- Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
Let’s update rankings for the 2021 NFL draft. I’ve made my feelings well known about what I think of pro days, but they are a little more important this year because there’s no combine to get official athletic testing numbers. I was waiting to update my rankings until most of the pro days were over, but there are still a few more lingering. I’m still seeing some questionable 40-yard dash times, but that happens every year.
I do think this year is going to be even more about trusting the tape — because we’re not going to have another option. There are a few prospects who won’t work out for NFL teams at all. There is risk involved, sure, but the smart teams will take advantage and find gems throughout the draft.
My updated Big Board — the top 25 prospects overall — and the best prospects at every position are below. I have 10 prospects at every position except for long-snapper. I’ll build out my rankings more over the next month and hit 300-plus by the time the draft starts on April 29. This is going to be one of the most interesting classes ever.
1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
HT: 6-foot-6 | WT: 220 pounds | Previously: 1
Lawrence is going No. 1 to the Jaguars and will get a chance to lead the turnaround of that franchise alongside coach Urban Meyer. He has everything NFL teams want in a starting quarterback, from size to arm talent to the ability to process reads and make the right throw. He finished his Clemson career with 108 total touchdowns (18 rushing) and just 17 interceptions across three seasons. With no combine this year, Lawrence threw for scouts in February, then had surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He should still be ready for the 2021 season.
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