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2021 NFL Draft Big Board


The NFL draft is right around the corner, and teams are lining up to get a shot at the next generation of NFL stars. This particular crop of players is packed to the brim with talented young players ready to make a name for themselves. After a slew of pro-days, NFL big boards are coming out, attempting to make sense of the crapshoot that is the NFL draft. This big board attempts to rank and grade 75 NFL prospects on a scale of 1-10.

These grades are based upon athleticism, achievement, football IQ, skill level, and potential. Any prospects denoted with the same number grade are not tied for a position on the big board, but they are roughly the same class.

1- Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Grade: 9.4
Lawrence is the runaway number one prospect in the class, and it has been this way since the start of the season. Lawrence is hailed as the next great NFL quarterback, with an aura around him that rivals Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. He has the arm talent, accuracy, decision making, and athleticism to make it is a pro. Lawrence is also a consummate winner, amassing a meager three losses in his college career and a national championship his true freshman season. If Lawrence keeps his trajectory, he will be a potential MVP.

2- Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
Grade: 9.2
Kyle Pitts is a freak of nature. The Florida tight end stands at a monstrous 6’6″, weighing 245 pounds, with a wingspan of 83 inches. He tested well at his pro day, running a 4.45 40-yard dash, with a broad jump of 10’9 and achieving a 33.5-inch vertical. To put it simply, Kyle Pitts is an athlete. He is also one of the best players in the class, being the most reliable pass catcher in a high-powered Florida offense, with an insane catch radius and impressive body control. Pitts is essentially a wide receiver with a tight end’s build; he projects well at the next level.

3- Ja’Marr Chase, WR Louisiana State
Grade: 9.1
Chase is a dominant receiver who has proved time and again that he is NFL-ready. Before sitting out the 2020 season, Chase was a top receiver for the 2019 LSU championship team, on par with Justin Jefferson in college. Chase can catch anything and has superb body control when going up for the catch. The LSU playmaker has earned high praise as well as Julio Jones comparisons from some scouts. While that might be a bold prediction, Chase has continued to show out and back up his supporters. If he keeps his trajectory, he’ll be a pro-bowl receiver.

4-Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
Grade: 9.1
While the Oregon tackle sat out the 2020 season, he is more than worthy of a top 10 or even top 5 pick. Sewell’s surprising agility, pitch-perfect technique, and football IQ all mesh together to create one of the more polished offensive tackle prospects who can protect the quarterback’s blindside for years to come. While Sewell’s stock has dropped in recent months because of the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that many scouts have displayed this off-season, he should not be overlooked and will hopefully fall to a team that can unlock his true potential.

5- Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
Grade: 9.0
Though Waddle was injured early into the 2020 season, he is still one of the draft’s premier prospects. While his Bama counterpart DeVonta Smith gained a lot of ground in his Heisman winning season, Waddle’s talent is nothing to overlook. Jaylen Waddle spent his time in the SEC torching some of the best corners in the country. Waddle’s combination of hands, ruthless speed, and unforgiving route-running have made him a top prospect, and one unfortunate accident shouldn’t tank his stock in his absence.

6- Zach Wilson, QB Bringham Young
Grade: 9.0
Zach Wilson is one of the class’s biggest risers. After being an unknown entity in the summer, Wilson impressed a lot of scouts after leading BYU to an 11-1 record on the season. His natural arm talent, accuracy, and football IQ have made him a favorite in NFL draft circles, even more so than Justin Fields, one of the most popular QBs in the class. Wilson has been raved about for months, and now that the New York Jets sent Sam Darnold packing, they are likely to select a high-riser in Zach Wilson.

7- Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
Grade: 8.9
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields may find himself slipping down draft boards at the moment, but the National Championship runner-up is still a mainstay in the top-10 on most mocks. Fields may come off as raw or unpolished to many, but his intangibles and athleticism have helped make his name. Fields has a calm presence in the pocket and has faith in his receivers going vertically. He is also tough as nails if the Clemson game proved anything. His poise and confidence are other strengths that scouts overlook far too much. While Fields needs time to develop his mental processing, he has the innate ability to become a star quarterback.

8- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
Grade: 8.8
North Dakota State is not known for their football, but Trey Lance, like Carson Wentz before him, is a highly-touted prospect from the Plains. Lance certainly has the physical attributes to make it as an NFL starter (6’3″, 224 lbs). He also has the powerful running and long stride reminiscent of the aforementioned Wentz. Lance also has a cannon for an arm and can drive the ball downfield with ease. He needs to improve some accuracy issues, but his mental processing seems on point, with a total of 0 interceptions in 2019. Lance will have to improve by leaps and bounds as the competition becomes more ruthless from FCS to NFL football.

9- Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
Grade: 8.8
Micah Parsons is another player who opted out of the 2020 season. Parsons has seen his stock dip after his absence from the field, but he is still one of the most highly rated prospects on the board. Parsons has unreal speed, strength, and agility (4.39-second 40-yard dash), but the way he applies these physical gifts to the game makes him a top prospect. Parsons is an energetic player who chases the ball carrier from sideline to sideline. He also uses his speed to cover running backs and tight ends. Though his instincts can be hit or miss, he proved to be a defensive leader for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions fell apart without number 11 in 2020.

10- Patrick Surtain- CB, Alabama
Grade: 8.7
Alabama’s top corner was one of the best players in the country. So much so that opposing quarterbacks didn’t even bother to target the Surtain most of the time. Surtain struck fear in opposing quarterbacks, attaching himself to his man and not losing any ground. On top of mirroring his man across the field, Surtain is also an underrated run defender who catches positions himself well to make the backfield stop. Surtain was the best defender on a stout Alabama offense, and his skill set is sure to translate to the next level.

11- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
Grade: 8.7
Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater might not come from a powerhouse football program, but he knows a thing or two about tough competition. Slater has faced some of college football’s premier pass rushers (especially against Ohio State) and has faltered rarely. Slater makes top-tier players disappear from the field and has made his case to get selected over Sewell. His pass protection is a work of art, using angles to cut off the rushers and sliding his feet quickly to make the block. Though he has not quite usurped Sewell’s position as the top OT on the board, he has made a strong case.

12- DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
Grade: 8.6
The 2020 Heisman recipient was one of the biggest risers in the draft. Though it was obvious Smith has unique skills, his 2020 performance made analysts believe more in his NFL future. Smith was the best player in college football’s most explosive offense- an offense that has been touted as the best ever. Smith’s combination of instincts and route-running prowess made him a deadly threat in Nick Saban’s offense. He quickly became new quarterback Mac Jones’ favorite target. However, Smith’s narrow frame, lack of strength, and lack of balance when hit are the main concerns in his draft evaluation. Smith’s height (6’1″) is not a problem, but he will need to bulk up from his current 176-pound frame.

13- Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
Grade: 8.6
Jaycee Horn, another top corner in the class, made his first-round case in three years at South Carolina, matching up against some of the best receivers the Southeast has to offer. Horn has consistently impressed, matching up in every coverage imaginable and excelling. Horn is an aggressive corner whose flexibility on defense makes him a threat to any quarterback, even if he is not playing on the ball. Horn has the chance to become the best corner in the draft and a legitimate number one corner in the NFL, all he needs to do is patch up some technical issues in zone coverage.

14- Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
Grade: 8.6
Though Notre Dame was considered the weakest of the playoff teams, JOK made sure that the Fighting Irish had a fighting chance against NCAA powerhouses like Clemson and Bama. JOK is a speedy, instinctual defender who moves throughout the field to fit his team’s needs. Though he lacks the prototypical build for an NFL linebacker, Owusu-Koramoah makes up for it with his effort and power. Though he is not a stout tackler, he puts himself in the position to make plays and does so very frequently.

15- Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech
Grade: 8.5
Darrisaw is a proficient offensive tackle who does well in both pass protection and the run game. Darrisaw is very fundamentally sound and does everything correctly in the way of hand and leg work. Though he does not have the upside that Slater or Sewell exhibit, Darrisaw should be a terrific tackle at the next level. He should fit in seamlessly on day one.

