NFL 2021 Mock Draft 1.0
Now that the College Football Season is over and the majority of the draft order is set, it is time to think about the NFL Draft. Although the first overall pick may be quite obvious, there are still plenty of players that each NFL team must consider at their pick. Despite the fact that there will likely be a few trades this year, I will not include them in this version because it is still too early to tell what teams are thinking. Anyways, without further ado, here is Let's Talk Sports' first 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Although a lot of the top overall picks are quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence (left) and wide receivers, one cannot forget about the other top talents of the draft. Penei Sewell (center) will be a great blocker and force on whatever team selects him, and Micah Parsons (right) brings a dominance rarely seen in a prospect.
1st Overall Pick- Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson:
The Jaguars did it. They won the Trevor Tankathon and get with that they receive a generational talent. Lawrence is a winner, having only lost four games since high school, and has all the tools of a successful quarterback. Hopefully, the prospect of coaching a talent like Lawrence will bring in a new coach like Urban Meyer for the Jags too.
2nd Overall Pick- New York Jets select Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State:
Although a lot of people, including myself, are not high on Ohio State quarterbacks, Fields still stands out among the class as a great talent. Although the Jets could possibly trade back if they believe in Sam Darnold, it is safe to say they try their luck with a prospect and trade Darnold for some future picks.
3rd Overall Pick- Miami Dolphins select Penei Sewell, OL, Oregon:
The Dolphins could move in two possible directions here to buff their offense. Although Miami could use a wideout to complement DeVante Parker, it is more likely that they give protection to their quarterback of the future (whether it's Tua or a draft pick) and select Sewell. Sewell has been regarded as the best offensive lineman in the draft, and is the right guy for a team who fell just short of the playoffs this year.
4th Overall Pick- Atlanta Falcons select Zach Wilson, QB, BYU:
Despite the fact that there are many great prospects at other positions, the Falcons desperately need a quarterback of the future to succeed Matt Ryan (35 years old). There are definitely some questions surrounding Wilson, as he did not face as much competition as other prospects while playing for BYU. But, he has a strong arm and is mobile enough to avoid taking unnecessary sacks, both of which play well with Atlanta's pass heavy offense.
5th Overall Pick- Cincinnati Bengals select Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU:
The Bengals having the fifth pick is quite unfortunate, as they won't be able to protect young quarterback Joe Burrow with a top OL like Penei Sewell. Luckily, Burrow will get to reunite with an old friend from college if they take Chase. Chase is a game changer on the field, and is quite similar to Justin Jefferson, who is currently lighting up the game as a rookie. Expect Chase to do the same with his college teammate, and for the Bengals to boost their already solid WR core.
6th Overall Pick- Philadelphia Eagles select Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama:
It's no secret that the Eagles could use a wide receiver to complement running back Miles Sanders and young quarterback Jalen Hurts. With Chase gone, the reigning Heisman winner will have to do for the Eagles. Smith is a perfect storm of a wide receiver, having a long wingspan to combine with excellent route running. The Eagles are still a long way to go from being a playoff team, but Smith certainly will help.
7th Overall Pick- Detroit Lions select Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State:
The Lions need players at almost every position, and could choose a multitude of prospects at this spot. However, Parsons stands out above the rest as an instant impact player. Although he did not play in college this year, Parsons still possesses the build and raw talent to be the next stud linebacker that the Lions have been looker for.
8th Overall Pick- Carolina Panthers select Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida:
Pitts is one of the best tight end prospects in the past couple decades. He is too fast for linebackers to cover him, yet too big for corners or safeties. This will definitely intrigue Carolina, who has two wideouts (Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel) that are heading to free agency soon. Although the quarterback situation in Carolina is odd, the remaining quarterbacks are a bit of a reach for the Panthers. So, they take the best overall prospect remaining in Pitts.
9th Overall Pick- Denver Broncos select Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama:
Currently, the Broncos have an okay pass defense, sitting in the middle of the pack in most statistics. However, it lacks explosiveness and outstanding playmakers, both of which Surtain has. These traits along with a physical play style is perfect for the modern cornerback. Expect him to be an instant boost to the Broncos' defense.
10th Overall Pick- Dallas Cowboys select Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami:
A steal at the tenth overall pick, Rousseau is a perfect match for a defense that fell in the bottom ten of a lot of defensive statistics such as points and yards allowed per game. He had 15.5 sacks last season and started to dominate on the edge. The Cowboys desperately need help on defense, so a guy drawing comparisons to Calais Campbell would be the right move for Dallas.
In the middle part of the first round there are still many top prospects to go. Some, like Jaylen Waddle (right) fell here due to injury concerns, while others like Caleb Farley (left) and Rashawn Slater (center) are just in positions that aren't in high demand. Regardless of circumstance, there's a lot of studs this year outside the top ten.
11th Overall Pick- New York Giants select Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan:
The Giants have a good amount of needs coming into this draft, and defensive line is certainly one of them. Although not the biggest need, the Giants could draft Paye in an effort to build a dominant front seven. Quite honestly, the Giants could trade either up or down if they see fit in order to snag a top wideout. But, since this mock isn't going to have any trades, they stick with Paye here.
12th Overall Pick- San Francisco 49ers select Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech:
Although it may appear that the 49ers could draft a quarterback to replace Jimmy Garappolo, they have a sneaky problem at the cornerback position. They have not one, not two, not three, not four, but five unrestricted free agents at that position currently. Assuming they sign a couple guys to fill some spots, they could use a young stud like Farley to be the future of the unit. Despite being tall, Farley's athleticism and great instincts shut down wide receivers who go up against him.
13th Overall Pick- Los Angeles Chargers select Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech:
If one thing has become apparent this season for the Chargers, it is that Justin Herbert is their quarterback for the future. Since they have already provided him with ample weapons, they will likely search for protection in the form of Darrisaw. A player with a ton of upside and raw talent, the Chargers have the ability to mold Darrisaw however they see fit to complement their young quarterback. This will allow Herbert to sit in the pocket for longer and make better decisions down the stretch, which is crucial for a team with so many single digit losses.
14th Overall Pick- Minnesota Vikings select Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern:
In somewhat of a confusing move, the Vikings use their top overall pick to give Kirk Cousins some more protection. Yes, their defense is shaky. Yes, they have some impending free agents on defense too. Yet, they choose Slater in an effort to balance their offense. Last year, only five teams attempted less passes than Minnesota, with the reason largely being a lack of time to get rid of the ball. With Slater, the Vikings provide more time for Cousins to pass and let wideouts like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson go to work.
15th Overall Pick- New England Patriots select Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State:
Although the first choice for New England is a tight end, Kyle Pitts is gone. So, Belichick and co. decide to invest in their next franchise quarterback. Similar to Zach Wilson, there are concerns with the lack of competition that Lance faced over the course of his college career. However, it is hard to pass on a quarterback with stat lines like Lance, who threw for 28 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions this year for the Bison. Expect for Lance to be thrust right into the action if selected by the Patriots, who are not bringing veteran Cam Newton back.
16th Overall Pick- Arizona Cardinals select Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina:
The Cardinals will need to use their first few picks on the defensive side of the ball to become a more complete team as core players like Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson could be set to hit the market soon. Unfortunately, there is a slight talent gap in the front seven positions, so the Cards take Horn. Horn's frame is a big upside to his game and allows him to get the jump on receivers in many scenarios. Although his football IQ is a slight problem, it is important for the Cardinals to address their needs to make the playoffs in 2021.
17th Overall Pick- Las Vegas Raiders select Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU:
The Raiders desperately need help on defense. Sitting in the bottom ten of yards allowed & the bottom three of points allowed, the Raiders' defense arguably cost them a shot at the playoffs. Recognizing this, it only makes sense for them to draft a guy like Moehrig, who is coming off winning the award for the nation's top defensive back. Moehrig is an all around safety, who's combination of length, speed and strength allows him to break up passes like no other prospect.
18th Overall Pick- Miami Dolphins select Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa:
After drafting a WR, the Dolphins use their next pick on the other side of the ball when they draft Collins. Although I listed Collins as a linebacker, he can truly play any position in the front seven. This allows him to stay on the field in almost any defensive formation that Miami chooses. Additionally, Collins possesses an extreme amount of talent, and his potential is limitless.
19th Overall Pick- Washington Football Team selects Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama:
The days of Terry McLaurin being double teamed are over. It was clear this season that the Football Team needed another wideout to complement McLaurin and tight end Logan Thomas. So, they get Waddle for a steal at 19. His explosiveness and speed (4.27 40 yard dash time) are elite for a prospect, and his route running is not to be overlooked. Although he is still in the recovery process from an injury he sustained in a matchup against Tennessee, Waddle still looks like an instant impact player for Washington.
20th Overall Pick- Chicago Bears select Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State
Although the Bears could use a playmaker as well as quarterback, the talent left on the board isn't good enough to justify taking someone at those positions. Rather, they take Davis in order to boost their run game and give whoever their quarterback will be more time to throw. His lateral mobility is superb compared to other prospects, and this makes him the perfect candidate for an interior position on the Bears' line. Additionally, there is a high ceiling to his game, as his talent is still somewhat raw. If the Bears want a future anchor of their line, Davis is certainly the right guy.
In the final twelve picks of the first round, many of college football's finest are still available. Despite opting out of this season twice, Rashod Bateman (left) remains a top receiver in the class. Additionally, more well known names like Ohio State's Shaun Wade (center) and Alabama's (Najee Harris) are still up for grabs.
21st Overall Pick- Indianapolis Colts select Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota:
The fourth wide receiver off the board, Bateman is another stud in a deep class. He possesses an incredible mix of route running, ball skills, and speed that allow him to breeze past cornerbacks. The Colts lack explosively on their offense, so drafting a WR is likely if all the top quarterbacks are off the board. Although his role may be limited as a rookie behind TY Hilton and Michael Pittman, there is a lot of upside for Bateman if he lands in Indianapolis.
