2021 NFL Draft prospects and their league comps
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2021 NFL Draft prospects and their league comps

With each draft class, scouts and draft prognosticators often make comparisons between top prospects and established NFL players. As these top 20 prospects ready for the draft, here's a look at some of their closest NFL comps.

 
1 of 20

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence | Comp: John Elway

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence | Comp: John Elway
Chuck Cook / USA Today Sports Images

The likely first overall draft choice, Lawrence is in some ways a comp all his own standing at 6-foot-6 with a strong arm, accuracy, and great speed. He's seen as a can't-miss prospect among the best to ever be scouted but has the all-around elite talent and intangibles of Broncos Hall of Famer John Elway.

 
2 of 20

BYU QB Zach Wilson | Comp: Carson Wentz

BYU QB Zach Wilson | Comp: Carson Wentz
George Frey / USA Today Sports Images

Wilson emerged as an elite prospect in 2020 after completing more than 73% of his passes, showing a quick release and smooth movements. The physical tools are also above average but unspectacular, and he has enough mobility to run almost any offense a la Wentz.

 
3 of 20

North Dakota State QB Trey Lance | Comp: Josh Allen

North Dakota State QB Trey Lance | Comp: Josh Allen
Tim Heitman / USA Today Sports Images

Lance has all the physical tools, but will likely be a work in progress who needs time to develop in the NFL. Allen was in a similar position when he was drafted out of Wyoming by the Bills, but had a breakout season in his third year.

 
4 of 20

Alabama QB Mac Jones | Comp: Drew Brees

Alabama QB Mac Jones | Comp: Drew Brees
Gary Cosby Jr. / USA Today Sports Images

Jones has exceeded his physical tools and showed unbelievable accuracy last season, completing more than 77% of his passes for the Crimson Tide. He doesn't have the height disadvantage that Brees did at a more than adequate 6-foot-3 but looks like a solid, accurate pocket passer.

 
5 of 20

Ohio State QB Justin Fields | Comp: Steve McNair

Ohio State QB Justin Fields | Comp: Steve McNair
Kim Klement / USA Today Sports Images

Fields' stock has been up and down over the last two years, but he repeatedly demonstrated his elite athleticism and toughness for the Buckeyes. He has more mobility than McNair did but possesses similar intangibles as a tough winner.

 
6 of 20

Alabama RB Najee Harris | Comp: Le'Veon Bell

Alabama RB Najee Harris | Comp: Le'Veon Bell
Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images

Alabama has continued to churn out great NFL backs, and Harris looks like the next in line. A versatile player who can catch out of the backfield and run between the tackles, he should be able to pile up big stats as an all-purpose back in much the way Bell has done.

 
7 of 20

Clemson RB Travis Etienne | Comp: Herschel Walker

Clemson RB Travis Etienne | Comp: Herschel Walker
Ken Ruinard / USA Today Sports Images

Etienne can absolutely fly once he gets going, and while he might not have measured as the fastest back in the class, the speed is the most impressive part of his game. Like Walker, a former versatile 1,500-yard rusher, he can also run over defenders when he gets to full speed.

 
8 of 20

North Carolina RB Javonte Williams | Comp: Devonta Freeman

North Carolina RB Javonte Williams | Comp: Devonta Freeman
Bob Donnan / USA Today Sports Images

Williams is a relatively short bruiser with excellent hands, an excellent combination for today's NFL. His workload wasn't excessive in college with 366 career carries, so he should be able to develop into an every-down back like Freeman was early in his career with Atlanta.

 
9 of 20

LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase | Comp: Andre Johnson

LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase | Comp: Andre Johnson
Scott Clause / USA Today Sports Images

Chase can fly with a sub-4.4 40 time, but he also has great hands with the ability to create his own space. His route running could use some work, but he's a swift pass-catcher who shows the upside of a Pro Bowl game-changing deep threat.

 
10 of 20

Alabama WR Devonta Smith | Comp: Antonio Brown

Alabama WR Devonta Smith | Comp: Antonio Brown
Kyle Robertson / USA Today Sports Images

Smith is criticized for his lack of size, but the college production is undeniable for the Heisman Trophy winner. He's a fantastic route runner with great hands who should be able to line up inside or outside, creating problems for defenses.

 
11 of 20

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle | Comp: Santana Moss

Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle | Comp: Santana Moss
Gary Cosby Jr. / USA Today Sports Images

Like teammate Devonta Smith, Waddle is somewhat undersized but arguably an even better deep threat. He missed much of last season with an ankle injury but seemed uncoverable until that time, and has electric speed in the same way that Moss did during his long and productive NFL career.

 
12 of 20

Florida WR Kadarius Toney | Comp: Curtis Samuel

Florida WR Kadarius Toney | Comp: Curtis Samuel
Randy Smith / USA Today Sports Images

Toney is a danger whenever he has the ball in his hands, and the Gators manufactured ways to get him the ball last season. He runs a sub-4.4 40, and while his skills as a receiver are a work in progress, he can be used in a multitude of ways like Samuel.

 
13 of 20

Purdue WR Rondale Moore | Comp: Tavon Austin

Purdue WR Rondale Moore | Comp: Tavon Austin
Nikos Frazier / USA Today Sports Images

A comparison to Austin might seem like an insult considering the former first-round pick never reached expectations in his career, but Moore will likely be used similarly in the NFL. He's only 5-foot-7, so Moore looks destined for the slot, but he also runs a 4.3 and has great return skills.

 
14 of 20

Alabama WR Anthony Schwartz | Comp: Marquise Goodwin

Alabama WR Anthony Schwartz | Comp: Marquise Goodwin
John Reed / USA Today Sports Images

Schwartz is going to need time to develop his NFL game, but he's a former track sprinter with incredible speed. He could develop into quite a weapon with the right coaching and system.

 
15 of 20

Florida TE Kyle Pitts | Comp: Vernon Davis

Florida TE Kyle Pitts | Comp: Vernon Davis
Randy Sartin / USA Today Sports Images

Pitts might be the most impressive athlete at tight end to ever enter the NFL. Davis got similar accolades coming out of Maryland in 2005 and was the sixth overall pick by the 49ers. Pitts has a chance to be drafted even higher.

 
16 of 20

Oregon OT Penei Sewell | Comp: Willie Roaf

Oregon OT Penei Sewell | Comp: Willie Roaf
Troy Wayrynen / USA Today Sports Images

There are certainly years when Sewell's talent would make him the top overall draft choice. He's an enormous, mauling tackle with excellent athleticism and skills, and looks like a future Pro Bowler at the very least.

 
17 of 20

Alabama DT Christian Barmore | Comp: Ndamukong Suh

Alabama DT Christian Barmore | Comp: Ndamukong Suh
Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images

A huge defensive tackle who can also rush the passer, Barmore recorded eight sacks last season for Alabama. It's high praise to compare any defensive tackle to the accomplished Suh, but Barmore's size and pass-rushing skills could put him on that path.

 
18 of 20

Penn State LB Micah Parsons | Comp: Devin White

Penn State LB Micah Parsons | Comp: Devin White
Jesse Johnson / USA Today Sports Images

Parsons has both the production and sideline-to-sideline ability of an elite linebacker speedster like White. He's the fastest linebacker in a talented class, with sub-4.4 speed.

 
19 of 20

South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn | Comp: Denzel Ward

South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn | Comp: Denzel Ward
Dale Zanine / USA Today Sports Images

Horn's incredible speed with a 40 time near 4.4 could possibly make him the top cornerback drafted, similar to the great combine from Ward that shot him near the top of the 2018 draft. Like Ward, Horn also has enough length and the ability to be a plus cover corner.

 
20 of 20

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II | Comp: Jalen Ramsey

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II | Comp: Jalen Ramsey
Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Images

Surtain is a tall, long-press corner who looks like a future top talent at the cornerback position. He's a dream for any team that uses primarily press coverage, in much the same way Ramsey has been a shutdown corner for the Jaguars and Rams.

Seth Trachtman is a fantasy sports expert and diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan still hoping for a Super Bowl win during his lifetime. He doesn't often Tweet, but when he does, you can find him on Twitter @sethroto.

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