Dontario Drummond has done it the hard way for his entire career. Originally ranked as a two-star prospect by 247 Sports coming out of Laurel High School just north of Hattiesburg, Drummond spent the next two years dominating the JUCO ranks at East Mississippi Community College where he earned All-American honors and won two NJCAA national championships .
Still, most recruiting services only listed him as a three-star JUCO prospect despite him totaling over 1,400 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns in his two seasons at EMCC. In his time at Ole Miss, the big-bodied receiver showed consistent improvement and production through his three seasons with the Rebels.
He exploded in his senior year connecting with star quarterback Matt Corral for 76 catches and nearly 1,100 yards to go along with eight touchdowns. These numbers blew away his sophomore totals of 25 catches and 473 yards. Ole Miss Head Coach Lane Kiffin is well known for running a receiver friendly offense and the Rebels were able to take advantage of Drummond’s size advantage i
Once he makes the catch, he is an absolute problem to bring down, toting a bag full of shifty moves and the strength to steamroll would-be tacklers. Drummond has also displayed a willingness and ability to block in the run game which is key in some of the league’s offensive systems. The latest mock drafts have him going in the later rounds, but Drummond presents a considerable value for a few teams in need of some size at wideout.
Most NFL scouts and experts see Drummond as a bit of a project and predict hearing his name called somewhere in the sixth or seventh round. Due to his limited experience as a true pro-style receiver, teams may have little work to do to refine Drummond’s game although he already possesses solid athleticism, decent speed and a natural fluidity when route-running. There are a number of teams with picks on day three of the draft who could certainly use some help in the pass-catching department. Let’s take a look at where the 24-year-old route runner could land in next week’s NFL Draft.
In today’s pass-happy NFL, a team can never have too many receivers. With defenses constantly shifting and tweaking coverages to stop the league’s best pass-catchers, it’s also vital for teams to have a deep lineup of auxiliary receivers who can alleviate pressure in coverage as well as provide blocking support. Two teams that have displayed a need for this type of player are the Miami Dolphins and the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, who both hold picks towards the end of the draft.
The Dolphins have two picks in the seventh-round, providing an ample opportunity to take the former Rebel. Newly hired Head Coach Mike McDaniel is an innovative offensive mind and has shown the ability to work receivers into the game plan in unique ways a 49ers star Deebo Samuel.
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is also very comfortable in the same RPO-style offense Drummond came from at Ole Miss, as Miami used that scheme on 13% of their passes last season, the most in the league. With the departure of longtime Dolphin Devante Parker via trade to New England, Miami has to be looking to add a durable playmaker on the outside. Although there will certainly be some strategy change in Miami under the new regime of McDaniel, this could be a match made in heaven for Drummond, a physical receiver with a knack for snagging low throws, and Tagovailoa, who thrives in the short passing game.
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That brings us to the Rams, fresh off a Super Bowl victory and looking to reload for a repeat run. While their receiver room may look crowded with names like Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Allen Robinson, Los Angeles won’t likely pass up on a player where they see real talent. Drummond has displayed an ability to make plays after the catch and a strong grip when catching contested passes, both of which are high priorities in Head Coach Sean McVay’s offense. If taken with one of the Rams’ five draft picks in the sixth and seventh round, Drummond could blossom into a solid contributor for Los Angeles in the mold of Keenan Allen.
Where the Mississippi native begins his NFL journey will likely remain a mystery until at least Saturday when the draft’s final rounds play out. He may even be forced to do it the hard way again as an undrafted free agent trying to muscle his way into a roster spot in training camp. Whatever the case, nothing is likely to stand in the way of the determined Dontario Drummond’s NFL dreams.
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