How much will you hate my rankings?
It is finally that time of year again where all of you will hate my rankings because I don’t have certain players high enough, and whatnot. I have watched approximately 140 players in this draft class so far. While this big board is not final whatsoever, this is how I see these prospects at this moment. Obviously, there is still a lot of time left until the NFL Draft and things are subject to change after Pro Day numbers come out and after my final film sessions of each player.
A quick disclaimer on how I grade players; I am a very strict grader. It doesn’t mean I hate every single player. So, if I have a player who is a consensus round one guy for everybody else and he is a second round grade for me, it doesn’t mean I dislike that player. It just means that I have some concerns that I can’t overlook. Just because a player has a second-round grade, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take them early in the draft. Grades are vastly different from value and positional weights. My big boards are purely on how I look at a player’s production and immediate impact in the league.
So without further ado, here is my Top 100 big board for this class, with a brief description of each player in the top 20. Any comments or concerns, please leave them below in the comments section. I will likely do some sort of live broadcast on YouTube to discuss these rankings more in detail sometime this week or early next week.
First Round Grades (Tier 1: High potential and immediate impact):
1.) Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Duh. We knew this ranking for the past three years. High-level quarterback with great mobility, velocity, and everything else you want in a QB prospect.
2.) Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Maybe higher than most but Waddle has easy speed and acceleration that can beat almost any defensive back in the country. If he recovers fully from his ankle injury, he is a superstar in the making.
3.) Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Elite offensive tackle prospect who dominated the Pac-12 at just 18 years old. Has some minor things to improve on but looks to be a longtime OT starter in this league.
4.) Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
There are some concerns with his processing (partly due to his offense at Ohio State) however, he does so many things right as a QB. Great velocity, anticipation, eye manipulation, mobility… he’s going to be really good with the right team.
5.) Rashawn Slater, OG/OT, Northwestern
Freak athlete who is probably the best in the class at getting to the second level. His short arms may have some teams list him as a guard, where I think he could be an All-Pro player, but he will succeed at either spot in my opinion.
6.) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, SAF, Notre Dame
Elite athlete with positional versatility to play in the box or out at nickel corner… or even deep at safety. I think his best fit in the league is more as a slot/safety type but a defensive coordinator is going to have fun with this freaky athlete.
7.) Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Special tight end prospect who excels in space. Great route runner with the ability to climb the ladder and make highlight reel plays. He’s like Jordan Reed but healthy.
8.) Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
A physical receiver who dominated college football in 2019. He allows contact a bit too easily into his chest but he is dominant at the catch point and will climb the latter to make big plays. Should be a productive player from day one.
9.) Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG/OT, USC
Similar to Slater, AVT will likely get moved inside due to his shorter arms. However, I think he has the traits to succeed at either spot. Smart player with great strength and a really good athlete. Easy Top 10 player in my book.
Studying #USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker this afternoon.
Has played at LT/LG/RG in his career
Won #FightOn OL Of The Year in ‘19 playing alongside first-round pick Austin Jackson
Don’t always see this kind of power from a 2pt stance! pic.twitter.com/T3P7YDTAZI
— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) February 3, 2021
10.) DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy winner in 2020, Smith is a pure technician with great burst and goes up and attacks the ball in the air. His frame is a bit concerning but I’m very confident in him being a legit producer in the NFL.
11.) Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
Big-bodied defensive end who has all the traits you want on the edge.. even bend! He does allow tackles inside his chest plate a bit too easy and needs to develop more of a plan of attack but his potential is among the highest in the class.
Fringe First-Early Second (Tier 2: High potential players with some current question marks):
12.) Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
A high-level player who flies downhill and can dominate against both the pass and run game. There are some off-field concerns (allegedly involved in the hazing incident in 2019) but he is still the top linebacker in the class for me.
13.) Trey Lance, QB, NDSU
The traits are off the chart with Lance. Huge arm, great mobility, and apparently a genius on the whiteboard. The only issue is that he needs more development in terms of mechanics (especially in his lower half) and could use some work in a pro-style offense. Arguably the most high-end potential in the class.
14.) Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
My CB1 in this class is a blast to watch on film. Physical corner with that dog mentality that everybody wants. He also tracks the ball very well and could excel in zone coverage at the next level. He won’t be for everybody and does grab a bit, but I’m a huge fan.
Jaycee Horn is my CB1 in this class. Not a perfect prospect but he’s a very good man corner with excellent instincts and has that dog mentality that every cornerback needs in the NFL. Just my type of cornerback. pic.twitter.com/SXasi4agAI
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) February 21, 2021
15.) Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Another quarterback with high-level traits who could be a star in this league. I have legit concerns with his size/frame (no way he is that 6’3” on BYU’s website), his injury history, and his struggles against good defenses but with a good offensive coordinator, he could be special.
