Deceptive Speed 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

nfl mock draft

The first of many 2021 NFL mock drafts has arrived here at Deceptive Speed. With so much movement still to come in the draft order, this is a first round only, no trades mock with a focus on position of need and look ahead at which players will likely declare and hear their names called early if they do head to the draft.

1: New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB – Clemson

Lawrence has been the project first overall pick in the 2020 draft since the day he stepped foot on the Clemson campus. He is a franchise changing player with all the physical tools to be an elite quarterback early on in his career. Like all young signal callers, he will have to adjust to the speed of the game, but Lawrence is one of the best prospects to ever come out of the college ranks in the modern draft area.

2: Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State

Like Lawrence, Fields is a no brainer for a Jacksonville team that desperately needs to find a competent quarterback. He is a phenomenal athlete with a big arm and mobility to extend plays and stress defenses in the run game. This year in particular, Fields has shown improved accuracy specifically in his downfield passing that would pair nice with the receiving weapons currently on Jacksonville’s roster.

3: Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT – Oregon

The Bengals have been trying to rebuild their offensive line for the past several years, and adding Sewell will go a long way to solidifying that unit. An imposing left tackle, Sewell is excellent in the run game with power and mobility to be scheme versatile. As a pass protector he has excellent length and hand strength and still has room to grow with additional technique refinement. Joe Burrow will be a lot more comfortable with Sewell protecting his blind side.

4: New York Giants: Ja’Marr Chase, WR – LSU

While Daniel Jones has not been overly impressive, he still is a young quarterback and has never truly had a number one receiver like Ja’Marr Chase. Physical and aggressive at the catch point, Chase has the tools to develop into one of the games best receivers. His addition to the Giants offense and the return of Saquon Barkley would give Jones and play caller Jason Garrett one of the strongest groups of skilled players in the NFL.

5: Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, CB – Alabama

The Eagles have been a mess this year and while some may call for a quarterback, I don’t think the Eagles will draft one here given the status of Carson Wentz’s contract and the selection of Jalen Hurts last year. Instead, they turn to their defense and look to plug the leaky hole of outside corner opposite of Darius Slay. Patrick Surtain’s versatility and physicality make him an ideal fit opposite of Slay. He also has one of the highest floors in this draft class and would be an instant starter for the Eagles.

6: Detroit Lions: Zach Wilson, QB – BYU

A changing of the front office and coaching staff usually is followed by drafting a quarterback which is what the Lions do here. Zach Wilson will likely spend a redshirt year behind Matthew Stafford but looks every bit the part of a starting quarterback with his arm strength and accuracy. Hailed as the “Mormon Manziel,” Wilson has a knack for extending plays and fits the mold of the modern NFL Quarterback with his mobility and play making outside off script.

7: Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB – North Dakota State

With a new GM head coach and aging quarterback, Atlanta is in a prime position to draft a quarterback in 2021. In comes Trey Lance who will likely spend a year or two learning from Matt Ryan before he takes the field. Lance is a dynamic athlete who dominated in his two years starting for the Bison. His arm strength and mobility are elite tools that will have the new Atlanta coaching staff excited for the future.

8: Dallas Cowboys: Christian Darrisaw, OT – Virginia Tech

The Cowboys offensive line has been decimated by injury this year and they also needs to resign Dak Prescott, which could lead to cutting Tyron Smith. Either way, there is a need for offensive line help in Dallas and the answer is Christian Darrisaw the stout left tackle at Virginia Tech. Darrisaw has the athleticism and length to stay at left tackle at the next level making him an excellent successor for Smith.

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

Head coach Vic Fangio has always had athletic middle linebackers in his scheme and thus far that has not been case while he has been in Denver. Micah Parsons is a super prospect for the position with elite measurables and instincts to match. He would solidify the front seven for the Broncos defense and add to their overall team speed which is crucial in

10: Los Angeles Chargers: Kyle Pitts, TE – Florida

The Chargers seem to have struck gold with Justin Herbert and now must surround their young quarterback with playmakers. Kyle Pitts is an elite weapon at tight end, and his proved this this year that he can not only be a mismatch as a receiver, but also line up inline and block. With Hunter Henry set to hit free agency, the Chargers can get his replacement and focus in other areas in free agency.

11: Carolina Panthers: Caleb Farley, CB – Virginia Tech

The Panthers have been better than expected under first year head coach Matt Rhule. With no quarterback available, finding a long and physical press corner to match up with Michael Thomas, Julio Jones and Mike Evans is imperative. Caleb Farley looks like he could be that guy with his blend of physicality, size, and speed. Farley opted out of the season with Virginia Tech, but his underclassmen tape suggests he has a high ceiling to be a number one outside corner in the league.

