Loading... Please wait...

John Dewan's Stat of the Week

2021 NFL Draft Preview

Posted by

By Mark Simon, Nathan Cooper, and John Todd

It’s a little more than two months to the NFL Draft, which takes place April 29, 30, and May 1 in Cleveland, and Sports Info Solutions is well-equipped to provide comprehensive analysis. We’ll share a sliver of it to give some information on the top players available.

This season, SIS Video Scouts combined to chart each FBS game a minimum of four times to track specifics such as formation, personnel, route type, and type of run. The compiled information was supplemented with observations of skills and other critical factors so that players could be evaluated at each position.

Video Scouts watched and then tabbed Draft-eligible players with final grades that correspond to their role-based projection by their second season, while also grading them on a 1-to-9 scale both in positional and critical factors.

If a player’s final grade is 6.7 or higher, he is generally a strong starting-level NFL player by Year 2. If a player is graded 7.0 or higher, he is thought to be an immediate Pro Bowl-caliber performer. Each scouting report is written by a Video Scout and cross-checked by other scouts.

Seven players graded at least a 7.0 in this year's rankings. Six other players just missed that rating, earning a 6.9. Here's a list of those who graded 6.9 or higher.

Top Graded Players by SIS - 2020 NFL Draft

Name Team Position Grade
Trevor Lawrence Clemson QB 7.2
Penei Sewell Oregon T 7.2
Jaylen Waddle Alabama WR 7.1
Kyle Pitts Florida TE 7.1
Najee Harris Alabama RB 7.0
Ja'Marr Chase LSU WR 7.0
Patrick Surtain II Alabama CB 7.0
Justin Fields Ohio State QB 6.9
Zach Wilson BYU QB 6.9
Javonte Williams North Carolina RB 6.9
DeVonta Smith Alabama WR 6.9
Rashawn Slater Northwestern T 6.9
Trevon Moehrig TCU S 6.9

The highest grades went to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Oregon tackle Penei Sewell. Each received a 7.2.

“Lawrence has the potential to be a transcendent quarterback and leader with his exceptional combination of accuracy and arm strength,” wrote Jordan Edwards in his scouting report.

Of note from a statistical perspective, Lawrence and Alabama’s Mac Jones had the highest on-target percentages of any Draft-eligible quarterbacks, 85%. On-target percentage is defined as the percentage of throws that did not require the receiver to unnecessarily adjust.

Sewell opted out of the 2020 season but had previously established himself as a dominant player.

John Todd’s scouting report reads “Sewell will immediately upgrade an NFL team’s running game with his strength and fundamentals at all levels, and with minor upper-body refinements as a pass protector will be a more than reliable blind-side protector for years to come.”

The only defensive player to grade a 7.0 or higher was Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Surtain was a First-Team All-American in 2020. He’s the son of 11-year NFL veteran Patrick Surtain, who was a three-time All-Pro selection.

“Surtain has ideal size, coverage ability, and football intelligence to be one of the top cornerbacks in the league for years to come,” wrote Edwards.

These grades and stats can be found in The 2021 SIS Football Rookie Handbook, which is available for purchase now. More than 300 players are evaluated by the SIS scouting staff. To learn more about the book, check out the ACTA Sports website.

Still Some Good Outfield Defense Available

By MARK SIMONThe premier MLB free agents have all signed, but as we get ready to follow spring training, you might notice that you could make a pretty good defensive outfield from a few of the players that are still available.That would start in left field with longtime Yankee Brett Gardner, who was expected to [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: The Key Guys in Stopping Mahomes & Brady

By MARK SIMONPatrick Mahomes and Tom Brady figure to be throwing the ball all over the field in the Super Bowl on Sunday.But what should we know about the players who are trying to stop them?Let’s start with perhaps the most important defender to watch for the Buccaneers, cornerback Carlton Davis.Davis got burned for 10 [...]

Read More »

What Makes Nolan Arenado A Great Defender?

By MARK SIMON If you’re reading this, chances are you know that new Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is a great defensive player. He’s won four Fielding Bible Awards and eight NL Gold Glove Awards at the hot corner. Even in 2020, when Arenado’s offensive numbers were a shell of what they’ve typically been, his defensive [...]

Read More »

The 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot

By MARK SIMON With no one elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021, we can now look ahead to the 2022 voting class. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling all enter their 10th and final year on the Hall of Fame ballot (though Schilling has asked to be taken off the ballot). Whether any [...]

Read More »

A Bears Fan's Sad Lament

By JOHN DEWAN As the Buccaneers and Chiefs head to the Super Bowl, as a lifelong Bears fan, I can [...]

Read More »

In Memoriam: Hank Aaron

By MARK SIMON Hank Aaron, one of the greatest legends that baseball has ever had, died today at age 86. But what a legacy he leaves behind. Aaron’s baseball career is defined by length and excellence. He played 23 seasons from 1954 to 1976 (21 with the Braves) and was selected to an All-Star team in 21 [...]

Read More »

Conference Championships Feature Top Offenses in NFL

By MARK SIMONThe NFL Conference Championship Games will feature the best-of-the-best in one regard.The top four teams in Points Earned are the four participants in the title games—the Packers, the Chiefs, the Bills, and the Buccaneers. It’s the first time in the five years in which SIS has calculated Total Points Earned that the top [...]

Read More »

Stat of the Week: White Sox Bolster Their Pitching Staff

By MARK SIMONThe 2020 White Sox snapped a streak of seven straight losing seasons by making the playoffs, where they lost to the Athletics in the Wild Card Round.While the Hot Stove has been largely cool this winter, the White Sox have made an aggressive push to better their 2020 showing. In addition to a [...]

Read More »

College Football National Championship Preview

By BRYCE ROSSLERThe opponents in next Monday's National Championship Game, Ohio State and Alabama, squared off in the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinals in 2014. These teams are still powerhouses, but a lot has changed since then.Baseball Info Solutions became Sports Info Solutions and we began charting football and now basketball.Urban Meyer retired (although rumor [...]

Read More »

Sign up to our newsletter

Recent Updates