Final 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft is just about here, which means it’s time for the final version of my 2021 Mock Draft. In my last mock, I didn’t try and project any trades, but for my last mock, I’ll predict a couple I think could take place. Keep in mind, this is what I think will happen and not necessarily what I would do as a GM. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

This pick has been set in stone since the moment the Jaguars landed the number one overall pick. 

2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

Wilson to the Jets is all but certain at this point. The Jets land one of the most exciting prospects in this year’s draft as they look to rebuild. They’ll need to provide him with better support than they did Sam Darnold or history may repeat itself.

3. 49ers: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

It’s widely reported that the 49ers have narrowed their choices down to Mac Jones or Trey Lance. If it was me, Justin Fields or Lance would be the pick but Jones feels like the selection for San Francisco. Head coach Kyle Shanahan isn’t particularly concerned with landing a quarterback that creates on his own, he’s looking for one that will operate within the confines of his system and Jones fits the bill.

4. Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

Atlanta is a prime trade-down candidate, but I’m not sure any team is willing to pay the price to move up. As a pure football talent, Pitts is one of, if not the best, in this entire draft, getting him at four is a nice value.

5. Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

The Bengals probably *should* go offensive tackle here, but the chance to reunite franchise quarterback Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase, his favorite target from his LSU days, is too much for the Bengals to pass up. 

6. Dolphins: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

The Dolphins traded out of the number three overall pick and are still able to land one of the best players in the draft. Better protection for Tua Tagovailoa is a must in 2021. 

7. Patriots (via trade with Lions): QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

Trade Details: Lions trade 2021 first-round pick | Patriots trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 third-round pick, and 2022 first-round pick

Bill Belichick continues his uncharacteristically aggressive offseason and pulls the trigger on a trade-up for one of the draft’s top quarterbacks. In a normal year, Justin Fields would likely be one of the top players selected, but the top-heavy 2021 quarterback class is likely to push him down the board to the 7-10 range.

8. Panthers: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

The Panthers’ next logical step after trading for Sam Darnold is to get him some protection. Rashawn Slater is a ready-made day one starter, and an immediate upgrade for Carolina.

9. Broncos: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

With Trey Lance still on the board, the Broncos will rush their pick to the podium. Lance gives Denver a quarterback with limitless potential. With Drew Lock still set to start, Denver has the option of sitting Lance for a bit and letting him develop before handing him the reigns to the offense.

10. Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama

Dallas needs help in the secondary, badly. Patrick Surtain, an elite corner prospect, and Dallas are a perfect pairing.

11. Giants: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

Despite the character concerns, Parsons is one of the best defensive players in this draft. The Giants being able to stay put at 11 overall, and still add one of the most electric defensive playmakers in the draft is a huge win.

12. Eagles: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

The Eagles trading back from number six overall reaffirms their commitment to quarterback Jalen Hurts in 2021. The Eagles will look to give their potential franchise quarterback all the weapons he’ll need to be successful and prove it by adding a dynamic playmaker in Jaylen Waddle. Waddle can stress a defense in a multitude of ways, which should help open up that Eagles offense.

13. Chargers: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Upgrading the protection for Justin Herbert this offseason has been a priority and that strategy should continue into the draft. Alijah Vera-Tucker has the potential to be a high-end guard, but he is also very much capable of kicking outside to play tackle. 

14. Colts (via trade with Vikings): OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

Trade Details: Vikings trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (#143) | Colts trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 second-round pick

Pretty simple logic here; when your franchise left tackle retires, replace him. By trading up, the Colts get an immediate day one starting tackle in Christian Darrisaw.

15. Lions (via trade with Patriots): EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

Trade Details: Lions trade 2021 first-round pick | Patriots trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 third-round pick, and 2022 first-round pick

The Lions are yet again at the start of what seems like a series of perpetual rebuilds. Detriot needs a lot of help, but bolstering the defensive front is a good place to start. Kwity Paye provides an immediate boost to what was a lackluster pass rush in 2020. 

16. Cardinals: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

Arizona has a big need at the corner position, and Jaycee Horn is an ideal prospect to fill the void. With Horn, Arizona is getting an athletic corner that has an extremely physical playstyle.

17. Raiders: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

Las Vegas needs versatile play-makers on the defensive side of the ball, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah fits the bill. Owusu-Koramoah, with his strong coverage ability, is the perfect modern-day NFL linebacker.

18. Dolphins: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama

Miami opted to upgrade the protection for Tua Tagovailoa earlier in the first round, and now they upgrade his weapons. Devonta Smith is an electric playmaker and an excellent route runner. Concerns about his size cause him to slide further down the draft board than most expected, but Miami isn’t complaining as they get a bargain in Smith.

19. Football Team: OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

Upgrading the offensive line needs to be a priority for Washington, especially with a 38-year-old quarterback. Liam Eichenberg is reportedly a prospect that many in the league are higher on than those in the media.

20. Bears: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

The Bears need to add offensive firepower to what was at times an anemic offense in 2020. With Allen Robinson playing on the franchise tag and Anthony Miller on the trading block, adding Rashod Bateman would be ideal.   

21. Vikings (via trade with Colts): EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

Trade Details: Vikings trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick (#143) | Colts trade 2021 first-round pick, 2021 second-round pick

Even with the Vikings trading back, they still may end up with the best edge defender in this draft, provided Jaelan Phillips’s health holds up (concussion issues).

22. Titans: CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern

The Titans desperately need to be better in coverage, and that was true even before losing Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson this offseason. Greg Newsome would be a nice get for Tennesse.

23. Jets: OT Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma State

For the Jets, nothing else matters besides ensuring that top pick Zach Wilson doesn’t turn into the next Darnold. Jenkins is an absolute mauler and will be a big upgrade for the Jets offensive line.

24. Steelers: RB Najee Harris, Alabama

Pittsburgh’s inability to run the ball last year led to a weekly high-volume passing attack, which proved to be unsustainable for Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers will try and remedy that issue by selecting their bell-cow running back in round one and solidifying their offensive line on day 2.

25. Jaguars: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

While protecting Trevor Lawrence should most certainly be a priority, the Jaguars also have a big need at safety. In a weak safety class, Jacksonville can secure the top prospect at the position in Trevon Moehrig. Moehrig has very few weaknesses in his play and he should be a fixture in the Jacksonville secondary for years to come.

26. Browns: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

Back surgery causes Caleb Farley to tumble down the draft board. The injury concerns are real with Farley, but he has the upside to be the best corner in this draft class. Cleveland can pair Farley with standout cornerback Denzel Ward, which would be a lethal 1-2 punch in the secondary if Farley can stay healthy.

27. Ravens: EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

After losing both Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon in free agency, Baltimore has a major need on the edge. Azeez Ojulari is one of the most polished pass-rushers in the draft.

28. Saints: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

New Orleans needs to add another linebacker to their roster and Zaven Collins would be a great use of a first-round selection. Collins has the size, length, versatility, and athleticism to make a huge impact on the Saints’ defense. 

29. Packers: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

The Packers need a consistent threat in the passing game opposite Davante Adams and they finally find it in Kadarius Toney. With Adams commanding attention from the defense, Toney would feast on defenses with his run after the catch ability.

30. Bills: CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State

Buffalo has some great pieces on defense but one of the areas they lacked last season was consistency in the secondary opposite Tre’Davious White. Adding Asante Samuel Jr, who is extremely polished, is an excellent upgrade and gives the Bills a better shot to compete with all of Kanas City’s firepower on offense.

31. Ravens: WR Terrace Marshall Jr, LSU

The Ravens had trouble recruiting veteran wideouts this offseason, so they turn to the draft to add pass-catching talent instead. Marshall’s draft stock has taken a hit due to his medicals, but he’s a big atehtltic outside receiver, which is what Baltimore needs.

32. Buccaneers: C Landon Dickerson, Alabama

Tampa Bay’s roster looks loaded as they head into 2021, and that leaves them in the enviable position of drafting for future starters. With starting center Ryan Jensen entering the final year of his contract, the Buccaneers opt to keep the cupboard well-stocked when it comes to protection for Tom Brady. Plus, Dickerson can back up both guard positions as well, which is an incredible safety net in case of any injuries along the interior offensive line.

Let us know your favorite and least favorite picks from this mock draft!

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One thought on “Final 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft

  • April 26, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I thought the Ravens would take a tackle because they just traded one away but I think you’re right they will probably go wide receiver and edge then tackle in round 2


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