Tampa Bay Times

Opt-out optics

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Although we don’t yet know what will happen to all the opt-outs in this year’s NFL draft, we do know how they’ve risen (or fallen) in the eyes of analysts:

MIAMI DEFENSIVE END GREGORY ROUSSEAU

He totaled 15½ sacks in 2019, then opted out of the 2020 season. In preseason draft rankings from ESPN, he was ranked 24th by Mel Kiper (in May) and 12th by Todd McShay (in August). He has dropped outside Kiper’s top 25 and is 20th, according to McShay.

OREGON TACKLE PENEI SEWELL

He hasn’t fallen much since skipping 2020; he was a top-two prospect in the preseason and is still in the top eight. But McShay said it’s possible that a team with many offensive holes chooses a more-proven prospect, such as Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, over Sewell, forcing the former Ducks star to slide slightly.

LSU DEFENSIVE TACKLE TYLER SHELVIN

Like Rousseau, Shelvin has only one strong year of film. It was enough for him to be a preseason top-25 prospect, according to ESPN’s analysts. But after opting out of the full season, he could fall all the way to Day 3.

OREGON SAFETY JEVON HOLLAND

After 2019, he was a top-20 prospect, according to Kiper and McShay. Now he’s 56th in McShay’s rankings and a likely Day 2 selection.

LSU RECEIVER JA’MARR CHASE

The 2019 Biletnikof­f Award winner as the nation’s top receiver remains a top-five prospect. Skipping 2020 did not appear to hurt him at all.

MINNESOTA RECEIVER RASHOD BATEMAN

He opted out because of coronaviru­s concerns in August, opted back in when the Big Ten restarted and opted out again in November. He was a top-10 prospect in the preseason but is now a fringe first-round pick.

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