12: San Francisco 49ers: Jaycee Horn, CB – South Carolina

In a division with DK Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins and Cooper Kupp the 49ers need all the help they can get in pass defense. Jaycee Horn can provide that help as a physical outside corner that would be a perfect fit in Robert Saleh’s defense. Horn is a day one starter with his strength and ability to stay in phase with receivers after his initial jam at the line of scrimmage and could be the replacement for free agent to be Richard Sherman.

13: Miami Dolphins (Houston): Kwity Paye, Edge – Michigan

The Dolphins defense has arguably been the most improved unit in the NFL this year and they continue to add pieces to that group with the selection of Kwity Paye. A bright spot in a down year for the Wolverines, Paye has the versatility to play multiple positions as a pass rushing specialist in the hybrid scheme ran by head coach Brian Flores. Paye’s strength and power are some of his best attributes along with an explosive first step that should help him gain leverage on a down to down basis.

14: Minnesota Vikings: Gergory Rousseau, Edge – Miami

A prototypical 4-3 defensive end, Rousseau fills arguably the biggest need on the Vikings and gives them another edge rushing presence opposite of Danielle Hunter. Rousseau has excellent measurables and uses his length well in both his pass rush and in run defense. He is still a bit raw in his hand use and footwork, but his ceiling is sky high as a potential game wrecker on the edge.

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

The Patriots offense lacks explosiveness and while that was not needed in the past. The dink and dunk Tom Brady offense is no longer an option for the Patriots. Grabbing Jaylen Waddle is a start to getting things opened up on offense. Waddle has game changing quickness and speed affecting the game both as a wide receiver and kick returner. His recovery from a leg injury will be key to determining when he gets draft, but there is no question he is one of the most explosive players in the draft.

16: Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota

Allen Robinson is a free agent at the end of the year, and it looks more and more doubtful he will be returning to the Windy City. Picking is replacement will likely be a priority for the Bears in this draft and Rashod Bateman looks like he could be a fit as possession receiver with the ability to make plays down the field in the vertical passing game. His strong hands, fluid route running and ability to gain yards after the catch are all plus attributes that should allow him to be impactful from day one.

17: Miami Dolphins: Devonta Smith, WR – Alabama

The run on wide receivers continues with the Dolphins getting Tua Tagovailoa a familiar face and down field weapon in Devonta Smith. Smith is a smooth and subtle route runner and has some deceptive speed to get vertical. He does an excellent job setting up defenders on double moves and finding soft spots in zone coverage. Smith’s rapport with Tua would likely help him see the field early and often in 2021.

18: Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai, Edge – Texas

Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue are hitting free agency in 2021, and the likelihood they both are retained seems slim to none. Of the two, Ngakoue seems the most likely to leave and filling his absence with a clone in Ossai seems like the perfect fit. Ossai is best standing up and using his exceptional speed and quickness to beat slower offensive tackles. He has shown the ability to be an edge bender and while he is a still raw from a technique perspective, his ceiling is one of the highest in the 2021 class.

19: Washington Football Team: Liam Eichenberg, OT – Notre Dame

Washington seems to have found something with Alex Smith and reaching for a quarterback here might not be the best move. Instead, the addition of Liam Eichenberg could provide them with their future left tackle for the Smith and his eventual successor. Eichenberg has the length to stay at tackle where he has been a multi-year starter for Notre Dame. He is never panicked as a pass protector and does well squaring up defenders off the snap. His experience and technique give him a great chance to be a day one starter at left tackle.

20: Arizona Cardinals: Rashawn Slater, OT/OG – Northwestern

The Cardinals need to do a better job protecting Kyler Murray and getting push in the run game. Drafting Rashawn Slater would go a long way in accomplishing both those things. He might lack the length to stay at tackle, but Slater is a plug and play offensive lineman with his combination of lateral mobility and power. He is a high motor player that will set the tone for an offensive line and his versatility will be an asset at the next level.

21: Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore, IDL – Alabama

The Raiders have struggled all year setting the line of scrimmage in the run game and desperately need an upgrade at defensive tackle. Christian Barmore looks to be the next great interior defensive lineman to come out of Alabama and would be a plug and play day one starter for the Raiders. Barmore would play a 3-tech for the Raiders and has elite raw power to overwhelm interior defenders. He also has some pass rush ability that should allow for him to be a true three down player in the NFL.

22: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Samuel Cosmi, OT – Texas

Donovan Smith has had an inconsistent season and will likely be a cap casualty in 2021. The Bucs got their right tackle of the future last year and now get their left tackle with Samuel Cosmi. A long athletic left tackle that moves with fluidity, Cosmi is the ideal left tackle and still has room to add strength and power to his frame. His length and movement skills are some of the best of this offensive line class and will help make the transition to the NFL easier for him, specifically with Tom Brady under center.

23: Indianapolis Colts: Eric Stokes, CB – Georgia

The Colts have plenty of needs in 2021 but they will likely look to free agency to fill some of those. One area where they might instead look to the draft is corner, where they can snag Eric Stokes out of Georgia. Stokes is a boundary corner that meets all the measurable marks of an NFL starter. He is at his best in press man but has the athleticism and instincts to succeed in any defense and does a great job mirroring and staying in phase.

24: Cleveland Browns: Shaun Wade, CB – Ohio State

The defense has a few holes to fill for the Browns and while edge rusher might be the biggest, corner is important as well. Shaun Wade is the pick not only because he is deserving of the pick, but there is a slight fall of talent after him in this draft. Wade will likely find a home in the slot at the next level which is where his aggressive and physical play style fits best. He has the versatility to play on the outside during early downs, but his skill set will give him a chance to be an elite nickel corner in the league.

25: New York Jets (Seahawks): Wyatt Davis, IOL – Ohio State

A best player available pick, Wyatt Davis can help solidify the interior of the Jets line and keep the pocket clean for Trevor Lawrence. Davis is a destructive force at guard dominating interior offensive lineman with is power. His movement skills are elite for an interior offensive lineman and his ability to climb and pull are the best in the class. Joe Douglas saw what Marshal Yanda did for the Ravens offensive line and now could get his version with the selection of Davis.

26: Tennessee Titans: Terrace Marshall Jr. WR – LSU

Corey Davis is a free agent and looks like he will probably price himself out of Tennessee. Terrace Marshall looks like a prefect fit to step in for Davis at the Z receiver position. Marshall is excellent with his releases off the line of scrimmage and while he will need to improve his route running, he does well to generate separation out of his breaks. With his size, weight, and speed measurables, Marshall looks the part of a starting NFL receiver and should be a consistent producer at the next level.

27: Jacksonville Jaguars (Rams): Travis Etienne, RB – Clemson

Jacksonville does not have a true need for a running back, but what it does need is explosiveness on offense and that is what Etienne can provide. The Jags have one of the most underrated lines in the league and with the earlier selection Justin Fields, pairing him with a dynamic back like Travis Etienne could help take some pressure off the young signal caller early in his career. Etienne has home run speed and exceptional contact balance that will help make him one of the leagues premier backs early in his career.

28: Buffalo Bills: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S – Notre Dame

The Bills have no major holes to fill in 2021 but could stand to upgrade their defense with a versatile playmaker. Owusu-Koramoah would be a prefect fit as a weak-side/dime linebacker in the Bills scheme and be used similar to how Shaq Thomas was in Carolina when Sean McDermott was the DC there. With his versatility as both an in the box player and in coverage Owusu-Koramoah is a chess piece many teams are now trying to find for their defenses.

29: Green Bay Packers: Tyson Campbell, CB – Georgia

Kevin King is set to hit free agency and with the signing of David Bakhtiari, it looks like the Packers will be unable to bring him back. Tyson Campbell is still a bit raw but possess the size and speed profile like what the Packers have had with King. He has loose hips and is a willing and aggressive tackler in run support. Thanks to fluidity and speed, Campbell rarely gets beat deep and could be a day one starter on the outside opposite of Jaire Alexander.

30: Kansas City Chiefs: Creed Humphrey, IOL – Oklahoma

Daniel Kilgore is a free agent at the end of the year, Creed Humphrey is the best player available at a position of need, and Kansas City gets a young center to pair with their dynamic young quarterback. Humphrey is a multi-year starter and leader on the offensive line at Oklahoma. He is an excellent pass protector, and his wrestling background shows up in the run game where despite his size, he can out-leverage and move lineman at the point of attack.

31: New Orleans Saints: Rondale Moore, WR – Purdue

The Saints are in cap hell come 2021, and a number of their veteran players could be on the chopping block simply to get them under the cap. With that in mind, Sean Payton is still an offensive head coach and another offensive weapon is never out of the question. Rondale Moore would provide the lightning to Michael Thomas’ thunder. Moore is an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands stressing defenses with his speed. He would give the Saints yet another dynamic to an already loaded offense.

32: Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Mayfield, OT – Michigan

Juju Smith-Schuster and Alejandro Villanueva are both free agents in 2021 and given the Steelers cap situation, they likely can only sign one of them. Given Villanueva’s age and the going rate for left tackles in the league, it is probably safe to say he will be the one leaving a hole for Jaylen Mayfield to fill. Mayfield is a raw prospect, but he has excellent trait including elite mobility and excellent lower body strength. He will need some coaching up to reach his potential, but his ceiling is sky high.

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