2021 Mock Draft - The First Round

Title Photo: Elite Sports NY


The NFL Draft is coming up at the end of the month, so I decided to get into the mock draft action. So, here is what I think the first round could look like.

Photo: PFF

Pick 1 - Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB - Clemson


Come on. Do I need to explain this? Lawrence is the best QB to come out of college since Andrew Luck. Tank for Trevor worked, Duval.


NFL Comparison - Andrew Luck


Pick 2 - Jets - Zack Wilson, QB - BYU


The Jets are high on Wilson’s ability to make plays like another Wilson (Russell). He has a big arm, mobility, and the perfect mentality to play in the NFL. If the Jets don’t mess his career up, then he could become the best QB in the league.


NFL Comparison - Patrick Mahomes


Pick 3 - 49ers - Trey Lance, QB - NDSU


The Kyle Shanahan system is an easy system for a QB. Lance has raw playmaking abilities, and would fit in well with the rest of the team. The Niners are a QB away from the Super Bowl, and all Lance would have to do is be a quality game manager, and make plays when need be.


NFL Comparison - Russell Wilson

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Pick 4 - Panthers - Justin Fields, QB - Ohio State


*Trade* Panthers receive: Pick 4 - Falcons receive: Picks 8, 73, 193, 226, and CAR 2022 1st, 4th, and 7th.


A rare in-division trade. The Falcons don’t need a QB yet, as Matt Ryan is still a high-end signal-caller, and there is no Chase Young-type defender in the draft, so Fields isn’t an option. The Panthers on the other hand want him, as he is a master at creating game-breaking plays. They are wasting Robby Anderson, and DJ Moore. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a savior. Fields brings intrigue, and a good arm to the NFL level. The presence of Christian McCaffrey aids his development, as well.


NFL Comparison - Deshaun Watson


Pick 5 - Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT - Oregon


Joe Burrow’s season ended in the pocket. So why not draft the best tackle in the draft to give him more protection. Sewell opted out of 2020, but before that, he was able to keep Justin Herbert clean. Bengals fans love this pick.


NFL Comparison - Mitchell Schwartz


Pick 6 - Dolphins - Ja’Marr Chase, WR - LSU


Trade back, and get the best WR in the class! Sign me up, says Brian Flores! Chase is better than Justin Jefferson, last season’s best rookie wideout. Tua gets a much-needed number one guy.


NFL Comparison - Stefon Diggs


Pick 7 - Lions - Devonta Smith, WR - Alabama


Losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency diminishes the number of weapons for Jared Goff. Enter the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner. Smith can do it all, and will instantly become the top dog for Detroit.


NFL Comparison - Davante Adams


Pick 8 - Patriots - Jaylen Waddle, WR - Alabama


*Trade* Patriots receive: Pick 8 - Falcons receive: Picks 15, 120, 177, 242, and NE 2022 1st.


The Patriots miss out on a QB. But if the QB has nobody to throw to, how will he succeed? I know that they added Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne, but the final two aren’t go-to-guys. Waddle is arguably better than Devonta Smith, and can burn the top off of defenses. Cam Newton is smiling right now.


NFL Comparison - Tyreek Hill


Pick 9 - Broncos - Patrick Surtain II, CB - Alabama


The Broncos secondary is old, and needs fresh blood. Surtain is the best cover guy in the draft. Pairing him up with ball hawk safety Justin Simmons is what every Denver fan wants.

Photo: Matthew Hinton / Associated Press

Pick 10 - Cowboys - Rashawn Slater, OT - Northwestern


Dem ‘Boys line is old, and needs a Tyron Smith replacement fast. Slater is the best tackle in the draft, outside of Sewell. Letting him sit one season, and then unleashing him in year two is what Dallas should do.


NFL Comparison - Stephon Gilmore


Pick 11 - Giants - Kyle Pitts, TE - Florida


New York doesn’t need another TE, but the NFL has never seen a guy like Pitts. As big as Gronk, hands like Kittle, and as fast as a wide receiver. The Giants are building up a great offense, with Saquon, Kenny Golladay, and now Pitts.


NFL Comparison - There is none. He’s just that special.


Pick 12 - Eagles - Jaycee Horn, CB - South Carolina


Darius Slay needs help behind him. Horn is a perfect match with the Eagles. He doesn’t have to be the top cover man, and can learn from Slay, who is a versatile DB. In 2-3 years, the two could be the next most feared duo.


NFL Comparison - Byron Jones


Pick 13 - Chargers - Christian Darrisaw, OT - Va. Tech


This pick is all about protecting Herbert. While Justin would love to have his former teammate, Sewell protecting him, Darrisaw isn’t a slouch. He is 6’5” 313 lbs, which makes him a beautiful blindside protector. He can learn from veteran Byran Bulaga, and the two can anchor the line.


NFL Comparison - David Bakhtiari


Pick 14 - Vikings - Micah Parsons, LB - Penn State


While a cornerback is in play here, Parsons is the mold for the next linebacker in the NFL. He can play on the edge, and in coverage. He can stop runs. He can pick passes, and force fumbles. Parenting him up with Eric Kendricks is every defensive coordinator’s dream.


NFL Comparison - Devin White


Pick 15 - Falcons - Azeez Ojuleri, EDGE - Georgia


Atlanta needs help on the edge really badly. The Takk Mckinley experiment went south, and now they are looking for some help. Ojuleri is arguably the best pass-rusher in the class, and can innately help. He is violent, can plug runs, and get to the passer, the way an EDGE rusher has to these days.


NFL Comparison - Jadeveon Clowney

Photo: Sports Talk ATL

Pick 16 - Cardinals - Greg Newsome II, CB - Northwestern


With Caleb Farley rehabbing from back surgery, and Arizona needing help here fast, they go with the Northwestern Pro-Day darling Newsome. His draft stock has been rising, due to a great Pro-Day. He can deliver some help in a rebuild secondary.


NFL Comparison - JC Jackson


Pick 17 - Raiders - Christian Barmore, DT - Alabama


Yep, another Alabama prospect. Las Vegas’ defense is horrible, and they need help on the interior of the defensive line. Why not draft the best guy at that position. Barmore is a monster to say the least. He wreaks havoc, and would fit well with Maxx Crosby, on the defensive line.


NFL Comparison - Jonathan Allen


Pick 18 - Dolphins - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG - USC


Tua needs more protection, as the Isaiah Wilson trade didn’t work at all. Vera-Tucker has the unique ability to play at both guards and center, occasionally. The Fins line is coming to form.


NFL Comparison - Joe Thuney


Pick 19 - WFT - Mac Jones, QB - Alabama


With the signing of Curtis Samuel, WR is no longer in play here. The WFT is a quarterback away from success, so why not draft the best one available? He can learn behind Ryan Fitzmagic, and could become a solid starter.


NFL Comparison - Ryan Tannehill

Photo: USA TODAY / Patriots Wire

Pick 20 - Bears - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB - Notre Dame


Da Bears could go so many ways with this pick. Trade, CB, WR, O-line, etc. But JOK is like Parsons, and is very versatile. With Roquan Smith already on board, the linebackers for Chigaco could start challenging the Bucs for best MLB’s.


NFL Comparison - Devin Bush


Pick 21 - Colts - Rashod Bateman, WR - Minnesota


Parris Campbell is a bust. T.Y. Hilton is old. Carson Wentz would benefit from the drafting of Bateman, as it would give him another young weapon alongside Michael Pittman, Jr, and running backs Johnathan Taylor, Marlon Mack, and Nyheim Hines.


NFL Comparison - AJ Brown


Pick 22 - Titans - Caleb Farley, CB - Va. Tech


If Tennessee is getting the pre-back injury Farley, then this is a huge steal. Faley is arguably the best CB in the draft. He would help the Titans leaky secondary in an instant (he does have to get healthy first).


NFL Comparison - Xaiven Howard



Pick 23 - Jets - Travis Etienne, RB - Clemson


Etienne is a dazzling playmaker with the ball in his hands. Najee Harris is an option here, but Travis is just more of a two-way threat. Etienne in the backfield gives New York the ability to finally run the ball well.


NFL Comparison - Alvin Kamara

Photo: USA TODAY / Bills Wire

Pick 24 - Steelers - Najee Harris, RB - Alabama


When you think of Steelers running backs you think; Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Le’Veon Bell. All are big, strong, powerful runners, with Bell being able to catch the ball well. Harris is all three combined. He can carry the Steelers’ offense, and make them look good (they are average).


NFL Comparison - Derrick Henry, with better hands


Pick 25 - Jaguars - Kwity Paye, EDGE - Michigan


The Jags do have Josh Allen, and K’Lavon Chaisson, but Paye is a darn good player as well. They can shift Allen inside, and recreate the sack in Sacksonville.


NFL Comparison - Chase Winovich


Pick 26 - Browns - Jamin Davis, LB - Kentucky


The Browns can go a number of ways here, but with some weakness at middle linebacker, they solve it here. Davis doesn’t have to be a star, just a good solid player, who can help the team win ball games.


NFL Comparison - Rashaan Evans


Pick 27 - Ravens - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE - Miami


Losing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakuoe hurt big time. Rousseau, despite only playing one full season of college ball, is the perfect guy for them. He won’t get double-teamed, and will be able to rush the passer, and help stop runs on the outside.


NFL Comparison - A less explosive Chase Young


Pick 28 - Saints - Terrace Marshall, WR - LSU


The Saints have been trying to find a Robin for their Batman, Michael Thomas. Marshall is the perfect guy for the job. He was behind Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson, during LSU’s title run, and was still able to get 671 receiving yards.


NFL Comparison - DK Metcalf


Pick 29 - Packers - Kadarius Toney, WR - Florida


Like New Orleans, Green Bay has been trying to find a sidekick for their superhero, Davante Adams. Toney fits the bill for this job, as he was Kyle Trask’s second option at Florida, behind Kyle Pitts. Toney can spread the field, and burn the top of off defenses. Exactly what Aaron Rodgers wants.


NFL Comparison - A faster Keenan Allen

Photo: USA TODAY / Gators Wire

Pick 30 - Bills - Joseph Ossai, EDGE - Texas


Buffalo could go with a WR here, to address so depth behind Stefon Diggs, but their EDGE rushers are getting up there age-wise, so why not build for the future. Ossai is a great outside rusher who can disrupt the QB from any angle of pursuit.


NFL Comparison - Montez Sweat


Pick 31 - Chiefs - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB - Syracuse


The offensive line is also a big priority, but the KC secondary was getting roasted like a Thanksgiving turkey in the Super Bowl, so help is needed. L’Jarius Sneed is a good player, but behind him, there isn’t much. Melifonwu is a solid cover guy, capable of playing both zone and man-to-man well. He has the potential to become a traveling cornerback (where a DB follows one single WR the whole game).


NFL Comparison - Malcolm Butler


Pick 32 - Buccaneers - Pat Freiermuth, TE - Penn State


The Bucs are year-to-year with Gronk, and he isn’t the same guy catching the football. OJ Howard is coming off a torn Achilles, and will be a free agent after 2021. Cameron Brate is old, and overpaid. Freiermuth is a bit of a reach, but he is worth the risk for this team. He is 6’5” 260 lbs, the perfect Tom Brady tight end.


NFL Comparison - Hunter Henry

This is what I think the first round may look like. I will be coming out with another first-round-only mock, around a week to 10 days before the draft will happen. Also, with there being so many great wide receivers in this draft, check out my blog on ranking the best wideouts in the class. Thanks for reading!

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