This is your obligatory intro sentence where I use the word draft for SEO purposes. Hope you enjoy.
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
You don’t need me to explain that the Jaguars are going to draft Trevor Lawrence.
#2 New York Jets – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
This is what I wrote last time:
I’m anticipating the Jets trade Darnold and then draft a quarterback at two. Neither Douglas or Saleh were there when the team took Darnold so there is a high probably they want to hit the reset button with their own guy. They’d also reset the clock on having a starting quarterback on a rookie scale deal, the holy grail in today’s quarterback market.
Text from an NFL scout who was at the BYU pro day:
"Draft starts at 3. Wilson going 2."
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) March 26, 2021
#3 San Francisco 49ers (F/MIA/HOU) – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
We can now spend the next month trying to guess which quarterback the 9ers traded the farm for. All I know is it’s not Mac Jones so knock it off Twitter. At this point it’s just a guess of if you believe Shanahan and Lynch want Fields or Lance. Both make sense, though I’d argue Fields makes more sense. However, for what it’s worth, Benjamin Allbright, who is one of the most reliable reporters, had this to say:
So I'd I had to guess now…
1. Jax T Lawrence
2. NYJ Z Wilson
3. SF T Lance
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 26, 2021
Man I don't know. Some conversations I've had lead me to believe it's Lance, but I'm not 100%
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 28, 2021
#4 Atlanta Falcons – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
In Mock Draft 1.0 I had the Falcons flip up to #3 in order to secure Fields. Here is what I wrote then:
New regimes mean new quarterbacks and Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot are within simple striking distance of being able to draft the heir to Matt Ryan. But that is not the only factor at play here. Atlanta surely expects a quick turnaround, meaning they don’t anticipate drafting this high again any time soon. As a result, this is their one chance to get a top tier quarterback prospect. It’s similar to the Steelers in 2004 as they knew they weren’t going to get a do-over on a prospect as good as Roethlisberger.
Fontenot has openly talked about how he will “utilize all of the avenues” for adding quarterbacks to the roster, including the draft. He spent time in Green Bay watching Ron Wolf continuously draft quarterbacks despite having Favre entrenched as a starter.
There’s also the math. Ryan’s cap hit in 2022 will be $48.66 million. Given the cap issues teams are having all around the league it will be too difficult to find a taker this offseason. However, next year has better odds for a “viable-starter-away” team to have the flexibility to take on Matt Ryan’s deal, and if Carson Wentz can fetch a 3rd and conditional 2nd then someone will give Atlanta something nice for Ryan.
As for Fields himself, yes, admittedly, he is the last of the three remaining. There is also the local connection, as Fields is from Georgia and, let’s just be honest, coming off a down-revenue season where the team won four games, maximizing jersey sales will at a minimum be a cherry on top to this decision. Football wise, Fontenot spoke of wanting a “tough, competitive football team,” so watching Fields obliterate Clemson in the semi-finals while sustaining a mid-game injury must have caught his attention. Lastly, don’t you just want to see Fields running the Tannehill-Titans offense? I do.
Atlanta can easily go a number of different ways. Sewell, Pitts, their favorite receiver, or sell the pick to the highest bidder for the rights to Fields. For now, I still think the organization won’t pass on the opportunity to secure the post-Ryan era with a homegrown talent.
#5 Cincinnati Bengals – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
I used to figure that despite Joe Burrow’s personal campaign to make Chase the pick here, the team would eschew Chase in favor of Sewell in order to protect Burrow’s health. Given the depth at receiver in the class, it makes sense. However, since this class is also considered deep at tackle I’m starting to think the team will simply give Burrow what he wants in order to keep him happy. Add in Sewell’s rumored immaturity and Cincinnati just brings in Joey’s old college buddy who dominated the SEC at 19 years old.
Ja'Marr Chase vs NFL CBs in 2019 (AJ Terrell, Trevon Diggs, CJ Henderson, Noah Igbinoghene and Patrick Surtain II):
🔸26 rec (13 were a 15+ yd gain)
🔸6 TDs (outside of Chase, the 5 CBs combined gave up 3 TDs in 2019)
Chase was only 19 years old that year
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) March 30, 2021
#6 Miami Dolphins (F/PHI) – WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Miami is calling their shot here, moving back up courtesy of Philadelphia. With San Francisco in the top three, the first three picks in the draft are now guaranteed to be quarterbacks. As such, the Dolphins have three non-quarterbacks they love. There has been plenty of hype and buzz regarding Miami and Smith since December.
#7 Detroit Lions – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
In a world where Sewell falls to seven I don’t believe Detroit will be able to bring themselves to pass. Among other contributing factors, Brad Holmes had a front row seat for how drastically a competent offensive line changed Jared Goff in 2017. Even when the team moves onto to their next quarterback in 2022 or 2023, Sewell will already be in place providing protection.
#8 Chicago Bears (F/CAR) – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Carolina Receives: #20, 2022 first
Chicago Receives: #8
It certainly seems like Ryan Pace cannot possibly get fired. He is the only general manager out of those that draft Trubisky, Mahomes, and Watson that still has his job. Make that make sense. However, if Chicago misses the playoffs in 2021 I believe the organization will move on from both Pace and Nagy.
Which leads us to a win now move, even if it means mortgaging the future. If this doesn’t work, Pace and Nagy won’t have to deal with the repercussions. Jaylen Waddle will bring a home run hitting element to this offense that will compliment Allen Robinson perfectly and give Andy Dalton the best chance at succeeding.
#9 Los Angeles Chargers (F/DEN) – OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Denver Receives: #13, #78, #98, #119
Los Angeles Receives: #9, #153
With Dallas, New York, and Philadelphia directly in front of Los Angeles at 13, the Chargers move up to secure Slater. The franchise’s number one priority must be protecting Herbert.
#10 Dallas Cowboys – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Here is what I wrote last time:
This just feels like something Jerry Jones would do. He isn’t going to take Waddle, but he doesn’t want to leave New York with a choice between Pitts and Waddle. Surtain is a great fit for the Cowboy’s defense and hits a massive need, but Jones actually displayed value based drafting in 2020 and that continues here. Adding Pitts to this offense with Dak back is absolutely the type of media hype machine maneuver Jones craves, and in this situation it’s actually a good idea.
Now add in keeping Pitts away from Philadelphia as well.
#11 New York Giants – Edge Kwity Paye, Michigan
After bringing in Golladay, Gettleman can now turn his attention to the defense. We all know how much he loves drafting hog mollies in the trenches, and the Giants desperately need reinforcements for their pass rush.
#12 Philadelphia Eagles (F/MIA/SF) – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
With the five elite non-quarterbacks off the board, as well as Slater, the Eagles turn their attention to fixing their secondary. Pro Day times need to be taken with a grain of salt, but for what it’s worth Surtain’s athletic profile is off the charts.
Patrick Surtain II is a CB prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 7 out of 1755 CB from 1987 to 2021.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 28, 2021
#13 Denver Broncos (F/LAC) – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
The Broncos move down and still get someone they’re presumably seriously considering at nine.
#14 Minnesota Vikings – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
This could easily be an edge defender but Minnesota may view this as the final piece to the offense and then spend the rest of their draft on defense and let Zimmer coach up that unit.
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers (F/NE) – QB Mac Jones, Alabama
New England Receives: #24, #88, 2022 2nd
Pittsburgh Receives: #15
I know what you’re thinking: No way Belichick passes up on Jones!
While the Brady comparison are obviously ridiculous, I thought the Jones to Patriots thing was always more narrative than based in reality. It’s easy to say Jones will come in and play within the structure, then add in the Saban connection and boom, no-brainer.
Eh. It was sort of out there in the universe the last year or two of the Brady era that after Tom, Belichick wanted move on with a mobile quarterback in the direction the league is trending. Then they signed Cam not once but twice. There’s also this (yes I am going to wildly overreact to something that’s probably just a coincidence):
Mac Jones overthrows a deep ball, so the camera naturally goes to Bill Belichickpic.twitter.com/z9NfbJNObf
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 30, 2021
As for the Steelers, they started 11-0 before the wheels fell off last year, but they may view that as “no we’re pretty set to make a run at this thing” as opposed to “we really just need one final piece” and take the opportunity to go up and secure a future after Roethlisberger.
