The 2021 NFL Draft is finally here. To celebrate, here is a full 1st round mock draft that includes trades. Remember, this is what I believe each team WILL do, not what they SHOULD do. Enjoy!-Jay
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence/Quarterback/Clemson
You can expect Jacksonville to milk out the whole ten minutes before they make their pick, but the world knows who it will be. Trevor Lawrence is a lock to be the number one pick, and the Jags hope he’s their franchise quarterback for the next decade. It’ll be up to Urban Meyer and company to build around Lawrence for the foreseeable future.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson/Quarterback/BYU
The Jets were always in the market for a quarterback. They solidified that when they traded former third overall pick, Sam Darnold, to the Carolina Panthers. Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh will get their hand-picked passer in Zach Wilson, who they hope will turn out much better than Darnold. Wilson’s talent is through the roof with an insane arm and the mobility to make something out of nothing.
3. San Franciso 49ers: Trey Lance/Quarterback/North Dakota State
It seems like nobody knows what the 49ers will do with the third pick. Ultimately, I think it’ll come down to Mac Jones v. Trey Lance. Kyle Shanahan will decide who his next franchise quarterback is, and both make sense. Jones fits the Matt Ryan mold, but Lance is a different player. Shanahan was very complimentary of Josh Allen, who Lance has been compared to at times. Here, I think San Fran goes with Lance. The arm talent and potential are much greater than Jones’.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts/Tight End/Florida
The Falcons are in a tough spot here at four. They can either take Justin Fields to be the next franchise quarterback or build around Matt Ryan and take Kyle Pitts. My money here is that they take Pitts. The Florida tight end might be the best player in the class and is worthy of the selection. Pitts offers an elite build of size and speed while also being a very refined player. I don’t know who realistically can guard him. It’s hard to go wrong either way here.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase/Wide Receiver/LSU
The talk for a while was that the Bengals would take Penei Sewell to protect their young quarterback Joe Burrow. However, the signs point to the Bengals taking Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow and Chase have an obvious connection from their time on a record-breaking LSU offense. Chase comes in and joins two other solid pass catchers in Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. The Bengals will have to address the line on day two, but Chase might be too good to pass on here.
6. Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle/Wide Receiver/Alabama
It’ll be no surprise to anyone if Jaylen Waddle is taken over his teammate Devonta Smith, but the surprise is that he’s taken sixth overall. Miami probably will try and move back with Chase and Pitts off the board, but no team inside the top ten might be willing to. If they can’t move back, they take the explosive Jaylen Waddle. The Dolphins’ quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, will probably be thrilled to reunite with his former teammate. Waddle offers the Dolphins an explosive weapon that they have been lacking.
The Detriot Lions send the 7th pick to the New England Patriots in a trade package that includes the 15th overall pick.
7. New England Patriots: Justin Fields/Quarterback/Ohio State
The Patriots are never picking this early and don’t expect to be picking in the top fifteen anytime soon again. If they can pull it off, they should absolutely pull the trigger on a trade to get a quarterback. Justin Fields and Bill Belichick will give the AFC nightmares for years to come. Fields is a dynamic player who has seemed to have been overly criticized as the process comes to a close. Nevertheless, he lands in an ideal situation.
8. Carolina Panthers: Penei Sewell/Offensive Tackle/Oregon
The Panthers acquired Sam Darnold in the hope that he becomes their next franchise quarterback. If Justin Fields is available, I could see them still taking him, but here they get jumped by the Patriots. With the quarterbacks gone, they take Penei Sewell. The Oregon product missed the 2020 season after opting out but should still be a top ten selection. Sewell has all the talent in the world to be an All-Pro tackle, and the Panthers can sleep soundly knowing he and Taylor Moton will be their bookends.
The Denver Broncos send the 9th pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade package that includes the 12th overall pick.
9. Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II/Cornerback/Alabama
The Eagles traded down from six to twelve at the end of March to acquire a 2022 1st round pick from the Dolphins. With a stockpile of picks, the Eagles move up to land the top cornerback in Patrick Surtain II’s class. There is a chance he lasts until twelve, but they won’t risk it with the Dallas Cowboys at ten. Surtain II fits the Eagles mold to a tee both on the field in Jonathan Gannon’s new defense and off it. The Birds start the 2021 Draft with a strong start landing the class’s top defender.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn/Cornerback/South Carolina
The Cowboys miss the chance to pick from the top two corners, but I don’t think they’d be all that upset after landing Horn. The Boys could take Horn over Surtain II if both were on the board, but it was decided for them. Horn is still a great prospect and fills a massive hole in the Cowboys defense. They may have missed on Pitts and Surtain II, but Horn is a great consolation prize.
11. New York Giants: Micah Parsons/Linebacker/Penn State
Some upset Giants fans will be when they pass on Devonta Smith, but the signs point toward them taking a defender. I believe it’ll come down to Parsons and one of the edge rushers. Parsons fills two needs for Big Blue to being a sideline-to-sideline linebacker and offering some help as a pass rusher. The off the field stuff is a concern, but he makes a lot of sense for the Giants if it checks out.
12. Denver Broncos: Rashawn Slater/Offensive Tackle/Northwestern
The Broncos moved back a few spots but are still able to land a top ten talent in Slater. The Broncos have an issue at right tackle with Ja'Wuan James. He signed a big contract with them but has been unable to stay healthy. Slater could come and play if he gets hurt again or beat James out straight up. He also has the added versatility of being able to play guard as well. The value is too great to pass up here.
The Los Angeles Chargers send the 13th pick to the Arizona Cardinals in a trade package that includes the 16th overall pick.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Devonta Smith/Wide Receiver/Alabama
The rumors are that the Cardinals are interested in moving up for a wide receiver. Here, they are able to pounce on Devonta Smith after he fell out of the top ten. There are real concerns with Smith, especially after it was revealed that he is only 6’ 166 lbs. Nevertheless, the Cardinals pull the trigger and trade up to take him, hoping he can become the next great Alabama wide receiver. Kyler Murray now has a variety of weapons to throw to.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw/Offensive Tackle/Virginia Tech
The Vikings will be cheering during this pick. With the Chargers dropping down a few spots, it opens up a chance for the Vikings to take Darrisaw. The three-year starter is one of the more pro-ready tackle prospects and can immediately step in at left tackle for the Vikings. Mac Jones is a potential option here, but instead, they take the tackle for Kirk Cousins.
The Detriot Lions send the 15th pick to the Washington Football Team in a trade package that includes the 19th overall pick.
15. Washington Football Team: Mac Jones/Quarterback/Alabama
The slide for Mac Jones ends with the Football Team jumping up four spots to take him. The Chicago Bears will likely try and make a similar jump, but it is unlikely the division-rival Lions make that deal. Jones goes to Washington with the chance to start in the first two years and an elite defense behind him. Ron Rivera and company get their quarterback of the future, and while Jone’s will likely be disappointed by his slide, he lands in a favorable spot.
16. Los Angeles Chargers: Alijah Vera-Tucker/Offensive Lineman/USC
After moving back from thirteen, the Chargers land Alijah Vera-Tucker at sixteen. The word is the Chargers are high on left tackle Trey Pipkins so I don’t think they’d take AVT to be a tackle. Instead, they plug him in at left guard. That would give the Bolts a strong offensive line to protect Justin Herbet with. They made it a priority after adding Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler this offseason, so AVT would finish that.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore/Defensive Tackle/Alabama
The Raiders recently cut former draft choice Mo Hurst and don’t have much on the interior defensive line. Christian Barmore is inexperienced but does not lack the potential. He can come in Day 1 and be a force on the interior for the Raiders defense. If he can reach his potential, he’ll give the AFC West issues for years.
18. Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari/Defensive End/Georgia
The Dolphins got Waddle at six and now take the first edge rusher off the board in Azeez Ojulari. The Dolphins let go of two pass rushers in Kyle Van Noy and Shaq Lawson this offseason. They need to add some juice off the edge, and Ojulari allows them to. He fits Brian Flores’ hybrid defense well as he can rush both upright and with his hand in the dirt.
19. Detroit Lions: Kwity Paye/Defensive End/Michigan
After two trades, the Lions make their first pick, along with having a new stockpile of picks to rebuild their roster. Brad Holmes’ first choice will be Kwity Paye. The Michigan product will stay home as the new top edge rusher of the Lions. Paye has all the tools in the world but needs to match them with production. If he does, he can be a special player.
20. Chicago Bears: Caleb Farley/Cornerback/Virginia Tech
The Bears missed out on the top quarterback prospects but land a talented cornerback in the middle of the 1st round. If it were not for injuries, Farley would not have been here. However, two back surgeries and an ACL injury push him down the board. When he’s healthy, he and Jaylon Johnson form a formidable cornerback duo. Now they need to find a quarterback later.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Tevin Jenkins/Offensive Tackle/Oklahoma State
The Colts made a big splash when they acquired Carson Wentz, but they still have a need at tackle. Anthony Costanzo retired this offseason, so they need a new left tackle. Tevin Jenkins is a violent player but has only played right tackle. The Colts will hope he can make the transition and play alongside Quenton Nelson.
22. Tennessee Titans: Greg Newsome II/Cornerback/Northwestern
The Titans let go of two starting cornerbacks this offseason as well as a starting safety. Wide receiver is a need as well, but Greg Newsome II was the best option available. He, alongside Kristian Fulton, is a young cornerback duo that has some upside. Newsome II has struggled to stay healthy, so the Titans hope that won’t carry over into the pros. If he can, he might be a steal here.
23: New York Jets: Jaelen Phillips/Defensive End/Miami
There’s been a little run on edge rushers here, but the Jets get maybe the most talented one. Jaelen Phillips might be the best pure pass rusher in the class. However, there is an extensive injury history. If he can stay healthy, Gang Green has a talented pass rusher alongside a strong interior line.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris/Running Back/Alabama
Najee Harris and the Steelers are a match made it heaven. The Steelers seem committed to fixing the running game and adding a top-tier running back. In Big Ben’s last year, it makes sense to go all-in on the offense. Harris is the most talented running back in the class and would be an instant upgrade from James Conor and Benny Snell.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig/Safety/TCU
The Jags safety position is extremely bare right now. They need a playmaker back there and get one in Trevon Moehrig. The TCU product is the best in the class and can come in immediately and make a difference back there.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jamin Davis/Linebacker/Kentucky
Jamin Davis is the first real surprise of the first round. The Browns need help at linebacker after addressing the pass rush and secondary in free agency. Davis can come in and help on passing downs right away but still needs some time to develop. He is a great athlete with the speed to run sideline-to-sideline and cover tight ends. He’s still raw but has a lot of potential.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh/Defensive End/Penn State
With two 1st round picks, the Ravens can gamble on Jayson Oweh. The Penn State pass rusher has the traits to be an explosive edge rusher. He has the length and athleticism that is rare to see coming out of college. He’ll fit right in as a 3-4 rusher. The downside, Oweh does not have much in terms of production and did not produce a sack last season.
28. New Orleans Saints: Jeremiah Owusu-Kormah/Linebacker/Notre Dame
The Saints may have passed on Patrick Queen a year ago, but this time around, they land JOK. The versatile linebacker comes into the NFL with questions about where he’ll fit, but the talent is undeniable. He can come in Day 1 and be a coverage linebacker has he learns to be a full-time linebacker.
29. Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore/Wide Receiver/Ole Miss
The Packers here add a dynamic pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers. Elijah Moore is an explosive playmaker that can work inside and outside. He’ll come in Day 1 and be an explosive slot receiver who can get big yards in chunks. He’ll also be a special teams contributor as a return man.
The Buffalo Bills send the 30th pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in a trade package that includes the 38th pick.
30. Cincinnati Bengals: Alex Leatherwood/Offensive Lineman/Alabama
The Bengals move back into the 1st round to land a starting lineman. Alex Leatherwood can plug in at right guard as soon as he walks in the building. He’s a big, nasty player who will fit right into the Bengals line that needs to protect Joe Burrow.
The Baltimore Ravens send the 31st pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade package that includes the 37th overall pick.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: Kadarius Toney/Wide Receiver/Florida
The Eagles and Ravens have a history of working together. This time, the Eagles move up to land Kadarius Toney. It makes sense for both sides as the Ravens get more picks and the Eagles get a pass catcher they want. Toney is a versatile playmaker that can wear many hats in Nick Sirianni’s offense. They take him over a few other receivers, but it makes sense in terms of scheme and the connections on staff.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gregory Rousseau/Defensive End/Miami
While he may have tested poorly and skipped the 2020 season, I still expect Gregory Rousseau to be a 1st round pick. The Buccaneers nab him at the end of the 1st round, which is a good spot for him. He can start his career as a rotational player, which will give him time to develop. His ability to play inside and outside adds value to both him and the Bucs.