2021 NFL Draft: 4 players unaffected by Big Ten postponing the season

2021 NFL Draft prospect Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Justin Fields, 2021 NFL Draft
Justin Fields, 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Five players whose 2021 NFL Draft stock is unaffected by the Big Ten postponing the season.

It’s tough news for the college football and 2021 NFL Draft landscape today, as it’s been reported that the Big Ten conference has decided to postpone football in the fall, and look to potentially play in the spring of 2021. Bruce Feldman was on the news first.

This is a tough decision but ultimately what the Big Ten presidents felt would be safest for the student-athletes. It’s rough that seniors might not get a chance to play in their final season, and that many 2021 NFL Draft prospects will likely opt out of the opportunity to play in the spring unless the draft and 2021 NFL season are pushed back (it’s tough to imagine players playing nearly 30 games in a nine-month span).

This will drastically change the NFL Draft process, as evaluators will now have to work off of 2019 and do a whole lot more projecting. The Combine may end up being much more crucial than in previous seasons to determine who ends up going earlier in April. The 2021 NFL Draft may end up separating the elite scouting departments from the average ones.

A postponement also removes the possibility of watching prospects rise up boards with a strong final year. We won’t see a rise of the Joe Burrow or Quinnen Williams scale, at least from the Big Ten conference.

Some prospects, however, really don’t need that last year of tape to cement themselves as top players in the draft class. Let’s take a look at four players who, in this writer’s opinion, don’t need to play for them to go high in the 2021 NFL Draft next April.

Note: Because they already opted out, Rashod Bateman, Micah Parsons, and Rondale Moore weren’t counted for this exercise.