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Folks, I think I speak for all NFL fans when I say that I absolutely love the NFL Draft. There’s nothing like it for fans because for the months leading up to it, every team is filled with hope that your team will get its next star whether they’re taken in the first round or your team finds a gem on day three. The speculation and the attention around the draft is so intense because of those reasons.
So I’m here to give you a little appetizer of the big project I’ve been working on, my NFL Draft Big Board. While I’m still in the process of watching tape on a lot of guys, I have solidified my top 15 as of now. The thing about a top 15 is that it can be one thing today, new information can come out, and it can change tomorrow. It’s a fluent list and that’s the beauty of the draft.
So without further adieu, here’s my current top 15 for the 2021 NFL Draft:
- QB Trevor Lawrence- Clemson
Don’t overthink it. He’s the best quarterback prospect to come out since Andrew Luck.
2. OT Penei Sewell- Oregon
Sewell is the best tackle prospect that I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a massive human being who plays with incredible power. He’s going to be a perennial pro bowler.
3. CB Patrick Surtain III- Alabama
Teams simply don’t throw at this guy. He’s a complete lockdown corner and it’s hard to see how his skills won’t transfer to the next level.
4. QB Justin Fields- Ohio State
Fields has all the tools to be a successful passer at the next level. He’s got an elite arm, good accuracy, mobility, and he shows up in the biggest moments.
5. WR Ja’Marr Chase- LSU
Chase has good size and is an absolute weapon as a receiver. He can use his body to box players out and get the ball. Does he have elite speed? No. But he’s got great hands, a good catch radius, and excellent route running ability.
6. WR Devonta Smith- Alabama
Smith is a much different player than Chase but he is an absolute burner. All you’ve gotta do is get the ball into Smith’s hands and he will make the magic happen. The biggest knock against Smith will be his size but his size won’t matter when he’s such an elite route runner and he has the hands that he has.
7. ILB Micah Parsons- Penn State
The top ten of this draft class is so good that it almost feels dirty putting Parsons this low. Normally I’d never put an ILB this high but Parsons is different. He has the potential to be a guy who quarterbacks a defense for 10-12 seasons at an elite level.
8. QB- Zach Wilson– BYU
Wilson has an elite arm that you don’t see often. He goes through his progressions well. He has a lot of poise in the pocket. He’s incredibly accurate. He’s mobile. He doesn’t have elite size at 6’3″ and 209 lbs but that doesn’t matter. He’s got all of the traits to be an elite NFL quarterback.
9. CB Caleb Farley- Virginia
Farley is a former wide receiver who has elite ball skills for a cornerback. He’s great in man coverage and is extremely physical. Teams who play a lot of press coverage will love this guy.
10. TE Kyle Pitts- Florida
Pitts may be the best tight end prospect I’ve ever seen. He can line up literally everywhere and at 6’6″ he’s a true mismatch no matter where he is lined up. I’d easily put him as the third best pass catcher in this draft.
11. Edge Gregory Rousseau- Miami
Rousseau is the most boom or bust prospect in this draft. He will grow into an elite pass rusher or he will be a colossal bust. He’s incredibly raw but if he is developed right then he will be a menace at the next level. I think a team will fall in love with him in the top 10 of the draft and take him but he’s not a sure thing by any means.
12. T Rashawn Slater- Northwestern
Draft guru Daniel Jeremiah, who in my eyes is the best in the business, ranked Slater as the number 1 offensive tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft ahead of Penei Sewell. I wholeheartedly disagree with that assessment but I do believe that Slater has a high floor as a left tackle. Due to his tiny arms there will be teams who see him more as a guard but he should be able to play left tackle at a high level. He’s not a project by any means and his game is incredibly well rounded.
13. WR Rashod Bateman- Minnesota
I fell in love with this guy watching his tape. He attacks the ball so aggressively as a receiver and at times it seems like he never loses 50/50 balls. He’s an incredible route runner. His ability to catch the ball in traffic is elite. The biggest knock on him is that he lacks elite speed. He will likely run in the 4.45-4.6 range which in my eyes is more than good enough.
14. DL Kwity Paye- Michigan
I don’t see Paye as a true Edge rusher so I have him ranked a lot lower than most but he’s definitely a powerful player. I see Paye as a 3-4 DE who will have to be in that scheme to reach his full potential. I could see Dave Gettleman loving this guy.
15. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah- Notre Dame
The more I watch this kid play the more I love him. In some ways he’s a way less hyped version of Isaiah Simmons. He’s an off-ball linebacker who some teams may view as a safety. Super versatile and athletic. He moves incredibly well and attacks the ball with great instincts. He will make a team in the middle of the first round very happy.