On Thursday, the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off, with the first round in prime time. There isn’t a ton of drama about the top of the draft, and ESPN’s Todd McShay agrees.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are, by every possible account, locked in to take Trevor Lawrence at No. 1. It is a familiar spot for the former top recruit in the nation, who has been in the first spot of basically every football list he’s appeared on for years.
McShay has the Clemson signal caller as his best player in the class. NFL Draft results don’t often match prospect rankings due to team need and other factors, but this year Lawrence is a pretty unifying draftee.
Beyond that, however, McShay’s rankings vary from what we’re likely to see in terms of draft order. Zach Wilson, the likely No. 2 pick to the New York Jets, comes in at No. 4. It is Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who a number of teams are reportedly very excited about, that McShay has in second.
2021 NFL Draft grades are in… here’s my Top-10. pic.twitter.com/ioygV8rP7E
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) April 27, 2021
Trey Lance, and not Justin Fields or Mac Jones, is McShay’s third quarterback, and the only other to crack the top 10 overall prospects. The wide receiver-heavy draft does play out in these rankings, however, with LSU‘s Ja’Marr Chase coming in at No. 3, and Alabama‘s DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle landing back-to-back at Nos. 6 and 7.
Overall, none of these players would be a huge surprise in the top 10, depending on how positional need plays out, and what trades wind up occuring. Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater or Waddle may be the least likely, but both could certainly wind up there. Slater has been a very hot prospect, given his impressive college career and ability to play all across the offensive line.
The NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday night.