2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Two Rounds

     

The 2021 NFL Draft is inching closer and is only weeks away, with the first round set to commence on Thursday, April 29. Plenty has already shifted from the first edition of this mock two weeks ago, so here’s an updated look along with a second round in our latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Here are some additional draft resources we’ve compiled as well. 

2021 NFL Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

Sharpie

2. New York Jets: BYU QB Zach Wilson

Also go ahead and put this one down in ink. Jets GM Joe Douglas has all but admitted Wilson is the guy after trading Sam Darnold

3. San Francisco 49ers: Alabama QB Mac Jones

The chatter around Jones to San Francisco hasn’t abated, with plugged-in folks like Adam Schefter still believing this is where the 49ers are leaning. The team will check out Justin Fields and Trey Lance in person at their second pro days on April 14 and 19 respectively and either of them could still be the pick. But for now, it stays Jones. 

4. Atlanta Falcons: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance

Ultimately I think Lance is going to be the pick here and the fourth quarterback off the board. I’m not sure that it will be Atlanta making this pick, though. Matt Ryan’s contract makes him difficult to move for the next two seasons and given how long quarterbacks are playing these days, the Falcons can probably project another three to five years out of him. Getting a similar bounty of picks that the Dolphins got to move down would make GM Terry Fontenot’s life a lot easier.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase

Bengals fans desperate to never see QB Joe Burrow go down again have been drooling over a top tackle in the draft for months. But both beat reporters and national media have connected Chase — Burrow’s top target his record-breaking senior season at LSU — to Cincinnati. Receiver would be a bit of a luxury pick but it’s hard not to see the allure of reuniting Burrow and Chase in the NFL, and the Bengals do have an opening with A.J. Green moving on. 

6. Miami Dolphins: Florida TE Kyle Pitts

Pitts is one of the two or three best prospects in this draft class. The Dolphins already have Mike Gesicki, but he’s entering a contract year in 2021 and Miami has clearly put an emphasis on surrounding QB Tua Tagovailoa with playmakers. 

7. Detroit Lions: Oregon LT Penei Sewell

Sewell is dripping with potential and it’s a huge boon for the Lions that he gets pushed down the board to this selection. He can step in immediately at right tackle and create a bookend duo with Lions LT Taylor Decker. In fact, with Sewell in the fold, there would be an argument that new Lions QB Jared Goff will be working with a better offensive line than what he had with the Rams. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater

Despite what the team says, quarterback probably is not a realistic option at No. 8 after trading for Darnold, even with both Lance and Fields available in this scenario. Ensuring their investment in Darnold pays off is near the top of the priorities list for Carolina, and to that end adding Slater to help shore up the left side of their offensive line is the move here. 

9. Denver Broncos: Ohio State QB Justin Fields

This would be a fascinating decision for new Broncos GM George Paton. He’s been picky at quarterback in his first offseason so far, choosing not to add any real competition for QB Drew Lock. However, Fields’ potential is on an entirely different level. In other years, he’s the type of player who would be a consensus No. 1 overall pick. This year, he’s been nitpicked to death. 

10. Dallas Cowboys: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain

The Cowboys are in great shape to land a cornerback at this pick and address a major need on defense. Surtain has the best combination of traits and tape and Dallas would have the bonus of teaming him up with former college teammate Trevon Diggs, who looked like a nice hit as a rookie last season. 

11. New York Giants: Penn State LB Micah Parsons

Every year, there’s a player that falls far further than anyone expects in the first round. Parsons is someone to keep an eye on in that regard. Physically, he’s everything you could ever want and more from a linebacker. He shredded his pro day with a 4.39 40-yard dash, 10-6 broad jump and a 6.89-second three-cone drill at 247 pounds. However, there are some character questions, including hazing allegations during his time in school. He’s also new to the position and still learning the mental side. However, he has the talent of a top-10 pick and could be a huge addition to New York’s improving defense. 

