Christian's 2021 Mock Draft 4.0
The NFL went berserk today with trades after learning that the Jets were sending the full squad to Zach Wilson's Pro Day. The entire makeup of the draft was altered in a matter of 30 minutes, and that means it's time for another edition of my mock drafts. Let's just go ahead and dive right in.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jacksonville Jaguars have already made this pick. Urban Meyer deciding not to attend Zach Wilson's Pro Day certainly indicated that the research is done. While I don't agree, the pick is in.
2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Zach Wilson is QB4 on my board for a variety of reasons, but he showed the Jets what they needed to see at his Pro Day today. The pick is in here, too, and I honestly believe the Jets will keep Sam Darnold around to battle for the QB1 job (and I think he may win that battle, even though he already lost the war).
3. San Francisco 49ers (from MIA) - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The buzz here is surrounding Trey Lance today, and rightfully so. Trey Lance is QB3 (ahead of Wilson) for me, and he surely has every tool possible to work with. But Justin Fields does, too, and he displayed it at a higher level for a longer period of time after being one of the highest-ranked recruits of all-time. He fits the 49ers scheme incredibly well, and I think he's the pick here.
4. Denver Broncos (from ATL) - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Denver sends picks 1.09, 3.71, and a 2022 first-round pick to Atlanta for picks 1.04 and 6.187.
I don't believe the Falcons will botch their chance to load up on picks while also getting their guy. I don't think they'll be taking a quarterback, and therefore, they move back, giving the Broncos the chance to come up and get the guy I just discussed. Lance with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant and company would be lethal. The Broncos would be damn near contenders based on their offense alone. Full send on the trade, full send on the landing spot for Trey Lance.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts is the best pass catcher in this draft class, and I wouldn't say it's all that close. The Bengals simultaneously have a need at tight end and just need to continue putting weapons around their young quarterback. I know Bengals fans want offensive line, but I think that Pitts being here would be a dream come true.
6. Miami Dolphins (from PHI) - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
I immediately tweeted that the Dolphins came back up from number 12, the pick they traded for moments before the trade with the Eagles, to select a wide receiver. Ja'Marr Chase doesn't fit what they need for Tua, and Waddle is a better prospect than DeVonta Smith (though, maybe not a better wide receiver at this point in their football careers). Giving Tua some familiarity is crucial to his success.
7. Detroit Lions - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The main reason the Dolphins had to come back up is the drastic need that the Lions have at the wide receiver position. Luckily, the guy they probably have near the top of their board falls right into their lap here. Chase is the alpha X-receiver that they need, and he will immediately give Jared Goff the help he needs for them to score less than 21 points per game and finish last in the NFC North.
8. Carolina Panthers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Panthers fans: I'm sorry. I don't think Mac Jones is really worthy of a first-round selection at all, but rumor is that the Panthers loved him at the Senior Bowl. With the other four quarterbacks gone and a window of contention opening up quickly with their young studs on defense and offensive weapons, they have to take a QB. Mac it is.
9. Atlanta Falcons (from DEN) - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
A running back in the top ten?! Yes. I truly believe that this could happen, though I think Atlanta probably tries to double down and trade back again. I think Najee and the Falcons are a perfect fit, and Arthur Smith is going to need a RB like Najee if he plans to get this offense up to where he wants it. Najee isn't my RB1, but he's certain to be RB1 off the board when the draft rolls around. I'm sorry, Falcons fans, too.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
Yeah. Just recreate the Alabama secondary from 2019. Easy decision. The Cowboys have a vast need at the corner position and, with Caleb Farley's injury and Jaycee Horn's strengths not aligning with the Cowboys scheme, this pick is cake.
11. New York Giants - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Tools, tools, tools. Paye is not the best edge defender in this class. Paye also is an athletic freak and could very well develop into a very good player, despite the inconsistencies you will see if you pop on his film. The Giants filled nearly all of their needs, and while I know Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker are on the board, drafting defense makes a strength even stronger.
12. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Taking Jaycee Horn with DeVonta Smith on the board seems crazy, but when you consider what the Eagles are going to do in 2021, DeVonta Smith doesn't really make a ton of sense to them. Horn, meanwhile, would immediately put this secondary among the top in the NFC with his physicality and ability to develop into an island corner.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Pair your sophomore quarterback with the offensive tackle that protected him for some of his time in college (who is also the OT1 in the class)? Yeah, I'm sure that is music to Justin Herbert's ears. The Chargers certainly have needs, but none more important than the LT position that currently has Trey Pipkins slotted in as the starter. Sewell is a freaky man and immediate impact player.
14. Minnesota Vikings - Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
The Vikings just traded for Mason Cole, and while that may indicate that this pick won't be an interior offensive lineman, I also think teams are going to view Slater as a "try him at LT, plug him at LG" type of player. He's probably OT1 on some boards, and the QBs push one of the better players in this class all the way to the middle of the first round. Dalvin Cook fantasy managers should enjoy this pick.
15. Tennessee Titans (from NE) - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Tennessee sends picks 1.22 and 2.53 to New England for pick 1.15.
DeVonta Smith is a Heisman-winning wide receiver that is just pound-for-pound (BMI pun intended) one of the better football players in this draft. The problem is that I could bench him an absurd amount of times at his reported playing weight of 170. Teams will be off of him, but slotting him in as the Titans WR2 opposite of AJ Brown is definitely something that could benefit him.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Greg Newsome II over Caleb Farley? Couldn't be me, but it definitely could happen come Draft Day. Newsome is a sticky coverage guy with click-and-close skills that rival the best corners in this class. He has elite speed and can start for the Cardinals day one; which they'll need since Patrick Peterson packed his bags and left town. Newsome may be a little bit of a reach, but that's not how the NFL is viewing him.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Character issues aside, Micah Parsons is LB1. He can slot in as a Mike or rotate out and utilize his pass-rushing ability. He's not going to offer much in coverage, but Devin White didn't either. Parsons is a crazy athlete and this is honestly probably a steal, assuming that the allegations he's faced with are proven to be a non-issue. Raiders need more defensive playmakers. Parsons helps that.
18. Miami Dolphins - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Recreate the USC offensive line from 2019? Sure. It's just the left side that matters a little bit less with a left-hander at QB, anyway. Vera-Tucker is a hashtag great offensive lineman, and while drafting interior offensive linemen isn't sexy, it's certainly necessary in the AFC East. Vera-Tucker can be an impact player from day one at either guard position and potentially slide out to RT if he performs better than Robert Hunt there.
19. Washington Football Team - Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
This is a pick that I'm becoming more confident in with time, as more and more analysts come around on Baron Browning's 2020 film. His move back to outside linebacker certainly did him wonders, and while there are debates over his ability to sustain that level of success, I think a team will get excited about him and take him Round 1. This time around, the Football Team is that team.
20. Chicago Bears - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Christian Darrisaw is good at football. Randy has him slotted at OT3, and while I'll take Cosmi and Teven Jenkins over him, I think he fits the Bears better than those two do. With their three-headed attack of David Montgomery, Damien Williams, and Tarik Cohen having to put the offense on their back (thanks to QB1), Darrisaw's bruising style makes some sense for the Bears.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Azeez Ojulari is EDGE1. The Colts have a need at EDGE. The Colts are a very good football team, aside from their quarterback. They aren't fixing the quarterback position here, and Ojulari being available is ideal.
22. New England Patriots (from TEN) - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley has the potential to be CB1 from this class, and he's sitting on the board at pick 22 for the team that really doesn't even need him. It's probably good that they don't, since he's ultimately a major risk with that back injury news. He's an explosive athlete and could ultimately find himself on the field contributing for a very good Patriots team in 2021.
23. New York Jets - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Hybrid, Notre Dame
I understand that the popular pick here is something to bolster the offense, but with a ton of draft capital, snagging a defensive playmaker that can serve as a chess piece also makes some sense. Owusu-Koramoah can knock the lights out of anyone, and with the improved Jets defensive line, he would have some freedom to do just that.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
Landon Dickerson, injury aside, put the best interior offensive line play on film in 2020. He's an oversized center, but there's not a major flaw in his film. If he can get by the injuries, he could have a perennial All-Pro career. The Steelers draft well, so I'd expect nothing less if he lands in Pittsburgh, as he does here.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Trevon Moehrig is a sticky fellow. He's also a guy that can play downhill. He certainly would bolster the Jacksonville secondary, that's been propped up by ancillary pieces here in the earliest stage of free agency, but still needs a ton of work.
26. Cleveland Browns - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
I'd like to start by saying I don't agree with this pick. Oweh leaves a ton on the field and is more of a project than he should be. But tools, tools, tools. Oweh is one of the best athletes the EDGE position has seen in recent years, and he certainly would make for a good addition with some coaching. Oh, and working opposite Myles Garrett should help, too.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
This is a nightmare scenario for me, a Browns fan. Ossai is a perfect fit to replace Matthew Judon and ultimately, would wreak havoc on the AFC North for many, many years. While the Ravens definitely need more receiving help, they win with their defense. Plus, they just signed... Sammy Watkins. So, they're fine. Everything is fine.
28. New Orleans Saints - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
The first surprise pick. I've been touting Elijah Moore as a top-6 wideout prospect for months now, and after his incredibly impressive Pro Day, he finally gets the buzz he deserves. Elijah Moore is a good football player and he would immediately become a weapon for the Saints and Jameis Winston.
29. Green Bay Packers - Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Samuel Cosmi is one of the most impressive offensive tackle prospects I've watched this year, and while he'd probably still be OT6 if we combined the last two classes, he's an absolute steal at the back of the first round. Packers fans should be excited at the thought of slotting Cosmi in at RT until Bakhtiari is finished.
30. Los Angeles Chargers (from BUF) - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Los Angeles sends picks 2.47 and 4.77 to Buffalo for pick 1.30.
The Chargers lost Hunter Henry to free agency and replaced him with Jared Cook. While Cook definitely has something left in the tank, he's not the long-term solution. Pat Freiermuth is. He's actually my TE3 behind Brevin Jordan, but I have a first-round grade on him. He'd bring a different skill set to the Justin Herbert-led passing attack.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
This pick is an offensive tackle. No debate. No doubt in my mind. And luckily, another stud is sitting here at 31. Ideally, they get Cosmi, but Jenkins shouldn't be viewed as a consolation prize. His movement in the running game is spectacular, and while he definitely needs to clean up his pass sets, his potential is scary. Just wait for his Pro Day numbers to come through.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
As a prime trade back candidate, the Buccaneers are in an ideal spot. However, with Christian Barmore still on the board at 32 (a scenario that is unlikely, I understand), they sit here and pick one of the higher-upside interior rushers in the last couple of classes (I'd have him behind Kinlaw and ahead of Derrick Brown). The rich get richer.
Teams without first round selections & their first pick:
47. Buffalo Bills (from LAC) - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
The Bills have a few needs, but if Ifeatu is sitting there at pick 47, this is a sprint to the podium situation, in my book. Melifonwu presents a level of physicality that is (or needs to be) a staple of the Bills defense.
56. Seattle Seahawks - Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
The Seahawks got Russell Wilson help on the offensive line. Now they need to get him help on the other side of the ball. Tyson Campbell is a step in the right direction, likely taking the Shaq Griffin role.
57. Los Angeles Rams - Quinn Meinerz, OL, UW-Whitewater
Ol' boy is good at football. Quinn Meinerz is a top 5 interior offensive lineman, despite playing a D-III school. He impressed at the Senior Bowl, and he's absolutely worthy of a Day 2 pick.
67. Houston Texans - Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Effort issues aside, Seth Williams has the potential to be a straight dog in the league. He's as physical as they come and he displays some pluckers and contested catch ability. The Texans never do the right thing, so this probably won't be the pick. But. It's nice to dream, right?