It's 2021 NFL Draft day! The long wait is over for guys like me that love throwing darts at a board, and our wives are happier for it. Tonight we get to witness the first round of the most unprecedented draft of all time!
I did a mock of picks 1-75 to give an idea of what Dallas can do with their first three picks. So, without further ado:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The consensus number-one player and the top-rated QB to come out since Andrew Luck in 2012.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler tweeted on 3/26 “Text from an NFL Scout who was at the BYU pro day: “Draft starts at 3. Wilson going #2.” Looks like Wilson impressed enough to make the first two picks locks.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
I'm sticking with this one. Every NFL insider is swearing their sources say this will be Mac Jones. I just don't see how you trade 3 1st round picks to move up for the high floor/lower ceiling prospect. Justin Fields and Trey Lance are big, thick, athletes with big arms, those are the tools and upside you spend 3 1s on. You could spend 3 1s on Kirk Cousins potential or Deshaun Watson potential. If Kyle Shanahan likes intelligent QBs he should love Trey Lance's smarts and poise.
4. *TRADE* Chicago Bears send Atlanta Falcons #20, #52, 2022 1st, 2022 4th – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Nobody thinks Atlanta will be able to move this pick, but consider this logic from the Bears: they can't move into #7 most likely because it's a division rival and the two picks between here are set on taking one of the big three talents that fall to them. So if they really want to move up and steal Justin Fields in this scenario, this is the move they have to make.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Cincinnati added OT Riley Reiff last month which gives them a little more flexibility with this pick. They still have nothing at both guard positions but those can be found later in the draft. If they decide to go with an offensive weapon it will be tough to pass up on Joe Burrow's favorite target during their national championship run, Ja'Marr Chase. I'm sure they'll be happy with landing any of the top 3 non QBs.
6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Dolphins traded into this slot knowing there's a good chance at least one of their top-3 rated weapons would be sitting here for them. Kyle Pitts could very well be the greatest Tight End prospect of all time. Too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs, Pitts is such an offensive mismatch and redzone weapon providing a big help to second year QB Tua Tagovailoa.
7. *TRADE* Miami Dolphins send Detroit Lions #18, #50, #81 & #156 – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Could you imagine how wild this would be? After taking one of the big 3 in this draft, Miami finds a way to come right back up and take another! Detroit needs talent so badly this trade would make a lot of sense for them, go down 11 spots and net a 2, 3, and 5. Would make sense for Miami too, they're not even giving up #36 so they can load up on premium talent and still have all their picks for next year.
8. Carolina Panthers – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
9. *TRADE* Philadelphia Eagles send Denver Broncos #12 & #84 – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
If the 49ers do go through with taking Mac Jones at #3 I think the Broncos would take the 5th QB in this spot. Here they take a deal from Philadelphia to come up and screw Dallas out of the player everyone expects them to take at #10 and that is a big need for the Eagles as well.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Reports are that Dallas will be very happy taking either Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn, so even with Philadelphia coming up for Surtain, the Cowboys and their fans would be very satisfied with this pick.
11. New York Giants – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are still on the board! Giants fans go wild not believing their luck aaaaaaaaand they take a guard! That would be the most Giant thing ever. Alijah Vera-Tucker is seen by many as one of the safest picks in the draft and New York's offensive line is a mess so, definitely not out of the realm of possibility.
12. *Denver Broncos – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Denver moves back and still lands the pick everyone thinks they're going to make at #9, Micah Parsons. Many see Parsons as right at the top of best defenders in this draft, however, some off the field concerns could drive him down boards.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Chargers need offensive line and cornerback help, but with Jaylen Waddle still on the board, he is just too good to pass up. They give Justin Herbert another big time weapon and hope to find OL later in the draft.
14. Minnesota Vikings – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson AND DeVonta Smith!? Would be just as insane as what Dallas did last year in the same situation. Kirk Cousins would be a very happy man.
15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
With the 49ers passing on him Mac Jones falls right into Bill Belichick's lap. There's definitely a chance New England is aggressive for a top 5 QB tonight, but here they don't have to be.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Arizona could go Caleb Farley here if they want to address their biggest need, but I'm just not buying the reports that teams aren't concerned about his medicals. In a COVID year especially, I think end of the 1st is the range he goes. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah gives Arizona the type of versatile defensive playmaker they love.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Out of all the picks this is definitely the hardest to predict with John Gruden and Mike Mayock tending to go so far from popular opinion. Here I have them selecting who many believe is the top EDGE player in this draft, but may fall due to injury history concerns that include 3 concussions at UCLA which stopped him from playing most of the 2018 season and had doctors recommend he retire. A very impressive pro day has moved Phillips up rankings and could put him in the 11-21 range.
18. *Detroit Lions – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Detroit moves down and comes away with the top rated safety in this class and a much needed playmaker for their terrible defense.
19. Washington Football Team – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virigina Tech
The Football Team still hasn't filled the Trent Williams void, here they can land one of the only true left tackle prospects left.
20. *Atlanta Falcons – Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Falcons move down 16 spots and still land who many analysts see as the top EDGE player in this draft, which is also a big need for Atlanta's defense.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Indy suffered a big loss to its top rated offensive line with the retirement of left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Teven Jenkins is a big, powerful bully of a player that is more of a plug and play right tackle, but I'm sure Indianapolis can shifts things around and just be happy to land a top offensive line talent.
