2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (FINAL)
Welcome back to my last mock draft of the year! With the dust of free agency finally settling, and the abundance of rumors surrounding draft pick trades, it's time to lock in on where each player will go and which teams will continue to make moves. With even more changes than the last one, here is my final mock draft for 2021:
Photo: GettyImages/Kevin C. Cox
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Trevor is the best prospect since Andrew Luck, plain and simple.
Pro Comparison - Ryan Tannehill
#2 New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
With his Mahomes-like play making ability and Rodgers-like accuracy and ball speed, Wilson shot up everyone's draft board and finds a home in New York.
Pro Comparison - Mix of Patrick Mahomes & Aaron Rodgers
#3 San Francisco 49ers - Trey Lance, QB, NDSU
With rumors circling that the 49ers will take Mac Jones or Lance, I got infuriated that Justin Fields was, allegedly, no longer an option. Pick the guy that fits your scheme.
Pro Comparison - Deshaun Watson
*pick acquired through trade with Miami, via Houston*
#4 Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Arguably the best offensive weapon in the class falls into a perfect offensive situation; he'll catch passes from a veteran QB, while lining up alongside Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Hayden Hurst.
Pro Comparison - Darren Waller
#5 Cincinnati Bengals - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
After much internal and external debate, Ja'Marr Chase is the best option for the Bengals. With a deep offensive tackle class, and a not so deep top-talent receiving class, Ja'Marr Chase is the best option for Cincy. Don't worry, they'll get an OT in the second round.
Pro Comparison - Amari Cooper
Photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore
#6 Miami Dolphins - Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Tua gets his favorite target from his time at Alabama. The weight will be of no concern for Miami and they get one of the best playmakers in the draft.
Pro Comparison - Will Fuller
*pick acquired through trade with Philadelphia, via San Francisco*
#7 Detroit Lions - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Lions need receiving help, bad. Waddle is the perfect answer, by giving them much needed offensive speed and the ability to put him back as a return man.
Pro Comparison - Odell Beckham Jr.
#8 New England Patriots - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Trade alert!!! The Pats land their QB of the future after a trade with the Carolina Panthers, who locked in their QB of the near future with a trade for Sam Darnold. The Pats traded their 15th overall pick, as well as the 46th overall pick, a 6th rounder, and a 3rd rounder for 2022, and get the 8th overall pick and a 4th rounder in return.
Pro Comparison - Lamar Jackson
#9 Denver Broncos - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
With most of the top QBs gone and most of their defense already in place, Micah Parsons is the best option for the Broncos at this point in the draft. I wouldn't be surprised if they traded down, but they would be silly to not take the best player on the board.
Pro Comparison - Devin White
#10 Los Angeles Chargers - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Trade alert!!! Herbert and Sewell reunite, and the best offensive linemen helps solidify the weakest spot for the Chargers a year before. The Chargers send the 10th overall pick, as well as both of their third rounders and 4th rounder in 2022, in exchange for the 13th overall pick, plus one of Dallas's 4th rounders and a 5th rounder this year.
Pro Comparison - Trent Williams
#11 New York Giants - Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
Kwity Paye gives the Giants flexibility with using him as a stand up edge threat, or as a hand in the dirt run stuffer. Either way, they land one of the best edge defenders in the draft.
Pro Comparison - Za'Darius Smith
#12 Philadelphia Eagles - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The most NFL ready corner falls into the lap of the Eagles, giving them much needed help in their secondary.
*pick acquired via Miami*
Pro Comparison - Jaire Alexander
Photo: USA Today/Mark J. Rebilas
#13 Dallas Cowboys - Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
After weighing in at 265, the massive 6'7" edge rusher would be the perfect fit in a Cowboys defense that is trying to find its' identity.
*see pick #10 for trade details*
Pro Comparison - Calais Campbell
#14 Minnesota Vikings - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Another top offensive line talent slides to the Vikings, giving them much needed protection for Kirk Cousins.
Pro Comparison - La'el Collins
#15 Carolina Panthers - Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
The versatile guard/tackle out of USC is the perfect option for a young Panthers offensive line. He gives them immediate help in the run and pass game.
*see pick #8 for trade details*
Pro Comparison - Michael Onwenu
#16 Arizona Cardinals - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The best corner in the draft falls to the Cardinals, mostly due to his back injury concerns. The reward is much greater than the risk, as they land one of the best defenders in the draft.
Pro Comparison - Xavien Howard
#17 Las Vegas Raiders - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
After losing multiple offensive linemen, Darrisaw is the catalyst to rebuild what once was one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Pro Comparison - Tyron Smith
Photo: GettyImages/Joe Robbins
#18 New Orleans Saints - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Trade alert!!! The Saints get much needed help after becoming depleted at the corner position over the past several years. The Saints send the 28th and 60th overall picks, as well as 5th rounder in 2021 and a 3rd rounder in 2022, in exchange for the 18th overall pick and a 4th rounder in 2021.
Pro Comparison - Byron Jones
#19 Washington FT - Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah, Notre Dame, LB
With his draft stock rising, Washington opts to solidify their defense, rather than finding an eventual replacement for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Pro Comparison - Foyesade Olukun
#20 Chicago Bears - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Bears, hopefully for the last time in a long time, find their QB of the future. Mac Jones dips in the draft and lands in Chicago, giving the Bears an accurate QB (for once).
Pro Comparison - Andy Dalton
#21 Indianapolis Colts - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
With most of the really good offensive tackles gone, Bateman is the next best option for the Colts, giving them a great #1 option after TY Hilton's career is over.
Pro Comparison - AJ Brown
#22 Tennessee Titans - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
After losing three starting cornerbacks from a season ago, the Titans need to desperately revamp this area of their defense. Greg gives them a great young option to work with and develop.
Pro Comparison - Darius Slay
Photo: GettyImages/Justin Casterline
#23 Cleveland Browns - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Trade alert!!! After picking up Jadeveon Clowney to play opposite Myles Garrett, the Browns find their next interior stud in Christian Barmore; what a nasty three headed monster to deal with. The Browns trade the 26th overall pick, the 91st overall pick, and a 5th rounder in 2022 to move up to the 23rd spot.
Pro Comparison - Quinnen Williams
*pick acquired through Jamal Adams trade*
#24 Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris, HB, Alabama
With a tough decision to make, the Steelers go with a skill position and find their running back of the future in Najee Harris. His hard running and pass catching ability makes him a great three down back option for Pittsburgh.
Pro Comparison - Todd Gurley
#25 Jags (via Los Angeles Rams) - Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU
Trevon is the best safety in the class, and he brings a lot of versatility with playing either in the box, in the slot, or over the top.
Pro Comparison - Tyrann Mathieu
*pick acquired through Jalen Ramsey trade*
#26 New York Jets - Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
The best edge rusher in the class skids all the way to the Jets near the end of the first round. Just watch the tape and see how dominant this kid can be.
*see pick #23 for trade details*
Pro Comparison - Frank Clark
#27 Baltimore Ravens - Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
The most underrated receiver in this draft class finds his way into the first round. His route running from the slot and his great red zone threat ability will be perfect for the Ravens pass game, as they try to add more firepower to their offense.
Pro Comparison - Michael Thomas
Photo: LSU Athletics/Chris Parent
#28 Miami Dolphins - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Trading down pays off as one of the better offensive tackles is still available. Teven has the ability to be a starter day 1 on a weak Miami offensive line.
*see pick #18 for trade details*
Pro Comparison - Mitchell Schwartz
#29 Green Bay Packers - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Kadarius brings great agility and solid hands to the Packers, making him a great #2/slot option for Aaron Rodgers; as if their passing attack wasn't good enough already.
Pro Comparison - Jarvis Landry
#30 Buffalo Bills - Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
Regarded as the best pass rusher in the draft, Buffalo gets much needed help in that area with Jaelan Phillips, who had a pass rush win rate of 20% in 2020.
*With the Bills drafting Jaelan and the Cowboys drafting Gregory, this is the first draft since 2006 where two edge rushers from the same school were drafted in the first round.*
Pro Comparison - Josh Allen (defensive end for Jacksonville)
#31 Baltimore Ravens - Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State
After an impressive pro day, Oweh finds his way into the first round, fitting in perfectly to the Ravens 3-4 aggressive defense. His athleticism will be used in every way possible by John Harbaugh.
Pro Comparison - Bud Dupree
#32 Atlanta Falcons - Travis Etienne, HB, Clemson
Trade Alert!!! The Falcons get back into the first round and find their running back of the future. Etienne brings a lot of versatility to the Falcons, in the backfield and out wide. Imagine Etienne and Kyle Pitts split out wide to the same side, that would be nuts. Falcons send the Bucs the 35th overall pick and a 5th rounder to move up 3 spots.
Pro Comparison - Alvin Kamara
Photo: AP Photo/Brian Blanco
Since my first Mock Draft, there have been a total of 8 players who I originally had going in the first round that are no longer first rounders (Nick Bolton, Elijah Moore, Samuel Cosmi, Alex Leatherwood, Joseph Ossai, Rondale Moore, Wyatt Davis, and Pat Freiermuth). Since Mock Draft 1.0, there is only 1 player who is still getting selected by the same team in the same spot: Trevor Lawrence. My highest risers are Mac Jones and Kyle Pitts, moving up 12 and 11 spots respectively, and my lowest fallers are Kadarius Toney and Jayson Oweh, 10 and 9 spots respectively.
Some names that never made it into the first round conversation were Zaven Collins, Asante Samuel Jr., Jamin Davis, and Landon Dickerson. This mostly has to due with team need, who is the best available, and overall NFL readiness. Whatever the case may be, this is going to be one of the craziest drafts in recent memory.
Be sure to catch Jack's and my reaction to the NFL Draft on Twitch (hardhittingsportspodcast) or YouTube (Hard Hitting Sports Show). We will be going live on Twitch and YouTube at 7 PM to drop our final Mock Drafts. Then, at 8 PM until the conclusion of the first round, we will be reacting and discussing every first round selection and what we believe are the best and worst picks. Feel free to tune in and give it a listen, it will be uploaded to YouTube at the conclusion of the draft.
Thank you for following along the past three mock drafts, I am excited to see how the 2021 NFL Draft plays out!