As the NFL continues to move towards the 2020 season, particular fan bases are already forced to look ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft. While most suggest Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will be the top selection, other prospects hold high expectations for the upcoming campaign. Here, we discuss the current odds of each top prospect being taken with the top selection in the 2021 Draft.
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson): -300
Listed at 6’6″, Lawrence has dominated college football en route to a National Championship appearance during his sophomore season with Clemson. Across two seasons, he has totaled 6,945 passing yards, 66 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. With a 40-yard time of 4.78 seconds, Lawrence was able to find the end zone on nine occasions last season with his feet.
Pending injuries or setbacks, Lawrence being the favorite for the top pick doesn’t come as a surprise. A handful of teams are in need of a franchise quarterback, and Lawrence checks most boxes.
Top suitors: Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears
Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon): +400
If a team without a quarterback need lands the top selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, wouldn’t a non-quarterback make the most sense? Sewell, listed at 6’6″ and 325 pounds, is the top offensive lineman heading into the next draft class. As the reigning Outland Trophy winner, he is an immediate upgrade at offensive tackle for a majority of franchises.
The last time an offensive tackle was selected as the top pick in the NFL Draft was 2013; a year in which the Kansas City Chiefs gambled on Eric Fisher. This relies solely on who earns the right to make the first selection next year, but Sewell is an NFL-ready athlete.
Top Suitors: Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers
Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State): +500
As the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Fields is actually currently projected as the favorite for the 2020 Heisman. Last season, he finished third in the Heisman race. In his first season with Ohio State, Fields posted 3,273 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, and was limited to three interceptions.
If teams aren’t sold on the value of selecting Trevor Lawrence with the top selection, Justin Fields becomes a realistic options for select franchises. The fastest quarterback during the 2019 Combine was Trace McSorley (4.59), but Fields’ top time is 4.57 seconds. He is a dynamic option under center, and will be successful if granted the appropriate system.
Top Suitors: Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots
D’Eriq King (QB, Miami): +2000
After suffering a torn meniscus in November of 2018, D’Eriq King has a chip on his shoulder entering his final season of collegiate action. Two seasons ago, King led all college quarterbacks in points responsible per game (27.5). With 36 passing touchdowns and 11 rushing touchdowns, King had the highest mark of points responsible per game during the previous decade.
Entering the upcoming season, Miami is riding a 15-game winning streak. During the stretch, the team has scored at least one passing and rushing touchdown per game. If the streak continues and King has a standout season, King could climb up draft boards.
Top Suitors: Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars
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