2021 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting All 32 First-Round Picks, Including 5 QBs
Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones, Trevor Lawrence
In a special collaboration with The Action Network, you’ll find the second edition of Scott Smith’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft below.
Smith was the most accurate mock drafter of 2018 at Mock Draft Database, which grades the accuracy of mock drafts industry-wide, including longtime draft analysts like ESPN’s Mel Kiper. Smith’s ability to consistently finish in the top-five of that mock draft accuracy contest for three straight years is what sets his mocks apart from others.
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Lawrence absolutely killed his pro day while cementing himself as the top overall selection. Jaguar fans will revolt if his name isn’t called here on Draft Day.
Previous pick: Trevor Lawrence
2. Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The new regime has no ties to Sam Darnold and Wilson fits today’s passing schemes with his arm talent and mobility. Expect the evaluation and potential trade of Darnold to take some time as the Jets search for the right deal in a hot offseason quarterback market.
Previous pick: Zach Wilson
3. Dolphins: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon*
The Dolphins need more offensive weapons, but this draft is deep with talent at wide receiver and they have two first-round selections. Instead, they opt to get Tua Tagovailoa protection in the way of the Sewell, the draft’s top tackle prospect.
*Acquired from the Texans. Previous pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
4. Falcons: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Falcons find themselves in a position in which they don’t have enough talent to compete but have a former MVP QB on the roster. If the Falcons want to move on from Ryan, that would both open the door for Fields and give them cap relief to rebuild the roster.
Previous pick: Justin Fields
5. Bengals: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Pitts is the wild card of the top-10 picks, but his upside is Travis Kelce. The Bengals need to fix their offensive line and they could pivot to Northwestern offensive tackle Rashawn Slater here, if they want to go that route. But in this scenario, Pitts is too much to pass on.
Previous pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
6. Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Chase’s physicality would complement TE Dallas Goedert and last year’s first-round receiver Jalen Reagor. With Carson Wentz gone to Indianapolis, it’s important for the new coaching staff to surround Jalen Hurts with proper weapons to allow him to take the next step.
Previous pick: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
7. Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
It may surprise some to see Waddle over Heisman winning teammate Devonta Smith here, but Waddle offers game breaking speed that changes the way teams defend.
Previous pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
8. Panthers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Recent rumors have the Panthers all in on Deshaun Watson. If that move fails to materialize, Lance offers a similar skill set and could develop behind Bridgewater as the starter in 2021.
Previous pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
9. Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Surtain’s NFL pedigree offers an upgrade on the back end that Denver desperately needs. This pick could also be moved in the Broncos’ search for a new quarterback.
Previous pick: Patrick Surtain
10. Cowboys: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Cowboys need to address the signing of Dak Prescott and a defense that allowed nearly 30 points per game. Farley offers the upside to become a true shutdown corner at the next level.
Previous pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
11. Giants: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Smith adds a receiving dimension that the Giants don’t have at this point. Pairing Smith with Saquon Barkley would go a long way toward establishing an offensive identity for a Giants team that doesn’t have one.
Previous pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
12. 49ers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The 49ers have failed thus far to sign Trent Williams to an extension. If or until that happens, offensive tackle will remain a priority and Slater offers the most value at this point.
Previous pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
13. Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw checks all the boxes of an NFL starting left tackle. Giving Justin Herbert more time in the pocket should help him take the next step in his sophomore season.
Previous pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC
14. Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC
Kirk Cousins is a system QB who struggles to make plays under pressure. Improving the interior offensive line should not only help Cousins but also give Dalvin Cook more running room.
Previous pick: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
15. Patriots: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Ultimately, I expect the Patriots to reunite with Jimmy Garoppolo. If that doesn’t happen, though, Mac Jones makes sense for a team in dire need of direction at QB.
Previous pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
16. Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick are both free agents and on the wrong side of 30. Horn offers the best combination of talent and need for the Cardinals.
