Key: *=A player that will likely forego his senior year and enter the NFL Draft
With week six in the books for college football, it’s already time to look ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft. Fans all around have waited three years for this draft. Trevor Lawrence, one of the Heisman favorite’s, will most likely forego his senior season and enter the 2021 NFL Draft. On top of Lawrence, there are a lot of play-makers like Micah Parsons*, Ja’Marr Chase*, Justin Fields*, and of course the dominant left tackle out of Oregon, Penei Sewell. Many draft analysts and experts say Sewell is the best offensive tackle they’ve ever seen coming out of college. With all that being said, let’s see how the 2021 NFL Draft could shape out next year.
- New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence*, QB, Clemson – The New York Jets picked a good year to be terrible. It is highly likely Lawrence will forego his senior season at Clemson, to enter the NFL Draft. Sam Darnold is still a young quarterback with some upside. However, the Jets can’t miss out on the best QB prospect to come out of college since Andrew Luck.
- New York Giants – Trey Lance*, QB, North Dakota State: Clearly the two New York teams need help all over the field. For the Giants, I would say it’s pretty clear Daniel Jones isn’t the answer at quarterback. Justin Fields is the second best quarterback in the Draft. However, the Giants will fall in love with the upside of Lance, and take him second overall.
- Washington Football Team – Penei Sewell*, OT, Oregon: After benching former 15th overall pick Dwayne Haskins, Washington clearly needs a new quarterback. Fields is the best quarterback on the board, however, he is mobile and has had knee injuries. Thinking that they learned from the RGIII saga, Washington takes the best player on the board. Sewell will be able to protect the quarterback’s blind side for years to come. Washington finally does something smart and gets their Left Tackle for the future.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Patrick Surtain II*, DB, Alabama: The Jaguars drafted Florida defensive back C.J Henderson. Adding Surtain II would be an excellent pick for Jacksonville. Pair him with Henderson and you have a young duo at the corners who will be there for years to come.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase*, WR, LSU: Chase is my highest ranked receiver. He opted out of playing this season to get ready for the draft. On top of all that, you link up college buddies Chase and Joe Burrow. If Burrow and Chase can connect the way they did for LSU in 2019, you have the making of a great passing attack.
- Atlanta Falcons – Micah Parsons*, LB, Penn State: The Falcons need help all across the board. Parsons, who also opted out this year, is the best player on the board. The Falcons make the smart move, taking the best player on the board. Parsons will be able to impact the Falcons’ defense from day one.
- Miami Dolphins – Gregory Rousseau*, DL, Miami: With two first round picks in the draft, the Dolphins can afford to take a player like Rousseau, who has opted out this year. He racked up 15.5 sacks in 2019. He’s still rather new to the position, so he may have the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft.
- Denver Broncos – Jaylen Waddle*, WR, Alabama: Denver has been crushed by injuries all year. The Broncos could go a bunch of different ways in this draft. They drafted Michael Ojemudia last year and the rookie has been playing well this year. The Broncos could look to pair him with another dominant defensive back. However, if the Broncos think Drew Lock is the guy, they get him some help by drafting Waddle. Waddle is a dangerous play maker, who could use some work on route running. In the end the Broncos go for the deep threat out of Alabama.
- Miami Dolphins (From the Texans) – DeVonta Smith*, WR, Alabama: If the draft plays out this way, Miami will be disappointed. The Dolphins need help on the outside, and considering Miami should be Tua’s team next year, they bring in one of his college buddies. Not having Chase or Waddle on the board is a big bummer for the Dolphins.
- Detroit Lions – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama: Three Crimson Tide players in a row? Yes it’s possible and in my mock draft it does go that way. Moses tore his ACL in 2019, but is back playing for the Crimson Tide this year. He’s a first round talent that can make a difference for the Lions early. Matt Patricia and the Lions have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, and Moses should improve that immediately.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater*, OL, Northwestern: The Chargers are set at right guard with Trai Turner. However, after handing Justin Herbert the keys to the offense, they could use help on the left side. Slater can play both tackle positions, but grades out as an interior lineman in the NFL. Protecting Herbert should be the Chargers main focus, and Slater can pretty much play anywhere on the line.
- Minnesota Vikings – Caleb Farley*, DB, Virginia Tech: With Trey Lance off the board, the Vikings can focus on other needs, or take the best player available. Farley has opted out of Virginia Tech Football this year. He’s a top-10 talent, who could step in and lock down one side of the field for the Vikings.
- Carolina Panthers – Wyatt Davis*, OG, Ohio State: The way Teddy Bridgewater has played so far, the Panthers should be comfortable with him for another year. Shifting their focus from QB to the offensive line, the Panthers get the best interior offensive lineman in the draft. Other than Sewell, Davis is the best offensive lineman on the board.
- San Francisco 49ers – Kyle Pitts*, TE/WR, Florida: The 49ers lost in the Super Bowl to the Chiefs last year. The 49ers could really use a defensive back here, with five defensive backs hitting free agency this off-season. Shaun Wade out of Ohio State is an excellent defensive back, but he mostly plays in the slot. Until he proves he can line up outside, he’s not a top-15 pick. Instead the 49ers take the most explosive player on the board in Kyle Pitts out of Florida. Pitts has already caught seven touchdowns this year, and is a nightmare for linebackers or safeties.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Rashod Bateman*, WR, Minnesota: The Eagles have been decimated by injuries this year. Greg Ward, the former Houston quarterback has done a good job filling in, but the Eagles need a true number one receiver. Bateman is ranked behind Rondale Moore out of Purdue. Moore is more of a play-maker, slot type of receiver. Bateman is a big physical receiver. Bateman is 6’2 so he is a true number one. He also reminds some of Alshon Jefferey, who was a big reason the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018.
- Las Vegas Raiders – Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan: For the first time in a while, the Raiders won’t draft an explosive, fast receiver. The Raiders instead look towards the defensive line. Clelin Ferrell is a young defensive end that seems to be living up to loft expectations. However, the Raiders need more consistency on the defensive line. That’s where Kwity Paye comes in. He’s an athletic pass-rusher that is worthy of the 16th pick.
- Dallas Cowboys – Jayson Oweh*, DE, Penn State: The Dallas Cowboys need help on defense, and they need it bad. Oweh has about as high of a ceiling as anyone in the draft. Oweh is an athletic edge rusher, that is still learning the position.
- Chicago Bears – Rondale Moore*, WR, Purdue: The Chicago Bears defense has carried the offense through five games this year. Whether the Bears go after a new quarterback later in the draft, or stick with Nick Foles, Moore will be a great slot receiver who can get open across the middle, and beat you on a deep route.
- Arizona Cardinals – Walker Little*, OT, Stanford: This is a tough pick for Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals. In a perfect world, the Cardinals would draft a receiver to help out Deandre Hopkins and quarterback Kyler Murray. However, with the top receivers off the board, the Cardinals look to protect Murray. Little opted out of the 2020 college football season, so he should come into the combine and draft in top physical shape. Little can play either tackle position, but needs to work on his footwork. Look for Little to struggle early, blocking for a mobile quarterback. However, he doesn’t have the upside of other players, but he’s a solid tackle who can keep Kyler Murray off the ground.
- Cleveland Browns – Shaun Wade*, CB, Ohio State: Wade falling in the draft is like Christmas morning for the Browns. Wade is a top-10 talent that people aren’t high on because he plays a lot in the slot. However, at Ohio State this year he will be on the outside more. Wade falls to the Browns, and they have the makings of a great defensive backfield. Pairing Wade with Denzel Ward, should give offenses fits over the course of the year.
- Tennessee Titans – Pat Freiermuth*, TE, Penn State: The Titans are another team that could use some receiver help, but with the big names off the board, Mike Vrabel and the Titans turn to the tight end position. Freiermuth is a proficient blocker who will help open holes for Derrick Henry. He can also be a mismatch for linebackers, and in the box safeties.
