ESPN’s Todd McShay Has Six From Arkansas Colleges Rated For NFL Draft

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Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — EPSN’s Todd McShay has released his Top 350 prospects and also rated them by positions leading up to this week’s NFL Draft that begins Thursday night and concludes Saturday.

McShay has rated six prospects from Arkansas colleges. He has three Razorbacks, two from Arkansas State and another from UCA on the list.

Here’s a closer look at each of the six.

Feleipe Franks, QB, 6-6 5/8, 234, Arkansas — Rated the No. 239 prospect in the Top 350 by McShay. He ranks Franks the No. 11 quarterback available. His Scouts Inc. grade is 37.

“Franks has a big-time arm. He lacks ideal release quickness but makes up for it with ball velocity. He can drive the deep out with ease and can flick his wrist for a 50-plus-yard deep ball. He also shows good touch as a deep-ball passer. However, despite improved consistency with decision-making and ball placement in 2020, Franks still struggles in both areas. He lacks a natural feel for pressure in the pocket and makes a lot of poor decisions when under pressure. His footwork is erratic, which leads to erratic accuracy. In addition, he’s inconsistent with timing and trajectory. Franks has just average top-end speed, but he is a smooth athlete with above-average ability to extend. He had limited carries in college but has shown flashes of being dangerous as a runner in the zone-read and RPO game. He has some twitchiness for a long-legged quarterback and will occasionally make defenders miss when he tucks and runs. Franks is the ultimate developmental quarterback prospect.” — Final evaluation

Rakeem Boyd, RB, 5-11 3/8, 213, Arkansas — McShay ranks him the No. 228 prospect in the 350. He has a grade of 41 and is rated the No. 18 running back.

“Boyd has good height and adequate bulk. He has good top-end speed but lacks short-area quickness and twitchiness. He is slow to stop and start, and he dances too much prior to hitting the line of scrimmage as an inside runner. He also struggles to stick his foot in the turf and accelerate upfield. He really drags out his outside runs. Boyd is not overly powerful, and his feet tend to go dead on initial contact. In the pass game, Boyd has speed to generate chunk plays if he catches the ball in space, but he lacks natural ball skills. Boyd shows sound ball security habits on tape.”— Final evaluation

Jonathan Marshall, DT, 6-3 1/8, 310, Arkansas — The No. 243 prospect with a grade of 38. He is ranked the No. 16 defensive tackle in the draft by McShay.

“Marshall has a good combination of height, bulk and speed. He has good initial quickness and is best suited to play the three-technique in a 4-3 scheme because of his ability to create initial penetration. But he needs to develop his array of pass-rush moves, and his ball recognition must improve. Marshall shows some initial pop at the point of attack, but he struggles to hold his ground in the run game. He’s also slow to locate the ball and disengage from blockers who get into his pads.” — Final evaluation

Jonathan Adams, WR, 6-2, 210, Arkansas State — Surprisingly rated low at No. 336 with a grade of 30. McShay has him rated the No. 51 wide receiver. Someone could end up getting a steal in Adams.

“Adams has average size and top-end speed. He played basketball at Arkansas State early on in his career. He knows how to box out underneath, and he elevates well downfield. He has good body control and does a solid job of adjusting to back-shoulder throws. He’s physical and flashes the ability to separate with his strength at the top of routes, but he doesn’t have great change of direction. He makes highlight catches, but his hands are inconsistent and he drops too many balls.” — Final evaluation

Forrest Merrill, DT, 6-0, 322, Arkansas State — Rated the No. 227 prospect for the drat, No. 15 defensive tackle and a grade of 41.

“Merrill’s size and low center of gravity make it tough to move him off the ball. He has shorter arms but excellent upper body strength and he flashes the ability to chuck blockers in time to make the play. He chases the quarterback with good effort and is strong enough to push the pocket. He has below average initial quickness and closing speed. He tends to stall out when he moves laterally. He turns 25 in August.” — Final evaluation

Robert Rochell, CB, 5-11 3/4, 193, UCA — The highest rated of all the prospects in Arkansas. He is rated the No. 113 overall, No. 18 cornerback and has a grade of 69.

“Rochell has long arms, excellent top-end speed and average size. There aren’t many receivers whom he can’t physically turn and run with in press. He has excellent recovery speed, but his technique and footwork are inconsistent. He struggled during one-on-ones at the Senior Bowl and missed an opportunity to quiet concerns about the level of competition he faced in college. He has small hands, yet he has above-average ball skills and plays the ball — not the man — facing the line of scrimmage. He has good body control and outstanding leaping ability. He’s an effective tackler after the catch and when action comes his way in the run game.” — Final evaluation

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