The time has finally arrived, as the dust settles on Hard Rock Stadium, the College Football season is over. Our heads now turn to the Senior Bowl, the Pro Days and the NFL Combine in preparation for the NFL Draft in Cleveland. Over the next weeks and months, we the armchair experts will over analyse every single pick and agonise over picking who will go where come Draft night.
Who will inexplicably fall? Who will be the desperate reach pick? Over the coming coming, some will help their stock and challenge their perception, some will get stuck in the hype and some will be forgotten. So, without further ado, we bring you Undrafted the network’s first Mock Draft of the 2021 NFL season.
If you want to see the Mock Draft as the picks will go then click here, and you will find the picks as we expect them to be called on the night. For a more in depth look at the picks, check out the list below and enjoy the ride with us to Cleveland.
With the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft the Jacksonville Jaguars Select…..
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence
2. New York Jets – Justin Fields
After his showing in the College Playoffs I don’t see Gang Green letting this potential Franchise changer slide past them.
3. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans) – DeVonta Smith
The best receiver in the class, his playoff performance has only solidified this. Had Ja’Marr Chase played this year maybe this would be a more difficult choice but take the hot guy.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Micah Parsons
Why would you not take the best non-QB prospect who fits a position of need if he falls into your lap. Whilst having the choice of Sewell here I see the Falcons looking for help on Defence before Offense at this pick. A QB is on the cards as well but I think they give Matt Ryan another year or two and will look to later picks or a future draft to fill that need.
*Disclaimer – this all changes if Matt Ryan is traded*
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell
Even the late season wins don’t stop the Bengals being able to take by far and away the best offensive tackle in this class. This guy Bookends the Bengals line for the next 10 years providing Burrow with fantastic protection, important when you are learning to trust your knee again.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – Ja’Marr Chase
The Eagles get the WR they need to terrorise a weak NFC East. A Pairing of him and Jalen Raegor with Jalen Hurts throwing the ball should take strides forward next year. Eagles fans now is the time to thank management for tanking in Week 17.
7. Detroit Lions – Zach Wilson
I could have gone WR here, but I see Stafford being let go and as a result freeing up cap space for the Lions to move on and take his successor. Zach Wilson has almost come from nowhere this year to establish himself as a top tier Quarterback. Many will say he sits at the QB3 spot in this draft. It was a toss-up between him, Trask and Lance here and I think Wilson is the player who most fits the Stafford shaped hole that Detroit will have.
8. Carolina Panthers – Caleb Farley
Although he opted out this year Caleb Farley still sits at CB1 in my rankings, just ahead of Surtain II. The Panthers continue to upgrade what is already a sneaky good, young defence.
9. Denver Broncos – Kwity Paye
With Von Miller potentially not returning as a cap casualty the Broncos are going to need help for Bradley Chubb off the Edge, Paye offers them this in spades. Having dominated at Collegiate level I am excited to see what he brings with him from Michigan to the next level.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Christian Darrisaw
This O-Line needs sorting, it is one of the major reasons that Zeke has looked ordinary this year. Darrisaw offers immediate starting qualities and will help to protect Dak once he returns from the gruesome injury suffered this season.
11. New York Giants – Gregory Rousseau
Whilst they came 12th in the league sack-wise (40) if Leonard Williams (11.5 sacks) ever were to go down they have no one to step up. Rousseau, a player with only one full year of college production seems to have all the skills to bring to the NFL to become a terror off the edge. He will need some refinement but for the team willing to take the chance it will be worth it sooner rather than later.
12. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Surtain II
With Richard Sherman not long for this league the 49ers will need someone to step into his role, Surtain II, many peoples top-rated CB offers the skills and leadership to do just that.
13. LA Chargers – Rashawn Slater
You have your Franchise Quarterback, let’s keep him on his feet and out of a knee brace. At 6’3” and 305lbs Slater will be able to protect Herbert and allow him to develop even more in Year 2. Playing left tackle at college he has the mechanics and the physical traits to be a success in the NFL. He stood up well against Chase Young in college however should it be that he is more suited at Guard than Tackle then this helps another need the Chargers have.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
The Vikings defence needs help, a lot of it. Owusu-Koramoah has, through the season, crept up draft boards and ended the season as the winner of the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top college Linebacker. He is a day one starter who, along with Eric Kendricks can help to turn around a once great defence.
15. New England Patriots – Kyle Pitts
The replacement for Gronk, finally? Patriots fans will hope so. Pitts has been by far the top college Tight End this year, his connection with Kyle Trask producing a not too shabby 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in 8 games. With an average yards-per-play of 17.9 yards he would seem an ideal replacement at a position where the Patriots have been in limbo for 2 years.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Shaun Wade
If Patrick Peterson is to leave Arizona, then they are bereft of options at Cornerback. Byron Murphy is not yet to the level they hoped he would be, and Shaun Wade offers tremendous upside to help out immediately. Coming off an extremely strong season at Ohio State
17. Chicago Bears (Trade with the Raiders – up from 20) – Jaylen Waddle
Needing to get ahead of Washington, the Bears, who may well be in the market for a WR if Allen Robinson doesn’t stay (let’s assume he doesn’t) trade their 2021 First and their 2022 Third to move up 3 spots to grab Waddle who should be a starting receiver for them from day 1 as long as that ankle is fully healed.
18. Miami Dolphins – Zaven Collins
After winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy this year for the nation’s best defensive player whilst playing lights out for Tulsa Collins steps in and continues his impressive rise with the Dolphins. That he came on so much in the last year should excite the fan base as they are getting a player who it would appear the game is slowing down for, and as such his development is speeding up. It’s unfair how much improvement this Dolphins team is showing the last couple of years, it doesn’t stop now.
Washington Football Team – Trey Lance
The Football Team go QB in round one again and try to erase the memory of Dwayne Haskins from their collective brains. Lance offers the highest upside of any QB (potentially including Trevor Lawrence), but he will need time to develop. This is what Alex Smith does as a bridge QB perfectly, allows a rookie to come on in their own time.
20. Las Vegas Raiders (Trade with the Bears – down from 17) – Dylan Moses
The Raiders are getting barely anything from Clelin Ferrell, and They cannot rely on Maxx Crosby alone to put pressure on opposing QB’s. Dylan Moses offers renewed hope at the position after a solid if uninspiring year at Alabama. He is a physical freak and one who could play the sideline-to-sideline role for the rest of Gruden’s contract.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Jaycee Horn
With Jacob Eason having been drafted last year and having the whole season to sit and learn I don’t see a Round 1 Quarterback on the cards for the Colts. What I do see is an extremely talented Cornerback coming along to further help solidify a young secondary.
22. Tennessee Titans – Carlos Basham Jr
5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in 6 games in 2020 is exactly what the Titans need. Clowney and Beasley were not good at all and Basham Jr offers a solution. He still needs to work on his twitch and hand speed, but this can be done once he gets to Training Camp. This is the best shot outside of expensive Free Agency the Titans have to vastly improve their Edge Rush.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) – Wyatt Davis
Although not an immediate need continued improvement of the line to protect Fields can only help. Wyatt Davis has been immense for Ohio State this year and I see no reason that he does not come along for the ride and protect his QB for another few years yet.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mac Jones
I had Travis Etienne all ready to slide in here however Mac Jones has turned heads with his Playoff performances and the Championship game shows the Steelers enough that they take him as the successor to Big Ben. Running backs are easier to acquire later one and for this reason they pivot from Etienne to the Alabama prospect.
(I would not be surprised to see them come up in the second for a RB if they start to fall)
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LA Rams) – Alex Leatherwood
Let’s get some protection for Trevor Lawrence. Alex Leatherwood has come on leaps and bounds at Alabama and should be ready to go from day one protecting the new Franchise QB in Jacksonville.
26. Cleveland Browns – Joseph Ossai
With Olivier Vernon done for the year the Browns need to help Myles Garrett out. They rely too much on Garrett and Ward and need to get hold of some other playmakers on Defence. Although a 3-4 backer at college level I can see the Browns putting him in the weight room and seeing what he can do with his hand on the floor in the 4-3 defence he would come into. If this is not a success then they have themselves one hell of an outside backer in any case, an instant upgrade over Sione Takitaki.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian Barmore
With Ndamukong Suh and Shaq Barrett both slated to be free agents this year and the Bucs unlikely able to resign them both they will need help here. Barmore is not the complete player yet and has work to do on moves other than his swim move however if a team is willing, this guy could be great.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman
The world and its grandmother know that with someone to draw coverage from Brown and Andrews the whole passing offence becomes much more dangerous. Bateman is a smooth route runner and has enough strength in his 6”1’ frame to win on the outside. He is a joy to watch off the line and I would love him to pull on the Purple and Gold.
29. New Orleans Saints – Kyle Trask
Although I have Linebacker as their top need those left are more Round 2-3 choices. Trask sits here coming off the back of a horrible last game in college, but the Saints see past that and bring him in to be the arm of the franchise for the foreseeable. The tram doesn’t need a QB to take over the game for them, just to manage it well and have an arm, Trask offers that.
30. Buffalo Bills – Samuel Cosmi
I think Matt Milano stays in Buffalo and so LB is not such a pressing concern. The area I think the Bills need to improve is the rushing game. Moss looks good and Singletary is ok, however Mitch Morse aside the O-line is nothing special, Cosmi brings experience at both tackle positions and with a frame that could use some bulking out to help anchor himself he would be an upgrade very soon into his career over Daryl Williams.
31. Green Bay Packers – Rondale Moore
Finally…finally the Packers get Rodgers some help. Late yes but Moore could be the compliment to Adams in an offence that would put the fear of God into opponents. Maybe a little late for Rodgers however Jordan Love will, well, love him. Size and strength in spades equal an extremely explosive individual.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Creed Humphrey
On a team of stars centre is an area of ‘meh’ at best. Humphrey would come in as a day 1 starter in my eyes and provide an upgrade over Austin Reiter. A leader in college Humphrey represents the start of building a line to protect Mahomes for the next 10 years. His history as a wrestler gives him a good anchor and he should quickly be up to speed keeping opposition interior D line guys from breaking through to get after Mahomes.