Top special-teams players in the 2021 NFL draft

Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney runs after a reception during the second half against LSU, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. He is one of the top returners in the 2021 NFL draft. (John Raoux/AP)
Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney runs after a reception during the second half against LSU, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. He is one of the top returners in the 2021 NFL draft. (John Raoux/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Here are the top punters, kickers, returners and long snappers in the 2021 NFL draft, which is set for April 29 through May 1 in Cleveland.

PUNTERS

1. Pressley Harvin, Georgia Tech, 6-0, 240 (projected for sixth round): He won the Ray Guy Award and was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press and was first-team All-ACC as a senior after he led the FBS by averaging 48 yards per punt.

2. Max Duffy, Kentucky, 6-1, 190 (seventh round): He will turn 28 before his rookie season. He played in the Australian Football League before going to Kentucky. He won the Ray Guy Award in 2019.

3. Drue Chrisman, Ohio State, 6-3, 209 (free agent): He averaged 45 yards per punt as a senior. He has 11 fair catches of 27 punts and placed 11 punts inside the 20.

4. James Smith, Cincinnati, 6-5, 235 (free agent): He was named to the Ray Guy watch list.

5. Adam Williams, Memphis, 6-5, 243 (free agent): He punted for the Tigers over the past three seasons and averaged 43.5 yards per punt.

KICKERS

1. Jose Borregales, Miami, 5-10, 205 (sixth round): He was a Lou Groza (top kicker) award finalist in 2018 at Florida International. He was a grad transfer in 2020 to Miami and won the Groza award.

2. Evan McPherson, Florida, 5-11, 185 (free agent): He scored 103 points as he made all 52 extra-point attempts and 17 of 22 field-goal attempts (77.3%). He made four field goals from 50 yards or more, including a 55-yarder.

3. Blake Haubeil, Ohio State, 6-3, 230 (free agent): He made all of his 146 extra-point attempts. He had a long field goal of 55 yards.

4. Riley Patterson, Memphis, 6-0, 190 (seventh round): He was first-team All-American Athletic Conference as a junior. He also handled kickoffs and had 38 touchdowns on 63 kickoffs.

5. Quinn Nordin, Michigan, 6-1, 193 (free agent): He made 119 of 124 of his extra-point attempts (96.4%) and 42 of 58 field-goal attempts (72.4%) over his career with the Wolverines.

RETURNERS

1. D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan, 5-9, 185, (second round, as a WR): He had 17 kickoff returns for 467 yards (27.5 average) and a touchdowns. He just had one punt return for no yards.

2. Kadarius Toney, Florida, 6-0, 193 (first round, WR): He had 15 kick returns for 324 yards (21.6 average) and no touchdowns. He had 13 punt returns for 147 yards (11.3) and a touchdown.

3. Rondale Moore, Purdue (5-9,180) (first round, WR): The dynamic receiver for the Boilermakers had 42 kickoff returns for 813 yards (19.4 average) and no touchdowns. He had 17 punt returns for 118 yards (6.9 average) and no touchdowns.

4. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, 5-10,182 (first round, WR): He averaged 19.3 yards on 33 returns and scored two touchdowns over his career. He had nine kickoff returns and averaged 23.8 yards and a touchdown.

Long snappers: Thomas Fletcher, Alabama, 6-1, 235 (free agent); Ryan Langan, Georgia Southern, 6-1, 228 (free agent) and Camaron Cheeseman, Michigan, 6-4, 237 (free agent).

AJC’S POSITION-BY-POSITION SERIES

QUARTERBACKS: How far will Justin Fields drop in draft? | Top 10 QBs

RUNNING BACKS: Plenty of prospects to pick from | Top 10 RBs

WIDE RECEIVERS: Draft deep with talent | Top 10 WRs

TIGHT ENDS: Ability to create mismatches is key | Top 10 TEs

OFFENSIVE TACKLES: A ‘nasty’ bunch | Top 10 OTs

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS: The men in the middle | Top 10 C/OGs

Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the top 10 picks in D. Led’s Mock Draft 4.0:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, (QB, BYU)

3. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)

4. Atlanta Falcons: Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon)

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

6. Miami Dolphins: Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)

7. Detroit Lions: DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)

8. Carolina Panthers: Jaylen Waddle (WR, Alabama)

9. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)

10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain (CB, Alabama)

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