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Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft

Looking at the top talent in this year’s class.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

With the 2021 NFL Draft fast approaching and pro day circuit in full swing, draft boards everywhere are starting to really take shape. This class is looking to be a deep group of talented players with some considerably elite talent at the top. Here is how the top of my board is looking.

  1. Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson: Trevor Lawrence stands atop the class, just as we all predicted when he first stepped onto the field at Clemson.
  2. Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon: Despite not playing in a year, Penei Sewell’s elite 2019 tape combined with his incredible physical tools make him a top-tier offensive tackle prospect.
  3. Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida: Kyle Pitts is the best offensive skill player in this class and that is saying a lot. An otherworldly talent who can make a difference wherever he lines up.
  4. Justin Fields, Quarterback, OSU: In any other class, Justin Fields would be a clear-cut QB1. His poise, deep passing, and athleticism should translate quickly to the NFL.
  5. DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama: The Heisman-winning wide receiver will overcome size concerns in the NFL with special attention to detail at the wide receiver position.
  6. Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU: Ja’Marr Chase had a stellar 2019 season and will make an immediate difference in the NFL despite sitting a year.
  7. Rashawn Slater, Offensive Lineman, Northwestern: No matter where he lines up in the NFL, Rashawn Slater will hit the ground running as a top-tier pass blocker.
  8. Kwity Paye, Defensive Lineman, Michigan: A versatile, athletic, and disruptive player who should start for a long time on a pro defense.
  9. Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU: Zach Wilson enjoyed a breakout year in 2020. His big arm, aggressive playing style, and ability to prevent turnovers will have NFL teams swooning over him come April.
  10. Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, Alabama: Not flashy, but athletic, physical, consistent at a critical position.
  11. Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami: A high upside defender who can wreak havoc on passing downs.
  12. Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech: In a long line of Virginia Tech defensive backs, Caleb Farley will thrive in the NFL as an athletic playmaker.
  13. Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech: Another Howie breaking into the top 15. Darrisaw’s size and strength will be a major asset to him at the next level.
  14. Trey Lance, Quarterback, NDSU: Trey Lance is a Madden Create-A-Player with his size, arm strength and athleticism. Factor in how efficient he was at the FCS level and he will transition nicely to the NFL.
  15. Travis Etienne, Running Back, Clemson: One of the biggest playmakers in college football since his freshman year, Travis Etienne’s home run speed will make an NFL team very happy.
  16. Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina: Jaycee Horn was consistently tasked with covering the best players in college football and consistently put up a great fight. The big, physical cornerback will not be phased by any challenge in the NFL.
  17. Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver, Minnesota: Rashod Bateman will surprise a lot of people early in his career. He is a technician at the wide receiver position and will produce quickly in an NFL offense.
  18. Micah Parsons, Linebacker, PSU: Despite off-field questions, there is no doubting Micah Parsons’ on-field talent.
  19. Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami: Rousseau enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 before sitting last year. The 6’7” defender has unreal potential.
  20. Christian Barmore, Defensive Tackle, Alabama: It is a thin class for interior defenders, but Christian Barmore should turn heads with what he can do on passing downs. A young player, there is plenty of good football ahead for him.
  21. Wyatt Davis, Offensive Guard, Ohio State: As solid a player as there is in this class. Wyatt Davis is a steady player with lots of great football ahead of him.
  22. Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama: Despite never being featured in the Alabama offense, it’s hard to ignore how Jaylen Waddle’s speed can change the shape of a defense.
  23. Najee Harris, Running Back, Alabama: Size, athleticism, and pass-catching ability. Najee Harris is a surprising three-down back with his blend of physicality and finesse.
  24. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker, Notre Dame: NFL teams will be excited by JOK’s versatility. The speedy linebacker can cover slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs while also providing some juice as a backside run defender and blitzer.
