Jason Willis 2021 NFL Draft Big Board

After months of anticipation, the NFL Draft is less than a week away. This upcoming class promises to be one of the most polarizing in a long time. This is of course due to the quarterback talent. While the defensive talent is is not quite on par with the offensive, there are still plenty of fun prospects. On a personal note, this Draft season I did more work and preparation than I have in any season prior. After studying over 150 prospects in this years class, here is how they stack up in my eyes.

NOTE: These rankings do not take positional value, off the field issues or injuries into account. It is purely a ranking of each players talent.

1. Kyle Pitts

Tight End, Florida

While this is typically the spot for Trevor Lawrence, Kyle Pitts is the best TE prospect of all time. The definition of a match up nightmare, Pitts looks to be a dominant force in the NFL from day one.

2. Trevor Lawrence

Quarterback, Clemson

A truly special prospect at the games most important position. Lawrence is the easiest number one overall pick in a long time and will likely be a top twenty QB in the NFL from the moment he is taken. An incredible player at the games most important position. The sky is truly the limit to what he can achieve.

3. Penei Sewell

Offensive Tackle, Oregon

A 2020 opt out, Sewell possess special ability for the position. Incredibly young as well, was 19 the last time we saw him play football, he is one of the safest pick in the class. A future Pro Bowler.

4. Jaelan Phillips

EDGE, Miami (Fl.)

One of the hardest prospects to predict in the class, but this is no fault of his own. Phillips displays truly special pass rushing ability that is comparable to any player in recent Draft classes. Sadly, he may be just one concussion away from another forced retirement. With a clean bill of health, Phillips should wreck havoc on the NFL.

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jaelan Phillips

5. Ja’Marr Chase

Wide Receiver, LSU

Another 2020 opt out, in Chase’s final college season he won the Biletnikoff award with one of the best seasons a collegiate WR has ever had. There is no reason why he shouldn’t become an elite WR at the next level.

6. Zach Wilson

Quarterback, BYU

The biggest riser in the 2021 college football season, Wilson displays dazzling ability out of structure. If he can learn to play just as well within the confines of the offense, his natural arm ability will take him far.

7. Justin Fields

Quarterback, Ohio State

Justin Fields is, BY FAR, the most overthought Draft prospect of my lifetime. While he does have some questions with his processor post snap, he certainly wants to “see it open” before he throws it, he is immensely talented. At 6’4″ and 228 pounds it is bewildering that he runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. He is likely the most accurate quarterback in the class as well with elite arm talent all around. He will be a top end quarterback in the NFL before long and it is embarrassing that the media has ripped him apart so unnecessarily.

8. Javonte Williams

Running Back, North Carolina

A player I am much higher on than most, I believe he is comfortably the best running back in the class. His elite tackle breaking ability and overall feel for the position will make him a high end starting running back from day one.

Javonte Williams is the Best Running Back in the 2021 NFL Draft

9. Micah Parsons

Linebacker, Penn State

One of the most gifted players in the class, Parsons is still very young in his linebacker development. To be this far along already is stunning. While he does have the off field issues, if he can prove that those days are behind him he will become one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

10. Caleb Farley

Cornerback, Virginia Tech

Another player with a concerning injury history, Farley is tremendously talented when on the field. He has truly special ball skills that is stunning for a player this early in his cornerback development. While the neck injury is very worrisome, he has potential as a shut down corner if he can move past it.

11. Rashod Bateman

Wide receiver, Minnesota

A player I profiled early in the Draft process, Bateman is an NFL ready wide receiver. With his route running, hands and quickness are all top notch. The fact that he does not get more hype is baffling. He profiles as a player with the ability to become a WR1 in very short time.

Rashod Bateman is Being Overlooked in the Wide Receiver Race

12. Jaylen Waddle

Wide receiver, Alabama

The Drafts resident speed merchant, Waddle is an incredible WR in his own right. While the speed is obvious, he is a great route runner with the ability to play from a variety of alignments. A game changer from day one in the NFL.

