There’s no secret with Jacksonville’s first pick.
Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect in quite some time.
He’s a prototypical NFL QB that possesses the ability to
turn around any franchise within a couple of years.
Jacksonville fired Doug Marrone after a 1-15 season, and they
will be looking to set Urban Meyer up for a quick turnaround.
After allowing Gardner Minshew, Mike Glennon, and Jake Luton to
complete the tank in 2020, Lawrence is the clear top prospect
that can help Jacksonville find their way back to the playoffs
sooner rather than later.
2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
After allowing Adam Gase to ruin the early years of Sam Darnold,
New York signed a defensive-minded head coach in Robert Saleh
this offseason. It looks as if Darnold will fetch quite a bit
on the trade market, while New York is in a position to draft
There are a number of quarterbacks that are ranked second in
this class, although Wilson seems to be the odds-on favorite to
be drafted here. His college tape is a bag of mixed results. He
dominated as a true freshman, struggled as a sophomore, and looked
elite against poor competition as a junior. There isn’t
a single evaluator questioning if he has the potential to make
all the throws, though. Assuming he interviews well, Wilson will
likely be the next early quarterback selected by New York.
3. Miami Dolphins - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
There’s a lot of talk about whether Miami will trade Tua
Tagovailoa and draft picks for Deshaun Watson, but I’m not
projecting trades in this draft. Instead, I believe Tagovailoa
flashed enough to cement himself as the future of this franchise.
He’ll need help in the offense, though.
Chase was consistently the best offensive weapon for LSU in 2019,
ahead of Justin Jefferson. He’s an elite wide receiver prospect,
who has the potential to dominate in the NFL. He opted to sit
out of the 2020 season and fellow WR DeVonta Smith won Heisman.
I believe there are more question marks surrounding Smith than
Chase, making the latter an easier option to help Tagovailoa take
Miami’s offense to that of a playoff contender.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Justin Fields, QB, OSU
Fields could be the second player taken in this draft or he could
fall because of field vision concerns. He looked elite in two
seasons at Ohio State and it feels as if evaluators are overthinking
this selection at the moment. Fields has game-changing abilities
that are somewhat lost in the shuffle of an elite quarterback
Matt Ryan still has something left in the tank, although he’s
an aging quarterback. Atlanta could go a number of ways as they
head to the future with this pick. Fields could be given a year
behind Ryan to learn or Atlanta could work on trading Ryan to
give Fields the job immediately. Regardless of what they opt to
do for this upcoming season, Fields could be the key to their
future, as they need to address the quarterback position with
their top-five pick this season.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
There are a number of people that believe Cincinnati will select
a wide receiver here, but that isn’t the way this mock draft
has shaped up thus far. Chase was the top option, and the Bengals
already have Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Auden Tate as an emerging
group. Instead, they need to protect their franchise QB, who is
coming off of a major injury.
Prior to the season, Sewell was seen as a potential top-two pick
with Lawrence. As always is the case, quarterbacks jumped ahead
of him, although some other players may have, as well. With that
being said, Sewell boasts all the physical tools to turn into
an All-Pro left tackle at the next level. With how good Burrow
looked early in his rookie season, protecting him should be a
bigger priority than getting him another receiver early in this
6. Philadelphia Eagles - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Eagles hired former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator
Nick Sirianni as their new head coach. Indy was a team that loved
using multiple tight end sets, and Sirianni is expected to bring
that to Philly this season. I don’t expect Zach Ertz to
be with the Eagles in 2021 and they’ll need a new option
to pair with Dallas Goedert.
Pitts is one of the best offensive weapons in this draft with
his position labeled as a tight end. With that being said, he
can split out wide as well, making him a threat from anywhere
on the field. Jalen Hurts needs more offensive weapons if he wants
to reach his ceiling, and Pitts will be a matchup nightmare in
the NFL for years to come.
7. Detroit Lions - Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami (FL)
The Lions fully embraced their rebuild after trading Matthew
Stafford. There are a number of ways they could go here although
it seems likely they give Jared Goff the quarterback slot for
the time being. Romeo Okwara is a free agent and could command
more than Detroit is willing to pay on the market. If that’s
the case, they’ll be in need of an edge rusher, which just
so happens to be a coveted position in every draft.
