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Jason’s 2021 Round 1 NFL Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, QB
The consensus #1 player and top-rated QB to come out since Andrew Luck in 2012.

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, BYU, QB
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, North Dakota State, QB
With the big trade up the move is obviously for a QB, the question is which one? GM John Lynch says Jimmy Garoppolo is still in their plans so to me that says they might want to have this pick sit and learn for a year. Lance has 17 career starts, all against FCS competition, so, not the most impressive resume, but the talent and traits are all there for a big-time QB.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields, Ohio State, QB
The Falcons either take the 4th QB or trade it to a team that does. Will this team get the chance to land a potential franchise QB like these top 4 in the next handful of years? Probably not. Matt Ryan has had 13 seasons with this team, had an MVP season, and led them to a Super Bowl loss in 2016, but I believe his best years are behind him, time to look forward to a new QB.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, Oregon, OT
I’m sure it will be extremely tempting to take Joe Burrow’s former teammate Ja’Marr Chase here but their need for an offensive lineman is so great and they have a blue-chip franchise LT staring them in the face.

6. Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU, WR
The Dolphins specifically traded into this slot knowing there’s a good chance they’ll be able to take their #1 rated offensive weapon. It could very likely be Kyle Pitts or one of Tua Tagovailoa’s former teammates Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith, in this scenario I have them selecting a lot of people’s WR1 and creating a scary WR trio with DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Ja’Marr Chase.

7. Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, WR
The Lions look like early favorites to have the worst team in 2021. With so many holes they could trade down to a team looking to grab one of the top pass-catchers or even the 5th QB. If they stand pat WR seems to be the biggest need with both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones leaving via free agency, plus the value is great in this situation with both Alabama WRs still available. I think Waddle’s build gives him the slight edge on Smith but both are tremendous talents that could help new QB Jared Goff right away.

8. Carolina Panthers – Mac Jones, Alabama, QB
Mac Jones certainly looks like a reach here but there’s a lot of online chatter he could go as high as #3 to the 9ers. With how aggressive they’ve been during free agency don’t count out the Patriots from trading up to #7 to grab the last of the top 5 as well. If the Panthers don’t want to reach for Jones I think they would almost certainly go Kyle Pitts here, but I think with the premium of the position they’ll bite the bullet and pull the trigger.

9. Denver Broncos – Micah Parsons, Penn State, LB
GM George Paton was at Parsons’ pro day where he blew scouts away with a 4.39-second 40 at 6’3″ 235lbs. This is another situation where need meets value as the Broncos have needed better ILB play for years. Parsons can play inside, outside, and pass rush. With his pro day numbers, he should be a lock for the top 15.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Kyle Pitts, Florida, TE
This would be the absolute best-case scenario for Dallas. They can take their CB1, EDGE1, Rashawn Slater, or Kyle Pitts. If they take the player highest on their board it should be Pitts. Arguably the best TE prospect of all time, it would be something for him to even fall this far. CB Patrick Surtain would fit perfectly in this scheme, not to mention you would line him up across from his former teammate Trevon Diggs, but Pitts is such an offensive mismatch and redzone weapon, it would be really hard to pass him up. Not to mention you’re essentially gift wrapping him to a division rival with the Giants and Eagles picking directly behind you.

11. New York Giants – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern, OT
DeVonta Smith would look really good in this spot but with the signing of Kenny Golladay and problems all along their offensive line they go OL here. Slater is an explosive player that can line up at all 5 spots and help the Giants immediately.

12. Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith, Alabama, WR
I’m sure the Eagles would sprint to the podium in this scenario. Trade back and still land a top weapon and the draft’s best route runner, not to mention Jalen Hurts’ former teammate. Patrick Surtain would look awfully good here as well, but they can’t pass up the Heisman winner.

13. Los Angeles Chargers – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama, CB
OL is a big need for LA but so is CB with the recent cut of Casey Hayward, Surtain is a complete corner with size and athleticism to boot.

14. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC, OL
The Vikings’ biggest need is OG with both spots being complete question marks, in this scenario they can land the draft’s best G prospect in OL Vera-Tucker. He dominated at OG in 2019 then moved to LT last season and did outstanding there as well, projects better inside due to shorter arms, but could very well play LT at the next level.

15. New England Patriots – Kwity Paye, Michigan, EDGE
The Pats miss out on QB here but are in a position to draft EDGE1. An explosive pass rusher and tough run-stopper, two areas NE has struggled with the last few years, Paye is an athletic freak that can play all 3 downs.

16. Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina, CB
The Patrick Peterson era in Arizona is over after the CB signed with Minnesota this offseason. Horn is a big and fast corner that isn’t afraid to get physical, he fills a big need with great value at this spot.

17. Las Vegas Raiders – Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State, OT
The Raiders revamped their whole OL this offseason; they have Kolton Miller set on the left side and a 37-year-old Richie Incognito, but the rest are question marks. Jenkins gives LV a plug-and-play right tackle. Many have Christian Darrisaw as the better tackle, but I think the questions about his toughness could cause him to drop. Jenkins plays with nastiness and killer instinct that I think Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will love.

