Welcome one and all to the second edition of my 2021 NFL mock draft. This time around we are going to add some excitement in the form of trades. On average, the last three years there have been five draft day trades, so that’s the mark we’re going to shoot for here. Pop your popcorn, cozy up, and enjoy the 2021 NFL mock draft 2.0!
Round 1 Pick 1 Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
Trevor and the new Mrs.Lawrence just donated $20k to charities in Jacksonville after Jags fans bought items on his wedding gift list saying “we hope to be part of your community soon”. Put your life on Lawrence going first overall.
Round 1 Pick 2 New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson
Since the last mock this pick has only gotten more likely after the trading of QB Sam Darnold to Carolina. Zach Wilson had an absolutely ridiculous 2020 season and is feeling like a lock to go second overall at this point. New OC Mike LaFleur is going to get the perfect signal caller for his system. The Jets are cleared for takeoff and this is the first big step in getting off the ground.
Round 1 Pick 3 San Francisco 49ers: QB Justin Fields
The draft really starts here with the 9ers. After a massive trade up with the Dolphins to get from 12 to 3, SF is in prime position to take their future passer. I don’t buy the Mac Jones rumors and Trey Lance is just a little too raw for Shanahan’s system. Fields is exactly the accurate athlete that would thrive in the Bay. Book Fields to SF.
*TRADE* Round 1 Pick 4 Denver Broncos: QB Trey Lance
2021 9th Overall
2021 2nd Round Pick 40
2022 1st Round Pick
2022 2nd Round Pick
2021 4th Overall
The Broncos have been in on every QB situation this offseason and are adamant that Drew Lock is not their guy in the long term plans. It takes a lot of valuable draft capital, but it is worth it for a guy with Lance’s ceiling. This is a perfect situation for Trey to sit behind Drew Lock and inherit an offense after a season or two that is loaded with talent from the like of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, KJ Hamler, and Melvin Gordon.
Round 1 Pick 5 Cincinnati Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase
After the signing of Riley Reiff, I’m not too sure they Bengals are still fixated on Penei Sewell. Jonah Williams was a great player when healthy and Reiff is a big upgrade from Bobby freaking Hart. Aside from how cool it would be to pair up Burrow and Chase once more, this move would take this offense to a whole new level. Tee Higgins impressed a lot of people last year and is only getting better, Tyler Boyd is a top five slot receiver in the league, then you insert Ja’Marr Chase who is one of the best prospects in the last ten years and suddenly you have one of, if not not, the best receiving core in the league. The chemistry between Ja’Marr and Joe is just icing on the cake. You can quote me on this one “Ja’Marr chase to the jungle”.
Round 1 Pick 6 Miami Dolphins: TE Kyle Pitts
The Dolphins traded in the sixth spot after their block-buster for the chance at either Pitts or Chase. Their plan worked and now they get one of the most talented tight end prospects since the founding of the NFL in 1920. Pitts is an absolutely polarizing player who you simply can’t take your eyes off of. I don’t want to hear a word about “but they have Gesicki”. The Dolphins quarterbacks both played their best in 12 personnel. The combo of Gesicki and Pitts alongside DeVante Parker and Preston Williams would truly be “building around Tua”. Not to mention this year’s receiver class is just as deep if not deeper than last years and they could still snag one later.
*TRADE* Round 1 Pick 7 Los Angeles Charger: OT Penei Sewell
2021 13th Overall
2021 77th Overall
2022 2nd Round Pick
2022 3rd Round Pick
2021 7th Overall
It is a Christmas miracle if you’re Justin Herbert. Sewell is one of the greatest tackle prospects of all time. He moves like a freaking running back and will be serving all you can eat pancakes on Sundays. Sewell is a massive upgrade over the recently departed Sam Tevi and the current starter Sam Pipkins III. The Chargers are getting a generational blind side blocker to grow with Herbert for the next 10+ years.
Round 1 Pick 8 Carolina Panthers: OL Rashawn Slater
The Panthers are starting a sixth man at left tackle and are weak on the interior of the offensive line. Slater is one of the only prospects I have ever evaluated that can play all five positions on the offensive line and be above average at each. Slater can come in and blow open lanes for CMC and will be a big part of keeping Darnold upright.
Round 1 Pick 9 Atlanta Falcons: CB Jaycee Horn
What? Oh my God Jaycee Horn is off the board before Surtain? Yes he is, because he is the most talented cornerback in this class. This is no knock on Surtain but rather a long over due praise of Horn. Jaycee has impeccable size and strength for the cornerback position. He plays an aggressive brand of football and will be a beast in man coverage in the NFL. The Falcons need someone to compete with the like fo Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and DJ Moore every year, it’s about time they get someone who can compete and now they have a great duo in AJ Terrell and Jaycee Horn to shut down the South for years to come.
