2021 NFL Draft - The First Round 2.0

Title Photo: Associated Press


The NFL Draft is next Thursday. After the Sam Darnold, and Orlando Brown Jr. trades, there is a big switch for many teams’ goals for the draft. Here is my second, and final, full first-round mock draft.

Photo: PFF

Pick 1 - Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson


I don’t need to explain this pick. Tank for Trevor worked.


NFL Comparison - Andrew Luck


Pick 2 - Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU


This is almost as sure as the Trevor pick. The Jets LOVE Wilson’s skills, especially his ability to make plays, and his arm strength.


NFL Comparison - Patrick Mahomes


Pick 3 - 49ers (From MIA, via HOU) - Trey Lance, QB, NDSU


Mac Jones’ name has been thrown around with the Niners, but I believe that Lance is the best fit. He has raw athleticism, can make every throw, and is tailor-made for the Kyle Shanahan system. If they pick him, they will reap the rewards for years to come.


NFL Comparison - Russell Wilson


Pick 4 - Patriots (Mock Trade from ATL) - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State


*Trade Alert! NE gets: Pick 4, ATL gets: Picks 15, 46, 120, 139, 188, and 242, along with 2022 NE 1st round, 3rd round, and 4th round picks*


This may be a little too much for the Patriots to give up, but it is worth it for Fields. He can learn from another mobile QB, Cam Newton. The problem for the Pats will be the lack of top-100 picks, but they have a solid roster, and just need a QB like this.


NFL Comparison - Deshaun Watson

Photo: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Pick 5 - Bengals - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU


In my last draft, I had the Bengals picking Penei Sewell, but I go with the LSU reunion here. Chase will form a terrific trio, with Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins. This draft is stacked with tackles, so Cinci can land one in the second round. Here they get the best WR in the draft.


NFL Comparison - Stefon Diggs


Pick 6 - Dolphins (From PHI) - Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama


The Fins are fine with “settling” for the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, Smith. We see a Bama reunion, with Tua and Smith. Smith is lighting quick, and would provide instant help towards the passing game.


NFL Comparison - Davante Adams


Pick 7 - Lions - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama


Losing Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones to free agency was a crusher, as there isn’t much for Jared Goff to do with the ball. Enter Jaylen Waddle. The fastest man in the draft will instantly become the number one guy for Detroit.


NFL Comparison - Tyreek Hill

Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Pick 8 - Panthers - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon


Now that they have their QB of the near future in Sam Darnold, they get some protection for him. Carolina could go with Kyle Pitts here, as tight end is a need, but the o-line is important, and Sewell is the best one available.


NFL Comparison - Trent Williams


Pick 9 - Chargers (Mock Trade from DEN) - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern


*Trade Alert! LAC gets: Pick 9, DEN gets: Picks 13, 77, and 185 along with LAC 2021 1st round, and 6th round picks*


Rather than settling for Christian Darrisaw, L.A. goes out and trades with a division rival, the Broncos, and picks Slater. Slater is the best OT, outside of Sewell and will provide Justin Herbert with protection for years to come.


NFL Comparison - Terron Armstead


Pick 10 - Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama


Dallas could go with the offensive line, but their secondary was atrocious last year. Surtain will instantly gell with former Crimson Tide teammate, Trevon Diggs, and provide some much-needed help. They can address the safety position with their second-round pick.


NFL Comparison - Stephon Gilmore


Pick 11 - Giants - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida


Pitts is a monster. He is a TE, with a wideouts hands, and speed as well. Though the Giants don’t need a tight end, as they have Evan Engram, Pitts is too tough to pass up.


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


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


The Eagles have a number one corner, but you can’t have enough quality cover men. Horn gives them that. In a division where there are pass catchers like Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Kenny Golladay, Philly will need Horn.


NFL Comparison - Byron Jones

Photo: Michael Wade / Icon Sportswire

Pick 13 - Broncos (Mock Trade from LAC) - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State


*Go to pick 9 for trade details*


Parsons is a beast. He can rush the passer, play coverage from any angle, and is great at stopping the run. Vic Fangio gets his Roquan Smith (from his Chicago days) that he craves.


NFL Comparison - Devin White


Pick 14 - Vikings - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Va. Tech


The Vikes offensive line is horrible. So why not add Darrisaw, who is 6’5'' 313 lbs, to be one of Kirk Cousins’ protectors? He is a good tackle, who could be a mainstay on the line for years to come.


NFL Comparison - David Bakhtiari


Pick 15 - Falcons (Mock Trade from NE) - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama


*Go to pick 4 for trade details*


Now, if Justin Fields was available at 4th overall, why trade back to take Mac Jones? Well, the answer is: Fields wouldn’t start in Atlanta, because of Matt Ryan, and neither will Jones. Since the Falcons are in rebuild mode, they trade back to get a QB of the future, and get assets for their rebuild, including an extra first-rounder. Jones is also a good signal-caller, so he isn’t that much of a downgrade.


NFL Comparison - Ryan Tannehill


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


With the release of Patrick Peterson, the Cards need young corners. They have Byron Murphy, but they need more than just him. Newsome is a safer pick than Caleb Farley, due to the latter’s back injury. My gut tells me that Arizona wants to be aggressive, and want to win now, so Newsome is the pick.


NFL Comparison - JC Jackson

Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images

Pick 17 - Raiders - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia


The Raiders have Maxx Crosby, but he isn’t enough. Ojulari is possibly the best EDGE rusher in this draft. Pairing the two would be very dangerous, as they are both high-risk, high-reward types of players.


NFL Comparison - Jadeveon Clowney


Pick 18 - Dolphins - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan


The Dolphins left a huge hole at EDGE when they cut Kyle Van Noy, and traded Shaq Lawson, so why not draft the possible best pass rusher in the draft? Paye is quick, and explosive off the edge, which is exactly what Miami needs to take the pressure off of the guys in the middle.


NFL Comparison - Josh Allen


Pick 19 - WFT - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC


Vera-Tucker isn’t the best player on the board, but the WFT has an awful offensive line, outside of G Brandon Scherff. Getting the two players on the same line will give whoever is the QB, time to throw the ball.


NFL Comparison - Joe Thuney


Pick 20 - Bears - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota


Allen Robinson doesn’t want to continue playing in the Windy-City, and Anthony Miller is on the trade block. Bateman is the perfect guy to replace Miller, and would fit well with Darnell Mooney. Bateman is tough to bring down and fights for yards, which makes him a good target.


NFL Comparison - AJ Brown


Pick 21 - Colts - Terrace Marshall, Jr. WR, LSU


T.Y. Hilton was re-signed, but he isn’t the game-changer he used to be. Michael Pittman, Jr. is good, but others like Parris Campbell and Zach Pascal have struggled. Marshall gives Carson Wentz another good weapon.


NFL Comparison - D.K. Metcalf

Photo: Brett Davis

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


Farley has top-10 potential, but he had the same back procedure that Rob Gronkowski had back in 2010. I think that my Titans do have a good chance at drafting him, without trading up. If it happens, then Tennessee’s defense could be a lot better than people think.


NFL Comparison - Xavien Howard


Pick 23 - Jets - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson


Etienne edged out Najee Harris in my prospect rankings, due to better hands. Etienne is a great playmaker out of the backfield, which New York desperately needs. He would form a nice duo with Zach Wilson.


NFL Comparison - Alvin Kamara


Pick 24 - Steelers - Creed Humphrey, OC, Oklahoma


This is a bit of a reach, but with the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey, there is a giant hole in the middle of the offensive line. Humphrey is the best center in the class, and can step in right away to lead the line.


NFL Comparison - Jason Kelce


Pick 25 - Jaguars - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama


Barmore slipped in this mock, but he has lots of talent. The Jags don’t necessarily need him, as the offensive line is a priority, but their d-line is also a need. Having Barmore takes the pressure off of Josh Allen, and fills Calais Campbell’s spot.


NFL Comparison - Chris Jones


Pick 26 - Bills (Mock Trade from CLE) - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama


*Trade Alert! BUF gets: Picks 26, 257, CLE gets: Picks 30, 161, 236, along with BUF 2022 2nd round, and 6th round picks*


The Bills don’t need a running back at all, but Harris’ talent is too hard to pass up. Having him with Devin Singletary, and Zack Moss will provide some competition in camp, as well. Buffalo can also trade away one of the two running backs who are on their roster. Harris would help their running game get back to its 2019 form.


NFL Comparison - Derrick Henry, with better hands

Photo: John David Mercer / USA TODAY Sports

Pick 27 - Ravens - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida


The Ravens desperately need a number one wideout. They have two picks at the end of the first, so many teams in the top-10 may not want to jump back that far, so Baltimore may have to settle for a receiver back here. Toney is a speedy guy, who runs good routes, and would help Lamar Jackson out, in a way that Hollywood Brown hasn’t.


NFL Comparison - A faster Keenan Allen


Pick 28 - Saints - Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss


Moore has been shooting up draft boards, due to an awesome Pro-Day, in which he ran a blistering 4.35 40-yard dash. Personally, I think he is a second-round pick, but the Saints have been trying for years to get a receiver to compliment Michael Thomas, and have been lacking a true deep threat, as well. Moore gives them both.


NFL Comparison - Jakeem Grant


Pick 29 - Packers - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue


Like the Saints, the Packers have tried, and failed at getting a quality number two option. Though I have Rondale Moore as a second-rounder, the Packers can’t wait. He is a reach, but Moore has the upside to make it work.


NFL Comparison - Brandin Cooks


Pick 30 - Browns (Mock Trade from BUF) - Ifeatu Meilfonwu, CB, Syracuse


*See pick 26 for trade details*


The Browns do need a safety, but having three good cover corners, who can all play man, or zone, is very important, as well. Meilfonwu would slide in at slot corner, and would give Cleveland a good, young cornerback group.


NFL Comparison - Malcolm Butler


Pick 31 - Ravens (From KC) - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami


Once labeled as a top-15 pick, Rousseau has been falling. Getting him here to help make up for the losses of Matt Judon, and Yannick Ngakoue, would be a steal, with his type of potential.


NFL Comparison - A less explosive Chase Young


Pick 32 - Buccaneers - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami


Phillips, like Rousseau, has been going up and down on mock drafts, and he also has loads of potential. This is a pick for the future, as Jason Pierre-Paul is approaching free agency, so Phillips could replace him. The Bucs have such a complete team, that they can pick anyone here.


NFL Comparison - Harold Landry III

Thanks for checking out this mock draft! This is what I think the first round could look like. This mock was a bit more “out there”. I was more aggressive, and had more trades. Make sure to visit my Prospect Rankings, and my First Full 1st Round Mock, to get ready for draft day!

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