With free agency pretty much winding down, all eyes turn to the 2021 NFL Draft, which is set to commence on Thursday, April 29. Here’s a look at how the first round could shake out 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
It’s been clear for several months now that Trevor Lawrence is going to be Jaguar and even new HC Urban Meyer has hinted at as much. Lawrence is widely considered to be the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL since Andrew Luck, so it will be interesting to see what he’s able to do in Jacksonville in the coming years.
2. New York Jets: BYU QB Zach Wilson
With Sam Darnold being traded to the Panthers earlier this week, it’s opened the doors for the Jets to go all-in on their quarterback of the future. Wilson has been generating a good deal of buzz for the past few months and all indications are that he’ll be under center for the Jets in 2021 and beyond.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Alabama QB Mac Jones
The 49ers are clearly after one of the top quarterback prospects after their blockbuster trade up to No. 3 overall. It originally seemed like Trey Lance or maybe Justin Fields could be San Francisco’s target. However, nearly all reports since then have pointed to Mac Jones possibly being the 49ers’ guy. With this in mind, I’m giving them Jones for the time being.
4. Atlanta Falcons: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance
The Falcons find themselves in a really intriguing spot with the fourth pick. They can either get a quarterback prospect of the future to develop behind former MVP Matt Ryan or they could look to auction off the pick to a team looking trade up. Either way, both seem like great options for Atlanta. Sitting Lance for a year could prove to be beneficial for him and allow the team’s new coaching staff to settle in before turning things over from there.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Florida TE Kyle Pitts
It’s great to have a top-five pick and your quarterback of the future in place. Cincinnati is looking at the top tight end prospect, their pick of the best receivers and top left tackle Penei Sewell all on the board. I admit that the Bengals could really go either way here, but offensive line is considered to be deep in this year’s draft and they’re getting a potential difference-maker to grow with Joe Burrow.
6. Miami Dolphins: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase
This seems like a pretty good situation for the Dolphins, who have been in need of a top-end receiver for a few years now. Miami did sign Will Fuller in free agency and have DeVante Parker in place, but adding Chase would really give Tua Tagovailoa some great options to work with.
7. Detroit Lions: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle
I do think the Lions could be a potential landing spot for a quarterback prospect. Although, they publicly stated that they’re comfortable moving forward with Jared Goff as their starter for at least the next year or two. Landing Waddle at No. 7 seems like a great outcome for a team that will be replacing their top-two receivers in 2021.
8. Carolina Panthers: Oregon LT Penei Sewell
Carolina was a team to watch for one of this year’s top quarterbacks, but that changed with the trade for Sam Darnold. The Panthers are now in position to take the best available player and it turns out that Sewell fills a major roster need for them.
9. Denver Broncos: Ohio State QB Justin Fields
Drew Lock is currently the Broncos’ starting quarterback, but Denver is clearly open to adding competition at the position. Fields is a high-upside quarterback, who could make for a dangerous offense with the weapons the Broncos have added the past few years.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain
The Cowboys are able to address a major need at No. 10 and secure the top cornerback position in this year’s draft class. Surtain would be reunited with his former college teammate Trevon Diggs in Dallas under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
11. New York Giants: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith
While the Giants did spend big money to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency, adding a dynamic receiver like Smith would really bolster a position group that has underperformed the past few years. New York’s offense would consist of Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Smith, Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley, which is quite the collection of offensive weapons for Daniel Jones.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Penn State LB Micah Parsons
Linebacker is a clear need for the Eagles and Parsons is someone who has come up as a potential top-10 pick in this year’s draft class. Parsons is a versatile player who could be a mainstay for the Eagles’ defense.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater
This is a great outcome for the Chargers, who could really some an impact offensive lineman. Some evaluators view Slater as the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft class and it makes plenty of sense for Los Angeles to invest in a blind side protector for Justin Herbert.
14. Minnesota Vikings: USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker
The Vikings are another team in need of offensive line help and Vera-Tucker offers them some position versatility. Some evaluators think he can play at left tackle, but even if he can’t he could be a plug-and-play type of guard to help solidify a weak spot for the Vikings from here on.
15. New England Patriots: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Owusu-Koramoah is an explosive player capable of holding up in coverage and rushing the passer if need be. It’s not hard to imagine what Bill Belichick could do with a high upside defender like Owusu-Koramoah.