- New England Patriots – Tyson Campbell*, DB, Georgia: With all the top receivers and tight ends off the board, Bill Belichick decides to snag a partner for Stephon Gilmore. Campbell has a high upside, and is everything scouts look for in a defensive back. Good footwork, quick hands, and the ability to play different coverages. Gilmore and Campbell would easily be a top-15 corner duo.
- Indianapolis Colts – Paulson Adebo, DB, Stanford: Both Xavier Thomas and T.J Carrie are having fantastic years for the defensive dominant Colts. However, Thomas is on a one year deal. The Colts look to the draft to fill his spot. Adebo struggled a bit in 2019, but looks to improve his stock with a great 2020 season. Standing at 6’1 with great footwork, he could end up being a clone of Richard Sherman.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (From LAR) – Samuel Cosmi*, OL, Texas: After taking care of their defensive backfield with their first pick, the Jaguars turn to the offensive line. Cosmi holds down the left side for Sam Ehlinger at Texas, but Cosmi can play both tackle positions. He will likely start from day one opposite of 2019 second round pick, Jawaan Taylor.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State: Florida State is an absolute dumpster fire this year. Vita Vea will be sidelined until next year with an injury, but adding Marvin Wilson makes the Bucs’ defense better overall. Line him up on the inside or outside. He’s started off slow this year, along with the Florida State team, so he needs to prove he has the talent to bring it day in and day out.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Carlos Basham Jr, EDGE, Wake Forest: Basham Jr. is still very raw, but his ceiling is incredibly high. Basham Jr. dominates some plays and not others. He needs to learn how to be consistent every down. Under Mike Tomlin, that shouldn’t be too hard.
- Buffalo Bills – Christian Barmore*, DL, Alabama: Barmore earned his starting role at Alabama just this year. However, he has all the toold NFL teams look for in a defensive lineman. Last night, Ryan Tannehill, was rarely on the ground. The Bills could use to add some defensive pressure.
- New Orleans Saints – Mac Jones*, QB, Alabama: The Saints finally get Drew Brees’ replacement late in the first round. Brees has struggled all year with the long ball. This is where Mac Jones comes in. He can sit and learn for a year behind one of the greats. Kyle Trask out of Florida was also considered in this spot, but the Saints have so many play-makers on offense, Mac Jones would fit right in. Jones has Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith at Alabama, so pairing Jones up with Michael Thomas should be easy. Also Alvin Kamara can make something out of nothing. In the end the Saints draft the safer choice in Jones.
- Green Bay Packers – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah*, LB, Notre Dame: Owusu-Koramoah is listed as a linebacker, but really he plays all over the field. He has the speed and athleticism to come off the edge, and he has the footwork and confidence to be good in coverage. As long as the Packers don’t draft another quarterback, Aaron Rodgers should be happy.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Nick Bolton*, LB, Missouri: With an arsenal of play-makers on offense, Andy Reid and the Chiefs look to improve their defense. Bolton is a safe pick for the Chiefs. His ceiling isn’t as high as others, but with athleticism, speed, and above average tackling, he would be an immediate upgrade for the Chiefs and their linebackers’ room.
- New York Jets (From Seattle Seahawks) – Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee: The Jets got their quarterback of the future in Trevor Lawrence, now they pick up an offensive lineman to make sure he won’t get killed out there. Smith played both tackle spots early in his career. However, he can also play on the inside. As an interior offensive lineman he is a wrecking ball.
- Baltimore Ravens – Josh Myers*, OC, Ohio State: The Ravens could go a lot of different ways here. However, center Matt Skura is in the last year of his contract, so the Ravens snag his replacement with the last pick in the first round. Myers is tall and agile, giving him great vision pre-snap and post-snap. Myers has also blocked for Justin Fields, another elusive quarterback, so he shouldn’t have trouble blocking for Lamar Jackson.
Expect a Mock 2021 draft once a month from here on out. Things can change in the blink of an eye in the NFL. This mock draft also doesn’t include any draft day trades which are very likely with three quarterbacks expected to go early on.
Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE
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