16- Najee Harris, RB Alabama- Grade: 8.5
Some of you might argue that is too high for a running back, but this big board is a ranking based on talent and potential, and Harris showed every just how much talent and potential he has. Despite the diminishing value of the running back position, Najee Harris is likely to go in the first round and pay dividends for the team that selects him. Harris is explosive, athletic, and a powerful runner who breaks tackles with ease. He has quick feet and complements this with superb vision and instincts. Najee is also an underrated pass-catcher, which is a skill he will likely develop further at the next level.

17- Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL Southern California
Grade: 8.5
Though Vera-Tucker played at both the guard and tackle position at USC, he is better suited on the inside. His pass protection needs some work, but he does a good job paving the way for the run. Vera-Tucker does a terrific job using his slighter frame to his advantage by gaining more leverage on blocks. Vera-Tucker knows how to play the guard position and constantly makes the intelligent play with footwork and patience.

18- Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
Grade: 8.4
Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley is another one of the class’s top defensive players. The cornerback class is deep this year, and Farely has stood out throughout the entire draft process. Farley’s athleticism and ball skills make him a terrific defender in man coverage, and his explosiveness allows him to recover when he’s beaten. Though Farley has seen his stock drop in recent weeks, he is still one of the draft’s best defensive players and has the potential to be the best corner in the class.

19- Greg Newsome, CB Northwestern
Grade: 8.4
Greg Newsome showed up in a big way this season, leading Northwestern to a big ten championship appearance, almost knocking off Ohio State. Aside from the obvious success Newsome’s program had, he played exceptionally well this year too. Newsome was rarely challenged by opposing quarterbacks and won many of the battles he undertook. He moves his hips fluidly in coverage and makes up for his lack of straight-line speed with sharp, polished movements. While it has been said many times in this big board, it holds for Newsome as well: He can be the best corner in the class.

20- Jaelen Philips, EDGE Miami (FL)
Grade: 8.4
Injuries are a sad reality of the sport. Player’s careers can be derailed in seconds because of one accident. In Jaelen Philips’ case, his injury concerns in college have hurt his NFL draft stock. Philips is likely the best edge rusher in the class, but concerns about his durability and health have sent him tumbling down draft boards. Despite this, Philips can play the position as well as anyone. He is explosive, agile, and he possesses excellent technique. He bends around the edge well and uses his hands to dispatch of overwhelmed o-lineman. If Philips can stay on the field, he will be a star, but unfortunately, that is an “if.”

21- Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma State
Grade: 8.4
Jenkins is one of the most athletic and powerful tackle prospects in the draft. He thrives on both the left and right sides and adapts to situations very well. Technically the Oklahoma state product is very impressive, and his agility and fluidity when sliding at an angle are frightening. He should be a day one starter and only has some minor issues to work out.

22- Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
Grade: 8.3
Unfortunately for Bateman, Minnesota football’s substandard performance during the COVID-19 crisis hurt Bateman’s draft stock. Though Bateman is not at fault for the Gopher’s mediocre season, his draft stock plummeted. Additionally, the rise of DeVonta Smith, Kadarius Toney, and Terrace Marshall have put Bateman in a less than ideal situation. Still, Bateman is an impressive receiver who runs his routes with pace and intent and uses his body to haul in off-speed and inaccurate throws. Bateman is also a strong runner who uses his long, powerful stride to drive his body forward and dispatch the defender.

23- Azeez Ojulari, EDGE Georgia
Grade: 8.3
Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari is not physically imposing, nor is he a freak athlete, but he makes up for this with fundamentals. Ojulari constantly uses his hands to great success, firing off the line before taking the lineman out with a series of clubs and shoves. He also uses his agility to his advantage, changing direction with speed and anticipation. While Ojulari is not a track star, he is startlingly quick when pursuing the quarterback, a scary quality that any defensive coordinator would love his newest acquisition to have.

24- Christian Barmore, DL Alabama
Grade: 8.3
Alabama’s Christian Barmore has asserted himself as the best defensive lineman in an underrated class for defensive lineman. While Barmore is likely to be selected in the mid to late first round, he displays a tantalizing bit of potential. Barmore has shocking quickness and agility and can regularly get a sack if he starts a yard off the line and builds up speed from there. He tosses O-lineman back with his power and ferocity but needs to develop a bit more strength to engage in a battle with the best centers in the league. Players as big as number 58 are not supposed to move as fast as he does.

25- Kwity Paye, EDGE Michigan
Grade: 8.3
Kwity Paye is a mystery of this draft class. He checks all of the boxes physically, but he is as raw as they come. Paye has explosiveness and speed, getting to the quarterback in a flash. His first step is lethal, and he can bend around the edge and capitalize on an o-lineman that is not shifting fast enough to cut him off. Though Paye has every physical tool a team could want, he is more of an investment than a plug-and-play acquisition. Paye is not as technically savvy as Jaelen Philips or Azeez Ojulari, so the Michigan product will need special attention at the next level to match up against a professional offensive lineman.

26- Travis Ettiene, RB Clemson- Grade: 8.2
27- Trevon Moehrig, S Texas Christian- Grade: 8.2
28- Creed Humphrey, IOL Oklahoma- Grade: 8.2
29- Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami (FL)- Grade: 8.2
30- Zaven Collins, EDGE/LB Tulsa- Grade: 8.1
31- Landon Dickerson, IOL Alabama: 8.1
32- Rondale Moore, WR Purdue: 8.1
33- Kadarius Toney, WR Florida: 8.1
34- Terrace Marshall Jr, WR Louisiana State: 8.1
35- Mac Jones, QB Alabama- Grade: 8.0

36- Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas- Grade: 8.0
37- Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota State- Grade: 8.0
38- Pat Freiermuth, TE Penn State- Grade: 8.0
39- Levi Onwuzurike, DL Washington- Grade: 7.9
40- Daviyon Nixon, DL Iowa- Grade: 7.9
41- Jamin Davis, LB Kentucky- Grade: 7.9
42- Elijah Moore, WR Mississippi- Grade: 7.9
43- Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn State- Grade: 7.8
44- Joseph Ossai, EDGE Texas- Grade: 7.8
45- Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama- Grade: 7.8

46- Trey Smith, IOL Tennessee- Grade: 7.8
47- Joe Tryon, EDGE Washington- Grade: 7.7
48- Wyatt Davis, IOL Ohio State- Grade: 7.7
49- Ifeatu Melinfonwu, CB Syracuse- Grade: 7.6
50- Asante Samuel Jr, CB Florida State- Grade: 7.6
51- Elijah Molden, CB Washington- Grade: 7.6
52- Nick Bolton, LB Missouri- Grade: 7.6
53- Richie Grant, S Southern Florida- Grade: 7.6
54- Kelvin Joseph, CB Kentucky- Grade: 7.6
55- Walker Little, OT Stanford- Grade: 7.5

56- Eric Stokes, CB Georgia- Grade: 7.5
57- Tyson Campbell, CB Georgia- Grade: 7.5
58- Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame- Grade: 7.5
59- Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR Southern California- Grade: 7.5
60- Carlos Basham, EDGE Wake Forest- Grade: 7.5
61- Jabril Cox, LB Louisiana State- Grade: 7.5
62- Javonte Williams, RB North Carolina- Grade: 7.4
63- Jay Tufele, DL Southern California- Grade: 7.4
64- Quinn Meinerz, IOL Wisconsin- Whitewater- Grade: 7.4
65- Chazz Surratt, LB North Carolina- Grade: 7.4

66- Michael Carter, RB North Carolina- Grade: 7.4
67- Jevon Holland, S Oregon- Grade: 7.3
68- Dynami Brown, WR North Carolina- Grade: 7.3
69- Ronnie Perkins, EDGE Oklahoma- Grade: 7.3
70- Rashad Weaver, EDGE Pittsburgh- Grade: 7.3
71- Brady Christensen, OT Bringham Young- Grade: 7.3
72- Baron Browning, LB Ohio State- Grade: 7.2
73- Alim McNeill, DL North Carolina State- Grade: 7.2
74- Andre Cisco, S Syracuse- Grade: 7.1
75- Kyle Trask, QB Florida- Grade: 7.0