Christian's 2021 Mock Draft 2.0
It's been a couple of weeks since I wrote my mock draft 1.0. Since then, I've watched about 50 more prospects extensively. Eventually, these will turn into 2- and 3-round mocks, but for now, we're rocking with one round. This is the final mock with a non-finalized draft order. Isn't that absurd? Without further adieu, my second mock of the year*.
*I may do a 2.5 with trades... stay tuned.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
I've talked extensively about this pick already. Justin Fields is my QB1. If really any other coach was chosen for the Jaguars, I would have considered putting him here again. However, Trevor Lawrence's experience in a college-style offense added to the Urban Meyer hire virtually locks Trevor into the first overall pick. I think it's wrong. But I think it happens.
2. New York Jets - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
There's a lot of debate about this pick, and I think there's a solid chance the New York Jets trade out of this pick. I believe what Robert Saleh is saying about Sam Darnold, partially because I think Darnold still has something to offer, and partially because he has no reason to say such things if he doesn't mean them. Saleh is going to do everything he can to make Darnold successful. Insert Ja'Marr Chase, one of the most dominant college receivers of all-time. Chase is the alpha that some of the other top guys aren't, and pairing Chase with Mims and Crowder (for a year) automatically creates a decent wide receiver room.
3. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Only one quarterback in the top-three? Sure. I think the Dolphins give Tua another year to see if he can regain his ability to drive through his hips and throw with some zip, though I think there's reason for concern. Making sure his hips stay in tact? Penei Sewell, pushing Robert Hunt into his more ideal position at guard and flipping to the right side to keep Tua's blindside safe.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
No quarterback?! No. The Matt Ryan contract is very difficult to get out of until after the 2022 season, and with the market saturated by a ton of good-to-great quarterbacks on cheaper deals, I don't expect the Falcons will even be looking to get out of the deal. Kwity Paye isn't my EDGE1, but I see the appeal in what is a less-than-stellar edge class.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
I like Slater a lot less than most in the draft world, but his 5-position versatility is certainly something that is appealing to a ton of teams. With the Bengals likely top-two off the board here, they pivot and roll with the next best lineman.
6. Philadelphia Eagles - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Eagles have a need at wide receiver. They have a need on the offensive line. They have a need at linebacker. But Howie Roseman doesn't care. If the Eagles are going to win in 2021, it's going to be because they kept their defense together and also added to it. Patrick Surtain II is the most complete corner in this class, in my opinion, and he complements Darius Slay extremely well.
7. Detroit Lions - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
I've had the discussion multiple times already since the trade of Matthew Stafford; the Lions cannot feasibly take a quarterback with this pick unless they move Goff elsewhere. Goff is the starter for at least the next two years, and a rookie quarterback wasting away for that amount of time is poor team-building. Insert Caleb Farley. The Lions' defense was atrocious top-to-bottom, and the Lions are one year removed from selecting Jeff Okudah with a top-3 draft pick, but pairing him with another CB1 and mixing in Oruwariye? Sign me all the way up.
8. Carolina Panthers - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Panthers are a piece or two away from a nice long playoff run right now. The piece that is most important: the quarterback position. Don't let media narratives fool you; Matt Rhule knows talent, and if Justin Fields is there, he will very likely be the selection. QB1 finds his most ideal landing spot.
9. Denver Broncos - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Broncos don't really have a need at quarterback in my opinion, despite the poor play from Drew Lock in 2020. If all of the quarterbacks are gone, I think the Broncos will gladly take one of the aforementioned corners and run with them. But because they are gone and a potential franchise quarterback is here, they decide to get Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler someone who can get them the ball.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
This one is more a nod to my board. Ojulari is a great edge prospect - my EDGE1 - and the Cowboys have needs all over the defense. With Randy Gregory back on a one-year extension and Aldon Smith's future uncertain, the Cowboys could use Ojulari, a strip sack specialist and guy I project to be an incredibly impactful player at the next level.
11. New York Giants - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Giants have a playmaking need. Evan Engram is bad at football. Sterling Shepard is what he is. Darius Slayton regressed severely for most of 2020, and Saquon Barkley will be returning from a major injury. The Giants offense needs a weapon with speed and physicality; that's Jaylen Waddle. Waddle's dynamism is unmatched in this class. Giants fans should like this.
12. San Francisco 49ers - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The 49ers now have the worst quarterback in the division, and squandering the talent on both sides of the ball because Jimmy Garoppolo costed a 2nd would be silly. Trey Lance in a Kyle Shanahan offense would likely push him above Trevor Lawrence for me for rookie QB2, and this pick means that the 49ers are Super Bowl contenders once again.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
This was my surprise pick when I debuted a version of this mock on Matt MacCoy's (@MattMacCoyNFL) show last week. Teven Jenkins is a first-round player in my book. He's a mauler that has work to do in pass protection, but the traits are promising. The kick step isn't as fluid as some other tackles in the class, but the run blocking is matched by.. well.. maybe no one.
14. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
Christian Barmore isn't a perfect interior defensive line prospect, but he's flashed traits that can't really be matched by others in this class. You only have to go back a couple of years to see this exact mold in Quinnen Williams. Barmore has potential to be one of the better pass rushing defensive tackles in the league in a few years, and that alone makes him worthy of an early pick.
15. New England Patriots - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
I'm not one to overplay the need at tight end for the New England Patriots. I don't think the need is extremely dire, to be honest. They spent high picks on two separate guys in 2020. But Kyle Pitts may not end up a true tight end in the NFL (and he should primarily be a big slot or even wideout), and Bill needs weapons.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
The Cardinals have had an offensive line need for as long as I can remember, and going a different direction with this pick would not be kind to them in the future. Vera-Tucker is one of the best interior offensive line prospects in this class, but what gets him here is positional versatility; he can kick out to tackle when needed. A versatile, good offensive lineman is a necessity for Arizona.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
I don't think Rousseau should be drafted remotely this highly. I think most of the analysis on his film should be "long and versatile." His technique was flat-out bad in 2019 when he last played. But his profile screams Mike Mayock pick. Blue chip program. Guy that has no business being drafted here. Probable disappointment. The Mayock way.
18. Miami Dolphins - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
For those of you that got angry with me after the Dolphins first pick because they didn't select DeVonta Smith, thanks for continuing. DeVonta Smith absolutely has a chance to slide in this draft, and quite frankly, I think he's probably being overdrafted here. His profile isn't that of a dominant number one wideout, and while I think DeVonta is very good and can have a long, productive career, is pairing him with Tua the path to that? Maybe. And in this mock, we'd get to see.
19. Washington Football Team - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Hybrid, Notre Dame
Washington absolutely has needs at wideout and quarterback. Reaching for Mac Jones would be a mistake, and I think they turn to free agency or the trade market to fix those positions anyway. Owusu-Koramoah gives them a chess piece on defense to play behind one of the best defensive lines in the NFL in 2021.
20. Chicago Bears - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Bears are in the weirdest limbo I've seen in a while. They're good, but they're also very bad. Christian Darrisaw makes them less bad, and also ensures that the offense will primarily run through their best offensive weapon in 2021: David Montgomery. Darrisaw is one of the only guys that rivals Teven Jenkins in run blocking, and the Bears have massive needs on the line. Immediate impact players at pick 20 are ideal.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The evaluations on Zaven Collins have been incredibly interesting to me. There are some that say he's only an edge rusher, despite posting some of the best coverage metrics in the league in 2020. That's something the Colts desperately need: a coverage backer. Darius Leonard was asked to cover far too much in 2020, and the results weren't great. Allowing Leonard to be a run fitter and pass rusher would take the Colts' defense to a new level.
22. Tennessee Titans - Micah Parsons, LB Hybrid, Penn State
There are tons of character concerns swirling about Micah Parsons, and his lack of an actual position in today's NFL is similarly concerning. Parsons just isn't great in coverage, and in today's NFL, outside linebackers need to be able to cover. In my eyes, Parsons is probably either an edge rusher or strictly a MIKE; but he doesn't have the maturity to be a MIKE. All of these things contribute to him being the third linebacker off the board, and the idea is that the Titans would use him primarily as an edge rusher.
23. New York Jets - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Jaycee Horn is a good football player. A very good football player. The type of football player that Robert Saleh will covet in his first draft with Joe Douglas and the New York Jets. Priority one should be to build around Darnold. Priority two will be putting together a squad that won't rely on Darnold to win them games. Horn does just that.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
The Steelers are likely losing Maurkice Pouncey to retirement after he single-handedly initiated the single-most joyful game in my Browns fandom. Dickerson is my highest-graded center prospect this year, ever-so-slightly edging out Creed Humphrey. Dickerson could immediately help the Steelers in the run game, something they desperately need to overcome their issues at the quarterback position.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
The Urban Meyer connection may not be a thing for Justin Fields, but it sure as hell is for Baron Browning. Browning came into his own once he shifted back to his outside linebacking position in 2020, and while he definitely underwhelmed for most of his Ohio State career, I have to assume Urban Meyer will have also seen the flashes. Browning offers pluses in both pass rush and coverage, and can turn into a superstar at the next level.
26. Cleveland Browns - Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
The Browns are losing Olivier Vernon to free agency in 2021 and have a massive need opposite Myles Garrett. Carlos Basham would be an immediate-impact replacement. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in technique. His hands are something special, and working opposite Myles Garrett could prove to be the best landing spot for him. This might be a little bit of a reach, but Andrew Berry investing in trench players is something I will always get behind.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Orlando Brown Jr. is searching for the bag (see: I'm a LEFT tackle tweet somewhere on his timeline) and the Ravens absolutely have to create clean pockets in 2021. Samuel Cosmi is my third-highest graded tackle, and while the need for a Matthew Judon replacement is also there (and Cosmi's teammate Joseph Ossai fits the bill), the Ravens roll with their new starting RT.
28. New Orleans Saints - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
You thought I forgot, didn't you? Mac Jones isn't a high- or even mid-first rounder. He isn't even really a first-rounder. But because of the premium on the position and the Saints likely drastic need at the position, he's a really good fit for them. Add in that he's one of the best fits for their offense, and you have an immediate upgrade from Taysom Hill. Ideal scenario for the Saints, as they can start to build around what will hopefully be their new franchise quarterback.
29. Green Bay Packers - Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
I'm not 100% in on the hype that Daniel Jeremiah cultivated when he dropped his first mock a couple of weeks ago. Mel Kiper followed it by placing Joe Tryon in his first mock, as well. Tryon displays some impressive bend and a great motor. He has shown ability to drop back into coverage, as well. I think Joseph Ossai is everything Tryon is, but more. I also think that I'll follow the smoke here.
30. Buffalo Bills - Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
I know that Aaron Robinson has gotten a ton of first-round buzz, and he was incredibly impressive at the Senior Bowl last week, but Asante Samuel Jr. is a guy that the hype hasn't quite caught up to. He has the pedigree, and quite frankly, he has the ball skills to warrant a high pick. Where he lacks in size, he makes up for in grit. Tossing him opposite Tre White is incredibly intriguing.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
I said what I said. Tyler Johnson has been incredibly impressive when he gets the work. Antonio Brown is a candidate to be back. Chris Godwin may get the tag. I don't care. Bruce Arians and company know that their window is still wide open for as long as Brady has help, and Rashod Bateman gives them flexibility to let Godwin walk and use that money to bolster other areas. He's also probably just as good as Godwin already. So there's that.
32. Kansas City Chiefs - Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
This may be the most shocking pick. Tylan hasn't really gotten a ton of first-round hype. But he should. He's a jump ball specialist that can make things happen after the catch. He is an absolute monster in the red zone, and he has some of the softest and most impressive hands in the class. Rondale Moore would be fun here. Amon-Ra is who I'd choose as a fit for them. But here, I'll give them a receiver that they don't really have on the roster.
So there you have it. What did you think? Let me know @FFBaldMan on Twitter or tweet at us @TheCutFFB.
Until next time.