The NFL Draft is filled with surprises, and it's important to remember that when you read this final mock of mine. It never goes the way we expect; even in years like 2020, when the draft process was condensed and teams went in fairly blind, we had shocking picks.
Without further adieu, here is my final mock draft.
P.S. It's a day one and two mock draft, but I can't focus long enough to do day 3 so I apologize immediately.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
I don't have a ton to say on this one guys. The pick is in. Urban Meyer is going to get his knight in shining armor, and hopefully he's a good enough NFL coach to ensure that Trevor Lawrence hits his ceiling (which is absurdly high).
2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
I'm chickening out here. In my heart, I believe Joe Douglas will be smarter than this and take Justin Fields. In my study, I've found that he's been associated with two successful small school prospects in Joe Flacco and Carson Wentz. I think this is the wrong pick, but I'll stay chalky for sake of being a coward.
3. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The report came out earlier this week that the 49ers have narrowed down their selection to Trey Lance or Mac Jones, which, if you've paid attention to the pre-draft antics of the 49ers brass, means they will take neither of those players (see: Quinnen Williams). Justin Fields should have been the pick at 2, and I think Kyle Shanahan is going to be enamored with his ability to run play action and some read options to elevate this offense to the level it needs to be at.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Falcons get a steal of a pick here at 4 with Kyle Pitts, one of the best tight end prospects we've ever seen and my number 2 player in this draft. This is simply a case of best player available, and Pitts will immediately make this offense virtually unstoppable.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Joe Burrow reunites with his favorite receiver from his historic 2019 LSU team, giving them a true alpha receiver and bringing the Bengals offense to another level. "But they need offensive line help." It's a deep class. We'll get to that. Calm down, Bengals fans.
6. Miami Dolphins - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
I have been in on this being the pick since the Dolphins made their flurry of trades a few weeks ago. Jaylen Waddle is the better of the two Alabama prospects in this class, and getting Tua familiarity with Chase and Pitts off the board actually makes a ton of sense. The starting weapons of Fuller, Waddle, Parker, and Gesicki look a lot better than the crew they rolled out there in 2020, that's for sure.
7. Detroit Lions - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
I understand what you're thinking, and I hear you. This is not at all the pick that I would make. But I think that NFL teams are enamored by Jeremiah's hit power, ability to be a chess piece, and be a true superstar in today's evolving NFL. Owusu-Koramoah is a good start for a Lions team that needs.. well.. a lot.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (from CAR) - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Los Angeles Chargers send picks 1.13, 2.47 and a 2022 3rd-round pick to Carolina for 1.08.
I've long said that the Chargers will be taking defense here, but I think that Penei Sewell being here at pick number 8 changes that. The Panthers want to move back, and the Chargers absolutely cannot start Trey Pipkins at left tackle in 2021. They make this move and get Justin Herbert his favorite left tackle back.
9. New England Patriots (from DEN) - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The New England Patriots send picks 1.15, 2.46 and a 2022 2nd-round pick to Denver for 1.09.
I think this is a dream scenario for the Patriots; a quarterback starts to fall and they have the ammo to go up and get him. Obviously, Cam Newton isn't a long-term solution, and we know that the Patriots have to be in the market to add to the quarterback room for 2021 and beyond. Trey Lance will be able to step in as soon as Cam starts to falter or (unfortunately) gets hurt. And I doubt he gives the job up after that.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
I think we've smashed Patrick Surtain II here so much that we've set a lot of people up for disappointment. The good thing: Jaycee Horn isn't that far behind Patrick Surtain, and he quite frankly does a few things better. Horn is a crazy athlete, and he's certainly going to be a favorite of Jerry Jones.
11. New York Giants - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Giants need someone to play SLB, and that's what I see as Zaven Collins' ideal role. I think Zaven screams "Gettleman guy," and while they certainly could use a tiny bit of upgrading on the interior of their offensive line, they shouldn't be doing that with the 11th pick in the NFL Draft. Zaven would become a starter on what looks to be a really good Giants defense.
