Purdue was represented by Brycen Hopkins and Markus Bailey in the 2020 NFL Draft. Brycen is headed to the Rams and Markus is headed to the Bengals.
In 2021, we will have the potential for a few guys to be selected, more than we have had in the previous four seasons.
Who are they? I bet you can guess one.
We will see more and more of our guys getting drafted again, as Coach Brohm continues to get better players on campus.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Prediction: There were some mock drafts last summer than had Neal going in the first or second round. But, he never came back from injury and that quickly faded. Now, Lorenzo is back for a 5th year and has much to prove.
If he gets back to his 2018 form, before injury, he has a real shot to be a Day 1 or Day 2 selection. For his size, he moves very well, he could be a nose or a true three technique defensive tackle. My gut says, with a good year he will be a Day 2 or Day 3 selection. The injury may have drastically hurt his draft stock.
Prediction: J.D. has shown great improvement over the last couple of seasons. Kickers generally do not get drafted unless they are off the charts, so don’t expect him to hear his name called on ESPN, but there is a good chance that he will be picked up as an undrafted free agent.
He hit 100% of his XP in 2019 and was 81% (13 of 16) on field goals. If he repeats that production, he will have a chance.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Prediction: At 6-7, 290 pounds, Grant is a prototypical Offensive Tackle prospect. But, he does have injury concerns. For his size, he moves very well, better than a lot of offensive tackles in the draft this year, in my opinion.
Grant is athletic as all get out too, he was a former state champion wrestler in high school. In today’s NFL, he fits well, he is a pass pro OT first, his run blocking needs some improvement, but that could happen during this upcoming season.
I see him as a Day 3 or undrafted free agent, but there is no way someone does not sign him with his size. To go with that size, he is going on year four of being a starter, he knows the position well.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Prediction: Watts will need a great last season for this to work out for him. He has shown absolute toughness during his time at Purdue. He has nice size and mobility for a defensive tackle.
He is probably looking at being an undrafted free agent or with an absolute amazing senior season sneaking into the third day of the draft.
Position: Defensive End or Outside Linebacker
Prediction: Barnes is heading into his 4th year as a starter at Purdue. He is a true senior and has been playing since he was a true freshman. He has played Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker and Defensive End. His versatility will serve him a long way.
His Junior season was his most productive, tallying 7.5 sacks, showing he has a solid pass rush ability. This at minimum, put him on the radar for some teams in the NFL. It is unknown where he will play this upcoming season, my gut says OLB.
At 6-1, 240 Pounds, he has good size for that spot, but probably fits better as a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 Defensive End. Look for a day three selection or undrafted free agent here.
Position: Wide Receiver
Prediction: We all know about Rondale Moore. The freshman All-Amnerican, this past season was on pace for another 100 catches and 1,500 yards before he was injured. He will post the best numbers for wide receivers in the 2021. We have seen him bench, squat and run.
NFL is currently built on the pass game and with players than can create separation, change how offenses are ran. Rondale does that. His only knock, he is a mere 5-9, 190 pounds.
But, he will put that to bed when he tests at the combine and has a massive 3rd season at Purdue. By the way, he is on pace to graduate in 3 years at Purdue, if there is hope he stays for a 4th season.
My guess, he is a Day One or EARLY Day Two selection.