Draft Day: Will Ole Miss Have Any Prospects Taken?
Ah yes. The NFL Draft. The only time of the year where a general manager can take unbelievable risks and be hailed as a genius while another can draft the surefire #1 overall player and be ridiculed. You gotta love it.
This year’s draft promises to be one unlike we have ever seen. While we already had that assurance when Las Vegas being announced as the location, the shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 have turned this year’s edition into the first fully-virtual draft. Goodbye casinos, and hello to dozens of coffee cups sitting on a sleep-deprived GM’s desk at home.
However, while we are in for a wild draft, many fans of college football wonder how many picks will come from their favorite school. In the case of the Rebels this year, it’s complicated. It could either be multiple, or we could see a draft with no former Ole Miss players taken. Let’s take a look at some of the Rebels who could hear their name called this weekend.
Josiah Coatney, Defensive Tackle
A starter in 35 of 36 of his games in Oxford, Coatney was one of the few bright spots in a slew of historically bad Rebel defenses. While he started at defensive end for the last ten games of his final collegiate season, at 6-4 and 325 pounds, he projects as a defensive tackle at the next level. In his senior season, he tallied 46 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks. CBS Sports has a sixth-round grade on Coatney, and NFL.com projects him as an in drafted free agent.
Benito Jones, Defensive Tackle
A highly-touted prospect from Mississippi, Jones did not live up to his billing as the number seven overall recruit in the historic 2016 class. Appearing in all 48 games, he started in 36 of his appearances as a Rebel. In his senior season, he started ten games at nose tackle. Coming in at 6-1 and 329 pounds, Jones is highly regarded for his brute strength on the inside. In his collegiate career, he made 132 total tackles, 31 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. CBS Sports has a late sixth-early seventh round grade on Jones while NFL.com has him at a fifth-round grade.
Scottie Phillips, Running Back
The Jones County Junior College transfer has been extremely loved in his short two-year stint as a Rebel. In his junior season, Phillips was easily on pace to be the first 1,000 yard rusher since Brandon Bolden before injuries limited him to seven carries for five yards in the final two games of the season. In his senior season, Phillips’s production was again limited by injuries, as well as the emergence of star recruits Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner at the halfback position. Despite injury concerns, many are optimistic about Phillips’s potential as a special teamer in the league due to excellent speed and elusiveness. Because of this, both CBS Sports and NFL.com project him as a seventh-round pick.