*TRADE* Round 1 Pick 10 Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jaylen Waddle
2021 12th Overall
2021 37th Overall
2021 123rd Overall
2021 10th Overall
The trade compensation is a little heavy considering the Eagles are moving up just two spots but the Cowboys are division rivals and technically they are trading into the top ten. The trade is all worth it for the privilege of selecting Bama speedster Jaylen Waddle. Jaylen Waddle is more complete than Ruggs III was last year and is more physical than Tyreek Hill. The Eagles receiving core gets another dynamic play maker and someone to develop alongside 2020 first round pick Jalen Reagor.
Round 1 Pick 11 New York Giants: WR DeVonta Smith
The general public has known who the Giants are taking the previous two years and this year is no different. Gettleman snags the 2020 Heisman Trophy recipient and adds a craft route runner in DeVonta Smith to a talented core of Golladay and Darius Slayton. This offense is primed for Daniel Jones to truly showcase his abilities and to show whether or not he is the guy for the job in the long run.
Round 1 Pick 12 Dallas Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II
Jerry Jones has to be pretty happy with himself after stealing Eagles’ draft capital and still getting his guy. This pick is simple really, the NFC East is becoming a division that requires talented cornerback play and Trevon Diggs is not enough for the boys. With this pick, the Cowboys join together the formidable Crimson Tide duo of Diggs and Surtain II to hold down the outside for years to come.
Round 1 Pick 13 Detroit Lions: LB Micah Parsons
The value of athletic do-it-all linebackers are at an all time high in the NFL and Jamie Collins Sr. is not that guy for the Lions. Under new head coach Dan Campbell, this is a Lions defense that is going to get stronger, faster, and stronger so who better to add than Micah Parsons. Dan Campbell and new DC Aaron Glenn are coming from a Saints defense spearheaded by Demario Davis, so they take a page from that book and snag their defensive captain. Parsons is going to immediately elevate the play level of the defense.
Round 1 Pick 14 Minnesota Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw
If the Vikings hope to improve from last year, they need to get better in the trenches. Their offensive play-style requires dominance up front and rolling with Rashod Hill is the opposite of dominance. Christian Darrisaw is an absolute rock in pass blocking and moves like a ballerina in the run game. He is exactly the athlete the Vikings need to get out in front for Dalvin Cook and the perfect blind-side blocker for Kirk Cousins.
Round 1 Pick 15 New England Patriots: QB Mac Jones
I don’t care if Bill Belichick shook his head at the Bama Pro Day, he will not pass up on Jones if he is there at 15. Mac lead the Alabama Crimson Tide to a National Championship in 2020 and shows great poise as a QB. He’s got great arm strength and accuracy that the Patriots hope to translate in the NFL. Cam Newton will be a great mentor to him.
Round 1 Pick 16 Arizona Cardinals: CB Caleb Farley
Opposite Malcolm Butler for the Cardinals is Robert Alford. Alford hasn’t played a snap of football since 2018 due to injuries and is on a one year veterans minimum. So no, a team that is in a division with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Aiyuk, Robert Woods, and Cooper Cupp is not going to roll out Alford on Sundays and feel confident. Instead they can use a first round pick on the best cornerback in the whole draft class. Farley was a top ten lock before his back surgery and now could end up being the steal of the draft. The Cardinals are in position to take a risk like this because of an insurance policy like Robert Alford, but let’s be clear, he is just an insurance policy and nothing more.
Round 1 Pick 17 Oakland Raiders: OT Teven Jenkins
I don’t know if there is a more punch you in the mouth and take your lunch money player in this class than Teven Jenkins. He is the exact physical monster that the Raiders are all in on. The right side of their line is a mess after trading Trent Brown and Gabe Jackson. Jenkins has guard and tackle capability and is best suited to play on the right side. After signing Kolton Miller to a long term deal, they should take care of the right cap of the line. Jenkins is a total Mayock and Gruden type of player.
Round 1 Pick 18 Miami Dolphins: RB Najee Harris
No one in America can look me in the eyes and say “The Dolphins will be fine with Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed”. The Fins have a joke of a backfield right now and need to get right before they miss out on all the backs like they did last year. Here they have their pick of the litter and take the dynamic and powerful Najee Harris. Harris already has chemistry with Tua and slides into an offense that now features Parker, Williams, Gesicki, and the phenom Pitts.
Round 1 Pick 19 Washington Football Team: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
The WFT is looking for a leader of their defense and who better than the uber athletic JOK. There are higher demands of linebackers behind the WFT front four. Quarterbacks are getting the ball out quicker and to shorter areas of the field so the linebackers behind the pass rush must be fast and have exceptional coverage ability and that is just what JOK is.
Round 1 Pick 20 Chicago Bears: WR Rashod Bateman
It is crunch time for the Bears’ front office and after no tackles fell to them, they opt to add an immediate contributor in Rashod Bateman. Bateman slides into a young core with Allen Robinson, David Montgomery, Cole Kmet, and Darnell Mooney. The Bears are giving Andy Dalton every opportunity in the world to succeed here. This is a big time receiver and an important piece of the Chicago Bears’ future.
Round 1 Pick 21 Indianapolis Colts: OT Liam Eichenburg
I will bang the Eichenburg to Indy drum till the day it happens. I have been the leader of the Eichenburg to Indy fan club for quite some time now and it’s just a perfect fit in every way. Plug and play left tackle, scheme fit in the run game, Notre Dame pedigree, and slotting him next to Big Q. What more could you ask for. Home run every way you look at it. This one was easy, onto the next.
*TRADE* Round 1 Pick 22 New Orleans Saints: DE Jaelan Phillips
2021 28th Overall
2021 60th Overall
2022 2nd Round Pick
2022 4th Round Pick
2021 22nd Overall
The Saints have busted on the Davenport experiment so they take a gamble on Jaelan Phillips. Phillips has injury question marks but he is also the most talented edge rusher in this class by a country mile. He was ranked higher than Chase Young in their high school class and his natural talent is obvious. Put Jaelan Phillips opposite Cam Jordan with defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen to groom Phillips and you have a 25+ sack duo off the edge. The trenches are incredibly important to New Orleans and Dennis Allen’s defense runs off the pass rush. The Saints move to 22 to jump the Jets.
Round 1 Pick 23 New York Jets: DE Kwity Paye
Much like the Saints, the Jets’ defense runs through the pass rush. Saleh is implementing his new 4-3 defensive scheme and starts his reign in the big apple with a line of Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins, Quinnen Williams, and Kwity Paye. Paye is a very athletic and shows great strength for the position. He sets a very strong edge and has super high pass rush upside. Alongside the talent of Lawson, Williams, and Rankins, Paye could put up big numbers early in his career.
Round 1 Pick 24 Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Greg Newsome II
The Steelers are in need of a cover man opposite Joe Haden and Newsome II is just the guy. Greg was feared by quarterbacks league wide and could apply his savvy cover skills to the AFC North. Joe Haden would be a great mentor for Greg and this would be a total win now move. With this being Big Ben’s last year, the Steelers need to address the gaping holes.
Round 1 Pick 25 Jacksonville Jaguars: SAF Trevon Moehrig
This is the common pick at 25 but for good reason. Moehrig fits the brand of speed that Urban Meyer is trying to implement and would slide in over top of Rayshawn Jenkins. He has great pursuit and some of the best coverage skills in the draft. This would be a home run pick for the Jags. Not much to it.
Round 1 Pick 26 Cleveland Browns: DT Christian Barmore
After the release of Sheldon Richardson, the Browns need a three technique to get after the QB. Barmore is highly underrated and is only available due to the lack of teams that need penetrating tackles. Christian was an absolute game wrecker at the end of the 2020 season and has an extremely high ceiling. Next to Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Malik Jackson, Barmore will have ample one on one opportunities to capitalize on.
Round 1 Pick 27 Baltimore Ravens: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker
Alijah never should’ve dropped this far but this was just the way the cookie crumbled. Vera-Tucker is a great fit with the Ravens because he can play guard or slide to right tackle once Orlando Brown Jr. is traded. AVT is very stout in the passing game and moves well in the run game. He shows great athleticism when it comes to getting to the next level and will do very well in the Ravens’ scheme.
Round 1 Pick 28 Tennessee Titans: OL Alex Leatherwood
Leatherwood is an ultra versatile lineman with a big frame and elite athleticism for a tackle. The Titans swung big in last years draft and couldn’t have missed worse with Isaiah Wilson. Leatherwood can come in and play right tackle for the Titans and will thrive in that system. Worst comes to worst he can kick inside and be an upgrade at the guard spot.
Round 1 Pick 29 Green Bay Packers: LB Jamin Davis
After the failed signing of Christian Kirksey, the Packers make the fix in the draft with Jamin Davis. Davis is an incredibly smooth mover at the linebacker position and looks like a natural. He possesses athleticism better than most linebackers in this draft and can the talent to cover division opponents like Dalvin Cook, Cole Kmet, and D’Andre Swift.
Round 1 Pick 30 Buffalo Bills: RB Travis Etienne
The Bills can’t feel good about their backfield last year and opt to outright fix it with a home run hitter like Etienne. Travis would add a new explosive element to the Bills offense and might be what they need to get to a super bowl. A pick like this would also elongate the career of Josh Allen by taking a big load off of him and in turn, giving him less chances to be hit.
*TRADE* Round 1 Pick 31 Baltimore Ravens: OLB Azeez Ojulari
LT Orlando Brown Jr.
2022 5th Round Pick
2021 31st Overall
This was the Chiefs plan all along in my mind. See how the board shakes out then make the move for a highly talented Brown Jr.. The Ravens get the steal of the draft in Ojulari. I have no clue how Ojulari fell this far bit these things happen in drafts. Talented players fall every year and in this scenario, Ojulari was the victim. Azeez is the long term pass rush answer for the team.
Round 1 Pick 32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr.
Basham is the future replacement for Ndamokung Suh and is a high upside replacement option. Boogie has a ton of starting experience in the ACC. He can learn behind Suh and Gholston and slide into the championship defense. Not much to it here. This is a luxury pick for the Bucs.