2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 1: Trevor Lawrence Easy No. 1, But Who’s No. 2 Pick?

2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 1: The Super Bowl is just days away, which means we are inching closer to NFL Draft season. With the Senior Bowl currently taking place in Mobile, Ala., NFL evaluators are already building their big boards and looking at potential mock draft scenarios. Today, we are diving into my first mock draft of the year ahead of the Super Bowl. With up to 18 teams potentially switching quarterbacks this offseason, this has a chance to be one of the wildest drafts in NFL history. So without further ado, here is my first 2021 NFL Mock Draft for Round 1.

2021 NFL Mock Draft (Version 1)

 1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

From his first pass attempt at Clemson, Trevor Lawrence has been the clear-cut No. 1 pick for the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s going to end up in Jacksonville playing with the Jaguars under new head coach Urban Meyer. It remains to be seen what type of offense Jacksonville will build around their star quarterback, but he should instantly make them a much better team and help them compete in the AFC South.

Read Trevor Lawrence’s NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report.

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2. New York Jets

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

There has been some chatter that the Jets could either trade this pick for Deshaun Watson or use it to improve the offensive line around Sam Darnold. But the most likely scenario would be the Jets standing here and taking a quarterback.

But what quarterback best fits how Robert Saleh wants to win? Zach Wilson of BYU might have the most upside of any quarterback in this class and his playmaking and athleticism are reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes. He’s going to need some more talent around him to be successful, but Wilson’s upside might be too high to pass on here.

Read Zach Wilson’s NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report.


3. Miami Dolphins

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The Dolphins are in a fascinating situation as they were nearly a playoff team in 2020 and they now own the No. 3 pick. They also might be in the quarterback market, which complicates this pick. However, the best overall player on the board is offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who will fit well with whatever quarterback is behind center.

The Dolphins did select Austin Jackson in the 2020 NFL Draft, but Sewell could play either tackle spots and do so at a high level.


4. Atlanta Falcons

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

With a new head coach in Arthur Smith, the Falcons could easily trade back and improve the defense. But the Matt Ryan era is coming to a close and the Falcons need a new direction.

Justin Fields might be the most dynamic quarterback in the class with his ability to win from the pocket and with his legs. He might need to sit for a year behind Ryan before he gets his shot, but Fields should be a star in the NFL sooner rather than later.

Read Justin Fields’ NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report.

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5. Cincinnati Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Bengals have to find a way to protect Joe Burrow. But with Sewell going at No. 3 in this mock, do they reach on someone like Rashawn Slater, who might be better off as a guard? Maybe.

But if they go elsewhere, Ja’Marr Chase is a fascinating option. Pairing him with Burrow again would give the Bengals a No. 1 wide receiver who can make plays on the outside. The duo of Chase and Tee Higgins would be a lot for opposing defenses to handle, given their size and physicality.


6. Philadelphia Eagles

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

The Eagles drafted Jalen Reagor in the first round last year, and that was just the start of their wide receiver rebuild. Sitting at No. 6, Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith has a great shot to be available.

In this mock, it’s Smith, and he would be a great fit in Nick Sirianni‘s offense. Built like T.Y. Hilton, Smith can make plays all over the field as one of the quickest and best route-runners we’ve seen enter the NFL in some time.


7. Detroit Lions

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

With the Lions ready to move on from Matthew Stafford, it’s undoubtedly a new era in Detroit. What better way to usher in the direction of the franchise than to build around Trey Lance? While he doesn’t have the most experience, Lance is a gifted athlete who’s developing as a passer.

His ability to run and complete a high percentage of his passes makes him an intriguing prospect. However, don’t be surprised if he goes much earlier than his place in this 2021 Round 1 Mock when the draft actually gets here.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Trey Lance looks like a top-10 pick and has ample upside as a dual-threat starting NFL quarterback.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Trey Lance looks like a top-10 pick in the 2021 Round 1 Mock and has ample upside as a dual-threat starting NFL quarterback. (USA TODAY Sports)


8. Carolina Panthers

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The Panthers are in the market for a franchise quarterback, but with the top four options off the board, they take maybe the best skill player in the draft. Kyle Pitts is a superstar at tight end who is only scratching the surface of his talent. Putting him between D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Christian McCaffrey would be a dream for whatever quarterback ultimately lands in Carolina.


9. Denver Broncos

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Broncos addressed their offense in last year’s draft, and now it’s time to focus on the defense. Caleb Farley is the best defensive back in this class despite opting out of the 2020 season. His size and athleticism make him a perfect fit in Vic Fangio’s defense, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he develops into a Pro Bowl cornerback in the near future.


