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NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl

NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 Duke's Mayo 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 Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

North Carolina Tar Heels Draft Prospects

Sam Howell, QB

Howell has started ever since he stepped on campus for the Tar Heels and has had a great career. He has passed for 10,078 yards, 91 touchdowns and 23 interceptions on 63.9 percent completion. This season, Howell has 2,851 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 62.7 percent completion. He also has 1,006 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground in his career.

At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Howell doesn’t have the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be successful. He has been an efficient quarterback and has added some mobility to his game this season, which should help him extend plays at the next level. Howell is an expected first or second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick

Jeremiah Gemmel, LB

Gemmel has made a huge impact on the North Carolina defense over the last three seasons. In his career, he has posted 234 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his career. This season, Gemmel has been a leader on defense with 71 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

He is an undersized linebacker at 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds. The NFL is going smaller at linebacker, so there may be a role for Gemmel at the next level, but he will need to show better coverage skills. Gemmel is a projected late-round pick or undrafted free agent in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent

Other Draft Prospects: RB Ty Chandler (6th-UFA), CB Storm Duck (6th-UFA), OG/C Joshua Ezeudu (UFA), OT Jordan Tucker (UFA)

South Carolina Gamecocks Draft Prospects

Zacch Pickens, DL

Although Pickens has been on campus for three years, he has really made an impact for the Gamecocks over the last two seasons. He has 86 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in his career. This season, Pickens has 35 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. His impact doesn’t fully show up in the box score.

He stands 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, which is good for an interior lineman at the NFL level. Pickens can take on blocks well and can be disruptive. He could return to school for another year of eligibility, but if he declares, he is a projected mid to late-round pick.

Projected Draft Range: Fourth Round Pick-Sixth Round Pick

Jaylan Foster, S

Foster saw very limited playing time until the 2020 season. He was still able to record 136 tackles, five interceptions and two passes defended in his career. This season, Foster has been a star on the defense with 91 total tackles, five interceptions and two passes defended.

He is an undersized safety at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. Foster has shown good ball skills and can patrol the deep parts of the field for NFL teams. He is currently projected to be a late-round pick or undrafted free agent in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent

*Edge rusher Kingsley Enagbare has opted out of the bowl game. He is a projected first or second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Other Draft Prospects: EDGE Jordan Strachan (UFA), RB Kevin Harris (UFA), TE Nick Muse (UFA), OT Dylan Wonnum (UFA), S R.J. Roderick (UFA)

 

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