The 2020 NFL Draft only happened two months ago, and while teams and fans are trying to figure out how their newly acquired talent is going to benefit the team. It may only be June but looking at the next wave of talent from the college game has already started, and for NFL franchises the scouting departments have already started to build watch lists for the big-name prospects of 2021. While we are still months away from the start of the college and NFL season it is never to early to start looking at prospects, who could be potential game-changers in the NFL. Here are five players that are already making us excited.
Penei Sewell OT Oregon
Sewell will not only be the best offensive linemen in the NFL Draft next spring but has a chance to be the best player in the draft. As a two year starter at Oregon with his third season on the horizon, Sewell is advanced beyond his years from a fundamental standpoint, as well as an athletic standpoint. He moves effortlessly in the open field on screens and stretch plays, and has the strength and power to move people in the run game. His body was naturally built for pass protection, with his long arms and a strong base on full display. Depending on how the draft order goes he could end up being the first pick in the draft.
Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
Easily the biggest name of the 2021 college season and NFL Draft will be Trevor Lawrence. Since coming into Clemson all Lawrence has done is win games, and throw touchdown passes. He threw 36 touchdowns in 2019 with 3,665 passing yards and an RTG of 166.7. His numbers combined with his size and the success Clemson has had over the past two seasons will make him the prize of the 2021 draft class. Teams have been waiting for a QB with his athletic traits, production, and winning for a while. The wait might be over.
Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
2021 is already shaping up for another loaded class at the WR position and Jaylen Waddle has a chance to be the cream of the crop as far as talent and big-play ability go. Waddle has a career-long receiving touchdown of 94 yards, and in two college seasons is averaging 18.4 yards per catch. He also has six 50+ yard reception in his career. He will get a chance to show his development as not only a deep threat, but also a complete WR during the 2021 season.
Gregory Rousseau Edge Miami
The pass rush is a premium in the NFL and teams will be paying very close attention to what kind of season Gregory Rousseau is able to have after dominating 2019 with 15.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Rousseau has the classic size to be able to play a 4-3 defensive end but also has the athletic ability and quickness to play as a 3-4 walk up or OLB. The upcoming college season will be a proving ground for Rousseau who only has one year of real production, but if he is able to put numbers any where close to what he did in 2019 while also showing development in his rush moves he will be drafted high come next spring.
Shaun Wade CB Ohio State
Ohio State is quickly becoming DBU for NFL teams to come in and get great talent and the 2021 draft class will be no different, as after two solid years of production Shaun Wade looks to headline the unit and go high in the draft this upcoming spring. His four career interceptions seem modest so far but he has also broken up 15 passes in two seasons while playing primarily man defense for the Buckeyes. Wade is a physical player and has the hips, length, and aggression to excel in the NFL. He had the luxury of playing in defense with Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette the past two seasons, both of which were draft picks this past April but now he will be the man and have a chance to display his skills at the fullest level.
Keep An Eye On
Here are some additional players to keep an eye on as we head into the 2020 college season, as well as 2021 draft prospects.
QB Justin Fields Ohio State, Trey Lance North Dakota State
RB: Travis Etienne Clemson, Najee Harris Alabama
WR: Ja’Mar Chase LSU, DeVonta Smith Alabama
TE: Brevin Jordan Miami, Luke Farrell Ohio State
OT: Samuel Cosmi Texas, Alex Leatherwood Alabama
IOL: Trey Smith Tennessee, Wyatt Davis Ohio State
IDL: Marvin Wilson Florida State, Christian Baramore Alabama
Edge: Aidan Hutchinson Michigan, Carlos Basham Jr. Wake Forrest
LB: Micah Parsons Penn State, Nick Bolton Mizzou
CB: Patrick Surtain II Alabama , Caleb Farley Virginia Tech
S: Jevon Holland Oregon, Caden Sterns Texas
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