Now that the majority of NFL Free Agency is in the rear-view mirror, we’re getting our best look at how these teams will shape up for the start of the 2021 season. Free agency is the time for teams to fill needs on their roster whereas the draft is to add as much premier talent as possible. We’re still a month away from the draft, but let’s see how this all shakes out.
DISCLAIMER: All mock drafts prior to the week of the NFL Draft will not include any trades because it is too much of a guessing game.
If you have any questions or comments about my mock draft feel free to reach out on Twitter: http://twitter.com/DanielAlameda11
- Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson – Urban Meyer and the Jaguars went out and a ton of talent in free agency with their $100 million in cap, so now it’s time to get their franchise QB. I still don’t believe Trevor Lawrence is the shoo-in to be the best QB from this class, but he’s the no brainer selection here.
- New York Jets Zach QB Wilson, BYU- While the consensus is already pencilling in the Jets to select a QB at number two, there’s still a chance that they stick with Darnold due to the depleted QB market and the flashes he’s shown. If they stick with Sam, they should look to add Sewell to form one of the best tackle duos in the league, or trade down to get the most value. If not, they’ll take a QB to usher in the new era in New York.
- Miami Dolphins OT Penei Sewell, Oregon- Miami is in a perfect spot with the #3 overall pick as they can either trade the pick for Watson, draft a playmaker, or take the top offensive lineman. With no trades in this mock, they decide to build their offensive line and attack the playmaking side of things later in the draft. The Dolphins add an absolute mauler and generational talent to a youthful offensive line in hopes of building an ideal situation around Tua.
- Atlanta Falcons EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia – While the vast majority wants the Falcons to go QB here, I don’t see Matt Ryan who’s still playing at a high level, to be gone anytime soon. Atlanta could be a popular trade-down pick to get value, but GM Terry Fontenot stays true to his best-player-available policy with Azeez Ojulari. He’s currently getting Top-15 buzz, and defensive coordinator Dean Pees will love to have a player with Ojulari’s leadership and freakish athleticism on his D-Line.
- Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU – The Bengals receiving core currently looks like (Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, Tee Higgins, and that’s it) so they definitely need to add another playmaker. Chase’s ability to thrive on the intermediate route concepts will give Burrow a safety blanket and sense of consistency this season. Ideally they would like for Sewell to be here, or even taking Slater/Darrisaw to fill the offensive tackle position.
- Philadelphia Eagles WR Devonta Smith, Alabama – The feeling within the Eagles organization is that Jalen Hurts deserves a chance to prove himself as their future QB, so the next step is to acquire weapons. Adding Devonta Smith to this non-sexy receivers room is a huge upgrade, and this should be the dream scenario for the Eagles.
- Detroit Lions WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama- After trading for Jared Goff, the Lions are going to give him a chance, but they severely need to add weapons. They lost 3 of their top 4 receivers from 2020 (Kenny Golladay/Marvin Jones/Danny Amendola) and need an injection of talent into their receiving room, so here comes Waddle.
- Carolina Panthers QB Justin Fields, Ohio State – After talking with coach Matt Rhule at the Senior Bowl, he describes his “Ideal Quarterback” as a guy with all the arm talent, mobility to extend plays outside of the pocket, a leader, and a guy who has shown up on the biggest stage. The dream would be to trade for Deshaun Watson, but today, the Fields era starts in Carolina.
- Denver Broncos LB Micah Parsons – After talking to Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris, the locker room is riding with Drew Lock, and with Vic Fangio still at HC, the defense will always be the priority. After adding Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller to their CB room, corner isn’t a pressing need, so they add a linebacker who will be a chess piece and immediate upgrade.
- Dallas Cowboys CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama – The Cowboys could look to fortify their aging offensive line with a stud at #10, but instead they go for Patrick Surtain after failing to address cornerback in free agency.
- New York Giants OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern – The Giants addressed their biggest need of an X receiver by signing stud Kenny Golladay to a 4-year-deal, so now it’s time to go best-player-available. They could add an edge rusher like Kwity Paye in this spot, but they take a versatile offensive lineman who can play inside or outside, especially after losing interior offensive lineman Kevin Zietler.
- San Francisco 49ers TE Kyle Pitts, Florida – Here is a perfect case of drafting for talent and not for need. The 49ers currently have George Kittle on their roster, and they do have a major need at corner but just imagining offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan working with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and the two tight ends should have San Francisco fans jumping out of their seat.
- Los Angeles Chargers OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech – The Chargers acquired two interior offensive lineman to help protect their franchise quarterback Justin Herbert, but the job isn’t finished. Darrisaw graded out as a top-10 player for me, and he’ll immediately give the Chargers a franchise LT to give Herbert a much improved line since last season.
- Minnesota Vikings EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami – The Vikings can’t afford to have a repeat of 2020 where they fielded a bottom-5 defensive unit. Rousseau dominated in college purely off of his freakish athleticism, and will need to develop a pass rushing repertoire to succeed at the next level. Luckily for him, if he lands with the Vikings he gets to learn the ropes from a top DE in Danielle Hunter.
- New England Patriots QB Trey Lance, NDSU – The Patriots have two options, go all in with Cam Newton for a major Super Bowl push, or usher in the new era with Cam as the mentor. No one knows what Bill Belichick is thinking for the future of the team, but with their transition to a power run/mobile quarterback scheme, Trey Lance would be the ideal man to be the next man under center.
- Arizona Cardinals CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina – The sexy selection for the Cardinals would be to add a weapon like Kadarius Toney here, but after losing Patrick Peterson, they attack the corner position. Horn is a physical man-to-man corner who has a family lineage in the NFL, and has every tool necessary to become a Top-tier corner in the NFL.
- Las Vegas Raiders OT Tevin Jenkins, Oklahoma State – After losing four of their five starting lineman from last season, the Raiders gain a replacement for former tackle Trent Brown. Jenkins fits Mike Mayock’s bill of physical prospects as he is an absolute finisher in the run game, and powerful in pass protection.
- Miami Dolphins RB Najee Harris, Alabama – With their second selection of the 1st round, Miami can go in any direction that they wish, and they take the best player-team fit in this year’s draft. While selecting a RB in the first round isn’t ideal, this Dolphins team is ready to compete ASAP, and Harris has the skills to be their workhorse back, and immediately become a top-15 running back in the NFL.
- Washington Football Team WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota – Washington could look to grab an offensive tackle here, but Bateman has the build of a legit X receiver with his 6’2 frame and superb catch radius which will create a deadly duo with Scary Terry. A weapons room of Antonio Gibson, Bateman, McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas is a major step in the right direction for this offense.
- Chicago Bears OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas – The Bears have a ton of needs on this roster, but the biggest need is offensive line. With Andy Dalton at the helm, they need to build some continuity on the line, and the Texas tackle is a step in the right direction.
- Indianapolis Colts OT Liam Eichenburg, Notre Dame– The Colts have built a well-rounded roster from the trenches up, and despite having mocked a receiver here in my last mock, they get a replacement for Anthony Castonzo on the offensive line. After bringing on Carson Wentz, the Colts need to keep the offensive line as a top-5 unit, and this selection does that.
- Tennessee Titans CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech – While the Titans lost three of their top four receivers, cornerback is a major need after losing Malcom Butler and Adoree Jackson. Caleb Farley is undergoing a back surgery which will hold him out of any pre-draft workouts, and after opting out of the 2020 season, many teams won’t be confident in selecting him. Talent wise, he’s my CB 1 as he’s an athletic freak, technically sound, and a pure playmaker so he’ll be a steal if he falls to the 20’s.
- New York Jets CB Asante Samuel Jr. Florida State – The son of former NFL corner Asante Samuel has the potential to become a better corner than his dad ever was. Samuel Jr. is technically sound, has elite click-and-close speed, and has the dog mentality that star cornerbacks need. He’s a surefire stud because of his technique, and while he may be a bit undersized at 5’10, his intangibles will make the Jets happy as can be.
- Pittsburgh Steelers OT Dillon Radunz, NDSU- The Steelers have always been known for dominating the line of scrimmage, but this offseason they lost three starting lineman so a replacement is in store. Radunz is seen by many as a risky selection due to the level of competition he faced at NDSU, but after seeing his success at the Senior Bowl, teams are going to be confident in selecting him in the 1st. This is a selection for the future with hopes that the Steelers can find a new quarterback to put behind this line.
- Jacksonville Jaguars IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC – After selecting their franchise QB #1 overall, it’s necessary to protect him up front, as evidenced by Joe Burrow’s rookie campaign without an adequate line. Jacksonville takes a versatile lineman who may not have the upside of Ohio State IOL Wyatt Davis, but will give them the versatility to play all 5 positions on the line.
- Cleveland Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame – The Cleveland Browns enter the offseason riding their high horses after a playoff victory, and here they add a linebacker with elite sideline-to-sideline speed. This is a perfect example of when talent meets need as Cleveland needs a linebacker to counteract the talents of Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson. JOK’s playstyle isn’t that of a traditional MIKE linebacker, but rather a backer used all over the formation with his explosiveness as his best trait.
- Baltimore Ravens EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan – Leading up to the draft, you’ll hear fans call for the sexy pick of a receiver, but in order for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense to continue dominating the league, they have to dominate the line of scrimmage. After losing both Ngakoue and Judon on the edge, this is a massive priority and they’ll have their options here at 27.
- New Orleans Saints CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern – The Saints are in an interesting spot with Drew Brees mulling retirement, and getting knocked out of the playoffs early, but they need to add talent to their cornerback room. Greg Newsome has played his way into the 1st round discussion and will fit perfectly in the Saints man-to-man scheme besides Marshon Lattimore.
- Green Bay Packers LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa – The Packers would love for a cornerback like Asante Samuel Jr. or a WR like Rashod Bateman to be sitting here, but they go BPA. Collins is physical freak at 6’4 260 pounds who succeeds with his instincts, eyes, and ball skills.
- Buffalo Bills EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. Wake Forest – Bills GM Brandon Beane did a terrific job resigning key players and filling holes in free agency, so all that’s left is to improve the pass rush. Boogie Basham is immediately going to step in with his blend of power and explosiveness and make an impact with Buffalo’s pass rush.
- Kansas City Chiefs IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma – Offensive line is never a sexy selection but it is neccesary if you have a quarterback worth $500 million sitting back in the pocket. After seeing their offensive line get demolished by injuries and the Buccaneers, it’s key that Kansas City emphasizes continuity on the offensive line, and even with the addition of Joe Thuney, Humphrey can step in on day one and be their starting center.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers IDL Marvin Wilson, Florida State – The Buccaneers defensive line displayed what an effective pass rush can do to the best quarterbacks in the league, so adding talent to this spot is a great first step to defending their championship. With their interior defensive line aging, Tampa Bay should look to add to their pass rush and Wilson’s elite physical tools are going to be enough for the Buccaneers to look past his inconsistent play and see his immense potential.