Future Stars returns this week, and Week 6 sees a lot of action.
Future Stars brings you 2021 NFL Draft Prospects you should keep your eye on each and every week throughout the college season into next year’s Draft.
Week 6 sees a feast of football on UK television. A total of seven, yes that’s right, SEVEN games are available across BT Sport and Sky Sports. TV Scheduling looks like this:
BT Sport 3 – Virginia Tech at North Carolina (17:00 UK Time), Texas Tech at Iowa State (20:30), Miami at Clemson (00:00)
BT Sport ESPN – Florida at Texas A&M (17:00), Tennessee at Georgia (20:30), Alabama at Ole Miss (00:00)
Sky Sports NFL – Florida State at Notre Dame (00:30)
Got it? Good! Sit back and enjoy a night of fun filled football.
Here is the Future Stars on offer this week. You may just pick up on an offence heavy theme.
KELLEN MOND – QB – TEXAS A&M
Kellen Mond is a divisive Quarterback. He has traits that you love and traits that you hate. Unfortunately, Mond plays a position that means his flaws are more important than his strengths. Mond will be hoping that he can show scouts and coaches enough to take a chance of him in later rounds.
When Mond is given the time to step up into the pocket and make his throws he absolutely launches the ball, he can spin the football with crazy velocity, that’s why he has thrown for over 7500 yards throughout his college career.
He is a battler and seems to be able to soak up hits and sacks. Mond has just the right amount of athleticism to escape pressure when he needs to, but also has the sense to throw the ball out of bounds when no play develops. He can throw well on the run but has been restricted to just playing out of the shotgun.
When watching Mond his throwing technique really stands out. He has a really strange throwing motion. The ball can go way back behind his head meaning the ball can be thrown excessively hard giving his receivers absolutely no chance to make a play. It also means he has some accuracy concerns. Mond will also be hoping to improve his decision making this season. He can take far too long to make his reads and make decisions causing plays to breakdown and inevitably lead to sacks.
Despite his long college career his production has been inconsistent. He really hasn’t progressed since his freshman year. A big day for Mond will go a long way to keeping the critics quiet.
ZAMIR WHITE – RB – GEORGIA
Zamir White is what makes this Georgia Bulldog offence exciting. After countless quarterback conundrums since the offseason, Georgia have settled on Stetson Bennett. But with with Steton still settling in to this Bulldog offence, Zamir White is taking the load.
White had 19 carries against Auburn last week for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.
White is an old school running back. He can play all three downs and is a downhill runner who can find gaps up the gut. He complements this with really good agility to burst through his running lanes and he has the determination to get extra yards after contact.
White has a good centre of gravity, can put in the dirty work and is able to pick up the right man in pass protection. Not only can White pick up the hard yards he can be used in the passing game too. He is effective when used as a checkdown option and can be used as a catcher or blocker on screen plays.
While White can be used in the passing game, he isn’t the most natural of receivers to any stretch of the imagination. It’s an area of the game he really needs to polish up on if he is to jump up draft boards. NFL teams really value pass catchers out of the backfield. White can sometimes run quite clunky and compact which means he isn’t the most elusive of backs in the 2021 draft class.
White is slowly becoming the focal point of this Georgia offence. With Georgia being a college which is famed for producing top running backs White will be hoping he can be the next in a long string of names to be Drafted out of UGA.
TRAVIS ETIENNE – RB – CLEMSON
Most were surprised when Etienne did not declare for last year’s NFL Draft because he was the top running back on most people’s boards. Then he surprisingly opted to go back to college. A decision most found mystifying.
Etienne makes the position look easy. He is a big play waiting to happen who could explode on any play. He has game breaking speed which has to be accounted for on every down by opposing defenses. Etienne attacks running lanes at angles making the first level of defenders miss and once he is into the second level he is a smooth runner when in space. He can fight his way through contact and soak up pressure.
He has also improved massively as a pass catcher. Etienne is now able to find himself space to create plays when being used in the passing game. It’s what all coaches want to see, progression.
Etienne, however, could learn to control plays a little more. This means slowing down his pace at times and being a bit more patient. Etienne has the most work to do in pass protection. He can be late to lock on and pick up pursuing defenders and would prefer to be the main event rather than doing the hard physical work.
The Clemson running back will be top of most evaluators boards. But, he has some serious competition to keep up his draft stock at a position which is becoming less valued as the years roll on.
TREY SMITH – IOL – TENNESSEE
Smith is part of a dominant Tennesssee Volunteers offensive line. He is an elite prospect but he does have some health concerns.
The key to Smith’s success is his versatility. He is a gifted athlete who can play all over the offensive line. Smith can generate incredible power in short spaces. Combining this power with his ability to get his hands up quickly and explode out of his stance means he dominates the run game.
He is one of the top lineman in the country in at running game. His ability to move across his opponents to open up running lanes is a dream for any running back. Smith also has a great recovery technique because of his athleticism and physical attributes. He is a smart and influential player.
It’s hard not to like what Smith shows as a draft prospect. If looking for faults, then you find he can extend his arms too much on occasion. This allows the speedier rushers in behind. It is something he will need to polish up on against NFL opposition. It is something that can be cleaned up and he is playing against top opposition in the SEC.
Smith has had some health issues. He has had blood clots on his lungs and it has been a recurring issue. Above all, until medicals take place at the combine and if allowed at team visits it is something that will affect his draft stock. If teams aren’t worried about Smith’s health we are looking at a round 1 prospect and one of the NFL’s future stars.
KYLE TRASK – QB – FLORIDA
After an electrifying start to the season. Florida are smoking hot. Central to there success has been the advancement in Kyle Trask’s play. He has already got 10 touchdowns to his name and the fourth best quarterback rating in the country according to ESPN Stats.
Trask is a more traditional Quarterback. A pocket presence with a thick build. He has been allowed to take plays from under centre, the shotgun and pistol which is a positive. Trask is able to avoid pressure when needed and has good footwork inside and outside the pocket. He has good anticipation and awareness and works the ball over the top really well.
Trask has been a career backup and scouts will love his tenacity and mental strength to step in when he was needed and perform.
Don’t get us wrong, Having a weapon like Kyle Pitts to throw to is certainly a help but its the development in his patience and zone reads which has impressed. Pitts also has been on our Future Stars back in Week 4.
Trask still has some aspects to his game he needs to work on. However, Some scouts see him as having a mechanical problem where he struggles to step into his throws. It means he can’t throw the ball with much velocity or trajectory has he has the potential to and struggles to launch a ball deep.
There is a battle going on for that fourth quarterback slot going into the 2021 NFL draft and Trask is putting his best foot forward to be a Future Star.
Which Future Stars will you have your eye on this week? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_
Feature Image Credit: UTSports.com