Washington Football Team selects Jamin Davis with 19th overall pick in round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft. Congratulations Jamin!
It’s finally here! The 2021 NFL Draft starts tomorrow. The Jacksonville Jaguars will officially be on the clock as the first round starts Thursday at 8 p.m. Second and third round picks will resume Friday before the draft wraps up Saturday with rounds four through seven.
In preparation, NFL analysts and scouts have spent months meticulously reviewing prospects as well as seeing where they best fit with the 32 teams.
The guessing game of where these players fall is up in the air outside of the top two picks — Clemson’s QB Trevor Lawrence is expected to go to Jacksonville and BYU’s QB Zack Wilson will presumably head to the New York Jets.
Typically, the University of Louisville (UofL) and University of Kentucky (UK) have multiple players drafted. Most recently, both schools have seen first round draft picks in OT Mekhi Becton and LB Josh Allen.
Although there may not be a former Cardinal or Wildcat selected in the first night, mock drafts have a few players from each school projected to be taken in later rounds.
Here’s a few UofL and UK players to lookout for during the NFL Draft:
Tutu Atwell, WR – Louisville
The junior wide-out was a standout for the Cards in his final two years with the team, including a 2019 campaign where he set the school record for receiving yards and tied the school record for receiving touchdowns.
Any time Atwell lines up in the slot or the outside, he’s a big play waiting happen. The Miami native was known for his blazing speed and ability to make things happen in space.
The only knock against Atwell heading into the draft is his size. Atwell stands at 5-foot-9 and weighs around 155 pounds.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects Atwell as a fourth round pick noting the big-play potential may be enticing for teams but his limitations on the field make him a niche talent.
Dez Fitzpatrick, WR – Louisville
A fifth year senior for the Cardinals, Fitzpatrick’s production declined through the years but his consistent presence on the outside for the receiving corps was valuable.
Fitzpatrick recorded 154 receptions for 2,589 yards during his career ranking ninth and sixth all-time in school records, respectively. He saved the best season for last, totaling 833 yards, three touchdowns and a spot on the ACC coaches’ all-conference second team in 2020.
Unlike Atwell, Fitzpatrick has NFL size with a 6-foot-2 fame. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects Fitzpatrick as a seventh round pick saying he may have an uphill battle making an NFL roster.
Jamin Davis, LB – Kentucky
Despite just 11 career starts for the Wildcats, Davis has transformed into a potential first-round pick in the pre-draft process. At 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, Davis’ speed, athleticism and ball skills have captured the attention of scouts everywhere.
Davis is the first UK player since Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan to record five consecutive double-figure tackle games in one season. He led the Wildcats in tackles and had three interceptions in 2020. He’s all over the ball — having blocked a kick, recorded sacks, forced fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown in his final season.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay has Davis going to the Green Bay Packers at No. 29, and most analysts have him going near the end of the first round.
Kelvin Joseph, CB – Kentucky
After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, Kelvin Joseph started in nine games for UK last season, finishing the year with 25 tackles and four interceptions.
While his size and athleticism make him an appealing prospect, the LSU transfer’s lack of experience and maturity have been questioned by analysts.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said that while his ability could move him up on some teams’ boards, his personal fouls and undisciplined plays might concern others. Joseph opted out of the 2020 season before UK’s final game against South Carolina, not playing in the win over NC State in the 2021 Gator Bowl.
The 5-foot-11, 197 pound corner is expected to be drafted on Friday, some time in the second or third round.
Rondale Moore, WR – Purdue
Of this list, Rondale Moore of Purdue is the most decorated player. The Trinity High School and New Albany native teamed up with former UofL QB and Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm to have a stellar freshmen season in 2018.
Moore served as a do-it-all guy for the Boilermakers in the historic season. He was honored as the 2018 recipient of the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player and was the first true freshman consensus All-American in Big Ten history.
In his three season in the black and gold, Moore totaled 1915 receiving yards on 178 catches. He finished 17 total touchdowns in his career including 14 in his freshman campaign.
The jack-of-all offensive weapon lacks NFL size standing at 5-foot-7 but his elite speed and play-making more then compensates for it.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projects Moore as a second to third round pick.
Don’t miss coverage of the NFL Draft beginning on WHAS11 at 8 p.m. Thursday