Mac Jones – QB (Alabama)
Mac Jones might just be the most polarizing figure in the 2021 NFL Draft class. The Alabama quarterback threw for 4,500 yards and 44 touchdowns on his way to a national championship for the Crimson Tide in 2020. But there are many analysts who feel he won’t bring this sort of success to the next level.
Mobility concerns and arm strength are two main problems. So if the San Francisco 49ers don’t take him at No. 3, there is a chance he becomes the signal-caller who falls in a similar fashion to Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers over the years,
The Carolina Panthers are still projected to take Jones at No. 8 by Pro Football Focus in a recent mock, which just doesn’t seem feasible.
Gregory Rousseau – DE (Miami)
Before opting out of the 2020 season, Gregory Rousseau was seen as the best defensive end in this class. It’s a case of out of sight, out of mind where the player is concerned. But he’s been working hard on his physique on his own and looked in fantastic shape when he rocked up to the 2021 Senior Bowl.
Considering Rousseau’s size, there is also the scope for him to play as a three-technique if required.
Christian Barmore – DT (Alabama)
Christian Barmore was seen as a mid-rounder before the 2020 season, but a dominant showing throughout the campaign for Alabama now sees him as a virtual lock to go in the first round. This is down in no small part to his physicality and ability to generate pressure, two traits that are always highly sought after by NFL teams when push comes to shove.
Travis Etienne – RB (Clemson)
Travis Etienne is going to be a star in the NFL in no time at all. Running backs don’t have the sort of value they once did in regards to the draft. But the benefits of the Pittsburgh Steelers taking a long look at the Clemson standout shouldn’t be ignored.
Asante Samuel Jr. – CB (Florida State)
The Carolina Panthers will be hoping Asante Samuel Jr. falls into the second round. They’ve reportedly met virtually with the prospect twice and there is little doubt he fits an area of some real need for the organization despite the recent addition of A.J. Bouye.
Samuel is superb in press coverage, plays the game with high intensity, and comes up with the goods more often than not. Waiting around for the prospect at No, 39 might not get them their man, so a potential trade back into the first round isn’t out of the realm of possibility depending on how things play out.
Terrace Marshall Jr. – WR (LSU)
LSU is fast becoming a breeding ground for elite wide receivers at the next level. Terrace Marshall Jr. might not have the sort of reputation as Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, but that does not mean he cannot be extremely effective from the word go.
Marshall has the size, speed, and ball skills to cause endless problems for opposing cornerbacks. If he’s taken late in the first round, it will only enhance his chances of becoming an instant success on a contending team.