Cowboys Top 5 Rankings for offense in the 2021 NFL draft

Mike Crum
·8 min read

There’s just one more calendar day between publication of this article and the 2021 NFL draft, with the Dallas Cowboys sitting at the No. 10 pick. Tape has been watched, pro day numbers are in, medicals are known and teams have interviewed as many prospects as they possibly could; virtually of course.

The final boards are in, most of the cases have been made about moving one guy up or down based on fit and flags, and now teams are calling around to see who their potential trade partners might be if things fall a certain way over the 72 hour exercise. Want to know who is slotted where? So do we. But in the meantime, here’s our evaluation at the top five players for each position on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lawrence Clemson Height: 6-foot-6 Weight: 220 Class: Junior It feels like Lawrence has been the top pick for the last three years. He’s a generational prospect that can do anything asked of the position and the reason Urban Meyer chose the Jacksonville Jaguars. Zach Wilson BYU Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 203 Class: Junior Stealing a baseball analogy, Wilson is a five-tool prospect: arm strength, touch, mobility, leadership, and anticipation. He has the chance to be special. Trey Lance North Dakota State Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 221 Class: Sophomore(RS) Lance comes with risks. His limited amount of starts and lower level of competition is concerning, but he is a great athlete with elite arm talent. He just needs to develop his touch. Sounds a lot like Buffalo's Josh Allen. Justin Fields Ohio State Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 223 Class: Junior Fields was once in a battle with Lawrence for the first quarterback taken, now he has slipped to possibly the fifth QB in this draft class. That motivation could be just what the doctor ordered. Mac Jones Alabama Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 205 Class: Junior(RS) Jones has shot up boards after he lead Alabama to the national title game victory. He doesn’t have all the physical gifts of the other top four quarterbacks available, but he may make up for it with his preparation and anticipation.

Running Back

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Javonte Williams North Carolina Height: 5-foot-10 Weight: 220 Class: Junior Has the best instincts as a runner in the class, is shifty and powerful, can receive out of the back field or block in the passing game. Do it all back. Najee Harris Alabama Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 230 Class: Senior Complete back that has power, speed, and pass catching abilities. Adds exceptional goal-line work as well. Travis Etienne Clemson Height: 5-foot-10 Weight: 200 Class: Senior What makes Etienne unique at the top of this running back class is his ability in the pass game. Could bring a LaDainian Tomlinson quality to a team. Khalil Herbert Virginia Tech Height: 5-foot-9 Weight: 212 Class: Senior(RS) Didn’t break out until 2020, but once he got his touches he showed an ability to run the ball despite not being an overly dynamic athlete. He is excellent at finding the right hole and hitting it at the correct angle. He runs with excellent balance and makes the correct cuts to get the most of each of his touches. Michael Carter North Carolina Height: 5-foot-8 Weight: 208 Class: Senior The Elijah Molden of running backs. Does everything well enough, including pass protection and in the receiving game, but he is undersized, so he isn't seen in the same light.

Wide Receiver

Ja'Marr Chase scores a touchdown as The LSU Tigers take on The Clemson Tigers in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
Cfp Monday Half1 0697

Ja’Marr Chase LSU Height: 6-foot Weight: 201 Class: Junior Chase broke the single-season receiving yards record in 2019, adding 20 touchdowns and has been waiting for the draft since. He decided opting out of the 2020 season was his best move. Jaylen Waddle Alabama Height: 5-for-9 Weight: 180 Class: Junior Ultra athletic WR that was putting up Heisman Trophy worthy numbers until his injury last season. One of the toughest prospect for defenders to try and cover. Terrance Marshall Jr LSU Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 205 Class: Junior Justin Jefferson clone possibly, and not just because they both went to LSU. Marshall Jr. can play inside or out as well and could be a rookie break out candidate like his fellow LSU grad was for the Vikings. Rashod Bateman Minnesota Height: 6-foot Weight: 190 Class: Junior Too young to be such a good route runner. Has the size of an NFL outside WR too. Should be an early contributor to an offense, reminiscent of Amari Cooper precision wise. DeVante Smith Alabama Height: 6-foot Weight: 170 Class: Senior Despite playing with Waddle, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs, Smith still leaves the SEC with the most receiving yards and touchdowns in SEC history. A guy his size might not have many successful comparisons at the next level, but he can be the first DeVante Smith instead.

