2021 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting All 32 First-Round Picks, Including 5 QBs

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting All 32 First-Round Picks, Including 5 QBs article feature image
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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

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Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Pitts

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

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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

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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

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Najee Harris.

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

Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Gregory Rousseau

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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