And what class it has the potential to be. Three-quarters made it to the top six picks this year, and I’ve already ranked three in my top five for next season. Six wide receivers were chosen during last month’s opening night, and now I have eight in my preliminary ranking among the top 32 for 2021. A handful of massive attack tackles are very promising, and the teams looking for Defense will have many options to come next spring.
Keep in mind that there is a ton of work to be done on this course. Normally, I don’t even publish a ranking as early (my annual model much too soon is coming soon). We don’t know what the future holds for the coronavirus pandemic, and the university season (or lack thereof) could change a lot for all of these prospects, as will the rest of the pre-project process. That said, this is how I see class at this point in the process.
Here is my ranking of hopefuls in the top 32 far too early for the 2021 NFL draft.
HT: 6-6 | WT: 220 | Classroom: Junior
We just saw two very special quarters for Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa entering the top five picks in the 2020 draft – and Lawrence could be a better professional prospect than the two. His intangible assets are top of the line, and I love his huge arm and the mobility it brings to his waist. He’ll need a little refinement with his pocket presence, but this kid is the real deal. In two seasons, Lawrence has collected 58 touchdown passes and only 12 interceptions while leading the Tigers to consecutive games for the national title (and a championship).
HT: 6-1 | WT: 200 | Classroom: Junior
The 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner set SEC records for receiving yards and touchdowns last season, totaling 1,780 yards and 20 flight scores for LSU. His ability was fully visible in a nine-catch, 221-yard, two-touchdown performance in the College Football Playoff championship game. It is a lot of fun to watch and makes one of the other classes of talented wide receivers.
HT: 6-6 | WT: 330 | Classroom: Junior
Sewell has allowed just one bag in the past two seasons, starting 20 games along the way. The only second-line offensive player in the second year to win the Outland Trophy, Sewell has colossal protection and plays a disciplined game.