Previous pick: Jaycee Horn
17. Raiders: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
The Raiders have struggled to generate a consistent pass rush since trading away Khalil Mack. Paye offers a talent-ceiling on the edge that could fix the Raider’s pass rush woes.
Previous pick: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
18. Dolphins: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Fresh off a 40 time clocked as low as 4.37 at the EXOS combine, Bateman is more than a big slot receiver. After adding Sewell with the third overall pick, the Dolphins get Tua another weapon to throw to.
Previous pick: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
19. Washington: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
WFT has been mentioned in nearly every QB conversation around league circles. With Alex Smith seemingly not part of future plans, expect Washington to work out their QB situation prior to the draft. Parsons has elite ability as a linebacker and would help strengthen a blossoming defensive unit.
Previous pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
20. Bears: Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
The fact that the Bears have not been in contact with Allen Robinson is telling. This pick is too late to fill the QB position, all but ensuring it will be a WR or OT. Marshall could immediately fill in for Robinson.
Previous pick: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
21. Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
With both Philip Rivers and Anthony Costanzo retiring, the Colts need to fill two of the most important positions in football. Adding Cosmi to protect newly-acquired Carson Wentz would fill both needs.
Previous pick: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
22. Titans: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
Phillips may be the most talented pass rusher in the draft and the Titans have struggled to generate a consistent pass rush. Phillips could replace free agent Jadeveon Clowney.
Previous pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
23. Jets: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama*
Harris offers the size, speed and receiving skills that are warranted for a running back to be selected in the first round. He would both fill a need and give the Jets a much needed offensive centerpiece.
*Acquired from the Seahawks. Previous pick:Travis Etienne
24. Steelers: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
The Steelers started off hot, winning 11 games out of the gate. Two things became inherently clear after that: The Steelers could not run the ball and Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have the same ability he once had making off schedule plays. Jenkins started 35 games in college and would be a much needed addition to a struggling unit.
Previous pick: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
25. Jaguars: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Norte Dame*
Jaguars go with the best player available in this scenario. With Myles Jack and Joe Schobert already rostered, this pick is a bit of a luxury. Owusu-Koramoah would be a great addition to reviving a once-feared Jaguars defense.
* Acquired from the Rams. Previous pick: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
26. Browns: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Collins offers a do-it-all skillset that would play well behind Myles Garrett. The Brown also have needs along the defensive front with Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjobi set to become free agents.
Previous pick: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
27. Ravens: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
The Ravens need Rousseau in the worst way — they don’t have an experienced edge rusher under contract at this point. Derek Wolfe, Pernell McPhee and Yannick Ngakoue are all set to hit the open market.
Previous pick: Joseph Ossai, LB, Texas
28. Saints: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Saints are still in a negative cap situation even after restructuring money owed to Drew Brees. Marcus Williams is likely going to be a casualty of that situation. With Malcolm Jenkins another year older, adding young talent like Moehrig to the secondary will help some tough decisions the Saints have looming.
Previous pick: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
29. Packers: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Green Bay needs to maximize the closing window of having a Super Bowl caliber quarterback. Adding an electric weapon like Toney in the slot next to Davante Adams would would greatly help Aaron Rodgers.
Previous pick: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
30. Bills: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Matt Milano is a free agent heading into next season. Bolton would be an excellent replacement and offers the versatility to play in Buffalo’s nickel base.
Previous pick: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
31. Chiefs: Jaylen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
The Super Bowl performance proved that the Chiefs need help protecting the QB. Mahomes was under constant pressure and the Chiefs can no longer ignore their deficiencies up front.
Previous pick: Trevon Moehrig S, TCU
32. Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
Fresh off a Super Bowl, the Bucs have the enviable tasks of trying to repeat. Expect Shaq Barrett to be a priority at the expense of Ndamukong Suh. Barmore slides in as an instant replacement for the Bucs’ defensive front.
Previous pick: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
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