NFL 2021 Draft Prospects: Part III: Receivers and Tight Ends

-John Turner

In a passing league you need good pass catchers. In one of if not the deepest positions in this draft class there’s no lack of playmakers at the receiver position. There’s a few tight ends that stick out to me but there is an absolute plethora of talent at wide out. We saw five receivers go in round one last year and I believe we’ll see no less than four come off the board in the first this season.

DeVonta Smith may have elevated himself to the top of the ranking with his performance in the National Championship. He had an outrageous 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 touch downs. If he tears it up in the combine he’s likely to be the first WR taken. Meanwhile Jaylen Waddle is another member of The Crimson Tide that’s declared for the draft. Although he suffered a broken ankle against Tennessee, he should be at full speed by the time mini camps kick off.

Ja’Marr Chase opted out this season but there’s no denying his body of work in 2019. catching passes from Joe Burrow, he had 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 touch downs on the way to winning the title. He had 9 catches for 221 yards and two score in the National Championship game alone. If he could manage to slip to the fifth spot, would the Bengals be interested in a reunion of two Tigers?

Rashod Bateman is another one that opted out of the 2020 campaign. In 2019 he caught 60 balls for 1,219 and five scores while averaging just over 20 yards per reception. At 6’2″ he’ll make a fine possession receiver at the next level. Terrace Marshall Jr.and Nico Collins are two other big body guys to watch for. I don’t see any of these three guys making it out of round two.

DeVonta SmithWR6’0¼”170Alabama
Ja’Marr ChaseWR6’0″208LSU
Rashod BatemanWR6’2″213Minnesota
Jaylen WaddleWR5’10”177Alabama
Elijah MooreWR5’9″184Ole Miss
Terrace Marshall JrWR6’4″200LSU
Chris OlaveWR6’1″185Ohio State
Nico CollinsWR6’3½”220Michigan
Kadarius ToneyWR5’11”199Florida
Sage SurrattWR6’3″215Wake Forest
Rondale MooreWR5’9″180Purdue
Tylan WallaceWR5’11”187Oklahoma State
Ihmir Smith-MarsetteWR6’1″189Iowa
Justyn RossWR6’3½”205Clemson
Charleston RamboWR6’2″178Oklahoma
Marquez StevensonWR6’0″189Houston
Tyler VaughnsWR6’2″187USC
Osirus MitchellWR6’4½”214Mississippi State
Tutu AtwellWR5’9″153Louisville
Reggie Roberson JrWR5’10⅝”199SMU
T.J. WasherWR6’5½”214Texas Tech
Tamorrion TerryWR6’3″195Florida State
Warren JacksonWR6’5¾”212Colorado State
Josh PalmerWR6’2″204Tennessee
Brandon SmithWR6’2½”224Iowa
Jhamon AusbonWR6’2″219Texas A&M
Javon McKinleyWR6’1½”220Notre Dame
Rico Bussey JrWR6’0⅛”192Hawai’i
JD SpielmanWR5’9″184TCU
Davontavean MartinWR6’3″189Oklahoma State
Shi SmithWR5’11”189South Carolina
Trevon GrimesWR6’5″219Florida
Whop PhilyorWR5’10”175Indiana
Andrew ParchmentWR6’2″184Kansas
Tre NixonWR6’1½”189UCF
Dillon StonerWR6’0½”196Oklahoma State
Dazz NewsomeWR5’11”189North Carolina

Kyle Pitts is likely the only tight end taken in the first round this season. He caught for over 700 yards and found the end zone 12 time in 2020. Not sure if he would’ve made the difference in the Cotton Bowl since the Florida Gators got boat raced by the Oklahoma Sooners 55-20, but I would have preferred to see him and some other players that decide to forego playing bowl games suit up against the big competition. After all you practice your whole life to get to these moments and the school likely just gave you a free ride for four years and possibly a good education. Just seems a tad selfish to me but what gonna do?

Brevin Jordan at this point last season I felt might be the top TE to enter the draft. If he were to stay at Miami I think the Hurricanes might have a legit shot at getting in to the CFP with D’Eriq King returning, but the kid from America’s Playground has decided to bet on himself at the next level. I think he’d be a great fit in Washington if they could get him with one of their third rounders.

Kyle PittsTE6’6″239Florida
Pat FreiermuthTE6’5″259Penn State
Brevin JordanTE6’3″235Miami
Charlie KolarTE6’6″257Iowa State
Noah GrayTE6’4″244Duke
Brant KuitheTE6’2″235Utah
Matt BushmanTE6’4¼”239BYU
Cade OttonTE6’5″240Washington
Zaire MitchellTE6’4⅜”269Notre Dame College
Nick EubanksTE6’4⅜”256Michigan
Nick MuseTE6’4½”254South Carolina
Tony PoljanTE6’6⅝”263Virginia

Does your team need more fire power? I can definitely think of a team or two… It’s A Football World, we’re all just passing through.

Next up: Linemen

Photo credit: Sun Sentinel