Top 2021 NFL Draft Prospects From Every FBS Conference

min read
Sam Herder Jun 16, 2021, 2:16 PM
Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers passes against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2021, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The online betting odds for the first player to be taken in the 2021 NFL Draft backs up what we all know: Clemson's Trevor Lawrence appears to be a lock for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The ACC will own the bragging rights of having the No. 1 player in the draft. How about the other nine FBS conferences, though?

Here are the top NFL prospects from each FBS conference and how they project in the upcoming draft.

ACC

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB

Lawrence is the overwhelming favorite to be drafted No. 1 overall. The 6-foot-6 quarterback has been called a generational talent, making him one the most hyped NFL prospects in recent memory.

Lawrence went 34-2 as the starter for Clemson, winning the national championship as a true freshman in 2018.

American

Zaven Collins, Tulsa LB

Collins won the 2020 Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the best defensive player in college football. He has elite size for a linebacker at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds. While Collins may not have great speed, he has shown the ability to drop back in zone coverage.

Collins is likely a first-round draft pick. He could slip into the second round if his testing numbers disappoint. 

Big 12

Trevon Moehrig, TCU safety

Moehrig is arguably the top safety in this year’s draft class. He is 6-foot-2 and has great range on the field, showcasing his speed. 

With 125 career tackles, seven interceptions, and 28 passes defended, Moehrig is aggressive against the run and a playmaker on the backend of the defense in passing situations. Expect to hear Moehrig’s name called late in the first round or early in the second.

Big Ten

Justin Fields, Ohio State QB

Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws the ball during the College Football Playoff National Championship football game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The No. 2 quarterback on many people’s boards, Fields’ game perfectly translates to the NFL. He’s 6-foot-3 with a strong frame, a strong arm, and great athleticism and speed to evade pressure and keep a defense respecting the QB run.

It won’t take long for Fields to be drafted. He’s the total package and a franchise quarterback.

C-USA

Jaelon Darden, North Texas WR

Darden set program records in career receptions (230), receiving yards (2,782), and receiving touchdowns (38). He is a dangerous weapon out of the slot.

The 5-foot-9, 174-pounder is a great route-runner and a headache to try and get your hands on when tackling. Darden looks to be a Day 3 draft pick going in the middle-to-late rounds.

MAC

Jaret Patterson, Buffalo RB

Patterson dominated in 2020, rushing for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns in only six games. He averaged 178.7 yards per game. The shifty 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back declared for the 2021 NFL Draft after his junior year. 

This is a talented class of running backs, a position that isn’t as valued as it once was. Still, Patterson’s explosiveness should excite NFL teams enough to grab him in the mid-rounds.

Mountain West

Romeo Doubs, Nevada WR

Doubs has good speed for his 6-foot-2 and 200-pound frame. He has 145 career catches for 2,213 yards and 15 touchdowns in three seasons.

Doubs is ranked the No. 157 overall draft prospect by Pro Football Focus and the 22nd-best wide receiver. 

Pac-12

Penei Sewell, Oregon OT

Penei Sewell #58 of the Oregon Ducks looks on in the fourth quarter against the Washington Huskies during their game at Husky Stadium on October 19, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Sewell is a monster at 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds. He is as solid as it gets in pass protection and run blocking. 

So solid that ESPN’s Todd McShay could see Sewell as the No. 2 pick in his January mock draft.

SEC

Ja'Marr Chase, LSU WR

Alabama's Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith may have a say in this, but Chase is viewed slightly higher by PFF as the No. 5 overall draft prospect. 

The 6-foot, 208-pounder dominates when the ball is in the air, catching anything in a wide radius and hauling down contested passes.

Sun Belt

Jonathan Adams Jr., Arkansas State WR

Adams is a big target at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. He presents mismatches for defenses with his size and good (not great) speed. 

PFF ranks Adams the No. 149 overall prospect and the 20th-best wide receiver.

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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

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Sam Herder

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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.