The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Elijah Molden 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Elijah Molden Background
Size: 5-foot-10, 192 pounds
2020 stats: 26 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 pass defended (in 4 games)
Molden was able to receive valuable experience in all four seasons he spent with Washington. Now, he will take that experience to the next level.
He was one of the best recruits in the state of Oregon, but decided to leave the state to play for Washington. As a true freshman, Molden had 19 total tackles and one pass defended for the team. His play helped the Huskies go 10-3, but they ended the season with a loss in the Fiesta Bowl. Molden continued to contribute as a sophomore with 29 tackles and five passes defended. The Huskies once again won 10 games, but lost in the Rose Bowl to Ohio State. Molden took a huge step forward as a junior with 79 total tackles, four interceptions and 12 passes defended. He was a First Team All-Pac-12 that year and helped Washington win the Las Vegas Bowl over Boise State. In four games played in 2020, Molden had 26 total tackles, one interception and one pass defended. Washington went 3-1 after having some games cancelled due to COVID.
After a solid college career, Molden has enough experience for the NFL. He is currently projected to be a second to fourth round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Molden is one of the more versatile defensive backs in the draft class. He can play on the outside, in the slot or as a safety. His experience at Washington allowed him to get experience in all of these areas. Molden’s best fit might be as a nickel/safety hybrid because of his height and length.
His awareness and instincts are what sets Molden apart from other draft prospects in this class. He uses his eyes to read what the quarterback will do with the ball and reacts quickly to defend it better. His reads start pre-snap and then he also does a good job of showing that he recognizes route concepts and what receivers will do on a given play.
He is a physical player who isn’t afraid of contact despite his small stature. Molden is a sure-tackler who looks to hit hard. He will not let many players break his tackles and even gets the better out of a lot of his hits. This physicality and tackling helps him to be an asset against the run as well as against the pass.
His size will be the first thing brought up about Molden as far as weaknesses are concerned. He is on the shorter side for corners as he is 5-foot-10 and 192 pounds. To go with that, he has shorter arms than most at the position at 29.5 inches. He plays bigger than his measurables, but bigger receivers can still get the better of him at times.
Molden also isn’t the most athletic cornerback. He moves decently, but doesn’t have great speed. He can get burned by faster receivers and struggles to mirror what receivers are doing at times due to his lack of agility. His tight hips come into play here as well, which makes it harder for him to change direction.
While his physicality is a good thing, it also can go too far. When he is in coverage, Molden can be too grabby down the field to try and keep up with faster or bigger wide receivers. He will get called for way more pass interference penalties at the next level if he doesn’t trust his coverage more.
Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Fourth Round Pick
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