10. Dallas Cowboys

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Caleb Farley would likely be the top cornerback prospect for the Cowboys, but Patrick Surtain II isn’t a bad consolation prize. With a ton of snaps against the top receivers in the SEC, Surtain is about as NFL-ready as they get. He and 2020 second-round pick Trevon Diggs would make a pretty good pairing for the Cowboys to build around on defense.


11. New York Giants

Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

The Giants could go in several different directions here, but look for them to upgrade their defense. Kwity Paye might just be the best EDGE rusher in the class as his combination of size, speed and power are unmatched. With an already stout interior defensive line, Paye would be a fantastic strongside defensive end that can win one-on-one battles.


12. San Francisco 49ers

Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Niners added Trent Williams via trade last season, but he turns 33 years old this offseason, and the team will need an eventual replacement. That is why Rashawn Slater would make so much sense at this spot. He could start at guard right away and eventually transition to tackle if needed. His ability to play multiple positions and in multiple schemes make him a surefire top-15 selection.


13. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

It’s been years since the Chargers have had a solid offensive line, and that needs to change now that they have a potential superstar in quarterback Justin Herbert. If they can find a way to protect him, they might actually have the roster to challenge a team like the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC.

That is why a player like Christian Darrisaw would make so much sense in Los Angeles. He’s a monster left tackle with the ability to anchor in pass protection. He needs to clean up his footwork some, but he has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl tackle in the NFL.


14. Minnesota Vikings

Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

After losing Everson Griffen to free agency and Danielle Hunter missing the entire season with a back injury, the Vikings never had a consistent pass rush all season long. That is why it wouldn’t be a surprise if they added to the defensive line during the NFL Draft.

Mike Zimmer has had a lot of success with players like Gregory Rousseau in the past, and this would be a perfect fit for the former Miami Hurricanes star. At 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, Rousseau has all the potential to be a star edge rusher with some patience.


15. New England Patriots

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Patriots looked old and slow on defense this season, and getting faster has to be a priority for Bill Belichick. Micah Parsons opted out of the 2020 college football season, but his talent is undeniable. He needs to become a more disciplined player, and his coverage ability is a bit of a question mark.

However, with a few years under Belichick, he could easily become one of the league’s best linebackers given his size and speed.


16. Arizona Cardinals

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Patrick Peterson dropped off in a big way this season, and the Cardinals struggled to find a suitable option opposite of him over the last several seasons. Jaycee Horn could fill that role, being one of the country’s most physical cornerbacks.

Horn can be a little too penalty-prone at times, but his ability to annoy and frustrate opposing receivers is what makes him a lock to be a first-round pick.


 

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17. Las Vegas Raiders

Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

If you are from Alabama, Ohio State or Clemson, Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden will be interested. The Raiders need to improve their offensive line, and Alex Leatherwood fits the mold as he can play either tackle at guard.

Look for him to start right away at left guard but potentially slide over to right tackle if the team eventually moves on from Trent Brown.


18. Miami Dolphins

Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Brian Flores is one of the best defensive minds in all of the NFL, and he excels in using versatile players. That is why there is no better fir for a player like Zaven Collins.

A do-it-all linebacker, Collins was one of the best players in college football this year. He’s going to need a strong defensive coordinator to maximize his skill set, but that’s what Flores does best. Think of him as a Dont’a Hightower type.


19. Washington Football Team

Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

Washington has to improve at the quarterback position this offseason, but with the No. 19 pick, there might not be a quarterback that they love. Instead, they could look to improve the offensive line and do so with Samuel Cosmi.

Cosmi needs to improve his play strength, but he has the size and athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL.


20. Chicago Bears

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Allen Robinson is set to become a free agent, and Anthony Miller has been a disappointment. Waddle might be the fastest receiver in this class, and pairing him with 2020 draft hit Darnell Mooney would be a lot of fun.

Chicago still needs to figure out its quarterback situation, but Waddle would be an instant starter and a playmaker for this offense.


21. Indianapolis Colts

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The Colts, along with 16 or so other NFL teams, are in the market for a franchise quarterback after Philip Rivers retired earlier this offseason. Indianapolis could certainly look to add a proven veteran, such as Matthew Stafford, this offseason, but Mac Jones would also make a lot of sense at No. 21.

Jones isn’t the most dynamic passer, but he plays the quarterback position like a point guard, feeding the ball accurately to his playmakers.


22. Tennessee Titans

Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

Despite signing Jadeveon Clowney, the Titans could never find a consistent pass rush at any point in the 2020 season. Clowney isn’t expected to return in 2021, which means the Titans have to find someone to complement Harold Landry.

Azeez Ojulari is a young, inexperienced player, but he might just be the most explosive edge rusher in the class. He’s a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense and is excellent in space.


23. New York Jets

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The Jets don’t have a ton to build around on defense outside of defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would be a fantastic fit in Robert Saleh‘s defense; he has the speed and range to be a dominant off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL.

