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4th And Long

Fourth & Long: News & Notes From Around the College Football Landscape

Yes, college football officially ended it’s season on January 12th 2021, the day after Alabama dominated Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship 52-24. However, as everyone knows, college football really never sleeps.

This is about the time in the off-season where we learn who will be forgoing their senior or junior campaigns to enter the NFL Draft, and those who decide to stay and pursue a national championship. So far, 247Sports has a list of all players that have entered the 2021 NFL Draft officially, and can be found here. However, instead of going over all the players that declared, we will just look at some of the best prospects declaring and those players who will play another year at their respective university.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson: Lawrence had people confused in the middle of the season, when there were rumors going around that he would come back to Clemson so he didn’t have to play for the New York Jets, who had the number one pick at the time. However, Lawrence made the smart move and declared, and will be drafted first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, and I have him graded even higher than Lawrence. Going back to Clemson would have been a waste, no matter when he came out, Lawrence was going to be the number one pick. It’s easier to name the one thing Lawrence didn’t achieve while at Clemson, and that is the Heisman Trophy. He was a finalist only once, this year, and that in itself is surprising.

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: Fields officially declared for the draft yesterday, and posted the announcement on his social media platforms.

This came as no surprise. Fields has immense talent, but his draft stock took a bit of a tumble after an inconsistent 2020-2021 season. Fields will likely be drafted in the top 7, barring an injury.

Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State: Wyatt Davis was looked at as the top guard in the 2021 draft class. However, after injuring himself in the National Championship, he may have fallen behind USC interior lineman, Alijah Vera-Tucker. Davis will still be a first round pick, but he won’t go as high as he once thought.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida: Kyle Pitts also decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, and that is a smart move. Pitts is almost a lock to go in the top 15. He possesses a unique skill set. He can line up as a receiver, or put his hand in the dirt and block as a tight end. Pitts is too fast for linebackers to cover, and he’s too big for corners and most safeties. He presents a major match-up problem for opposing defenses.

Ja’Marr Chase, Penei Sewell, and Micah Parsons all skipped this past college football season to get ready for the NFL draft. All three of those players should go in the top 10 in this year’s draft.

In some surprising news out of Columbus, wide receiver Chris Olave and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett decided to return to Ohio State next year to compete for a national championship. The only question for the Buckeyes, is who will be throwing the ball to Olave? However, that’s for another time. The NFL Draft is only a couple of months away, and it will sneak up on your pretty fast. I will get more and more into the 2021 NFL Draft as it looms nearer. For now though, it’s time to just sit back and see who might be playing for your favorite NFL team next year!

Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE

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