16. Arizona Cardinals: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn
The Cardinals brought in veteran Malcolm Butler to help offset the loss of Patrick Peterson, but they could still use some more help to round out their secondary. Horn would give Arizona some length and athleticism to match up with opposing receivers.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: TCU S Trevon Moehrig
Las Vegas has done a decent job of filling some obvious areas of need in free agency, but safety still seems like an area where they could use some help. Dane Brugler compares Moehrig to Bengals standout free safety Jessie Bates. Overall, he seems like a great fit next to Johnathan Abram.
18. Miami Dolphins: Michigan DE Kwity Paye
Miami could really use edge help and Paye happens to be the best available prospect on the board. Paye isn’t just a one-dimensional edge rusher. He can also hold up against the run and should be a solid starter for a team like the Dolphins.
19. Washington Football Team: Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw
Washington has invested heavily in their defense the past few years and they’re starting to see the results. Addressing the offensive line and coming away with a solid tackle prospect like Darrisaw could go a long way towards solidifying the trenches on both sides of the ball.
20. Chicago Bears: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
The Bears were forced to cut Kyle Fuller due to cap constraints this offseason. They moved quickly to sign Desmond Trufant, but they could still use another corner in their secondary. Farley was considered to be a potential top-10 prospect, but he has some medical questions regarding his back, so this is a bit of a discount for Chicago.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Miami DE Jaelan Phillips
While offensive tackle is a clear need for Indianapolis, the best value at this point is at edge rusher. Phillips can impact games as a pass rusher and as a run defender. Some evaluators view Phillips as the most talented edge rusher in this year’s draft class, despite some durability concerns.
22. Tennessee Titans: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome
The Titans have had defensive issues the past few years, which led to them cutting CBs Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson this offseason. Newsome seems like a great fit in Tennessee and is the kind of high-upside prospect they should be targeting at this point in the draft.
23. New York Jets: Miami DE Gregory Rousseau
Rousseau was once considered to be a top-10 prospect in this year’s draft class and offers impressive size and length as an edge rusher. The Jets spent big money on Carl Lawson in free agency, but there are still questions at the other spot. This is pretty good value at this point at a premium position.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alabama RB Najee Harris
The Steelers have made it clear that they want to get back to running the ball after a really disappointing 2020 season in that regard. Harris really seems like a perfect fit in Pittsburgh. He can be a three-down back capable of helping in the passing game as well.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
The Jaguars were able to trade for Malcom Brown this offseason, but there are still questions about how they’ll hold on the interior defensive line. Barmore is considered to be the best defensive tackle prospect by some evaluators in this year’s draft class
26. Cleveland Browns: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins
While Cleveland has one of the deeper rosters in the NFL right now, linebacker still stands out as a question mark for the Browns this season. Collins has drawn comps to Dont’a Hightower and offers an interesting blend of size and athleticism.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Georgia OLB Azeez Ojulari
The Ravens are once again looking to replace more edge rushers they watched sign elsewhere in free agency. Ojulari is a little undersized for a pass rusher, but he proved to be a big-time playmaker at Georgia and would really fit a 3-4 defensive scheme at the next level.
28. New Orleans Saints: Florida WR Kadarius Toney
As of now, the Saints are without a clear No. 2 receiver behind Michael Thomas. Toney is an explosive player capable of making defenders miss. It’s not hard to see what he could do in Sean Payton’s offense at the next level.
29. Green Bay Packers: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins
The Packers could go a few different ways at this point. Receiver and cornerback are both needs, but this seems like a good spot to grab one of the best remaining offensive tackle prospects, seeing as they still haven’t re-signed Rick Wagner this offseason and they will need a right tackle for the coming years. Jenkins is a large right tackle prospect capable of handling speed rushers, which has been a bit of an issue for the Packers at times.
30. Buffalo Bills: Penn State DE Jayson Oweh
The Bills are another team with a fairly deep roster that has addressed a number of needs in free agency. Even so, edge rusher seems like a spot where they could use another young prospect to work into the mix over the next year or so. Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes are both getting up there in years and are set to be free agents after the season. As for Oweh, Lance Zierlein compares him to Bud Dupree due to his traits as an edge rusher and his explosiveness.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi
Kansas City needs to address offensive tackle, assuming they don’t plan to move Joe Thuney out to left tackle after giving him big money in free agency. Cosmi has prototypical size for a left tackle and good athleticism to work with for an NFL team.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: FSU CB Asante Samuel Jr
The Buccaneers’ roster is so deep that it’s hard to find a weak spot at this point. Samuel is capable of playing outside or in the slot and possesses great athleticism, even if he’s a bit undersized for the position.