2021 Mock Draft - ROUND 1
1) Jaguars -
Trevor Lawrence | QB | Clemson - No explanation needed...
2) Jets -
Justin Fields | QB | Ohio State - Sewell is tempting here, but hasn't shown that he can play RT. Becton should be cemented at LT, right? Meanwhile, the Jets ended the season ranked 31st in passing yards. In three years, Darnold has recorded a 13-24 record, throwing 45 TDs vs. 39 INTs. Fields is far from the perfect prospect, but he's a fresh start, and Darnold can be dealt.
3) Lions (via Dolphins) (via Texans) -
Zac Wilson | QB | BYU - New GM, new coach, new QB. While it may be tough for some to see Stafford gone, it's time. Across his 12-year stint with the team, he's failed to win a single playoff game. While one can't argue this is all on him, Detroit simply needs something, rather someone different. Stafford could be dumped after the 2021 season with just a $3MM dead money cap impact.
4) Falcons -
Micah Parsons | LB | Penn State - The Falcons ended up dead last in passing yards allowed, and tied with the Lions for a league-worst sixty-six 20+ yard passing plays allowed. Only eight teams produced less sacks than they did. In short, they need a serious infusion of talent on defense. Parsons is pretty close to being a complete LB, a guy who can impact the game on multiple levels.
5) Bengals -
Penei Sewell | OT | Oregon - No team had fewer 20+ yard pass play than the Bengals did. Their allowance of 48 sacks didn't help their cause by any measure, and ultimately landed Burrow on a hospital bed. Sewell is the highest graded O-lineman on almost every board out there.
6) Eagles -
Ja'Mar Chase | WR | LSU - From a needs perspective, it might be a coin toss between CB and WR. On defense, they had just eight INTs. On offense, they finished 26th in passing yards. Chase's 2019 game tape has the Eagles giving him a call here.
7) Dolphins (via Lions)
Devonta Smith | WR | Alabama - The Dolphins swap spots, acquire a 2nd-rounder this year, get a 2nd in 2022, and land the guy they wanted all along. Chris Grier finally works the board to his advantage.
8) Panthers -
Kyle Pitts | TE | Florida - The Panthers have a very good WR corps, but they could certainly make an upgrade at TE. While Pitts is listed as such, he's a match up nightmare who could be used in a myriad of ways. After using every single 2020 draft selection on a defensive player, it's hard to see them not going offense here.
9) Broncos -
Kwity Paye | DE | Michigan - The Broncos should plan for life without Von Miller, and might do so outright by drafting an EDGE. Gregory Rousseau and Kwity Paye will draw plenty of interest. Lock finished the season with a TD to INT ratio of 16:15, accompanied by a completion rate of just 57.3%. Lance is no sure thing, so they pass on him and stick with Lock one more year.
10) Cowboys -
Patrick Surtain II | CB | Alabama - Unless the Cowboys opt to walk away from Dak and go QB here, one has to think that they'll target help across their O-Line, or on the defensive side of the ball. While there is quite a bit of debate around where this year's class of CBs rank, the conversations start after Surtain in my book.
11) Giants -
Jaylen Waddle | WR | Alabama - Here's another team that has a screaming need for O-line help. The Giants tied for 31st in sacks allowed, while Jones or whomever else was at the QB helm seemed to constantly be running for his life. They also ranked 29th in passing yards. They have complimentary pieces at WR, but no one that keeps D-coordinators up at night. Waddle changes that.
12) 49ers -
Trey Lance | QB | North Dakota State - Could the 49ers draft a QB here and move on from Jimmy G.? Anything is possible. Lance is raw and needs time to develop, but he offers up enough in the way of eye candy to have some team bite.
13) Chargers -
Gregory Rousseau | DE | Miami - One could argue that the Chargers' O-line needs the most attention. I'm on board with that logic, but I simply feel this is a much deeper draft at OT than it is at DE/EDGE. With Melvin Ingram sitting on an expiring contract, they grab Rousseau. They have to find more ways to pressure Mahomes.
14) Vikings -
Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech - The Vikings ranked 24th in passing yards allowed, 31st in 20+ yard passing plays. With their defense being rather meh as a whole, they grab a physical CB in Farley.
15) Patriots -
Mac Jones | QB | Alabama - The Patriots' passing offense was/is non-existent. While there is fault to be handed out to their receiving targets, a new QB is in the cards for them. Jones offers up nothing overly dynamic, but he's a smart kid who knows how to manage on offense very well.
