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Oct. 08, 2020 - Michael Stewart

2021 NFL Draft: Top 3 Outside Linebackers, Corner Backs and Safeties at each position. in the

Introduction: This is article four of four featuring the best college prospects expecting to enter the 2021 NFL draft this year. In my final article we will focus on the outside linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties who I believe are the top prospects at their respected positions. Once again, this list could change as the season progresses and if so; I will revise my selections accordingly.  So let’s get right to it and see who my top 3 prospects are:

Outside Linebackers:

  • Micah Parsons (Penn State)-6’3/245: Parsons checks off all the boxes as arguably the most complete linebacker in this upcoming draft. Parsons was the highest graded linebacker in 2019 as a true sophomore and defends against the run and pass equally well. Parsons can also pass rush and this is where he separates himself from the rest of pack. He’s overall game will transcend well at the next level and Parsons has already been labeled as an elite prospect in the 2021 NFL draft.
  • Jabril Cox (LSU)-6’2/235: Cox is setting his sets higher this season transferring from North Dakota State to LSU and the best conference in college football (SEC). Cox is a sideline to sideline tackling machine with a combination of quickness, length and extreme athleticism. If Cox can excel against the best players in the country; his stock could rise and possibly hear his name called late in the 1st round. 
  • Charles Snowden (Virgina)-6’6/240: Snowden has steadily improved over the last two seasons and he is ready to take his game to the next level in 2020. Snowden’s long frame and arms enables him to keep offensive linemen from clapping down on him off the edge. Snowden has deceptive speed and often surprises his opponents and makes plays he normally wouldn’t make. A strong performance in 2020 would certainly improve his draft stock and possibly get the call somewhere in the 2nd round.

Cornerbacks:

  • Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)-6’2/207: Farley’s rare combination of size, speed and production is un-match at the cornerback position. Farley received a 90.3 coverage grade and was equally effective in pass coverage and run support. Farley is already projected to go in the 1st round, however; with an outstanding season in 2020, he could go in the top 15. 
  • Patrick Surtain (Alabama)-6’2/203: Surtain leaps over Wade mainly because Wade will be moving to the outside from the slot. Surtain is a shut-down cornerback as he allowed only 681 yards on 986 coverage snaps over the last two seasons.
  • Shaun Wade (Ohio State)-6’1/195: Wade played the slot in 2019 and is being asked to go on the outside in 2020. Despite this I still have him in my top 3 as I believe Wade has the size, speed and intangibles to succeed as an outside cornerback. If so, Wade’s draft stock will rise and he should be a 1st round selection.  

Safeties:

  • Jevon Holland (Oregon)-6’1/200: Holland is natural playmaker and has excellent instincts. Holland has a nose for the football and combined that with his physical play; makes him my top safety at this point in the 2021 NFL draft.
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen (Florida State)-6’4/212: Nasirildeen is a monster at the safety position with his size and physical demeanor. Nasirildeen had an 81.8 run-defense grade and an 81.6 coverage grade in 2019 and is looking to improve in both of those categories in 2020.
  • Ar’Darius Washington (TCU)-5’8/179: Washington doesn’t have the stereotype size you look for in an NFL safety, however; he packs a punch with his aggressive style of play and his ball hawk mentality. Washington could fall in the draft based on his size alone even if he has a solid season in 2020. For the team that does select, they will be getting an excellent football player.

Final Thoughts: Well this concludes my 1st edition of the best of the best college prospects at each position for the 2021 NFL draft. I’ll re-visit my picks sometime before the bowl games to give you an undated version of my top 3 college prospects at each position.