Here is my first official (Top-30) Big Board of the season after the Senior Bowl has concluded. 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, but 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-3 prospect in the class. At only 20 years old, Sewell is going to be a franchise left tackle, no question.
3. 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’ size is an immediate mismatch that will succeed in the NFL.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. Trey Lance has the arm talent, athleticism, poise, and accuracy that are fundamental to building an elite quarterback.
7. 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 5.
8. 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.
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. He 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 #2 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 competitor 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. 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”. His ability to become a downfield receiving threat is going to either make him an NFL star, or confine him to a gadget player.
18. 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 WR 1.
19. 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’ tenacious running style alone, an NFL offense will utilize him to be an extremely productive pro.
20. 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 7 forced fumbles over the past three seasons and looks to be an immediate contributor at the next level.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Azeez Ojulari EDGE Georgia
Ojulari is a freakish product who has shot up the draft board due to his elite 5 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 off the edge give him a 1st round grade.
26. 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.
27. Mac Jones QB Alabama
The Alabama QB looks the part of a game-managing QB who can thrive in a system, and that’s not a bad thing. Jones lacks the ability to create plays outside of the structure but is arguably the best QB in this class in terms of making reads, manipulating DB’s, and working his system. He’s a fringe 1st round QB because he lacks that athletic upside but can have a lengthy pro career if he is paired with the right offensive mind.
28. Christian Barmore DT Alabama
Barmore is an absolute human avalanche at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, and he makes his money as a 3-technique shooting through gaps. A redshirt sophomore who will take his first NFL snap at the age of 21 is a terrific investment, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him climb into the top 15.
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. Despite being new to the position, Surratt checks all of the boxes athletically and displayed his instincts that can combine to make a terrific pro athlete.
30. Shaka Toney EDGE Penn State
While Toney has never exceeded 7 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.