You know we love a mock draft here at 5 Yard College. It’s time to take it to the next level. This 2021 NFL Mock Draft has two “firsts” for the year. This time around, we’ve gone for a two round mock. To add to that, we’ve thrown in the ability to trade. And boy, did we trade! Let’s get to it.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Even the ability for other teams to trade for #1 overall wasn’t tempting for Jacksonville. You can write this pick in stone. Incoming Jaguars HC Urban Meyer will build his franchise around Lawrence’s talent.
2. Houston Texans: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
New York trades #2, #23, #34 and a 2022 1st Round pick to Houston for Deshaun Watson.
Here’s our first trade, and it is a blockbuster. Joe Douglas dips into his treasure trove of draft capital and coughs up 3 x 1st Round picks and a 2nd for good measure. In return, he gets a top 3 QB in the league.
Houston begins its rebuild with Justin Fields under centre. Thanks to this trade, Houston now has the ability to surround their rookie QB with weapons.
3. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Opting out of the 2020 season doesn’t mean that Chase slides down the draft board like others may do. He’s the #1 WR in this draft class. Miami has paid a high price for their new #1 receiver, but it is a price worth paying.
The best way that the Dolphins can support Tua Tagovailoa is to give him playmakers around him. They add Chase to a WR room with Preston Williams and DeVante Parker. Tagovailoa will take a leap forward with that group on the field.
4. Carolina Panthers: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Carolina trades #8 and #39 to Atlanta for the #4 overall pick.
The Watson trade has brought teams like Atlanta into the conversation for trading back. That’s exactly what they do here. With needs all over the defence, they treat themselves to another second round pick.
Carolina’s offence has everything but the QB. It is a great roster to land in. A fully fit Christian McCaffrey should be on the field in 2021, alongside three talented receivers (Moore, Anderson, Samuel).
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
This is the perfect scenario for Cincinnati. Rival teams scramble to the top of the draft for QBs, while they sit and wait for their man to fall to them.
Sewell is the most talented offensive tackle in a deep class this year. When Joe Burrow is back under centre, the Bengals need to do a much better job of protecting him. Sewell slotting in at Left Tackle should reduce those blindside hits that we saw in 2019.
6. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Denver trades #9 and #40 to Philadelphia for #6 and a 2022 5th Round pick.
You thought a change of front office structure would quench Denver’s appetite for a QB? Not likely.
The expectation that the Detroit Lions will be in the market for a QB forces Denver to act. They move up three spots to secure Lance. He is a high risk pick with an impressive ceiling. He has a very different skill set to current starter Drew Lock. Denver can afford to be patient and let Lance develop as a backup in year one, before unleashing him on the league in 2022.
7. Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
After being leapfrogged by Denver, a QB is out of the question here. Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle has an incredible upside. He can electrify what has previously been a run of the mill offence. If not sure whether Waddle is a “rip your kneecaps” kind of receiver, but he sure can break ankles.
Marvin Jones Jnr is a free agent this off-season. If they can get their next QB in free agency themselves, the Lions can address other issues here in Round One.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Whispers of concerns about Parsons’ maturity have hurt his draft stock recently. He has also been alleged to have choked a former school teammate at Penn State. His talent, however, is undeniable.
Parsons can do it all. He is at his best in coverage, but is also able to recall his high school experience as an edge rusher in blitz packages. The Atlanta defence needs a total overhaul, and it starts with Parsons. The key condition is if the Falcons front office is convinced of his character.
9. Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
A great day’s work for the Eagles, who would have taken Surtain had they stayed at #6 overall. He is the best CB of this draft class. He doesn’t have elite speed, but his coverage ability is unquestionable.
The Eagles may be tempted to take an offensive lineman here, too. However, with two second round picks, they can afford to wait. Surtain immediately improves the Philadelphia secondary.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
This was a tough one. With Kwity Paye and Gregory Rousseau still on the board, an edge rusher is certainly in play at #10.
However, the Cowboys are another NFC East team in need of a leader in the defensive backfield. Farley has the speed to match up with most NFL X receivers. He can also be used closer to the line of scrimmage, and throws his full body into a tackle.
11. New York Giants: Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
Paye’s brief but impressive 2020 season seems to have propelled him to the top of his positional class. With a rejuvenated Leonard Williams rushing the middle, Paye will be an instant impact from the edge. He is stronger against the run, but has the bull rushing ability to power through linemen and get to the QB.
The Giants defence took a big step forward in the second half of last season. They can continue their progress into 2021 with a plug and play edge rusher.
12. San Francisco 49ers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
What d’ya know, another Hokie off the board?
49ers fans may hate this pick. Some are clamouring for a new QB to replace Jimmy Garoppolo. Others want to sure up the CB room (3 hit free agency this off-season).
The Shanahan offence has done an impressive job of getting results with average-to-good QB play in the past. In a scheme so heavily weighted to the run game, Darrisaw can create gaps in defensive lines for his backs to exploit.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Slater opted out in 2020, but his performances in 2019 are enough to warrant a mid-1st Round pick. The Chargers would be foolish to pass on an offensive lineman here. We’ve seen what Justin Herbert can do when he is given time in the pocket to throw downfield. Rashawn Slater can keep the pocket clean for his franchise QB.
His future may be at the guard position, but he has earned the right to fight for a tackle spot before any decision like that is made.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
The run on offensive linemen continues with this Vikings pick. Although the defence struggled in 2020, the return of Danielle Hunter should boost them next time around.
Kirk Cousins seems to be performing as expected for Minnesota. Although he hasn’t been the top tier QB some had hoped, he’s getting by with talented players in the skill positions. Strengthening in the trenches will give Cousins more time in the pocket. It also gives Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson the chance to get open downfield.
15. New England Patriots: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
They quite enjoy generational Right End talents in Foxborough. Kyle Pitts is a very different TE to what Patriots fans have been used to. In fact, he solves their dire need for receivers.
Pitts is the epitome of the modern day Tight End. He is strong, physical and has an incredible catch radius. You may see him on the outside as well as in traditional set-ups. His versatility is a key element of why Bill Belichick will be itching to work with him.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
The Cardinals could have gone cornerback here with Jaycee Horn still on the board. However, the Arizona pass rush is in equal need of improvement.
Rousseau slides down the board with just one year of production (2019). However, it isn’t far. He has impressive athleticism and a good burst off the line. The Cardinals will also be able to line Rousseau up on the inside like he did for the ‘Canes.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Azeez Ojulari, DE, Georgia
The Raiders have performed admirably on the defensive line with Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. What they still lack is a reliable pass rusher who can consistently get to the quarterback.
Azeez Ojulari exploded for the Bulldogs this year. His performances against Alabama and in the Bowl Game with Cincinnati have brought his name to national attention.
There is room to improve his technique at this early stage, but the signs are there for Ojulari to impress at the next level.
18. Miami Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah screams “Brian Flores player”. He is a hard hitting linebacker with an impressive engine.
The Miami defence took a huge step forward in 2020. The pass rush was more effective than expected. The secondary seemed to force turnovers every game week. One area to improve is at the second level of the defence. Owusu-Koramoah is an instant starter on a fearsome defence with a growing reputation.
19. Washington Football Team: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Washington were on the telephone with Atlanta to move up to #4 before Carolina gazumped them with a superior offer. There are question marks over Mac Jones’ ability to transition to the NFL. He is an impressive pocket passer with an accurate arm. Will he get the time to stand in the pocket like he did at ‘Bama? The Washington offensive line would need to be improved if Jones is to succeed in his rookie year.
It’s clear that the QB situation is in need of addressing. Alex Smith was a fairytale story in 2020. Unfortunately, Smith isn’t a sustainable long-term starter. Dwayne Haskins was a whiff. It’s time to roll the dice on another rookie.
The Football Team’s defence is currently one of the best in the NFL. If Ron Riveria can get the offence ticking, they’re comfortably the best team in the NFC East.
20. Chicago Bears: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC
It seems as though Chicago is stuck with Mitchell Trubisky in 2021. Even though Allen Robinson is set to become a free agent in the off-season, The Bears do not add a WR. Instead, they address their offensive line woes.
Alijah Vera-Tucker has the versatility to play at both tackle and guard. NFL franchises will have a good idea of how they anticipate to use him. Vera-Tucker will hope that he has at least earned the right to fight for a spot at tackle in the Windy City.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Another surprise pick here. The retirement of Philip Rivers has left a gaping hole at the quarterback position. Anthony Castonzo has also retired. There is an expectation that they select a QB or OT on Day One. Instead, they bolster their WR corps with deep threat specialist Rashod Bateman.
T.Y. Hilton ended the 2020 season well, but can no longer be relied on to produce on a consistent basis. Bateman and second year WR Michael Pittman Jnr can form a fearsome duo for Indy’s next QB.
22. Green Bay Packers: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Green Bay trades #29 and #95 to Tennessee for #22.
The Green Bay Packers could no longer sit and let the DeVonta Smith disrespect continue. If Smith does fall this far, it means that concerns about his size have outweighed his college tape.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner had an incredible Senior year as he led the Crimson Tide to a national championship.
The Packers are in need of improving Aaron Rodgers’ supporting cast. Devante Adams led the NFL in receiving touchdowns. With a promising rookie at WR2, any NFL defence will struggle to contain Green Bay in the air.
23. Houston Texans: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Houston’s rebuild began with a new QB in Justin Fields. It continues with a captain on the offensive line. Current centre Nick Martin is contracted until 2022. He hasn’t ever justified his Second Round draft price tag. Houston may even be able to move Martin on and free up some much-needed cap space.
The Texans’ offensive line failed to protect its last franchise QB. An overhaul is needed. Humphrey, a leftie centre, is a high character player with clear leadership qualities.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
There is a quarterback conundrum on the horizon for Pittsburgh. Is Dwayne Haskins the successor to Big Ben?
Sam Cosmi is a big human being. He is an excellent pass protector that will most likely slot in at Right Tackle. He can get caught on his heels, which will cause him problems against more athletic edge rushers.
