2021 NFL draft: Can Florida QB Kyle Trask fit in modern NFL game?

Eric Edholm
·23-min read

Leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, which starts April 29, Yahoo Sports will count down our top 100 overall prospects. We’ll count them down in groups of five for Nos. 100-51, followed by more in-depth reports on our top 50 players, with help from our scouting assistant, Liam Blutman. We reserve the right to make changes to players’ grades and evaluations based on injury updates, pro-day workouts or late-arriving information from NFL teams.

Other prospect rankings: Nos. 100-96 | 95-91 | 90-86 | 85-81 | 80-76 | 75-71 | 70-66 | 65-61 | 60-56 | 55-51 | 50. OT Liam Eichenberg | 49. WR Terrace Marshall Jr. | 48. LB Chazz Surratt | 47. EDGE Joe Tryon | 46. OT-OG Alex Leatherwood | 45. CB Asante Samuel Jr. | 44. DL Levi Onwuzurike | 43. LB Jabril Cox | 42. DT Daviyon Nixon | 41. EDGE Ronnie Perkins | 40. LB Nick Bolton | 39. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu | 38. WR Elijah Moore | 37. OT Jalen Mayfield | 36. EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. | 35. CB Elijah Molden | 34. RB Travis Etienne | 33. WR Kadarius Toney | 32. EDGE Jayson Oweh | 31. LB Zaven Collins | 30. Christian Barmore

Here are how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Here are how we use our prospect grades for the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

65. Florida QB Kyle Trask

6-foot-5, 240 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.82 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Longtime backup turned shocking QB prospect whose toughness and touch are impressive but whose athleticism most certainly isn’t

Games watched: LSU (2019), Georgia (2020), Kentucky (2020), Texas A&M (2020)

The skinny: A 2-star Rivals recruit, Trask received two scholarship offers: Florida and Houston Baptist. He got on the Gators’ map at one of their camps, having not started in high school since his freshman year (he backed up Houston and Miami QB D’Eriq King). Trask redshirted in 2016 and didn’t see the field in 2017 after suffering a foot injury prior to the season. His first action came in 2018 when Trask backed up Feleipe Franks and completed 14 of 22 passes for 162 yards and one TD, rushing for one TD in four games.

In 2019, Trask replaced an injured Franks and started the final 10 games of the season. He completed 237 of 354 passes (66.9 percent) for 2,941 yards with 25 TDs and seven interceptions and ran for four TDs. Trask upped his game further in 2020 and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He threw for a Gators-record 43 TD passes and only eight interceptions in completing 301 of 437 passes (68.9 percent) for 4,283 yards, and running for three TDs in 12 starts. Trask committed to play in the Senior Bowl before backing out.

Upside: Extraordinary production for a player who was a backup for six straight years. First SEC player with at least four touchdown passes in six straight games. Set school marks for passing yards and TDs as a senior. Threw for 256 yards or more in 16 of his final 17 college starts. Two or more TD passes in 20 of 22 starts. Noticeable statistical improvement from 2019 to 2020.

Extremely tough mentally and physically. Stepped in for injured Franks trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter and led comeback victory with three TD drives. Went toe to toe against Joe Burrow in 2019 at unbeaten LSU and nearly pulled off the win. Took an absolute beating in 2020 bowl game vs. Oklahoma behind a patchwork offensive line when many offensive teammates opted out.

Handles pressure better than some NFL quarterbacks. Fearless in the pocket and will hang until the very last moment. Unfazed by pressure and actually had better passing numbers against the blitz. Showed in 2020 a better feel for stepping up in muddied pockets. Carries out play-action fakes extremely well.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask could be a Day 2 pick in 2021. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask could be a Day 2 pick in 2021. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Trusts his elite playmakers — identifies favorable matchups for his horses and isn’t afraid to go let them make a play. Ball placement usually allows his man a better shot to get it than the defender. Good rhythm passer with excellent downfield touch — can feather the fade, post and flag routes. Showed a willingness to push the ball vertically.

Can wear down man coverage and nickel and dime defenses until bigger opportunities open up. Good posture in the pocket — stands ready to fire. Has enough arm strength to drive into throws outside the numbers. Knows when to throw fastballs, when to throw changeups.

Accuracy to all parts of the field. Keeps eyes downfield and passing platform underneath him, even when on the move. Clean, three-quarters delivery with a quick release.

Prototypical NFL passer build. Faced a battery of stiff tests and routinely stepped up to challenges — big moments look routine. Gave Alabama everything it could handle in the 2020 SEC title game. Has played at a high level the past two seasons without much in the way of game action prior to 2019.

Effective goal-line and short-yardage runner — sturdy enough to power through for a yard if you need him too. Has pooch-punt ability.

Downside: Benefited greatly from elite skill-position talent and Dan Mullen’s exceptional system — threw to two possible first-round targets. Operated in a shotgun-heavy attack. Screen-heavy offense called on him to throw more than 60 percent of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage (or behind it).

Stats not always indicative of how he played. Dependent on good pass protection and having talented skill-position players around him to be successful. Threw three INTs in the first three possessions of the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma operating with an opt-out-depleted offense.

Not mobile — at all. Wooden feet at times and took sacks he shouldn’t have. Lets pressure get on top of him too often, which won’t work in the NFL. Scrambles maybe once a game — and only when all other options are off the table.

Arm talent isn’t special. Can make most of the throws but doesn’t always zip them in the way they’re needed to be. Velocity drops even more when his feet aren’t set beneath him or he doesn’t step into throws. Will miss some layups — chunked a few “easy” throws most quarterbacks make in their sleep. Decent distance off the tees, but the short game needs tweaking.

Has trouble resetting and throwing — some ugly reps when he’s asked to adjust to chaos in front of him create on the move. Improvisational skills appear quite limited. Decision making must be closely examined — forced some balls into double coverage and had some “what the heck was that?” throws the past two seasons.

This is a ball against Georgia — which ended up a pick six — I’d want to ask Trask about: Was he expecting his receiver(s) to do something different? It appears there were errors by both the receivers and Trask here, but it’s a shaky decision to let this one rip either way:

There appears to be some confusion on these routes, but Kyle Trask made a shaky decision here.
There appears to be some confusion on these routes, but Kyle Trask made a shaky decision here.

Will stare down targets. Must improve his eye manipulation of safeties. A bit slow going through second and third reads (and didn’t need to do it all that much at Florida). Throws his receivers into harm’s way at times. Still learning some of the veteran tricks of the trade.

Ball security a quiet concern — 10 fumbles in his final 22 games. A shade on the older side at 23 years old. Health of left knee must be examined.

Best-suited destination: Trask is a rhythm passer who needs a strong structure in place and talent at the skill positions. Ideally, he’d also be protected behind a strong offensive line to protect against his lack of mobility, even though his toughness is ideal.

Going to a team such as the Steelers, Buccaneers, Falcons or Rams — where he can develop behind an aging starter — would be a best-case scenario. With his poise, Trask could start early in his career, but he’d be a lower-end starter for teams that lacked strong supporting casts.

Did you know: Trask’s parents, Micheal and Melissa attended Texas A&M and named their son after the Aggies’ football stadium — Kyle Field.

Trask’s grandfather, Orville Trask, was the Houston Oilers’ first team captain and helped the franchise win AFL titles in 1960 and 1961.

Player comp: Nick Foles

Expected draft range: Rounds 2 or 3

64. North Carolina WR Dyami Brown

6-foot, 185 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.82 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Speedball deep threat whose strength is surprising, even if he might not be the most well-rounded wideout

Games watched: Florida State (2020), North Carolina State (2020), Virginia (2020), Syracuse (2020)

The skinny: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 120 nationally), Brown was a big recruiting win for the Tar Heels. He started six of 10 games as a true freshman in 2018, catching 17 passes for 173 yards and one TD. In 2019, he caught 51 passes for 1,034 yards and 12 TDs (tying the school mark) in 13 starts, earning third team all-ACC honors. Brown had 55 receptions for 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 starts in 2020, named third-team AP All-America and first-team all-ACC status. He opted out of the bowl game against Texas A&M and declared early for the draft.

Upside: Terrific speed. Requires safety attention every time he takes the field. Profiles as an NFL deep-ball threat who can tilt the field in a hurry and takes the tops off of defenses. Good length to be featured on jump balls downfield.

Outstanding production. Averaged more than 20 yards per catch the past two seasons. Scored 20 TDs in his past 22 games. Had 15 receptions thrown 20 air yards or more over the past three seasons combined (behind only Ja’Marr Chase’s 16). Scored eight TDs of 40 or more yards. Averaged a TD catch every 5.3 receptions the past two seasons.

Excellent slant runner. Explodes off the line and gains easy, quick separation. Shows subtle gear changes in his routes to lull defensive backs to sleep. Check out this devastatingly subtle stutter-go route from Brown against Virginia, just dusting the corner — and patiently waiting for the ball to arrive:

Watch Dyami Brown's subtle hesitation leave the Virginia DB in the dust.
Watch Dyami Brown's subtle hesitation leave the Virginia DB in the dust.