He’s similar to Fred Warner, who had a ton of success under Saleh in San Francisco. Don’t be surprised if “JOK” goes much higher than this. He is the modern NFL linebacker in every single way.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah fits the mold of the new-age NFL linebacker.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah fits the mold of the new-age NFL linebacker and looks like he belongs in this 2021 Round 1 Mock. (USA TODAY Sports)


24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

The Steelers (specifically GM Kevin Colbert) love drafting players from big schools with a ton of snaps on their resumes. That is why Liam Eichenberg, who has nearly 2,000 career snaps under his belt, would make a ton of sense for Pittsburgh.

He might be a better right tackle than left tackle in the NFL, but he is a plug-and-play starter who just doesn’t allow many pressures. He would be an instant upgrade for the Steelers at either tackle spot.


25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

With Trevor Lawrence now on the roster, the Jaguars have to improve their offensive line. And while Jalen Mayfield might not have the longest arms in the world, he’s an incredibly reliable player with a ton of position flexibility.

Don’t be surprised if his best position in the NFL is at guard, but for Mayfield to start for a bunch of years in the NFL regardless.


26. Cleveland Browns

Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

After making the playoffs for the first time in decades, the Browns enter the 2021 offseason needing to upgrade their defense to take the next step in the AFC. One way to help improve the unit is to find a reliable pass-rusher opposite of Myles Garrett.

Penn State’s Jayson Oweh isn’t a proven rusher, but he has all the tools to be a star in the NFL. With 4.40 speed at 255 pounds, Oweh’s best football is still ahead of him. He’s just 20 years old and still learning the position. This looks like a worthwhile shot for Cleveland to take at the end of the first round.


27. Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

The Ravens have to find weapons for Lamar Jackson this offseason as he looks to become a better passer. Having just Marquise Brown and Willie Snead (and perhaps only one more year left with TE Mark Andrews) in the passing game isn’t enough. Their wideouts lack a physical presence on the outside that can win against press coverage.

That is why Rashod Bateman from Minnesota would be a perfect fit. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Bateman’s game is similar to Keenan Allen‘s with a dash of Michael Thomas‘ sprinkled in. While he might not be the most explosive receiver in the class, he might be the most physical. He would instantly be the team’s top receiver and would complement Brown exceptionally well.


28. New Orleans Saints

Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

This offseason, the Saints are likely to release Kwon Alexander, whom they acquired via trade from the 49ers earlier in the year. That will leave a potential hole at linebacker that could be filled by Nick Bolton.

While he doesn’t have elite long speed or size, Bolton is a fearless downhill wrecking ball.


29. Green Bay Packers

Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

After passing on drafting a wide receiver in the first round in favor of Jordan Love in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Packers likely won’t make the same mistake again. Elijah Moore from Ole Miss would be a perfect fit with Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Moore can play the slot and create big plays in the passing offense. He’s at his best when he’s playing a Randall Cobb-type role, and luckily for the Packers, they’ve had a lot of success with that type of player.


30. Buffalo Bills

Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

The Bills could upgrade their interior offensive line, but the Bills need to find a way to improve their pass rush. Ed Oliver has been a bit of a disappointment, but Christian Barmore might be able to help him out.

While he is a highly inexperienced player, his burst and power are incredible. He has a long way to go before he’s ready to be an every-down starter, but Barmore is a perfect fit in Sean McDermott‘s defense and would thrive with his coaching style.


31. Kansas City Chiefs

Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC

As great as Patrick Mahomes is, even he can’t overcome a bad offensive line, as shown in Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs are expected to get back both of their starting offensive tackles in 2021, but the absence of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz proved to be too costly for Kansas City and that is why they ultimately didn’t win the Super Bowl.

It’s time for the team to reinvest in their offensive line this year.

Alijah Vera-Tucker is an offensive lineman with experience at both guard and tackle, but he’s likely to play inside in the NFL. At this stage of the first round, it’s an excellent value as he should be a Day 1 starter for the Chiefs in 2021.


32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

Tampa Bay’s pass rush is why they won the Super Bowl this season. They had four studs on their defensive line and were able to drop seven in coverage on nearly every snap against Patrick Mahomes.  But Shaquil Barrett is scheduled to hit free agency in just a few weeks, and Jason Pierre-Paul will turn 32 this year.

With these points in mind, Jaelan Phillips would be an ideal fit, as he might just be the best edge rusher in the entire class. He’s likely to fall some on draft day due to a lengthy injury history, but his speed, power, and motor make him an interesting selection at the end of the first round. He could be a Day 1 starter for the Super Bowl Champion Bucs and would allow them to keep a great pass rush.


Done with 2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 1? Catch our full 2021 NFL Draft coverage

After you read 2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 1 and seeing each pick in Marcus’ first 2021 Round 1 Mock:

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