13. Greg Newsome

Cornerback, Northwestern

Another player who is not getting enough respect, Newsome plays with the type of energy you love to see at the position. Capable of playing both man and zone coverage at a high level, Newsome is well worth a first round selection and will make the team that selects him very happy.

14. Travis Etienne

Running back, Clemson

Another player with elite speed, he may be the fastest RB in the NFL from day one. With his exceptional vision and improving pass catching ability, he will be a rookie of the year contender right away.

15. Patrick Surtain

Cornerback, Alabama

Another first round worthy corner, Surtain is a mentally advanced player for the position. It is evident his father played in the league. Combined with great movement skills, speed and man coverage ability he becomes a CB with a very high ceiling.

16. Christian Darrisaw

Offensive tackle, Virginia Tech

My second ranked offensive tackle in a loaded class, Darrisaw will be an anchor on an NFL offensive line for a long time. Another player being slightly underrated by most draftniks.

17. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Linebacker, Notre Dame

A linebacker by definition, the best case scenario for JOK is to be deployed all over the field. While undersized as a LB, he makes up for it with his love for physicality. Capable of playing safety as well, a role similar to Jeremy Chinn’s is preferable. I would be worried if he was asked to be a true LB at the next level however.

18. Joseph Ossai

EDGE, Texas

A player who has started to get forgotten about throughout the process, Ossai is a very talented pass rusher. While he is not perfect and will need to add tools, he has great burst and hand usage that gives him a head start in his development.

19. Alijah Vera-Tucker

Offensive line, Southern California 

While he may be forced to kick inside to guard at the next level, AJT is a very talented offensive line prospect. While the lack of length is concerning, his movement ability is top notch. He would likely be an average offensive tackle in the NFL, but an elite guard.

20. Kelvin Joseph

Cornerback, Kentucky

A player who, for some reason, does not get nearly enough respect in this Draft class. An LSU transfer, he has maybe the best ball skills out of the entire position group. After a Pro Day where he posted a 4.28 40 yard dash, he is going to go higher than people think.

21. Liam Eichenberg 

Offensive tackle, Notre Dame

A “boring” player in this class, this is only because he is so good. With good size and athleticism he will need to clean up some hand usage deficiencies, but he does so many of the little things right. Should be a steady player on an offensive line for a long time.

22. Landon Dickerson

Center, Alabama

Another Alabama prospect with a first round grade, Dickerson will need to prove he can put the injuries behind him. When on the field, he is a dominant presence in the middle of the offensive line.

23. Richie Grant

Safety, Central Florida

The last of my first round grades, the biggest concern with Grant is his age as he will be 24 in his rookie season. Otherwise, he is capable of playing all over the field and has the ball skills to play as a single high.

SECOND ROUND GRADES

24. Dyami Brown

Wide receiver, North Carolina

A supremely underrated prospect, Brown profiles as a great deep threat at the NFL level. Compares favorably to the high end reps we have seen from Nelson Agholor as a deep threat.

25. Najee Harris

Running back, Alabama 

Another Alabama prospect, Harris is a very talented running back in his own right. While he runs with a punishing style, I worry that he will not be able to do so as easily when the players are bigger and faster at the NFL level. Still, he is a starting running back in the NFL and may even be the best pass catcher of the group.

26. Jaycee Horn

Cornerback, South Carolina

Jaycee Horn plays with the mentality you want from a corner back prospect as he is supremely confident in his abilities. He has potential as a man coverage player but will have to clean up his ability to become grabby at the top of routes. High potential but a very low floor as well.

27. Creed Humphrey

Center, Oklahoma

The leader of the Oklahoma offensive line for the last several years, Humphrey is not an exiting player but he will be a reliable contributor for a long time.

28. Rashawn Slater

Offensive tackle, Northwestern

A player that I do not see the same way as others. Slater is a talented player, as evidenced in the Ohio State game against Chase Young, but I believe he is better suited as a guard at the next level.