12. Philadelphia Eagles - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Putting Patrick Surtain II opposite of Darius Slay in a secondary that just added pieces and ultimately looks to be better than their 2020 form seems too good to be true for the Eagles. Howie Roseman won't mess this up if Surtain is on the board, though, and I think he's a solid fit opposite Slay.
13. Carolina Panthers (from NE) - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The Panthers have a few needs on the defensive side of the ball, but after drafting all defense in 2020, it's time to start adding to the trench on the opposite side of the ball. Slater may be some teams' OT1, and I understand that. For him to be here at 13 feels like a steal, especially when you factor in the capital they received with the trade back.
14. Minnesota Vikings - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
I was told I should be fired for making this selection late last week, and I thought that was pretty funny, so I did it again. Jaelan Phillips is the clear-cut EDGE1 if you remove the injury concerns. If you don't, he's still worth the risk, in my opinion. Phillips' mix of bend, counters, and ability to provide substance in run support makes him one of the most boom or bust players in this draft.
15. Denver Broncos (from NE) - Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
Coach-ability aside, Christian Barmore is a top ten talent in this class. Add in the fact that Barmore could step in and be an immediate impact player in his pass rush in a division that he will sorely be needed, and you have a value pick. Barmore may not be the greatest IDL prospect, but he certainly is the best one in this class. He would add to the duo of Shelby Harris and Dre'Mont Jones in their current scheme.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
It's the stickiness for me. For what it's worth, I would take Caleb Farley here. But I think the Cardinals and others will be scared off of taking him this early, and with no real suitors to trade back with, they stick here and take another corner that profiles as their best or second-best from the moment he steps foot in camp.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Raiders going to Raider. Jenkins is a great player - he's my OT3 - but the notion that the Raiders traded away their entire line only to replace them in the early rounds of the draft is silly. Alas, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden should love this kid, especially since they love to run the ball (and now have two good backs to do so with).
18. Tennessee Titans (from MIA) - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans send picks 1.22, 3.85 and a 2022 4th-round pick to Miami for pick 1.18.
Everyone already knows that the Titans have a need at WR2, 3, and 4. What the Titans didn't know (up until this point) was that the current Heisman would fall all the way to the 18th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Heisman aside, DeVonta Smith is a really good football player that doesn't need size to win. Size pushed him here, but he's still a top-20 pick. The Titans make him one here.
19. Washington Football Team - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Washington Football Team has plenty of needs, though I think we've overstated their need at wide receiver. Certainly, with Mac Jones on the board, he's an option. But with how close this team is to contention (and the fact that Mac Jones probably wouldn't beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick), they need an impact player. Micah Parsons is just that. "Parsons as the third LB off the board? Go home dude, you're drunk." I am at home. I am only slightly drunk. But touche.
20. Chicago Bears - Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
The pick that is even more head-scratching than the last. Eichenberg is not a first-round talent in my book. But the buzz is that he is according to the league. He's a really good pass protector that often got screwed over by Ian Book doing weird things in the backfield. He certainly could become the starting LT for the Bears, but profiles as the starting RT to begin his career. Not the pick I'd make.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
After Phillips, I think the EDGE class is going to get a little weird. Paye has a lot of athleticism and a strong set of hands, but I think he's pretty raw. The Colts don't have a ton of time for raw, though I think they're kind of in limbo right now with the way their roster is built. Paye could slide in and become a day one impact player if he works on his ability to win with more than just his athleticism.
22. Miami Dolphins (from TEN) - Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
This one goes back to a conversation I heard someone have on a podcast where they explicitly pointed out that the Dolphins favor coverage over pass rush. The Dolphins have a sneaky need at safety, and Moehrig is the best one in this class. His ability to cover is unmatched, and I think he just solidifies this secondary as one of the best in football.
23. New York Jets - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
Beef up that line for the quarterback? Yeah, makes sense. Vera-Tucker's versatility should see him go a little higher, but I think teams will view him as a guard, pushing him down the board a bit. He's a powerful, tenacious player that profiles as a day one starter for the Jets. The left side of that line would be fun.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Creed Humphrey, OC, Oklahoma
He's athletic as they come (literally - I think his relative athletic score rates him in the top-10 at the position over the last 25 or so years) and he has some outstanding film. With Landon Dickerson's reported injury concerns (pretty evident concerns, to be honest), Creed becomes OC1. He fits the Steelers perfectly.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Jamin Davis is a player that quickly rose up draft boards, and Randy knew from the moment he watched him that I would love him. He's one of my top-3 linebackers, and with good reason. His coverage ability is raw but unique. He's a crazy good athlete. He plays downhill. I wouldn't be shocked at all if he isn't here at 25 during the real NFL Draft. Not one bit.
