Heisman News: More Draft Speculation, NFL Signings

We’re still a month away from the 2021 NFL draft and still immersed in Pro Days being held around the nation. So let’s take a look around and see what’s cooking in the Heisman universe.

Our 2020 Heisman winner DeVonta Smith continues to get dissected more than a frog in middle school biology as the sports media world makes its NFL draft forecasts.

As we recently detailed, Smith is being projected all over the first round and he’s the lead topic in today’s Ringer podcast on the NFL draft.

ESPN’s draft godfather, Mel Kiper, has Smith going to Detroit at No. 7 in his latest mock draft. He called Smith the best wideout available.

Wrote Kiper: “I would say this pick is likely going to the best wideout on the board, and Smith would be a tremendous choice. The Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t have the biggest frame, but you shouldn’t underestimate him. He is one of the best route runners I’ve scouted, and he beats any corner put in front of him.”

As for Smith’s fellow 2020 Heisman finalists, Kiper has Trevor Lawrence going first to Jacksonville and Mac Jones taken by New England at 15. Kyle Trask is, at the moment, being projected outside the first round.

Kiper also projects 2019 Heisman finalist Justin Fields headed to the Carolina Panthers with the third pick after trading up to get him.

While Smith decided not to workout at Alabama’s recent Pro Day, Jones did and received strong reviews. Clemson had one of the earliest Pro Days this year and you can see some of Lawrence’s workout here.

* In other Heisman-related news, Jameis Winston re-signed with the New Orleans Saints and will compete with Taysom Hill to replace two-time Heisman finalist Drew Brees following his retirement.

* Cam Newton, whose first year in New England replacing Tom Brady was a bit of a rollercoaster, re-signed with New England and the Patriots. Meanwhile, Mark Ingram is now a Houston Texan while Marcus Mariota re-structured his deal and will remain in Las Vegas with the Raiders.

* Joe Burrow is still rehabbing his injured knee, but his growing presence in Cincinnati is helping attract top free agents.

* Similarly, Arizona, entering its third season with Kyler Murray, is trying to bolster its squad around Murray with several big acquisitions, including nabbing former Burrow target A.J. Green.

* Derrick Henry, who became just the eighth NFL player to rush for over 2,000 yards in 2020, bestowed some gifts upon his Tennessee Titans linemen who helped make it happen. They’re, “off the chain” so to speak.

Charles Woodson, headed to the NFL Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021, was honored in another way recently by Fremont (Ohio) City Council, which is renaming part of a local highway in his honor. Woodson starred at Fremont High School ahead of his career at Michigan.

On Saturday, Oregon State basketball will play in the Sweet 16 and will try to reach its third Elite 8 in school history. The most recent was 1982. The first was when Heisman winner Terry Baker led the Beavers there in 1963 following his Heisman-winning season. A win Saturday would also mark just the second time the Beavers won three NCAA games in one tournament, the other being Baker’s 1963 season (they received a first-round bye in 1982).