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3 Players That Could Fall in First Round of NFL Draft

Max Staley
Three players that could fall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three players that could fall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

A superstar prospect falling in the NFL Draft is a tradition as old as the draft itself. Memories of guys like Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson and Brady Quinn sitting in the green room for hours on end are hard to forget.

And the 2021 NFL Draft could be one of the most chaotic we've ever seen. General managers and scouts are working with less tape and information on these prospects due to complications from the pandemic. That could easily lead to some surprising reaches or slides on draft night.

With that in mind, here are three prospects that could fall in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

3. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State Nittany Lions

There are rumblings suggesting that we could see NFL history in this year's draft, as some are projecting the first 10 picks could all be offensive players. That would be the first time that has happened in the common draft era (1967). Obviously, that's not good news for the defensive prospects. But it could be particularly damning for Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Linebacker has sort of become the defensive version of RB, as the analytics community has tended to devalue the position, instead favoring coverage guys and edge rushers. Factor in some off-field concerns surrounding Parsons and the fact that he opted out of the 2020 season, and the best LB in this class could fall on draft night.

2. Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Devonta Smith just had one of the most productive seasons we've ever seen from a WR. He racked up 1,856 yards and 24 total touchdowns through 13 games, becoming the fourth WR ever to win the Heisman Trophy. But as a 166-pound wideout, there are concerns about how his size will translate to the next level. In fact, Ja'Marr Chase is the overwhelming favorite to be the first WR drafted, and fellow Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle (-148) is currently favored to come off the board before Smith (+116), per FanDuel Sportsbook. Smith is no longer the top-10 lock he appeared to be at the start of this process, and it's very possible be falls out of the top 15 as well.

1. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Entering the pre-draft process, Justin Fields was viewed as the no-doubt, clear-cut No. 2 QB in this class. But inexplicably, that no longer seems to be the case. Zach Wilson appears to have solidified his status as the No. 2 pick, and the San Francisco 49ers have reportedly zeroed in on either Trey Lance or Mac Jones at No. 3. The teams picking from No. 4 to No. 8 don't necessarily need to pick a QB, so barring a trade, there's no telling where the fourth and fifth QBs in this class will come off the board. In all likelihood, someone will trade up before Fields falls too far, but projecting trades is a risky business. Through no fault of his own, Fields' landing spot is difficult to predict right now, making a draft-day fall very possible.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.