16.) Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
Probably the best cornerback film in this entire draft class. A special athlete who was left on an island at Kentucky and performed at a high level (and was productive with four interceptions). The off-field history is a complete mess though as he reportedly butts heads with coaches, wanted to sit out games late in the season, and was arrested in December. High risk but so much potential.
17.) Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
Phillips likely has the best film in the class at defensive end. Nuanced pass rusher who understands how to attack and breakdown offensive tackles. He has an extensive injury history (that caused him to retire temporarily in 2018) but the talent is there.
18.) Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
A superb athlete that practically runs routes for receivers in coverage. He has great length, ball skills, and athleticism to be a top-tier corner in the league. He needs to refine his technique a bit and become more physical but another player with just sky-high potential.
19.) Azeez Ojulari, DE, Geogia
A technically savvy player who stood out on the biggest stage. A nuanced player who brings a good variety of moves and is only scratching the surface of what he can become. I do think he is a bit stiff and I don’t love his length but he should be a good day one starter for a team.
20.) Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Physical, long corner who attacks receivers on every snap. Excellent in press man coverage and zone where his technique and instincts can take over. He won’t fit every team, especially one that expects him to be a lock-down number one guy, but he is my type of corner with how he plays.
Second Round Grades (Tier 3: Good floor mixed with the potential to be really good):
21.) Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
22.) Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama
23.) Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
24.) Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
25.) Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
I really like Oklahoma State RT Teven Jenkins (#73). Powerful tackle with really quick and strong hands. People mover in the run game. Prolific in both angle and jump sets. Think he could play some guard but does have the athleticism to stay at OT as well. pic.twitter.com/r01muswzLS
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) December 12, 2020
26.) Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
27.) Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU
28.) Najee Harris, RB Alabama
29.) Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
30.) Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
31.) Trevon Moehrig, SAF, TCU
32.) Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
33.) Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
34.) Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
35.) Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas
36.) Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
37.) Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
38.) Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
39.) Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
40.) Jordan Smith, DE, UAB
UAB DE Jordan Smith (I think) executing a near perfect ghost technique here on the edge pic.twitter.com/o7XxB1wnf1
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 28, 2021
41.) Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
42.) Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
43.) Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
44.) Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
45.) Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Third Round Grades (Tier 4: Great potential but they need development):
46.) Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
47.) Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
48.) Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
49.) Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
50.) Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
51.) Ar’Darius Washington, SAF, TCU
52.) Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
53.) Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
54.) Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
55.) JaCoby Stevens, LB/SAF/ATH, LSU
Best player in the draft is JaCoby Stevens. I don’t care lol. But seriously this was an outstanding interview with an outstanding person and player. Super versatile guy that teams are going to love.
Full Film Session interview drops next week! pic.twitter.com/xYpYbSNqJe
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) February 5, 2021
56.) Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
57.) Payton Turner, DE, Houston
58.) Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
59.) Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
60.) Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
61.) Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
62.) Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
63.) Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
64.) Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
65.) Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
66.) Josh Meyers, IOL, Ohio State
67.) Tyree Gillespie, SAF, Missouri
Tyree Gillespie is going to be a star in the NFL with the right coaching. pic.twitter.com/A3zNUkIquX
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) February 15, 2021
68.) Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
69.) Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
70.) Elerson Smith, DE, Northern Iowa
71.) Quincy Roche, DE, Miami
72.) Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
73.) Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
74.) Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
75.) Patrick Jones, DE, Pittsburgh
76.) Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
77.) D’Ante Smith, OT, ECU
Absolutely love ECU OT D’Ante Smith. Has been outstanding playing at OG and OT. Violent hands with elite athleticism. Needs to put on some weight but I want him in Indy pic.twitter.com/O0ddYBmdYc
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 28, 2021
78.) Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
79.) Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
80.) Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
81.) James Hudson, OT, Cincinatti
Early Day 3 (Tier 5: I’m intrigued but they need some work)
82.) Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
83.) David Moore, IOL, Grambling
84.) Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
85.) Alim McNeil, DT, North Carolina State
86.) Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Marquez Stevenson refuses to go down.pic.twitter.com/mGP32pYQvB
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 8, 2018
87.) Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
88.) Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC
89.) D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
90.) Aaron Banks, IOL, Notre Dame
91.) Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
92.) Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU
93.) Joe Tryon, DE, Washington
94.) Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
95.) Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina
96.) Jevon Holland, SAF, Oregon
97.) Hamsah Nasirildeen, SAF, Florida State
98.) Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) May 27, 2020
99.) Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
100.) Jackson Carmen, OT, Clemson
I, again, would like to reiterate that these rankings are far from final and I still need to get Pro Day numbers, finalize film grades, and watch some older film to really get to understand these players fully. There are also a few players that I just haven’t seen altogether yet that could propel themselves up into the next top 100 list I post.
I will likely go live at some point to discuss this class a bit but I do love the late round two to early round three range for players in this class. If the Colts could trade back in the first round and snag more picks in that range, that would be the best case scenario for this team.