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Denton 2021 NFL Draft Top 5 Positional Rankings

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With the 2021 NFL Draft roughly just around the corner, let’s take a look at the talent heading from college to the NFL. Below, you’ll see my top five prospects at each major position in the 2021 draft class and a draft round grade:


Quarterback

CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
  1. Trevor Lawrence
  2. Justin Fields
  3. Zach Wilson
  4. Trey Lance
  5. Mac Jones

Analysis:

Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback in this draft and the best quarterback college prospect since Andrew Luck. I have Justin Fields as QB2 in this class over Zach Wilson. Fields could be the next Deshaun Watson, whereas Wilson could be the next Baker Mayfield. Trey Lance is very raw at the moment but has all the traits you want in a quarterback. Mac Jones, I see a solid quarterback at the next level but nothing more than a game manager style QB.

Running back

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images
  1. Najee Harris
  2. Travis Etienne
  3. Javonte Williams
  4. Michael Carter
  5. Chubba Hubbard

Analysis:

Harris is the ideal running back for the NFL and a damn good one at that. He’s big and strong but agile and fast too. Etienne is more of a “lightning in a bottle” and a big play explosive running back. Williams and Carter were a good 1-2 punch at North Carolina but I have Williams over Carter. Hot take, but I have Hubbard as my RB5 due to his traits and great production throughout his college years.

Wide receiver

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  1. Ja’Marr Chase
  2. DeVonta Smith
  3. Jaylen Waddle
  4. Rashod Bateman
  5. Terrace Marshall

Analysis:

Ja’Marr Chase is the best wide receiver in this class and is a clear WR1 for whichever team drafts him. Smith and Waddle are speedy receivers with great upside to be potential number 1 wide receivers. Bateman is a big wide receiver with great hands, the other wide receiver across from Chase was Marshall and he played great when Chase opted out.

Tight End

Florida vs Alabama Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Collegiate Images/Getty Images
  1. Kyle Pitts
  2. Pat Freiermuth
  3. Tommy Tremble
  4. Brevin Jordan
  5. Hunter Long

Analysis:

Kyle Pitts is the best offensive weapon in the class and tight end is just his college position. He is an amazing contested-catch specialist and could even play some wide receiver. Overall, the tight end class isn’t a very deep one, but Freiermuth and Tremble are both good all-round tight ends who excel at both blocking and have upside in the passing game. Jordan is more of a “move” tight end who is primarily a receiving threat.

Offensive Tackle

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Rose Bowl - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  1. Penei Sewell
  2. Rashawn Slater
  3. Christian Darrisaw
  4. Teven Jenkins
  5. Sam Cosmi

Analysis:

This is one of the deepest offensive tackle drafts in years and Sewell is the best in this year's class. Sewell is an offensive tackle that an offense can build around. Slater is an excellent offensive tackle who also can kick inside at guard. Darrisaw and Jenkins are both maulers with exciting athleticism. Cosmi is an uber-athletic offensive tackle who just needs some fundamental refinements.

Offensive Guard

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  1. Alijah Vera-Tucker
  2. Wyatt Davis
  3. Trey Smith
  4. Aaron Banks
  5. Deonte Brown

Analysis:

Vera-Tucker is the best interior offensive lineman in the draft but some teams may see him being able to play left tackle at the NFL level. Davis was a standout offensive guard on a standout offense at Ohio State. Trey Smith is a mauling blocker with great size. Banks and Brown were guards on two of the best offensive lines in college football at Notre Dame and Alabama.

Center

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  1. Landon Dickerson
  2. Creed Humphrey
  3. Quinn Meinerz
  4. Josh Myers
  5. Drew Dalman

Analysis:

Dickerson would be a definite round 1 pick if it wasn’t for his injury but his game tape is some of the best in the draft. Humphrey is an athletic center that just does everything well. Meinerz is a small school center that dominated at the senior bowl and saw a massive rise up many draft boards because of it and rightfully so.

Edge

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  1. Kwity Paye
  2. Jaelen Phillips
  3. Azeez Ojulari
  4. Gregory Rousseau
  5. Joe Tryon

Analysis:

This year's top edge rushers are some of the most athletic I have seen in some time. Paye is a monster athlete who excels at setting a good edge and has definite pass rusher upside. Phillips is the most all-round edge rusher in the class but his medical red flags are potentially scary for some teams. Rousseau is a monster of an edge rusher but found most of his success inside at the college level. Tryon is one of my favorite edge rushers in the draft as he is a “does everything well” edge who could play both defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level.

Interior Defensive Line

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  1. Christian Barmore
  2. Daviyon Nixon
  3. Levi Onwuzerike
  4. Jay Tufele
  5. Jaylen Twyman

Analysis:

Probably one of the worst interior defensive line draft classes in recent draft history. Barmore leads the pack with his brute strength approach to the game, Nixon and Onwuzerike are the best two 3 technique defensive tackles in this class and are very good interior pass rushers.

Linebacker

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  1. Micah Parsons
  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  3. Zaven Collins
  4. Jamin Davis
  5. Jabril Cox

Analysis:

A very athletic group of off-the-ball linebackers with position flexibility. Parsons can play off the ball and on the line of scrimmage. Owusu-Koramoah can play linebacker, safety and slot corner and reminds me a lot of Isaiah Simmons due to his position flexibility and coverage ability. Collins, Davis, and Cox round out the top five who all have different skill sets but are all plenty athletic.

Cornerback

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  1. Patrick Surtain
  2. Caleb Farley
  3. Jaycee Horn
  4. Greg Newsome
  5. Asante Samuel Jr

Analysis:

Surtain reminds me of Marlon Humphrey and could definitely reach that level of play at the NFL level. Farley is just as good as Surtain but the back injuries have me worried. Horn is a lock-down cornerback who locked down every receiver he played against in college. Newsome and Samuel Jr are both very athletic potentially shut down corners who had great college careers.

Safety

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  1. Trevon Moehrig
  2. Jevon Holland
  3. Hamsah Nasrildeen
  4. Richie Grant
  5. Jamar Johnson

Analysis:

The safety class has some hidden gems but isn’t overly great. Moehrig is a great centerfield free safety who can also play strong safety. Holland was a bright spark on the Oregon defense and rightfully so due to his instinctive ball-hawking play style. Hamsah Nasrildeen reminds me of Kam Chancellor in his hard-hitting style of play but can match up with tight ends and running backs out the backfield. Grant took the senior bowl by storm and after watching his game tape you can definitely see why.