We’re through three weeks of college football, and I want to highlight four guys who are rising up my draft board. It’s early, so there’s plenty of time to prove that these guys are just smoke. They guys will be studs in your C2C Leagues and potential draft class risers. The goal is always to draft guys that get selected on days one and two of the draft. The following players missed my top 15 but are now entering my rankings, and I’m keeping a watch on them for the rest of the year. Let’s check them out.
Wan’Dale Robinson, JR Kentucky
- 5’11” / 185Lbs
- 4 Star Recruit
- 2021 DOM: 34.1%
- BOY: Freshman
Kentucky’s Former Mr. Football comes to the University of Kentucky via transfer from Nebraska. Robinson had a productive high school career with a total of 781 career points, which ranks second all-time in Kentucky history. A consensus four-star recruit coming out of high school, he ranked as the nation’s No. 2 all-purpose back and was the top player in Kentucky. He fielded offers from schools like Alabama but chose, in the end, to go to Nebraska.
As a freshman in 2019, Robinson ranked fourth nationally among all FBS freshmen in all-purpose yards per game. He also had the second-highest total among Power Five freshmen. In a shortened covid 2020 season, we witnessed him convert most of his production to receiver work and splitting carries out of the backfield. Robinson again fielded offers from schools like Alabama, Purdue, and Ohio State upon entering the transfer portal, but chose to come home to Kentucky.
After three weeks, we’ve seen Robinson land as 22nd in receiving yards. He looks every bit electric on the field. Robinson gets separation on every route and does not get rattled by contact. He gets caught from behind more than I prefer. His running back background gives coaches the ability to use in gadget plays. Robinson is proving to be one of the best slot guys in this upcoming draft. He is hitting on numerous analytical marks with an early breakout age, DOM – above 30% so far this year, and if he declared to go to the draft this year, he would be an early declare. If his play continues, I foresee Robinson being an early second-day pick.
Donatario Drummond, SR Ole Miss
- 6’1″ / 220lbs
- 3 Star Recruit
- 2021 DOM: 39%
- BOY: Senior
The next great wide receiver out of Ole Miss seems to be Dontario Drummond. A former 3-star recruit, Drummond chose to attend East Mississippi Community College, where he led his school to a national title in the 2017 and 2018 JUCO Championship Games. Drummond chose Ole Miss over Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado State, and Arkansas State.
Drummond will be 24 when he enters the draft and has a late breakout age and year. He is currently on a streak of eight games with a touchdown and saw increased usage down the stretch of 2020. Drummond looked great against Louisville, excellent in space and knowing where to run/cut. He showcased the ability to drag defenders. Drummond had great hands, making difficult catches near the side line, or sliding to get underneath the ball. He attacks the ball with his hands.
Drummond is an older prospect, a late declare, and a late breakout. If he can ball out against the top SEC competition, watch for his name to be called during day two of the draft. For now, he’s a locked-in third-day pick with upside.
Dontay Demus, SR Maryland
- 6’4″ / 217Lbs
- 3 Star Recruit
- 2021 DOM: 28.9%
- BOY: Sophomore
Dontay Demus took a step forward this year with his QB, Taulia Tagovailoa. Demus features prototypical X-receiver size and lines up all over the field. He finds success running slants through the middle and can find success running go-routes.
Watching his tape, I think he has some deceptive good speed. I’m excited about his combine numbers. I do not think he lands in the category of athletically gifted big men, but watching him play this year, he has more speed to his game. Demus has a diverse skill set, demonstrated by Maryland’s willingness to use him in gadget plays and throw the ball downfield.
Twice during the 2021 West Virginia game, he dropped the ball after receiving contact. I hope these concentration drops get cleaned up and improve over the year. Demus also needs to improve awareness of where the sideline is and improve his blocking. Demus has ideal size and traits and is a lock to be selected during the draft. I need to see more to feel confident in stating he’s going to be a second-day guy.
Jalen Cropper, JR Fresno State
- 6’0 / 173Lbs
- 3 Star Recruit
- 2021 DOM: 27.4%
- BOY: Sophomore
Jalen Cropper was a versatile athlete coming out of high school. He lined up at WR, RB, QB, and even defensive back. His freshmen year, he was second on the team with 652 all-purpose yards. He established himself during his sophomore season, garnering an All-Mountain West honorable mention selection. Cropper was fourth in the conference in receptions per game (6.17) and finished fifth in the league averaging 86.7 receiving yards per game.
Against two ranked opponents this year, Cropper has looked dominant. He’s already thrown a touchdown this year also. The versatility he demonstrates will be appealing to coaches at the next level. Cropper is a speedster with stellar route-running ability and even arm talent.
The lack of strength on his frame leads me to believe he will stay another year to bulk up. If not, I do not think day two draft capital is out of his reach. The NFL is enamored with speedsters, and Cropper brings a versatile skill set. Call that a bonus.