2021 NFL Draft Big Board: Trevor Lawrence, Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase headline class

NCAA Football, NFL Draft

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2021 NFL Draft Big Board features Trevor Lawrence at No. 1, Alabama having the most prospects in the first round and three quarterbacks mocked in the first.

The 2020 NFL Draft is over so it’s time to talk about the 2021 NFL Draft. Finally, we can talk about Trevor Lawrence as an NFL Draft prospect and not prefacing everything with “when he’s eligible for the draft…” but the hype is real for the Clemson quarterback who has a chance to be the best prospect at the position ever.

That type of hyperbole isn’t just limited to Lawrence. Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell is a rising junior who is coming off a season that saw him become the first sophomore to win the Outland Trophy. He’ll likely make it back-to-back wins, joining former Nebraska center Dave Rimington as the only players do that since the award’s inception in 1946. He’s going to be compared to Hall of Famers just like Lawrence during the college season and pre-draft process.

After tying a record with 14 draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase should be the first Tigers player off the board next year as the top receiver in the class. After winning the Biletnikoff as a sophomore, Chase has a chance to be the rare receiver taken in the first three picks.

Alabama had nine players picked in the 2020 NFL Draft but if my 2021 NFL Draft Big Board is any indication, the Crimson Tide could contend for a record for first-round picks. I have seven Alabama football players in the top 27. Chances are they won’t have seven first-round picks, but as always, the talent is rich in Tuscaloosa.

2021 NFL Draft Big Board: Trevor Lawrence tops class

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Trevor Lawrence

QB Clemson

Lawrence would have been the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft over Kyler Murray and potentially ahead of Joe Burrow in the 2020 Draft if the Clemson star was eligible. He’ll be eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft and will be the No. 1 pick barring catastrophic injury. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck and perhaps ahead of the likes of Peyton Manning and John Elway when he’s announced as the top pick next spring.

Lawrence’s college production speaks for itself. After breaking the freshman record with 30 touchdown passes and leading Clemson to the national championship, he had a sophomore slump in the first half of 20219. He quickly broke out of that and looked just like the wunderkind that torched secondaries in 2018.

The lack of a full offseason plan, including spring practice and what could be a truncated training camp and potentially an altered regular season, isn’t ideal for a developing prospect, but it’s not like Lawrence is sitting on the couch watching Netflix either. After losing for the first time since high school in the title game to Burrow and LSU last season, expect Lawrence to be laser-focused and get Clemson back to the title game and for him to be one of the leading Heisman contenders, if not the outright favorite.

Lawrence combines prototypical size with a strong and accurate arm and improved athleticism and mobility. He is the most talented but also very tough, smart and works as hard as anyone.

He is the total package and absolutely worth tanking for in order to get the top pick.

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