Although it looked nothing like was initially planned, the 2020 NFL Draft was, by and large, a success for the league, their broadcast partners (and their fundraising efforts), the fans, and course, for the players who were selected. And while everyone continues to assess and break down each team's draft class, some of the attention has already shifted to next year's draft.
Not only are many looking forward to a draft that will look and feel more like what we used to, but it's also never too early to think about the players that may headline next April's event, which is scheduled to take place in Cleveland. The SEC, and in particular defending national champion LSU, certainly made its presence known in this year's draft with a record 63 players selected another team from the conference could dominate the proceedings in 2020.
Alabama leads Athlon Sports' list of the top 50 prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft with seven players, accounting for nearly half of the SEC's total of 17. Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State are next with four each. Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence tops the list followed by Buckeyes counterpart Justin Fields, the only returning Heisman Trophy finalist from this past season. But remember, all of this is subject to change.
Consider that more than half (19) of this year's 32 first-round picks were not on last year's list, a group that includes No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow and two others that went in top 10 — Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. That doesn't mean you can't start somewhere though, right?
Early Top 50 Prospects for 2021 NFL Draft
Patrick Surtain II
Hamilcar Rashed Jr.
Amon-Ra St. Brown