Mel Kiper Jr. names 4 B1G players in first full 2021 NFL mock draft
ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his first 2021 mock draft earlier this week.
Four former Big Ten stars made the cut, led by ex-Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Here’s the full list of former Big Ten stars to make the mock:
- No. 7 (Detroit Lions): Ohio State QB Justin Fields
- No. 9 (Denver Broncos): Penn State LB Micah Parsons
- No. 10 (Dallas Cowboys): Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater
- No. 21 (Indianapolis Colts): Michigan DT Kwity Paye
Parsons and Slater have long been pegged as future first round picks. Both players decided to opt out of the 2020 season rather than risk COVID-19 exposure, but that decision appears to have not damaged their draft stock.
Fields, of course, played the whole season and led the Buckeyes all the way to the National Championship Game. He was inconsistent at times, but flashed franchise QB potential on multiple occasions, including vs. Clemson in the semifinals.
Paye had an excellent senior year for the Wolverines, but he’s been excelling throughout the pre-draft process because of his athleticism. Here’s a clip of him running the 3-cone drill:
Kwity Paye's LEGENDARY three-cone drill pic.twitter.com/PwM260bcpt
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) January 21, 2021
Overall, four players would be a surprising outcome for the Big Ten. There are several other possible candidates who could end up in the first round, including Ohio State DB Shaun Wade, Iowa DL Daviyon Nixon, Ohio State OL Wyatt Davis and Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman.
The NFL draft is scheduled for April 29-May 1.