Rousseau only played one year at Miami, but he posted 15.5 sacks
and 19.5 tackles for a loss in 13 games. He’s a big athlete
with plenty of explosiveness. Rousseau has the potential to become
a premier edge rusher in the NFL, and it could be difficult for
Detroit to pass up on him, even if DeVonta Smith is available.
8. Carolina Panthers - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
There are rumors that the Panthers are looking to acquire Deshaun
Watson, solidifying that they don’t believe Teddy Bridgewater
is their quarterback of the future, but rather a bridge quarterback.
Carolina gives Lance the opportunity to sit behind Bridgewater
for a season to get adjusted to NFL play. Coming from a small
school without a 2020 season, this may be a key to Lance’s
success in the NFL. Keep in mind, I don’t expect him to
fall this far in the draft, as someone will likely trade up for
him, but this mock isn’t projecting trades, leaving him
9. Denver Broncos - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
With A.J. Bouye being released, Denver has to address the cornerback
position. They’ve put all of their chips in their offense
in recent drafts but must build their secondary back up. Luckily
for them, they have a pick between the clear two top cornerbacks
in this draft.
Surtain and Caleb Farley are seen as the best two options. It’s
simply about preference at this point, but Surtain has the Alabama
pedigree. I wouldn’t be shocked if either go at this pick,
but I would be shocked if Denver doesn’t select the best
cornerback available here.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
It won’t take long before the other cornerback option hears
their name called. Dallas could certainly rebuild their offensive
line, but they will need help in their secondary this offseason.
Farley here gives them a dynamic one-two punch after selecting
Trevon Diggs in the first round in the last draft. This would
give Dallas a pair of cornerbacks that could potentially turn
into shutdown options, although it comes at the price of their
11. New York Giants - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
David Gettleman made it clear that he wants to add an explosive
offensive playmaker in this draft, and he’d have his pick
of any wide receiver besides Ja’Marr Chase here. With that
being said, I expect him to grab that explosive playmaker on defense
with this pick.
Parsons is the epitome of speed, athleticism, and playmaking
abilities at linebacker. He has the potential to turn into a true
game-changing option on the defensive side of the ball. Although
DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle could immediately help New York’s
offense, Parsons could take a strong Giants defense to the next
12. San Francisco 49ers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
It’s tough to know exactly what San Francisco’s draft
strategy will be this year. They could go a number of ways, but
Slater is too good of a prospect to overlook at this point. Trent
Williams is a free agent, and Slater could take over at left tackle
if he walks. If he opts to re-sign, Slater could easily kick inside
to guard to start his career. Regardless, he’s an outstanding
option that will immediately help San Francisco’s offensive
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle before DeVonta Smith is crazy, right? It depends on the
team. Los Angeles can use Waddle as a field-stretching option
with elite big-play ability. He’s the perfect playmaker
to pair with Justin Herbert.
Waddle’s speed is coveted in the NFL, and one of the main
reasons we saw Henry Ruggs III selected before Jerry Jeudy the
last draft. This feels like a perfect pairing between Waddle and
Herbert, and he’d add an elite deep threat to what should
be an already dangerous offense.
Minnesota ranked near the bottom of the NFL in pressure percentage
last season. They’re going to need to fix their pass rush
if they want to compete with the likes of Aaron Rodgers in the
Paye only played in 4 games this season, but he posted 6.5 sacks
and 12.5 tackles for a loss over 12 games in 2019. He’s
a big defensive lineman that boasts elite athleticism. If Minnesota
can develop him right, he has the potential to become one of the
best players in this draft.
15. New England Patriots - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Patriots don’t select wide receivers in the first round
often, although this pick somewhat fell in their lap. Some believe
Smith is the best overall receiver in this draft after winning
the Heisman this season. New England desperately needs to address
this position, and Smith could immediately help whoever is under
center for the Patriots.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Similar to the Patriots selection, this one makes all too much
sense. Arizona certainly needs help in a number of positions,
but it looks as if Patrick Peterson will be leaving in free agency.
The Cardinals will need to replace him, and Horn has the potential
to become a shadow corner in the NFL. Arizona certainly could
look to fortify their offense, but grabbing a high-end cornerback
prospect in the middle of this draft should be a bigger concern.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Las Vegas performed surprisingly well, but they still have a
few voids to fill. They struggled to get pressure upfront and
will need to find a way to get to the quarterback more in the
upcoming season. In a draft with a number of solid edge rushers,
they select a defensive tackle?
Absolutely. Barmore has the ability to pressure the quarterback
from up the middle, something Las Vegas could’ve used last
season. As a sophomore, he recorded 8 sacks and 9.5 tackles for
a loss over 11 games. We’ve seen defensive tackles change
the game before, and while Barmore doesn’t quite possess
that much ability, he can immediately make a positive impact for
18. Miami Dolphins - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
It isn’t out of the question that the Dolphins add more
offensive weapons, such as Najee Harris, giving Tua Tagovailoa
the best chance at success. With that being said, they could add
a linebacker to help fill out what should be one of the best defenses
in the NFL this season.
Collins is a rangy linebacker that can make plays across the
field. He’d add another playmaker element to an already
elite defense. As if that wasn’t enough, Collins also possesses
some pass-rushing abilities, adding a bit of versatility to Miami’s
19. Washington Football Team - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Washington missed on Dwayne Haskins a couple of years ago, leaving
them in an odd spot at quarterback. They could move forward with
Alex Smith or Taylor Heinicke, but why not take a shot on the
clear-cut fifth option in a loaded class?
Jones saw his stock skyrocket throughout the season, as he helped
lead DeVonta Smith to the Heisman trophy. The big question is
whether Smith was so successful because of Jones, if Jones was
so successful because of Smith and company, or if everyone played
their respective parts in creating an elite offense. Regardless
of opinion, Jones will likely hear his name called on Day 1, and
Washington could be looking for a replacement here.
20. Chicago Bears - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
It’s looking more and more likely that Allen Robinson is
leaving Chicago via free agency. If that’s the case, the
Bears will either draft a wide receiver, sign one, or more forward
with Darnell Mooney acting as their top option.
Toney broke out for Florida this season, posting 70 receptions
for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns on 11 games while sharing the
field with Kyle Pitts. He’s an explosive playmaker that
would pair well with Mooney against any defense. The major concerns
are Toney’s drops, although adding his playmaking abilities
will likely negate those concerns for most teams.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Colts traded for Carson Wentz, but now they have to protect
him or he could end up like his later years in Philadelphia. Anthony
Castonzo officially retired this offseason, leaving a hole at
the left tackle position. Regardless of their other positions
of need, Indianapolis’ main focus this offseason should
be filling that hole.
Darrisaw started as a freshman for Virginia Tech and continued
to progress through his career. He’s a physical player that
has the potential to become a starting left tackle in the NFL.
The biggest question will be whether or not he can start from
day one, although I believe that’s a real possibility.
Simply put, Tennessee needs to find a way to get to the quarterback.
They ranked second to last in pressure percentage last season,
and it was a major issue. Luckily, this draft is loaded with high-upside
edge rushers that Tennessee can develop for the future.
In terms of physical ability, many believe that Phillips is the
best edge rusher in this class. He’s an athletic option
that will immediately help Tennessee’s pass rush. In his
only season at Miami, he recorded 8 sacks and 15.5 tackles for
a loss in 10 games. It’d be far from shocking if Phillips
turned into Tennessee’s best pass rusher within a couple
23. New York Jets - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
The Jets will be getting one of the best quarterbacks in this
class, but they’ll need to give him weapons. Denzel Mims
flashed as a rookie, while Jamison Crowder continues to provide
in the slot. Breshad Perriman is a free agent and New York doesn’t
feature anyone that is likely to take over the offense outside
Moore is flying up draft boards after posting 86 receptions for
1,193 yards and 8 touchdowns as a junior for Ole Miss. He boasts
tremendous speed and can help stretch the field. If Mims can turn
into a true WR1 in the NFL, Moore can make this one of the more
dynamic offenses in the NFL with Crowder continuing his success
in the slot.
The Steelers seem to be content with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
With that being said, they’ll need to take the pressure
off of him this season. That may be easier said than done with
Maurkice Pouncey retiring and Alejandro Villanueva testing free
Vera-Tucker could add versatility to the Pittsburgh offense,
allowing them to shift guys around. He has the potential to play
tackle in the NFL, although he may be better at guard. Regardless,
Pittsburgh needs to rely less on its aging quarterback, and Vera-Tucker
is a player that could immediately help in that regard.