  25. Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia: Another high upside pass rusher. Azeez Ojulari has some very good football ahead of him if he develops his athletic gifts.
  26. Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State: Tylan Wallace is being slept on after a relatively quiet year. Make no mistake though, the Oklahoma State receiver consistently made some of the biggest catches in this class. He will be a big time contributor in the NFL.
  27. Asante Samuel Junior, Cornerback, FSU: Like father, like son… Kind of. Asante Samuel Junior is a small, scrappy playmaker at cornerback and he isn’t afraid to get physical with receivers or running backs.
  28. Joseph Ossai, Edge, Texas: Ossai is a bit of a tweener and could end up playing off-ball in the NFL. However, teams will like his versatility as a pass rusher who can play the run and drop into coverage.
  29. Pat Freiermuth, Tight End, PSU: Pat Freiermuth is an athletic tight end who was a contested-catch machine at Penn State. Factor in his blocking ability and teams will love him as a conventional tight end.
  30. Rondale Moore, Wide Receiver, Purdue: While size and injury history will concern NFL teams, there is little doubt that Rondale Moore is special when he gets the ball in his hands.
  31. Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU: A smart, physical, and versatile defensive back who can quarterback a secondary.
  32. Javonte Williams, Running Back, UNC: Javonte Williams was a tackle-breaking machine at UNC and teams will love his physicality, even if he’s unproven as a pass-catcher.
  33. Levi Onwuzurike, Defensive Lineman, Washington: No matter where he lined up, Levi Onwuzurike was disruptive. His versatility could be a strength with the right defensive coordinator.
  34. Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia: Eric Stokes was the best of a great bunch of defensive backs at Georgia. Stokes is a smart, physical leader who will start early in his career.
  35. Chazz Surratt, Linebacker, UNC: A former quarterback, Chazz Surratt has a tremendous handle on playing defensive football. The scary part is he hasn’t scratched his ceiling as a linebacker.
  36. Kylin Hill, Running Back, Mississippi State: After a brilliant 2019, Kylin Hill opted out early in the 2020 season. Hill is an explosive player who can do a lot of damage out of the backfield on passing downs.
  37. Tyson Campbell, Cornerback, Georgia: Tyson Campbell gets the nod for the highest upside defender in that Georgia backfield. The 6’1”, athletically gifted cornerback has a high, high ceiling.
  38. Jabril Cox, Linebacker, LSU: Despite only starting in the SEC for one season, Jabril Cox made his mark as a playmaking linebacker. Cox’s athleticism and coverage ability will be an asset in the NFL.
  39. Jalen Mayfield, Tackle, Michigan: Jalen Mayfield is all upside. The 6’5” tackle has only started 15 games, but his physical tools are going to be hard for NFL teams to pass up.
  40. Brevin Jordan, Tight End, Miami: Brevin Jordan would be talked about more if the tight ends ahead of him weren’t so damn good. Jordan is an athletic pass catcher who can match up with any defender on the field.
  41. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver, USC: Amon-Ra St. Brown doesn’t have a flashy game, but his great hands and ball skills will make an NFL team very happy.
  42. Elijah Molden, Cornerback, Washington: Molden’s ceiling is “limited” to being a slot defender, but he is going to be a very, very good one.
  43. Trey Smith, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee: Experienced, versatile, and well-rounded are all good ways to describe Trey Smith. A team could take him in the back half of the first round and be very happy.
  44. Landon Dickerson, Center, Alabama: You always want your center to be a leader and Landon Dickerson is exactly that.
  45. Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama: Despite a hyperbolic rise in draft stock, Mac Jones remains a really solid quarterback prospect. While he won’t wow with physical gifts, he is a smart player who will make a positive difference for an NFL team.
  46. Greg Newsome, Cornerback, Northwestern: Greg Newsome was remarkable for the Wildcats in 2020. He is a physical player with tremendous upside if someone is willing to bet high on him.
  47. Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle, Alabama: Alex Leatherwood didn’t meet high expectations in 2020, but that doesn’t make him any less a good prospect. He is a big, physical blocker who could start at guard or tackle in the NFL.
  48. Teven Jenkins, Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma State: Though he might project to guard in the NFL, Teven Jenkins will make teams very happy with his technical and scrappy style of play.
  49. Ifeatu Melifonwu, Cornerback, Syracuse: Long, athletic, and with ball skills… Hard not to love what Ifeatu Melifonwu could become with the right coaching.
  50. Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss: Size be damned, Elijah Moore is going to be a baller in the NFL. His athleticism, crisp route running, and soft hands will find a place on any NFL team.