By Alex Kurpeski & Angel Maldonado Tejada
Some of us are fighting for championships this weekend, and others are looking towards the future. Either way, the 2021 Rookie class some major shakeups this weekend
1.01 Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
He’s the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck, and his outlook just got better. Some were wary of Lawrence’s future should he have landed in New York, but that’s no longer a concern. After Sunday’s loss and the Jets’ victory, the Jaguars are now in possession of the number one pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence is going to walk into a team with a solid offensive line, blooming weapons, and a bright future.
1.02 Justin Fields, Ohio State
Fields is a passer who could easily be the first overall pick in any other draft class. While Lawrence is pretty much locked in as the Jags pick, there are a ton of great landing spots for the OSU signal-caller, who to me has the ability to be a Dak Prescott-level fantasy asset. The Jets might decide to invest one more year in Darnold, so Fields’ outlook is better now than before.
1.03 Travis Etienne, Clemson
Once the two best quarterbacks are off the board it only makes sense to draft the talented back out of Clemson. Etienne decided to return to Clemson for his senior year and the move seems to have paid off. Etienne is the consensus rookie RB1 heading into 2021. Harris makes it close, though.
1.04 Najee Harris, Alabama
A bruising bowling ball of a back, Harris is the ideal power back for a team picking in the back half of round one. With decent hands and solid abilities in pass protection, Harris is much more well-rounded than many thought him to be coming into the 2020 campaign.
1.05 Kyle Pitts, Florida
There hasn’t been a generational tight end prospect like Pitts since the days of Vernon Davis. At 6’6, 240 lbs, Pitts is a polished receiver who can take it to the house on a throw up the seam. If he lands with the right team, the Florida star has a chance to be one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. He”ll be in my top 5 dynasty tight ends for sure.
1.06 Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
Chase is an elite prospect that checks off all the boxes. While he certainly benefited from having Joe Burrow, Chase has all the makeups of a WR1 for years to come and he’s my WR1 of this class.
1.07 Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Lance has been made out to be some mythical unicorn of a quarterback. A high-level athlete with tremendous arm strength and accuracy, he almost feels too good to be true. Whether or not he’s the real deal, Lance seems poised to land with a QB-needy team in round one of the 2021 NFL Draft.
1.08 Zach Wilson, BYU
Back to the QBs. Zach Wilson is a perfect fit for a team that can afford to redshirt a QB (looking at you, New England) and is arguably on the level of Trey Lance as a prospect. He’s certainly worth a first-round pick in Superflex.
1.09 Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State
Hubbard is an absolute horse of a back, built in the same mold as DeMarco Murray. Though he runs a bit upright for my taste, Hubbard breaks tackles as well as any back in this class, becoming unstoppable when he gets a taste of momentum.
1.10 Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
My WR2 of this class fell all the way to 1.09 and I’m more than happy with this selection.
He was on his way to challenging Ja’Maar Chase as the WR1 of this class but a fractured ankle prevented that. He’s a steal at 1.09.
1.11 Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis
Gainwell decided to forego this season —an admirable decision— but he is still an elite prospect and could be the steal of the draft at 1.11. His price might rise as we get closer to Draft Day, however.
1.12 Rondale Moore, Purdue
At 5’9, 195 lbs, Moore’s size is by far his least attractive quality as a prospect. Yet few players his size possess the burst and shake in the open field necessary to become a true No. 1 wideout in the NFL, with the exception being Tyreek Hill. Unlike Marquise Brown, a similarly undersized speed receiver who has floundered at the NFL level, Moore runs like a back after-the-catch, breaking tackles with the physicality of a player twice his size.