Saturday , June 22 2024

Mid-South Spotlight: Comparing Top Prospects To NFL Stars

Prospect comparisons always generate a lot of conversation and – with rankings meetings for the 2025 and 2026 classes set to begin this week – now is a great time to take a step back and compare some of the current standout prospects with some college or NFL stars.

Up first are five comparisons for some of the best recruits in the Mid-South region.

THIS SERIES: Comparing East Coast stars to NFL players


Keelon Russell has had one of the biggest stock rising off-seasons of the 2025 class. Comparing Russell and the recent Heisman winner and No. 2 NFL Draft pick Jayden Daniels, there is a lot that matches up. Both measure in at 6-foot-4 and in the range of 180 pounds. While Daniels is a more flashy runner, the speed both possess are nearly identical, especially their track times. Daniels’ junior year 400-meter (50.54) and Russell’s junior year 400-meter (50.29) are within three-tenths of a second.

The pair also each have quick releases and have elite accuracy. Russell had a 74.1-percent completion as a junior while Daniels had a 72.2-percent in his Heisman-winning season.

Russell is not as advanced of a runner at this point, but there is a likelihood he will develop that skillset more at the college level.




Isaiah Simmons

Isaiah Simmons (AP Images)

There is a very easy reason these two are in the same category: speed. Looking at their physical makeup, they each measured in at roughly 6-foot-2, 210 pounds before they entered college. They also have each possess elite speed. Simmons tested a 4.39 40 while Ross edged him out with a 4.34 40-second time.

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Simmons was slotted as a safety as he arrived at Clemson, but his size and play style resulted in him playing more of an outside linebacker role that made him a jack-of-all trades, playing at all three levels at various times. Ross fits that mold as he had 71 total tackles, six sacks and two interceptions as a junior.

Ross has the speed and athleticism to play safety or even slot, but allowing him to play the outside backer role to play both man and zone coverage as well as get to the quarterback at times.




Chris Jones

Chris Jones (USA Today Sports Images)

Stewart is the No. 1 prospect in the country and a physical freak on the defensive line, so there are not going to be a plethora of options as legitimate comps. The choice will be Chris Jones. The measurables of Stewart now and Jones in the NFL combine are about as similar as you will find.

Both are 6-foot-6, have 34.5-inch arms and have only one inch difference in wingspan with Stewart at 84 inches and Jones at 85 inches. Stewart is 277 pounds currently to Jones 310-pound NFL weight. Stewart’s frame will be able to hold 300-plus pounds.

Stewart projects as a 3-tech at the next level with the ability to move outside in certain packages to be a heavy edge. Interior pass rushers are becoming a premium position at all levels and Stewart fits the mold of what teams are looking for.

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Jaelan Phillips

Jaelan Phillips

The comparison between McCoy and Phillips is largely based on size. McCoy is a 6-foot-7 pass rusher, which there is not an abundance of walking around. Phillips measures 6-foot-6, and while he played more of an outside linebacker role in high school, since he added weight in college, he has put more of a hand in the dirt on a regular base, which is where McCoy will play.

McCoy has flashed speed and pass rush skills in camp settings as well as on Friday nights. He has also shown he can make an impact in run defense.

As McCoy polishes his pass rush arsenal over the next two years, his length and size will lend him to being an early playmaker on the defensive line.



Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey

Finding an accurate comparison for Berry is an interesting challenge. Looking at the NFL, the easy answer for most dynamic running back is McCaffrey. In the high school ranks, Berry is the answer for most dynamic running back. While the 49ers star playmaker is a bit heavier, the skillsets follow the same lines.

The elusiveness of Berry is undeniable as is the speed and the vision when the ball is in his hands. Berry had 2,080 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground along with 401 receiving yards and another seven touchdowns on just 20 catches. McCaffrey is known as an elite receiving threat as Berry has proven his worth in that department on the 7v7 scene.

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McCaffrey has the ability to take over a game from the running back position, not an easy task in such a passing driven era. Berry’s skillset and athletic profile make me believe he can have a similar style at the next level.


El deporte es una actividad física que se realiza con el objetivo de mantener la salud, mejorar la forma física o competir. Puede involucrar una amplia variedad de actividades, como correr, nadar, jugar al fútbol o practicar deportes de equipo. El deporte no solo beneficia el cuerpo, sino que también promueve la camaradería, la disciplina y el espíritu competitivo en las personas. Es una parte importante de la vida para muchas personas en todo el mundo.

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