2021 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
This has 100% been Urban Meyer’s first pick as the head coach for the Jags since Jacksonville “won” the first overall selection, finishing with a 1-15 record.
2) New York Jets – Zach Wilson QB BYU
The Jets get their next franchise QB here with the right-handed lite version of Steve Young out of BYU. His ability to whip the ball downfield while buying time out of pocket is special.
3) San Francisco 49ers (from HOU through MIA) - Mac Jones QB Alabama
Speaking of Steve Young, the Niners give Jimmy G the boot and select Alabama QB, Mac Jones. We see shades of Tom Brady in Mac Jones. Despite the backlash from fans and many sports pundits, that probably never played a snap in their life, Mac Jones has displayed nothing but success. His maturity to go through multiple reads, the experience in a pro-style offense (Steve Sarkisian OC), the ability to make any throw and place the ball with pinpoint accuracy makes San Francisco an immediate Super Bowl contender with the skill players already in place in The Bay.
4) Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts TE Florida
No brainer here. Kyle Pitts is a once in a generation TE talent. It’s hard to even describe him as a TE because of his fluidity in and out of cuts and speed. He looks more like a big slot WR than the average NFL TE.
5) Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell OT Oregon
The Bengals have to address their offensive line here, especially with their franchise QB, Joe Burrow, going down for the season last year due to injury on a sack. Sewell is the top OT on the board and the Bengals add another layer of protection for the franchise QB.
6) Miami Dolphins (from PHI) - Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
This pick would be a surprise to most based on all the mock drafts flying around, but with Alabama alum on our staff we have that real insider insight. Jamar Chase would be the obvious choice, but we think Miami’s front office is committed to Tua Tagovailoa and adding a former Alabama teammate as the new go-to offensive weapon makes too much sense. Yes, this could easily be Devonta Smith, but Waddle showed shades of Tyreek Hill during his time in Tuscaloosa, and we believe Miami finds extra value in his ability to return punts and will find ways to creatively get him the ball on the offensive side.
7) Detroit Lions - Jamar Chase WR LSU
The Lions need to add playmakers to make the transition to a new team and system easier for Jared Goff. Jamar Chase could easily be the first WR off the board, but we believe he slips to the Lions, giving Detroit the best downfield threat and YAC man since Calvin Johnson retired.
8) Carolina Panthers - Justin Fields QB OSU (Possible TRADE with WFT or Pats)
This has potential as the first trade up for a QB hungry team, i.e. New England and Washington, but we aren’t mocking trades here. So, despite the Darnold trade, we believe the Panthers are going to add a future franchise QB, especially with Darnold’s 5th year contract option coming up on May 3rd. Justin Fields has always had the physical tools to be a big time NFL QB, but his ability to buy time and take off for the first down with his legs intrigues Carolina enough to take him with their first round selection. Carolina also traded Teddy Bridgewater one day before the draft. Hint, hint.
9) Denver Broncos - Patrick Surtain CB Alabama (Possible TRADE with WFT or Pats)
Our draft insiders had the pleasure of getting to work with HC Vic Fangio when he was leading the best defense in the league in San Francisco during their Super Bowl run back in 2012-2013. There have been plenty of rumors here about Denver possibly taking a QB, but between Drew Lock and new acquisition, Teddy Bridgewater, it’s hard to imagine Fangio not pounding the table for the best possible defensive back. This allows Fangio to play 1-on-1 press coverage on the outside while letting his creative blitz packages create extra pressure up front. This is also the second spot we could envision a trade back with New England and Washington to move up for Justin Fields or Trey Lance.
10) Dallas Cowboys - Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina – (Possible TRADE with WFT or Pats)
This is the third and final chance for New England or Washington to trade up for Lance or Fields. But this is Jerry’s world, so trading back might not be in Big Jerry’s nature, especially with an in-division opponent in Washington. If Dallas stays pat Jerry will be targeting the top available CB to pair with last year’s 2nd Round breakout CB Trevon Diggs (Yes, Stefon Diggs’ younger brother). Jaycee Horn would be the top available CB if Patrick Surtain is selected by Denver. Horn is a big physical playmaker out of South Carolina that will be much needed in order to match up with the likes of Scary Terry in DC and the Giants next selection.
11) New York Giants - Devonta Smith WR Alabama
As we mentioned earlier with Miami’s 6th overall pick, Devonta could get snatched up by Miami. Whether it’s Smith or Waddle, the Giants are going with one of the two Bama gamechangers. Yes, Devonta checked in at 166 lbs. at Alabama’s Pro Day, but that didn’t stop him from hauling in 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 TDs on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. No matter his weight he became the first WR to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard did it way back when the world wide web was just in its infancy in 1991.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (from SF through MIA) – Caleb Farley CB VA Tech
Every year it feels like Philly is trying to find its next franchise CB. The Eagles get a good one here in Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley. With three top end offensive lineman on the board (Slater, Vera-Tucker and Darrisaw), it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Philly add some protection up front to help second year QB Jalen Hurts.
13) Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern OT
The Chargers found the future at QB with Justin Herbert in last year’s draft. Now they look to secure his blindside for the next 5 years with Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater. Slater has been moving up draft boards around the league the past few weeks. Christian Darrisaw could also be the pick here depending on who the Chargers prefer.
14) Minnesota Vikings - Alijah Vera-Tucker G USC
The Vikings are looking to shore up their offensive front to provide pocket-passer, Kirk Cousins, more time to survey defenses. Vera-Tucker has been deemed one of the safest picks in the draft and Minnesota benefits in both the passing and run game with this pick.
15) New England Patriots – Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
Rumors have been swirling the past 24 hours that New England is in talks to rework Jimmy Garoppolo’s deal in order to complete a trade, bringing Jimmy Grapes back to the team that originally drafted him out of Eastern Illinois in the second round of the 2014 draft. If this doesn’t happen we fully expect Billy B to try to land his next franchise QB with Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. Lance has his questions marks having never faced top D-1 competition, accuracy concerns and his ability to go through multiple reads, but the alternative is Cam Newton? We saw how that worked out last season.
16) Arizona Cardinals – Christian Darrisaw OT VA Tech
Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals are trending up. So, what better way to take the next step forward and protect your key asset with Christian Darrisaw to bookend Murray’s blindside. Darrisaw gave up a grand total of 0 sacks and 6 QB pressures in 2020.
17) Las Vegas Raiders – Trevon Moehrig S TCU
The Raiders have been drafting defensive backs at the top of the draft for years with not much success to show for it. Chuckie gets the top Safety on the board here at 17. Moehrig is a ballhawk, recording four picks and two forced fumbles in 2019 and two INTs in 2020.
18) Miami Dolphins – Najee Harris RB Alabama
Once again, we believe the Dolphins are going to give Tua Tagovailoa every opportunity to succeed in Miami, hence another Alabama playmaker here to pair with Jaylen Waddle earlier in the first. Harris was another horse RB in the Alabama backfield. His ability to run with patience, the extreme lateral movement capability and his hands in the passing game remind us of a young Le’Veon Bell.
19) Washington Football Team – Micah Parsons LB PSU
We know, we know, Washington fans want a franchise QB, but we don’t think Ron Rivera will allow the infamous DC front office (cough, cough Dan Snyder) to dictate the draft. So, if the Football Team stays pat, and the draft falls this way, Rivera would be ecstatic to land Micah Parsons at 19. Rivera had a great play-caller in the middle of his defense in Carolina with Luke Kuechkly. The Burgundy and Gold has had success in the past drafting MLB’s with the jersey #11 out of Penn State (Lavar Arrington). Parsons ran a 4.4 40 yard dash at his pro day, and reminds us of another DC high school stud MLB out of Penn State – NaVorro Bowman.
20) Chicago Bears – Kwity Paye DE Michigan
Paye might end up going much earlier than 20, as his name has been swirling around NFL inner circles with a thin pass-rusher class. Chicago would be thrilled to see Paye drop to them here at 20.
21) Indianapolis Colts – Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
The Colts need more weapons on the outside and Moore fits that bill. Take a guess which SEC team he put this stat line up against last season – 11 receptions for 143 yards. That’s right, Moore had that monster game against none other than the Nick Saban coached secondary of the Crimson Tide.
22) Tennessee Titans – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ILB Notre Dame
Another team with a defensive-minded head coach in Mike Vrabel, Tennessee can deploy the versatile Owusu-Koramoah at multiple positions in different packages. This is an athletic linebacker than can run sideline to sideline and matchup to cover in the slot.
23) New York Jets (from SEA) – Kadarius Toney WR Florida
The J-E-T-S Jets get another pick in the first round and look to give their new franchise QB, Zach Wilson, an explosive playmaker with Toney. Toney can start and stop on the dime and runs after the catch with ferocity.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers – Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
The Steelers wanted Najee Harris here, but will be happy to settle for a possible cornerstone OT with Teven Jenkins out of Oklahoma State. Big Ben isn’t getting any younger or more agile, so Jenkins helps shore up that offensive line for another year or two for Roethlisberger.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) – Terrace Marshall Jr. WR LSU
Often overshadowed by Jamar Chase, Marshall is no joke. One of the other LSU receivers that helped LSU win its 2019 National Championship with Joe Burrow at the helm. Like the Jets, the Jags find a first round WR to pair with their new first round franchise QB.
26) Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins OLB Tulsa
Yes, the Browns defensive ends are Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney (Scary! Especially if Garrett has a helmet in his hand to wield as a weapon). So, imagine adding 6’5 260 lbs. Collins to the edge behind either Garrett or Clowney. Yeah, the Browns roster is stacked. Those words may have never been put in the same sentence before. Ever.
27) Baltimore Ravens – Travis Etienne RB Clemson
The Ravens are in a transition period at RB after letting Mark Ingram walk this offseason. Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins combined for 1,300 yards, but Etienne adds juice and explosiveness that Baltimore just doesn’t have in its backfield. Adding Etienne to the shotgun RPO offense with Lamar Jackson should keep defensive coordinators up at night.
28) New Orleans Saints – Gregory Rousseau DE Miami
At 6’7 270 lbs., Rousseau’s a monster with elite quickness off the edge. In 2019 he finished second in the country behind Chase Young with 15.5 sacks. He might be the best edge rusher in this class.
29) Green Bay Packers – Jamin Davis ILB Kentucky
When you find a LB with the name Jamin, you don’t ask questions, you just draft him. That’s what the Packers will do here. But seriously, Davis’ natural instincts and athleticism in the middle are what make him a first round pick.
30) Buffalo Bills – Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
Phillips is an intriguing evaluation. Having retired at UCLA after a scooter accident and then a concussion, Phillips transferred to Miami and showed out, earning Second Team AP All American honors. A true boom or bust prospect.
31) Baltimore Ravens (from KC) – Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
The Ravens add another weapon for Lamar Jackson with the Gopher standout, WR Rashod Bateman. Naturally under the radar with all the first round receivers, this WR class is one of the best in recent memory, and Bateman adds to that sentiment. Bateman is a master at going up for the jump ball at the high point with strong hands, which translates at all levels.
32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Azeez Ojulari OLB Georgia
Much like the Browns (still can’t believe I’m saying that), the Bucs have a stacked roster. The rich get richer and select LB Azeez Ojulari out of Georgia. Ojulari already has what it takes to set the edge as a 3-4 OLB. He needs some development from a coverage and pass rush standpoint, but he can work on that as long as Brady and Tampa’s offense is running up the score.