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2021

Alameda’s NFL Draft Big Board: Top 30

Here is my first official (Top-30) Big Board of the season.

We are still three months away from the NFL Draft so there will be changes to this board in the near future, but feel free to reach out to me on my Twitter.

1. Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson

Lawrence has all of the physical tools that teams drool over as he’s a true dual-threat QB. However, if he wants to be “great” in the NFL he has to focus on his middle accuracy and not relying on his receivers in 50/50 situations.

2. Penei Sewell OT Oregon

Sewell absolutely dominated the Pac-12 competition, so much that teams aren’t hesitating keeping him as a top three prospect in the class. At only 20 years old, Sewell is going to be a franchise left tackle, no question.

3. Devonta Smith WR Alabama

The 2020 CFB Heisman trophy winner is going to make a team extremely happy as some have compared him to a former superstar receiver in Antonio Brown. If his offensive coordinator in the NFL utilizes him in the way Sarkisian did at Alabama, Smith will be a force to be reckoned with. 

4. Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU

Chase seems to be getting forgotten about due to opting out of the season, but his 2019 tape speaks for itself. Chase’s ability to routinely create separation with physicality off the line of scrimmage and to win 50/50 jump balls at an absurd rate makes him worthy of a top-5 selection. 

5. Trey Lance QB North Dakota State

Despite showing a small sample size against inferior talent, he has displayed all the tools of a franchise quarterback. Lance has the arm talent, athleticism, poise, and accuracy that are fundamental to building an elite quarterback.

6. Zach Wilson QB BYU

Wilson exploded onto the scene in 2020 as he displayed his innate ability to create plays outside of the structure. While there are concerns about his footwork and ability inside the pocket, his wicked arm talent is going to excite a team enough to potentially draft him in the top five. 

7. Justin Fields QB Ohio State

Fields uses his 6’3, 225 frame well as he’s immovable inside the pocket & a major threat in the run game. The OSU QB’s bread and butter is his ability to extend plays outside of the pocket, but he will have to work on the ability to go through progressions and make tight window throws.

8. Kyle Pitts TE Florida

Pitts is one of the safetest selections of this years draft as he dominated defenses throughout his career at Florida. Whether it’s off the line or split out-wide, Pitts’s size is an immediate mismatch that will succeed in the NFL.

9. Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech

Farley is the undisputed top corner in this year’s draft class due to his elite athleticism and his pure technique despite transition from WR to CB. The Virginia Tech corner possesses a fluidity and natural ball skills that is needed to thrive in both zone and man at the next level. 

10. Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami

There are some concerns about Rousseau’s technique as he consistently wins solely on his physical skill-set, but 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss is nothing to scoff at. 

11. Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama

Waddle is full of pure explosion Waddle is a natural pass catcher who is going to see major success because of his pure explosiveness as he’s able to hit 0-60 in an instant whenever the ball is in his hands.

12. Micah Parsons LB Penn State

Parsons instincts and versatility to play in various different roles of a defense will give any defensive coordinator a major chess piece to play with. The Penn State product had an extremely productive collegiate career due to his instincts and pure ability to always find himself around the ball

13. Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern

Slater has shown the ability to play each position on the O-line, so the versatility is going to make him an enticing option in the top 20. Despite opting out of the season, Slater exhibited his skills specifically in a 2019 matchup where he dominated Chase Young, the former number two overall pick

14. Patrick Surtain Jr. CB Alabama

Surtain is one of the most technically sound defensive backs in this year’s draft class, but his lack of deep speed and inconsistency over the middle of the field gives him a lower grade than most. 

15. Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan

Paye isn’t going to wow teams with his athletic ability on the field, rather his functional play strength and speed to power translation. He is a fiery competition who consistently lives by the motto “play till the final whistle”.

16. Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech

Darrisaw was a late riser in this year’s draft class and has dominated the competition at left tackle since he stepped foot on campus in 2018. 

17. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame

Explosiveness is what sets JOK apart in this strong linebacking class. This season, he made a name for himself with his pure instincts and ability to play at a completely different speed than the rest of the players on the field. 

18. Kadarius Toney WR Florida

The Florida WR is truly a human joystick & improved his stock to a 1st round grade after he showcased the ability to be a downfield threat and not simply a “playmaker”. 

19. Asante Samuel Jr. CB Florida State

The FSU DB is arguably the most fluid/sticky corner in coverage in this year’s draft class. The biggest gripe on Samuel Jr. is the lack of experience in press man-to-man coverage as his 5-foot-10 frame doesn’t scream elite corner, but he plays with a tenacity that will have him see a successful career.

20. Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina

Horn has the potential to be a top-tier corner in the NFL due to his “get in your face” physical playstyle, but he tends to get far too grabby when receivers break on routes. If he can get past this hurdle, he can be a dominant man-to-man corner.

21. Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota

The Minnesota receiver is, as some would call, a smooth operator, as his savvy route running and 50/50 ball ability puts him as WR 5. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, Bateman has the physical makings of a WR1.

22. Najee Harris RB Alabama

While Harris lacks “big play” speed and pure elusiveness, he is the best all around running back in the 2021 NFL Draft Class. Based off of Harris’s tenacious running style alone, an NFL offense will utilize him to be an extremely productive pro.

23. Carlos Basham Jr. EDGE Wake Forest 

Carlos “Boogie” Basham may not have the freakish profile of Gregory Rousseau, but he’s exhibited the ability to win off the edge & inside with a blend of technique and strength. Basham recorded twenty sacks and seven forced fumbles over the past three seasons and looks to be an immediate contributor at the next level. 

25. Alijah Vera-Tucker OG USC

Vera-Tucker is as close to a sure thing as there is in this year’s O-line class. Vera-Tucker has excelled in both pass and run blocking, but if there’s one flaw in his game it’s his inconsistency with finishing his reps. 

26. Azeez Ojulari EDGE Georgia

Ojulari is a freakish product who has shot up the draft board due to his elite five game sample size where he displayed extreme bend and athleticism off the edge. My concerns are the fact that he doesn’t employ a refined set of pass rush moves, but his wicked wingspan and speed of the edge give him a first round grade.

27. Wyatt Davis OG Ohio State
Davis is a mauler on the interior O-line who has dominated the college ranks for the past two seasons. He’s a plug and play guard who will step right into a team and shore up any issues, specifically in a zone-rush scheme. 

28. Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama

The Alabama lineman has the potential to play outside or inside, and makes his money with his pure strength and aggressive playstyle. His struggles will come with the more twitchy edge rushers which is why a move to the interior O-line could be his best move.

29. Chazz Surratt LB North Carolina

Surratt is a QB turned LB who possesses the athletic ability to become a star outside linebacker who thrives in pursuit. 

30. Shaka Toney EDGE Penn State

While Toney has never exceeded seven sacks, he’s consistently been a dominating force on the Penn State defensive line. He routinely dominated the Big 10 competition and has displayed the physical tools and refined skills to have an immediate impact in the NFL.

2021

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