Last week I released my first mock draft in months – and then the 49ers traded up and ruined it! Here is a fresh look at what could happen in the 2021 NFL Draft! Enjoy!
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
This seems to be a lock at this point. Even Urban Meyer dropped hints about Jacksonville heading in that direction. Lawrence should be a lock for No. 1 and fits into any offensive scheme or play-calling style.
2. Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
It would appear that the 49ers probably made calls to come up to No. 2 and were told no thanks. That leads me to think the pick will be Wilson here. Wilson has all the tools and some believe he could be more talented than Lawrence, but we will see if the young signal caller can handle the bright lights, and media, of New York City.
3. 49ers (MIA): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
This is where the uncertainty starts and I wanted to play around with what the draft would look like with Jones going third. So here it is. Jones does fit the prototype of Kyle Shanahan’s previous quarterbacks and is very good with playaction – so I’m not only toying with this being the pick I actually think it could be the pick.
4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Falcons are in a great position at four. They could draft their quarterback of the future (Lance or Fields), trade down for a king’s ransom, or draft the best player available. Kyle Pitts would be SCARY in the Atlanta offense with Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley. The real question is does Atlanta want to rebuild or re-tool? If ownership believes they can still be Super Bowl contenders they won’t be drafting a quarterback here.
5. Bengals: JaMarr Chase, WR, LSU
Penei Sewell has been the lock at this spot for months but there is a lot of buzz and Joe Burrow lobbying for his former LSU teammate JaMarr Chase. Many people say the Bengals would be crazy to pass on Sewell, and I’m one of those people, but the front office may be happy with their offensive line upgrades this offseason and want to give Burrow a familiar face in Cincinnati – btw Chase is one of the best pass catchers in the draft.
6. Dolphins (PHI): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Dolphins traded down and then back up (snip-snap-snip-snap) for a reason. To get value at receiver. There is no reason to sit and draft a receiver at three when you can do it at six. And, depending on how the board falls, Miami may be on the clock with Pitts, Chase, Waddle and Smith all on the board. I give the edge to Waddle over Smith because the NFL still loves speed over production – and that has been the story of Waddle vs Smith at Alabama.
7. Lions: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Detroit has almost NOTHING at receiver but they are in a good position to snag one at seven. Someone should be left over for the Lions and even though they won’t have their choice, they may get their guy. Smith is a NFL ready receiver and should be a top target for Jared Goff almost immediately.
8. Panthers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
I expected Carolina to have to move up to get their quarterback, and they still might, but for now they can stay put and still get their quarterback of the future. Fields could go at No. 3 to the 49ers and Carolina might have to trade up but I have a feeling the Panthers walk away from this draft with Fields or Lance.
9. Broncos: Trey Lance, QB, NDSU
If we start to see Fields or Lance fall I expect Carolina and Denver to be in the market to move up. Atlanta might not want to make a deal with Carolina but they could love an offer from Denver. Lance is a bit of a project quarterback but Denver has a great young team and a front office that isn’t feeling the pressure of a must win season. Elway and crew can take their time and develop Lance into the quarterback they’ve been longing for.
10. Cowboys: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
If Dallas stay put and Surtain is on the board they would be dumb to pass on Surtain. The Cowboys need defensive help, specifically in the secondary, and Surtain would be an immediate upgrade at corner.
11. Giants: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Broncos are a popular landing spot for Parsons but he sure as hell isn’t getting past Dave Gettleman. Parsons is a weapon on defense and can fill needs as a pass rusher and coverage linebacker with one player.
12. Eagles (SF): Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Why did the Eagles trade back? They must be confident the guy they like will be there at 12 so I think we’re going to see Philly take someone that hasn’t had much top 12 buzz. Jaycee Horn has been sitting around the 15-20 range but has seen his stock rise after a great pro day and the fall of Caleb Farley.
13. Chargers: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
How the hell are the Chargers getting the top tackle in the class at 13?!?! This can’t happen. Surely Sewell will be off the board by now. But if he is there the Chargers will run this card to the desk with blazing 4.3 speed.
14. Vikings: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Minnesota could go tackle, edge, or best player available here and Slater may be both a tackle and best player available. Slater answers questions at tackle but at a minimum could play interior if needed.
