Alright so I received some backlash in my first Mock Draft especially about leaving certain people out of the first round. Unfortunately for the athletes, the first round can be used to find team's needs and not taking BPA which will leave some people for Day 2 and a draft day steal for the team that selects them. But I've learned from my mistakes and have created a 2-round mock draft to further encompass where these elite 2021 rookies could begin their careers.
There are several trades I've made for teams to either move up and select one of the QBs, or a smart team giving up a little to draft the one player that could turn around their franchise.
A couple notes from the author:
5 QBs will likely go in the first 10 picks. While I hate doing this from a pure scouting perspective, it's likelihood is undeniable and will be reflected here.
Defense will rule the second round.
O-line and D-line may be undervalued but 1st and 2nd rounders will make an immediate impact.
WR and CB groups are deepest in the class and will likely boast talent in Day 3 as well.
Alright enough disclaimers, here's what I think each team will do in the 2021 NFL Draft.
#1 Pick Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
Jacksonville Jaguars 6'6" 220 lbs.
Easiest pick in the draft. Lawrence is a generational talent and is touted as the next Peyton Manning prototype and will likely lead the Jaguars to multiple playoff appearances before his rookie deal expires.
#2 Pick Zach Wilson QB BYU
New York Jets 6'3" 203 lbs.
Second easiest pick in the draft since the Jets traded Darnold to the Panthers. Wilson is a dynamic thrower with the ability to throw off of any platform, and an exceptional athlete. Only way he busts is if the Jets fail him.
#3 Pick Justin Fields QB Ohio State
San Francisco 49ers (via MIA) 6'3" 227 lbs.
49ers traded 2 other first rounders to move up from 3 which means a QB. Mac Jones has been said to be their preference at #3 but Fields is a much better prospect. Fields goes here and sits under Jimmy G for year.
#4 Pick Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
Denver Broncos (via ATL) 6'4" 227 lbs.
ATL has already been linked to shopping their #4 pick, and in this mock move down to 9 for two 2nd-rounders this year and next. Meanwhile the Broncos try again at QB, but this time with a better athlete in Lance.
#5 Pick Penei Sewell OT Oregon
Cincinnati Bengals 6'6" 331 lbs.
Another easy pick in Penei Sewell. One of the best OT prospects in some time, and a great pass blocker. With Burrow being sacked the most of any QB before he finally tore an ACL last year, a perfect fit for Cincy.
#6 Pick Ja'Marr Chase WR LSU
Miami Dolphins (via PHI) 6'0" 208 lbs.
Originally at #3, the Dolphins moved back acquiring 2-1sts, a 3rd and a 4th and end up still getting the player they wanted. Chase is already pro-ready and should help Tua. If Sewell falls he is in play here too.
#7 Pick Mac Jones QB Alabama
Chicago Bears (via DET) 6'2.5" 217 lbs.
The Bears trade up 13 spots for the price of a 4th and a 1st next year. Mac Jones has been flying up draft boards but is it for the right reason? Remember what happened last time Matt Nagy traded up for a QB?
#8 Pick Kyle Pitts TE Florida
Carolina Panthers 6'6" 240 lbs.
The Panthers have made a great turnaround compared to what they had last week. Darnold is a long-term upgrade from Bridgewater and already having more weapons than in NY, and the best TE prospect in 14 years.
#9 Pick Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
Atlanta Falcons (via DEN) 6'1" 203 lbs.
Falcons could use a lot of defensive help in this draft. They got Terrell in the 1st last year and Oliver in the 2nd two years ago, drafting Surtain who can play man, slot or safety brings this secondary closer to complete.
#10 Pick Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
Dallas Cowboys 6'1" 205 lbs.
Another defense-needy team in this draft who will be upset about not getting Surtain II. Horn is not a bad consolation prize. at 6'1" 205lbs, Horn is the Cowboys CB mold and will likely be their CB1 by the end of the year.
#11 Pick Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
New York Giants 6'4" 315 lbs.
Slater has the skill to be top-5 in this draft, but due to other positional needs falls to the open arms of the New York Football Giants at 11. Along with Andrew Thomas' likely jump in year 2, this offensive line can be elite.
#12 Pick Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) 5'10" 183 lbs.
Another drop due to positional needs. The Eagles created more question then answers by trading back to 12, but it works out for them as they draft their best receiver since they had Desean Jackson back in 2013.
#13 Pick Alijah Vera-Tucker IOL USC
Los Angeles Chargers 6'4" 300 lbs.
Justin Herbert is the future of the Chargers that was made clear last year. To copy the Bengals mold, it's now all about protecting the young QB and then adding weapons. Take the best IOL in the draft in Vera-Tucker.
#14 Pick Micah Parsons LB Penn State
Minnesota Vikings 6'2" 245 lbs.
Minnesota seems to always be on the cusp of playoffs but are just short. Cousins has a ceiling but Dalvin Cook is sure to help lighten his load. Get the only defensive position of need in Parsons, another falling star.
#15 Pick Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
New York Jets (via NE) 6'2" 197 lbs.
Third mocked trade of this draft as the Jets climb up 8 spots and swap 1st for a 3rd next year. Farley has raised concerns about his back injury but even if he doesn't play till next season this pick is worth it for the Jets.
#16 Pick Christian Barmore DL Alabama
Arizona Cardinals 6'5" 310 lbs.
The Cardinals could really use a CB so Greg Newsome is in play here. However when you have a chance to get the best DT in the draft at #16, especially when you're DL consist of 34-year olds and rookies, you take him.
#17 Pick Creed Humphrey IOL Oklahoma
Las Vegas Raiders 6'4" 310 lbs.
Pretty easy pick here, the Raiders completely stripped their OL this off season, so get the most versatile IOL in the draft in Humphrey. 3 year starter at Oklahoma and a great run blocker for Jacobs.
#18 Pick Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
Miami Dolphins 6'5" 314 lbs.
I have the Dolphins taking the best OL available here so if they like OKST's Jenkins more that makes sense too. After getting Tua a weapon at 6 get him protection at 18, a common theme in this draft.
#19 Pick DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
Washington Football Team 6'1" 175 lbs.
WFT is a QB away from being serious Super Bowl contenders. I like Fitzpatrick and Heinicke for this year though which frees them up to get Devonta Smith and have the best WR trio in the NFL and all under 26.
#20 Pick Kwity Paye Edge Michigan
Detroit Lions (via CHI) 6'4" 277 lbs.
The pattern continues as great talent falls into this draft because of the needs of the top-10 teams. A great athlete and even better character in Paye makes him almost a can't-miss at DE for Dan Campbell's defense.
#21 Pick Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
Indianapolis Colts 6'6" 320 lbs.
The Colts need OT and Edge, and since Paye just went I think BA at OL is the move. Teven Jenkins is a huge body who has raw pass blocking and could be molded into greatness around the Colts outstanding OL.
#22 Pick Greg Newsome CB Northwestern
Tennesee Titans 6'1" 190 lbs.
Titans lost a lot in the secondary this year with Jackson, Vaccaro and Butler all leaving. Newsome would instantly become CB 2 and paired with Kristian Fulton, the 2nd rounder last year could revitalize this secondary.
#23 Pick Azeez Ojulari Edge Georgia
New England Patriots (via NYJ)6'3" 240 lbs.
The Patriots trading back in the first round and drafting another edge rusher seems like the Patriot thing to do.
#24 Pick Asante Samuel Jr CB Florida State
Pittsburgh Steelers 5'10" 184 lbs.
The Steelers defense is only getting older, and with CBs in demand in this year's draft I have them slightly reaching for Samuel Jr who had a great Pro Day. His elite athleticism will make this pick worth it for Pittsburgh.
#25 Pick Jaelen Phillips Edge Miami
Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) 6'5" 258 lbs.
Jaguars after taking the most important position in football take the second most important in edge rusher with Jaelen Phillips who out of high school was ranked better than Chase Young, adding to their scary DL.
#26 Pick Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
Cleveland Browns 6'4" 260 lbs.
The Browns have the least holes in their team since the 1990's. Along with new arrival Anthony Walker Jr, Collins will make their LB group more rounded and make their pass defense one of the best in the NFL.
#27 Pick Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
Baltimore Ravens 6'2" 216 lbs.
The Ravens have needed a gadget defensive player for a while for their nickel packages. Owusu-Koramoah can line up at the nickel, at LB or at S, and with Baltimore's ability to grow LBs, this pick makes a lot of sense.
#28 Pick Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
New Orleans Saints 6'2" 210 lbs.
With Drew Brees retiring, the Saints can use all the offensive weapons they can get for Taysom Hill. Bateman is a great possession receiver comparable to Michael Thomas and should fit in nicely at WR2.
#29 Pick Jayson Oweh Edge Penn State
Buffalo Bills 6'5" 257 lbs.
Oweh had a very impressive pro day. The Bills are only a couple pieces away from being serious contenders and an edge rusher with the length of Oweh has the potential to be EDGE1 at least by his next season.
#30 Pick Kadarius Toney WR Florida
Green Bay Packers 5'11" 189 lbs.
This is wishful thinking, but if the Packers drafted Toney in the first round it would make it the first time they've chosen an offensive weapon this early since 2002. Toney would be WR2 as early as the 2022 season.
#31 Pick Samuel Cosmi OT Texas
Kansas City Chiefs 6'7" 309 lbs.
After releasing both starting tackles from last year the Chiefs need OL. Joe Thuney has the ability to swing to RT but if Cosmi falls to 31 he is an instant plug and play option for them with LT1 potential in a few seasons.
#32 Pick Gregory Rousseau Edge Miami
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6'7" 265 lbs.
With the last pick in the first round, the defending champs select the last 1st-round graded Edge. Rousseau has exceptional length and athleticism but raw skills at the moment, a great pick for their future post-Brady.
` - Round 2 -
#33 Pick Taylor Moehrig S TCU
Jacksonville Jaguars 6'1" 208 lbs.
A first rounder in my first mock, Jaguars' patience pays off as he slips to the 2nd this time around. Moehrig is a great zone Safety and will help out the Jags secondary that needs the help wherever they can get it.
#34 Pick Travis Etienne RB Clemson
New York Jets 5'10" 210 LBS.
The best RB in this year's draft going to the Jets is a great value pick as Etienne will immediately be RB1. The running and catching ability paired with the explosive Zach Wilson will open up their offensive opportunities.
#35 Pick Carlos Basham Jr Edge Wake Forrest
Atlanta Falcons 6'5" 281 lbs.
Perhaps a reach, but Basham's upside is scary. Falcons need pass rush after Vic Beasley walked anyway. Pairing with Fowler Jr. will once again make this defense credible against strong offensive lines.
#36 Pick Eric Stokes CB Georgia
Los Angeles Chargers (via MIA) 6'1" 185 lbs.
The Chargers trade up here in exchange for two 2's and a future 6th. LAC need CB depth desperately as of right now they only have Chris Harris the aging veteran. Stokes will be able to be starting slot in very little time.
#37 Pick Nick Bolton LB Missouri
Philadelphia Eagles 6'0" 232 lbs.
Eagles have never prioritized LB, but Bolton has the ability to lead this defense for years to come similar to what Jordan Hicks was supposed to be for Philadelphia. Tyson Campbell is a backup at this pick.
#38 Pick Terrace Marshall WR LSU
Cincinnati Bengals 6'3" 201 lbs.
After drafting Burrow's protection in the 1st, they go get him a big body red-zone threat in the 2nd. Very similar to Tee Higgins but with better hands. Having more weapons for Burrow will never be a bad decision.
#39 Pick Landon Dickerson IOL Alabama
Carolina Panthers 6'6" 326 lbs.
Panthers need protection for which ever QB they start, Bridgewater or Darnold. Dickerson has the ability to control the interior for a decade, and is one of, if not the most most intelligent OL in this draft.
#40 Pick Baron Browning LB Ohio State
Denver Broncos 6'3" 241
Broncos LB group is in the air, after Von Miller's recent injuries and Bradley Chubb being too inconsistent of his #5 draft selection, Browning can come in and control the Mike, letting the others focus on edge rushing.
#41 Pick Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota State
Detroit Lions 6'6" 301 lbs.
Jared Goff is the new man in town and whether Detroit plans on keeping him or looking to rebuild over the next two years, taking a tackler the caliber of Radunz at pick 41 will be great for either path they pursue.
#42 Pick Alim McNeil DL North Carolina State
New York Giants 6'2" 340 lbs.
The Giants just signed Leonard Williams to a 3-year deal but his true position is 3-4 DE and same for Dexter Lawrence. Drafting McNeil will make this DL elite and young. In the NFC East a great DL could win you 1st place.
#43 Pick Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
San Francisco 49ers 6'2" 185 lbs.
Before the 49ers shocked everyone and traded up to #3, I had them taking a CB in the first round, a position they still need even after the Verrett signing. Campbell can step in and become CB2 by the end of the season.
#44 Pick Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State
Dallas Cowboys 6'5" 250 lbs.
The Cowboys have been rumored to trade up for Kyle Pitts for a while and still soar after Carolina drafted him just two picks before their firsts election, they get the 2nd best TE in the draft Pat Freiermuth in the 2nd.
#45 Pick Najee Harris RB Alabama
Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN) 6'2" 229 lbs.
Lawrence and Etienne drafted by the same team would've been cool, but Urban Meyer will still be happy if he gets Harris. The Derrick Henry-comparison is real, and will be dynamic when paired with James Robinson.
#46 Pick Ifeatu Melifonwu CB Syracuse
New England Patriots 6'2" 212 lbs.
With Stephon Gilmore's future in jeopardy thanks to his massive contract and Belichick's likelihood of prioritizing defense in the draft, the Patriots get a great size-and-speed CB in Melifonwu to add to their CBs.
#47 Pick Tre Brown CB Oklahoma
Los Angeles Chargers 5'9" 188 lbs.
The Chargers were able to keep this year's 2nd and draft another CB. Brown is a contrast to Stokes' length; his speed and man ability make him an outside corner and give the Chargers a great pair of CBs to grow.
#48 Pick Jalen Mayfield OT Michigan
Las Vegas Raiders 6'5" 319 lbs.
If Jon Gruden drafts two straight OL I will do a standing backflip. There's no way as Gruden loves the "sexy picks". BUT THEY SHOULD. Mayfield steps in right away and this OL has potential again like it's 2015 again.
#49 Pick Javonte Williams RB UNC
Arizona Cardinals 5'10" 220 lbs.
Javonte Williams might be one of the most underrated players in the entire draft. The Nick Chubb-comparison will step right into Kenyan Drake's shoes on this already impressive offense.
#50 Pick Kenneth Gainwell RB Memphis
Miami Dolphins 5'11" 191 lbs.
No doubt upset Williams goes right before them, the Dolphins get Gainwell who is quicker than Williams anyway which is suitable in their offense. Gainwell will likely be a rotational piece for a year or two in their stable.
#51 Pick Kyle Trask QB Florida
Washington Football team 6'5" 240 lbs.
Kyle Trask has a knock on him similar to Mac Jones, he played alongside a great offense in college. Trask should be graded just under Jones except the latter won the Natty. Trask is a risk but could be a steal at pick 51.
#52 Pick Aaron Robinson CB UCF
Chicago Bears 6'1" 193 lbs.
The Bears have restarted again with Mac Jones like they did Trubisky, but their identity is and has always been defense. They shouldn't forget that and Robinson will step right into the CB slot emptied by Kyle Fuller.
#53 Pick Jevon Holland S/CB Oregon
Tennessee Titans 6'1" 196 lbs.
Another team that picks from the same position for the second time, and another showing of how good this secondary group is. Jevon Holland has the versatility to play any position back there that Mike Vrabel will love.
#54 Pick Jabrill Cox LB LSU
Indianapolis Colts 6'3" 233 lbs.
The Colts have been the best team at drafting LB's since the Ravens in the 90's-00's. After losing Walker Jr, Cox will walk right in and contribute to run stuffing and pass coverage equally with out any starter pressure.
#55 Pick Joe Tryon Edge Washington
Pittsburgh Steelers 6'5" 262 lbs.
The Steelers go defense again getting Joe Tryon. a 3-4 OLB to pair with TJ Watt or move into DE if needed when Cam Heyward starts showing his age. Tryon has great hands and just feels like a Steelers pick.
#56 Pick L. Eichenberg OT Notre Dame
Seattle Seahawks 6'6" 305 lbs.
Seahawks getting a OL before the 6th round??? Yup that's how good of a steal Eichenberg is for 56. His agility will be brilliant for the Seahawks scheme and allows them to move on from Brandon Shell.
#57 Pick Wyatt Davis IOL Ohio State
Los Angeles Rams 6'5" 316 lbs.
Rams may want to think about trading down to compensate for Matt Stafford's price tag, but getting him protection is the 2nd best thing. Whitworth's retirement is coming soon, Davis allows others to kick out if needed.
#58 Pick Joseph Ossai Edge Texas
Baltimore Ravens 6'3" 245 lbs.
Other Edges trending up has hurt Ossai's value, but this man can still ball out. An edge rusher who can also stop the run similar to Kwity Paye, 29 TFL's in two years of starting will make him a great weapon for Harbaugh.
#59 Pick Daviyon Nixon DL Iowa
Cleveland Browns 6'3" 305 lbs.
The Browns continue to get defensive depth. Behind Kevin Stefanski it should be top-10 next year and Nixon has the ability to start in the middle of it. Any time you draft a starter at 59 you made a great pick.
#60 Pick Elijah Molden CB Washington
New Orleans Saints 5'10" 191 lbs.
The Saints love to take secondary in the second round, and Molden fits that "mold". Ba dum tss. But seriosuly, Molden's aggressiveness and hands will make him an excellent Robin to Lattimore's Batman.
#61 Pick Hunter Long TE Boston College
Buffalo Bills 6'5" 254 lbs. Hunter Long is a big TE who has as much receiving potential as Freiermuth but maybe not as much blocking-wise. Still, coming in as TE2 behind Knox and without pressure, Bills add another great depth piece.
#62 Pick Levi Onwuzurike DL Washington
Green Bay Packers 6'3" 290 lbs.
Onwuzurike has had maybe the biggest fall since the start of the 2020 NCAA season. A once top-15 pick has fallen all the way to 62. He didn't have the best season but the potential is still there.
#63 Pick Rondale Moore WR Purdue
Kansas City Chiefs 5'7" 181 lbs.
Here it is, the pick that makes everyone mad. Moore has electrified people with his pro day but is only 5'7". Moore could go earlier but with not many teams needing a day 2 WR, the Chiefs make everyone look stupid.
#64 Pick Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6'6" 312 lbs.
With the final pick in this mock draft, the Buccaneers get Alex Leatherwood. A 3-year starter on the best OL in college football, Leatherwood would be the heir apparent to any of the five OL positions.