Spring Ball is behind us. The 2021 NFL Draft is behind us. Next up in the Heisman universe? Let’s review where our top 10 2020 Heisman vote-getters were taken and take a peek at the Heisman match-ups in the newly released 2021 NFL schedule.
There were nine draft eligible players among the top 10 finishers in the 2020 Heisman vote and all were selected, including a remarkable seven in the first round – the most since the 1998 Heisman Top 10 class also produced seven.
In fact, the entire 1998 Heisman Top 10 class was drafted in 1999.
Below is the top 10 in the 2020 Heisman voting and where they were drafted with the magnificent seven taken in the first round. For the first time since 2018, four of the top five finishers in the Heisman vote were taken in the first round.
DeVonta Smith, Alabama – Philadelphia, 1st round (10th)
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – Jacksonville, 1st round (1st)
Mac Jones, Alabama – New England, 1st round (15th)
Kyle Trask, Florida – Tampa Bay, 2nd round (32nd)
Najee Harris, Alabama – Pittsburgh, 1st round (24th)
Breece Hall, Iowa State – Rising Junior
Justin Fields, Ohio State – Chicago, 1st round (11th)
Zach Wilson, BYU – New York Jets, 1st round (2nd)
Ian Book, Notre Dame – New Orleans, 4th round (28th)
Kyle Pitts, Florida – Atlanta, 1st round (4th)
By comparison, the 2020 top 10 Heisman vote-getters had only six draft eligible players with three first-round picks, featuring winner Joe Burrow going first with 2020 finalist Chase Young going second and 10th-place finisher Tua Tagovailoa picked fifth. Of course, three top 2020 top 10 finishers were taken in the 2021 first round, including Lawrence, Fields and Travis Etienne.
The 2019 Heisman top 10, with six draft eligible players, featured three first rounders in winner and top pick Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Quinnen Williams with eventual first-rounders Tagovailoa and Etienne in there, too.
There were five first rounders in 2018, led again by No. 1 overall Baker Mayfield. Like in 2021, four of the top five Heisman finishers that year went in the first round.
The 2017 Heisman Top 10 had four first-round picks, as did the 2015 Top 10, a number not seen again going back through the years until the 2007 Heisman Top 10.
There is no shortage of Heisman vs. Heisman matchups in the newly released 2021 NFL schedule.
There are 22 games featuring Heisman winners squaring off against each other, highlighted perhaps by a Week 6 matchup between Oklahoma Sooners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Mayfield, in fact, will play Heisman winners eight times, including six times in the AFC North, including two against Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and two agents Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson. He will also see Mark Ingram with Houston, Marcus Mariota with Las Vegas and Cam Newton with New England.
DeVonta Smith has a pair of Heisman matchups as a rookie, seeing Las Vegas in Week 7 and Jameis Winston and New Orleans in Week 11.
NFL rushing champ Derrick Henry will see Murray in Week 1 and play twice against Ingram’s Texans.
Heisman winners face each other in 14 of 18 weeks. The only weeks without matches are Weeks 4, 8, 13 and 17. That could change if free agent Heisman winner Robert Griffin III signs later this off season.