26. Green Bay Packers - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Green Bay Packers send picks 1.29 and 4.135 to Cleveland for pick 1.26.
The Packers have a vast need at their CB2 position behind Jaire Alexander, and what better way to fill it than with an incredibly raw and injured - but talented - corner that converted from wide receiver? Green Bay trades up and makes a smart pick for the first time in 84 years.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
There's no chance Oweh gets out of this first round. Not with that athletic testing. Add in that he was operating within a terrible system that didn't teach him a lick of anything and you have what may be the most raw, but athletically-gifted, player in the entire draft. Baltimore never misses. They probably won't here, either.
28. New Orleans Saints - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
A former quarterback catching passes from Jameis Winston to add to the other former quarterback catching passes from Jameis Winston? Both wildly overrated? Maybe. Kadarius Toney certainly has a unique ability to bend his body in weird directions. He may only be a gadget guy, but I think he'll probably be a pretty good one, too.
29. Cleveland Browns (from GB) - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
There's a good chance that one of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are not on the Browns' roster in 2022. Because of that, upgrading the position is a sneaky need. I've warmed to the idea of the Browns selecting my WR2, simply because he's best player available right now for me (by a lot). Bateman can go win outside, let Odell cook underneath a little more, and the Browns offense will be deadly.
30. Buffalo Bills - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
EDGE1 falling all the way to 30 would certainly be something, but crazier things have happened. Ojulari has an innate ability to get strip sacks after he blows right by tackles every play. He's certainly not equipped with a full toolbox just yet, but that's why he's such a fun player; there's so much room to grow, and he's already put great things on film as a younger prospect. The Bills need a solid pass rusher; they get a steal late in the first here.
31. Atlanta Falcons (from BAL) - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Atlanta Falcons send picks 1.35, 4.108, and a 2022 5th-round pick to Baltimore for 1.31.
The Falcons don't have a need at quarterback. But with one that's evidently viewed incredibly highly within the NFL staring at them at the back of the first, he's probably worth it to trade up for. Mac gives the Falcons leverage and insurance with Matt Ryan and doesn't have to play right away. Win-win.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The rich get richer. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have no needs, and that's why when a player of Darrisaw's caliber slides all the way to them in the back of the first, he's a smash pick. He'll be best player available for a lot of NFL teams (I like Cosmi more) and he can probably win the starting left tackle position straight out of camp. Crazy luck for Bruce Arians and the Bucs.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Richie Grant, S, UCF
34. New York Jets - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
35. Baltimore Ravens (from ATL) - Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
36. Miami Dolphins - Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
37. Philadelphia Eagles - Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
38. Cincinnati Bengals - Quinn Meinerz, OG, UW-Whitewater
39. Carolina Panthers - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
40. Denver Broncos - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
41. Detroit Lions - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
42. New York Giants - Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
43. San Francisco 49ers - Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
44. Dallas Cowboys - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
45. Jacksonville Jaguars - Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
46. Denver Broncos (from NE) - Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
47. Carolina Panthers (from LAC) - Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
48. Las Vegas Raiders - Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
49. Arizona Cardinals - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
50. Chicago Bears (from MIA) - Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
The Chicago Bears send picks 2.52 and a 2022 4th-round pick to Miami for 2.50.
51. Washington Football Team - Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
52. Miami Dolphins (from CHI) - Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
53. Tennessee Titans - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
54. Indianapolis Colts - Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
55. Los Angeles Rams (from PIT) - Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
The Los Angeles Rams send picks 2.57 and 4.141 to Pittsburgh for 2.55.
56. Seattle Seahawks - Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
57. Pittsburgh Steelers (from LAR) - Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
58. Kansas City Chiefs - Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
59. Cleveland Browns - Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest