By: Ryan Roberts | @RiseNDraft
NFL Draft season is officially upon us! So what better to kick it off than a good ole’ mock draft. Want some chaos? We got you covered! The same old fits and situations can get boring. We are here to push the envelope and open the mind to every option and angle. No fluff, just evaluation and possibility.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Everyone is going to want to make this a competition. It isn’t and hasn’t been for a while. It has always been Trevor Lawrence at one. He is the “generational talent” that he has been billed as. Let’s stop overthinking this one.
2. New York Jets: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Okay let’s get weird. Justin Fields (Ohio State) or Zach Wilson (BYU) have largely been the common names off the board at two. Let’s take a gamble on higher upside. This isn’t so much a “giving up on Sam Darnold” piece as it is an assumption that a new coach will want “his guy”.
3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Miami has added some solid pieces on the offensive line from the 2020 NFL Draft but there is still work to be done. Sewell brings a dynamic skill set uncommon to the position. This allows the Dolphins to move Robert Hunt inside and in effect strengthen two positions.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Justin Fields heading back to Georgia? Sign me up. Fields is in need of more of an adjustment period than people will admit. With an aging Matt Ryan still in place, that time is available.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Wide receiver might not be the biggest need on the Bengals roster but Penei Sewell being off the board is the worst case scenario. Reuniting Chase with quarterback Joe Burrow, however, isn’t a bad consolation prize.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since 1979. So what’s the likelihood of this happening? Probably pretty low but all things must come to an end eventually. The Eagles currently lack an identity on both sides of the ball. Let’s get their face defensively to kick off the post Doug Pederson era.
7. Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
With Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola set to his free agency, the Lions could have a complete overhaul at the position this offseason. With the play of DeVonta Smith down the stretch, some may be surprised to see Waddle off the board here. Before the Waddle injury, however, there is a good argument to be made that Waddle was the most impressive wide receiver on the roster. Detroit gets an immediate influx of speed and playmaking ability.
8. Carolina Panthers: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
One of my favorite fits in the 2021 NFL Draft of offensive coordinator Joe Brady stays in place. Talent wise, Wilson is an immediate upgrade over incumbent Teddy Bridgewater. He brings an element outside of structure and excitement to Rhule’s team early on.
9. Denver Broncos: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Denver Broncos have a very solid roster in place. They may be a quarterback away from being a playoff team. The problem is that the top four quarterbacks are all of the board. Instead, Jaycee Horn provides a physical press man cornerback to take their defense to the next level.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys need some major upgrades on the defensive side of the football. What better place to do so than the Alabama Crimson Tide? Surtain reunites with second year pro Trevon Diggs to form one of the more talented young cornerback duos in the league.
11. New York Giants: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Defensive tackle Leonard Williams had a phenomenal season for the New York Giants in 2020. The team was, however, absent of edge pressure that can take this promising unit up a notch. Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau brings an appealing combination of length, athleticism and upside to the position. Even while he works through some rough edges (no pun intended) early, he has the type of profile that can notch some early production just based on physical gifts.
12. San Francisco 49ers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Left tackle Trent Williams is a candidate to be back with the 49ers in 2021. Williams is getting long in the tooth and finding a predecessor should be a top priority. For now, Darrisaw’s physical style can fit inside to help upgrade the interior.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Chargers need offensive tackle upgrades in the worst way. Cosmi brings an influx of length and athleticism as a blind side protector. His 2020 film showed huge improvements from 2019, improving his power deficiencies big time.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
The Vikings currently possess nothing in terms of interior pressure. There might not be a bigger riser down the stretch of the season than Christian Barmore. With Danielle Hunter set to return from injury, the projects as an incredibly talented inside-outside combination.
15. New England Patriots: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
This was a tough call between tight end and wide receiver. Either way, the team needs to upgrade at pass catchers. Pitts brings a dynamic element that the roster currently lacks.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
Haason Reddick had a fantastic season as an undersized pass rusher for the Cardinals but is set to walk this offseason for a big contract. The team gets the same stylistic player in Azeez Ojulari to play on the other side of Chandler Jones, with even more upside.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Rashawn Slater, IOL, Northwestern
The Raiders were riddled with injuries along the offensive line in 2020. On paper, there is a solid nucleus but availability is still the most important ability. Maximizing the “best five up front” mantra is maximized with a player like Slater. He could potentially project into all five spots across the offensive line.
18. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins need separators in the passing game. DeVonta Smith is the type of chain mover that they desperately need. Fresh off one of the most outstanding individual wide receiver seasons in college football history, Smith is reunited with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
19. Washington Football Team: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Yes, Washington fans are going to hate it. In a perfect world, quarterback would be the main priority. There is nobody here at 19 that is worth the massive reach. Instead, we get a playmaker on the backend to couple with Kamren Curl. With the pressure the front four produces, you can imagine a ton of turnovers created in the near future for Cisco.
20. Chicago Bears: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Chicago is another team that could use a serious upgrade at quarterback. Like Washington, they are in a situation where there is nobody worth that evaluation. So let’s bolster the trenches and put solid pieces in place for whoever is the quarterback of the future.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Three straight picks with teams needing answers for their quarterback room. Same story as the previous two. Left tackle could be a major point of emphasis with the retirement of Anthony Costonzo but there’s nobody that presents an immediate answer to the position. Instead, they strengthen the cornerback position that has been up and down this season. Stokes has all the tools to excel in both man and zone coverage.
22. Tennessee Titans: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
Harold Landry took a step back in 2020, as did the defense as a whole. Phillips brings a high upside to the position. If he checks out physically, the long term impact could be massive for this talented pass rusher.
23. New York Jets (via Seattle): Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
The Jets got the face of their offense with Trey Lance. Now they get an impact pass rusher in Kwitty Paye that has been missing from the defense for some time. He is physical and explosive, bringing a tantalizing profile when he puts it all together.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
No Najee Harris? No Travis Etienne? Well if someone would have told you that Clyde Edwards-Helaire would have been the first running back off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft this time last year, not many would have believed them. Let’s go for a different look. Williams may bring the most well rounded skill set of any ball carrier in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is super physical, an outstanding blocker, smooth in the pass game and brings underrated juice to create chunk plays. Williams presents an interesting fit to the Steelers backfield.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LA Rams): Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
It was a mixed bag for C.J. Henderson in year one for the Jaguars. Still, the future outlook is positive for him. Combining him with Caleb Farley, gives you two talented man cover corners who can mesh well with the pass rush potential of Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
When’s the last time the Browns picked this late? It’s a talented team who is a couple athletic pieces on the second and third levels of the defense away from presenting a ton of matchup problems for opposing offenses. “JOK” brings a versatile defender on the second level who brings a ton of possibilities to the defense.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Chris Godwin is set to hit free agency this offseason. I would expect that the Buccaneers would do anything in their power to get the talented pass catcher back but the team could be in the market to find Evans his running mate if not. Bateman has spent time both in the slot and on the outside for the Gophers, giving the team similar flexibility they had with Godwin.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, OLB, Penn State
The Baltimore Ravens are starved for outside pass rushers, especially with Matt Judon set to his free agency. Oweh is still putting it all together but possesses all the talent in the world to develop into a high volume sack artist. This might be too low when he sets foot in Indianapolis (assuming the Combine does happen).
29. New Orleans Saints: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The New Orleans Saints just missed out on Patrick Queen during the 2020 NFL Draft. They finally get their athletic inside backer to couple with Demario Davis. Collins brings an all around skill set to rush the passer, play the run and even play on ball in spurts. He’s a moving chess piece for a creative defensive mind.
30. Buffalo Bills: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
Right tackle Daryl Williams is set to hit free agency and Cody Ford is a far better fit inside. You’d be hard pressed to find a more talented offensive lineman in the 2021 NFL Draft than Spencer Brown. Size, length, athleticism, flexibility, core strength – it’s all there.
31. Green Bay Packers: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
No wide receiver again? I know, I know! It’s a deep class so the Packers can fill the whole outside of Davante Adams on Day Two. The Packers run defense has not been great for the majority of the season. On the second level, there is a lot left to be desired. Bolton fits that Devin Bush mold in the middle of the defense. Fast, agressive, outstanding instincts – Bolton quickly becomes the heart and soul of the Packers defense.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
If the medicals check out, Trey Smith is worthy of a much higher draft slot. Smith is an absolute mauler in the run game who has some uncommon movement skills for a player his size. The rich get richer on the offensive side of the football for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Need more mock drafts? We have you covered my friends! We will bring you more combinations and possibilities… same time, same place next week.