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2021 NFL Drafts: Top 28 Picks

The NFL season is over and the postseason is well underway. The top 28 draft picks are finalised, and what better way for the 5 Yard College team to take in these final standings than with a Top 28 mock draft. Which teams will take a quarterback in the First Round of the draft? Sorry if your team is in the championship games. You’ll just have to settle for the potential of Super Bowl glory for now.

In their latest mock, Ash, Tom and Rich got in on the action with a randomised order and some interesting picks. Join us below with all 28 picks and quickfire thoughts from the guys on each pick.

#1 Rich – Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

This is the easiest pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is the best prospect at his position in 9 years, and is landing on a team in desperate need of a franchise quarterback in this draft.

#2 Ash – New York Jets: Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State)

With a new head coach in town and the dismantlement of Sam Darnold by Adam Gase, it only makes sense for NY to draft their next franchise quarterback. In Fields, you have a ready made NFL QB. There are a few areas that need improvement. In particular, his pocket awareness has at times got him in trouble in Ohio. He needs time to settle, and there’s no guarantee he’s afforded that luxury in New York.

#3 Tom – Miami Dolphins (Via Houston): Penei Sewell (OT, Oregon)

Without the ability to trade down in this mock, the Dolphins take the best player left on the board. The Dolphins get themselves an elite blindside protector for their young QB Tua Tagovailoa.

#4 Rich – Atlanta Falcons: Kwity Paye (Edge, Michigan)

With only one double digit sack performance in the last 10 years, Atlanta has been desperate for an edge rusher. Paye is my top ranked pass rusher who can help rebuild this defence.

#5 Ash – Cincinnati Bengals: Patrick Surtain II (CB, Alabama)

Surtain is the best CB in this draft class and solidified that with another solid season in Alabama. The Bengals had all sorts of problems on defence, and here they get Surtain who possesses the ideal size, strength and skills to be an instant starter and future pro-bowler.

#6 Tom – Philadelphia Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

The Eagles have a major headache at the quarterback position. Whether Carson Wentz resurrects his career in Philly, or Jalen Hurts gets the nod, Ja’Marr Chase can transform this offence.

#7 Rich – Detroit Lions: Zach Wilson (QB, BYU)

It’s time to start the rebuild in Detroit. That begins by securing this year’s highest draft riser at the quarterback position. He’s an anticipation thrower with a strong arm. Wilson should transfer well to the next level.

#8 Ash – Carolina Panthers: Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)

Pitts is the best Tight End in this class by a stretch. He is one of the top playmakers in the 2021 NFL Draft altogether. The Panthers may need a QB and could well be on the move up the board come April. They also need a difference maker to throw the ball to. Pitts combines size and speed to be a true red zone threat, whilst possessing the ability to stretch the field and make plays.

#9 Tom – Denver Broncos: Caleb Farley (CB, Virginia Tech)

Caleb Farley is a superb athlete in coverage. He also loves a tackle. He can grow to be one of the league’s leading coverage corners. With John Elway ceding GM duties to George Paton, there’s less chance of a quarterback being the pick.

#10 Rich – Dallas Cowboys: Gregory Rousseau (Edge, Miami)

If Dallas is to bounce back, the defence needs work. Rousseau is a Defensive Coordinator’s dream and an edge rusher who can kick inside and terrorise Guards on 3rd down.

#11 Ash – New York Giants: Micah Parsons (LB, Penn State)

The Giants need help everywhere across the roster. Micah Parsons is the best player left on the board, and gives you it all at line-backer. He can rush the quarterback, plug gaps and drop into coverage. He will be an instant leader that is desperately needed on the Giants defence.

#12 Tom – San Francisco 49ers: Jaycee Horn (CB, South Carolina)

The 49ers have three CBs out of contract this off-season. Horn is an aggressive corner that troubled WRs from across the SEC in 2020. He’s a plug and play starter in this secondary.

#13 Rich – Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw (OT, Virginia Tech)

Having secured their franchise quarterback, the Chargers need to complete the offensive line rebuild that started in 2020. Darrisaw is a day 1 starter at Left Tackle and ticks every box that you look for in a franchise left tackle.

#14 Ash – Minnesota Vikings: DeVonta Smith (WR, Alabama)

The Vikings main needs are in both trenches. There are some older guys leading both lines, but they can’t pass up on another impact weapon alongside Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. DeVonta Smith has his critics due to his lack of size, but there is no denying he is a difference maker on the field. He will be an instant impact alongside this impressive group of offensive weapons.

#15 Tom – New England Patriots: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB, Notre Dame)

The New England defence regressed in 2020. They lost key pieces to free agency and opt-outs. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can be used in a variety of ways in the NFL. He is a agile mover on the field with sideline to sideline speed. The Patriots will be a great landing spot for JOK, where Belichick’s disciples will cook up some inventive uses for him.

#16 Rich – Arizona Cardinals: Wyatt Davis (IOL, Ohio State)

A plug and play guard, Davis is ready for the NFL from Day 1. He fits well in Arizona with their run scheme. Protecting Justin Fields for the last two years will prove to be an appropriate apprenticeship for Kyler Murray.

#17 Ash – Las Vegas Raiders: Alijah Vera-Tucker (IOL, USC)

The Raiders have had their issues with injuries on the offensive line and could use an upgrade. Alijah Vera-Tucker also offers versatility. Vera-Tucker has played at Left Tackle and at Guard for USC. AVT will be a plug and play starter at the guard position, whilst offering solid cover at tackle if needed.

#18 Tom – Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle (WR, Alabama)

This is quite the fall for an electrifying talent like Jaylen Waddle. Miami was able to look past Tua Tagovailoa’s injury concerns to draft him in 2020. They are likely to do the same if his Alabama teammate Waddle is on the board at #18. A reunion between Tagovailoa and Waddle in the NFL makes too much sense.

#19 Rich – Washington: Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State)

This is a huge swing for the fences. Lance may have the highest ceiling of any quarterback in the 2021 draft, but he also may have the lowest floor. Washington needs a quarterback – is Lance the right fit? 

Lance needs time to sit and learn his trade after playing just one full season as a starter. Can Washington roll with Alex Smith for one more year?

#20 Ash – Chicago Bears: Mac Jones (QB, Alabama)

The Trubisky experiment has failed. Nick Foles seemed worse in comparison, if 2020 is anything to go by. Despite four quarterbacks already off the draft board, Trubisky will still be out the door. Mac Jones will be the next guy up in Chicago. A First Round pick is a risky price to pay for Jones, but we know the Bears are not scared about going high for their man.

Jones is a solid pocket passer, and is slowly edging up everyone’s draft boards after an incredible 2020 season.

#21 Tom – Indianapolis Colts: Rashawn Slater (OT, Northwestern)

The expected retirement of Anthony Castonzo has left a hole on the Colts offensive line. With the run on QBs beating the Colts to the podium, offensive line is the obvious pick. The Colts will have to find their next quarterback elsewhere. It is fitting that a former #22 overall tackle be replaced by his successor at #21 overall.

#22 Rich – Tennessee Titans: Quincy Roche (Edge, Miami)

The Tennessee defence needs significant work, and that starts by improving on their pathetic 19 sacks from 2020. Roche projects as an Outside Linebacker at the next level. He can also put his hand in the dirt in obvious passing situations.

#23 Ash – New York Jets (Via Seattle): Azeez Ojulari (Edge, Georgia)

The Jets need everything and everyone on their roster. With their QB of the future sorted in Justin Fields, they look to the defensive front with Azeez Ojulari. Pass rusher is one of the most important defensive positions on an NFL roster. It’s also been lacking on the Jets roster for far too long. Ojulari has shown all the qualities needed to be a top tier option in the NFL.

#24 Tom – Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Cosmi (OT, Texas)

There’ll be a clamouring for Big Ben to be replaced after the Steelers flamed out of the playoffs. That’s not the move with Kyle Trask, the best quarterback left on the board. It is wiser here to take Cosmi, who can slot in at either tackle position. His technique needs refinement, but he’s found a good landing spot to maximise his potential in Pittsburgh.

#25 Rich – Jacksonville Jaguars ( Via LA Rams): Liam Eichenberg (OT, Notre Dame)

Having secured their franchise quarterback with the 1st overall pick, the Jaguars now look at protecting him by selecting Notre Dame’s Liam Eichenberg. He is a mauler in the run game. He still needs to improve his footwork against pure speed rushers, but he’s a plug and play starter at the next level.

#26 Ash – Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins (LB, Tulsa)

Zaven Collins is the epitome of versatility at the line-backer role. He has shown leadership qualities throughout his time at college. The Browns have slowly improved their defence in the last couple of drafts. Adding Collins in the middle will offer explosiveness, speed and vision to dominate the middle.

#27 Tom – Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai (Edge, Texas)

The Ravens’ pass rush took a step back in 2020. They might be tempted to bolster their WR room here. However, Joseph Ossai can contribute in Baltimore from day one. He’s a versatile pass rusher with excellent straight line speed. With time, he can be a key contributor on the Ravens’ defensive front.

#28 Rich – New Orleans Saints: Rondale Moore (WR, Purdue)

With Brees retiring, New Orleans needs an additional offensive playmaker to make the new quarterback’s life easier. Rondale Moore is an explosive weapon who can line up all over the field and score from anywhere.

And there we have it. The top 4 teams remaining in the hunt for a Super Bowl. The remaining 28 look ahead to April. It’ll be here sooner than you think. Get your build up to the 2021 NFL Draft @5yardcollege 

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