Summer scouting is the part of the NFL draft process when people initially identify talent that is worthy of praise for the next draft cycle.
However, every year there are people who slip through the cracks or take massive jumps into the national spotlight. It is not reasonable to expect there to always be a player who takes a leap like Joe Burrow, but every year there are players who sneak into the top-20 who were not even mentioned in first-round conversations during summer scouting. Players like Christian Darrisaw, Mac Jones, Jedrick Wills, and many others have had their strongest season leading up to their draft class and found themselves getting picked in the first round.
Similarly, there could be players who are being mentioned in first-round talks but boost their stock and get drafted in the top-15. Players like Jeff Okudah, Henry Ruggs, and C.J. Henderson are some examples.
The whole point of this article is to highlight some players who are flying under the radar and could be poised for a breakout year. The issue is that sometimes that breakout year never arrives. Some players have the tools to be successful, but can never put them together and get where they need to be. Summer scouting is the purest form of scouting as there is very little group think or retreaded thoughts. People are able to put their flags down and declare a group of college football players as the ones they think can succeed. The players listed in this article are just three of those players that could take a big leap in the 2021 college football season.