Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, Penn State juniors Micah Parsons and Pat Freiermuth are projected to be first round picks in 2021's NFL Draft. This time it's CBS Sports with the mock draft, which has Parsons to the New York Giants at No. 5 overall, and Freiermuth to the Tennessee Titans at No. 20.
The reviews of both players by Tom Fornelli are nothing short of gushing.
Parsons is this draft's version of Isaiah Simmons. He's a tremendous, playmaking athlete that can fill several roles comfortably at the next level.
Pitts is the first TE off the board in my mock, but I'm a bigger fan of Freiermuth. The difference between the two is that Pitts is a bigger playmaking threat in the passing game, but Freiermuth isn't too far behind. The most significant difference is that Freiermuth isn't just a good blocker, but he enjoys blocking too. It's evident when watching him play.
If both players are indeed selected on the draft's opening night in 2021, it will be the first time since the 2003 NFL Draft that multiple Nittany Lions have been picked in the first round. That year, Jimmy Kennedy (No. 12), Michael Haynes (No. 14), Bryant Johnson (No. 17), and Larry Johnson (No. 27) were all selected in the opening round.
Both players will be entering their junior year at Penn State next season. A solid 2019 season had Parsons primed for plenty of buzz, but the Butkus Award finalist exploded onto the national scene in the Lions' Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis. Freiermuth emerged as a primary target in his second season, catching 43 passes for 507 yards and eight scores.