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Murray’s mock draft, “Predict the Pick” style

Way back in the 2016 draft I entered NFL’s “Predict the Pick” for the first time. That night I went on a rollercoaster of emotions, finishing the night 7th in the world. SEVENTH. My mate and I sitting at the edge of my bed wired up on red bull, dreaming of winning tickets to Super Bowl LI. Getting the first 10 picks spot on and getting slightly lucky with some trades, at one point I was joint 1st. Unfortunately I got nothing for finishing 7th except now becoming absolutely hooked to the first round of the draft, trying to improve my knowledge on college football players year after year. Here is my first mock Predict the Pick of the 2021 draft, hopefully the 32 owners will agree with my picks.

I will be putting players in the position I think they will be drafted even if the team trades their pick. For example Atlanta Falcons at 4, may trade their pick to a team that needs a QB or may pick themselves. Either way I will put the player I believe will go at 4 in that position. In NFL Predict the Pick you get it right for having the player there not the team. #1 in the world incoming.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence – QB

With the first pick of the 2021 draft Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence, which comes as no surprise. This pick I feel has been cemented since Lawrence won the National Championship as a freshman. With his pro day showing nothing else but an extremely talented QB, there is no other player going in the number 1 spot.   

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson – QB

Well after Darnold going to the Panthers for a deal that works out for player and team, this one has gone from a debatable trade to a Wilson lock. I have no doubt Wilson will be the second QB off the board and will be interesting what new coach Robert Saleh, can achieve with Wilson, that he thought he couldn’t with Darnold.

3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance – QB

Now I don’t get why all of a sudden Mac Jones has flown up on a lot of mock drafts. Personally, Lance and Fields easily go off the board before Jones. 49ers trading up has caused a lot of discussion but I believe they play it safe and take Lance.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields – QB

Now this is the one where I have no idea what team is going to be here come Draft night. There are a number of teams that need a QB and with Fields still on the board, I imagine the Falcons’ phone will be ringing non-stop up until the 4th pick. Even if the Falcons don’t trade their pick I think they’ll take Fields, even if it’s to sit behind Ryan for a year.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell – OL

The next two picks will be Sewell and Chase I have no doubt, the order they go in is the question. While Burrow and Chase have already shown what they can do together, there’s no point having a WR if you can’t get the throw off without getting sacked. The Bengals are in desperate need for an offensive lineman and that’s why I think they’ll take Sewell.

6. Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase – WR

With the Bengals taking Sewell it makes Miami’s pick easy. With Chase sitting out last season it’s easy to forget how good he is. 1,720 yards and 20 TD’s with an older Justin Jefferson on the team is just incredible. Miami could take Pitts here but I don’t see them passing on Chase.

Credit: Thomas Graning/Associated Press

7. Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle – WR

The Lions have lost their #1 and #2 WR this off season and that’s why they have to take a WR. The reason I think they’ll take Waddle over Smith is down to Waddle’s special team’s ability. Waddle averaged 24.4 yards per return in college, scoring on both punt and kick-off returns. The Lions are rebuilding and this is a great place to start.

More: The 2021 Undrafted Fans Draft – Undrafted – The Network

8. Carolina Panthers – Kyle Pitts – TE

Since Greg Olsen left the Panthers they have been in need of a franchise TE, Pitts is without a doubt that guy.  Pitts looks to have been made in the same lab as D.K Metcalf, the 6ft 6” 246 pounder running an unofficial 4.46. Pitts has been a mismatch throughout college and looks like it’ll be the same in the NFL. Panthers have their latest weapon to add to new QB, Sam Darnold’s arsenal.

9. Denver Broncos – Micah Parsons – LB

After sorting out their secondary in the free agency, signing cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller along with franchise tagging safety Justin Simmons. The Broncos strengthen their line-backer group with Micah Parsons. While they could be one of the teams to trade up to the number 4 spot, Parsons is an every down player that will be an instant starter for the Broncos and that’s why he’ll go at 9.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II – CB

Surtain II is 1 of 3 CB’s to go in the next ten picks, and the order is up for discussion. In my opinion the 2020 SEC defensive player of the year will be the first to go. This is a much needed addition to the Cowboys defence, looking to clinch the top spot in a competitive NFC East after a lacklustre 2020 season.

11. New York Giants – Rashawn Slater – OL

Could this be the missing piece on offence for the Giants? With their new WR Golladay, QB Daniel Jones and returning stud running back Saquon Barkley, Slater is a safe pick to strengthen the Giants offensive line.

12. Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith – WR

As it stands Zach Ertz is still playing for the Eagles next season, which is why I think they were happy to trade with Miami to move back to 12th and miss out on Pitts. While the fans may not be happy with missing out on Pitts, 2020 Heisman winner DeVonta Smith will certainly soften the blow. The only thing that worries me about Smith going to the Eagles is it’s the sensible choice, and history shows Eagles don’t like going with the obvious. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers – Jaycee Horn – CB

The Chargers have strengthened up their offensive line in the off season, splashing the cash on now highest paid centre, Corey Linsley and guard Matt Fieler. Therefore I think they’ll look at their secondary and pick up Horn, who could well be the best CB of the draft.

14. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL

Vera-Tucker is a positional flexibility dream, being able to play across the whole offensive line. This is exactly what the Vikings need to open up more gaps for Cook to exploit.

15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones – QB

It’s clear to me that the Patriots didn’t really want to re-sign Cam, only offering him another one year contract proves this. Bill Belichick has gone all out this off season, signing what feels like every player that went into the free agency. With half of their defence opting out last season the Patriots could mean serious business this coming season. With Mac Jones learning the Patriots way while sitting behind Newton, can only be a good thing. Mac could then become the #1 QB after a few games.

Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

16. Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley – CB

Having lost their 8 x pro bowler Patrick Peterson in the free agency to Minnesota Vikings, Farley is the perfect replacement for Cardinals. Farley may not be their top CB of choice but they’ll be grateful that one of the top 3 CB’s is still left for them to pick.

17. Los Angeles Raiders – Jayson Oweh – Edge

At 257 pounds, 6FT 5” Oweh ran a 4.36 which is ridiculously good. He is a raw talent that only started playing football in his junior year of high school. This could easily be looked back on in a few years as the pick of the draft. 

18. Miami Dolphins – Christian Darrisaw – OL

Now they’ve got their future in Tua, it’s time to protect him. Darrisaw will slot right in and is good to go from the off. Dolphins could risk it and try take him later on in the draft but I think he’ll be gone by then.

19. Washington Football Team – Kadarius Toney – WR

Just missing out on Darrisaw I believe the WFT will switch it up and go for Toney, beefing up their receiver core. Toney also took snaps as a running back in college and with Samuel doing the same for Panthers last season, this duo could create many trick play opportunities for WFT.

20. Chicago Bears – Teven Jenkins – OL

The Bears simply have to get a better offensive line and Jenkins is a good start. While some think he isn’t a first rounder, Jenkins certainly has a high ceiling and will fit right in to the Bears offence.

21. Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye – Edge

Going into the draft one of the major weaknesses the Colts have, is lack of talent in the edge rusher position. Picking up Paye will sort that right out and while they could take an offensive lineman, still on the board at 21, Paye would be very hard for the Colts to pass on.

Michigan Football: Kwity Paye skyrocketing up 2021 NFL Draft boards - Page 2
Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

22. Tennessee Titans – Zaven Collins – LB

This versatile linebacker can play pretty much anywhere. Inside, outside, rush and pass defender if needed. While Titans don’t necessarily need Collins I think they’ll take him. This is where Predict the Pick can be won or lost. The last few picks are nearly impossible to pick so why not go with your gut, and for me I think Collins to Titans will be the one that comes as a surprise.

23. New York Jets – Najee Harris – RB

Having sorted out their QB dilemma and selecting Wilson, the Jets will now have their franchise RB as well. While this draft isn’t blessed with top tier running backs, Harris in my opinion is the best of the bunch. At pick 23 the Jets will be happy to pick up their instant starter.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Travis Etienne – RB

Having just watched the Jets pick Harris I think the Steelers will panic and take Etienne. There is a drastic drop off after the top 3 running backs, and the Steelers will swiftly pick up Etienne with Conner leaving as a free agent. Etienne impressed on his pro day and it is a debate between whether Harris or Etienne will go first. In Predict the Pick if they’re picked within one place of where you placed them, you’ll get some points and we all know points mean prizes.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig – S

With the best safety in the draft still available at 25, the Jaguars strengthen up their defence with Moehrig adding depth to their secondary. Moehrig is one of the more obvious picks for me if he’s still available for the Jags.

26. Cleveland Browns – Jaelan Phillips – DL

After strengthening their secondary in the free agency, Browns give some much needed help to Garrett in the shape of Phillips. Phillips recently had his pro day and impressed in every event, the 40 yard dash where he recorded a 4.56 was the standout. He had a breakout season and with his pro day, Phillips will be a great pick.

27. Baltimore Ravens – Gregory Rousseau – Edge

After opting out of the 2020 season, Rousseau is still a first round pick albeit not as high as he could’ve been. Recording 15.5 sacks, 54 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, Rousseau will fit straight into the Ravens defence after Judon and Ngakoue departing.

28. New Orleans Saints- Greg Newsome II – CB

After a disappointing end to last season and losing their franchise QB, the Saints will select Newsome to add some depth to their secondary to try and get themselves back to the promised land, the Super Bowl. With Newsome still available this late in the first round, I can’t see the Saints passing up this opportunity.

29. Green Bay Packers – Rondale Moore – WR

Taking some of the weight off Adams shoulders, Packers select Moore. More seriously impressed in his pro day with a 42.5 vertical jump and a 4.29 40 yard dash. Imagine what league MVP Rodgers could do if he had a genuine WR2 lined up next to Adams.

Q&A With Rondale Moore: NFL Draft, Where He Ranks In WR Class
Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

30. Buffalo Bills – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB

Owusu-Koramoah is a versatile linebacker that can cover any player he’ll line up against. Jeremiah can slot in many different positions, helping strengthen multiple areas of the defence, with only costing the Bills one pick.

31. Kansas City Chiefs – Christian Barmore – DL

Lining up next to Chris Jones for the Chiefs, Barmore could really help the Chiefs become more of an all-round team. The Chiefs defence only tends to turn up in the play offs, not that it seems to be a problem when you have Mahomes week in week out. Barmore is probably the best player available at this point, adding to the reasoning behind picking him.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jalen Mayfield – OL

To be honest the Buccs could pick a kicker here and I wouldn’t bat an eye lid. Jalen Mayfield can play tackle and guard and would bring some competition to the table from the off. If they really are running it back why not get some more protection for Brady.

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