Purdue Football Players Ranked by ESPN Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft

Purdue football has a number of players eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, and wide receiver Rondale Moore is likely to hear his name called first. But his teammates Derrick Barnes, Tyler Coyle and Lorenzo Neal may be selected later in the draft.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue football's NFL Draft prospects are headlined by wide receiver Rondale Moore. But outside of the electrifying pass catcher, there are a few Boilermakers that may hear their names called in the later rounds. 

Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN both released their final draft rankings this week, which includes positional rankings and hundreds of the top overall prospects. Moore is part of a deep wide receiver class, and he is expected to be a second-round pick despite concerns regarding his size. 

Purdue's Derrick Barnes, Tyler Coyle and Lorenzo Neal are all in the running to be selected after Moore. Here's a look at the athletes that may represent Purdue on draft night and how they are being ranked. 

Derrick Barnes, Linebacker 

As a senior at Purdue, Barnes recorded 54 total tackles, including 40 solo stops. He also snatched his first and only career interception in his final college season. Barnes also found success during his junior year rushing the passer, recording 7.5 sacks and forcing one fumble. 

In his four seasons with the Boilermakers, Barnes had a knack for finding the football. He registered 256 career tackles, including a career-high 92 in 2018. 

McShay ranks Barnes as the 18th-best inside linebacker in this year's draft and the 252nd prospect overall. Kiper rated him even higher, placing Barnes as the eighth-ranked inside linebacker. However, it should be noted that there is a discrepancy between the two analysts on determining whether a player is considered an outside linebacker or an inside linebacker. 

The Purdue senior did not appear in Kiper's top-150 players. 

Todd McShay's Linebacker RankingsMel Kiper Jr.'s Linebacker Rankings

1. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

1. Micah Parsons, Penn State

2. Micah Parsons, Penn State

2. Jamin Davis, Kentucky

3. Jamin Davis, Kentucky

3. Nick Bolton, Missouri

4. Nick Bolton, Missouri

4. Ernest Jones, South Carolina

5. Jabril Cox, LSU 

5. Chazz Surratt, North Carolina

6. Chazz Surratt, North Carolina 

6. Baron Browning, Ohio State 

7. Pete Werner, Ohio State 

7. Jabril Cox, LSU

8. Dylan Moses, Alabama 

8. Derrick Barnes, Purdue

9. Monty Rice, Georgia

9. Tony Fields II, West Virginia

10. Ernest Jones, South Carolina 

10. Monty Rice, Georgia

11. K.J. Britt, Auburn 

11. Cameron McGrone, Michigan

12. Justin Hilliard, Ohio State 

12. Dylan Moses, Alabama

13. Cameron McGrone, Michigan 

13. K.J. Britt, Auburn

14. Garret Wallow, TCU 

14. Paddy Fisher, Northwestern

15. Paddy Fisher, Northwestern

15. Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State

16. Tony Fields II, West Virginia

16. Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M

17. Turf Borland, Ohio State

17. Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State

18. Derrick Barnes, Purdue

18. Zane Zandier, Virginia

19. Isaiah McDuffie, Boston College 

19. Curtis Robinson, Stanford

20. Anthony Hines III, Texas A&M

20. Tuf Borland, Ohio State

Derrick Barnes' Pro Day 

  • Height: 6'0" 
  • Weight: 238 pounds  
  • 40-yard dash: 4.57 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 37 inches
  • Broad jump: Nine feet, 11 inches
  • Bench press: 29 repetitions of 225 pounds

ESPN Evaluation of Derrick Barnes

"Barnes is a versatile defender with good size, length and range. He has above-average upper-body strength, and he flashes the ability to uncoil on blockers. He's late relocating the ball once he engages. He has solid stopping power, and his length makes him an adequate wrap-up tackler in space. 

He has experience lining up at defensive end and he had 7.5 sacks in 2019. He has the closing burst to spy quarterbacks. He shows adequate awareness in underneath coverage. He has special teams experience and has the potential to quickly develop into a four-down player in the NFL."

Tyler Coyle, Safety 

Coyle spent one season with Purdue after transferring from Connecticut. He played in just three games due to injury but decided to forgo his extra season of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. 

He recorded 13 tackles and one pass deflection and made one start against Nebraska on Dec. 5. During his only start of the year, he posted 11 tackles. 

Before arriving at Purdue, Coyle spent four seasons with UConn, including a redshirt season in 2016. In the three seasons in which he saw the field with the Huskies, Coyle posted 261 tackles, three interceptions, two touchdowns, 15 pass deflections and two forced fumbles. 

McShay ranks Coyle as the 21st safety in the 2021 NFL Draft and the 214th prospect overall. Kiper has Coyle as the 31st-ranked safety, but he is not mentioned in the top-150 prospects. 

Tyler Coyle's Pro Day

  • Height: 6'0.5"
  • Weight: 209 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.36 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 39 inches
  • Broad jump: 11 feet, one inch
  • Bench press: 24 repetitions of 225 pounds

ESPN Evaluation of Tyler Coyle

"Coyle has a nice blend of size and top-end speed. He's effective playing close to the line of scrimmage. He does an above-average job of fighting off and slipping blocks. He's a solid tackler even though his technique is lacking at times. 

He has the size and speed to stay with tight ends in man. He's a little tight, but he's rangy with very good recovery speed. He flashes the ability to snatch the ball out of the air but has only one interception over the past three seasons."

Lorenzo Neal, Defensive Tackle

In four seasons at Purdue, Neal accounted for 73 total tackles, five pass deflections, four sacks and two forced fumbles. Kiper ranks Neal as the 38th-best defensive tackle in the draft and doesn't include him as a top-150 overall prospect. McShay doesn't mention Neal in his top-350 prospects or his positional rankings for defensive tackles. 

Stories Related to Purdue Football 

  • RONDALE MOORE DRAFT RANKINGS: In his final draft rankings, ESPN's Todd McShay rated Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore as the ninth-best wide receiver prospect in this year's draft. CLICK HERE
  • RONDALE MOORE DRAFT ANALYSIS: Sports Illustrated's college football expert Jim Mora shared his analysis of the Boilermakers' explosive wide receiver ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. CLICK HERE
  • LEROY KEYES REMEMBERED: Leroy Keyes was remembered by a public viewing at the Mollenkopf Indoor Facility on Saturday, followed by a private ceremony for invited family, friends and colleagues. CLICK HERE
  • MOORE, HERMANNS, THIENEMAN HONORED: Three Boilermakers were named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society. CLICK HERE 

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