Local athletes hope for a spot in the 2021 NFL Draft

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The 2021 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 29 and a few local athletes are hoping to hear their name called.

The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 29 and features a three-night event and a total of seven rounds. All of the draft can be seen on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. KELOLAND Media Group will have online coverage as well as updated information on local players and teams.

DateTime (Central)Rounds Completed
Thursday, April 297:00 p.m.1
Friday, April 306:00 p.m.2 & 3
Saturday, May 111:00 a.m.4-7
2021 NFL Draft Schedule

There are four local athletes from area towns and colleges to keep an eye on this weekend.

TREY LANCE – NORTH DAKOTA STATE (MARSHALL, Minn)

FILE – In this Dec. 21, 2019, file photo, North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance (5) scores a rushing touchdown during the first half of an FCS playoff NCAA college football game against Montana State in Fargo, N.D. All but a few teams in the Football Championship Subdivision shut down in the fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will play a spring season culminating with the NCAA playoffs in April and May. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

One of the most talked about names in this year’s NFL Draft is coming out of Marshall, Minnesota as quarterback Trey Lance is projected to be taken early in the first round.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Lance at number 13 on his list of the top 25 players in the NFL Draft.

Kiper Jr. also has Lance going sixth in his latest mock draft and becoming a member of the Atlanta Falcons, following a trade that moved the Falcons from four to six.

Another well followed ESPN reporter, Todd McShay, has Lance going to a local team as his mock draft projects that Lance will be taken ninth overall to the Denver Broncos.

DILLON RADUNZ – NORTH DAKOTA STATE

Dillon Radunz is a talented offensive tackle from Becker, Minnesota and many NFL analysts have him being selected in one of the first couple rounds.

Kiper Jr. has the Bison alum as the seventh best offensive tackle in this year’s NFL Draft.

Radunz is projected to be drafted #55 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Kiper Jr.

Another draft analyst from NFL Network has Radunz being selected #51 to the Washington Football Team.

Radunz is a name to keep an eye on for day two of the draft.

CADE JOHNSON – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (PAPILLION, NEB)

South Dakota State wide receiver, Cade Johnson, is a local name to keep an eye on for day three of the NFL Draft.

Many sports analysts have Johnson going anywhere from round 4-6, but NFL Network has Johnson going in round six as pick 205.

Johnson leaves SDSU following back-to-back productive seasons. He racked up 2,872 yards receiving and 28 touchdowns on 162 receptions.

TETON SALTES – NEW MEXICO

Teton Saltes grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation up until middle school, then he moved to New Mexico.

Saltes is projected to be selected somewhere around the sixth or seventh round, but if he isn’t drafted, he will be a name to watch come post-draft free agent signings.


Along with the four local athletes, here is a look at some names to watch from area colleges.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Daviyon Nixon – Defensive Tackle

Chauncey Golston – Defensive Tackle/End

Ihmir Smith-Marsette – Wide Receiver

Alaric Jackson – Offensive Tackle

Shaun Bayer – Tight End

Iowa State Cyclones

JaQuan Bailey – Defensive End

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Rashod Bateman – Wide Receiver

Benjamin St-Juste – Cornerback

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Brenden Jaimes – Offensive Lineman

Matt Farniok – Offensive Lineman

Northern Iowa Panthers

Spencer Brown – Offensive Tackle

Ellerson Smith – Defensive End

Wisconsin Badgers

Cole Van Lanen – Offensive Tackle

Isaiah Loudermilk – Defensive End

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