The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone.
Rondale Moore heard his name in the mid 2nd round and Derrick Barnes heard his in the mid 4th round.
Looking forward, what Boilermakers could hear their name in the 2022 Draft - which will be held in Las Vegas in late April.
Here are some names to watch, which are pretty obvious to me.
George Karlaftis - Junior, Edge, 6-4, 275 Pounds
Prediction: 1st or 2nd round. If George gets back to his freshman year form, he will get himself in a great spot to be a first round pick. After an injury riddled Covid Season, he did not turn many heads. But, as a freshman, people were talking about him being a 1st round pick. I think he finds himself in mid round 1.
David Bell - Junior, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 210 Pounds
Prediction: 1st to 2nd Round. The most talented Wide Receiver in a pass first system could see his name get called earlier than what Rondale Moore did this season. During his freshman season, after the Moore injury, he exploded onto the scene. He is a 10+ target receiver a game this year and will eclipse 1,000 yards. If he shows an improved explosion, he will be a first round pick.
DeMarcus Mitchell - Senior, Edge, 6-3, 265 Pounds
Prediction: 3rd to 6th round. A surprise in 2020 was DeMarcus Mitchell, he played all over in the 3-4 scheme. This year, look for him to be on the opposite side of George Karlaftis. With so much attention to George, Mitchell should be set up with many 1 on 1 match ups. He is very quick for his size and very strong. Look for a solid senior season for the former Junior College Recruit.
Tyler Witt - Offensive Line, Grad, 6-3, 300 Pounds
Prediction: The 5th (maybe 6th?) year grad transfer from WKU has been a multi year starter during his college year. He is coming to Purdue for one more go around and I think we can pencil him in as a starter at one of the guard spots. He is insanely strong, per Twitter. If he can have a solid year, maybe we see him late day 3 or as an UDFA.
Jaylan Alexander - Senior, Linebacker, 6-2, 235 Pounds
Prediction: 5th to Undrafted. Jaylan is a bit undersized for an inside linebacker in the NFL, but, he has been great for Jeff Brohm since he arrived on Campus. Coach Brohm has seen Ja’Whaun Bentley and Derrick Barnes drafted since he has come to Campus, as his defenses are aligned for the linebackers to make plays. Don’t be surprised if he sneaks up after a pro day or combine, he is a solid athlete.
Greg Long - 5th Year, Offensive Line, 6-4, 305 Pounds
Prediction: 5th to UDFA. Greg Long is going into his 2nd season at Purdue. He will be one of the starting tackles, last year he played right tackle, but with the departure to now New York Jets OT, Grant Hermanns, maybe he finds himself on the blindside. Greg was a nice surprise last year, starting all of his eligible games.
Anthony Watts - 5th Year, Defensive Tackle, 6-4, 295 Pounds
Prediction: Watts is back for another year. With the two studs on the edge, Watts should be able to be a productive interior defensive lineman. The question is, can he stay healthy? if so, we will probably see him on an NFL Team as an UDFA. He moves exceptionally well for how big he is.
These are all predictions, obviously. If we have all these guys get drafted, then we had a VERY good year.
I see Karlaftis, Bell and Mitchell as locks to be drafted, while the other ones will need to play into being drafted or being an UDFA. Anything is possible and I am praying for a great upcoming season!