We are officially days away from the start of the 2021 NFL Draft. And while Nebraska doesn’t have any elite prospects that will be taken in the first couple of rounds, the conference does. Here is a look at the twenty best 2021 NFL Draft prospects from the Big Ten conference.
Top 20 Big Ten NFL Draft Prospects
1. Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
2. Justin Fields QB Ohio State
3. Greg Newsome CB Northwestern
4. Kwity Paye DE Michigan
5. Rondale Moore WR Purdue
Every year the Big Ten produces elite NFL Draft talent and this year is no different. The best in the conference is Rashawn Slater who is an elite offensive tackle that some experts have ranked higher than Penei Sewell. Right behind him is the much maligned Justin Fields who could easily be a number one overall pick in any other draft class. While he may not go in the top 20 picks, keep an eye on Greg Newsome who I feel could end up being the best cornerback in this draft class when it’s all said and done.
6. Micah Parsons LB Penn State
7. Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State
8. Daviyon Nixon DT Iowa
9. Wyatt Davis OG Ohio State
10. Ambry Thomas CB Michigan
For how good Micah Parsons has been in his short time with Penn State he is still developing as an off the ball linebacker. He has all the physical traits to be one of the best linebackers in the league but needs to grasp it mentally to reach that potential. In that same breath is Iowa defensive tackle Dayvion Nixon who can look dominant at times but then will disappear far too often. For a man his size he doesn’t play with much physicality, so finding the right fit will be key.
11. Baron Browning LB Ohio State
12. Josh Myers C Ohio State
13. Trey Sermon RB Ohio State
14. Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
15. Jason Oweh DE Penn State
After his sophomore year it looked like Rashod Bateman was going to be one of the top receivers in this draft class. But after opting out and then back in, Bateman didn’t have the junior season many thought he would have. Potential is the key word to describe Penn State defensive end Jason Oweh. Athletically there is no equal and despite not having a single sack in 2020 there is plenty of speculation that Oweh could be taken in the first round because of his freak athletic ability.
16. Nico Collins WR Michigan
17. Paddy Fisher LB Northwestern
18. Cole Van Lanen OT Wisconsin
19. Alaric Jackson OT Iowa
20. Brenden Jaimes OT Nebraska
At the bottom of the top 20 is where you’ll find the first of the five Huskers in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jaimes had a solid run at Nebraska at left tackle and then went to the Senior Bowl and had another solid performance. He’s not going to wow you with athletic talent but just tends to get the job done. Look for him to go somewhere in the middle of the draft.
Shaun Wade CB Ohio State
Before the 2020 season Wade was considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the draft. But after a disastrous season Wade now is considered to be a day three pick. Keep in mind that Wade switched from being inside to outside and had to make the transition without spring or much of fall camp because of the pandemic. Not to mention he was recovering from injury. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up having a strong NFL career.