2021 NFL Draft First Round Prospects, 32 Best Players On The Board
32 WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Bottom Line: Lost a bit in the glut of phenomenal receiver prospects. he’s a feisty No. 1 guy who might not be ultra-fast or all that big, but he’s a baller’s baller who’ll work harder and bring a better badass attitude. He’ll drop because of the measurables – that’s a big mistake.
Who Has This Pick: Tampa Bay
31 CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
Bottom Line: Speed, speed, speed, speed, speed. He only had one career interception at Georgia, but he’s tall, he’s got the frame, and he has 4.38 wheels. He might need to work his craft a bit more to be worth a first rounder, but he’ll get there.
Who Has This Pick: Kansas City
30 LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
Bottom Line: You want an inside linebacker who’s going to lead your team in tackles? Here you go. He was a big-time producer at a high SEC level, but he’s not going to be a flash in the NFL. That’s okay – he’ll be in on every running play.
Who Has This Pick: Buffalo
29 DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
Bottom Line: Really, really quick, he’s not a massive-bodied interior presence, but he’s strong against the run and is a brilliant interior pass rusher. He might not be an anchor, but he fits what modern defenses need up front.
Who Has This Pick: Green Bay
28 CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Bottom Line: No, he’s not going to stop the run, and yeah, he only had two picks in his USC career – both in one game – but the tools, talent, and NFL No. 1 QB ability are all there.
Who Has This Pick: New Orleans
27 DE/EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Bottom Line: Very, very fast with the athleticism to grow into more of a pass rusher, he was excellent in 2019 for the Michigan line but struggled last year. Everything is in place to be special – including the fight and energy – but the production has to follow.
Who Has This Pick: Baltimore
26 WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
Bottom Line: The NFL tends to like 6-4, 200-pound SEC wide receivers with 4.4 speed who catch 23 touchdown passes in two seasons. All the tools are there to be special, and he might be one of the best value gets in the draft in a class loaded with receivers certain to go higher.
Who Has This Pick: Cleveland
25 OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Bottom Line: All of the NFL tools are packed into a guy with the mentality of someone who’ll fight just to make the team. When it comes to what you’re looking for in an NFL offensive tackle, he checks all the proverbial boxes. Put him on the left side and he’ll stick.
Who Has This Pick: Jacksonville
24 RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
Bottom Line: You don’t become the ACC’s all-time leading rusher and do all the things he did for a national championship-caliber program without being able to do something right. He might not be a 25-carry workhorse, but he’ll be your RB1 in the rotation with the upside to grow into more of a third down playmaker.
Who Has This Pick: Pittsburgh
23 DE/EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Bottom Line: He’s 6-5 and 257-pounds running a 4.36 40, but the production wasn’t consistently there for Penn State. He’s a dream of an edge rusher tools-wise, but he’s easily one of the bigger boom-or-bust players in the draft. The production has to match the athleticism.
Who Has This Pick: New York Jets
22 QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Bottom Line: Jones had an otherworldly team around him last season at Alabama, but Joe Burrow had an all-time heater with 2019 LSU and he turned out to be really, really good right away. All Jones did was come up with the most efficient passing season in the history of college football – beating Burrow.
Who Has This Pick: Tennessee
21 WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Bottom Line: When his season ended, it’s not insane to say he was the SEC’s best receiver – and then DeVonta Smith took things to a whole other level. He might not be huge, but he’s got the sub-4.4 wheels and – again – he produced at the highest of SEC levels. Don’t be totally shocked if he’s the best receiver in the draft.
Who Has This Pick: Indianapolis
20 DE/EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
Bottom Line: It’s not an amazing year for edge rushers – there’s no Chase Young – but Phillips is about as complete as it gets in 2021 for big, fiery pass rushers who know how to get behind the line. Staying healthy is a big problem, but he’ll be great when he’s on the field.
Who Has This Pick: Chicago
19 WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
Bottom Line: Yeah, he’s only 5-7, but he can bench press a house, can jump out of the stadium – he’s got a 42.5″ vertical – and the 4.29 doesn’t hurt. He only did it for a little while at Purdue, but if all goes right, he’s a volume-catching Tyreek Hill.
Who Has This Pick: Washington
18 CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Bottom Line: And he’s just getting started. He was a quarterback-turned-wide receiver when he came to Virginia Tech, and now he’s on the verge of being the type of NFL corner who’ll erase a No. 1 target. You want 6-2 corners who get physical and run a 4.28.
Who Has This Pick: Miami
17 OT/OG Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Bottom Line: There’s no risk here. He’s not a massive mauler, and he’s certainly not Penei Sewell, but he’s a terrific technician who’s smooth but tough enough to kick inside. He’ll be one of your five starting linemen for the next ten years – the question is where that will be.
Who Has This Pick: Las Vegas
16 QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Bottom Line: Yeah, he’s crazy-accurate, and yeah, he has an otherworldly arm, but he did a whole lot of winning against mediocre teams. There’s a whole lot to like, but the quarterbacks ranked higher have a far bigger boom factor.
Who Has This Pick: Arizona
15 WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Bottom Line: It might seem ultra-pretentious to use the “he’s better than the receiver on the team who won the Heisman,” but … he might just be better than the guy who won the Heisman. You can’t stay with him – even for Bama, he showed off ridiculous quickness. There isn’t going to be a more fluidly athletic receiver in the NFL.
Who Has This Pick: New England
14 DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
Bottom Line: It’s all about value here. There are plenty of receivers, linebackers and wide receivers there for the taking, but the difference between Barmore and most of the defensive tackles is huge. He’s 6-4, 310 pounds, and he can get behind the line.
Who Has This Pick: Minnesota
13 OG/OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Bottom Line: A versatile talent who can play anywhere on your line, he’s a ready-made blocker at guard who does everything technically right. Go ahead and kick him out to tackle if you’d like. He’s one of those infrastructure picks who’ll be a part of your line for the next ten years.
Who Has This Pick: Los Angeles Chargers
12 LB Jeremiah Owusu-Oramoah, Notre Dame
Bottom Line: At 6-2 and 221 pounds he’s too small, he’ll get pushed around a bit too much, and he might not have a perfectly defined spot, but try watching a Notre Dame game last year without him making something happen on seemingly every play. The guy just knows where to be.
Who Has This Pick: Philadelphia
11 S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Bottom Line: It would’ve been nice to get a bit more production, and he’s not going to be the biggest of hitters, and he was far better in 2019 than when he won the Thorpe in 2020, but … size, range, toughness, instincts, leadership – he’s what you want as the quarterback of your NFL secondary.
Who Has This Pick: New York Giants