Improved hands — followed up drop-plagued 2019 season with a very reliable 2020 campaign (three drops on 82 targets). Was better at looking the ball into his hands and waiting to secure it before making his next move. Zero fumbles in three years.

Not just a finesse receiver. Better at coming back to the football in 2020. Enjoys battling at the catch point. Unafraid to get physical and doesn’t just get off press coverage with speed or his first step.

Downside: Lean frame that lacks quality body armor. Decent but not special length. Speed aside, he might not possess elite athleticism. Not really as sudden in and out of his breaks as you’d hope. Change-of-direction skill appears average for a receiver with his build. Gives effort as a blocker but isn’t very impactful.

Inflated production in talent-laden, aggressive offense with future NFL QB (Sam Howell). Saw favorable looks playing with one of the best run games in college football and playing with fellow NFL prospect Dazz Newsome.

Limited route tree in a modified Air Raid system — could require time to adjust to different routes, depths and timing in an NFL system. Lined up as the left outside receiver on more than 90 percent of his snaps the past two seasons — very little work in the slot.

Played mostly on the right side in 2018 and would moonlight in the backfield on occasion but doesn’t display a ton of versatility to his game. Still improving his route diversity and tempo. Unclear how effective he could be where he’s asked to make more YAC plays — didn’t make a lot of people miss.

Wasn’t really used on special teams his final two seasons — no obvious role for him in the NFL on those units.

Best-suited destination: Brown was a bit pigeonholed as the deep target in UNC’s offense the past two seasons but could diversify his game over time. Initially, he’d be best in that role but should add arrows to his quiver. His best bet is landing with a vertical passing game where he can step in as a WR3 or WR4 now and work his way up the pecking order.

Did you know: Brown’s brother, Khafre, is also a Tar Heels receiver.

Player comp: There’s some Will Fuller to Brown’s game, and if you like to go back a bit farther, there are some similarities to Johnny Knox as well. Brown, however, might be a half a step slower than both.

Expected draft range: Round 3

63. Clemson OT-OG Jackson Carman

6-foot-5, 330 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.82 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Big, naturally athletic tackle who could be tried at guard, but he’s not as dominant as his talent suggests

Games watched: LSU (2019), Boston College (2020), Wake Forest (2020), Ohio State (2020)

The skinny: A 5-star Rivals recruit (No. 16 nationally), Carman enrolled early his freshman year. He was the backup left tackle, seeing action in 13 games as a freshman (including both playoff games), for the national champion Tigers in 2018. In 2019, Carman started all 15 games and was named third-team all-ACC. He then started 12 games in 2020 for the playoff-bound Tigers, earning second-team all-ACC honors, before declaring early for the draft. Although he did not participate in Clemson’s pro day, Carman plans to hold an on-campus workout on April 15.

Upside: Good size for tackle or guard. Weighed in at pro day at a svelte 317 pounds, measuring nearly 6-foot-5 with a condor-like wingspan (87 inches) despite shorter arms. Extremely broad chest. Still young with plenty of growth potential — will be a 21-year-old rookie.

Plays with great strength and power. Carries a physical edge on the field. Has the requisite pop to excel in a gap-blocking system. Almost impossible to bull rush him. Sets his anchor and rarely gets uprooted.

Very agile for a man his size. Impressive flexibility for a blocker who played closer to the 330-340 range in college. Pad level is fairly impressive for a big guy. Terrific combination of upper- and lower-body strength, plus natural athletic traits — those are hard to find.

Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman (79) had some good reps in the 2019 playoff game vs. Ohio State's Chase Young. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).
Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman (79) had some good reps in the 2019 playoff game vs. Ohio State's Chase Young. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).

Showed steady improvements as a pass blocker — kept Trevor Lawrence relatively clean for three years. Clemson’s interior line struggled in 2020, requiring Carman to compensate for inside pressure. Good peripheral vision to spot late trouble and adjust. Good punch skills and hand use in pass protection — appears to have taken to coaching on this.

Nasty demeanor. Intimidator who doesn’t back down from a rock fight. Played well against a battery of a schedule for three years. Faced top competition and seldom was exposed or overwhelmed. Had some solid reps vs. Chase Young in 2019 playoff semifinal game.

Downside: Still an unpolished gem — has all the talent but never lived up to expectations. Has first-round traits but some third- and fourth-round tape at times.

Clunky footwork remains a big work in progress. Suffers from some balance issues, lunges too often, has late feet when delivering a blow and can get exposed by quality NFL defensive linemen if not fixed.

Some scouts see him as a better fit inside. Despite the great wingspan, he has short arms (32 1/2 inches) and small hands (9 5/8 inches) — somewhat unusual dimensions. Will give up that broad chest to defenders at times.

