- Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (6’6/ 220) Clemson: We would all be surprised if Lawrence wasn’t the pick here. Lawrence comes to Jacksonville to start a new era along side Urban Myer. The Jags have some work do on defensive side of the ball, but at least TLaw will have some weapons at his disposal offensively in DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., & James Robinson.
2. New York Jets: QB Justin Fields (6’3/ 228) Ohio St. : Of course this is assuming the Jets trade/move on from Sam Darnold prior to the draft (which I think they do). Fields isn’t a perfect prospect, but he is a very exciting one, with a ton of upside. The Jets have a lot of holes to fill, but finding that franchise QB will always be the first priority. New HC typically means a change in the culture/personnel, and Robert Saleh starting off his tenure with a player like Fields would be ideal.
3. Miami Dolphins: OT Penei Sewell (6’6/ 330) Oregon: I feel like many are thinking a WR here at 3 to Miami, to help Tua. Well, what could help your young QB more than investing in a cornerstone offensive lineman to protect him? WR will be a thought for Miami, but this investment is too hard for them to pass up.
4. Atlanta Falcons: QB Zach Wilson (6’3/ 210) BYU: Whether Matt Ryan is in Atlanta or not, they need to start looking toward the future. Some have Wilson as high as QB2 in this class, and Atlanta isn’t a QB away from being a contender. I believe with new HC Arthur Smith this is full blown rebuild, Wilson would be the pick to kick that off.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Rashawn Slater (6’4/ 315) Northwestern: I’ve seen a lot of people talking about Cincy going WR with this pick. As awesome as that would be, I don’t see how they don’t invest in protecting Burrow. We got a glimpse of what Burrow could be with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, & this offense before he was brutally injured (which we all saw coming). The Bengals need to keep Burrow upright if they have any chance at turning this ship around. They have solid weapons, Sewell is off the board so they take the next best thing.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Ja’Marr Chase (6’0/ 208) LSU: Yes, as an Eagles fan this is a dream scenario. Chase could go as high as 2nd in this draft, so falling to 6th would be a great spot to grab him. It’s no secret the Eagles have needed help at WR for years now & infamously made some questionable decisions in drafting the position. That doesn’t mean they should let a talent like Chase get away. Philadelphia has other holes to fill, CB will be considered, but the idea of Hurts, Sanders, Chase, Reagor, & Goedert…it’s too much to pass up.
7. Detroit Lions: WR DeVonta Smith (6’1/ 175) Alabama: Detroit is without Matthew Stafford for the first time since 2009 and Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, & Danny Amendola are Free Agents. Prior to the Stafford-Goff trade, I thought Detroit was drafting a QB but now I believe they roll with Goff into 2021. The Lions are beginning their rebuild, and they aren’t a QB away so why not give Goff a shot while you build a more talented team. DeVonta Smith knows a thing or two about winning, records, and success, he can aid in the culture change Dan Campbell is trying instill in The Motor City.
8. Carolina Panthers: QB Trey Lance (6’4/ 226) North Dakota St. : This might be my favorite pick of the draft, I just feel like it would be a smash pick for Carolina & Lance. Matt Rhule came in 2020 and immediately made a Carolina team with low expectations a competitive team. Bridgewater is still under contract for one more season, in addition to the fact I believe he would be a great “bridge QB” for a rookie (no pun intended). I know it’s become a cliche to say, but Lance could have the highest upside of any QB in this draft. Rhule & Joe Brady get their hands on this new, fun, toy of a QB, grouping him with CMC & DJ Moore. A trio that could be electric for the foreseeable future in Charlotte.
9. Denver Broncos: CB Patrick Surtain II (6’2 /207) Alabama: Denver needs a QB, that could be addressed here, but I feel like they will trade/acquire one outside the draft. So here at 9th they take the top corner at a position of need. Playing in a division with Justin Herbert & Patrick Mahomes, you need all the help you can get on the back end. Surtain would be a solid pick here and a helpful addition to a defense that ranked 25th in PPG against (27.8) in 2020.
10. Dallas Cowboys: TE Kyle Pitts (6’6/ 240) Florida: The Cowboys have so many other areas they should be going with this pick, but I can’t be the only one that thinks they won’t care. Dallas didn’t need CeeDee Lamb last year but he dropped & was atop their board. Assuming Jerry Jones drops the bag on Dak Prescott this offseason, he could see Pitts available at 10 and not be able to resist. Kyle Pitts is the next big thing at TE, he’s an unbelievable athlete and his addition to this Cowboys offense would truly take them to next level, they might not even have to play defense.
11. New York Giants: EDGE Gregory Rousseau (6’7/ 265) Miami: New York could look to add a WR at this pick as well, but that isn’t typically their style. A player Gregory Rousseau, now that’s the Giants style. He’s 6’7/ 265 lbs…with a ton of upside. They went OT in the 1st last year with Andrew Thomas, now they take a shot a finding their future pass rushing weapon in 2021.
12. San Francisco 49ers: CB Caleb Farley (6’2/ 207) Virginia Tech: San Fran is set to lose Richard Sherman & Jason Verrett in a division that now has DK Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods & Tyler Lockett. Six times a year SF will be facing Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, & Matthew Stafford, you get the point — they need someone to fill the void at corner. Some have Farley as the CB1 in this class, so getting him at 12 is a good value. He has good size, good instincts, and should fit right into that 9ers culture.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: LB Micah Parsons (6’3/ 245) Penn St. : The Chargers just drafted Kenneth Murray last year in the late 1st Round, so this pick might seem odd to some. But new HC Brandon Staley is going to be making the first draft pick of his career in LA & Parsons could be an elite level talent. Murray, Parsons, & Derwin James flying around on the same defense is s fun recipe to combat the Kansa City Kings of the AFC West.
14. Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Kwity Paye (6’4/ 272) Michigan: I’ve seen Paye as high as top-5 in the past so grabbing him at 14 would be good value for Minnesota. I had half of a mind to mock them another WR here to add next to Jefferson & Thielen, but Zimmers couldn’t handle that, his brain might explode. So they draft Paye here trying to find a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball.
15. New England Patriots: WR Jaylen Waddle (5’10/ 182) Alabama: I actually mocked a WR to New England last year too in my final mock draft, I was wrong. But I’m doing it again because I think they should take advantage of Waddle dropping this far. Waddle is another guy where I’ve seen some rank him as high as WR2, but I think being drafted as the 3rd WR off the board makes the most sense. At 15 he’s too talented to let slip any further, and it fills a need for New England. They should be looking QB here as well, but I feel like they address that need outside the draft.
16. Arizona Cardinals: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (6’4/ 315) USC: Arizona should be all about protecting Kyler Murray, Vera-Tucker is a step in that direction. I could see them thinking CB, but after drafting Isaiah Simmons in 2020 (1st) & Byron Murphy in 2019 (1st) it seems like they would swing back to the offensive side this year in addition to Vera-Tucker filling a need.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Jaycee Horn (6’1/ 205) South Carolina: Typically when the Raiders are on the clock in the 1st round I’m thinking which Alabama or Clemson player is next on my board? In this case they a go different route with the addition of Horn to help out their secondary, that needs the help. Las Vegas was 26th in pass yards allowed/per game & 29th in opponents ppg., an investment in improving that would be in their best interests. Considering they have to face Mahomes & Herbert four times a year while competing for a division, Horn being a playmaker can go a long way for LV.
18. Miami Dolphins: LB Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah (6’1/ 215) Notre Dame: I really wanted to give Miami a WR with this pick because I think they’ll be considering it. But Owusu- Koramoah looks like he could be a difference maker right away, drafting him & Sewell in one round would be quite the pull. They can address WR with one of their two picks in the 2nd but they can’t find a player like this there.
19. Washington Football Team: QB Mac Jones (6’3/ 214) Alabama: This might seem a little early to some for Mac Jones, and to others it may seem a little late. I feel like this is a good spot for him to go off the board, Washington is a team that is pretty close to being a quarterback away from contending. WFT has a strong defensive unit, young playmakers in Terry McLaurin & Antonio Gibson, Jones could be one of the final pieces to the puzzle. Washington has shown they don’t shy away from drafting Alabama players in the past, they embrace it. Jones gets drafted here as the QB4 off the board to a team in need.
20. Chicago Bears: WR Rashod Bateman (6’2/ 210) Minnesota: This pick might come as a surprise, and I know my fantasy football people out there arent happy reading it, but bear with me :). Similar to some other QB needy teams in this draft I’m expecting Chicago to address the QB position via trade/free agency prior to the draft. Assuming they find their new QB would be a plus, but either way unless it’s Deshaun Watson I think Allen Robinson is leaving Chicago. So instantly the Bears replace Robinson with a very exciting prospect. Bateman could be drafted as high as the WR2 in this draft, Chicago would be able to replace Robinson while feeling like they haven’t necessarily skipped a beat. In addition to finding a new weapon for whichever new QB they have at the helm.
21. Indianapolis Colts: OT Christian Darrisaw (6’5/ 314) Virginia Tech: Yes, the rich get richer with this pick. The narrative around Indy’s offense is their strong offensive line and after 2020, Jonathan Taylor. So they look to keep that narrative alive by replacing Anthony Castonzo (retiring) with a new big offensive line piece to keep status quo for this strong rushing attack. Indy is another team I’m expecting to find a QB outside the NFL Draft, so they look to OL here to protect whoever the next signal caller may be.
22. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Jaelan Phillips (6’5/ 266) Miami: Tennessee signed Clowney to a 1 year deal prior to last season, I don’t expect them to bring him back. Drafting Phillips to play opposite Harold Landry has the potential to be very dangerous for opposing passers. I could see them also considering a WR here to replace UFA Corey Davis, but in this scenario they hold off on that, and opt to draft the pass rusher instead.
23. New York Jets: LB Nick Bolton (6’0/ 231) Missouri: After the Jets go Justin Fields at 2nd overall to help change that offensive culture, they turn right around and grab Nick Bolton with their second first round pick. Bolton is only 6’0/ 230 lbs. but that shouldn’t bother Robert Saleh too much after coaching up All Pro LB Fred Warner (6’3/ 229) the past few seasons in SF. Bolton is a tackle machine, and boasted those talents year after year in the SEC. Fields & Bolton would be a great 1-2 punch in the first round for the Jets, in an effort to get this team rolling in the right direction.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Asante Samuel Jr. (5’10/ 183) Florida St. : Is it just me or have the Steelers needed CB help for years now? Since 2016 they’ve drafted 4 CBs in the first 3 rounds of drafts (2016: Artie Burns (1st) & Sean Davis (2nd), 2017: Cameron Sutton (3rd), 2019: Justin Layne (3rd)), only Layne is set to remain on the roster heading into 2021. Asante Samuel Jr. seems like a Steeler, and adding a playmaker like him to this Steelers defense would be fun to watch. Pittsburgh has the pass rush, they’ve proven to be strong against the run when healthy, now top it off with another playmaker in the secondary with Minkah Fitzpatrick, now we’re cooking.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Teven Jenkins (6’6/ 320) Oklahoma St. : Jacksonville has holes to fill defensively, but I like the idea of them grabbing an OL to bring in with Trevor Lawrence. Cam Robinson is free agent, and although Jenkins might not step in immediately at LT, (played RT in college) they could use the help on the offensive line. Protecting their investment in Lawrence should be pivotal after watching former 1st overall pick, Joe Burrow get slapped around in 2020.