Tight End

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Pitts Florida Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 245 Class: Junior Match up nightmare who can be moved around all over the field to give defensive coordinator’s headaches. Could Pitts finally be the TE that lives up to the hype of a top ten pick? Tommy Tremble Notre Dame Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 241 Class: Sophomore(RS) Tremble would walk in as one of the better blocking TEs in the NFL as a rookie. He wasn’t given many targets, but could develop into a duel threat. He has pass catching tools to develop. George Kittle comparisons are warranted. Brevin Jordan Miami Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 247 Class: Junior An F-tight-end who lines up mainly in the slot and had over 60% of his yards come after the catch. Could be a seam buster and red-zone match up nightmare. Pat Freiermuth Penn State Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 251 Class: Junior Likely ends up more of a Rob Gronkowski type at his best than an f-type athletic pass catcher. Good blocker, good size for matching up in the passing game. Will be hard to handle in man coverage. Hunter Long Boston College Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 254 Class: Junior(RS) Jason Witten style TE. He will block well enough and be a good short route option in the passing game to pick up first downs and score in the red zone.

Offensive Tackle

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Penei Sewell Oregon Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 330 Class: Junior Guys this size shouldn’t move so well, and guys this young shouldn’t be so polished and smart already. As sure of a thing as you can get at 20 years old. Rashawn Slater Northwestern Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 304 Class: Senior Might be a even better at IOL, but he has already stonewalled Chase Young as a OT and will likely have to show a team he can’t play there at a high level before he is tried inside. Jaylen Mayfield Michigan Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 326 Class: Junior Can play four spots on the OL but he’s gone against the best college pass rushers over his last two years at Michigan as an OT and held up very well. This kid was forged in fire and it should help his NFL transition. Liam Eichenberg Notre Dame Height: 6-foot-6 Weight: 306 Class: Senior(RS) Three-year starter at Notre Dame, Eichenberg should be a starter for the next 10 years at LT. Notre Dame adds another to their factory of NFL offensive linemen. Teven Jenkins Oklahoma State Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 317 Class: Senior(RS) Big and strong, probably better at IOL or RT, but wherever he plays he will manhandle guys across from him. He will be a great run blocker from day one, with plenty of potential in pass sets.

Inside Offensive Line

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Alijah Vera-Tucker USC Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 308 Class: Junior(RS) He started 13 games at OT and six at the OG position, but Tucker translates best to OG in the NFL. Zack Martin or Quentin Nelson-type ability, just might take a year in Vera-Tucker's case. Landon Dickerson Alabama Height: 6-foot-5 Weight: 333 Class: Senior(RS) Take injuries out and Dickerson is the best IOL guy in the draft this year. He would have a strong case to be the second-best OL prospect overall. Unfortunately injuries knock him back to a good second-round risk pick instead. Creed Humphrey Oklahoma Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 302 Class: Junior(RS) The rare left-handed snapper. Humphrey could end up as an OG if the QB he plays with can’t deal with the left-handed snap or Humphrey has trouble switching to his right hand. At OG or C, he will be one of the better blockers at the position. Jackson Carmen Clemson Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 317 Class: Junior Carmen has lost a lot of weight since the end of the 2020 season hoping to remain outside at OT, but his wide base and powerful frame scream OG to most scouts. He isn't overly dynamic, but has good tape against the best competition cause he played at a big program like Clemson. Quinn Meinerz Wisconsin Whitewater Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 320 Class: Senior Small school prospect that wasn’t on anyone’s radar until the Senior Bowl. Then he opened up everyone’s eyes. Some times you just have to see prospects up against more known competition to really evaluate them. He put up excellent reps all week, and that helped confirm the excellent tape against lesser competition.

Mike Crum can be found on Twitter or Youtube @cdpiglet or @ATBCowboysPod

1

1