The prospects who were the biggest overall risers in the 2021 draft

It only takes one team to fall in love with a player for him to be selected significantly earlier than mock drafts predicted he would fall.

While mock drafts are an inexact science, they do offer a general range for where a player is expected to land on draft night. When a player is able to significantly outperform projections from well-sourced reporters, there will be some sort of compelling reason.

Those explanations vary, of course, and can sometimes be more shocking to fans than to rival front offices. But there are always going to be some twists and turns that raise some eyebrows. Some selections may be considered to be a reach — but they were all made with intentionality.

Here is our best guess as to why the following players were drafted so much earlier than expected:

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