FUTURE STARS: THE BEST DRAFT PROSPECTS TO DISCOVER – WEEK 11

FUTURE STARS: THE BEST DRAFT PROSPECTS TO DISCOVER – WEEK 11
Reading Time: 5 minutes.

After multiple cancellations, we do in fact have college football to watch! That means we have more Future Stars on offer.

Future Stars brings you the 2021 NFL Draft Prospects you should keep your eye on each and every week throughout the college season and into next year’s Draft.

In a week that has seen multiple cancelled games and plenty of television schedule changes, we now know that Week 11 will see 6 games* televised in the UK across the BT Sport channels.

They are:

INDIANA at MICHIGAN STATE17:00BT SPORT 2
MIAMI at VIRGINIA TECH17:00BT SPORT 3
NOTRE DAME at BOSTON COLLEGE20:30BT SPORT 2
COLORADO at STANFORD20:30BT SPORT ESPN
WISCONSIN at MICHIGAN00:00BT SPORT 2
ARKANSAS at FLORIDA00:00BT SPORT ESPN
ALL TIMES ARE IN GMT (UK) *-As things stand. subject to change.

Here are your Future Stars in week 11.

FUTURE STARS

JALEN MAYFIELD – OT – MICHIGAN 

JAYLEN MAYFIELD FEATURES ON FUTURE STARS
MICHIGAN OFFENSIVE TACKLE JALEN MAYFIELD. IMAGE CREDIT: WOLVERINESWIRE

Mayfield may be listed as questionable for Michigan’s game against Wisconsin, but if there is a chance he can play then Michigan need all the help they can get. Especially with a player of Mayfield’s caliber, he has the ability to be at the top of this offensive tackle class. 

Jalen Mayfield is a beast in the run game. He has a good anchor and can manoeuvre defenders who stick to him. His balance is so strong it feels like he has his own gravitational pull at times.

Mayfield’s frame is workable for the amount of athleticism he has. He has good lateral movement for his size and has the ability to get to the next level and dictate the play.

Mayfield’s footwork needs to be improved though, and he is a raw prospect with limited starts. He has started mostly at right tackle for the Wolverines. 

Mayfield can get caught flat footed at times when he is driving through contact. His hands can be stiff when he is facing up against speed rushers and his hands could be more fluid when driving through contact.  He has been caught out against speed rushers at times 

All this can be mastered with more experience. Seeing him become more of a bully in the trenches and use his strength when on the move should see Mayfield be one of the top tackle prospects.

CHRISTIAN DARRISAW – OT – VIRGINIA TECH

We have featured many OTs on Future Stars, none are rising up draft boards like Christian Darrisaw. Some draft analysts are even putting him in round 1 discussion.

When watching Darrisaw you see that he checks most of the boxes. Power, size, movement. Check. The way Darrisaw moves for his size is insane. There is no way a guy who is 6’5″ and 315 Lbs should be able to motion the way he does. 

Darrisaw uses his hands well and has the ability to be a puller in the trenches. He is able to absorb contact and has the ability to recover. Darrisaw is a physical finisher and is brutal up front. 

Darrisaw could be more aware at times, diagnosing plays early, especially when dropping back in pass protection. Getting his hands up early and set quickly will only improve his game. All this can be taught, what can’t is his size, mobility and physicality.

Darrisaw was coming off an efficient season in 2019, but he is taking his game to the next level. Darrisaw is a riser and is being spoken about as a potential first rounder in some circles. 

XAVIER HENDERSON – S – MICHIGAN STATE

XAVIER HENDERSON IS INCLUDED IN FUTURE STARS
MICHIGAN ST SAFETY XAVIER HENDERSON. IMAGE CREDIT: MSUSPARTANS

Xavier Henderson was the only returning starter in the Michigan State secondary. 

He has shown all the leadership needed to succeed at the next level and certainly contains a lot of potential. He has the character that teams look for and is clearly a player that his team mates love on and off the field. 

Henderson has the size and speed desired by NFL teams. He has some tools that can’t be taught and is a smart but tough player. He is an assured tackler and has a lot of last line of defence stops. 

Henderson fits the mold of a box safety in the NFL, but he will need to work on some of his coverage abilities. He can be caught out on deep balls. 

Henderson has started the season well and if he keeps his performances up he will be looking to enter late day 2 discussion. It’s the measurables and potential that teams will be buying into. 

JAKE FERGUSON -TE – WISCONSIN

Jake Ferguson is on track to have a breakout year, hauling in three touchdowns in the season opener against Illinois. 

That stat should tell you everything you need. Ferguson is a red zone mismatch. He has proven to be a trusty set of hands for the Badgers and is due to have an increased role in an offence that has been predominantly run heavy. His size makes most balls catchable and he isn’t afraid to bulldoze over defenders in search of extra yardage. 

Unlike some of the tight ends in this class Ferguson is also a really good blocker. He generates enough power and has the ability to finish in the run game. 

Ferguson isn’t the quickest of tight ends however. Yes he is a great receiver, but he will be used in more of a secondary role when the quarterbacks first read is not on. He won’t be tearing up playbooks like some players at the top of this tight end class, but his skills should translate to most NFL schemes.

Ferguson has a high upside in the pros and his traits should transition well in the NFL. He is one of many tight ends that are hoping to force themselves into top 100 discussion by April. 

KADARIUS TONEY – WR – FLORIDA

FLORIDA WIDE RECEIVER KADARIUS TONEY. IMAGE CREDIT: Kim Klement-USA TODAY

Toney has erupted so far this season and his draft stock is trending upwards!

Toney is electric with the ball in his hands. He is a slippery suspect who has good contact balance, strength and quickness.

Toney has been called a ‘human joystick‘. He plays football like he is in a video game because of his sudden movements. He is explosive and has immediate acceleration making him skillful and elusive to defensive backs. 

The receiver is benefiting from an increased role in this Gators’ offence, getting more targets than previous seasons. Not only is he getting the targets, he is also getting the production. He has slowly become a complete receiver

Toney isn’t a huge receiver meaning his catch radius and physicality isn’t as good as some in this receiver class. He also catches the ball against his body at times and some teams may be worried about ball control when in contested situations. 

Kadarius Toney is rising up big boards and with continued success he will be looking to sure up a day 2 selection.

Which Future Stars will you have your eye on this week? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards and @Owain_Jones_ 

Feature Image Credit: VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETICS

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