1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Who knows if this will be the best NFL QB from 2021, but it's a pick "they have to make". Honestly, if it was me, I would trade back and get a QB of equal value, but that comes with more collateral. Would you rather have Lawrence OR Fields/Wilson/Lance and four extra draft picks? Either way, I'm excited to watch Jacksonville's offense next season!
2. New York Jets - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Most years, Fields would be considered the 1st overall pick. Why, in 2021, would he fall past 5?! For any "expert" that has him going outside the top 10, you've lost your mind. The Jets can't go wrong with any of these top 4 QBs, but I feel like they're leaning toward Fields over Wilson.
3. San Francisco 49ers - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
You don't trade away a chunk of your future unless you know 100% who you are going to draft. The 49ers have a strong organization and a proud history. A team of this nature would never make a questionable trade in order to get a random guy or average QB. They know something we don't, and they really fell in love with this undefeated college QB.
4. Denver Broncos (via trade from Atlanta) - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Falcons are in a perfect spot to trade back to a QB hungry team. I would love to be in the ATL front office on Thursday night. I bet they feel like the prettiest girl at the Ball.
As for the Broncos, their front office has to be on the hot seat. They HAVE to make an aggressive move to grab one of these top four QBs. And quite honestly, Zach Wilson is my QB1 of this draft class.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
I originally thought they might go Chase or Pitts, but that's just the sexy choice, not the smart choice. After the Bengals showed off their new uniforms during a photoshoot last week, we got a glimpse of how large the scar on Joe Burrow's knee is from his ACL surgery. In order to make sure their franchise QB doesn't add any more scars, Cincy needs to start adding quality offensive linemen.
6. Miami Dolphins - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
This pick is a direct result of Justin Jefferson's production last season. After watching him put up 1,400 yards as a rookie, every NFL GM was saying, "We need a player like that on our team". And in 2019, Chase had even better stats than his teammate Jefferson at LSU. Being an even better prospect than the best NFL rookie WR from 2020 will solidify Chase being a top 6 pick.
7. Detroit Lions - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
I thought they might go Surtain or Horn here, but they badly need WR help. Obviously, Smith showed his value by becoming the first WR to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard did it back in 1991. The Lions are also in a perfect spot to trade back and keep acquiring picks for the current rebuild, but it's hard to pass on a player like Smith.
8. Carolina Panthers - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Panthers are trying to give Sam Darnold a fresh start to his young career. Although they need CB and LB help, I think the Panthers go with an offensive player with the 8th overall pick. If Pitts gets drafted earlier, I feel like Carolina will address their OL or LB needs by drafting Rashawn Slater or Micah Parsons. But this kind of player just doesn't fall out of the top 10.
9. Tennessee Titans (via trade from Atlanta) - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Falcons caught the "Trade Fever"! They have now traded back twice within the top 10. Atlanta is racking up mid-round picks from the Broncos and Titans and 2nd round picks in 2022 and 2023 from both teams as well. Once the Matt Ryan & Julio Jones era is over, the Falcons will be ready to transition quickly.
As for the Titans, with two third round picks and nine picks total, they're looking to make a jump to grab their biggest need: CB. Whether it's Horn or Surtain II, either corner will make an immediate impact for this win-now team.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
If Jerry Jones is in charge, they'll make an ill-advised pick like Waddle or Najee Harris here at #10. However, if it's up to the rest of the front-office, they'll address their obvious need, which is at CB. During years past, when the draft isn't absolutely loaded with franchise QBs, Horn and Surtain II would be considered top 5 picks.
11. New York Giants - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Giants have had a busy off-season, acquiring Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph and John Ross as pass catchers to go along with Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Although it isn't necessarily the greatest WR room in the league, with all of this added depth, it's hard to believe that the Giants draft another pass catcher in the 1st round. Besides Parsons, I believe that Phillips is the best remaining defensive player, which is where the Giants need the most help.
12. Philadelphia Eagles - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
On paper, the Eagles really need an upgrade at WR. However, they wouldn't have traded back from 6 to 12 knowing that Chase and one of the Alabama WRs would be gone by now. After swinging and missing on every single WR they drafted since Jeremy Maclin in 2009, they will shift their focus to defense. Their next biggest need is DB. If Surtain II or Horn are still available, then Philly will go CB. Although they might still get the next best corner and draft Farley from VT, I think it's too hard to pass on a freak athlete like Parsons. *If Parsons is gone, Philly will draft a CB here.*
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
It's hard to believe that a player like Slater falls out of the top 10, but the Chargers definitely aren't complaining. The only reason that the Chargers wouldn't draft OL here at #13, is if Kyle Pitts somehow falls this far. That scenario seems extremely unlikely, so it's safe to say that LAC will draft the best available OL.
14. Miami Dolphins (via trade with Minnesota) - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Dolphins' obvious need is WR, and although they grabbed one of the best WR prospects of all time at #6, they decided to come back for more. Once Miami sees that Waddle is still available this late, they decide to trade up to grab Tua's old teammate. And since the Vikings believe that their guy will still be there at 18, they feel comfortable trading back 4 spots.
15. New England Patriots - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Close your eyes and point to a list of random prospects. This is typically the Patriots' draft strategy, so I have no idea who they will grab here. Whatever we think their biggest need is, they will always draft opposite of that. They don't need a RB right now, so that in fact, is who they will draft.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
After acquiring Hopkins last season, AJ Green this offseason, and Isabella, Butler, Kirk, KeeSean Johnson and Chad Williams over the past four drafts, maybe they'll finally get over their obsession of grabbing receivers. If they don't want the final score to be 63-60 every game, Arizona needs to draft some defensive help.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Similar to the Patriots, we need to just close our eyes and point. However, contrary to New England, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock aren't that good at playing the game, "NFL" quite yet. The Raiders desperately need an offensive tackle and a linebacker that can play the whole field, so they'll end up drafting a D-Lineman here.
18. Minnesota Vikings (via trade from the Dolphins) - Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
As a Vikings fan, you have to be happy with either Rousseau or Ojulari, from Georgia, as your 1st round edge rusher. Sitting at 14, they assumed neither the Patriots or Cardinals would draft an edge, so they were inclined to trade back four spots to grab one of the top defensive players in the 2021 Draft.
19. Washington Football Team - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
After signing Fitzmagic to a one-year deal, it's obvious that the WFT is still in search for their franchise QB. Mac will give them one or two years of average QB play, before they decide to draft or trade for another QB in 2024.
20. Chicago Bears - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The last two offensive players Da Bears drafted in the 1st round were TruBEARski at #2 in 2017 and Kevin White at #7 overall in 2015. However, in 2018, they drafted stud linebacker Roquan Smith at #8 overall. After signing the Red Rocket this offseason, maybe they should just stick to drafting defense in the 1st round... Unless they trade up for one of the top 4 QBs, I would assume they draft the best available CB at #20.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
Anthony Castonzo, the 2011 1st round pick & 10 year starter at left tackle for the Colts, has retired this past season. Although I'm not sure that Radunz is the best available OT, I'm sure the former NDSU grad, Carson Wentz, will persuade the organization to draft another NDSU alum to help protect his backside.
22. Atlanta Falcons (via trade from the Titans) - Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
If the Falcons don't draft Pitts at #4, then I see them trading back a couple times to acquire multiple picks and defensive help. I think their front office understands that this is an offensive-heavy draft class, so they will feel comfortable trading back and waiting for defensive players. Unlike in 2019, when 11 defensive lineman were drafted in the 1st round, the Falcons don't have to worry about reaching for one. They are able to relax and let trades come to them and still acquire the 4th defensive lineman off the board.
23. New York Jets - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
If I'm in the draft room for the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS, then I'm convincing everyone to draft the best available offensive threat for our new franchise QB. Although Bateman, Marshall, Toney and both Moores are all viable options, a defensive-minded head coach might think that the best pick is a receiving-RB threat. Perine was a good 4th round pick last year, but he's not the answer as a starting RB for a playoff-contending team. Then, with the 34th overall pick, the Jets will grab the best WR or offensive lineman available.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC
This pick could be any potential OL available or the best defensive player on the board, but the fact that AVT fell outside of the top 15 seems like a no-brainer to me. Pittsburgh has a stout defense and a ton of firepower for offensive threats, so I feel like their biggest need is the O-Line. Although pretty much every mock draft has the Steelers drafting a RB at 24, I just don't think that makes any sense. They drafted McFarland in the 4th last year and Benny Snell in the 4th the year before. The last time they even drafted a offensive-skill player in the 1st round was Rashard Mendenhall in 2008. It's been a defensive player literally every year since, except an offensive lineman in 2010 and 2012.
The Steelers, in my opinion, are the greatest drafting franchise of all time. Take a look at their past draft picks: https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/draft.htm
25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
After drafting their franchise QB, I believe that Jacksonville will address their 2nd biggest need, which is an offensive tackle. Since they have the 33rd and 45th overall pick as well, I believe that they'll use those early 2nds on a WR and safety. However, for now, they need to build some protection for Trevor Lawrence.
26. Cleveland Browns - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Although the Browns' biggest need right now is an edge rusher, I believe that they'll make a last-second audible once they see that Bateman has fallen this far. Bateman's athleticism will be a perfect compliment to Landry and OBJ, making this one of the most dangerous trio of WRs in the league.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
After trading away Orlando Brown, the Ravens need to find a replacement at right tackle. With his versatility and amazing college resume, there's a strong chance that Jenkins doesn't drop this far. If he does, though, then the Ravens will sprint to the podium to draft this run-blocking powerhouse.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (via trade from Saints) - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Jacksonville couldn't wait any longer. With arguably the most athletic player in this draft still available (4.3 40, 42 inch vertical and attained his Bachelor Degree in 2.5 years), the Jags traded up from 33 to 28 to add this weapon to suddenly one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.
(The Saints use the 33rd pick on Javonte Williams, RB, UNC)
29. New England Patriots (via trade from Packers) - Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
The Patriots jumped back into the 1st round to grab the QB they wanted all along. Bill is always up to something, and by the way he acted this offseason, he's showing that he wants to get back to a 12 personnel by heavily involving their two new tight ends and Harris out of the backfield. And who's better at throwing to a tight end than Kyle Trask?!
As for the Packers, they're obviously playing for the future. They will go down in history as the greatest team to be in rebuilding mode. Last draft they used their first three picks on a backup QB, backup RB, and backup TE. I'm excited to see what RB they choose to draft this year in the 2nd round.
30. Buffalo Bills - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Buffalo could trade up in the 2nd round to grab either Toney, E. Moore or Marshall if these three WRs continue to fall. However, for now, they need to add a playmaker in the secondary. We already saw the Titans trade up from 22 to 9 in order to grab a corner. The Bills are now hoping that one of these top DBs fall to them in order to help slow down the Chiefs offense. Which, if you're a contending AFC team, I believe is your main focus in the 2021 draft.
31. Baltimore Ravens - Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Just like with the Bills and Titans, the Ravens are looking for ways to slow down the Chiefs offense. Although they might go with an edge rusher here, they could also use some of their mid round picks (currently have two 3rds, two 4ths, and two 5ths) to trade up and grab a top edge in the 2nd.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
With Godwin, Evans, and two WRs from their previous two drafts - Scott Miller and Tyler Johnson, I don't think that the Bucs should use their first round pick on a WR. I understand that it would be hard to pass on the available WRs, who have surprisingly fallen out of the first round, but they should add a defensive player here. Also, we all know that Tampa will sign a free agent WR like Edelman at some point this offseason.