22nd Overall Pick- Tennessee Titans select Joseph Ossai, LB, Texas:
The Titans have it all on offense including an above average QB, multiple wideout options and a beast at running back. Unfortunately, they had one of the worst defenses this year, largely due to a weak linebacker core. To strengthen this they take Ossai, who is coming off of a season with five sacks and three forced fumbles. Ossai also possesses a lot of room to grow as he settles into whatever formation Tennessee chooses to play. Lastly, his playmaking skill is outstanding and Ossai is always looking for the way to make the biggest impact on the field each play.
23rd Overall Pick- New York Jets select Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama:
In need of defensive help, the Jets pickup the young Barmore in hopes that he can boost their pass rushing effort. Despite the fact that he wasn't a full time starter at Alabama, his raw talent is unbelievable. His large frame and agile movements allow him to be a dominant force in any formation he lines up in. Although not an immediate impact player, he is certainly one to watch over the next few years.
24th Overall Pick- Pittsburgh Steelers select Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri:
Despite having a top defense, the Steelers find themselves drafting a linebacker out of circumstance rather than choice. Due to an injured Bud Dupree and a not yet extended TJ Watt, it is a wise idea for the Steelers to go after another linebacker. As the enforcer of Missouri's defense, Bolton was able to use his extreme power and quick reflexes to make opposing offenses pay. Thus, he is a wise and much cheaper investment for the Steelers, who have the fourth least cap space in 2021.
25th Overall Pick- Jacksonville Jaguars select Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
In an effort to build back the elite defense that they had just a few years ago, the Jags nab a cornerback in the first round for the second year in a row. One thing to note is that Kendrick did not play corner until 2019. However, this gives Kendrick an extensive background in numerous positions which allows him to excel in all coverages. A combination of Kendrick and 2020 pick CJ Henderson could be the foundation of the next great secondary unit.
26th Overall Pick- Cleveland Browns select Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, OLB, Notre Dame
Despite having a solid defense last year, the linebacker core of Cleveland is weak, consisting of a third round acquisition and a pair of guys on one year contracts. Owusu-Koramoah has exceptional cover skills for a linebacker, and is much faster than the average LB. However, he is a bit undersized for the NFL, weighing in at only 220 lbs. But if he can bulk up then the Browns will have a stud in the making.
27th Overall Pick- Baltimore Ravens select Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The last of the top talent WRs in this draft, the Ravens get exactly the guy they need. Anyone watching the Ravens can tell that they desperately need more help in the receiving game. Moore is a versatile wideout who has incredible athletic gifts. His durability is a big red flag, as he has only played in 7 games over the last two years. However, if the Ravens need a high potential wideout badly, Moore is the best man for the job.
28th Overall Pick- New Orleans Saints select Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Saints have a big problem when it comes to cap space. They have a lot of big contracts and are so deep in cap that they currently cannot field a full roster. In order to try to solve this, they draft Wade and cut overpaid corner Janoris Jenkins. In terms of Wade, his athletic skills and length are rarely seen in a cornerback prospect. Unfortunately, he doesn't always match up well in island coverage and may have to transition to safety if things don't go well.
29th Overall Pick- Green Bay Packers select Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
One thing that plagued the Packers this season was the injury of David Bakhtiari. Being completely honest, there's no guarantee he returns to peak form. Additionally, there are some other weak spots on that line. If the Packers want to protect Aaron Rodgers during his waning years and new QB Jordan Love when he eventually takes the reins, they need to give him some protection. Vera-Tucker is an athletic lineman who attacks hard off the ball. Additionally, he excels in both run and pass plays, which will be great for a balanced Green Bay offense.
30th Overall Pick- Buffalo Bills select Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
The Bills don't have a ton of glaring needs. Although running back could be the move for them here, it is also likely they draft one later and address a glaring need, cornerback. Yes, Tre'Davious White is great. But who else is? With Samuel at his side, the two along with a strong safety core could solidify one of the best secondaries in the game. Although Samuel is a bit small for the position, he makes up for it with great speed and coverage skills. Man coverage best suits his skill set, which is often in the play calling of Buffalo.
31st Overall Pick (yes this is my SB prediction)- Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Buccaneers are a very complete team who don't need anything to remain a contender. However, it is clear to all who watch them that their rushing game could use some work. Leonard Fournette took a big step back in 2020, while Ronald Jones could be the answer, he is set to be an unrestricted free agent shortly. Harris has been a surefire early pick for a long time and is a beast in the backfield with a tendency for big plays that develop due to his explosive nature.
32nd Overall Pick(yes this is my SB prediction)- Kansas City Chiefs select Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh
Like the two teams above, the Chiefs are a very complete team who will be coming off of two Super Bowl appearances. However, they could use some help at the edge, as sacks weren't super common for them this year. With Jones, they get a hard charging run defender who competes for every gap that opens up. Although there are concerns about his smaller frame, this is common and it is likely that Jones will bulk up enough before next season.