Finalized Offensive Rankings

With the Free Agency frenzy behind us, we have a clearer picture when it comes to how teams may approach the draft. 38 days until the best 3 days of the NFL offseason. Before I go into 2022 scouting mode, it’s time to reveal my finalized rankings for the 2021 NFL Draft. Yes I hate your favorite school/player. No I haven’t watched as many players as I would like, or enough film to grade them. I will update my rankings between now and the draft, but that won’t affect my grades on the players listed below. Tell me why I’m wrong on Twitter (@HindenburgScout) or drop a comment below. First up- offense. Let’s dive in!

QUARTERBACKS

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 12: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
  1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson- QB1. #1 overall on my big board and the highest grade I have ever given a prospect. A true blue chip caliber prospect who has the chance to carve his name into history if he is able to transform the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  2. Justin Fields, Ohio State- This is me trusting my eyes and my process despite what I am hearing from multiple people I have tremendous respect for. Fields earned a top 5 grade from me and would be QB1 in most classes.
  3. Zach Wilson, BYU- Wilson earned a top 20 spot on my Big Board and a solid first round grade. His ability to create outside of structure and throw off platform is incredible. Health and consistency are two bigger question marks, but the talent is clear and obvious.
  4. Trey Lance, NDSU- I’m not on the Trey Lance hype train, but I love his talent and upside. His athleticism is off the charts and he has more than a requisite arm. Lance earned a mid day 2 grade from me and finished just inside my top 50 overall players.
  5. Mac Jones, Alabama- Mac Jones is considerably better than given credit for by some, but his athletic limitations combined with a subpar arm by NFL standards mean there is a limited ceiling. His accuracy and poise are two things that cannot be taught and will make him a starter on Sundays, I’m just not sure how far he can take a team. He earned a mid day 2 grade as well, and Lance’s ceiling pushes Jones to this spot.
  6. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M- Mond will always be remembered for me as a frustrating eval. The athleticism, arm talent and stretches of high level play are equal with boneheaded decisions, inconsistent accuracy and disappointment. As far as upside projects go, he fits the bill as a prospect who could develop and be a tremendous steal. Mond earned a late day 2 grade.
  7. Davis Mills, Stanford- Mills was someone I wasn’t anticipating declaring for the draft to be quite honest. After playing catch up on his football journey and limited film, I came away impressed. If he stays healthy and is given time to develop he has legitimate starter traits. He earned a late day 2 grade.
  8. Sam Ehlinger, Texas- I’m not sure Ehlinger will ever develop into a functional starter, but he is athletic and impressed me enough in Mobile to dive deeper into his film. He’s going to appeal to certain teams much more than others, but I’m confident he can be a respected back up and spot starting him wouldn’t be a disaster once he’s coached up. Ehlinger earned an early day 3 grade.
  9. Jamie Newman, Wake Forest/Georgia- Newman has athletic upside and a very impressive arm, but at this stage not much more to be confident in. He had a subpar showing at the Senior Bowl after opting out of the 2020 collegiate season. He has enough potential to be drafted and likely will, but he is a BIG project and I wouldn’t be surprised if he spent several seasons at the practice squad level if he doesn’t improve quickly. Newman earned a mid to late day 3 grade.
  10. Kyle Trask, Florida- I wanted to like Trask more than I did. His story is as unique as they come and he had a Heisman worthy season at Florida. Simply put, his lack of arm talent, athleticism and ability to improvise and create outside of structure makes it very hard for me to see more than a mid to low level QB2 after development. Genuinely hope to be proven wrong. Trask earned a late day 3 grade.
  11. Felipe Franks, Arkansas- Franks is an athletic specimen who just happened to throw hard. A true position change candidate, I do believe a team will at least see what they are working with at quarterback first. A Joe Webb or Logan Thomas career arc seem to be the two best outcomes. Franks graded out as a priority UDFA.
  12. Ian Book, Notre Dame- Book’s size combined with his arm talent/accuracy would have him off my board entirely. While he had his moments at Notre Dame, he graded out as a UDFA for me.

These are the 12 I gave the necessary time to grade completely. If there is a QB prospect you want me to watch between now and the Draft, let me know, and I will happily check him out!