12. Philadelphia Eagles: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle

Most thought the Eagles moved down with eyes on some of the top defensive prospects. They have a big need at corner and are always down to draft defensive linemen high. However, receiver also remains a need and Waddle is a field-tilting weapon who could have a Tyreek Hill-like impact for whichever team he lands on. Despite drafting Jalen Reagor in the first round just last year, that upside could prompt the Eagles to dip again at wide receiver. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn

The Chargers need a major infusion of youth in their cornerback group. Los Angeles cut Casey Hayward this offseason and Chris Harris turns 32 before the start of the 2021 season. Horn has been impressive throughout the pre-draft process, showing dynamic athleticism to go with the length and athleticism that made him pop on tape. 

14. Minnesota Vikings: Michigan DE Kwity Paye

Incensed by the tape his defense put out in 2020, Vikings HC Mike Zimmer has determined to do everything in his power to make sure that if the team fails in 2021, it’s not because of his defense. Defensive end is a spot in need of reinforcements, as there’s some uncertainty around Danielle Hunter‘s long-term status with the team. If the two sides work things out, Paye would still be an awesome bookend on the other side of Hunter. 

15. New England Patriots: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith

This would qualify as a little bit of a slide for Smith. He’s an excellent player, but his size will raise a lot of red flags for teams that just rarely see players with his build succeed in the NFL. At 6-1 and probably 170 pounds, Smith is thin. But the man they call “Slim Reaper” lit up the SEC last season and become one of the only receivers to ever win the Heisman. Smith also has the smarts and the background in a similar program to potentially be able to succeed in New England where other receivers have failed. 

16. Arizona Cardinals: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley

The Cardinals have gone all-in on this coming season and don’t have a ton of weaknesses they haven’t addressed on paper. One area they could use more help is cornerback, however, and they take advantage of the uncertainty around Farley’s recent back surgery pushing him down the board a little way. It’s a risk but potentially one with a major payoff for Arizona, as Farley at one time looked destined to be a top-ten pick. 

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw 

The Raiders’ decision to shake up the offensive line has left them with a major hole at right tackle. Fortunately for them, it’s a deep draft class at the position and there should be a number of options available in this range for them to pick from. Darrisaw only had one Division-I offer, but he became a starter as a true freshman and has never looked back. 

18. Miami Dolphins: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins

Cutting Kyle Van Noy made it clear the Dolphins are looking to get better at linebacker. Their scheme asks a lot from the position but there might not be another player better suited athletically to meet those demands than Collins. At 6-4, 260 pounds, Collins is huge, built more like an old-school linebacker than the modern prototype. But he’s a freak athlete who can thump in the run game, blitz off the edge and show range in coverage. He has the potential to be the type of elite playmaker Miami is looking for. 

19. Washington Football Team: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah

Unlike Collins, Owusu-Koromoah is much closer to what teams are looking for from their linebackers with how much the spread offense has taken over the NFL. At 6-1 and 216 pounds, he’s closer to safety-sized than a linebacker. However, Owusu-Koromoah is a great fit as a versatile defensive chess piece who has the size to match up with some bigger targets and the speed to run, chase and cover a lot of ground when the offense tries to spread things out. 

20. Chicago Bears: Florida WR Kadarius Toney

The Bears need a ton of help at wide receiver. They’re on the verge of trading Anthony Miller and things could trend that way with Allen Robinson as well if negotiations deteriorate. Toney is an exciting playmaker with the ball in his hands and a rare athlete. 

21. Indianapolis Colts: Miami DE Jaelan Phillips

Edge rusher is a major need for the Colts, and while it’s a position they place a high value on, they’ve yet to really address it in free agency. Phillips could answer those questions for a long time, though. Injuries and transferring from UCLA kept Phillips from breaking out until this past season when he had eight sacks in 10 games for the Hurricanes. At 6-5 and 260+ pounds, Phillips also annihilated his pro day with a 40-yard dash of 4.56 seconds and outstanding agility and explosion numbers. If it weren’t for his injury history, he’d likely go higher. 

22. Tennessee Titans: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins

The Titans have to try again at right tackle after the colossal bust that was last year’s first-round selection, Isaiah Wilson. Tennessee also moved on from veteran Dennis Kelly, which makes the need more glaring. They dip into a deep pool of possible right tackles though and land Jenkins, who exhibited a mean streak at Oklahoma State that should mesh perfectly with the Titans’ identity on offense. 

