The Sun Belt conference has quietly put together a run of having multiple prospects drafted into the NFL over the past five years. After a COVID-19 season that allowed for an extra year of eligibility, the conference is loaded with draftable talent. There are a number of players that could follow in the footsteps of Gerald Everett, Tracy Walker and Robert Hunt to become top-100 picks.
In terms of athleticism, Likely doesn't leave much to be desired at the position, as he has repeatedly shown his vertical receiving ability for the Chanticleers. While this should carry over to the NFL, he has to improve on technicalities as a route-runner to separate at an even higher level. Between the 20s, Likely can be a receiving threat with the ability to line up all over the formation.
Playing the bandit end for Coastal, Gunter has been productive, getting after Sun Belt quarterbacks. He uses his hands well, shedding blocks consistently and impacting the run game. His flexibility allows him to bend the corner and win around the outside shoulder of tacklers. Gunter will have to answer questions when interviewing with NFL teams about transferring to North Carolina State and back to Coastal in early 2020.
A physical strong safety, Butler makes his presence felt, running the alley aggressively and hitting ball-carriers hard. His instincts and quick trigger carry over to coverage where he makes up for a lack of high-end athleticism by being in the right spot at the right time. While he may never become a star in the NFL, Butler can become a valuable contributor for a secondary.
The lanky wideout is already firmly on the NFL radar and rightfully so. Tolbert is quick and sudden off the line, displaying flexibility and explosiveness. He possesses the speed and acceleration to threaten and win vertically, tracking the ball well and attacking it in the air. In order to become an NFL starter, Tolbert has to become a more nuanced route-runner and become stronger.
From a measurement and athleticism standpoint, Mitchell checks a lot of boxes for NFL teams. He possesses the length required to play tackle and displays quick feet to mirror pass rushers. There are issues to be ironed out on the technical side and a lack of functional strength hurts his power profile, but Mitchell will have teams intrigued as a developmental project.