RUNNING BACKS

  1. Travis Etienne, Clemson- Etienne has held this spot since the day he announced he was returning to Clemson for his senior season, and it hasn’t changed. Speed, contact balance, pass game, he is a 3 down back with game changing ability every time he touches the ball. Etienne earned a high second round grade.
  2. Najee Harris, Alabama- Harris is one of the better pure running backs I can recall scouting. 10 years ago he would have been a top 10 pick, but the game has changed. He will have a harder time gaining yards consistently without a stellar offensive line creating the room he had in Tuscaloosa. Harris earned a mid to late second round grade.
  3. Javonte Williams, North Carolina- Some team is going to get a bona fide star in Williams. The gap between the top 3 backs in this class are razor thin. Williams earned a mid day 2 grade.
  4. Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis- A bigger projection than some other names, but a very good football player regardless. Gainwell earned a mid day 2 grade.
  5. Trey Sermon, Ohio State- Sermon played exceptionally well for the Buckeyes in spurts and I believe his best football is yet to come. Should have some really solid years in an NFL backfield. Sermon earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  6. Michael Carter, North Carolina- Carter was one of the stars in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He played second fiddle to Javonte Williams, but a damn good one. He brings a super versatile skill set to any NFL team capable of being leaned on as the main guy, but would be best served as a change of pace and third down option. Carter earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  7. Demetric Felton**, UCLA- I think Felton will, and should play receiver at the next level. But, technically he’s listed as a back. Felton doesn’t offer much in terms of running between the tackles, but is shifty and dangerous in space. Felton earned a late day 2 grade.
  8. Kylin Hill, Miss St- Hill is a solid back without many weaknesses or calling cards to his game. He’ll find a niche in a committee backfield. Hill earned an early day 3 grade.
  9. Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech- Herbert’s value comes in the passing game and on special teams. Threats to make big plays outweighs two down backs for me, so here we are. Herbert earned an early day 3 grade.
  10. Javian Hawkins, Louisville- I wish Hawkins was just a bit stronger through contact. He’s a bit scheme dependent but can be a contributor. Hawkins earned an early to mid day 3 grade.
  11. Chubba Hubbard, Oklahoma St- Hubbard was a difficult evaluation for me, but I expect him to be a change of pace two down back primarily on Sundays. Hubbard earned a mid day 3 grade.
  12. Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma– I view Stevenson similarly to Hubbard, with his greatest asset probably being short yardage and goal line situations. I will be curious to see if a team drafts him with the intention of getting him some snaps in an HBack/Fullback role in a hybrid backfield. I would. Stevenson earned a mid to late day 3 grade.
  13. Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana- I just wasn’t overly impressed with Mitchell, but he can contribute in a limited role. Mitchell earned a late day 3 grade.
  14. Ben Mason, Michigan- FOR. THE. BRAND. Yes, he’s a fullback. But he’s one of my favorite players in the draft. His week in Mobile was phenomenal, and served pancakes to defensive lineman and made a few one handed catches too. His film is great. I expect him to be plenty athletic too. Some team is going to take full advantage of this player, who is a perfect example of why the position will never go fully extinct. Mason earned a late day 3 grade.
  15. Master Teague, Ohio State- If Teague wants to have a prolonged career, he should become as versatile as possible and play an HBack/Fullback type role. Teague graded out as a priority UDFA,

