You know how far away the 2021 NFL Draft is, so there’s no need for a calendar introduction here. Below you will see my Top 200 prospects in this class, a culmination of hours and hours and hours of film work and minor grading tweaks after pro day workouts over the past three or four months.
For a quick primer, my grading system is constructed as follows — grades in five categories I deem most important to each position, weighed from most important to least important. That combination of grades equates to a prospect’s “raw grade.” But we’re not done. After that, I add “position addition” at each spot — and this is another subjective part of the process — based on how valuable I view each position. For full transparency, here’s how I rank the importance (and supply/demand) of each position on the field in today’s NFL.
QuarterbackOffensive tackleEdge rusherWide receiverCornerbackSafetyInterior offensive lineInterior defensive lineTight endLinebackerRunning back
Keep that in mind when you’re noticing loads of receivers and corners in this list and not nearly as many tight ends, linebackers, and running backs (the latter receive no position addition at all!). I’ll have a full Top 250 out at some point before the draft, but it’s time for you to ridicule my Top 200. Also, if you have any questions on any prospect listed below (or maybe one that isn’t), reach out to me on Twitter, TikTok or Instagram @ChrisTrapasso. We’ll talk. Let’s get to it!
1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (QB1) 2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (QB2)3. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (QB3)4. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (WR1)5. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU (WR2)6. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (TE1)7. Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama (WR3)8. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (OT1)9. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (QB4)10. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (LB1)
No surprises at the top, and Wilson ever so slightly graded higher than Fields in my system. Waddle is my top receiver because of his traits — he moves differently from Chase and Smith, and that’s really saying something because Chase is a monster. There were hundredths of a point separating Pitts and Smith — they’re both outstanding. Immediate playmakers with All-Pro upside. I like Sewell — obviously — but am worried a little about his lunging tendency, which appears on occasion. Lance’s supreme natural talent was a key component to him landing inside my top 10, and Owusu-Koramoah is an exquisite defensive prospect for today’s NFL.
11. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech (OT2)12. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU (S1)13. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia (EDGE1)14. Richie Grant, S, UCF (S2)15. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech (CB1)16. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan (EDGE2)17. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (WR4)18. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse (S3)19. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (WR5)20. Asante Samuel Jr., CB, FSU, (CB2)
Welcome to the surprising portion of my first round of prospects. I love the smoothness at which Darrisaw plays the tackle position as a run and pass blocker. Ojulari is my top edge rusher because of his elite explosiveness, high-end bend, good pass-rushing moves and surprising power as a run defender. As for the truly surprising names you see above — Grant can do an-y-thing you ask of him at the safety spot with dynamic athleticism and Cisco is a thumping box safety who just so happens to be a tremendously rangy free safety when he wants to be too. If healthy, Moore can be a major weapon at the NFL level. While Samuel didn’t test like some of the other longer corners in this class, he plays with brilliant coverage intelligence and is twitched-up like his dad was.
21. Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State (OT3)22. Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern (CB3)23. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (LB2)24. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern (OT4)25. Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (EDGE3)26. Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington (DL1)27. Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest (EDGE4)28. Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas (EDGE5)29. Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss (WR6)30. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (CB4)31. Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU (WR7)32. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse (CB5)
This could be labeled as the freaky specimen group. Jenkins is a nasty dude at right tackle who tested like a cemented first-round pick. He’s balanced. Fundamentally sound with his hands. High floor. High ceiling. Newsome is another freaky specimen who’s best in off man and zone coverage and flips his hips like he’s a nickel corner. Slater is even more of a technician than Jenkins and has elite physical tools. Phillips is the most complete edge rusher in this class, and Ossai and Basham have All-Pro flashes, but their best football is in front of them, always a great phrase to read during draft season. Surtain is a good prospect. He’s going to be in the NFL for a long time. I’m concerned about his short-area quickness and ability to track the football. Melifonwu gives you nearly identical physical stature to that of Surtain with more twitch and more consistently aggressive attacks on the football in the air.
33. Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama (DL2)34. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina (CB6)35. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa (LB3)36. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama (OT5)37. Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC (IOL1)38. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (QB5)39. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida (WR8)40. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (RB1)41. Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston (EDGE6)42. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE, Notre Dame (EDGE7)43. Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU (S4)44. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia (CB7)45. Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU (CB8)46. Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky (LB4)47. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia (CB9)48. Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee (WR9)49. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson (OT6)50. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State (EDGE8)
I’ll start at the bottom here with Oweh, a regular in the first round of many big boards around the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the predictive powers of athleticism, and the Penn State alum is a specimen. I’ve just seen the type before. Once an edge rusher gets to the NFL, if he can’t win with pass-rushing moves, it’s exceptionally difficult to ever blossom into a star. Now, to the top — Barmore shows top half of the first round flashes but can rush high and isn’t particularly stout against the run, especially for being an Alabama trench player.
Horn’s explosion pops on film. So does his grabbiness, and outside of the Auburn game, I saw too many coverage blips for him to be a first-round prospect. He’s an instant starter who’ll make some splash plays early on. As for Jones, his production was first-round caliber. His traits are middle-of-the-second quality. So there he is at No. 38 overall. You’ll also notice, Harris, my RB1, is two spots below his college quarterback. Harris is Le’Veon Bell in his prime. I warn you to not sleep on the prospect between them, Turner from Houston. Power, towering size, and deceptive quicks for a big man. I’m much higher on Ogundeji from Notre Dame than most — love his length and hand work — and Vincent Jr. is the best pure slot cornerback in the class, but he’s barely creating any buzz because he opted out in 2020.
51. D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan (WR10)52. Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky (CB10)53. Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech (DL3)54. Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF (CB11)55. Thomas Graham, Jr., CB Oregon (CB12)56. Camryn Bynum, CB, California (CB13)57. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson (RB2)58. Daviyon Nixon, DL, Iowa (DL4)59. Walker Little, OT, Stanford (OT7)60. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma (IOL2)61. Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State (IOL3)62. Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana (S5)63. Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina (WR11)64. Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson (WR12)65. Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina (RB3)66. Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska (OT8)67. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas (OT9)68. Davis Mills QB, Stanford (QB6)69. Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston (WR13)70. Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State (WR14)71. Elijah Molden, CB, Washington (CB14)72. Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State (LB5)73. James Hudson III, OT, Cincinnati (OT10)74. Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA (DL5)75. Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma (CB15)
I’ll outline the prospects I like more than the consensus in this collection too — Graham doesn’t have high-caliber athletic gifts but is always around the football. Registering 32 pass breakups and eight picks in three seasons at Oregon tells the entire story. Bynum from Cal is a spring-loaded man-to-man cornerback who produced in all four seasons at Cal. Newsome is my No. 1 “trust the tape” prospect, because his pro day was a disaster. On film, he’s a running back in space and in the return game who smoothly creates separation at the short to intermediate levels on a regular basis. Jaimes from Nebraska started 40 games for the Huskers and boy does it show in pass protection. He’s like a foosball player who casually glides up and back down the same track for every pass play. So balanced, so steady. Stevenson has a tiny frame, but he’s a bullet down the field, and while I wonder why Darby didn’t produce much in college, he has NFL-caliber route-running chops and explosion at all levels. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Werner, one of my favorite linebacker watches during the pre-draft process. A former safety, the Ohio State standout is ready to cover tight ends and make plays from zone yesterday and has a tenacious play style as a blitzer and against the run.
76. Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M (QB7)77. Alim McNeill DL, NC, State (DL6)78. Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan (OT11)79. Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State (OT12)80. Brady Christensen, OT, BYU (OT13)81. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington (EDGE9)82. Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh (EDGE10)83. Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech (S6)84. Bobby Brown III, IDL, Texas A&M (DL7)85. Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame (OT13)86. Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama (IOL4)87. Jevon Holland, S, Oregon (S7)88. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State (S8)89. Jamie Newman, QB8, Georgia (QB7)90. Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma (EDGE11)91. Feleipe Franks, QB, Arkansas (QB8)92. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State (WR15)93. Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina (LB6)94. Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State (LB7)95. Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas (CB16)96. D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina (OT13)97. Chatarius Atwell, WR, Louisville (WR16)98. Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina (WR17)99. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida (QB9)100. Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville (WR18)
Three offensive tackles with the same grade near the top of this list — Mayfield provides guard versatility, Christensen is a calm pass protector on the older side, and Radunz has Pro Bowl capabilities if he can improve his strength and add lower-half weight to his game. Brown from Texas A&M is the sleeper to watch in this group — he’s 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds and has an on-field demeanor of a 6-1, 290 pounder. With more consistency, he can be a three-down monster in the NFL. Speaking of inconsistencies, Newman and Franks are big-time talents who simply didn’t showcase long stretches of stellar play in college. Trask is a little lower than both. He’s just not as naturally gifted. Is he capable of operating a well-designed offense with a varied group of skill-position studs? Absolutely. And Fitzpatrick was a late watch for me, but I was enamored by his route-running creativity and electric speed down the field at well over 6-0 and 200 pounds.
101. Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas (WR19)102. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State (TE2)103. Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State (WR20)104. Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan (CB17)105. William Bradley-King, EDGE, Baylor (EDGE12)106. Kendrick Green IOL, Illinois, (IOL5)107. Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford (WR21)108. Jaylen Twyman, IDL, Pittsburgh (DL8)109. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford (CB18)110. Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh (S9)111. Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State (WR22)112. Austin Watkins, WR, UAB (WR23)113. Keith Taylor, CB, Washington (CB19)114. Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State (EDGE13)115. Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh (EDGE14)116. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (TE3)117. Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College (LB8)118. Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt (EDGE15)119. Quinn Meinerz, OG, Wisconsin-Whitewater (IOL6)120. Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB (EDGE16)121. Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson (WR24)122. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC (WR25)123. Jonathan Marshall, DL, Arkansas (DL9)124. Tay Gowan, CB, UCF (CB20)125. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri (LB9)
Darden plays like he was shot out of a cannon and is elastic when needing to change directions. One of the best value selections at receiver in this class. The same is true about Johnson from South Dakota State. Immediate slot starter. Green is the most impressive pure center in the class and possesses the core strength to play guard in the NFL. He moves much more dynamically than most interior blockers. Adebo, a 2020 opt out, is a ball magnet with a lanky, NBA type frame — minus the height, of course — and Marshall is another one of the fair amount of athletic pocket pushers at the nose tackle spot in this interior defensive line class. Bolton can be a starting middle linebacker as a rookie — love his physicality in all phases. I’m lower on him than most because of what appears to be a lack of big-time athletic traits on film.
126. Jay Tufele, DL, USC (DL10)127. Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama (IOL7)128. Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL, South Carolina (IOL8)129. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (EDGE16)130. Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia (IOL9)131. Jacoby Stevens, S, LSU (S10)132. Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati (S11)133. Robert Hainsey, IOL, Notre Dame (IOL10)134. Nico Collins, WR, Michigan (WR26)135. Marlon Williams, WR, UCF (WR27)136. Jabril Cox, LB, North Dakota State (LB10)137. Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU (DL10)138. Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State (LB11)139. Trey Sermon, RB, Oklahoma (RB4)140. Carson Green, OT, Texas A&M (OT14)141. Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin (CB21)142. Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo (EDGE17)143. Benjamin St. Juste, CB, Minnesota (CB22)144. Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State (CB23)145. David Moore, IOL, Grambling (IOL11)146. Royce Newman, OT, Ole Miss (OT15)147. Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida (OT16)148. Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia (S12)149. Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee (IOL12)150. Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina (WR28)
Have to start with Rousseau, the prospect at this point you were probably thinking I forgot. I just never saw a premier prospect when watching his film. Is he tall and long? Definitely. His stature is instantly what draws your eye. But I don’t think he’s overly explosive or refined using his hands, and he’s not powerful. He is the definition of a raw pass rusher and tested like a middle-of-the-road athlete. You’ll spot Sermon, my RB4, in this group. He’s a blast to watch on film because of his Mack truck size, effortless contact balance, and surprising bounce when weaving through traffic. Koonce from Buffalo is one of the most flexible rushers in this class and understands how to violently deploy his hands to win around the corner. Big-time sleeper. Smith simply didn’t play as athletic as he looked on film, although he has a high floor due to his size, power, and vast SEC experience.
151. Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina (LB13)152. Dax Milne, WR, BYU (WR29)153. Hunter Long, TE, Boston College (TE4)154. Darius Stills, DL, West Virginia (DL11)155. Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina (CB24)156. Drew Dalman, IOL, Stanford (IOL13)157. Dan Moore Jr., OT, Texas A&M (OT17)158. Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (EDGE18)159. Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri (S12)160. Shane Buechele, QB, SMU (QB9)161. Jonathan Cooper, EDGE, Ohio State (EDGE19)162. Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame (EDGE20)163. Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa (EDGE21)164. Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State (S13)165. Caden Sterns, S, Texas (S14)166. Tommy Togiai, DL, Ohio State (DL12)167. Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State (CB25)168. Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC (CB26)169. Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke (EDGE22)170. Wyatt Hubert, EDGE, Kansas State (EDGE23)171. Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State (CB27)172. Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech (CB28)173. Seth Williams, WR, Auburn (WR30)174. Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue (LB14)175. Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis (RB5)176. Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa (OT18)177. Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest (WR31)178. Cameron Sample, EDGE, Tulane (EDGE24)179. Chauncey Golston, EDGE, Iowa (EDGE25)180. Bryce Thompson, CB, Tennessee (CB29)181. Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State (IOL14)182. Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina (RB6)183. Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State (CB30)184. Mark Webb, S, Georgia (S15)185. Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn (WR32)186. Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan (LB15)187. Will Fries, OT, Penn State (OT19)188. Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn (S16)189. Jonathan Adams Jr., WR, Arkansas State (WR33)190. Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia (LB16)191. Demetric Felton, RB, UCLA (RB7)192. Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa (OT20)193. Garrett Wallow, LB, TCU (LB17)194. Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas (RB8)195. Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville (RB9)196. Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State (EDGE26)197. Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech (RB10)198. Adrian Ealy, OT, Oklahoma State (OT21)199. Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane (EDGE27)200. Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC (S17)