2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

The college football season has wrapped up which, means it is officially draft season and 2021 NFL Mock Draft Season. Here is a look at what the first round could look like in the upcoming NFL Draft.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB – Clemson

Lawrence is the easy pick here for Jacksonville and whoever the new GM will be. He is a franchise altering player with all the mental aptitude and physical abilities to quickly ascend to the upper echelon of NFL quarterback play. Pairing him with a solid core of young playmakers in Jacksonville should help him find early success.

2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State

Fields has had his ups and downs, but the talent is undeniable. He displays excellent arm strength, and his mobility will be an asset to keep defenses honest and help him extend plays. This selection is under the assumption the Jets move Sam Darnold before or at the draft. Fields simply has a higher ceiling at this point and presents a blank slate for whoever the new coach of the Jets will be.

3. Miami Dolphins Via Houston: Penei Sewell, OT – Oregon

The rumors of the Dolphins potentially giving up on Tua Tagovailoa seem VERY far-fetched to me. Instead, they bolster his confidence with Penei Sewell whose movement and mobility at his size is absolutely astounding. Sewell would protect Tua’s blind side at right tackle and form a young but talented tackle pairing opposite Austin Jackson.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Wilson, QB – BYU

Although Matt Ryan has still been playing well, Zach Wilson is the pick here for a Falcons. Wilson can make all the throws, and his mobility might help with some of the sack issues Atlanta has faced in 2020. With a new coach and GM on the way, the Falcons could opt to move Ryan or let Wilson learn for a year or two while sitting behind him.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR – LSU

A nightmare scenario for the Bengals with Sewell of the board. Trading back would be ideal, but if they are unable to find a trade partner locking up Chase to pair with Joe Burrow is a nice consolation prize. Chase is a physical X receiver and would pair nicely with Tee Higgins to form a young and dangerous receiver duo.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, CB – Alabama

This was my pick in my first mock, and it will remain so unless the Eagles somehow acquire another topflight corner to pair with Darius Slay. Surtain is a Day 1 starter and is extremely technically sound in both coverage and as a tackler. The Eagles need to make a major improvement in their pass defense, and Surtain would be a nice step in the right direction.

7. Detroit Lions: DeVonta Smith, WR – Alabama

Matthew Stafford is more than capable of being a top tier quarterback when he has the pieces around him. Nearly all the Lions receivers are free agents and bringing in someone like DeVonta Smith will not only fill a hole but gives Stafford a dynamic playmaker who can affect all three levels of the field.

8. Carolina Panthers: Trey Lance, QB – North Dakota State

Trey Lance gives coach Matt Rhule a young and cheap quarterback to build around in a division that could see Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan all retire sooner rather than later. Lance’s arm strength and athleticism are major pluses especially in potential RPO looks with a healthy Christian McCaffrey in the lineup.

9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, ILB – Penn State

This pick has not changed for me because I simply cannot find a reason for the Broncos not to take Micah Parsons. The AFC West is loaded with offensive fire power, adding a versatile piece like Parsons will give Vic Fangio another defensive chess piece to neutralize some of those threats.

10. Dallas Cowboys: Caleb Farley, CB – Virginia Tech

The Cowboys really struggled to stop the pass this season and with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis set to hit free agency, corner appears to be a glaring need for this team. Caleb Farley is scheme versatile with exceptional mental processing and physical traits to warrant a top-10 selection.

11. New York Giants: Kwity Paye, Edge – Michigan

The Giants need to find a way to get more pressure on the quarterback on passing downs in 2021 and Kwity Paye could be the answer to that issue. He is more of a linear athlete and could probably play as an undersized interior lineman on passing downs while kicking out to the edge in obvious run situations. He would also help ease the blow if Dalvin Tomlinson or Leonard Williams depart in the offseason.

12. San Francisco 49ers: Rashawn Slater, OT/OG – Northwestern

Trent Williams is free agent at the end of the season, and the interior of the 49ers line could use some work as well. Either way you look at it, Rashawn Slater would be a solid addition to a 49ers squad that cannot seem to stay healthy on the offensive line and could use his versatility.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Kyle Pitts, TE – Florida

The Chargers have their guy with Justin Herbert at quarterback and now must maximize his rookie contract by surrounding him with talent. Kyle Pitts would not only bring another passing threat to the mix but help fill the void if Hunter Henry or Mike Williams leave in the next year or two.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT – Virginia Tech

There may be bigger needs for the Vikings, but Christian Darrisaw is the best player available at a position of need and would allow the Vikings to move on from Riley Reiff a year early or simply play their best five and allow a camp battle between Darrisaw, Reiff, Brian O’Neill and Ezra Cleveland to play out.

15. New England Patriots: Jaylen Waddle, WR – Alabama

The Patriots offense needs explosive players, and who better than the guy that spent nearly his entire college career putting explosive plays on tape. Jaylen Waddle would play give the Patriot offense a much-needed boost of speed on the outside especially if they do not retain Damiere Byrd who is slated to hit free agency.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB – South Carolina

Patrick Peterson’s time may be ending in Arizona, and a new boundary corner will be needed to replace him. Jaycee Horn would bring a physical presence to the Arizona secondary and he would be a great matchup corner to stop players such as DK Metcalf in the division.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Tommy Togiai, IDL – Ohio State

At 6-foot-2 and 300 pounds, Tommy Togiai is a stout interior defensive lineman who really has emerged throughout the 2020 season. Togiai plays with excellent leverage and power while primarily lining up as a 1-tech for the Buckeyes. He is great against the run but can also provide pass rush utilizing an exceptional bull rush and some excellent mobility for a man of his size.

18. Miami Dolphins: Zaven Collins, LB – Tulsa

This is probably the highest Zaven Collins can go in the draft, but it is not unreasonable given the value he can provide to a defense like the Dolphins. With Collins, head coach Brian Flores gets his version of Dont’a Hightower to be the swiss army knife in the front seven of his defense in Miami.

19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S – Notre Dame

When Ron Rivera was the coach of the Panthers, he had a strong defensive front seven that was bolstered by the addition of Shaq Thompson and his versatility at linebacker. In JOK, Rivera gets another modern linebacker/safety hybrid that can cover tight ends, running backs and even defend the “big slot” receiver from time to time.

20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota

Allen Robinson has been a great player for Chicago and even though the offense has picked up over the last half of the season, I doubt he stays in Chicago on another contract. Rashod Bateman would make for an excellent replacement as an X-receiver who runs smooth routes and wins consistently at the catch point.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Liam Eichenberg, OT – Notre Dame

Anthony Castonzo is at the end of his career and recently faced another injury setback. Eichenberg would provide the Colts with their left tackle of the future. He is a smooth operator at tackle with excellent length and hand use. He has room to add power but could easily step into a starting tackle role from day one.

22. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari, Edge – Georgia

Tennessee has been searching for an edge presence opposite of Harold Landry since he broke out his rookie season. Azeez Ojulari would provide the Titans an in-house developmental option with a high ceiling thanks to his explosive athleticism and the ability to be a true edge bender.

23. New York Jets Via Seattle: Chris Olave, WR – Ohio State

With the selection of Justin Fields, the Jets will be heading in a new direction. Adding Olave is not just about adding a familiar face for Fields, it is also bringing on a possession style receiver with excellent route running and hands who would pair nicely with Denzel Mims in New York.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Samuel Cosmi, OT – Texas

The Steelers offense has two potential major losses with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Alejandro Villanueva both hitting free agency this offseason. They likely can only keep one, and with Smith-Schuster being the younger player my money is on them letting Villanueva walk. Cosmi would be a great replacement for Villanueva as a guy who has excellent length, and some power still left to be found in his frame.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars Via LA Rams: Eric Stokes, CB – Georgia

Eric Stokes has been a steady and reliable corner for the Georgia Bulldogs and has the versatility to play in multiple defensive schemes. Pairing him with CJ Henderson would give Jacksonville a pair of young dynamic corners to build their secondary and defense around.

26. Cleveland Browns: Joseph Ossai, Edge – Texas

Olivier Vernon hits free agency after being a key piece to the Cleveland Browns pass rush the past couple of seasons. Joseph Ossai would be a great replacement as an explosive edge player who has an extremely high ceiling and would benefit from playing opposite of Myles Garrett.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kadarius Toney, WR – Florida

Tom Brady has connected well with Antonio Brown but not as much with Chris Godwin, who is a free agent next year and an able replacement will be needed. Enter Kadarius Toney who fits the mold of receivers Brady has loved to throw to in the past with elite quickness and toughness to win underneath and over the middle of the field.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Creed Humphrey, IOL – Oklahoma

The Ravens have several key positions they need to fill on their defense, but the offense also has a hole with starting center Matt Skura hitting free agency. Creed Humphrey would provide not only a steadying presence at the position, but also a potential upgrade with his tenacity and pass blocking prowess.

29. Buffalo Bills: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL – USC

Josh Allen has emerged as one of the best young signal callers in the league. Protecting Allen is paramount and guy like Alijah Vera-Tucker to do it at this point in the draft is frankly a great value. Vera-Tucker would be a plug and play starter at guard with his natural strength to anchor, and has the mobility to slide out to tackle if needed.

30. New Orleans Saints: Asante Samuel Jr., CB – Florida State

The Saints cap position is incomprehensibly bad, and they will need to rely heavily on this rookie class to step in and compete immediately with a roster purge upcoming. Asante Samuel Jr. is excellent in man coverage and would start immediately opposite Marshon Lattimore in the two-safety man coverage scheme the Saints have found so much success with this year.

31. Green Bay Packers: Christian Barmore, IDL – Alabama

The Packers have rotated several players on the defensive line next to Kenny Clark but have yet to find a consistent contributor. Christian Barmore would give the Packers an explosive athlete that can remain on the field for all three downs and attack the backfield with his quickness and strength.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Gregory Rousseau, Edge – Miami (FL)

Kansas City always has its foot on the gas when it comes to offense, but the defense gets a playmaker this time with Gregory Rousseau. After sitting out the season, Rousseau has slipped from being a top-10 selection due to concerns about his refinement as a pass rusher. The physical tools are all there for though and his speed-to-power profile will be enough to get him on the field early.