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Evaluating TCU’s 2021 NFL Draft prospects

Defensive tackle Corey Bethley is one of several Horned Frogs who could hear their name called at the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland next year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 TCU at SMU Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft came and went this past week, with five TCU football players getting picked and five more signing free-agent contracts shortly after. While we’re several months away from the action, it’s never too early to look ahead and examine which Horned Frogs have a shot at hearing their names called in the 2021 NFL Draft next year.

The Horned Frogs will have a younger team next season, particularly on defense, where head coach Gary Patterson will be replacing six starters including four in the secondary (Jeff Gladney, Julius Lewis, Vernon Scott and Innis Gaines). Offensively, TCU will be without three starting linemen (Anthony McKinney, Cordel Iwuagwu and Lucas Niang) and four skill players (Jalen Reagor, Tre Hights, Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson) from last season.

But there are still plenty of talented men on the roster, and some of those Horned Frogs have a good chance to be picked in the next draft. Here, we take a closer look at who those players may be and how they profile in the NFL.

West Virginia v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Trevon Moehrig (Jr.) — Safety

Voted TCU’s Special Teams Player of the Year his freshman season, Moehrig’s ascension took another leap forward this past season, where he totaled 62 tackles with 11 pass breakups, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Moehrig, who allowed only 2-of-17 contested targets to be caught as a sophomore, was the highest-rated safety of 2019 according to Pro Football Focus.

At 6 feet 2 inches and 208 pounds, Moehrig has the size and range to play the free safety position in the NFL. While TCU’s unique 4-2-5 defensive scheme utilizes three safeties, Moehrig frequently tracked the ball and made plays on a game-by-game basis. The 2019 First-Team All-Big 12 defender would need to forego his senior season to declare for the NFL Draft, but he certainly has the makeup, the character and the production to be picked.

Corey Bethley (Sr.) — Defensive tackle

After playing alongside Ross Blacklock for three years, Bethley will anchor the TCU defensive line this fall. The 6-foot-2, 290-pounder returns as arguably the most experienced Horned Frog on the roster, appearing in all 14 games his freshman season before starting in 25 straight games across his sophomore and junior campaigns.

A two-time Honorable Mention All-Big 12 defender and former True Freshman All-America Team member, Bethley showcased his best work as a sophomore, finishing with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. His career numbers include 17 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 SMU at TCU Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Garret Wallow (Sr.) — Linebacker

Patterson loves versatile defensive players, and this safety-turned-linebacker has been a tackling machine since arriving at TCU in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder led the Big 12 with 125 tackles this past season, and his 18 tackles-for-loss were the most among all Horned Frog defenders.

Like Moehrig, Wallow earned his stripes on special teams before becoming a defensive starter and earning First-Team All-Big 12 honors. TCU has seen converted players succeed in the NFL recently, as former Horned Frog linebacker Travin Howard was drafted by the Rams after moving from defensive back and setting the school’s all-time tackles record.

TCU v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Austin Myers (Sr.) — Offensive tackle/guard

TCU has become a proving ground for talented offensive line prospects over the last few years, and Myers looks to be the next Horned Frog from the trenches who could make the leap into the NFL. A former four-star recruit, the 6-foot-5, 305-pounder has played every offensive line position minus center for TCU.

Myers started nine games at three different positions (left tackle, left guard and right guard) in 2018 before starting four more games at right guard in 2019. Myers appears primed for a starting spot this fall, one that will likely be at guard considering his last eight starts with the Horned Frogs have come at that position. However, losing Niang and McKinney could motivate Patterson to bump Myers back outside at tackle.

TCU v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Artayvious Lynn (Sr.) — Tight end

The TCU offense has rarely used tight ends over the years, and while Lynn hasn’t produced much over his first three seasons with the Horned Frogs, his size alone makes him worthy of an NFL Draft consideration. Once the second-ranked prep school tight end in the nation, Lynn has developed a 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame, and that big body led to a career-best 11 catches for 118 yards this past season and one touchdown.

Inconsistent quarterback play and questionable play-calling may have limited Lynn’s production in 2019, but the Bossier City, Louisiana product will have another opportunity to prove his worth this fall.