23. New York Jets: USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker

The Jets will be determined not to make the same mistake with their new franchise quarterback that they did with Darnold and look to surround him with talent. That includes improving the offensive line, which doesn’t have much of anything in terms of building blocks outside of star LT Mekhi Becton. Vera-Tucker is a superb fit for the zone rushing scheme new Jets OC Mike LaFleur is installing and might even be able to play right tackle. At the very least, he should turn guard from a weakness into a strength. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alabama RB Najee Harris

The Steelers were completely unable to run the ball with any semblance of consistent effectiveness last season. It made them one-dimensional and ultimately contributed to their collapse. Owner Art Rooney has made it clear that won’t be tolerated again, as it flies in the face of his franchise’s identity. Addressing the offensive line is one way to do that but Pittsburgh might have had a bigger issue with its running backs last season. Harris would come in as a three-down bellcow to fix that. He’s not fast, but he’s big, powerful and adept as a receiver. He could help the Steelers rediscover their identity as a smashmouth football team. 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Penn State DE Jayson Oweh

There are a number of directions the Jaguars could go with this pick, as they need help just about everywhere. New HC Urban Meyer is a big believer in building through both lines and Oweh is an athletic freak. The production isn’t there, as he had zero sacks last season, but rare athletes like that get drafted high by the NFL with the idea that pass-rushing moves can be taught, being 6-5, 250 and running a 4.3 40-yard dash can’t. 

26. Cleveland Browns: Miami DE Gregory Rousseau

Rousseau was one of several players who opted out of this past season but unlike guys like Chase and Sewell, it appears he could have used another year to answer questions scouts still had. A converted receiver from high school, Rousseau had a staggering 15.5 sacks in 2019. He has the type of frame the NFL covets at 6-7 and 266 pounds but there are questions about just how explosive he is. He provides an intriguing option to add to Cleveland’s pass rush, however. 

27. Baltimore Ravens: Georgia OLB Azeez Ojulari

The Ravens let both edge rushers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue leave this offseason and so far haven’t really replaced them with anyone of note. That could change here, as Baltimore lands Ojulari who has drawn some comparisons to former division rival Bud Dupree

28. New Orleans Saints: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome

There have been a number of late risers at cornerback this year in what’s seen as a deep class and Newsome falls in that category. A stellar pro day when he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and had a vertical jump of 40 inches helped confirm some of the stellar tape Newsome put out in 2020. The Saints have a big need for a new No. 2 corner and Newsome would give them some flexibility in case CB Marshon Lattimore asks for far more in a new deal than New Orleans wants to pay. 

29. Green Bay Packers: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi

Cornerback and receiver are both needs for the Packers but it’s a deep class at both positions. Green Bay is actually a decent candidate to trade back and accumulate more picks, as they need all the cheap labor they can get due to their cap pinch this year and next. If they stay put, though, they could look to fill their current hole at right tackle after cutting Rick Wagner. Drafting Cosmi would let them keep Billy Turner inside at guard where he’s better. 

30. Buffalo Bills: Georgia CB Eric Stokes

Sometimes teams who are exposed in the playoffs will react strongly the following offseason to ensure it’s no longer a weakness. The Chiefs shredded Buffalo’s secondary in the AFC title game, making it obvious the Bills just didn’t have anyone with the speed to hang with Hill. If Stokes’ pro day time is any indication, he could be a fix to that problem. He also has the size and aptitude to succeed in Buffalo’s primarily zone defense. 

31. Kansas City Chiefs: LSU WR Terrace Marshall

The Chiefs have kicked the tires on a lot of receivers in free agency despite GM Brett Veach‘s bluff that they were perfectly happy with Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle rounding out Patrick Mahomes‘ receiving corps. Kansas City benefits from an outstanding draft class at the position yet again and has a plethora of options at the end of the first round. Of that bunch, Marshall might have the highest upside. He has an intriguing blend of size and speed and showed the flexibility to move to the slot this past year for LSU after primarily playing outside in 2019. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alabama DT Christian Barmore

It’s generally seen as a weak defensive tackle class but there are some intriguing players like Barmore. At 6-4 and 310 pounds, Barmore has great size and he showed off some explosiveness in the other drills at his pro day. The potential has always been there and he went a long way toward showing it in a breakout 2020 season. For the Buccaneers, Barmore would reinforce a defensive line that, though it’s a strength of the team, is starting to age. 

CONTINUE TO ROUND 2

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