Biggest risers in Daniel Jeremiah's final top 50 prospect rankings
The 2021 NFL Draft is inching closer and closer.
We are now just two days out from the start of this year's draft, with the first round beginning Thursday night from Cleveland, Ohio.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah has been ranking the top 50 draft prospects in this year's class for the last few months. This week, Jeremiah released his final rankings, where we saw several players rise considerably.
Here are the biggest risers in Jeremiah's final prospect rankings:
Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Current Rank: No. 26 | Previous Rank: No. 37
"Moore is an undersized wideout with outstanding versatility, quickness and toughness. He has experience lining up outside, in the slot and in the backfield. He has excellent quickness in his release and is clean/crisp at the top of routes. He gets a lot of quick hitters, and he's very elusive after the catch. He also makes some huge plays over the top, tracking the ball naturally and showing reliable hands. He is effective when used as a runner out of the backfield, too. He hits the hole full-go and can make defenders miss. Overall, Moore lacks size, but he'll be a stud in the slot and can also help in the return game." -- Jeremiah
Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
Current Rank: No. 37 | Previous Rank: No. 47
"Radunz is a tall, lean left tackle. He has average foot quickness and athleticism. He is dependable in pass protection. He operates out of a wide stance and prefers to catch/absorb rather than punch and control. He has excellent awareness (you can see him pick up two free rushers against Central Arkansas). He flashes the ability to redirect and recover when he's beat early in the down. In the run game, he excels on combo blocks and shows some nasty to finish at the point of attack. Overall, Radunz needs to improve his hand usage and gain some strength, but he should emerge as a starting right tackle." -- Jeremiah
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Current Rank: No. 41 | Previous Rank: No. 48
"Bateman has excellent size, burst and route polish. He has spent time outside and in the slot. He's a better fit on the perimeter at the next level, though. He is sudden in his release and gains ground quickly versus off coverage. He has had some issues freeing himself versus press coverage, but those are correctable. He is very sharp and crisp at the top of routes. He doesn't drift and does a nice job working back to the quarterback when necessary. He can adjust on the deep ball and won several 50/50 balls in 2019. However, he did have some concentration drops in 2020. He relies more on his strength than wiggle after the catch. Overall, Bateman has some room to develop, but he has all of the tools to emerge as a quality starter at the next level." -- Jeremiah
Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
Current Rank: No. 42 | Previous Rank: Unranked
"Turner is a hulking edge rusher. He lost 10-15 pounds heading into the 2020 season and moved much better in the fall. As a pass rusher, he doesn't have an elite get-off, but he can convert speed to power. He runs right through OTs in several of the games I studied. He has shock in his hands and he runs his feet on initial contact to jolt blockers before separating to finish the play. He isn't a bendy/loose athlete, relying more on raw strength and power. He sets the edge easily in the run game. There is still plenty to refine in Turner's game, but his size/power combination provides an alluring platform to start from." -- Jeremiah
In addition to all of the big risers, several prospects fell in the latest edition of Jeremiah's top 50. Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, and Florida WR Kadarius Toney each fell five slots, while Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield slipped eight spots and Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg dropped six.
However, the biggest faller in Jeremiah's final prospect rankings was LSU WR Terrace Marshall, Jr., who came in at No. 37 in the last rankings but fell to No. 48 on the final list.
Finally, there were two new names to crack the final top 50 who were previously unranked: Oregon S Jevon Holland (No. 49) and Georgia CB Eric Stokes (No. 50).
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.
Dane Brugler scouted 415 draft prospects; who fits Giants?
After months of speculation about who might end up where, the 2021 NFL Draft is finally just a few days away.
Since the end of the 2020 regular season, many draft pundits from media outlets across the country have taken their turn in trying to predict how the first round of this year's draft might play out on Thursday. The Athletic's Dane Brugler, who's one of the more respected analysts, told the Giants Huddle Podcast that he can see one player falling to the team at No. 11 from among the names buzzing near the top of the draft, including offensive linemen Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, receivers J'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smtih, and Jaylen Waddle, and tight end Kyle Pitts.
"Probably DeVonta Smith, wide receiver out of Alabama," Brugler said. "I think there will be enough teams in the top 10 that have maybe a few concerns - just about the size. When you have these talented pass-catchers at the top with those four, with Ja'Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Kyle Pitts, something like that size and DeVonta Smith being an outlier, that's enough to separate him from [the other three top pass-catchers]…
"When you're trying to nitpick, when you're trying to find just something to separate these guys, him being the outlier size wise could end up being what a lot of teams use. I think he has the best chance at being there at 11."
Smith is coming off an historic senior campaign at Alabama last year. The 6-foot-0, 170-pound receiver started 13 games for the national champion Crimson Tide, finishing the year with 117 receptions for an SEC-record 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. He captured the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff Award while being named AP College Football Player of the Year, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, Unanimous All-American, and several other awards. However, as Brugler noted, Smith's size at just 170 pounds could cause some teams to hesitate when it comes to taking the talented wide receiver toward the top of the first round and why he may be left for the Giants.
If that is the case, Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge and the front office will have a tough decision to make between Smith and perhaps one of the draft's top defensive players – an edge rusher or linebacker Micah Parsons.
"It's a question you're going to get different answers for, depending on who you talk to," Brugler said when asked if the Giants might go with defense. "For me, for example, DeVonta Smith is a Top-10 player in this draft. That's where I would go. I don't think there's a defensive player that is a clear upgrade for me for this roster, a guy that's going to come in and be that true impact player that I think DeVonta Smith could be on offense.
"When you're picking top 11, you need to come away with impact players. You don't need to necessarily look at 'Ok, what's my top need?' or 'What would I really like to add to this team?' and reach on a player. You need to go with talent, a guy that you know is going to make an impact."
Watch the premiere of Giants Life: The Next Step
The premiere of Giants Life: The Next Step, presented by Van Heusen, takes viewers behind the scenes at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center and looks at the organization's aggressive approach to free agency.
Check out the first episode in the video below.