather than later. What you’ll get once he’s out there is a tall wide receiver who can win at the catch point and break tackles once he does. He might not be the quickest receiver on the team, but he will be an elite red-zone threat for one of the top offenses in college football. Given their track record at the position lately, sign me up.
1.09 Kyle McCord, QB Ohio State
While most Devy analysts are salivating over the embarrassment of riches that is the Buckeye wide receiver room, what is flying under the radar is their recruitment of quarterbacks. From the transfer of Justin Fields to the signing of 2019 top 10 recruit CJ Stroud, Ohio State seems to also have the next man up mentality. Kyle McCord, a 5-star recruit in the 2021 class, might have his number called sooner rather than later. McCord has the arm talent that could push Stroud for starting duties this spring. He plants his feet, driving through his throws, and pushes the ball downfield with zip. McCord is accurate on all 3 levels of the field, and can hit the back-shoulder and sideline throws with ease. While everyone is all-in on Stroud this upcoming season sign me up for the discount McCord shares.
1.10 Tyler Buchner, QB Notre Dame
I’m a little worried about Quinn Ewers coming to the Buckeyes in 2022, so I’m happy Kyle McCord went ahead of me so I could select Buchner here. Some people might have qualms about Buchner due to a torn ACL that he suffered in 2018. However, what I see is the hard work and determination it took to come back from an injury like that and post the monster stat line he had in his junior season (4,474 passing yards and 53 touchdowns, 1610 rushing yards and 28 rushing TDs). With the graduation of Ian Book, the main obstacle to early playing time for Buchner is transfer Jack Coan. Coan is mainly a game manager who was forced to transfer from Wisconsin after being beat out for the job by another upstart young quarterback (Graham Mertz). The same scenario could easily see itself play out again this season for the Fighting Irish, and as a result, I would love to be able to snag Buchner in this spot.
1.11 JoJo Earle, WR Alabama
With the departure of potential first-round wide receivers Waddle and Smith, there is a wide-open opportunity for immediate production in the Crimson Tide locker room. Enter Jojo Earle – with verified 11.16 100-yard dash time he injects electric upside to this receiving corp. Although Earle only stands at 5’9 he does not play like it, showing the ability to win contested catches. His return game chops also could earn him a chance at early playing time. Earle has been my favorite pick in mock drafts this season and looks to immediately take over the vacated Waddle role.
1.12 Kamarro Edmunds, RB North Carolina
There were some other players I contemplated taking with my final pick (LJ Johnson, Destyn Hill, and Evan Pryor), but in the end, I decided to take the gamble on Edmonds’ upside. The Tar Heels have the unenviable task of replacing 313 carries, 2,385 rushing yards, and 28 touchdowns in their backfield with the departure of Javonte Williams and Michael Carter to the NFL. Ty Chandler’s transfer to Chapel Hill might cut into early playing time opportunities for Edmonds initially, but this was an elite backfield last season that supported two running backs. Edmonds has a 5’11” 227-pound frame that is very similar to that of Williams. His size might lead to him being first in line for goal-line work. Edmonds can create on his own and is on one of the best offenses in the country under QB Sam Howell. Given his skill set and opportunity, the risk is definitely worth the potential reward in my mind.
Keep an eye out on DynastyNerds for more Devy content to help you dominate your Devy and C2C leagues. As always follow me on Twitter at @DevyMatt for any and all Devy and C2C related content. Catch you next time Nerds!
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