It’s no secret that quarterbacks were the big story of the 2021 NFL Draft. Once Trevor Lawrence stepped onto the scene in 2018 and led Clemson to a National Championship as a freshman, fans and experts alike have been touting this draft as potentially league-changing. Take into account the other four QBs taken in the first 15 picks and it’s easy to see why.
While the signal callers understandably got all the attention, this draft was loaded with skill position players and difference makers on both sides of the ball. Obviously Lawrence will be the biggest chase when 2021 NFL products hit the shelves, but today I’m going to look at five NON-quarterbacks that I can’t wait to collect.
Falcons TE Kyle Pitts (Round 1, Pick 4)
New Falcons GM Terry Fontenot and his staff must still be elated that Pitts fell in their laps at 4. In almost any other year Pitts is a guaranteed top 3 pick, and could even be in the conversation for 1st overall if there wasn’t a surefire franchise QB on the board.
The Florida TE is a physical freak, and could be the most NFL ready player taken in last week’s draft. The word “unicorn” has been tossed around to describe Pitts’ combination of size and speed, which will make him a perfect compliment to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in Atlanta’s offense. Pitts is gonna put up NUMBERS, and is easily my #1 non-quarterback to collect this season.
Eagles WR DeVonta Smith (Round 1, Pick 10)
Did you watch the National Championship this year? Yeah, that’s about the only rationale I need for putting DeVonta Smith on this list.
Seriously though, Smith’s insane 3 TD effort against Ohio State only scratches the surface of how good he can be. The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner has the skill set to be a legitimate superstar wide receiver, and he couldn’t have landed in a better situation. Reuniting with Jalen Hurts in a Doug Pederson offense is reason enough to expect big things from Smith. Throw in the popularity of the Eagles and Smith already being well-known from his college career, and I expect his cards to have massive value.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons (Round 1, Pick 12)
Defensive players aren’t always the best cards to chase, but I’ll make an exception for the future defensive leader of America’s team. Whether you like it or not the Cowboys are regularly in the spotlight, and a star interior LB is the type of player that will shine in primetime games.
Watch some tape of Parsons during his Penn State career and you’ll realize he’s just that. I foresee him making an immediate impact right away, and I think he’ll be one of the best linebackers in the game sooner than later. Plus, he’s keeping his #11 jersey in the NFL which is just so cool.
Jaguars RB Travis Etienne (Round 1, Pick 25)
While everybody is rightfully the most excited about the other Clemson Tiger drafted by Jacksonville, the Jaguars also happened to snag my #1 RB in the 2021 class. The Travis Etienne/Trevor Lawrence reunion makes for a great story, but it’ll make for an even better offense.
The main concern with Etienne is that he’ll be splitting time with James Robinson, which had many questioning the Jaguars taking another RB in the 1st round. While Robinson had a great year last year I believe Etienne has the talent to be a true bell cow running back, and his rookie year may be the best time to stock up on his cards before he and Lawrence are running rampant on the AFC South.
Cardinals WR Rondale Moore (Round 2, Pick 17)
The last spot on this list was a toss-up between receivers named Moore. The Jets 2nd round pick Elijah Moore from Ole Miss is a very interesting name to watch as he joins rookie QB Zach Wilson in the country’s biggest market. However, former Purdue WR Rondale Moore was one of my favorite players in all of college football to watch, and the situation he got drafted into is just too perfect.
If there’s one thing the Cardinals do well it’s pass the ball, so Moore will have plenty of opportunities. This guy spent the last couple years torching some of the best defenses in the Big Ten, and his unbelievable 4.29 40 time backs that up. You guys want a hot take to end this blog post? Rondale Moore will be to Kyler Murray what Tyreek Hill is to Patrick Mahomes. Book it.