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2021 NFL Draft: D-FW natives, local college stars hope to hear their names called this weekend

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has produced some of the game's best in recent years.
Credit: AP
Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton (32) prepares to take the field before an NCAA college football game against South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. Missouri won 17-10. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

FRISCO, Texas — North Texas has been, and continues to be, a hotbed for NFL talent.

In 2019, Allen native Kyler Murray was selected #1 overall by the Arizona Cardinals. 

Two years prior, Arlington's own Myles Garrett went #1 to the Cleveland Browns.

In recent years, D-FW products have flourished in the NFL, and this year a handful of names will be initiated to the club.

Here is a list of hometown kids hoping to hear their names called during this weekend's 2021 NFL Draft, plus a few D-FW college stars from other parts of Texas:

Trevon Moehrig -- Safety (TCU)

Hometown: San Antonio
High school: Smithson Valley

Projected: Rounds 1-2

Javad's Take: Moehrig likens his game to Jamal Adams, the Lewisville native and All-Pro safety. While Moehrig isn't at that level yet, the 6'2" 210-pound TCU star is oozing potential. 

Moehrig is the best safety in this year's draft, whether he's drafted as such or not. No *glaring* weaknesses in his game. He can thrive down in the box with his size (see: Jamal Adams) or drop back in coverage with his strong ballhawk skills (also see: Jamal Adams). 

He should go mid-to-late 1st Round (or slip to early 2nd), depending how the draft shakes out. 

I'll be surprised if he doesn't have an 8 to 10-year NFL career. Yes, I think he's that good.  

Nick Bolton -- Linebacker (Missouri)

Hometown: Frisco
High school: Frisco Lone Star

Projected: Round 2

Javad's Take: First and foremost, MIZ. As an unabashed Mizzou alum, I've seen Nick Bolton play more than most prospects entering this year's draft. And y'all, the dude can tackle. 

He's not a freak athlete but what he lacks in speed, he makes up for with vision, awareness and angles of attack. 

The Frisco native should still be there when the Cowboys select in Round 2. 

Given Sean Lee's retirement, Jaylon Smith's regression and Leighton Vander Esch's injury history, Bolton would make a lot of sense for a Cowboys linebacking corps dealing with more questions than answers. 

Levi Onwuzurike -- Defensive Tackle (Washington)

Hometown: Allen 
High school: Allen

Projected: Round 2

Milton Williams -- Defensive Tackle (Louisiana Tech)

Hometown: Crowley
High school: Crowley

Projected: Rounds 2-3

Dayo Odeyingbo -- Defensive End (Vanderbilt)

Hometown: Irving
High school: Carrollton Ranchview

Projected: Round 3

Javad's Take: Tore his Achilles in January, which sank his draft stock. He'll be a massive value pick on Day 2 or 3, assuming he makes a full recovery. 

At 6'5" 285-pounds, his ceiling is incredibly high for a Round 3-4 projection.

Baron Browning -- Linebacker (Ohio State)

Hometown: Fort Worth
High school: Kennedale

Projected: Round 3

Paulson Adebo -- Cornerback (Stanford)

Hometown: Mansfield
High school: Mansfield

Projected: Round 3

Tylan Wallace -- Wide Receiver (Oklahoma State)

Hometown: Fort Worth
High school: South Hills

Projected: Rounds 3-4

Javad's Take: An All-American in 2018, the Oklahoma State star tore his ACL in 2019. Still, he recovered and played the 2020 season en route to another All-Big 12 selection. 

His pro day drew criticism for lacking athleticism, but you know who had nearly identical height/weight/Pro Day numbers coming out of college? Antonio Brown. (And AB went in Round 6!) Don't judge a book by its cover. Don't judge a prospect by a stopwatch. 

Wallace is another strong value pick for Day 2 or 3.

Bobby Brown -- Defensive Tackle (Texas A&M)

Hometown: Arlington
High school: Lamar

Projected: Rounds 3-4

Carson Green -- Offensive Tackle (Texas A&M)

Hometown: Southlake
High school: Carroll

Projected: Rounds 6-7

Jaelon Darden -- Wide Receiver (North Texas)

Hometown: Houston
High school: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Projected: Rounds 6-7

Javad's Take: Perhaps my favorite player in this year's draft. His backstory. His record-breaking career at UNT. His electrifying, playmaking potential the moment the ball touches his hands. 

Darden is 5'8" 180 pounds. Not ideal for an NFL receiver, but Steve Smith turned out pretty good. So did DeSean Jackson. 

Call me crazy, seriously, go ahead... but Darden has that type of ceiling to me.

Shane Buechele -- Quarterback (SMU)

Hometown: Arlington
High school: Lamar

Projected: Undrafted

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