2021 ACC Prospects Who Excite Me
While the Big Ten and Pacific-Twelve conferences are not able to get out onto the field until October 24th and November 7th, respectively, the American Coastal Conference has been playing since September 12th. And there have been some really fun, exciting 2021 NFL Draft prospects to watch during this time that the ACC has had more of a spotlight than usual. Who are they, and what has been so exciting about them? Let’s find out:
QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson:
Say what you want about how Trevor Lawrence would probably be the first overall pick this spring if played this season or not, however, only now has he truly solidified that sentiment. Through his first three games played this season, he has played absolutely lights out. Last year, it seemed as though, on tape, he wasn’t the Trevor Lawrence we saw in his stellar freshman campaign, but now, he is truly that Trevor Lawrence once again. Thus far in 2020, he has been making reads faster, his timing has been impeccable, his accuracy has been other-worldly, and the ball is just jumping out of his hand. Moreover, he definitely has the numbers to back that up. Through three games he has thrown for 848 yards, averaging 282.7 yards a game, seven touchdowns, while throwing no picks, a 73.3% completion percentage, and an additional three touchdowns on the ground. Lawrence is an absolute stud, and whichever team gets the number one overall pick this April would be a complete nincompoop to not select him.
RB Javian Hawkins, Louisville:
Before the 2020 season, Javian Hawkins was a name on people’s radar after rushing for an absurd 1,525 yards and nine touchdowns. The 5’9”, 196 pound Hawkins has shown much more of the same through three games thus far in 2020. He has 313 yards off of 59 totes while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. His breakout game was his 164-yard performance, one touchdown scoring performance in Louisville’s 47-34 loss to Miami. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry and was a force that Miami couldn’t really stop all night. His vision, agility, burst, power, and speed have to be intriguing to all NFL scouts and general managers. I’d like to see him have a little bit more patience, however. Overall though, assuming he goes into the 2021 NFL Draft, he’ll be a running back that should have a lot of attention drawn to him.
S Paris Ford, Pittsburgh:
If you recall, when I wrote about the five players from the ACC that I was excited to watch in 2020, I included Pittsburgh safety Paris Ford on my list. Let’s just say, he is showing me exactly why I was excited to watch him this year thus far in the 2020 season. Through his first four games, he has 2 picks, one pass defended, and 19 total tackles. His speed, hard-hitting style, instincts, and ball skills were what really intrigued me about him last year. And, obviously, he has continued to show those traits thus far in 2020. Ford is going to be a highly coveted safely in the 2021 NFL Draft, and it will be interesting to see what he does in the remainder of the 2020 season.
QB D’Eriq King, Miami:
Last season was pretty hard for D’Eriq King, as things weren’t going the way he’d hoped, so he decided to only play in four games for the Houston Cougars to preserve eligibility. In the offseason, he transferred to Manny Diaz’ Miami Hurricanes, and he has is having a stellar year thus far. King is simply an athletic freak, he’s smaller at 5’11”, but has such a muscular build. With Houston from 2016-2019, he scored touchdowns as not only a quarterback, but as a receiver, AND punt returner. He is absolutely electric, and he right now has “The U” reminiscent of “The U” of old. In three games up to this point, he has thrown for 736 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions, as well as rushing for 157 yards and a score off of 28 keeps. His aforementioned athleticism is what is going to have him playing for a team at the next level next fall, whether that is quarterback, running back, wide receiver, who knows, but it sure will be interesting to see how his situation unfolds, especially if he performs at an extremely high level the rest of the season.
TE Brevin Jordan, Miami:
When discussing top tight end prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft, most will be quick to point out talents such as Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. But Miami tight end Brevin Jordan, without a doubt, is right up there with them. His athleticism at his size of 6’3”, 245 pounds is off the charts. He can run after the catch and run routes like a wide receiver and can go up and get it with his tremendous size. He has also has really sure hands and a large catch radius. Throughout three games this season, he has 15 catches for 212 yards and three touchdowns, while averaging 14.7 yards per reception. His most notable game thus far has been at Louisville where he caught 7 balls for 120 yards and a score. If he continues to put on a show for the remainder of the season, you could definitely see him be drafted before at least one of those aforementioned tight ends this upcoming spring.