Kiper and McShay draft dueling 22-man superteams of NFL prospects

    Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.

  • ESPN College Football and NFL Draft Analyst
  • Joined ESPN in 2006
  • Played quarterback in high school and was a backup QB for the University of Richmond.

Two NFL draft analysts, 22 rounds, 44 total picks: Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay went head-to-head to draft their own superteams of the best 2021 prospects.

The rules? Kiper and McShay alternated picks to fill out starting lineups, with each roster having 11 starters on both offense and defense. (Sorry, fans of special teams.) They were allowed to draft positions in any order, and they designed their units around whatever scheme they wanted to run on each side of the ball. Versatility was a must for both teams. They drafted all 44 picks live on the First Draft podcast on Tuesday and debated their choices along the way.

Which team has the edge at quarterback, wide receiver, pass-rusher and cornerback? Let’s start at the top and go pick by pick, ending with what Kiper and McShay think of their teams. Field Yates, who hosts the podcast, was the neutral observer, and he picked his favorite team, as well. Jump to the end to see the complete rosters.

Mel Kiper: I was looking at my team from last year, Todd, and I have to say that I crushed you. Justin Jefferson and Tee Higgins catching passes from Joe Burrow, who was protected at tackle by Mekhi Becton and Jedrick Wills Jr.

Todd McShay: Crushed me? Mel, Chase Young — the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year — would have been all over Burrow in the pocket. And the press coverage from my guys Trevon Diggs and Jaylon Johnson would have been a problem for you.

Kiper: My tackles wouldn’t have let Young touch Burrow, and he’d get the ball out quickly anyway. Jefferson would have 14 catches for 204 yards and three touchdowns against your defense.

McShay: Either way, I’m not sure you had the defense to slow down CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy and D’Andre Swift in space. But I admit, I’m still mad you stole Antoine Winfield Jr. from me in the middle picks.

Kiper: OK, losing team picks first. You’re up.

McShay: You might regret that; this isn’t the year to give up the top pick.

No. 1 pick, McShay: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

McShay: I win, right? Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect I’ve seen in a decade. How are you going to stop him, Mel? What’s your plan here?

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