2021 Mock Draft Version 5.0, Pre-Free Agency Edition

We are approaching the start of the NFL league year. A time when teams can begin to add unrestricted free agents and officially consummate trades. The league year opens on March 17th at 3 pm (CST).

This will be my final mock draft before we know how teams have changed their respective roster compositions. So, let’s look at how round one shakes out for me in Mock Draft Numero Cinco.

1-Jacksonville Jaguars–Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

There is nothing to say here. Trevor Lawrence will be the pick at one for Jacksonville.

2-New York Jets–Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

I have gone back and forth in nearly every mock draft with the Jets pick. It is usually a quarterback. This time I go with my #2 ranked QB prospect. I like Fields as much for his in-pocket maneuverability as I do his ability to create outside of it.

This throw in particular is entrenched in my memory.

3-Miami Dolphins-F. HOU-Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

I feel like if the Dolphins keep the third pick, they will be adding a weapon for Tua Tagovailoa. Of course, they could move Tua and this pick (and other picks) for Deshaun Watson and render this whole exercise moot. The Jets could do the same at two for that matter.

However, if Miami stays here, I think they go with WR1 and that is Ja’Marr Chase.

4-Atlanta Falcons–Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Our first curveball of round one. The Falcons could easily add their future QB here. Or even take an offensive lineman. However, in this scenario, I believe the new Atlanta brain trust will go off the beaten path and add a pass rusher. Kwity Paye is considered the top edge rusher in this class by many (not me).

5-Cincinnati Bengals–Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

No matter what the Bengals do in free agency, I believe if Penei Sewell is on the board he will be the pick. The front office knows they must protect Joe Burrow. However, if Chase is still on the board, and the Bengals do come up with a starting-level offensive tackle before the draft, then they have options.

6-Philadelphia Eagles–Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Will Jalen Hurts be the Eagles opening day quarterback? That is truly the biggest question with this pick. If Hurts is the man for Philly, then the Eagles may look at a WR or perhaps even Kyle Pitts. However, I believe, with a new head ball coach, he will want his own signal-caller. Zach Wilson is a high ceiling passer that could be the leader that the Eagles need to right the ship.

7-Detroit Lions–Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Lions are a hard team to figure out where they may go. I don’t believe that Jared Goff is who they envision as being their QB for years to come. However, with the board falling like this I don’t believe they will grab one at seven. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went WR but I feel like they will upgrade their defense with the top linebacker in the class.

8-Carolina Panthers–Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

I have no reason to believe that Carolina will keep the 8th pick. If I had to bet money on one team to trade up into the top five for a QB, it would be the Panthers. However, in this mock draft, I am not projecting trades. I have seen some chatter that Carolina would take Mac Jones with the 8th pick but I am just not willing to go there. The same with Trey Lance. So, I am projecting that Carolina tries to restart the Greg Olsen magic with the best tight end in this class.

9-Denver Broncos–Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Most mock drafts have Denver selecting a corner. I have in every other mock draft to date. However, Von Miller may be on the way out. Bradley Chubb is really good but they may look to add another high upside pass rusher. No other edge rusher in this class has a higher ceiling than Gregory Rousseau.

10-Dallas Cowboys–Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Cowboys have a ton of holes on defense and some on the offensive line. Are they going to bring Dak Prescott back? The biggest upgrade Dallas can make is in the secondary. Caleb Farley is not my top-rated CB but he is viewed by many at the top.

11-New York Giants–Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Giants go BPA and grab their new #1 WR with Waddle.

12-San Francisco 49ers–Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The 49ers are likely to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo sooner rather than later. The offensive talent is in place for Mac Jones to have early success.

13-Los Angeles Chargers–Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Chargers offensive line is a steaming pile of garbage. They could literally draft any lineman still available and they should be a day one starter. Slater could start at tackle or guard as a rookie.

14-Minnesota Vikings–Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

After the failed experiment with Yannick Ngakoue last season the Vikings will continue to try to upgrade the pass rusher opposite of Danielle Hunter.

15-New England Patriots–Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The Patriots need a new passer. Cam Newton is probably not coming back. Jarret Stidham ain’t it. Enter Trey Lance. Lance may need to sit a year to develop but his ceiling is high.

16-Arizona Cardinals–Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

17-Las Vegas Raiders–Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

18-Miami Dolphins–Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, Southern Cal

19-Washington Football Team–Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

20-Chicago Bears–DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

21-Indianapolis Colts–Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

22-Tennessee Titans–Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)

23-New York Jets-F. SEA-Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

24-Pittsburgh Steelers–Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

25-Jacksonville Jaguars-F. LAR-Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

26-Cleveland Browns–Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

27-Baltimore Ravens–Jaylen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

28-New Orleans Saints–Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

29-Green Bay Packers–Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

30-Buffalo Bills–Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

31-Kansas City Chiefs–Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

32-Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Image courtesy of David Platt/Clemson Athletics

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