2021 NFL Mock Draft & First Round Predictions: Travis Etienne To Jets, Justin Fields To Broncos, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Travis Etienne, Justin Fields
In special collaboration with The Action Network, you’ll find the final 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.
2021 NFL Mock Draft
|1||Jaguars||QB Trevor Lawrence|
|2||Jets||QB Zach Wilson|
|3||49ers*||QB Mac Jones|
|4||Falcons||TE Kyle Pitts|
|5||Bengals||WR Ja’Marr Chase|
|6||Dolphins*||OT Penei Sewell|
|7||Lions||WR DeVonta Smith|
|8||Panthers||CB Patrick Surtain II|
|9||Broncos||QB Justin Fields|
|10||Cowboys||CB Jaycee Horn|
|11||Giants||OL Rashawn Slater|
|12||Eagles||WR Jaylen Waddle|
|13||Chargers||OT Christian Darrisaw|
|14||Vikings||OG Alijah Vera-Tucker|
|15||Patriots||LB Micah Parsons|
|16||Cardinals||LB Zaven Collins|
|17||Raiders||LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah|
|18||Dolphins||EDGE Kwity Paye|
|19||Football Team||QB Trey Lance|
|20||Bears||CB Greg Newsome|
|21||Colts||OT Liam Eichenberg|
|22||Titans||WR Elijah Moore|
|23||Jets*||RB Travis Etienne|
|24||Steelers||RB Najee Harris|
|25||Jaguars*||S Trevon Moehrig|
|26||Browns||EDGE Jaelan Phillips|
|27||Ravens||OT Teven Jenkins|
|28||Saints||CB Caleb Farley|
|29||Packers||CB Eric Stokes|
|30||Bills||CB Asante Samuel|
|31||Ravens*||EDGE Azeez Ojulari|
|32||Buccaneers||DT Christian Barmore|
2021 NFL Draft Predictions
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
No surprises here. The Jags get a fresh start with head coach Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence at the helm.
2. Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Jets got rid of Adam Gase and failed 2018 second overall pick Sam Darnold. Wilson should give new hope to a struggling franchise.
3. 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama*
After trading up with Miami, this is the story that has dominated the lead up to the draft. Barring a mega-surprise, Kyle Shanahan gets his man in Mac Jones.
*Pick acquired from the Dolphins via Houston
4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Quite frankly, the Falcons played their draft hand poorly. And as a consolation, they will get one of the best players in the draft. Pitts is the best tight end prospect since Tony Gonzales.
5. Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
This pick comes down to Chase vs. Penei Sewell — rumors have it that Chase is the pick that Joe Burrow preferred and team ownership signed off.
6. Dolphins: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon*
Selecting Jaylen Waddle here was in heavy consideration. Ultimately, though, Sewell is a better prospect and plays a position of higher value.
*Pick acquired from the Eagles
7. Lions: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
After missing out on Sewell, the Lions will be looking to trade down. Whether that happens or if they stay put here, Smith is the potential pick at No. 7 in either scenario. He would be a much-needed weapon for a weak wide receiver corp.
8. Panthers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Jaycee Horn, Rashawn Slater or a trade down are all scenarios here. Surtain, however, fits a position of need and is among the cleanest prospects in the draft.
9. Broncos: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Broncos’ last-minute trade for Teddy Bridgewater led many analysts to speculate that this pick could be Rashawn Slater. Other reports say not to rule out Denver taking a QB, though, in which case Fields is the pick. If not, Denver is in a good spot for any team looking to trade up and select one of the remaining QBs.
10. Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Surtain to Dallas was among the most mocked player-to-team matches leading up to the draft. In this scenario, the Cowboys don’t flinch and move on to the equally-talented Horn.
11. Giants: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
Parsons was the pick in my previous mock. While the pick makes sense, off-field concerns should have Parsons sliding. Slater makes the most sense for Gettleman and Co. if Daniel Jones is to succeed.
12. Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama*
The Eagles need weapons in the worst way. With both Alabama WRs in consideration, Waddle is the choice since Smith is off the board.