26. Cleveland Browns: EDGE Jayson Oweh (6’5/ 252) Penn St. : The Browns seem to have found their identity offensively, run heavy & limit mistakes. Cleveland has their QB, 2 All Pro level RBs, 2 aging, but still active WRs, and they just paid Austin Hooper & Jack Conklin last offseason. They should be looking to improve the defensive side of the ball with this pick and Oweh can help them do that. Oliver Vernon is a free agent, Oweh is rumored to have 4.3 speed, letting him & Myles Garrett rush the passer would create some havoc in the AFC North.
27. Baltimore Ravens: WR Kadarius Toney (6’0/ 193) Florida: It seems as the general public is all over the place with Toney. Is his 1 year of college production enough to vault him into the first round? I think it really depends on the team and after watching him he seems like the type of WR Baltimore would target. I think Baltimore has realized they need to find more weapons for Lamar Jackson, so I expect them to be active in free agency pursuing a WR as well. That being said, Toney seems like another playmaker Lamar can easily get the ball to and he’ll do the rest. Lamar has been criticized for down field passing & accuracy, but adding a guy like Toney can help alleviate the pressure of forcing the ball downfield. I still think Baltimore needs to find more of an alpha WR1 type, but in the meantime Toney would do a lot of fun tings in this Ravens offense.
28. New Orleans Saints: LB Zaven Collins (6’4/ 260) Tulsa: At 28th the Saints scoop up the 2020 Bednarik Trophy winner for College Football’s DPOY. He’s 6’4/ 260 lbs. and really looks the part, it’s difficult to find a weakness in his game. At his size being able to cover TEs, while also having the speed to rush the passer, he could be a real weapon for New Orleans for years to come.
29. Green Bay Packers: WR Rondale Moore (5’9/ 180) Purdue: Rejoice, the Packers drafting a WR! I know, we’ve wanted this for years and it’s probably unlikely but after Rodgers MVP season, going on 38 years old, the Pack need to make a final push to get Rodgers back to the big game. Moore could be an electric playmaker in this offense, giving Rodgers the Randall Cobb type player that he’s been missing. Moore brings an immediate burst to Green Bay from day one, I love this pick.
30. Buffalo Bills: OL Wyatt Davis (6’4/ 315) Ohio St. : I’ve seen a lot of talk about Buffalo adding a RB, and that’s definitely a possibility but I don’t see them using a 1st round pick on one. They have spent 3rd round picks two years in a row on Zack Moss & Devin Singletary, I think it’s those two and maybe a veteran in the backfield in ’21. Now onto the actual pick, Davis is viewed by many as the top interior lineman in this class, Buffalo drafts him here to improve in the trenches and replace free agent veteran Jon Feliciano. Davis, Cody Ford, & Dion Dawkins are the framework of strong young offensive line unit.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Dyami Brown (6’1/ 185) North Carolina: The Chiefs are human, they are beatable, but that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to get stronger. Aside from Tyreek Hill & Travis Kelce the Kansas City pass catchers have been eh (Watkins expected to be out this offseason). I’m still holding out hope for Mecole Hardman but it seems like he will always be more a gadget type player. Dyami is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard season totaling 20 TDs in the past two seasons, while averaging 20.0 ypc. He too is a big play waiting to happen but has a little more size than the current KC options. Slot in Brown with Hill, Kelce, & Hardman and let’s start projecting Patrick Mahomes stats for 2021.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Christian Barmore (6’5/ 310) Alabama: Considering Brady is coming back for 2021 & their defense was dominant in the Super Bowl, I considered going offensively at this pick. But they drafted Wirfs in the 1st last year, and assuming Gronk comes back, Evans is back, and one of Godwin or Antonio Brown is back, they don’t really need the weapons. Even if Godwin leaves, they have Tyler Johnson waiting right behind him who I expect to take on a much larger role if needed. Super Bowls are won and lost in the trenches and we saw that first hand in 2020, Suh is getting old, why not bring in Barmore to make a strong unit even stronger. You can never have too many lineman in the rotation, so Tampa pulls the trigger on the 6’5/ 310 lb. beast from Alabama.
Cover Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images