Pass-rush effectiveness could be shaky early on in the NFL. Inside rush moves have given him trouble. Also susceptible to strong edge speed and burst. Benefitted from a lot of three-step-drop passes. Will fall off blocks and fail to sustain properly. Not bad on the move in college but might be a tick slow to get to the edge in the pros.

Played too heavy at times in college. Had trouble controlling weight — arrived as a 375-pound freshman. Pro-day weight wasn’t what he played at. Seemed to fade down the stretch the past two seasons (with the exception of the first Ohio State game). Also suffered from accountability concerns early in college and will require some character vetting. Scouts say his focus and attention to detail could use improvement.

Back injury that kept him out of earlier pro day is a chronic issue that could earn some red flags.

Best-suited destination: Carman’s best fit appears to be in a man-blocking system that features the run game and doesn’t leave its tackles isolated in five-man pass protections. The guess is that he’ll be a swing tackle/sixth OL who is cross-trained inside and used on heavy alignments before competing for a starting job in 2022.

Did you know: Carman is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves to cook. And there are few foods he hasn’t tried — or wouldn’t try. He has eaten bull testicles and cow tongue, for instance.

Player comp: His peak might be Taylor Moton.

Expected draft range: Round 3

62. Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph

6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.83 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Highly inexperienced but fascinating ballhawk with first-round talent whose character concerns leave his evaluation murky

Games watched: Auburn (2020), Ole Miss (2020), Georgia (2020), Florida (2020), Alabama (2020)

The skinny: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 55 nationally) out of Baton Rouge, Joseph signed with hometown LSU out of high school, playing right away as a true freshman. In 2018, he played in 11 games on special teams and as a defensive reserve, making 12 tackles and one pass breakup. After being suspended for the Tigers’ bowl game that year, Joseph transferred to Kentucky for the 2019 season when he redshirted. Joseph was a nine-game starter for the Wildcats in 2020, making 25 tackles, four interceptions (one returned for a TD) and five pass breakups. He opted out prior to the South Carolina game and declared early for the 2021 draft.

Upside: Great length and athleticism for a modern NFL cornerback. Moves extremely well — fluid in his drops and transitions. Clicks and closes fast and keeps up with receivers of all shapes and sizes. Uses length well to press and reroute receivers off the line. Explosive mover.

Four interceptions on a mere 34 targets last season. Sees the ball and gets it. Great instincts matched with an aggressive, my-ball mentality.

Reads the eyes of the quarterback and will pounce — like he did against Tennessee with a 41-yard pick six. Made two impressive INTs along the sideline, including a toe-tapper against Georgia. Natural hands on turnover chances.

Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph has first-round talent but hasn't played much college football. (Photo by UK Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph has first-round talent but hasn't played much college football. (Photo by UK Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

Held Alabama’s DeVonta Smith without a catch in their reps (two targets) against each other and had a pick at the goal line on one of those targets. Faced some impressive receivers and often held his own.

Effective in bail technique. Natural feel for man coverage. Makes plays at the catch point and challenges receivers throughout the route. Gets right in their grill and makes separation tough.

Strong tackler — supports the run game well. Typically gets his man down in coverage if they make the catch. Latches on and doesn’t let go. Made several big tackles at the goal line and first-down marker. Effective in red-zone situations coming up to play the run. Unafraid to mix it up or take on an oncoming train head-on.

Plays with an edge — believes he can shut anyone down. Great talent base to work with and groom — has All-Pro level talent that can be coaxed out in time.

Downside: Never played a full season — fewer than 800 defensive snaps over two college seasons. Essentially a one-year starter (nine career starts).

Roller-coaster season — struggled badly in first two games (Auburn, Ole Miss), looked like one of the best corners in college football for the next six contests and then had a rough outing in what would be his final game, against Florida — was no match for TE Kyle Pitts on a 56-yard TD.

Inconsistent tape, even on plays when he wasn’t targeted. Gets feet out of place in press coverage. Can lose coverage against speed threats. Will lose the football in the air at times and mistime his jumps. Gets too linear in his backpedal and loses quick-twitch ability to transition.

Flagged four times last season — personal fouls in two separate games last season. Can be undisciplined and overly aggressive. Technique gets sloppy. Freelances and guesses — falls for makes and double moves.

Character must be fully cross-checked at two schools. Has trouble with authority — butted heads with both coaching staffs. Could require a patient, nurturing DBs coach and mentor to keep him focused and grounded at the next level.

Best-suited destination: Any team that drafts Joseph will have to sign off on his character first and have a plan for his development. If it goes well, he could be one of the steals of the draft. He’s best in a man-heavy system where Joseph can be brought along at a proper pace before he’s ready for extensive duty.

Did you know: Joseph’s nickname is “Bossman Fat,” and it’s also his stage name for his budding rap career.

Player comp: Shades of Marcus Lattimore, but any Joseph comp is tough because of his limited experience.

Expected draft range: Round 2

61. Tennessee OG Trey Smith

6-foot-5, 331 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.83 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Four-year starter with size, toughness and character — plus major medical concerns

Games watched: South Carolina (2019), Missouri (2019), Alabama (2020), Auburn (2020), Florida (2020)

The skinny: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 49 nationally), Smith started immediately for the Vols in 2017. That season he started eight games at right guard and four at left tackle and was named second-team all-SEC and freshman All-America honors. Following the season, Smith was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs and kept out of offseason workouts while on blood thinners. Although he returned in the fall of 2018 to start seven games at left tackle, Smith was required to stop for fear that his lungs were scarred from the clots.

He came back in 2019 to earn first-team all-SEC at left guard, starting 13 games, and opted to return to school for his senior season. Smith started all 11 games at left guard for the Vols and was named the Jason Witten Award winner (given for leadership on the field and community service off it) and the Fritz Pollard Trophy (given for extraordinary courage and community values). He attended the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Upside: Elite finisher. Bullies opponents through the whistle. Loves bouncing guys out of the club. Aggressive mentality. Tough, big and nasty.

Size is ideal for a road-grading guard. Despite losing weight more than once during his UT career, he has kept a steady playing weight. Huge, thick, well-developed upper body. Requisite arm length (33 3/4 inches), huge hands (10 inches) and massive wingspan (83 1/8 inches).

Base strength is excellent — very difficult to move this man. Incredible pop at the point of attack — shocks some defenders off the snap. Uses his hands to control and steer opponents where he desires.

Undersold athletic traits. Good mobility and agility. Can get out on the move and pull to lead the run game. Hits moving targets pretty well in space. Watch here from the 2019 matchup against Missouri as Smith (No. 73) flattens a DB and opens up a gorgeous lane to run through:

Smith flashes some enormous power, but he also earns high marks for this pancake in space against Mizzou in 2019.
Smith flashes some enormous power, but he also earns high marks for this pancake in space against Mizzou in 2019.

Effective in pass protection. Allowed only one sack allowed over his final two seasons. Started games at three different positions. Could play tackle or guard in the NFL and will be a valuable piece to have when moving parts are required. Four-year starter despite offseasons interrupted by health concerns.

Hard worker and highly respected player and person. Mental toughness might even surpass physical toughness. Has overcome adversity at almost every step of his life. Considered a natural-born leader and a pro-ready competitor.

Looked like a future pro the minute he took the field as a true freshman. Battle-tested in the weekly testing ground of the SEC. Had some really good reps against 2020 first-rounder Javon Kinlaw in their 2019 meeting.

Downside: One of the bigger health question marks in the entire 2021 draft class. Medical evaluation will be crucial for his final grades and avoid being off teams’ boards — can’t play football on anticoagulants.

Technique is unrefined despite four years of experience. Inconsistencies still show up with regularity — has missed critical practice time and offseason development because of medical issues. Can be overly aggressive and lose balance. Could get out of his stance cleaner at times — takes too big a first step and loses the position battle. Can stand to take better angles of departure.

Will overextend and lunge in pass protection. Loses leverage battles he should win. Has worked on lowering pad level over time, but it crops up. Fatigue appears to cause technique issues later in games and later in the season.

Still limited athletically — not going to win many foot races to the edge. Heavy feet. Short-side puller only. Short-area burst is only so-so. More of a plodder. Recovery quickness is lacking.

Power player but doesn’t always displace opponents effectively. Mistimes punches and resorts to jabs. Will slip off blocks and fail to sustain and drive. Can lose reps trying to bury opponents. Lot of stalemates and fewer dominant reps in 2020 tape — performance seemed to flatline or even turn for the worse.

Best-suited destination: Evaluation feels like a boom-or-bust prospect. He should go to a team where they can plan on him not starting immediately but be pleasantly surprised if he can. After all, Smith has the size, talent and experience to start right away in a power-blocking system — if the medical evaluations are clean.

Did you know: Smith lost his mother, Dorsetta, to congestive heart failure when he was in high school. It didn’t stop his drive and desire, as he was named Mr. Football twice as a prep and named to several All-America teams prior to college.

Player comp: A bigger Larry Warford.

Expected draft range: Rounds 3-6 (depending on medical reports)

More from Yahoo Sports: