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2021 NFL Draft: Top MAC West Prospects To Watch

Who are the Top MAC West prospects in 2020? Find out as Craig Forrestal of NFL Draft Diamonds breaks down the film and gives us some scouting notes.

By Craig Forrestal

The list below consists of the Top MAC West Prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. The list is in no particular order. The MAC West is made up of Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Toledo.

  • Christian Albright-EDGE/LB-Ball State
  • Listed at 6’2 and 234 on the school website 
  • Hometown: Kennesaw, Georgia

Albright was a 3rd Team All-MAC selection in 2018. He enters 2020 as a 2-year starter who makes plays all over the field but finds himself in the backfield a lot. He recorded 71 tackles in 2019 and led the team in tackles for loss (10.5), quarterback hurries (5) and forced fumbles (2). For his career, he has 22.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 2 INT, 9 PD and 7 FF.

  • Jaylin Thomas-LB-Ball State
  • Listed at 6ft and 231 on the school website
  • Hometown: Lima, Ohio

Thomas was a 2019 All-MAC 3rd Team honoree with 97 tackles. Thomas plays well against bigger competition as seen against Notre Dame in 2018. Against Notre Dame he had 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a QB pressure that forced an INT. Thomas will enter 2020 with 20 career starts at Inside LB. Thomas was also captain of his high school basketball team.

  • Bryce Cosby-S-Ball State
  • Listed at 5’10 and 181 on the school website
  • Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Cosby brings a veteran presence, having started 35 career games in his career; serving as a 3-year starter entering 2020. He is small but has an unmatched work ethic and heart. For his career, Cosby has totaled 220 tackles, 6 INT, 1 Forced Fumble and 2 Fumble Recoveries. 73 tackles in 2019 and led the team in 2018 with 83 tackles. Cosby was also on the track team in high school and served as captain. His father played at Louisville.

  • Justin Hall-WR-Ball State
  • Listed at 5’9 and 181 on the school website
  • Hometown: Douglasville, Georgia

Hall is a 3x All-MAC selection and has caught at least one pass in all 36 games of his career. Hall currently sits in the Top 10 in Ball State history for receptions (5th, 208 receptions) and in receiving yards (10th, 2107 yards). He has more than 60 catches in each of his seasons. Hall has also logged 55 career carries for 379 yards and 3 TDs; 44 of those carries in the last 2 seasons. He does have some added KR/PR ability.

  • Jack Heflin-DL-Northern Illinois 
  • Listed at 6’4 and 319 on the school website
  • Hometown: Prophetstown, Illinois

Heflin enters 2020 having started since his redshirt freshman season of 2017 and along the way he has added 2 All-MAC selections to his resume. Heflin was named honorable mention All-American by Pro Football Focus. He has 9 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss over the last 2 seasons. Heflin blocked a FG against Utah in 2018.

  • Treshaun Hayward-LB-Western Michigan
  • Listed at 6ft and 225 on the school website
  • Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan 

Hayward logged 142 tackles on the season for the Broncos which was third-most in the nation. He also had 1 forced fumble, 10.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks on his way to being named an All-American by Sporting News. He was named the 2019 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He held scholarship offers from 7 MAC schools and Illinois according to his recruiting profile on 247 Sports.

  • Ali Fayad-EDGE-Western Michigan
  • Listed at 6’2 and 255 on the school website
  • Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan 

Fayad posted 6.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss with 53 total tackles last season in 2019. He has 16.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss total in three seasons with the Broncos; 14 of those sacks and 27 of those tackles for loss have been over the last two seasons. Fayad earned All-MAC honors in 2019. He has recorded at least one pressure in every game since 2018. He has recorded 4 forced fumbles in both 2018 and 2019. His favorite pass rush move is his spin move. 

  • D’Wayne Eskridge-DB/WR-Western Michigan
  • Listed at 5’9 and 195 on the school website
  • Hometown: Bluffton, Indiana

Eskridge is an unreal athlete with the Western Michigan program reporting he has run a 4.33 electronically timed forty-yard dash. Eskridge is the best DB and WR the Broncos have on the roster. In 2018, he posted 38 catches for 776 yards. Eskridge was taking a majority of his snaps at DB in 2019 before a season-ending broken collarbone. Eskridge was a prolific high school RB and an elite track athlete. Eskridge was also a three-time state champion high school sprinter. He was a 2x champion in the 200-meter dash and captured the 100-meter title as a senior at the Indiana High School Athletic Association state meet. He was selected as the state’s “Mr. Track and Field” in 2016.

  • Jaylon Moore-OT-Western Michigan
  • Listed at 6’5 and 315 on the school website
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan 

Moore will enter 2020 having started for 2 seasons at LT. Moore was a basketball player until his sophomore year of high school and committed to Western Michigan as a TE. Moore was a 2019 All-MAC performer. Moore has established himself as a force in both the running and passing game.

  • Mike Caliendo-OG-Western Michigan 
  • Listed at 6’4 and 300 on the school website
  • Hometown: Brookfield, Wisconsin 

Caliendo has been a mainstay and starter on the Broncos offensive line since his redshirt freshman season at LG. He was a 2019 2nd Team All-MAC selection. He and Moore look to continue the solid run of Western Michigan OL after 4-year starter Luke Juriga graduated. Caliendo plays with control and poise. He relies on strong fundamentals and has good leg drive. 

  • Tony Poljan-TE-Central Michigan
  • Listed at 6’7 and 258 on the school website
  • Hometown: Lansing, Michigan

Poljan has great size for the TE position. He originally came to Central Michigan as a QB and did not play TE full time until 2019, earning 2nd Team All-MAC honors. Poljan was named to Mr. Basketball Watch List prior to his senior season in high school. He was named the 2015 Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year for football. He posted 33 catches for 496 yards and 4 TDs. For his career, he has 91 rushes for 248 yards and 2 TDs, 45 catches for 718 yards and 6 TDs and he also added 2 passing TDs with 703 yards.

  • Samuel Womack-CB-Toledo
  • Listed at 5’10 and 185 on the school website
  • Hometown: Detroit, Michigan

Womack established himself in 2019 recording 59 tackles and finishing 2nd in the nation with 15 pass breakups. His college position coach is former NFL DB Hank Poteat. He could be the next Toledo DB in recent years to make an NFL roster like Trevon Mathis and Ka’dar Hollman. Womack is a pure cover CB and is arguably the best cover CB in the MAC.

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