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NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 AutoZone Liberty Bowl

NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 AutoZone Liberty Bowl

The bowl season gives fans and scouts alike a chance to analyze NFL Draft prospects against solid competition. Bowl scheduling allows all eyes to be on each game. Here are the NFL Draft prospects in the 2021 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Draft Prospects

Erik Ezukanma, WR

Ezukanma has played in a pass-happy Texas Tech offense and had three very productive seasons out of the four spent in Lubbock. He has 138 receptions for 2,165 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career. For the 2021 season, Ezukanma has 48 receptions for 705 yards and four touchdowns.

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Ezukanma has a great build for an NFL receiver. He uses his frame well and will be able to fight for catches at the next level. His production over three years will be noted by NFL evaluators. He is currently projected to be a late-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent

Tyler Shough, QB

Shough started this season as a potential top pick at quarterback after transferring over to Texas Tech from Oregon. He has only played in four games this season due to injury, but has passed for 872 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions on 69.6 percent completion. For his career, Shough has 2,575 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 66.4 percent completion.

He has the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. Shough getting injured really hurt his draft stock, as he wasn’t able to show his capabilities. If he is able to play in this game, it could help improve his stock again, but he is likely to return to school for another season.

Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent

Mississippi State Bulldogs Draft Prospects

Charles Cross, OT

Cross has had plenty of pass-blocking reps during his time in the Mississippi State air-raid offense. He appeared in three games during his true freshman season of 2019. In his second season on campus, Cross made the All-SEC team for his play. He returned to man the left tackle spot in 2021 and made the All-SEC team again.

He stands at 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, which is solid for a blindside protector in the NFL. Cross is a very refined pass blocker and needs to work on his run blocking to be a more complete offensive tackle. He is likely going to be one of the first tackles off the board.

Projected Draft Range: Top 20 Pick

*Cross has since opted out of the bowl game.

Martin Emerson, CB

Emerson has turned himself into an impact player for the Bulldogs over the last few seasons. He has 15 passes and one interception in his career. During the 2021 season, Emerson has recorded three passes defended and 49 total tackles.

At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Emerson has good length and size for an NFL cornerback. He is just a junior and might go back to school to improve his stock. That may not be too necessary, as Emerson has worked his way up draft boards already this season.

Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Fourth Round Pick

Other Draft Prospects: CB Jalen Green (6th-UFA), DL Nathan Pickering (6th-UFA), EDGE Randy Charlton (UFA)

 

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