16) Cardinals -
Rashawn Slater | OT | Northwestern - This selection is a bit up in the air, as the Cardinals most likely are looking at CB, EDGE and O-line. Given that Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick are both impending UFAs, a CB has to be the pick, right? Maybe not. Slater is a plus O-lineman who can plays all five positions. He carries the highest grade of any remaining player tied to a positional need.
17) Raiders -
Jaycee Horn | CB | South Carolina - The Raiders could use more help on defense. They rank 26th in passing yards allowed, 30th in sacks. Horn is believed to be a top-20 talent by many. He gets the nod.
18) Dolphins -
Zaven Collins | OLB/EDGE | Tulsa - The Dolphins have a bevy of options at this juncture. Their defense is mighty solid, but they would love to add another Van Ginkel type of player, a guy that can blitz as well as play off-ball. Collins could play next to Jerome Baker, and/or chip in for Van Noy and Lawson. If he times well at 6'4, 260lbs., he'd be hard to pass on.
19) Football Team -
Liam Eichenburg | OT | Notre Dame - Just take a look at Washington's starting O-line. This is a group that needs some serious upgrades. They ranked 29th in sacks allowed and routinely failed to create any push in the run game. Eichenburg has really improved this year, has looked like a franchise LT.
20) Bears -
Christian Darrisaw | OT | VA Tech - The Bears passing offense is rather meh. Trubisky may not be the long-term answer, but the Bears will have to target protection for him vs. a replacement given how the board shakes out. Darrisaw has ascended.
21) Colts -
Alex Leatherwood | OT | Alabama - Anthony Castonzo announced his retirement, so a replacement is needed. Leatherwood can play at OT or OG, but would take over the LT spot in this scenario.
22) Titans -
Jaelan Phillips | DE | Miami - The Titans rank 29th in passing yards allowed, largely because they rank dead last in sack production. Phillips is coming off of a very impressive year, looking strong vs. the run and pass.
23) Jets - (via Seahawks) -
Jalen Mayfield | OT | Michigan - If the Jets do pass on Sewell at 2, they may look to solidify the protection of their new signal caller. They grab Mayfield to operate opposite of Becton.
24) Steelers -
Najee Harris | RB | Alabama - It seems like draftniks have called for a new QB in Pittsburgh for a few years now. After throwing 4 INTs against Cleveland in a dreadful loss, Big Ben truly looks done. That said, I see them acquiring a veteran. Harris becomes their franchise back.
25) Jaguars (via Rams) -
Samuel Cosmi | OT | Texas - Many teams like to pair a new QB with some new O-line help. Cosmi may have not had a stellar year, but there's enough good game tape on him to where he could land in Round 1. Cam Robinson is an UFA, so he serves as insurance.
26) Browns -
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | LB | Notre Dame - The Browns will most likely part ways with OBJ, and while Mayfield has looked just fine without him, grabbing another set of hands would be ideal. However, Owusu-Koramoah is a great talent who plays with excellent range and instincts. He makes their defense better.
27) Ravens -
Joseph Ossai | EDGE/OLB | Texas - The Ravens rank dead last in passing yards, a team in dire need of receiving help. That said, one must bear in mind that they have another situation to shore up. They currently have four EDGE players set to become UFA's. They can't keep both Ngakoue and Judon, can they? Ossai fills a need, but he's a good player just the same.
28) Saints -
Rashod Bateman | WR | Minnesota - The Saints are still a very good team, but it was sadly obvious how much their offense depends on icahel Thomas. Bateman can help them distribute the ball more cleanly.
29) Buccaneers -
Travis Etienne | RB | Clemson - The Bucs have an anemic run game as a whole. While Ronald Jones has looked the part at times, Fournette nor McCoy are expected back, so depth is needed. Etienne would get plenty of touches early on and become RB1 soon enough.
30) Bills -
Wyatt Davis | OG | Ohio State - The Bills have very few needs outright, so they truly could go with the best player on their board agnostic of position. John Feliciano and Brian Winters are both UFA, and while they each could be retained, Davis would serve as an upgrade.
31) Packers -
Kadarius Toney | WR | Florida - The Packers are finally going to listen to their franchise QB and grab him another receiving weapon. Toney plays wicked fast and developed a ton over this past season.
32) Chiefs -
Alijah Vera-Tucker | OG/OT | USC - Vera-Tucker has looked fantastic, can play OT or OG. The Chiefs should consider themselves fortunate if he falls to them here, as they have expiring contracts across their O-line.