The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman published his first mock draft of the 2021 NFL Draft season, and there’s a lot to unpack from it. His picks included quotes from sources ranging from college coaches to NFL contacts, adding context to each selection and providing a deeper look into what some of the game’s influencers think about the prospects.
One quote immediately jumped out to me. It was about Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, who Feldman sends to the Lions at No. 7 overall.
“He is no doubt NFL-ready today, and he has only played linebacker for two years,” Feldman’s unnamed source said. “He hasn’t even scratched the surface yet of what he will be. A future Hall of Famer in my opinion. He’s one of the most competitive people that I’ve ever been around. He always shines in the biggest moments.”
A future Hall of Famer? That’s saying something. In fact, if that’s the general opinion of Parsons heading into draft weekend, he’ll come off the board a lot sooner than most mock drafts are indicating right now.
Parsons opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 but began the year as one of the 10 best prospects in the country. He finished 2019 with 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and five sacks.
I currently have Parsons ranked as the fourth-best player in the class (PFD’s Big Board will be published later this month), so this isn’t all that surprising to me. I’d pump the brakes just a bit before calling any player a future Hall of Famer, but I understand the point. Parsons is a stud and is the best defensive prospect in the 2021 class, assuming his off-field issues check out.