29. Trevon Moehrig

Safety, TCU

A true center fielder for the position, he will make plays on the football consistently. Does not have the ability to be a reliable player in the run or man coverage game however. Would be higher or lower on the board based on what style of defense my team plays.

30. Brevin Jordan

Tight End, Miami (Fl.)

A player with great potential as a receiver, I believe we have not seen the best of Jordan yet.

31. Ronnie Perkins

EDGE, Oklahoma

A player with a high motor and a great build, Perkins profiles as a rotational pass rusher in his rookie year before developing into a starting defensive end in an even front defense.

32. Ar’Darius Washington

Safety, TCU

While the size is worrisome, he can become a sideline to sideline, deep ball eliminator at the next level. He also very well could become nothing but a special teamer due to him being just above 5’9″. A true boom or bust prospect.

33. Zaven Collins

Linebacker, Tulsa

One of the most versatile players in the draft, Collins likely would be one of the best pass rushers in this class as well. While bulking up to 270 pounds scares me in his LB projection, hopefully he is able to go to a team that can use his positional versatility.

34. Wyatt Davis

Guard, Ohio State

An easy player to project to the next level, Davis will be a starter in the NFL for a longtime as an above average to average player.

35. Trey Lance

Quarterback, North Dakota State

One of the hardest players to evaluate in this class due to a variety of reasons. The first being that he only played one game last season and the second being that he plays at the FCS level. While he is not a “project” by any means, as he is very talented, I would like to see him sit for his rookie year to help adjust to NFL speed.

36. Devonta Smith

Wide Receiver, Alabama 

A player I have much lower than consensus, I simply cannot get on board with taking a 166 pound wide receiver in the first round. While he is talented, has the best hands in the class and dominated the catch point in college, I worry this dominance will not happen as often in the NFL due to his lack of size overall. A boom or bust player that very well could make me look very stupid for having him ranked this low.

37. Quincy Roche

EDGE, Miami (Fl.)

A player who projects well to the NFL level as a situational pass rusher due to his intelligence and hand usage.

38. Kenny Gainwell

Running back, Memphis

A tremendous receiver for the position, he runs routes like a wideout. An Antonio Gibson like impact is not out of the realm of possibility.

39. James Hudson

Offensive tackle, Cincinnati 

Hudson profiles nicely as a developmental tackle prospect who has great athletic ability and plays with an innate mean streak. A project, but a worthwhile one.

40. Christian Barmore

Defensive tackle, Alabama

While he is the best defensive tackle in the class, that is simply not saying much. Hs potential is sky high if he can prove the performances he had in the college football playoff are repeatable. Otherwise, is a below average DT prospect. The definition of a boom or bust player.

41. Patrick Jones

EDGE, Pitt

A player who plays with undeniable effort and speed at all times, Jones is another player who will be a pass rush specialist while he works to develop into something more. The Senior Bowl struggles are worrisome.

42. Teven Jenkins

Offensive tackle, Oklahoma State

Teven Jenkins is one of the most fun players to watch in this class due to the enthusiasm he plays the position with. A “finisher” at the position, he will destroy players in the run game. My worries lie in how he will react to NFL speed. If he can adapt to that, he will undoubtedly outplay this ranking.

43. Jackson Carman

Guard, Clemson

While Carman will have to move inside at the next level, he should excel at the position. While he does not have the length to stay on the edge, he has the athletic ability to fulfill Pro Bowl potential at guard.

44. Israel Mukuamu

Cornerback, South Carolina

Jaycee Horn’s running mate, Mukuamu has some of the same grabbing issues while having slightly less athletic ability. He does however, posses great length for the position and has great potential as a press man player. There is work to be done to reach this potential however.

45. Gregory Rousseau

EDGE, Miami

A polarizing player in this Draft class, Rousseau has natural gifts that rival anyone in the class. Due to his massive frame, I believe his best fit is actually as a 3T defensive tackle as opposed to being on the edge. He is the definition of boom or bust.