After getting their quarterback of the future earlier in the
draft, Jacksonville can focus on defense. Urban Meyer is known
for his love of players with speed at the college level. Regardless
of whether that will translate to the NFL or not, it’s a
philosophy that he’s likely to bring into Jacksonville.
Owusu-Koramoah possesses plenty of speed and athleticism to make
him Meyer’s next pick. In two seasons at Notre Dame, he
posted 142 tackles with 7 sacks and 24.5 tackles for a loss. There’s
a chance he makes his way up the draft boast in the pre-draft
process, but for the time being, he’s the perfect option
to help lead Jacksonville’s defense.
26. Cleveland Browns - Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington
Cleveland will need to either re-sign some of their guys or make
a few moves in free agency if they want to continue towards the
Super Bowl this season. One of the big pieces they could use is
an edge rusher on the other side of Myles Garrett. Taking the
pressure off of Garrett is a key to taking their defense to the
Tryon looked outstanding as a sophomore in 2019, recording 8
sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss in 13 games. He opted out of
the 2020 season, which likely hurt his stock. As we get closer
to the draft, I’m expecting him to continue to move up draft
boards as teams continue to scout his earlier tape. He has the
potential to become a solid option across from Garrett in his
27. Baltimore Ravens - Ronnie Perkins, Edge, Oklahoma
The Ravens are a complete team but could enter this season with
one major hole. Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue, along with
others, are free agents. It’s unlikely they re-sign each
pass rusher, meaning they’ll have them fill the positions
in other ways, such as the draft.
Perkins is a solid, if unspectacular, prospect. In three seasons
at Oklahoma, he posted 16.5 sacks and 32 tackles for a loss over
32 games. He recorded 5.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss in
only six games in 2020, though. Perkins is a high-motor player
and is seen as one of the safer pass-rushing options, although
without the upside of some of his peers.
28. New Orleans Saints - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
What the Saints do in free agency will have a massive impact
on this pick, as they have a number of players potentially leaving
that they would need to instantly fill the void for. With that
being said, they could look to grab a cornerback here with Marshon
Lattimore taking a step back from his elite early career play.
Newsome has the size and speed to play on the perimeter throughout
his career. He’s a cornerback that offers the upside to
be able to shadow opposing WR1s. He’s struggled with durability
issues throughout his collegiate career, which may be the only
reason he’s not going earlier in this draft.
29. Green Bay Packers - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Green Bay has holes in their roster at cornerback, linebacker,
and offensive line depth while fans continue to call for a first-round
wide receiver. It’s clear Green Bay loves Allen Lazard and
company behind Davante Adams, but they could use an explosive
playmaker in the slot to take their offense to the next level.
Moore posted 114 receptions for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns
over 13 games as a freshman before struggling to find the field
later in the career. He’s an explosive receiver that can
score from anywhere on the field. He could add another dimension
to the Green Bay offense if they opt for this strategy.
30. Buffalo Bills - Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
Buffalo needs to add a pass rusher if they want to move closer
to the Super Bowl. They may do that in free agency via JJ Watt,
but that isn’t the case at the moment. Instead, they’ll
do it in the form of Ojulari in this draft.
There have been mixed results on him, as some drafts have him
falling out of the first round, while others place him inside
in the top-10. He’s an explosive edge rusher that has the
ability to change games. Ojulari isn’t as safe as a prospect
as some of the other options in this draft, but Buffalo is a team
that can take a chance on his upside.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
The Chiefs don’t have many holes in their roster, allowing
them to take an outstanding prospect that fell because he needs
time to develop. Mayfield comes with tremendous upside, but there
were some growing pains during his time at Michigan. Many believe
that he’ll need a season to learn before starting in the
NFL, but Kansas City is a team that can take that chance.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Bucs drafted an elite linebacker in Devin White but may need
to replace Lavonte David if he leaves in free agency. Bolton is
an athletic linebacker that many believe can immediately start
in the NFL. He was a leader of the Missouri offense and would
make a strong option to replace David. With Zaven Collins off
the board, Bolton would make sense for Tampa Bay’s young