By: Jack Borowsky | @Jack_Borowsky
2021 NFL Mock Draft Monday
With many college football players opting out, the NFL Draft landscape is taking shape. Check out this round one 2021 NFL mock draft for the first 32 picks
With Week 15 just about in the books, the 2020 NFL season continues to be a season of uncertainty and chaos. For the first time all season long, the New York Jets are finally in the win column and we have a new team selecting atop this 2021 NFL Mock Draft. While Trevor Lawrence may have solidified a new home, let’s take a look at where some of the other big names could be destined to land in the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jets finally lost, which moved the Jaguars up to the first pick. This is a no-brainer selection. Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.
2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Jets lost to the Rams, which was probably their worst loss as a franchise this season. Fields has his flaws but he has progressed this season. He can create outside of structure and has the maturity to develop into a quality quarterback at the next level. Darnold is a shell of himself and the new regime will look to move on.
3. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Sewell was arguably the best offensive tackle last season at only 19 years old. He may have more of a guard build but the talent is there for him to be a cornerstone player. The Bengals could now move Jonah Williams inside and solidify the left side of their offensive line.
4. Carolina Panthers: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Teddy Bridgewater is a quality backup or low-end starter but that is it. Matt Rhule needs to find his franchise quarterback and the Panthers are in a prime position to take their future at the position, picking in the top five. Joe Brady is not going to be in Carolina for too long, so talent over scheme fit here.
5. Atlanta Falcons: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Surtain is probably going to run in the low 4.5s but he has been the best cornerback in college football this season. Atlanta needs to continue to bolster that defense and if AJ Terrell develops, Atlanta will have one of the best cornerback pairings in the NFL for years to come.
6. Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
Brian Flores and Chris Grier are trying to build a championship-level defense. Ojulari is the top 3-4 outside linebacker and can get after the quarterback. This is a perfect scheme fit, as Ojulari fits that weak side 3-4 outside linebacker role that Flores loves. The ceiling is a perennial pro-bowler for the Georgia redshirt sophomore, too.
7. Philadelphia Eagles: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Eagles desperately need linebacker help and Parsons was an elite player on his film last season. Once he goes and destroys the combine, there will be no question marks surrounding the second opt-out off the board.
8. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Horn is everything teams will want in a cornerback. He is confident, instinctive and took his game to the next level this season. The Cowboys are really feeling the loss of Byron Jones and need to go out and get a no.1 cornerback.
9. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw has been the best offensive linemen in college football this season. He is a mauler in the run game and phenomenal when asked to get to the second level. The Chargers found their franchise quarterback and they follow it up here by protecting his blindside.
10. Detroit Lions: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Another Hokies player comes off the board inside the top ten. The Lions have a lot of holes but with a new regime, they may go with the best player available. With how well Farley is going to test and his immense upside, there is no problem with taking another cornerback in the first round, especially with how Jeffrey Okudah has looked so far.
11. San Francisco 49ers: Rashawn Slater, OC, Northwestern
Slater is a good offensive lineman and he can play all five spots. The 49ers have a hole at center, and Slater has the makings of a pro bowl caliber talent at the position. With the 49ers’ injury history, they could also move him around early on, depending on where they need help.
12. Denver Broncos: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
The draft is starting to be dominated by the cornerback position and Stokes is the next guy off the board. The forty-yard dash is so crucial for cornerback success at the next level and Stokes is going to be the fastest player at the position. He has greatly improved his ball skills this season and has been a dominant player in coverage, making this an easy selection for John Elway.
13. New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle is the first wideout selected. He is going to run in the 4.3s at the combine and was better than DeVonta Smith when they were both on the field this season. The Giants are in need of a big-play threat on offense and Waddle is the definition of that.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
With the Bears a few spots behind the Vikings and the play of Kirk Cousins, it is time to start to look towards the future. The Packers took Jordan Love last season to sit behind Rodgers and the Vikings follow suit here. Lance has a lot of potential but he is not ready to start on day one.
15. New England Patriots: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Patriots love tight ends and they might as well get the best prospect at the position in the class. Pitts is not a great blocker but he is going to be used as a big slot at the next level. More than anything, the Patriots need weapons and with their lack of success at drafting them of late, they take one of the safest ones here.
16. Bears: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Chicago is most likely going to have to trade up for a quarterback. That is their biggest need but with no one worthy at the position here, they go with the best player available. Chase was the top receiver option on a team with Justin Jefferson and Terrace Marshall Jr. He dominated every player he went up against. The Bears would be obtaining a premier weapon on the perimeter.
17. Oakland Raiders: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Collins has been one of the biggest risers in college football this season. He has been the best linebacker in the nation and has stood out week-in and week-out. Oakland needs pass rush help but with the depth at the position, they opt for the perfect modern day SAM linebacker at seventeen.
18. Baltimore Ravens: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Smith is the current favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. He is an elite route runner, has great hands and is just a gamer. The knock on him will be that he is going to weigh in at around 175 pounds. Few receivers that were not burners have succeeded at that weight but Smith has the talent to be the first to do so. The Ravens need help at the position, with Marquise Brown looking like a bust.
19. Washington Football Team: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Redskins biggest need is a quarterback. It is just too early to take the next guy off the board. Cosmi projects well to the next level and has been good throughout his career at the University of Texas. He checks all the boxes for the position. It may not be the sexy pick but Washington is starting to build a quality team with head coach Ron Rivera at the helm.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
The Cardinals have never really had a cornerback to play alongside Patrick Peterson. Kendrick is a converted wideout, who has made a seamless transition to the other side of the ball. He is only scratching the surface of his potential and with cornerbacks going off the board quickly, Arizona addresses a big need defensively.
21. Miami Dolphins: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore has been lost in the shuffle this season. He has been hurt, opted out, opted in all while playing on a bad team. Moore may be undersized but he is a physical freak, who is going to run in the low 4.3s and possesses unbelievable strength. The Dolphins get quarterback Tua Tagovailoa an offensive chess piece to work with.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Rousseau has upside and was extremely productive for someone so new to defensive end, as a freshman last season. He is still extremely raw but the former high school safety could develop into a very versatile defender. If it all clicks, Rousseau could be a special player early on for a team in need of more pass-rush help.
23. Cleveland Browns: Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
The Browns paid Myles Garrett this past offseason and they can bolster their defense by pairing him with another talented defensive end. Paye is a great athlete, who has taken a big leap this season for the Wolverines. He isn’t a finished product but the talent is there for him to develop into an all-around defensive end for the Browns.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Colts have a good roster with very few holes. They need a long-term quarterback and Ridder has the tools to be that guy. With the Colts most likely bringing back Rivers, he will get to sit behind him for a year or two. With how good this organization has been recently, Ridder has a chance to develop into a future starting quarterback for the Colts.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Barmore looked like he was going to be a top ten pick going into the season. He has not been very consistent but the flash plays are first-round worthy. There is some risk to this pick but he is the best interior defensive linemen, in a year where a lot of teams need help at the position.
26. New York Jets: Zion Tupuola-Fetui, DE, Washington
Tupuola-Fetui has taken college football by storm this season. He has unbelievable flexibility for his size and was the best player in the Pac-12 this season. Had they played a full season, Tupuola-Fetui would have most likely led the nation in sacks. With a new defensive coordinator coming, they will want to select a blue-chip talent up front.
27. Tennessee Titans: Joseph Ossai, OLB, Texas
Ossai has the best motor in the draft. He is all over the field and converts a lot of hustle plays into sacks. He does not own elite speed or bend off the edge but Ossai looks like he is going to play a long time in the league. The Titans are desperate for pass-rush help and Ossai provides them with some.
28. Buffalo Bills: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Jenkins has been the best run blocker in college football over the past two seasons. He is a road grader, who consistently puts defenders in the dirt. He will fit in perfectly with Buffalo’s tough, blue-collar mentality. The Bills are going to have to have holes along the right side of their line and Jenkins has the talent and versatility to play either tackle or guard.
29. New Orleans Saints: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
This is an easy replacement for Malcolm Jenkins. Owusu-Koramoah is a linebacker/safety hybrid, who will be a great defender in nickel and dime packages, which are heavily used in today’s game. He is an instant impact starter, on a team looking to win a Super Bowl.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
The Steelers do a fantastic job of developing offensive linemen, so this is a match made in heaven. Brown has all the tools and natural ability to develop into a pro bowl caliber player at either right tackle or left tackle. With Villanueva getting older, they may look to add their future at the position in the first round.
31. Green Bay Packers: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
With five cornerbacks already off the board and the Packers’ defensive struggles at the position, they select a player with tremendous upside. Campbell is not there yet but he has continually flashed this season. He will probably need to start early on but with his experience in the SEC and overall size, he has the potential to develop quicker than expected.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
The Chiefs have the most talented offense in the NFL but they need help defensively. They like players with a lot of potential and Browning fits that mold. He will come in and be the best player at the position from day one in Kansas City. If he reaches his ceiling, they will have the biggest hit in the first round.
Nothing like a Mock Draft Monday to get the juices flowing! With almost no control over our surroundings, let’s pretend for a second like there is a slight understanding of what will unfold in April.