NFL Draft News & Analysis

2021 NFL Draft: PFF's Top 100 Draft Big Board

We are exactly one month out from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell kicking off the best weekend of the year, so what better way to celebrate than by presenting PFF's latest 2021 NFL Draft Big Board.

While the isn’t the final PFF draft board, I wouldn’t expect to see too many big changes from this to the final 250, which will be dropping just before the 2021 NFL Draft.  Let’s get to the prospects.

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  1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

    Lawrence has three straight seasons of 90.0-plus overall grades under his belt. He may not be the best quarterback ever, but there are so few holes to poke in his game.

  2. QB Zach Wilson, BYU

    Wilson’s pro day was as electric as the player we saw on the field last year for BYU. He was the highest-graded passer in the country and has NFL arm talent for days.

  3. QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

    It’s difficult to think that an all-world prospect and two-time playoff starting quarterback from Ohio State is getting underrated. His combination of accuracy and elite athleticism has a high floor and high ceiling in the league.

  4. T Penei Sewell, Oregon

    Sewell earned the highest single-season grade we’d ever given to an offensive lineman back in 2019 before opting out. Oh, and he was only 19 years old. The term “freak” doesn’t even begin to do him justice.

  5. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

    Yet another player who looked like a man among boys despite being relatively young. Pitts earned the highest grade we’ve seen at the tight end position last year and won’t turn 21 until this fall. He’s not just a tight end — Pitts can get open against anyone.

  6. WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

    Chase led the nation in yards and touchdowns as a sophomore. He’s got the most prototypical size and physical traits of any of the top receiver prospects, as well. That’s a combo you feel good about.

  7. LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

    Going sub-4.4 at his pro day was no surprise if you’ve seen what Parsons did on the football field at Penn State. He earned the second-highest run-defense grade we’ve seen as a true sophomore in 2019 before opting out.

  8. WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

    Waddle may very well be the “twitchiest” athlete in this receiver class. He combines angle-changing speed with ankle-breaking agility. It’s why he led the draft class in career yards per route run.

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  9. WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

    The only “knock” on Smith is his size, and that quite obviously wasn’t a factor on college football fields last fall. It’ll only matter if you can get your hands on him, which most corners have been woefully unable to do.

  10. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

    His accuracy and experience are working against him, but he brings more to the table physically than any quarterback in the draft class. His decision-making and the way he protected the football for the Bison are big pluses, as well.

  11. T Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

    Slater is clean as can be on the field and only allowed five pressures in all of 2019 before opting out. His lack of length was an issue at times, though, which may result in some wanting to move him inside.

  12. CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama

    He was the highest-graded corner in the country this past season and has been a mainstay in the starting lineup for the Crimson Tide since his freshman year. His pro-day numbers put to bed any athletic concerns, as well.

  13. QB Mac Jones, Alabama

    Jones operated the Alabama offense at an efficiency level never before seen in college football. He may not be the most impressive physical specimen, but his command of the position is nothing short of elite.

  14. CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

    Horn was the stingiest cornerback in the country last season and didn’t even allow 10 catches all year. He beats up opposing wide receivers unlike any other corner in the draft.

  15. DI Christian Barmore, Alabama

    Barmore’s tape was ho-hum until he turned it on in a big way in the playoffs. What he did to two of the best interior lines in the country in Notre Dame and Ohio State was special.

  16. T Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

    Darrisaw finished 2020 as the highest-graded Power 5 offensive tackle. He faced a solid slate of edge rushers in the ACC, too, and not a single one got the better of Darrisaw.

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  17. S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

    Moehrig led all safeties in pass breakups in both 2019 and 2020. His ball production is nothing short of elite, and he has the size, length and athleticism for that to continue in the NFL.

  18. WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

    Bateman has that innate shiftiness it takes to be an elite route-runner. And he has it in ideal NFL size at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. No need to overthink his production.

  19. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

    Owusu-Koramoah plays with a different level of physicality than most 215-pounders. It’s why we’re so comfortable projecting him to linebacker in the NFL even though he played the overhang role at Notre Dame. In that complex coverage role, he still earned a coverage grade over 80.0 last season.

  20. WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

    Many may see Moore as a slot-only because of his size and because he played that position in Ole Miss’s offense last year, but I think that’s selling his skill set short. He’s a physical player and was excellent in traffic last season. With his elite speed and quicks, he can get off press with ease.

  21. CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern

    Newsome is smooth as can be. His hips and long speed are exactly what you want at the position. It’s just a shame we didn’t get to see him go toe-to-toe with more top receiver talent than he did in his 387 snaps this past season.

  22. EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

    Paye has all the physical tools you could want to rush the passer at a high level in the NFL. The strides he made each year at Michigan are encouraging. He went from a 71.1 grade in 2018 to an 80.9 in 2019 to 86.3 this past year.

  23. EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State

    Oweh’s pro day was the stuff of legends, with a sub-4.4 40, sub-7.00 three-cone and over an 11-foot broad jump. The man was created in a lab to rush the passer. While he’s still raw as can be in that regard, he only started playing football in 2016.

  24. T Walker Little, Stanford

    Little was already making a name for himself as one of the top tackles in the country as a sophomore, where he only allowed one pressure in his final six games. We never got to see what his next step could be after an injury-shortened 2019 and opt-out in 2020, but his elite pro-day numbers show he’s been putting in the work.

  25. EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

    Ojulari is the most advanced pass-rusher in the 2020 class. He does his work with his quality burst, bend and hands. It’s why he led all Power 5 edge rushers in the class with a 91.7 pass-rushing grade. He’s a tad undersized but is more than willing in the run game to be an every-down defender.

  26. WR Terrace Marshall, LSU

    Marshall has a massive catch radius and real-deal deep speed. Still not even 21 years old yet, Marshall proved he was a legit prospect in his own right stepping out of the shadow of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase this season.

  27. CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

    Farley has the tools and performance, but his injury red flags are massive at this point after another back surgery last week. He’s had multiple back issues and a past ACL tear, as well.

  28. T Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State

    Radunz is an uber-athlete who went to the Senior Bowl this past January and put on a show. He earned the highest grade in the one-on-ones, the highest grade in the week of practice and the highest grade in the game of any tackle in attendance.

  29. T Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

    Jenkins' tape could open up its own IHOP with how many pancakes he served. He earned a ridiculous 93.6 run-blocking grade this past season. He’s a physical right tackle who could also kick inside for guard-needy teams.

  30. EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami (FLA.)

    Phillips put it all together down the stretch this past season for the Hurricanes, earning an 86.5 overall grade. The former five-star recruit has all the physical tools you could possibly want for the position.

  31. CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

    Samuel is a highly cerebral corner who sees the game the way you’d expect Asante Samuel’s kid to see it. While a tad undersized, he’s fast enough and can sky-high enough to stick on the outside.

  32. WR Rondale Moore, Purdue

    Moore is explosiveness personified. His 4.29-second 40 and 42-inch vertical at only 5-foot-7 are eye-popping numbers. You want this guy in your offense.

  33. LB Nick Bolton, Missouri

    Over the past two seasons, Bolton is the highest-graded linebacker in the draft class after Micah Parsons. He’s not the most “traits-y” prospect, but he’s got more than enough tape that says he plays the linebacker position exceptionally well.

  34. IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

    Vera-Tucker played tackle last year but is likely a guard in the NFL. In two years as a starter between left guard and left tackle, he allowed a grand total of 15 pressures.

  35. LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

    If you want a 6-foot-4, 260-pound linebacker who can still go sideline to sideline and cover in your defense, there aren’t going to be any options other than Collins. He earned a 91.1 overall grade this past season and was the best player every time he took the field.

  36. EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (FLA.)

    Rousseau’s 80.7 pass-rushing grade as a redshirt freshman didn’t match his 16 sacks. His high-end reps are impressive, but they mostly came on the interior. Sadly, we didn’t get to see what he would do for an encore after opting out in 2020.

  37. T Samuel Cosmi, Texas

    Cosmi is one of the most battle-tested tackles in the draft, with over 1,500 pass-blocking snaps over the past three years. He’s also one of the best athletes with elite all-around numbers at his pro day.

     

    Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends in the PFF NFL Draft Guide will have two heat maps showing routes run for the offense (quarterbacks) or routes the player ran (wide receivers, tight ends) and another heat map showing targets. Offensive linemen and most defensive players have a display of snaps played by alignment.

     

  38. WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

    Toney is still more gadget than true wideout, but with what he can do with the balls in his hands, I’ll still take that chance. Toney broke 20 tackles on 70 catches this past season.

  39. T Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

    Leatherwood has some bad habits in pass protection that he never quite cleaned up in two-years at left tackle. He’s got all the tools to figure it out, though, and will be a force in the run game after an 85.4 run-blocking grade this past season.

  40. EDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest

    Basham is the top jumbo-end in the class. At 280 pounds, he has inside-outside versatility that some schemes will covet. It’s just head-scratching why he wasn’t as effective this past season, earning only a 76.9 pass-rushing grade compared to his 90.0-plus mark in 2019.

  41. S Jamar Johnson, Indiana

    This past season, Johnson made plays on the football from pretty much any role you can play at safety in the NFL. He glides on the back end — just ask Justin Fields, whom Johnson picked off twice.

  42. RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

    Etienne has 12 more runs of 20-plus yards in his career than anyone else in the draft class. With 4.4 speed that he gets up to in a blink of an eye, Etienne is always liable to break a big one.

  43. TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

    Freiermuth has plug-and-play inline ability. While not particularly dynamic, Freiermuth breaks tackles with pure strength after the catch. He was the featured player in Penn State’s offense when on the field this past season, with a 27.8% target share. That’s a rarity for a college tight end.

  44. EDGE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma

    Perkins is one of the best speed-to-power bull-rushers in the draft class. He’s the only one who graded over 90.0 as both a run defender and pass-rusher, albeit in limited snaps.

  45. IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama

    Dickerson’s tape is dominant as can be. He was the highest-graded center in the country this past season before tearing his ACL in the SEC championship game. That was the second time tearing the same ACL, though, and it’s what keeps him lower down on this list.

  46. WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

    Brown has been a super productive deep threat in the Tar Heels' offense the past two years. This season, he had the highest average depth of target for any receiver in the draft class. Calling him just that, though, would be selling him short.

  47. LB Jabril Cox, LSU

    Cox has excelled in coverage no matter what role he’s been asked to play. He’s a former quarterback who still sees the game through that lens. That led to his 83.5 coverage grade this past season.

  48. DI Alim McNeil, N.C. State

    McNeil had the highest run-defense grade of any Power 5 defensive tackle in the country this past year. He’s an immovable block when he wants to be, given his combination of size and explosiveness.

  49. T Jackson Carman, Clemson

    Carman is still more tools than production after a 79.8 overall grade this past season. But it’s easy to see what his tools could become with how easily he moves around the field at 330 pounds.

  50. S Elijah Molden, Washington

    Molden has only played the slot for Washington outside of a spot start at safety this past season. If that’s all he is in the NFL, Molden is still well worth this ranking. He earned overall grades of 90.8 and 85.2 the past two seasons.

  51. S Richie Grant, UCF

  52. S Jevon Holland, Oregon

  53. IOL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater

  54. OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

  55. CB Aaron Robinson, UCF

  56. S Ar’Darius Washington, TCU

  57. ED Payton Turner, Houston

  58. RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina

  59. S Andre Cisco, Syracuse

  60. ED Joseph Ossai, Texas

  61. IOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

  62. DI Marvin Wilson, Florida State

  63. LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

  64. QB Kyle Trask, Florida

  65. RB Najee Harris, Alabama

  66. CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia

  67. S Jamien Sherwood, Auburn

  68. IOL Kendrick Green, Illinois

  69. CB Tay Gowan, UCF

  70. IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

  71. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

  72. WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee

  73. CB Eric Stokes, Georgia

  74. DI Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA

  75. DI Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech

  76. T Jalen Mayfield, Michigan

  77. QB Davis Mills, Stanford

  78. CB Thomas Graham, Oregon

  79. WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State

  80. ED Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh

  81. WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

  82. ED Joe Tryon, Washington

  83. DI Levi Onwuzurike, Washington

  84. WR Jaelon Darden, North Texas

  85. CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky

  86. IOL Trey Smith, Tennessee

  87. T Brady Christensen, BYU

  88. EDGE Cameron Sample, Tulane

  89. RB Michael Carter, North Carolina

  90. CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota

  91. RB Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech

  92. ED Patrick Johnson, Tulane

  93. OT James Hudson, Cincinnati

  94. LB Justin Hilliard, Ohio State

  95. IOL Ben Cleveland, Georgia

  96. DI Tyler Shelvin, LSU

  97. TE Brevin Jordan, Miami (FLA.)

  98. CB Rachad Wildgoose, Wisconsin

  99. CB Tre Brown, Oklahoma

  100. S Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech

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