15. Patriots: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Patriots are the third team I could see in the market to trade up (with CAR and DEN) for a quarterback but if they stay at 15 they get a versatile defender that can play linebacker and safety for a very creative Bill Bellichick.
16. Cardinals: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
No Jaycee Horn on the board but maybe the Cardinals try to help out their young quarterback by upgrading the running back position. Harris is an exceptional receiver out of the backfield and Arizona has added all the veterans to their defense. Harris or Etienne could be in play here – given what Arizona has done this offseason.
17. Raiders: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Vegas is replacing most of their offensive line from the 2020 season and still has a few holes left. In this mock we’ve seen tackles fall down the board and the Raiders can snatch up an OT that usually isn’t on the board for them at 17 – who can play left or right.
18. Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
They got their receiver at six in Waddle and now they can also add one of the top edge players at 18. Ojulari is a great standup rusher and a perfect fit for head coach Brian Flores and the Miami defense.
19. Washington: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Washington seems to be set with Fitzpatrick at quarterback for 2021 so they might as well add some protection for their future quarterback. Vera-Tucker is another shorter tackle prospect but could be amazing on the interior if he were asked to play there. Regardless, Washington gets a great piece that fills a need.
20. Bears: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
The Bears need a QB, OT and WR but there are no quarterbacks worth this pick. Receiver could be filled here but there has been a lack of discussion around Allen Robinson so maybe he does stay in Chicago. If so, Chicago can take a tackle where the value is great and start building for the future and hopefully a new franchise quarterback in 2022.
21. Colts: Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
The Colts brought TY Hilton back on a one-year deal and that may be enough to take receiver off the top of their board. Corner is still going to be a need and you can never have enough playmakers in the secondary. Greg Newsome is just that and a perfect fit for Indianapolis and what they want to do defensively.
22. Titans: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Titans have been trying to add a pass rusher for over a year and they may finally get a guy with lasting power. Paye has the strength to play with his hand in the dirt and the bend to stand up. I think it will be very difficult for Vrabel to pass on Paye – which is why he isn’t.
23. Jets (SEA): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Jets have done a very good job of filling needs in free agency and now they have the luxury of not having many pressing needs with their second pick in the first round. You have a young quarterback and now you can help him out by addressing one of your few needs, even if it is in the first round.
24. Steelers: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Steelers are one of the only good teams with an amazing amount of needs. They could go RB, OT, C, EDGE or CB in the first round. I have them filling their need at EDGE because of the value of this pick. You can fill your other needs late but not many productive edge rushers are drafted outside the first round.
25. Jags (Rams): Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Jags could take a WR or OL here but I think they look to the defensive side of the ball with their second first round pick. Moehrig fills the need and gives Jacksonville another athletic playmaker on defense.
26. Browns: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Stop Lamar Jackson! Whoever you think can do that is who you take. Cleveland barely has any team needs so they can take the best defensive player available at 26 and be just fine.
27. Ravens: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Do the Ravens feel like they have answered their receiver problems with Sammy Watkins? If so, they too can address the defensive side of the ball with a big pass rusher. Rousseau may not be a stand up rusher but he may be the perfect fit opposite Calias Campbell.
28. Saints: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Saints are rolling with Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill in 2021 so you better give your quarterback some weapons other than Kamara and Thomas. Toney would be a great receiver to play opposite of Michael Thomas and fills the need the Saints were looking to fill with Emmanuel Sanders in 2020.
29. Packers: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley is drastically falling because of a recent back procedure but no team plans for the future like the Green Bay Packers. If they are willing to take a quarterback of the future while Aaron Rodgers is still a MVP then I think they’ll be ok with taking a top player that might not be ready in 2021.
30. Bills: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Jayson Oweh wowed everyone with his pro day numbers and finds himself in my first round for the first time. Oweh is another lengthy athlete for the Bills defense and too good to pass up at 30.
31. Chiefs: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
It has to be LT. This time it is Sam Cosmi and his athletic feet for KC but there are a lot of option for the Chiefs at 31. Other names I could see here:
Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Walker Little, Stanford
Dillon Radunz, NDSU
Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
James Hudson, Cincinnati
32. Bucs: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Tampa Bay has the luxury of taking the best player available. Adding a Zaven Collins gives Tampa another pass rusher and versatile piece to use in their already scary defense.