It’s every football nerds’ favorite time of the year, Mock Draft Season. With a wild offseason ahead of us, there will certainly be moves made that shake up the league, and there’s a chance we could see some first round picks moved before the draft commences. In this mock draft, there will be no trades or free agent signings around the league, as it will be based off of the information we currently have. This mock draft is based off who I believe the team will draft — not who I think they should pick. With that being said, lets get into our first 2021 mock draft of the season.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Lawrence has always been the 1st overall pick in this draft, arguably since his senior year of high school. Nothing has or will change this and Lawrence will be leading Jacksonville for the foreseeable future. New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer even helped Lawrence with the planning of his non-throwing shoulder surgery. At this point, it would be a shock in Jacksonville decides to go in a different direction from Lawrence.
2. New York Jets (2-14) – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Wilson has special talent that could turn around this Jets franchise for the future with new head coach Robert Salah. There has been reported interest around the league in current Jets QB Sam Darnold, who hasn’t been able to succeed with the Jets. So, trade away Darnold to the highest bidder to cut your losses with him. From there move forward with Zach Wilson and attempt to develop him into a superstar in the league, with his special arm strength and mobility.
3. Miami Dolphins (10-6; from 4-12 Houston) – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
It’s starting to seem like teams are leaning towards Ja’Marr Chase being the top wide receiver in the draft class after he took off this season due to COVID. Whether it’s Tua Tagovailoa or someone else throwing him the ball is yet to be determined, as the QB rumors continue to swirl in Miami. The last game we saw of Chase was LSU’s National Championship victory, where he posted 9 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He’s going to be the WR1 the Dolphins desperately need, and he could instantly fill in and help out whoever is under center for the Dolphins next season.
4. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) – QB Justin Fields, Ohio St.
Current Falcons QB Matt Ryan is 35 and isn’t getting any younger, and with only two years left on his contract, the end of the Matt Ryan era is in sight. It’s not often as a team that you are given the opportunity to get what could be your future franchise QB, and the Falcons have the opportunity to do that in this year’s draft. Fields took the college world by storm this past season, and the Falcons would be wise to make the move for their next QB before it’s too late. They could conceivably move on from Ryan if they decide to draft Fields, or let him take a back seat to Ryan for the next couple of seasons before eventually taking over.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-11-1) – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
The Bengals offensive line was tied for fifth worst in the league in sacks allowed, as they allowed 48 sacks this past season. The lack of protection caused a serious injury for rookie QB Joe Burrow, and if they hope to keep Burrow healthy for next season, they will have to protect him. Sewell’s mobility on the line sets him apart from other tackles in the draft, and he could fill an immediate hole on an up and coming Bengals offense.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11-1) – WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
The Eagles desperately need a WR1 for whoever is their QB of the future, and the Heisman winning WR from Alabama could be the guy they look towards. The Eagles struggled to get consistent production from their receivers this past season, as Alshon Jeffrey struggled to get on the field and their prior draft picks at the position have failed to develop. Smith could immediately hit the field for the Eagles and give their QB a consistent option that they didn’t have this season.
7. Detroit Lions (5-11) – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Waddle’s speed is something that is rare in the league, and with the Lions set to potentially lose their top two receivers in free agency this offseason, the young Alabama receiver could be a potential replacement at the position. His speed is what makes him stand out in a deep wide receiver class, and if he’s able to stay healthy, he could easily find himself being one of Jared Goff’s go to options for the Lions next season.
8. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
The potential Trey Lance has is enormous, especially in a Joe Brady run offense. Lance’s mobility is something that teams are looking for nowadays in a QB, and he has the ability to impact the game in multiple ways. Sitting behind a veteran like Teddy Bridgewater for a year would allow Lance the time to develop, as he’s still a raw prospect who may not be able to take over as a starter on day one.
9. Denver Broncos (5-11) -CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
The Broncos secondary needs improvement, as they have moved on from aging players like A.J. Bouye and Chris Harris Jr. in the past two seasons without having the proper replacements. Quarterback rumors have been surrounding the Broncos organization since the season’s end, and it’s rumored that if they don’t land Deshaun Watson from the Texans, they’ll bring back Drew Lock and look to add veteran competition at the position. With the offensive plans in flux, Farley would be just the guy the Broncos need to take lead of the secondary for the future.
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-10) – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
The Cowboys fielded one of the worst secondaries in the NFL this season after they lost their top CB Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins the previous offseason. Surtain II would bring in a versatile future CB1 for the Cowboys as they look to build up a defense that can match the play of their star studded offense.
11. New York Giants (6-10) – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Parsons is a do-it all linebacker, and is just what the Giants need to add to their defense under second year head coach Joe Judge. There have been rumored off-field issues with Parsons at Penn State that have reportedly been taken care of, but it could be something that keeps teams away when it comes draft time.
12. San Francisco 49ers (6-10) – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Kyle Pitts could be, and arguably is, a WR with his athleticism and ability to line up on the outside of an offensive set, much like a wide receiver would. The 49ers offense, which already features star tight end George Kittle, would easily feature the most dynamic two tight end sets in the league with Pitts and Kittle. While the 49ers may have other areas that need more help, head coach Kyle Shanahan may not be able to pass up the opportunity if Pitts is still on the board when they are up to pick
13. Los Angeles Chargers (7-9) – OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Protecting star QB Justin Herbert is going to be the Chargers number one priority going into this offseason, as it should be. Herbert played amazing in his rookie season, and giving him more protection and time to throw will only continue to help his development. Slater has the ability to play multiple positions on the line, and he should be able to immediately shore up one of the holes on the Chargers porous o-line.
14. Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The Vikings need to look to improve their left tackle position in the draft and Darrisaw would allow them to do that. They have had issues at times with the left tackle position in recent history and drafting Darrisaw would allow them to revamp the position relatively quickly. Darrisaw has impressive mobility, especially considering his size, and his ability to excel in both pass protection and run blocking should make him a perfect fit with the Vikings.
15. New England Patriots (7-9) – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Bill Belichick loves chess piece type linebackers that can do a variety of different things and JOK, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, is just that. JOK could be used to eventually replace an aging Dont’a Hightower, who skipped last season due to COVID concerns, and has been rumored to be contemplating retiring. If Hightower does ends up returning it shouldn’t be an issue for JOK, as his versatile skillset should allow him to take on a role of his own in Belichick’s defense, regardless of who else is around him.
16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
With the Cardinals moving on from longtime star CB Patrick Peterson this offseason, Horn could line up an his instant replacement. The Cardinals already have a solid young core in their secondary, with Byron Murphy, Budda Baker, and Isaiah Simmons leading the way. Add Horn into the fold, and the Cardinals could very well have one to the secondaries in the league next season.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (8-8) – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Paye would give the Raiders an athletic freak with the versatility to line up in multiple spots along the defensive line. Paye’s continuous improvement every year has been noticeable and he continues to grow with potential through the roof. The Raiders defense only managed to pick up 21 sacks last season, so adding a versatile pass rusher in Paye should help them improve that total for next season.
18. Miami Dolphins (10-6) – EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Miami can keep Gregory Rousseau close to home and his alma mater in Miami, while adding a high upside pass rusher. If Rousseau is able to develop, this Dolphins defense will only get scarier for opposing teams. The Dolphins defense already developed into one of the best units in the league last season, and after addressing their offense with their earlier first round pick, the Dolphins can work on making an already strong defense even better.
19. Washington Football Team (7-9) – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Other than Terry McLaurin, the Football Team really have no other reliable receivers on their roster. Bateman will compliment McLaurin, as he will be able to use his size to get the ball, while McLaurin is more of a slot speed receiver. Pairing these two together will give whoever the Football Team has at quarterback two solid options that will be able to make plays at the receiver position.
20. Chicago Bears (8-8) – OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Regardless who’s under center next year for the Chicago Bears, they need to be protected. For the Bears, why potentially reach on a QB like Mac Jones here when you can get a versatile offensive lineman in Vera-Tucker. The USC standout played primarily at left tackle last season, but also has experience playing as a guard as well. He can easily fill in on the Bears o-line, and should help the Bears look to get some consistency on the offensive side of the ball.
21. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) – EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
The Colts seem to have found their new QB, as they recently completed a trade for Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles. With the QB position being fortified through a trade, it doesn’t make as much sense for the Colts to use their first rounder on a QB. The Colts could use an edge pass rusher with Justin Houston aging and set to become a free agent. Oweh could be his replacement, and look to join an already talented Colts pass rush
22. Tennessee Titans (11-5) – EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
If it weren’t for injuries, Phillips would be one of the most talked about prospects in this draft. The former five-star UCLA commit went through some serious concussion issues which led to UCLA telling him he should retire due to his injuries. Phillips would just to transfer to Miami not long after, and picked up 8 sacks in his return to action this past season. The Titans needs a ton of help on defense, and while picking Phillips may be risky, the potential rewards they could reap from him outweigh the risks.
23. New York Jets (2-14; from 12-4 Seattle) – WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
In order for Zach Wilson to succeed, he’s going to need weapons on offense, and Moore would be a perfect fit for the former BYU QB. Moore would be a perfect slot receiver for the Jets with his speed, and if given the chance, he might be able to function as an outside receiver as well. The Jets don’t have many competent receivers on their roster, so Moore could easily fill a position of need right from the start.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12- 4) – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
The offensive line for the Steelers used to be their strength, but as they have gotten older, the unit has regressed. Eichenberg looks to be a good fit to fill in the left tackle role for the Steelers next season, as it seems Alejandro Villanueva won’t be returning next season. Pair Villanueva’s impending departure with Maurkice Pouncey’s retirement, and it makes sense for the Steelers to try to shore up their o-line before it is too late.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15; from 10-6 Rams) – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The Jaguars secondary hasn’t been the same every since they traded their star CB Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams. With the Rams sending their first round pick in this draft to the Jaguars in that deal, the Jags can use it to improve their secondary by adding Moehrig. The star defender from TCU has led college football in pass breakups over the last two seasons, and could be the piece the Jaguars build their new secondary around.
26. Cleveland Browns (11-5) – LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
Defense has been a weakness for the Browns in recent seasons, as they’ve struggled to get much production from their linebackers specifically. Bolton is one of the best inside linebackers in this draft class, and he will provide the Browns with an instant upgrade at the position. Bolton has been a tackling machine over the past two seasons with Missouri, and he should be able to shore up the middle of the field for the Browns.
27. Baltimore Ravens (11-5) – EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
With Ravens’ pass rushers Matthew Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, Tyus Bowser, and Pernell McPhee all set to become free agents this offseason, the Ravens could look to inject some youth into their pass rush. Ojulari is a versatile pass rusher who can line up as a defensive end or outside linebacker depending on the Ravens’ personnel groupings. This should help keep the Ravens pass rush afloat, as they will not be able to retain all of their free agent linemen.
28. New Orleans Saints (12-4) – QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Drew Brees is expected to announce his retirement this offseason, and now it’s time to see if all this Taysom Hill love that Sean Payton has been preaching about is real or not. Is Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill really who they see leading their franchise going forward? Hill is already 30 years old and Winston is 27. Jones could be a long term security blanket for the Saints in the event neither QB pans out, while also possessing the potential to develop into one of the best passers.
29. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Despite Aaron Rodgers winning MVP this past season, it’s clear that he needs another receiver to throw to aside from Davante Adams. They passed up on taking a wide receiver in the first round of last year’s draft, choosing to take QB Jordan Love instead. This year they can’t afford to pass up on Toney, a speedy slot receiver that would be a great fit in head coach Matt LaFleur’s offense.
30. Buffalo Bills (13-3) – DL Christian Barmore, Alabama
The interior of the Bills’ defensive line struggled at times this past season to stop the opposing teams run offense. This makes Barmore a perfect fit, as the Alabama product is great against the run, while also being able to create pressure on opposing QB’s. Barmore can pair up with Ed Oliver on the Bills interior to help shore up the Bills aching run defense.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) – T Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma St.
Protecting Patrick Mahomes is something the Chiefs struggled to do in the Super Bowl for all to see. Without their top two offensive linemen, the Chiefs were exposed for lack of offensive line depth. That lack of depth, combined with an aging offensive line, makes it an easy choice for the Chiefs to reinforce their o-line. Drafting Jenkins, who has experience at right guard and both tackle positions, should allow the Chiefs to improve their depth, while also finding a potential successor to one of their veteran linemen.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) – T Samuel Cosmi, Texas
Starting tackle Donovan Smith is aging, and by cutting the long time Buccaneer, the team would save $14.25 million on the cap. Making this move would allow the Bucs to be able to work towards resigning some of their key free agents, while also getting younger at the tackle position. Cosmi’s youth and athleticism at the tackle position should make him an upgrade over Smith, and help keep the pocket’s cleaner for the ageless Tom Brady.
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