46. Kadarius Toney

Wide receiver, Florida

Big props to Kadarius Toney for reinventing his game last season while at Florida going from a pure gadget player, to a much more refined receiver. A quick and sudden player with great route running ability, it is entirely possible that Toney’s best football is ahead of him.

47. Elijah Moore

Wide receiver, Ole Miss

The best pure slot WR in the Draft. Elijah Moore is incredibly quick in short areas and has the ability to stretch the field as well. His ability to catch the ball through contact will make any quarterback happy.

48. Jermar Johnson

Safety, Indiana

One of the smartest players in the class, he is a large part of the reason Justin Fields struggled so much against Indiana. While he has issues as a tackler he will need to clean up, he will be a valuable player right away.

49. Amari Rodgers

Wide receiver, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence’s security blanket, Rodgers was incredible out of the slot in Death Valley. With great hands, quickness and intelligence he will have a role in the NFL right away.

50. Terrance Marshall Jr.

Wide Receiver, LSU

In the absence of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, Marshall really worked hard to improve his game and become more versatile. A tall and fast WR with great ball skills, Marshall will carve out a role as a WR2 somewhere for sure.

51. Dayvion Nixon, DT (Iowa)

52. Rondale Moore, WR (Purdue)

53. Andre Cisco, S (Syracuse)

54. Kylin Hill, RB (Mississippi State)

55. Michael Carter, RB (North Carolina)

56. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE (Georgia)

THIRD ROUND

57. Tommy Tremble, TE (Notre Dame)

58. Alim McNiel, DT (NC State)

59. Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)

The top ten hype is bewildering. While Mac Jones is certainly a talented QB prospect with a chance to become a starter, he has a clearly capped ceiling. It is also clear hat he played in the most QB friendly situation possible while at ‘Bama and everything will be harder for him at the NFL level. A decent QB prospect who is by no means a first rounder.

60. Asante Samuel Jr., CB (Florida State)

61. Hunter Long, TE (Boston College)

62. Pat Friermuth, TE (Penn State)

63. Paulson Adebo, CB (Stanford)

64. Cornell Powell, WR (Clemson)

One of my favorite players in the class, I believe he can be a consolation prize if a team misses out on Dyami Brown and wants a player of a similar ilk.

65. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB (Illinois)

66. Dillon Radunz, OT (North Dakota State)

67. Spencer Brown OT, (Northern Iowa)

68. Jonathan Adams Jr., WR (Arkansas State)

69. Marvin Wilson, DT (Florida State)

70, Alex Leatherwood, OT (Alabama)

71. Tamorrion Terry, WR (Florida State)

72. Kwity Paye, EDGE (Michigan)

A tremendous athlete, he is not a great pass rusher and it will take him time to get there. Reminds me very much of another Michigan man in Rashan Gary. I am not on board with the hype.

73. Walker Little, OT (Stanford)

74. Tyler Shelvin, DT (LSU)

75. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR (USC)

76. Rhamondre Stevenson, RB (Oklahoma)

77. Tommy Toigai, DT (Ohio State)

78. Jamin Davis, LB (Kentucky)

79. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S (Florida State)

80. Jalen Mayfield, OT (Michigan)

81. Jermar Jefferson, RB (Oregon State)

82. Seth Williams, WR (Auburn)

83. Dazz Newsome, WR (North Carolina)

84. Levi Onwuzurike, DT (Washington)

The defense he played in at Washington made him almost impossible to evaluate. A player with good potential but it is hard to get a feel for him as a player.

85. Elijah Molden, S (Washington)

86. Caden Sterns, S (Texas)

87. Kenny Yeboah, TE (Ole Miss)

88. Tre Brown, CB (Oklahoma)

89. Davis Mills, QB (Stanford)

90. Trey Smith, OL (Tennessee)

91. Jayson Oweh, EDGE (Penn State)

A fantastic athlete for the position, he just does not know what he’s doing yet. A good coaching staff could make a starter out of him, but it is going to take time.

