The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone and Liberty did not have a player selected. Anthony Butler did sign as an undrafted free agent following the conclusion of the draft on Saturday, coming to terms with the Indianapolis Colts. Antonio Gandy-Golden was selected in the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Washington Football Team, and the Flames have a bevy of talent preparing to be one of the next Liberty draft picks. Here’s a look at the Flames who could hear their names called for the 2022 draft.
Since the conclusion of the 2021 draft this weekend, Malik Willis has been getting a lot of hype. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic wrote that he could be the next breakout quarterback. He was pegged as the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft by Pro Football Network. With a really strong 2021 season, Malik Willis could threaten to become Liberty’s highest draft pick in school history. Some analysts are already pegging the quarterback as a possible first round draft pick as he emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2020. The Dudley Award winner could come back to Liberty for the 2022 season, but if early projections are accurate, Willis could hear his name on day one of next year’s draft.
Jessie Lemonier was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chargers following the 2020 NFL Draft, and he had a very strong rookie season, making appearances in six games. Well, Durrell Johnson is a longer Lemonier. Checking in at 6’4″, Johnson has the length to make an NFL roster as a defensive end or he could slide to outside linebacker. Johnson is very versatile, as he spent much of his career before college at safety. In his first season at Liberty, the former JUCO All-American recorded 8.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
Other names to watch
Tristan Schultz: Schultz has the potential to get on NFL scouts’ radar with a strong 2021. At 6’4″, 305 pounds, he already has the size. The biggest question becomes if he has the athletic ability to make it at the next level.
Ralfs Rusins: He has quickly gone from someone who never played football to a starter at the FBS level. He’s also one of Liberty’s top defensive players over the past two seasons and had some scouts peaking in on him during 2020.