2021 NFL Draft prospects to watch on Independent teams.
With almost everything up in the air for the 2020 college football season, the Independent schools are the ones that are scrambling the most. Notre Dame has found a home in the ACC for the season, but as more conferences transition to conference-only schedules, the Independent schools could be left out to dry, meaning the players on those rosters that will be eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft could be left without much tape from the year.
Luckily, the majority of the teams could follow in the footsteps of Notre Dame and join a conference for the season given the circumstances. The Mountain West could be a landing spot for BYU as well as New Mexico State, being a conference that already has New Mexico and Boise State as members.
Army could join Navy in the American Conference for the season, playing more regional games but also having to travel to places like Houston and Tulsa. Liberty could also be a candidate for the American Conference, but their location might make more sense for Conference-USA, playing nearby Marshall and Old Dominion. The final decision would be for UMass who used to be a member of the Mid-American Conference. Geographically, the MAC didn’t make much sense, so a move to the American Conference might be the best choice for the season.
Regardless of where these teams end up, each has players to offer to the 2021 NFL Draft class. Even if they have a shortened and abbreviated schedule with what is left to be played, these players deserve the opportunity to showcase their skills as potential contributors at the NFL level a year from now.
Of the Independent teams, Notre Dame is the most well known and the move to the ACC for the season will drive the hype even more. However, the remaining five teams also have players that can make just as big of an impact in the NFL, they just haven’t received their opportunity or spotlight yet.