2021 NFL Mock Draft Round 1: Trevor Lawrence Goes No. 1, Big Trades & All Pick Predictions
Marcus Mosher lays out his 2021 NFL Mock Draft for the first three rounds. Read as The Game Day’s NFL Draft expert breaks down and predicts each pick from Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 of the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Here’s his full 2021 Round 1 Mock with 2021 NFL Draft Round 1 pick predictions.
The first few waves of 2021 NFL free agency are over, and the 2021 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away. Team needs and potential landing spots for the nation’s top players are starting to take form. We are looking a three-round mock draft after the first week of free agency. So without further ado, let’s get into the picks!
2021 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Lawrence should make the Jaguars a contender in the AFC South by Year 2. But it will be up to Urban Meyer to build the right type of offense around him going forward.
2. NEW YORK JETS
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Arguably the most “fun” quarterback in this class, Wilson has the right demeanor and play style to thrive in New York. The initial learning curve might be rough, but he has All-Pro upside. New York must do a better job of surrounding him with talent than they did with the recently traded Sam Darnold or this has a chance to be another disaster.
3. NEW — TRADE: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (From Texans via Dolphins)
Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers
After trading the No. 12 pick and two future first-round picks to move up to No. 3, the 49ers basically revealed they are taking a quarterback. But which one? The tea leaves are saying Trey Lance; he has the size, speed, and arm talent that Kyle Shanahan can develop in San Francisco.
With Jimmy Garoppolo staying on for the 2021 season, this allows Lance to sit for a year a la Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. With some seasoning, Lance could become a superstar in the loaded 49ers offense.
4. ATLANTA FALCONS
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Falcons would love to trade out of this pick, but instead, they are forced to stay and select a generational talent at tight end. Pitts, alongside Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, would be a terror for defenses in Arthur Smith‘s offense.
5. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
If the Bengals were to go anywhere else but Sewell at No. 5, the people of Cincinnati would revolt. Sewell is a plug-and-play starter at left or right tackle and would help protect franchise QB Joe Burrow.
6. NEW — TRADE: MIAMI DOLPHINS (From Eagles)
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Dolphins made two separate trades to get back inside the top six picks, which means they want to secure a No. 1 receiver for Tua Tagovailoa. Miami could easily roll with Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle here, but instead, the ‘Phins will take the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner and Tua’s former Alabama teammate to group with DeVante Parker and Will Fuller.
7. NEW — DETROIT LIONS
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The Lions are one of the real wild cards in the top 10 of the 2021 NFL Draft. They could easily pick a quarterback or they could sit tight and have their pick of any defender in the class.
But instead, they decide to grab a weapon for Jared Goff in LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase. With Kenny Golladay gone, the team needs a bonafide No. 1 receiver who can win on the outside and down the field. Chase should immediately become the team’s top option in the passing game and a star in just a few short years.
8. NEW — CAROLINA PANTHERS
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Though the Panthers just acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, I’m guessing they’ll still look quarterback here. (Teddy Bridgewater probably will wind up with a different club via trade or release.)
With three straight quarterbacks likely coming off the board to start the draft, don’t be surprised if the Panthers are the next team to make a move inside the top five or follow suit with whoever falls.
For now in this exercise, they wait patiently at No. 8 in this mock, grabbing Justin Fields. The Panthers get a franchise quarterback with the tools to thrive in Joe Brady’s offense. If he is available at this selection, it’s a home run for Carolina.
9. DENVER BRONCOS
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
After addressing their needs at cornerback in free agency with Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, the Broncos can take the best defender on the board in Micah Parsons. In Vic Fangio‘s defense, Parsons would have plenty of opportunities to blitz and that is where he is at his best.
10. DALLAS COWBOYS
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Dallas needs another proven outside cornerback, and they select Surtain to pair him with his former Alabama teammate in Trevon Diggs. Surtain isn’t the flashiest cornerback, but he’s reliable, durable and fits new coordinator Dan Quinn‘s scheme.
11. NEW YORK GIANTS
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Joe Judge wants to build up their offensive line and Slater has the position flexibility to play all five spots. He would likely start his career at guard, but could eventually slide over to either tackle spot, if needed. But he has Zack Martin-like potential at either guard spot.
12. NEW — TRADE: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
After moving down from No. 6, the Eagles pick up an additional 2022 first-round pick in case Jalen Hurts isn’t the answer at quarterback.
Here, they address their defense with arguably the best cornerback in the draft in Jaycee Horn. He would be a Day 1 starter opposite of Darius Slay and Philly’s future No. 1 cornerback.
13. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Chargers have done a good job of bringing in offensive line talent this offseason to protect franchise QB Justin Herbert, but the job isn’t done. Darrisaw would be a Day 1 starter at left tackle and a significant upgrade for the Chargers.
14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Minnesota signed Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency, but they need a pass-rushing defensive tackle to pair with him. Barmore is raw and inexperienced, but the former Alabama star has Fletcher Cox-like potential as a pass rusher.
15. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
New England is expected to be aggressive in the quarterback market in the draft. But in this mock, they stay at No. 10 and grab Jones. He’s got some Jimmy Garoppolo-like qualities and can be a solid starter in the right scheme.
16. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
After Patrick Peterson left in free agency for Minnesota, Arizona needs a cornerback to replace him on the outside. Farley is an outstanding athlete who just needs some refinement.
17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden have totally rebuilt their offensive line in one offseason, but they have a glaring hole at right tackle. Vera-Tucker could fill that spot, or the team could move Denzelle Good to the right side and slide the USC rookie over to guard. Either way, Vera-Tucker would be an outstanding pick for the Raiders at No. 17.
18. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Dolphins selected Austin Jackson at No. 19 last year, but Cosmi is a much better and athletic prospect. He could start at left tackle with Jackson moving to the right side.
19. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The defense is nearly set for Washington, but they need a speedy linebacker to play behind Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Da’Ron Payne, etc. “JOK” would be a perfect fit in Ron Rivera’s defense as he could play the Thomas Davis role in 2021.
20. CHICAGO BEARS
Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Like Washington, Chicago would love to go up and get a quarterback. But with four quarterbacks going inside the top-seven, it’s just isn’t likely. Instead, the Bears fill their need at right tackle in Teven Jenkins.
21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
The Colts need a left tackle and Eichenberg is the best one left on the board. He doesn’t have the best feet, but he’s got a ton of experience and is one of Notre Dame’s most decorated offensive linemen in school history.
22. TENNESSEE TITANS
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
After losing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in free agency, the Titans need more playmakers on offense. Waddle’s speed would be perfect with Ryan Tannehill and he would be a steal at this stage in the draft.
23. NEW YORK JETS (from Seahawks)
Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
After filling their need at quarterback with Zach Wilson, the Jets take the best cornerback available in Greg Newsome. He’s not the longest or biggest cornerback in the class, but he’s a fantastic man or zone defender who is only getting better.
24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Pittsburgh is trying to make one more run under Ben Roethlisberger and they go with a player that can help right away. Etienne is a big-play machine and a huge upgrade over James Conner and Benny Snell.
25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (from Rams)
Trevon Moehrig, FS, TCU
The Jaguars continue to rebuild their secondary, but they could use a versatile defensive back like Moehrig to help their young cornerbacks. Moehrig is at his best near the line of scrimmage, but can also play free safety or split safety in a pinch.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Cleveland has to get better in the front seven if they want to compete with the Bills or Chiefs in 2021. Collins is a versatile defender that is reminiscent of Dont’a Hightower in New England. He can play multiple spots, but he does his best work in coverage and in space.
27. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Harbaugh connection continues as Paye would be a Day 1 starter on the edge for Baltimore. He needs some refinement, but his physical tools and his size would be a perfect fit in Baltimore’s 3-4 defense.
28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
New Orleans lost Trey Hendrickson in free agency and needs to replace his production on the edge. Ojulari is an extremely young, long and productive EDGE rusher that should be gone way before this.
29. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
Is this the year the Packers finally surround Aaron Rodgers with weapons? Yes. Moore would be an ideal fit as he can play on the outside in the slot. His game is similar to Randall Cobb, who thrived under Rodgers earlier in his career.
30. BUFFALO BILLS
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Buffalo doesn’t have many needs on their roster, so they swing for the fences with Rousseau. He had 15.5 sacks as a freshman in the ACC, but still needs a lot of work. If he hits his ceiling, he could be a Danielle Hunter-like player in the NFL.
31. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Chiefs were in on the JuJu Smith-Schuster sweepstakes as they want to continue to surround Patrick Mahomes with weapons. Bateman would be the ideal fit with Tyreek Hill as he wins in contested areas with his size and length.
32. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
After winning the Super Bowl, the Bucs are in a position to take a gamble. Philips might have been a top-10 pick if it weren’t for a few injuries, but he is healthy now and ready to be a star.
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