Jake’s Final Big Board for the 2021 NFL Draft (Offense)

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The 2021 NFL Draft is bound to be one of the strangest in NFL History. This is a high-end quarterback class, and one of the best tight end prospects in history is also in the mix. The group itself is very talented, but nobody knows how NFL front offices will rank these players. You have to consider with no combine due to COVID-19 and some guys sitting out, everyone’s board will be a little different. For the Falcons, I’ll be doing my best to consider the team’s need and scheme fit, but mostly I’m going to stick with players that I think will be very good in the NFL. The player’s positional ranking and overall ranking via TheDraftNetwork will be listed to the right of their name in parentheses. If you want to read my rankings for the defensive side of the ball, you can find those below:

 

Jake’s Final Big Board for the 2021 NFL Draft (Defense)

 

Quarterback

 

QB1 Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 1)

QB2 Trey Lance, North Dakota State (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 4)

QB3 Justin Fields, Ohio State (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 3)

QB4 Zach Wilson, BYU (Position Rank: 2, Overall Rank: 2)

QB5 Mac Jones, Alabama (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 9)

QB6 Davis Mills, Stanford (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 81)

QB7 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 89)

QB8 Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State (Position Rank: 22, Overall Rank: 466)

QB9 Kyle Trask, Florida (Position Rank: 8, Overall Rank: 104)

QB10 Jamie Newman, Wake Forest (Position Rank: 9, Overall Rank: 204)

 

I already ranked the quarterbacks, so check out that article if you want to see my rationale. There are many ways to slice this pie, and the margin between QB2 to QB4 is razor-thin. Whoever your QB4 is in this draft could easily be QB2 in almost any other draft, and possibly QB1 in 2022. If Atlanta doesn’t snag any of the top five guys, I’d rather roll the dice with an UDFA — especially if Zerrick Cooper is available. I moved Zach Wilson down from my quarterback rankings; while I think he has the most potential and he is my favorite prospect, he isn’t as finished of a product as I once believed. I’m still considering Fields at QB2, it’s a very tough decision.

 

Running Back

 

RB1 Javonte Williams, North Carolina (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 29)

RB2 Najee Harris, Alabama (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 21)

RB3 Travis Etienne, Clemson (Position Rank: 2, Overall Rank: 20)

RB4 Michael Carter, North Carolina (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 83)

RB5 Trey Sermon, Ohio State (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 92)

RB6 Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana (Position Rank: 16, Overall Rank: 244)

RB7 Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 87)

RB8 Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech (Position Rank: 12, Overall Rank: 187)

RB9 Kylin Hill, Mississippi State (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 129)

RB10 Jermar Jefferson, Oklahoma State (Position Rank: 13, Overall Rank: 201)

RB11 Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State (Position Rank: 8, Overall Rank: 143)

RB12 Jaret Patterson, Buffalo (Position Rank: 18, Overall Rank: 291)

 

I broke down my running back rankings back before pro days, and there’s a bit of shakeup. You can truly rank the first four backs as 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d. I think Javonte Williams is RB1 by a narrow margin; he is the most balanced back in the entire class and is exceptional in pass protection. It’s close between him and Najee, but I give the edge to Williams. I’m pretty high on Trey Sermon and Kenny Gainwell, but I think Sermon is the more complete back, and Gainwell is a better third-down receiving back. If the Falcons pick a back later in the draft, watch out for Elijah Mitchell. He’s a very strong runner with a high floor that could offer a lot in pass protection. Khalil Herbert is in play as well.

 

Wide Receiver

 

WR1 Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (Position Rank: 2, Overall Rank: 8)

WR2 Ja’Marr Chase, LSU (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 5)

WR3 Devonta Smith, Alabama (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 11)

WR4 Kadarius Toney, Florida (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 36)

WR5 Terrace Marshall Jr, LSU (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 31)

WR6 Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 24)

WR7 Elijah Moore, Ole Miss (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 42)

WR8 Dyami Brown, North Carolina (Position Rank: 13, Overall Rank: 72)

WR9 TuTu Atwell, Louisville (Position Rank: 10, Overall Rank: 69)

WR10 D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (Position Rank: 12, Overall Rank: 71)

WR11 Ronalde Moore, Purdue (Position Rank: 8, Overall Rank: 49)

WR12 Nico Collins, Michigan (Position Rank: 11, Overall Rank: 70)

WR13 Seth Williams, Auburn (Position Rank: 20, Overall Rank: 135)

WR14 Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC (Position Rank: 14, Overall Rank: 73)

WR15 Amari Rodgers, Clemson (Position Rank: 9, Overall Rank: 56)

WR16 Sage Surratt, Wake Forest (Position Rank: 19, Overall Rank: 133)

WR17 Cade Johnson, South Dakota State (Position Rank: 30, Overall Rank: 192)

WR18 Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State (Position Rank: 15, Overall Rank: 74)

WR19 Dazz Newsome, North Carolina (Position Rank: 22, Overall Rank: 155

WR20 Shi Smith, South Carolina (Position Rank: 25, Overall Rank: 159)

WR21 Tamorrion Terry, Florida State (Position Rank: 39, Overall Rank: 229)

 

I don’t see the Falcons taking a wide receiver early, but I like many of these guys, and the margins between them are so close, much like the first five quarterbacks — any of these guys could be this season’s Justin Jefferson or Tee Higgins. I’m not going cover everyone on this list, but I think Jaylen Waddle and Ja’Marr Chase are neck-and-neck for WR1. There’s not a lot of shakeups, but watch out for Cade Johnson; he could be an electric return guy. Anyone who has watched the SEC knows that Seth Williams has the potential to be dangerous in the NFL. Once again, a very deep group, and any of these guys could outplay these rankings.