22. Tennessee Titans – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
The Titans two biggest needs going into the draft is finding a starting WR and CB. Newsome is the best available prospect at either position. A fluid, smart corner with good instincts against the pass and run as well as a solid tackler, Newsome would fit in nicely with new additions Kevin Johnson and Janoris Jenkins.
23. New York Jets – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
New York got their QB of the future at #2 and here they can land their RB of the future with a player that fits perfectly in the Jets offense. An explosive one-cut runner that can also help in the passing game, Etienne would help Zach Wilson’s development a great deal.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Other than the top 4, this is the only other pick I'm sticking with for all 3 mock drafts. With OC Maurkice Pouncey retiring, OG Matt Feiler signing with the Chargers, and OT Alejandro Villanueva a free agent, the Steelers have a dire need at offensive line, however, the need is just as big at running back with Benny Snell slated as starter. With no RBs selected at this point, Pittsburgh could take their top prospect which would likely be Najee Harris, a big productive back that is excellent in the passing game, Harris could allow Pittsburgh to get back to the offense they had with Le’Veon Bell.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
With four picks in the top 45 Jacksonville has the luxury and picking up falling talent, here they take the first interior defensive lineman in the draft and try to replace the void Calais Campbell left a year ago with the Alabama monster.
26. Cleveland Browns – Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Cleveland has not invested much capitol to the linebacker position and it shows. With playmakers all over the defense the Browns lack a difference maker at LB. Jamin Davis is a late riser with speed, quickness, and lateral range who excels in coverage.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
A productive, rangy, athlete that can cover, tackle, rush the pass, and flat out make plays, Zaven Collins has Raven written all over him.
28. New Orleans Saints – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley was a lot of analysts top corner early in draft season, but then he underwent a microdiscectomy on March 23rd, which is basically the removal of the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your spine. Although his agent is doing his best to play it down, I think end of the 1st is the highest a team will take a shot on Farley despite all of his undeniable talent.
29. Green Bay Packers – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
A quick slot receiver, Elijah Moore's size could have him fall a little, but his ability to get open and make plays after the catch will be very enticing for a lot of teams. After pissing Aaron Rodgers off last year by taking a QB, they finally get him a top rated weapon here.
30. Buffalo Bills – Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida St.
With the loss of Josh Norman the Bills can upgrade the position with the a versatile, high IQ, high upside prospect with NFL in his blood.
31. *TRADE* Dallas Cowboys send Baltimore Ravens #99 & 2022 1st – Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Azeez Ojulari is seen by a lot of draft analysts and scouts as the top pass rusher in this class, knee concerns are coming to light that could have him drop into this range however. Here Dallas wants to keep onto #44 and go all in on 2021 so they send Baltimore next year's 1 and their comp 3 to take the falling star and fill a big need for their defense.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
After bringing back the whole championship squad, Tampa Bay has the freedom to go a variety of different ways here. Teams can never have enough pass rushers plus Jason Pierre-Paul is 32. Jayson Oweh ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at 6’4″ 246lbs! A one-year starter, Oweh didn’t register a sack last season so his lack of production will be a concern for teams, but with his measurables alone he could be very attractive in the 1st.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Richie Grant, S, UCF
34. New York Jets – Jalen Mayfield, OL, Michigan
35. Atlanta Falcons – Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
36. Miami Dolphins – Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
37. Philadelphia Eagles – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
38. Cincinnati Bengals – Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
39. Carolina Panthers – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
40. Denver Broncos – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (Fla.)
41. Detroit Lions – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
42. New York Giants – Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE Wake Forest
43. San Francisco 49ers – Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
44. Dallas Cowboys – Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
A lot of chatter coming out recently that the Cowboys would love to take Jevon Holland with this pick if he makes it. With natural ball skills and athleticism Holland is a well rounded player that can help Dallas in the pass and run and give the team something they've lacked for some time in a young play making safety.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars – Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
46. New England Patriots – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
47. Las Angeles Chargers – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
48. Las Vegas Raiders – Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
49. Arizona Cardinals – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
50. Detroit Lions – Liam Eichenberg, OL, Notre Dame
51. Washington Football Team – Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
52. *Atlanta Falcons – Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
53. Tennessee Titans – Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
54. Indianapolis Colts – Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
55. Pittsburgh Steelers – Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
56. Seattle Seahawks – Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
57. Los Angeles Rams – Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
58. Kansas City Chiefs – Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
59. Cleveland Browns – Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
60. New Orleans Saints – Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
61. Buffalo Bills – Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
62. Green Bay Packers – Quinn Meiner, C, Wis. Whitewater
63. Kansas City Chiefs – Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota
65. Jacksonville Jaguars – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
66. New York Jets – Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
67. Houston Texans – Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
68. Atlanta Falcons – Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC
69. Cincinatti Bengals – Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
70. Philadelphia Eagles – Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
71. Denver Broncos – Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
72. Detroit Lions – Paulson Adebo, CB, Standord
73. Carolina Panthers – Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
74. Washington Football Team – Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
75. Dallas Cowboys – Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
Brady Christensen is a solid OL prospect that could slip in the draft due to age, turning 25 in August due to serving a two-year religious mission, and a lack of competition faced. In this range, however, he provides Dallas good value and a much needed swing tackle should either Tyron Smith or La'el Collins not stay healthy, as well as a prospect they can groom for future LT.
~ ~ ~
A lot of moving parts for Dallas in this mock but they end up with a top corner, top pass rusher, top safety, and a solid offensive line piece. It cost them next year's 1st-round pick, but adding this amount of talent after only the first two days would go a long way to making the Cowboys a contender.