Trevor Lawrence, Ja'Marr Chase Top Todd McShay's Early 2021 NFL Draft Rankings

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrates after scoring during the first half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against LSU Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase are the two best prospects in the 2021 NFL draft class, according to ESPN's Todd McShay

The draft expert released his early 2021 rankings Wednesday, with the pair of projected future Pro Bowlers leading the way. Lawrence has been seen as a future No. 1 overall pick since his freshman year at Clemson, while Chase burst onto the scene in 2019 as perhaps the most dynamic wideout in college football.

Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance round out the top five.

Lawrence, Chase, Sewell and Fields have all long been expected to be atop most draft boards, but Lance is a name that will open the eyes of some casual fans. Lance threw for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns without an interception and added 1,100 yards and 14 scores on the ground during his redshirt freshman season, leading North Dakota State to a national championship. He is the first freshman to ever win the Walter Payton Award.

"When you watch this kid play, with his legs, with his arm, you talk about flawless," ESPN's Mel Kiper said of Lance. "... This will be his second year as a starter and with that kind of talent [at NDSU], he's going to move way up. And this program, obviously, is dominant at that level and we've seen what a quarterback named Carson Wentz has been able to do."

The Eagles quarterback also attended North Dakota State and was the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. 

It's possible that Lawrence, Fields and Lance will be better than the trio of Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, who all went in the top six of April's draft. It's hard to imagine them having better collegiate seasons—particularly in regard to Burrow—but the 2021 trio has fewer noticeable flaws in their games from a pro perspective.

Provided there is a 2020 college football season, jostling in the quarterback rankings may be the biggest thing to watch.