The 2021 NFL Draft may still be a long ways away, but ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has already released his early view of some of the top prospects in the upcoming group of NFL talents (ESPN+ required) and Oregon State’s Hamilcar Rashed Jr. ranked as the 4th best outside linebacker in next year’s batch. At the moment, Rashed Jr. is only topped by Penn State’s Micah Parsons, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Miami’s Quincy Roche.
Kiper’s rankings echo a similar sentiment to Tankathon’s recent ranking of Rashed Jr. as the #60 best prospect on their 2021 NFL Draft big board. Tankathon however had the Oregon State defender rated out as their 7th best edge player, the more commonly used term for the ever-evolving overhang/hybrid role in most defenses. No other player from the Beavers program appeared in Kiper’s “Top 25” or “Best By Position” evaluations.
At 6’ 4” and 240 pounds, Rashed Jr. has the size and speed to get involved in both the pass and rush game from that hybrid outside linebacker/edge role and make plays from sideline-to-sideline. In 2019, he tallied 62 total tackles, 14 sacks and forced 2 fumbles and is expected to be an All-Pac-12 selection this upcoming season.
To no surprise, Kiper’s top five prospects include the usual batch of consensus top players, led by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and Parsons.