92. Quinn Meinerz, IOL (Wisconsin-Whitewater)

93. Demetric Felton, RB (UCLA)

DAY THREE 

94. Brady Christensen, OT (BYU)

95. Tony Fields, LB (West Virginia)

96. Ben Cleveland, G (Georgia)

97. Sam Cosmi, OT (Texas)

Another player I just don’t see it with. While he is a good athlete, his pass set is a massive work in progress and he will get beat often initially at the next level. Has lots of work to do to become a starting caliber OT.

98. Jevon Holland, S (Oregon)

99. Jaelon Darden, WR (North Texas)

100. Alaric Jackson, OL (Iowa)

101. Trey Sermon, RB (Ohio State)

102. Nick Bolton, LB (Mizzouri)

103. Aaron Robinson, CB (UCF)

104. Dwayne Eskridge, WR (Western Michigan)

A player who is absurdly fun to watch, Eskridge will need to add more routes to his arsenal. Reminds me a lot of Corey Coleman right now.

105. Eric Stokes, CB (Georgia)

106. James Wiggins, S (Cincinnati)

107. Tutu Atwell, WR (Louisville)

108. Osa Odighizuwa, DL (UCLA)

109. Tylan Wallace, WR (Oklahoma State)

110. Trill Williams, CB (Syracuse)

111. Shi Smith, WR (South Carolina)

112. Kyle Trask, QB (Florida)

He has the prototypical build for the position and had immense production in his final season at Florida, he just does not have the arm talent necessary at the NFL level.

113. Deonte Brown, G (Alabama)

114. Jabril Cox, LB (LSU)

115. Tyler Vaughns, WR (USC)

116. Jaylen Twyman, DL (Pitt)

117. Jay Tufele, DT (USC)

118. Javian Hawkins, RB (Louisville)

119. Richard Lecounte, S (Georgia)

120. Rashad Weaver, EDGE (Pitt)

121. Cameron McGrone, LB (Michigan)

122. Carlos Basham, EDGE (Wake Forest)

123. Tyson Campbell, CB (Georgia)

124. Darius Stills, DT (West Virginia)

125. Joe Tryon, EDGE (Washington)

126. Chazz Surratt, LB (North Carolina)

127. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE (Notre Dame)

128. Marco Wilson, CB (Florida)

129. Payton Turner, EDGE (Houston)

130. Baron Browning, LB (Ohio State)

I really just don’t get it with Browning. He is a good player in coverage but I do not see the desire to be physical or provide enough help in run support. Maybe he will prove me wrong, but I’m going with my gut on this one.

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Baron Browning

131. Sage Surratt, WR (Wake Forest)

132. Talanoa Hufanga, S (USC)

133. Marlon Tiupolatu, DL (USC)

134. Kellen Mond, QB (Texas A&M)

135. Shaun Wade, CB (Ohio State)

UDFA

136. Chris Rumph, EDGE (Duke)

137. Feliepe Franks, QB (Arkansas)

138. Monty Rice, LB (Georgia)

139. Jarrett Patterson, RB (Buffalo)

140. Kennedy Brooks, RB (Oklahoma)

141. Nico Collins, WR (Michigan)

142. Hamiclar Rashed Jr, EDGE (Oregon State)

143. Paris Ford, S (Pitt)

144. Rakeem Boyd, RB (Arkansas)

145. Jamie Newman, QB (Wake Forest)

146. Khalil Herbert, RB (Virginia Tech)

147. Anthony Schwartz, WR (Auburn)

148. Chubba Hubbard, RB (Oklahoma State)

149. Larry Rountree, RB, (Missouri)

150. Janarius Robinson, EDGE (Florida State)

Be sure to follow NFL Draft Lounge for more on all of these players and additional 2021 NFL Draft coverage. As always, you can find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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