2021 NFL Draft: Duke Football star CB Mark Gilbert can’t catch a break

Duke football loses 2021 NFL Draft cornerback Mark Gilbert again

There was once a time when Mark Gilbert was one of the best cornerbacks in the nation. With the 2021 NFL Draft up next for him, Gilbert looked primed to return to the Duke Football program as he looked to be at full health once again.

However, after recording an interception in last week’s lost to the Boston College Eagles, the Blue Devils lost more than just the game as Gilbert has once again gone down with an injury. After last week’s action, Gilbert was diagnosed with a loose bone fracture in his right foot. He has since had surgery and his timetable towards a return is listed as out indefinitely.

A world of promise crushed by injuries

As a Sophomore back in 2017, Mark Gilbert burst onto the scene of draft pundits after he put together an astounding season with the Blue Devils. With ball skills off the charts, Gilbert knocked down a massive 15 passes and six interceptions as Duke football battled it out in the ACC.

Entering 2018 with a world of hype, Gilbert dislocated his hip two weeks into the season, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Then as the 2019 season approached, Gilbert was forced to undergo a second hip injury; this knocked him out for the entirety of the season a year ago.

What is next for the Duke Football star?

Unfortunately for Gilbert, he now has a tough decision to make. Born June 1, 1997, he is already 23 years old and will be 24 by the time 2021 NFL Draft rolls around. Gilbert could presumably remain at Duke one more year, given this season does not count towards the eligibility of any player. However, if he chose to do so, he would then turn 25 just months after heading to the NFL in the 2022 NFL Draft.

There are fewer players to feel worse for than the 6-foot-1 and 175 pound Gilbert, a player with a world of NFL aspirations. As he now recovers from his foot injury, just off a two year recovery from his hip injury, Gilbert will more than likely head to the 2021 NFL Draft as he is already in his fifth year with the Duke Football program.