TIGHT ENDS

  1. Kyle Pitts, Florida- Pitts is a top 5 player for me overall and a true blue chip prospect. He is going to be nightmare for defensive coordinators to try and handle for the next decade or so.
  2. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State- A top 20 player for me and first round grade, Baby Gronk has somehow become underrated. He’s got perennial All Pro written all over him.
  3. Hunter Long, Boston College- Long is just a blue collar football player made for the position. Soft hands, nimble feet, good spatial awareness and a real asset in the blocking game. Long earned an early to mid day 2 grade.
  4. Brevin Jordan, Miami- Jordan is a player who just didn’t make the impact consistently given how talented he is. Blocking is still a work in progress too. Consistency is a real question mark but he earned a mid day 2 grade.
  5. Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss- Yeboah is a big target with reliable hands. Should be a red zone threat right away. He’s not as athletic as I’d like from a vertical threat, but he’s going to be a solid pro. Yeboah graded out as a late day 2 to early day 3 prospect.
  6. Tre’ McKitty, Georgia- McKitty should be a serviceable TE2 in most offenses. Good, but not spectacular at anything. McKitty graded out late day 2 to early day 3.
  7. Quintin Morris, Bowling Green- A player not on enough radars yet, Morris graded out as an early day 3 prospect.
  8. Matt Bushman, BYU- Another player who I was surprised to see join the class, he has legitimate upside. Bushman graded out as an early day 3 prospect.
  9. Noah Gray, Duke- Gray probably won’t develop much past a serviceable TE2, but he graded out as a mid day 3 guy.
  10. Zach Davidson, Central Missouri- A bonafide punter too, Davidson is a large athletic human being. His hands aren’t the most consistent yet, but he has the traits to bloom into a TE1. He’s a project and low on this list because his success would be an outlier, but one of my favorites in the class. Davidson graded out as a mid day 3 prospect.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

  1. Penei Sewell, Oregon- Sewell isn’t the generational tackle prospect some bill him to be, but he’s a top ten player in this class and a damn good prospect.
  2. Alex Leatherwood, Alabama- It’s getting lonely on this island. Leatherwood is a mauler with prototypical size and length. His feet are better than advertised, and good coaching should help some of the issues he has with speed rushers. He’s a top 20 player and easy first round grade.
  3. Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech- Darrisaw is a phenomenal prospect capable of starting at left or right tackle as a rookie. He earned a first round grade.
  4. Samuel Cosmi, Texas- Cosmi was the best player on the field for the Longhorns and a first round caliber tackle prospect.
  5. Dillon Radunz, NDSU- Radunz answered plenty of questions in Mobile, showing that the competition level wasn’t an adjustment period. He also played very well, and looked plenty strong, lined up at guard. He can start inside or out, but I prefer this late first rounder at tackle.
  6. Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma St.- Jenkins is a solid plug and play RT for plenty of teams. He earned an early day 2 grade.
  7. Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame- A player of Eichenberg’s caliber being this low is a testament to the depth and talent in this tackle class, as it wouldn’t shock me to see him start week one. He’s technically refined and plenty strong, with room to grow on an NFL roster. Eichenberg earned am early to mid day 2 grade.
  8. Jalen Mayfield, Michigan- Mayfield can play either side of the line and do it well. He is a bit rougher around the edges as a prospect but has one of the higher ceilings in this class. Mayfield earned a mid day 2 grade.
  9. D’Ante Smith, Eastern Carolina- Easily the biggest surprise of Senior Bowl week for me. Played like he absolutely belonged and then some. His length and overall physical profile is enticing. I wish his tape was as consistent as his week in Mobile, but I absolutely believe he’ll develop into a quality starter. Smith earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  10. Spencer Brown, UNI- The sky is the limit for Brown, it really is. Absolutely monstrous size and length. Play is inconsistent and technique needs a ton of refinement. He’s pure projection and likely ends up a better player than many above him if he has a quality position coach and is given time to work through his mistakes. Brown earned a late day 2 grade.

INTERIOR LINEMAN

  1. Trey Smith, Tennessee- This is another island I’ll plant my flag on. If Smith’s medicals stay clean, I believe he’ll be a perennial All Pro. His best tape is down right dominant, man amongst boys dominant. And most of the rest is pretty damn good too. Top 10 player ignoring positional value.
  2. Rashawn Slater, Northwestern- I believe Slater will have to kick inside to maximize his potential and be the best player he can be. I think he can be a good tackle, but a true star inside. Easy first round talent.
  3. Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma- I’m too lazy and ready to be done typing to separate centers from guards, but Humphrey is the clear cut best center in the draft. He’ll be the anchor of an offensive line for the next decade. Fringe first rounder/very early second round prospect,
  4. Wyatt Davis, Ohio State- Davis is day one starter for all 32 NFL teams. Very high second round grade.
  5. Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC- I think even AVT is expecting to kick inside immediately at the next level, but his overall athleticism means he should be just fine when he does. AVT earned an early to mid day 2 grade.
  6. Landon Dickerson, Alabama- I can’t recall scouting another offensive lineman to take meaningful reps at all 5 positions across the line, and do it at the level he did. He can provide the same versatility to NFL teams, though ideally suited to the interior. Everyone hopes he can stay healthy long term. Dickerson earned a mid day 2 grade.
  7. Aaron Banks, Notre Dame- Another well coached Notre Dame offensive lineman. Banks has serious strength and earned a mid day 2 grade.
  8. David Moore, Grambling State- Moore has flown under the radar thus far in most circles, but he is a very good football player. He earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  9. Josh Myers, Ohio State- Likely a plug and play center. Myers earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  10. Quinn Meinerz, WW- The best story of the 2021 NFL Draft, Meinerz may not start day one, but he will start and be a reliable center for years to come. He earned a late day 2 grade.
  11. Ben Cleveland, Georgia- A testament to the incredible depth of this entire offensive line class to have Cleveland this low. A mauler with some stiffness and awkward in space. Cleveland can absolutely be groomed into a reliable starter and earned a late day 2/early day 3 grade.
  12. Deonte Brown, Alabama- I’m really not sure what to make of Brown. I think he needs to lose considerable weight and be much more agile to be the kind of player he could be. Smart and strong, the physicality is off the charts but the concerns are real. Brown earned a mid day 3 grade.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  1. Rashad Bateman, Minnesota- Yep. Read the scouting report when it drops. Blue chip wideout.
  2. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama- The better Alabama receiver prospect has the rare ability to completely take over and change the complexion of the entire game. An easy top 10 player.
  3. Ja’Marr Chase, LSU- Chase has real flaws to his game, and will have to improve a few aspects of his game to develop into the true #1 guy he can be. That said, he’s still incredibly good and an easy first round talent.
  4. DeVonta Smith, Alabama- Heisman Trophy winner with the coolest nickname in the draft, the Slim Reaper is going to find his niche and be good. First round talent. But don’t tell me the concerns are unwarranted when it comes to size and straight line speed.
  5. Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU- Marshall was one of the brightest spots in a tough year for LSU. Incredible athlete and game breaking ability. Consistency and route running concerns earn him an early day 2 grade.
  6. Rondale Moore, Purdue- Insanely athletic and dangerous with the ball in his hands, Moore is one of the best pure playmakers in the draft. He will have a limited route tree and need some designed touches early in his career. Moore earned an early day 2 grade.
  7. Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville- Fitzpatrick is going to be a steal. Was too low on him earlier in the cycle, and has become one of my favorite players. Fitzpatrick earned an early to mid day 2 grade.
  8. Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma St.- Wallace is silky smooth and will be a starting slot early in his career. Plays much bigger than he is.
  9. D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan- Small school player not getting enough love. The defensive backs in Mobile didn’t have an answer for him. Plenty of NFL corners won’t either. Eskridge earned a mid day 2 grade.
  10. Amari Rodgers, Clemson- Solid all around player who was Trevor Lawrence’s favorite target. Earned a mid day 2 grade.
  11. Kadarius Toney, Florida- Toney is a human joystick and will be dangerous with the ball in his hands. Does have inconsistent hands and will have a limited route tree. The thought here is that he develops into more than the gadget player he will be as a rookie. Toney earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  12. Shi Smith, South Carolina- Smith is a player I like considerably more than my grading skill did. Very little difference between Smith and Toney, and Smith may end up the better pro. Smith earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  13. Josh Palmer, Tennessee- Palmer was a victim of some of the worst quarterback play in the SEC and Power 5 in general and is an easy bet to be a better pro than he was collegiate football player. Phenomenal when the ball is in the air. Palmer earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  14. Tamorrion Terry, FSU- I can’t believe he’s this low, but given the season Terry endured at FSU with the injury and leaving the program it’s not possible to justify a higher grade. Has elite traits and questionable hands. Biggest boom or bust in this receiver class. Terry earned a mid to late day 2 grade.
  15. Frank Darby, Arizona St.- Darby is another player I like considerably more than my grading scale does. A very chirpy player on the field with inconsistent routes and hands. Darby earned a late day 2 grade.

One thought on “Finalized Offensive Rankings

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