18. Miami Dolphins – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, LB
Miami took an offensive weapon at #6 and could use some OL help, but JOK is too good to pass up at this spot. A twitchy athlete, he can play all over the field, from covering the nickel to blitzing off the edge. He provides Miami a much-needed chess piece for their defense.

19. Washington Football Team – Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech, OT
I see Washington as a good landing spot for QB Sam Darnold since they have an extra 3. Whoever ends up starting at QB certainly needs better protection with LT a big hole after the Trent Williams trade. Darrisaw provides WAS with exactly what they’re looking for in the run game.

20. Chicago Bears – Zaven Collins, Tulsa, LB
Another QB needy team but the Bears aren’t in a position to land one of the top guys, so they could look for one in another round. They currently have a lot of resources designated to LB, but their latest addition of Robert Quinn hasn’t quite panned out (2 sacks after signing for 5 years $70M) and Danny Trevathan regressed last season. Collins is 6’3″ 260lbs with great lateral speed that can cover and rush off the edge. He could play both spots and potentially provide Chicago with an all-star trio with Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack.

21. Indianapolis Colts – Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
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’s a first-round lock. With Justin Houston’s contract up Indy could potentially land his replacement here.

22. Tennessee Titans – Azeez Ojulari, Georgia, EDGE
One of Tennessee’s biggest weaknesses last season was pass rush, they signed Bud Dupree for one side, and here they can land one for the other. Ojulari is a playmaker with an array of pass-rushing moves, his smaller size will be a concern (240lbs), but he should fit in nicely in the Titan’s 3-4.

23. New York Jets – Travis Etienne, Clemson, RB
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, Alabama, RB
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 – Trevon Moehrig, TCU, S
With QB locked up, the Jags need a lot of help on defense. The two biggest positions of need are DT and S and none are off the board in this scenario. Moehrig is a versatile ballhawk that can start at FS right away.

26. Cleveland Browns – Jaelan Phillips, Miami, EDGE
Phillips could be the most talented EDGE in this class, however, with his injury history (3 concussions at UCLA) he could fall down here. Phillips, lined up across from Myles Garrett, would be a scary sight for opposing QBs.

27. Baltimore Ravens – Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU, WR
Mel Kiper Jr. has mocked Marshall to Baltimore in all 3 of his drafts and has ties to the organization, he even correctly mocked last year’s selection of Patrick Queen. The Sammy Watkins signing is just a one-year deal and Marshall can play inside and outside, plus providing Lamar Jackson with a plethora of weapons couldn’t hurt.

28. New Orleans Saints – Kadarius Toney, Florida, WR
Toney is a firecracker that can line up all across the field. Not the best route runner, but dangerous with the ball in his hands. If he makes it to #28 I’m sure Sean Payton would be chomping at the bit to select this weapon for his offense.

29. Green Bay Packers – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern, CB
The Packers need a better WR across from Davante Adams, but two just came off the board, plus recent history shows they don’t like drafting WRs in the first. They also need a better corner across from Jaire Alexander, they re-signed Kevin King to a 1-year deal, but he was a liability in critical spots last year. Newsome is a tremendous athlete with lockdown potential. Caleb Farley could also be an option here, but with his recent microdiscectomy, I think, especially in a COVID year, he’ll be too risky to take in the 1st.

30. Buffalo Bills – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan, OL
Mayfield – like Vera-Tucker – is an OT that projects better as an NFL G, a big position of need for Buffalo. Mayfield is far from a sexy pick with big names like Caleb Farley and Gregory Rousseau still available, but Buffalo needs to prioritize protecting Josh Allen and doing a better job running the ball, Mayfield can help with that day 1.

31. Kansas City Chiefs – Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
We all watched the Super Bowl and saw exactly what the Chiefs’ problem was. With the release of both starting OTs, this selection almost has to go that route. Eichenberg is a solid LT prospect coming from one of the best programs for OL, (Mike McGlinchey, Ronnie Stanley, Zach Martin), Notre Dame. A 3-year starter, Eichenberg doesn’t have the athletic talents of some of the other tackles in this draft, but he is a smart and technical OT that gets the job done.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Gregory Rousseau, Miami, EDGE
Rousseau did not have a good pro day on top of opting out of the 2020 season. He is definitely a raw prospect but was extremely productive in 2019 with 15 sacks. This would be a really ideal situation for him to land on a team where he can be mentored by the likes of Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett. Rousseau can even line up as a 3-4 DE so he gives the Bucs a versatile playmaker if they can coach him up.

What do you think?

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Written by Jason Ramirez

31 years old. Cowboys fan since I can remember. Love anything to do with the NFL, but I'm especially a fantasy football and draft junkie. Always up for a good football debate on Twitter - @bigbackjay.

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