The NFL revealed the list of the first 10 players who’ve accepted their invitation to attend the 2021 NFL draft in person on April 29 in Cleveland. Here’s the complete group:
- Alabama DT Christian Barmore
- LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
- Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
- Alabama QB Mac Jones
- North Dakota State QB Trey Lance
- Penn State LB Micah Parsons
- Florida TE Kyle Pitts
- Alabama WR DeVonta Smith
- Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II
- Miami DE Gregory Rousseau
The most surprising name on this list is Barmore, who many analysts in draft media currently have as a second-round pick (at best.).
Barmore currently ranks just outside our top-50 prospects and has a solid second-round grade, which you can read about here.
The 2021 NFL draft is unlike any we’ve witnessed in a very long time, if ever. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to cancel the NFL Combine, and as a result, there’s less information available about the prospects in this year’s class (and fewer nuggets of information that draft insiders have been able to gather).
Barmore is a great example of how the narrative being presented by draft media may end up being way off come draft weekend. The league clearly values Barmore as a first-rounder, barring an unforeseen slide, because of his invitation to the event.
The NFL isn’t trying to embarrass prospects by having them sit and wait in the dreaded green room until Day 2. Sure, it happens sometimes, but that’s not the NFL’s goal. Instead, the league wants the top prospects to walk across the stage and fist-bump with commissioner Roger Goodell.
At this point, it feels safe to move Barmore into the end of your first-round mock drafts.