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2021 NFL Mock Draft

By Jared Smola 10:04pm EDT 4/28/21

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Lawrence has seemed destined to be the 1st pick in this draft since he led Clemson to a National Championship as a freshman back in 2018.

2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Unlike Lawrence, Wilson wasn’t considered a 1st-round talent before a monster 2020 season: 3,692 passing yards with 33 TDs vs. 3 INTs on 11.0 yards per attempt. There are shades of Russell Wilson to his game.

3. San Francisco 49ers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Would this be my pick? Nope. But Kyle Shanahan evidently sees Jones, an accurate and heady QB, as an ideal ball distributor in his offense.

4. Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Matt Ryan’s restructured contract made a QB less likely here. And I don’t think Atlanta will get a big enough trade offer to move down. So former Titans TEs coach and new Falcons HC Arthur Smith gets himself arguably the best TE prospect of all time.

5. Cincinnati Bengals - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Bengals pass on a stud OT to reunite Chase with college QB Joe Burrow.

6. Miami Dolphins - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

OT Penei Sewell is a possibility here. But Miami invested heavily in the offensive line last year with 1st-rounder Austin Jackson and 2nd-rounder Robert Hunt. So they instead help QB Tua Tagovailoa by adding the most explosive offensive weapon in this draft.

7. *TRADE* New England Patriots (from Detroit Lions) - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota St.

The rebuilding Lions would like to move down to acquire more picks. And they should find interest from any team looking to move ahead of potential QB landing spots in Carolina and Denver. The Patriots have been aggressive all offseason and make another big move here to secure their QB of the future.

8. Carolina Panthers - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Word has it that Panthers owner David Tepper is looking to make a splash at QB, so Fields would be tough to pass up here. Note that Carolina has not yet picked up QB Sam Darnold’s 5th-year option

9. Denver Broncos - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Who knows if Denver is still in the QB market after swinging a trade for Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday. But with all 5 QBs off the board in this scenario, they simply go best-player-available with Sewell, who many consider a top-5 player in this class.

10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

The organization is reportedly split on Surtain vs. CB Jaycee Horn. My money is on Surtain, who at 6’2 with a 90th percentile wingspan is exactly the type of long corner that new DC Dan Quinn had so much success with in Seattle.

11. New York Giants - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Old-school GM Dave Gettleman loves investing in the trenches. Paye is considered the safest bet in this year’s EDGE class.

12. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

WR DeVonta Smith is definitely a possibility here -- but I wonder if his weight has him off analytically-driven Howie Roseman’s board. CB is nearly as big a need as WR for Philly anyway.

13. Los Angeles Chargers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

A dream scenario for the Chargers, who get a stud pass protector for QB Justin Herbert.

14. Minnesota Vikings - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

This could be EDGE Jaelen Phillips. But Vera-Tucker is a much safer pick at an equally needy position for the Vikings.

15. *TRADE* Detroit Lions (from New England Patriots) - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

After moving down 8 spots, the Lions get a kneecap-biter for new HC Dan Campbell. Parsons comes with character concerns but has obvious All-Pro potential. He racked up 18 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles across his freshman and sophomore seasons; he’s still just 21 years old; and he tested as a 98th percentile athlete.

16. Arizona Cardinals - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Smith’s slide ends here with the Cardinals, who are still looking for more weapons for QB Kyler Murray. WR Christian Kirk has been disappointing, and WR A.J. Green obviously isn’t a long-term answer.

17. Las Vegas Raiders - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Offensive line help is a possibility for the Raiders, but JOK figures to fly off the board in this range. He’s a new-age LB capable of stuffing the run and covering TEs and slot receivers.

18. Miami Dolphins - Jaelen Phillips, EDGE, Miami

After grabbing WR Jaylen Waddle at 6, HC Brian Flores gets a new toy for his defense. Phillips might have been a top-10 pick if not for a scary history of concussions.

19. Washington Football Team - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Washington figures to go either OT or LB here. There’s a good chance Darrisaw is the top player on their board in this scenario.

20. Chicago Bears - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

This could be the landing spot for WR4, but OT is a bigger need. Jenkins plays with a mean streak and didn’t allow a single sack over the past 2 seasons at Oklahoma State.

21. *TRADE* New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts) - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Some have Farley as the most talented corner in this draft. But a concerning medical history -- including a torn ACL and 2 back surgeries -- might have him lingering longer than expected. The Saints are reportedly interested and have a gaping hole at CB opposite Marshon Lattimore.

22. Tennessee Titans - Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

Here’s another potential WR spot. But I’m not sure the run-minded Titans will feel the need to invest a 1st-rounder in the position. So they fortify the secondary instead with Newsome, who clocked a 4.39-second 40 time with a massive 40-inch vertical at his Pro Day.

23. New York Jets - Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

New HC Robert Saleh gets a freaky edge rusher for his Jets defense.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The smart move would be offensive line here. But the Steelers have been heavily connected to Harris throughout the pre-draft process. And they have an obvious need at RB.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Oweh had 1 of the freakiest workouts you’ll ever seen, with a 4.37-second 40 time and 39.5-inch vertical at 257 pounds. As Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer pointed out, new Jaguars HC Urban Meyer recruited Oweh when he was back at Ohio State.

26. Cleveland Browns - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

With no glaring holes, the Browns should be able to go best-available-player here. Davis likely punched his ticket to the 1st round by testing as a 99th percentile athlete.

27. Baltimore Ravens - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

This massive 6’5, 257-pounder would be a fun toy in DC Wink Martindale’s blitz-heavy scheme.

28. *TRADE* Indianapolis Colts (from New Orleans Saints) - Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas

After trading down 7 spots, the Colts snag a hopeful replacement for OT Anthony Costanzo. Cosmi started 21 games at LT for Texas over the past 2 seasons.

29. Green Bay Packers - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

After last year’s Jordan Love debacle, the Packers look to make amends with Aaron Rodgers. Moore is reportedly the #4 WR on a lot of teams’ boards.

30. Buffalo Bills - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

GM Brandon Beane said last week that he’d be interested in adding a “home run hitter” to his backfield. That certainly describes Etienne, who had 12 plays of 50+ yards over his 4 seasons at Clemson.

31. Baltimore Ravens - Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

WR Rashod Bateman would be tempting here. But the Ravens also need a replacement for OT Orlando Brown.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

This is a tough pick to peg with the Bucs returning all 22 starters from last year’s Super Bowl squad. Ojulari would be a strong value pick here after leading the SEC with 9.5 sacks last season.

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