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Top 2021 Draft Prospects: ACC

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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BJ Bennett's top ten 2021 NFL Draft prospects out of the ACC.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

For years now, Lawrence has been the projected top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He signed with the Tigers with the highest of expectations and, somehow, has exceed them. Lawrence has already won a national championship, has played in two, is 25-1 as a starter at Clemson and has a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 66 to 12. . At 6'6'', 220 pounds, with impressive mobility and leadership skills, Lawrence is, in every way, the prototype. Plenty of "Tank for Trevor" talk has already started regarding multiple professional teams.

2. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

All Rousseau did as a redshirt freshman was record a downright astonishing 15.5 sacks, just one fewer than recent number two overall NFL Draft pick Chase Young out of Ohio State, which tied a single-season Hurricanes' record. Built like a basketball player at 6'6'', 251 pounds, Rousseau has the potential to be one of the most sought-after pass-rushers in years. Scary thought is, he is still actually still improving. After an All-American freshman debut, all eyes are on Rousseau moving forward.   

3. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

At 6'5'', 311 pounds with a great first step and top-tier athleticism, Wilson is everything you look for in a modern-day front line anchor. He, even missing a month due to injury, could have been a first round pick this year but opted for another season with the Seminoles. Even in a star-studden 2021 draft class, Wilson very well could end up being a top ten selection. Part of what sets him apart as an interior defensive lineman is his quickness and consistent ability to make plays in the offensive backfield.

4. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Three remarkable years in with, surprisingly, one more to go, Etienne is already the greatest running back in ACC history. He already has 4,038 rushing yards and a league-record 54 rushing touchdowns, all at a stunning 7.8 yards per carry. Last season, he added a new element to his game with 37 receptions for 432 yards and four more scores. Etienne's big play ability, given is work rate, is almost-unparalleled throughout history. He has the potential to be one of the highest-drafted running backs in some time.

5. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

A silky-smooth 6'4'' playmaker with impressively-soft hands, Ross, who reached the 1,000-yard mark as a true freshman, starring with 153 receiving yards in a national championship game triumph over Alabama, is the next line Tiger in line from "WRU". Expect him to be more consistently productive as Trevor Lawrence's number one option this fall. Ross has all of the traits of a number one NFL receiver. 

6. Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami

Joining the Hurricanes earning AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors with Temple last season, Roche, now bookend-paired with Gregory Rousseau, could use a final season at Miami as a springboard well into the upcoming first round. The versatile 6'4'' edge defender had quite the productive  three-year run with the Owls, compiling 137 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, seven pass breakups, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. 

7. Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest 

Basham's production, fresh off eleven sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles, speaks for itself. He stands an impressive 6'5'', 275 pounds, could probably still bulk up some, and already brings both great strength and athleticism to the pass-rusher position. Back for one more season, Basham has the chance to play himself into a hot name at a critically-important position with continued success attacking the quarterback.

8. Xavier Thomas, EDGE, Clemson

A former top recruit, expect Thomas to have a banner season for the Tigers this fall. If he does, Thomas, already highly-regarded, will only shoot even higher up draft boards. He, strong and athletic at 265 pounds, has all of the physical tools. Thomas, developing his craft in training with a number of current-professionals from Clemson, already has 18.5 career tackles for loss as he readies for his junior year. 

9. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Farley has great size for the cornerback position at 6'2'', 207 pounds and his resume is one of a number one perimeter defender. This past year, Farley led the ACC in passes defended with 16 and also tied for second in the league with four interceptions. He is a playmaking defensive back, with the quickness to cover smaller receivers and the strength to stay with larger ones. 

10. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

Another Hurricane tight end will soon star at the next level. With 67 receptions through two years, Jordan, who can flex out like a wide receiver, has proven to be quite the matchup problem for opposing defenses. He is a fluid playmaker with a knack for finding openings in coverage downfield. Even as the offensive struggled some, Jordan still averaged 14 yards per catch a season ago.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports