It is that time of year again. While others have been releasing mock drafts every week, I chose to wait until we had a little clarity on what NFL squads may be looking for and who they may be looking at. So, let’s put 2020 in our rearview and usher in 2021 with my first mock draft of the season.
1-Jacksonville Jaguars–Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Jacksonville has locked up the top pick and you can write this one down in pen. Lawrence is the top passer and top player in this class. Jacksonville will have a crapload of cap space, draft picks, and a franchise QB to build around.
2-New York Jets–Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
I am not convinced that the Jets will go QB here and may choose to stick with Sam Darnold. A new GM and head coach coming in may want their own guy. Is that guy Wilson? While I haven’t done a formal evaluation on the BYU passer, his name has been linked in the top five for a few months.
3-Miami Dolphins-F. HOU-Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Bill O’Brien is the gift that keeps on giving. The Laremy Tunsil trade is going to deliver a potential playoff team a top-five pick. The Dolphins are ascending and can look to add talent at a multitude of positions. I opted to go with the playmaking LB Parsons. Parsons opted out of this season but his 2019 tape was spectacular.
4-Atlanta Falcons–Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
The Falcons are in bad shape. They are looking for a new Gm, a new coach, and currently have negative cap space. QB Matt Ryan has an untradeable and unreleasable contract. The Falcons need to add talent. Rousseau is probably still a bit raw but his ceiling is probably as high as Chase Young’s was a year ago. His floor is significantly lower though.
5-Cincinnati Bengals–Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Bengals acquired their franchise QB last year with Joe Burrow. Unfortunately, his offensive line got his knee ripped up six weeks ago. Cincinnati needs to add 1-2 potential starters in free agency and draft 1-2 more. Sewell is the consensus top OL prospect this year. He has the highest grade of any OL I have studied in the last 5-6 years. Sewell is still only 20 years old. If he falls to the Bengals’ pick, I expect them to sprint the card to the podium.
6-Philadelphia Eagles–Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
7-Detroit Lions–Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
They can’t get out of Stafford’s contract this year but they have to start thinking about the future at the position.
8-New York Giants–Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Giants could go a number of directions including the most dynamic WR in this class.
9-Carolina Panthers–Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Panthers may need to replace tackle Taylor Moton who is a free agent.
10-Denver Broncos–Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
11-Dallas Cowboys–Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
12-Los Angeles Chargers–Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
13-Minnesota Vikings–Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
14-San Francisco 49ers–Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
15-New England Patriots–Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
16-Las Vegas Raiders–Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
17-Arizona Cardinals–Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
18-Indianapolis Colts–Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
19-Washington Football Team–Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
20-Chicago Bears–Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
21-Jacksonville Jaguars-F. LAR-Jalen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
22-Cleveland Browns–Talanoa Hufanga, S, Southern Cal
23-Miami Dolphins–Terrance Marshall, WR, LSU
24-Baltimore Ravens–Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
25-Tennessee Titans–Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State
26-Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Rashad Weaver, DL, Pittsburgh
27-New York Jets-F. SEA-Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss
28-Buffalo Bills–Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
29-New Orleans Saints–Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
30-Pittsburgh Steelers–Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
31-Green Bay Packers–Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
32-Kansas City Chiefs–Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa