By: Jake Rajala (Twitter: @rajala_jake)
Week 13 of the NFL Season is all, but in the rear-view mirror. This signals the near playoff tournament of Super Bowl aspirations for the superb 12 football teams.
With the off-season inching closer and closer, the main focus for all 32 teams will shift to the NFL Draft. After all, the combine takes way in early February. And for us football addicts, we boast to people and say “I’m that person to watch the NFL combine”.
In the 2021 combine, we will see some of the most touted star-dusted athletes unravel decade-like talent. Some of these prospects will flex some of the fastest 40-times at their position, unseen 3-cone times, and we will see some impressive throwing from a rare QB mixture.
So, with these prospects aimed to hear their name called as early as possible in the 2021 Draft–let’s dig into the cream of the top–the best of the best NFL draft prospects. And maybe, just maybe, we could successfully forecast their next home.
10) Carlos Basham-DE/DT-Wake Forest
The 6’5, 270 behemoth is one of the top defensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL draft. His frame and get-off on the ball relish him to wreck havoc in the run & pass game. His all-around tool set was represented with 18 TFLs and 10 sacks in 2019.
Basham will likely be a key chess piece for teams with through his versatility & the impact of a evolving, explosive passing league. Basham’s 112 pressure between his sophomore and junior year can attest for his ability to make a lot of contributions for his teammates on the dark side of the ball.
It’s also been noted that the Wake Forest DL runs in the 4.6-40 range, which should give many scouts a high post-combine. Basham is a dagger to get his named called in the Top-half of the draft, when the process dissolves down to Draft Day.
Potential Fits: Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills
9) Trey Lance-QB-North Dakota State
The NDSU QB looks like he might be the steal of the draft. It should seem crystal clear that Lawrence-Fields are slam-dunk Top-3 picks.
Lance ought to be the best No. 3 QB in recent memory. The 20-year-old QB comes in at 6’4, 220/4.6-40 time/ & his deep arm strength grades out very well.
He’s had issues with inaccuracy, as we’ve seen with the former NDSU QB, Carson Wentz. Nonetheless, his potential is through the roof. Expect 1-3 teams to fall in love with the No. 3 QB!
Potential Fits: Washington Football Team, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots
8) Jaylen Waddle-WR-Alabama
If you thought Henry Ruggs had some burners, wait till you witness Waddle coming out of Bama. Waddle has been timed at a blazing 4.27-40 40.
The Alabama WR flashes a 22.3 YPC figure in 2020 thus far! In 5 games, Waddle has 557 receiving yards–about the same as his 2019 statistic (560), which was accomplished in 13 games.
To put it in perspective–Ruggs had 18.7 YPC as a senior & 746 receiving yards in 12 games. Teams are going to gush over this productive, speed demon at WR.
Potential Fits: Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers
7) Kyle Pitts-TE-Florida
There’s a reason that mock drafts are heating up with the Darren Waller look-alike in the Top-5. Kyle Pitts, this would be of course. As teams hone in on all-purpose RBs, let’s not forget who was representing in the Super-Bowl last season: The 49ers George Kittle & The Chiefs Travis Kelce—two most prominent TEs in the game.
Pitts is 6’6, 240, and he’s been overwhelming defenses in 2020 thus far. He has 11 receiving touchdowns & 17.8 YPC!
The Freak TE is going to be hot on many teams radars after he blows up the combine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pitts go around 5-8 in the draft this off-season.
Potential Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals
6) Micah Parsons-LB-Penn State
In 2019, Parsons recorded 5 sacks, 4 FF, and 109 combined tackles. The Penn State LB is patiently waiting to pick the right landing spot, as he’s opted out of the 2020 season.
He shouldn’t have to wait long, as he’s undoubtedly the top MLB in this year’s draft. He’s the total package–blitzing, very well with anticipating play designs, & he’s a sideline-to-sideline freak.
Potential Fits: Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers
5) Gregory Rousseau-DE-Miami
The 6’6 260 EDGE player out of Miami looks a lot similar to Randy Gregory–as we’re seeing the Cowboys, Gregory flash his high-draft stock.
Not only was Gregory an absolute treasure at DE with 15.5 sacks, 19.5 TFLs, but it’s been reported that Gregory has stacked on some size during his 2020 opt out.
In the passing era of the NFL, combined with the absolute monster that the Miami DE is, expect Top-5, to Top-15 for the best EDGE player in the 2021 NFL Draft.