*Pick acquired from the Dolphins via 49ers
13. Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Rumor has it that Justin Herbert is lobbying the Chargers’ brass to trade up for Sewell. If Miami takes Waddle at sixth overall, that could indeed be the case. Instead, the Chargers get Darrisaw here to protect the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
14. Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
Jaelan Phillips was in strong consideration for this pick. Unfortunately, concussions and suspect medicals often sink prospects. The Vikings go with Vera-Tucker, who could play multiple positions along the line.
15. Patriots: Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
This is where the slide stops for Parsons. And imagining him in a Bill Belichick defense is scary.
Fields was heavily connected as a possibility, but Jimmy Garoppolo is rumored to be a strong option to return to New England before the draft is over.
16. Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
This connection leaked weeks before the draft with very little attention in mainstream draft media. Collins’ versatility to cover and rush at 270 pounds will be welcome in Arizona.
17. Raiders: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Raiders addressed their pass rush in free agency by signing Yannick Ngakoue. Owusu-Koramoah brings a versatile skillset to a defense that’s forced to match up with the Chiefs twice per year.
18. Dolphins: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Paye has a nice story and should fit in nicely in head coach Brian Flores’ defense. Another rumor to keep an eye on has Miami moving this pick and others to move back into the top-10 to grab one of the Alabama WRs after selecting Sewell at sixth overall.
19. Washington: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
It’s been difficult to peg where Lance lands. Since I don’t project trades, I am placing Lance here with the Football Team. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm this year, Washington offers the perfect environment for Lance to sit for a year until he is ready.
20. Bears: Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
The Bears could be players in the QB market and possibly move up. Newsome is the pick here after Chicago cut ties with top CB Kyle Fuller.
21. Colts: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
After investing in Carson Wentz via trade, protecting his blind side will be important if head coach Frank Reich is to get Wentz back on track. Edge and CB could also be in consideration.
22. Titans: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
Among NFL scouting circles, Moore is widely considered the fourth-best WR in this draft. His ability to play outside and inside should pair well with alpha WR A.J. Brown and give the Titans another weapon.
23. Jets: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson*
The Jets have a number of needs. This, however, is one of the worst RB drafts in recent history. And if they don’t grab one of the top three backs here, they may miss out.
24. Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Harris to Pittsburgh is such a great fit, that it’s either one of the worst-kept secrets or the best smokescreen for drafting Teven Jenkins. Both players would help the Steelers, but Harris is my selection.
25. Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU*
Moehrig is the only safety with a first-round grade in this draft. He has the size and instincts to make an immediate impact in the Jaguars’ secondary.
*Pick acquired from the Rams
26. Browns: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Phillips falls to a Browns team that’s looking for a book-end opposite Myles Garrett. The signing of Jadeveon Clowney shouldn’t be a road block for Phillips landing here.
27. Ravens: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
After trading away Orlando Brown to the Chiefs, Baltimore snags Jenkins, who is ready-made to play on the right side. His addition should perfectly fit the style of offense the Ravens run.
28. Saints: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Saints have a major need at CB, and Farley has traits that the Saints covet. Whispers indicate that the Saints are willing to trade up to the early 20s if that’s what it takes to get Farley.
29. Packers: Eric Stokes CB, Georgia
I expect CBs to find their way into the bottom of the first round. Stokes has both the size and speed to fit a need in the Packers’ secondary.
30. Bills: Asante Samuel, CB, Florida State
Samuel offers NFL pedigree and was among the smoothest CB’s in college football last season. The ability to play outside or in the slot would greatly help opposite of Tre’Davious White. Unfortunately, Bills Mafia misses out on Etienne.
31. Ravens: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia*
Ojulari is the best speed rusher in the draft. Adding a player of this pedigree at this juncture is just the type of move the Ravens have historically found success with.
*Pick acquired from the Chiefs
32. Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Buccaneers return all 22 starters from their Super Bowl roster. With few obvious needs, Barmore could work his rookie season in a rotation with Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea.