Skip to main content

Joel Klatt Names His Top Defensive Player In NFL Draft

FOX Sports 1 college football analyst Joel Klatt.

Joel Klatt on air FS1.

Judging by most mocks, the top of the 2021 NFL Draft is likely going to be loaded with offense. That doesn't mean their aren't impact defensive players available though.

One prospect who fits in that category is Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. A consensus All-American and Big Ten Linebacker of the Year in 2019, Parsons opted out of the 2020 college football season.

Still, that shouldn't deter a team from taking a chance on his abilities, says Fox Sports' Joel Klatt, who recently ranked Parsons the No. 1 defensive player in this year's draft crop.

“You just can’t coach it. He is physically so talented, his burst, his speed, his instincts on the field," Klatt said of Parsons. "He’s not even really a natural linebacker. He moved back to linebacker at Penn State after playing more defensive end in high school.

"This is a guy that I think is just going to have a fabulous career. He was a game-wrecker, the best defensive player in the B1G. [Penn State] surely missed him last year when he opted out of the season. He’s a guy I think is going to have an excellent NFL career.”

On talent alone, Parsons is probably worthy of a top-10 pick. However, reported character concerns have left his projected draft slot in limbo heading into next week.

Whichever team selects him will be getting a mega-talented and productive player though. In two seasons at PSU, Parsons compiled 191 tackles (18 for loss), 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and five passes defensed.