Cosmi was a rare bright spot for The Longhorns in 2020. He has the raw ability to contribute from day one of his rookie year. With some polish to his technique, he can play a key role on the Pittsburgh line.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
It is fitting that the final piece of compensation from the Jalen Ramsey trade is being used to bring in a cornerback. This is a position that the Jaguars addressed early in last year’s draft when they selected CJ Henderson at #9 overall. However, the hole left by Ramsey is still to be filled.
Horn is an aggressive corner that fights off receivers with his physical approach. He is a plug and play starter on the outside thanks to his size and speed.
26. Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Browns have neglected the line-backer position in recent years. There are needs on the edge and in the defensive backfield in Cleveland for sure. However, can they pass up on Zaven Collins at #26 overall? He was named college football’s best defensive player in 2020.
Collins shone at Tulsa this year. He has the full skill-set you want from an NFL linebacker. He’s good in coverage, quick, strong and can rush the passer. He will be an instant starter on this Cleveland defence.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Terrace Marshall Jnr, WR, LSU
The Ravens were surprisingly predictable in 2020. Competition in the wide receiver room will go some way to reinstating an X factor to Baltimore’s offence.
Terrace Marshall Jnr was a key part of LSU’s National Championship winning team in 2019. With Justin Jefferson in the NFL and Ja’Marr Chase opting out, Marshall became the focal point of the offence.
Marshall has shown that he is adept as a complimentary piece, and lead receiver. He may be asked to do both as a Raven.
28. New Orleans Saints: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
The Saints are in cap hell in 2021. How they get out of it, nobody knows. It certainly can’t be solved with this pick alone.
The best player on the board at a position of need is Georgia’s Eric Stokes. He’s a physically gifted corner that thrives in redzone defence. Georgia had a talented defensive backfield in 2020 – Stokes was the centrepiece.
29. Tennessee Titans: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
We finally see a defensive tackle taken off the board. The Titans would have likely made this move when they were picking at #22. Instead, they get their man at the back end of the First Round, with a Day Two pick to boot.
Barmore enjoyed a breakout season with Alabama in 2020. He will be able to boost a defensive front that needs to get meaner next year.
30. Buffalo Bills: Shaun Wade, CB/S, Ohio State
Shaun Wade’s draft stock has taken a huge hit after some poor performances in key games in 2020. A shift to the Safety position may be on the cards, where he can utilise his short area speed and tackling ability.
If any defensive backfield can elevate Wade’s fading potential, it’s Buffalo. Josh Norman seemed cooked in Washington. He’s turned his fortunes around to produce for the Bills in 2020. Can Wade prove the doubters wrong in the NFL?
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
The Buccaneers have an array of talent on offence, and a great run defence. Where they have struggled is rushing the passer.
Jaelan Phillips struggled with injury concerns at UCLA before transferring to Miami. With Gregory Rousseau holding out, Phillips stepped up to the plate.
Phillips was a top 3 recruit in 2017. It was only until this season that we saw his true talent. However, it’s enough for Tampa Bay to cough up a First Round pick here.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Kansas City doesn’t need another offensive weapon. They get one anyway, to the envy of the rest of the league.
Toney will likely line up in the slot on the Chiefs offence in 2021. With top tier talent across the offence, Toney will prove useful on short and intermediate routes.
Sammy Watkins is likely to enter free agency this off-season. Toney is a cheaper option with high future upside.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
34. Houston Texans: Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas
35. Atlanta Falcons: Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
36. Miami Dolphins: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
37. Philadelphia Eagles: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
38. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
39. Atlanta Falcons: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
40. Philadelphia Eagles: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
41. Detroit Lions: Jay Tufele, DT, USC
42. New York Giants: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
43. San Francisco 49ers: Asante Samuel Jnr, CB, Florida State
44. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Jones, DE, Pitt
45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dillon Radunz, OT, NDSU
46. New England Patriots: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
47. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
48. Las Vegas Raiders: Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
49. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bolton, LB, Michigan
50. Miami Dolphins: Hamilcar Rashed Jnr, DE, Oregon State
51. Washington Football Team: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Tampa Bay trades #63 and #129 with Chicago for #52
53. Tennessee Titans: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
54. Indianapolis Colts: Quincy Roche, DE, Miami
55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
56. Seattle Seahawks: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
One thing the Seattle offence is lacking is an effective slot receiver. Atwell’s height (5′ 9″) means that he will likely be limited to a slot role in the NFL. With DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett keeping the opponent’s backfield busy, he could see a lot of the ball.
However, he could be much more than a simple slot receiver. A high school QB with trick play potential could be used to good effect in the NFL.
57. Los Angeles Rams: Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama
Current centre Austin Blythe is an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. Rather than take up valuable cap space with a new deal, The Rams can sign Landon Dickerson to a much cheaper rookie deal.
A well respected leader at ‘Bama, he is coming off a significant knee injury. If Dickerson can prove his fitness, it’s a cap-savvy move.
58. Baltimore Ravens: Carlos Basham Jnr, DE, Wake Forest
59. Cleveland Browns: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
60. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
61. Green Bay Packers: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
62. Buffalo Bills: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
63. New York Jets: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Chicago trades #63 with New York for Sam Darnold.
64. Kansas City Chiefs: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee