With the NFL Draft just a few days away, I thought now was the perfect time to put together my mock draft. We have seen a lot of chatter of teams trading up or trading back to get a player that they desperately need. The fun part of it is all the rumors that we will see happen up until Thursday. With that being said I am going to give my mock draft for the first fifteen picks here. Here is who I think will get selected from 1-15 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
1.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB)
This is hands down the number one overall pick no matter what. Trevor Lawrence was projected to be a number one pick after his freshman season at Clemson. Now after four years of being the Clemson starter he is going to be the number one overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jacksonville needs a signal caller for the future, and Urban Meyer is getting a real good one here.
Lawrence will be fantastic in his rookie season, and should be the odds on favorite to win AP Offensive Rookie Of The Year as well. I think Lawrence is going to thrive in Meyer’s system, and we should see him being the best quarterback that Urban Meyer has ever had.
2.) New York Jets: Zach Wilson (QB)
Before the Sam Darnold trade, I really had no idea what the New York Jets were going to do with the number two overall pick. Now that Darnold is a Carolina Panther, they have their eyes locked on BYU’s Zach Wilson. Wilson’s draft stock sky rocketed after a fantastic season for the Cougars this past season. He has a good build, and I think now that Adam Gase is finally out of New York we can start to see the Jets coming back to relevancy in the NFL. I do see Wilson as a quarterback that has the tools to help a franchise. With new head coach Robert Saleh and a new starting quarterback, the future is starting to look somewhat bright for the Jets.
3.) San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones (QB)
The San Francisco 49ers are going to get the bust of the draft at the third overall selection. Mac Jones in my honest opinion was only good at Alabama because of the talent that he had around him. You know who else looked real good at Alabama at times. Here are some names of average quarterbacks that looked like studs at Alabama. John Parker Wilson, Greg McElroy, AJ McCarron, Tua Tagovalioa just to name a few names. Those guys were fantastic at Alabama, and that same traction didn’t carry over to the NFL. I see Mac Jones becoming San Fran’s new guy and failing absolute miserably and making the 49ers regret them choosing Mac Jones over Jimmy G.
4.) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts (TE)
Don’t get me wrong, the Falcons might want to look at getting a quarterback of the future here. Next year’s class for quarterbacks is not great. I think Matt Ryan is still a serviceable quarterback so what does he need to help him succeed more than he is already. That’s right he needs a tight end and boy is there a really good tight end in this year’s draft class. Kyle Pitts from Florida could be the highest drafted tight end in the history of the NFL if this happens. Pitts is 6’6 and is an absolute beast on the football field. He can help create better matchups for Atlanta’s two talented wide receivers as well. This is a steal if Atlanta gets this guy at fourth overall.
5.) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase (WR)
Burrow’s favorite receiving target from college is still there at five. Giving Burrow another talented target to go with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins would be beneficial for that offense. Obviously they should draft an offensive lineman with their first round pick. This reunion though is too hard to pass up on though. They did sign Riley Reiff during free agency, so I think they can now focus on getting Burrow another target. Burrow and Chase reuniting is best case scenario for the Bengals in the NFL Draft.
6.) Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith (WR)
The Miami Dolphins think they need a wide receiver to create a three headed monster at wide receiver. Heisman winner DeVonta Smith is a talented wide receiver that will be the second wide receiver taken off the board. I am still not sold of Tua being their guy. If they do get DeVonta Smith though that offense would be a lot better than if they didn’t have him. Miami traded back and I think they made the smart move doing that as they now get another talented receiver to add to the mix.
7.) Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell (OL)
The Detroit Lions are getting an absolute steal here at number seven. Sewell is the best offensive lineman in the NFL Draft this year and he will be beneficial for Jared Goff’s success in the NFL. Detroit did lose Kenny Golladay via free agency, but I think the Lions are going to focus on bolstering their offensive line. They have a good running back in D’Andre Swift, and will need a solid offensive line so he can be effective. I do think that Detroit could trade down as well, but if they keep this pick they are getting a talented offensive lineman.
8.) Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn (CB)
The Carolina Panthers desperately need help in their secondary. Having to face receivers like Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and others is tough for the Panthers. Carolina will bolster their secondary with one of the best corner backs in the draft class. Losing James Bradberry depletes that secondary, but with this addition of Jaycee Horn the secondary gets better than they were before drafting him.
9.) Denver Broncos: Trey Lance (QB)
Denver fans would like to believe that Drew Lock is the answer for them at quarterback. Unless you are absolutely sold on a defensive prospect here you have to take Trey Lance. Lance is a talented quarterback and I think he could very well fit in the Denver Broncos system. I do see Denver potentially taking a defensive prospect here, but I do think they take Lance to potentially find their franchise quarterback by the end of the season.
10.) Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain (CB)
The Dallas Cowboys are happy that they got the guy that they wanted at tenth overall here. Surtain is a must get for the Cowboys secondary. He helps improve this Cowboys secondary tremendously, and he makes an immeidate impact as well. I see Surtain winning AP Defensive Rookie Of The Year that is how good he will be when he ends up in a Cowboys uniform. Their defense and their fans will all thank Surtain after his rookie season.
11.) New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle (WR)
The New York Giants need help on the Offensive Line, but with the talent that Jaylen Waddle has on the football field it will be hard for them to pass up on him. Especially with the fact that the Eagles are picking right after them. If you are the New York Giants you can not allow this talented receiver to play for a division rival. I think Waddle and Golladay will be a very formidable duo in the NFC East. Look out for that Giants offense if they get Waddle and everybody is healthy.
12.) Philadelphia Eagles: Kwity Paye (DE)
Kwity Paye is a talented edge rusher that the Eagles could use. Unfortunately, I don’t see them grabbing a receiver in the draft after the three best ones go off the board in the first eleven picks. I think the Eagles go defense and try to bolster that side of the football. Yes, they have Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett on the edge. They do however need a talented guy that can help them get to the quarterback. Obviously the play for the Eagles is to grab a wide receiver for Jalen Hurts. I just don’t see the one that they want being there at 12.
13.) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater (OL)
The Chargers need some help on the offensive line to protect Justin Herbert. Here they get what could be the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class arguably. Rashawn Slater is 6’3 and weighs 305 pounds. He can step right in for the Chargers at either tackle position and thrive at it. Slater in college excelled as a pass blocker and helped Northwestern out a ton this season. He is super athletic and I think that the Chargers get a steal here at 13.
14.) Minnesota Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL)
The Minnesota Vikings already have talent around the skills position. They need to upgrade their offensive line and I believe that Vera-Tucker is that upgrade. He might not have great length, but he makes up for it with his quickness. Vera-Tucker would help create more time in the pocket for Kirk Cousins. He could also help open up more holes for Dalvin Cook as well. This is a home run pick here for the Vikings, and should definitely be looked at as a solid overall selection for them.
15.) New England Patriots: Justin Fields (QB)
Now I understand that the Patriots are in talks with teams in the top ten to trade up for a quarterback potentially. Do I think they will finally make that move? To be honest with you I doubt it because of the history of Belichick when it comes to drafting. I do think that Fields will be sliding down the draft board if the Patriots don’t trade up to get him. Fields’ condition of epilepsy became public knowledge recently, and because of that his draft stock has taken a hit. I still think he is the second best quarterback in this draft class, and I truly believe that the Patriots get the steal of the draft here at 15.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
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