2021 NFL Draft
Najee Harris continues to cement his RB1 status for the 2021 NFL Draft. Check out more draft notes from the Rose Bowl. (Tim Heitman)

2021 NFL Draft Stock Report: Rose Bowl

In the final iterations of the 2021 NFL Draft stock report posts, I’ll be reviewing any of the Bowl games I watch. I’ll be the first to admit I watched fewer bowl games than normal because of the opt-outs. They’ve lost some luster. However, my 2021 will kick off by sitting on the couch and reviewing the Chick-Fil-A, Rose, and Sugar Bowl.

Let’s continue with the Rose Bowl featuring Notre Dame and Alabama. Who stood out in the game for better or worse and really impacted their 2021 NFL Draft Stock?

Notre Dame

The Irish offensive line really is the only reason Notre Dame was able to stay in the game. Otherwise, this game would have gotten even uglier. Of course, Notre Dame went down 31-14 to Alabama.

There’s not a ton to take away here. The Irish defense has been impressive in past weeks (minus Clemson) but they had no answers. They didn’t even look like they belonged in the same building for a second consecutive week. I could get into the nitty-gritty of the offensive line cause otherwise, I’m not sure anybody really stood out.

Alabama

Mac Jones

It only feels right to break up Bama into three sections. Offensively, they are carried by Mac Jones, Najee Harris, and DeVonta Smith.

Mac Jones just does his job. I know that’s not sexy or what you want to hear but it’s the truth. The guy goes out there and does his job. You’re not forcing him into dumb decisions. Jones looks very coachable.

Maybe Jones isn’t the fleetest of foot, but in this game, he showed he can move just fine. Kyle Trask looks like he has two left feet. Jones can at least pick up yardage in a pinch.

The Alabama signal caller finished the game 26-31, 303 yards, and four touchdowns. This game was a hard one to really scout. Everything was so easy for Jones because his guys kept winning. There wasn’t a ton of wow but he took what the defense gave him and did his job. That counts for something. Jones is the toughest QB evaluation in the draft.

Najee Harris

Najee Harris was my top-ranked running back coming into the season and today was no different. Najee once again showed why he’s special. He can carry his big frame well showing shiftiness but also pound you at the same time. Catching the ball is also not an issue.

The highlight of the game goes to Najee’s hurdle. It’s hard to find back that big that move the way Harris does. Harris rolls out of bed and can kill defenses. On just 15 carries, Harris rushed for 125 yards. Don’t forget the sexy hurdle.

DeVonta Smith

I’m pretty sure DeVonta Smith could show up to the stadium drunk and catch three touchdowns. There’s no effort. He’s just so advanced. Smith has developed to the point where teams know he’s an NFL guy and is too old to be stopped.

It was another walk in the park for the Crimson Tide wide out. Smith finished the day with seven receptions for 130 yards and three scores.

From a pure ability standpoint, Smith has a similar frame to Henry Ruggs but you can see that he has more than one speed. There’s a suddenness to his game. For a small wide receiver, Smith is stronger than he appears. The only problem is his draft price point is going to make me uncomfortable. Are we sure this is a Hall of Fame guy? Show me the 160-pound receivers enshrined?

Defense

Christian Barmore came away with a beautiful sack. You can see the way he uses his hands he should translate right away. The pure pass rushing is there already.

Notre Dame legit refused to throw the ball in Patrick Surtain’s direction. I don’t care what the other corners look like. Just jot down Surtain as THE corner in the 2021 NFL Draft. He did show some great tackling skills whenever someone was in his general vicinity.

Josh Jobe is a big corner too that showed he can tackle. Jobe opened the game with a big hit on special teams forcing a fumble.

Our guy Jeremy pointed out how Dylan Moses struggled in coverage during the SEC Championship game (a game I didn’t watch). The only thing I noticed is that Moses looks a step slow. Probably not fully recovered from the 100 injuries he’s suffered in the past.

BUT in this game, Moses was really bad in coverage. Very grabby and just unable to keep up with anybody he was covering. The once great athlete just doesn’t look as explosive as he used to.

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