 

Tight End

 

TE1 Kyle Pitts, Florida (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 6)

TE2 Pat Freiermuth, Penn State (Position Rank: 2, Overall Rank: 56)

TE3 Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 64)

TE4 Hunter Long, Boston College (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 97)

TE5 Brevin Jordan, Miami (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 63)

TE6 Tre McKitty, Georgia (Position Rank: 9, Overall Rank: 203)

TE7 Noah Gray, Duke (Position Rank: 15, Overall Rank: 263)

TE8 Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 157)

TE9 Kylen Granson, SMU (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 183)

TE10 Miller Forristall, Alabama (Position Rank: 12, Overall Rank: 239)

 

I don’t see the Falcons taking a non-Kyle Pitts tight end, but I really like what Pat Freirmuth offers catching the ball. He is a fantastic receiver and a walking mismatch. Hunter Long is a solid vertical threat. Jordan tested very poorly, and I’m starting to get bearish on a prospect that I was once a huge fan of. Noah Gray is my sleeper; he’s a project. If he can add some weight to his frame, he could be a very nice late-round pick or even an UDFA pickup.

 

Offensive Tackle

 

OT1 Rashawn Slater, Northwestern (Position Rank: 2, Overall Rank: 10)

OT2 Penei Sewell, Oregon (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 3)

OT3 Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 15)

OT4 Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa (Position Rank: 12, Overall Rank: 87)

OT5 Brady Christensen, BYU (Position Rank: 13, Overall Rank: 91)

OT6 Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 16)

OT7 Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 38)

OT8 Samuel Cosmi, Texas (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 28)

OT9 Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State (Position Rank: 8, Overall Rank: 39)

OT10 Jalen Mayfield, Michigan (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 35)

OT11 Walker Little, Stanford (Position Rank: 16, Overall Rank: 146)

OT12 Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (Position Rank: 9, Overall Rank: 54)

OT13 James Hudson, Cincinnati (Position Rank: 10, Overall Rank: 62)

OT14 Jackson Carman, Clemson (Position Rank: 11, Overall Rank: 86)

OT15 Alaric Jackson, Iowa (Position Rank: 22, Overall Rank: 224)

 

I don’t see the Falcons targeting tackle very early in this draft unless the plan was to kick them inside, and some of the prospects on this list will kick to guard anyways. Rashawn Slater has All-Pro potential at guard from day one, which is where I think he’ll end up unless the Bengals select him 5th overall. Penei Sewell has guard flexibility, but you aren’t drafting a guard at 4th overall if you’re the Falcons. Keep an eye on Spencer Brown; he’s massive at 6’9” and 320-pounds, super athletic, and tore up the Senior Bowl. Brady Christensen broke the broad jump record for offensive linemen at his pro day and is a perfect fit for Arthur Smith’s wide zone scheme. Scouts don’t seem to really love Jalen Mayfield, so I’ve started to cool on him. There is a pretty thin margin between OT5-OT10.

 

Interior Offensive Line

 

IOL1 Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC (Position Rank: 1, Overall Rank: 16)

IOL2 Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma (Position Rank: 3, Overall Rank: 44)

IOL3 Landon Dickerson, Alabama (Position Rank 2, Overall Rank: 32)

IOL4 Wyatt Davis, Ohio State (Position Rank: 4, Overall Rank: 45)

IOL5 Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater (Position Rank: 5, Overall Rank: 75)

IOL6 Trey Smith, Tennessee (Position Rank: 7, Overall Rank: 96)

IOL7 David Moore, Grambling (Position Rank: 12, Overall Rank: 127)

IOL8 Josh Myers, Ohio State (Position Rank: 6, Overall Rank: 80)

IOL8 Aaron Banks, Notre Dame (Position Rank: 10, Overall Rank: 114)

IOL9 Ben Cleveland, Georgia (Position Rank: 8, Overall Rank: 99)

IOL10 Kendrick Green, Illinois (Position Rank: 11, Overall Rank: 119)

IOL11 Tommy Kraemer, Notre Dame (Position Rank: 15, Overall Rank: 189)

IOL12 Drake Jackson, Kentucky (Position Rank: 17, Overall Rank 203)

IOL13 Trey Hill, Georgia (Position Rank: 13, Overall Rank: 179)

IOL14 Sadarius Hutcherson, South Carolina (Position Rank: 14, Overall Rank: 180)

IOL15 Deonte Brown, Alabama (Position Rank: 9, Overall Rank: 106)

 

Landon Dickerson and Alijah Vera-Tucker are so close for my top spot, but I’ll give Vera-Tucker the slight edge here with Dickerson’s injury history. Creed Humphrey and Wyatt Davis are no consolation prizes, either. Both are immediate plug-and-play starters. David Moore is my big sleeper; he had a great Senior Bowl and handled some of the best defensive linemen in college football with ease. He’s a bit of a project, but he was voted best offensive lineman by his peers in Birmingham. Quinn Meinerz, like Humphrey, tested off the charts athletically and would be a fantastic addition to the Falcons. Later on, I’m a big fan of Drake Jackson as a value pickup and “safe” plug-and-play starter.

 

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