#16 Arizona Cardinals – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
The Cardinals need to improve their corner play. Horn is an aggressive, supremely confident corner that will hopefully be able to make an immediate impact.
#17 Las Vegas Raiders – IDL Alim McNeill, North Carolina State
Go ‘head, get your jokes off. What business does McNeill have going here and/or ahead of Barmore?! Well, what business did Clelin Ferrell have going fourth overall? What business did Henry Ruggs have going as the first receiver off the board? What about Damon Arnette in the first round?
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have displayed an obvious pattern. They draft for need and are ridiculously overconfident in their own evaluation abilities. The Raiders’ run defense last year was atrocious and with how well McNeill plugs the run and his potential upside as a pass rusher given his athleticism, this really isn’t that crazy.
#18 Miami Dolphins – Edge Jaelan Phillips, Miami
Jaelan Phillips obliterated Miami’s Pro Day. He could easily be the first edge off the board now, and is probably a lock to be in the top two. In 2020, Chris Grier showed a deference for players at positions of value. After taking Tua 5th, he followed it up with two more first round picks; a left tackle (albeit a reach) and then a corner despite having Xavien Howard and Byron Jones already.
Miami taking a wide receiver at 6 is incredibly likely (another high value position) and here we are addressing edge. I could easily be proven wrong but I don’t believe the Dolphins will draft a running back here at 18.
#19 Washington – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Farley has the most upside at the corner position in this draft yet falls due to his health concerns. Washington will gladly snag him at a discount as he hits a major area of need.
#20 Carolina Panthers (F/CHI) – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Last year the Panthers passed on Isaiah Simmons for what can only be described as the dumbest reason imaginable.
This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard https://t.co/vwMoikMSXt
— Jonathan Rosenberg (@frosted_takes) April 24, 2020
I’m not saying JOK is Simmons, but he does provide the linebacker/safety coverage skill set that they passed on last time.
#21 Green Bay Packers (F/IND) – WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
Indianapolis Receives: #29, #93
Green Bay Receives: #21
There’s a very good chance I’m letting my inner fandom cloud my judgement as the Packers probably won’t draft a receiver at their own pick let alone trade up for one. However, they fell one game short of the Super Bowl last season and maybe, just maybe, they view themselves as one piece away and go get Rodgers another receiver.
#22 Tennessee Titans – WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Jon Robinson has displayed a pattern of filling needs with athletes since he took over in 2016. He took Derrick Henry in 2016. He took Corey Davis 5th overall in 2017 because of the huge drop off at receiver in that class despite it being a reach, then followed Davis up with Adoree’ Jackson in the same first round to hit corner with blazing speed. Jeffrey Simmons and A.J. Brown are freaks that addressed needs. I mean, this dude took Isaiah Wilson last year who before the debacle had no business going in round one, it’s just that Jack Conklin left town.
The Titans need a slot receiver and Elijah Moore is a freak.
#23 New York Jets (F/SEA) – OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
It’s common practice for a team to follow up drafting a first round quarterback with a support piece. Offensive line, wide receiver, tight end. AVT has tackle/guard versatility so the Jets can decide how best to utilize him as he protects Wilson.
#24 New England Patriots (F/PIT) – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
After moving down, Belichick grabs the best receiver on the board. Despite the free agency splurge, New England still needs more at receiver. Edelman can’t play forever and N’Keal Harry is a bust.
#25 Jacksonville Jaguars (F/LAR) – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
During his time in San Francisco, Trent Baalke showed a preference for drafting players with high athletic traits. Moehrig hits a need and tested well at his Pro Day, despite allegedly being only 80% healthy due to a bad back.
#26 Cleveland Browns – Edge Jayson Oweh, Penn State
Pairing a speed bender like Oweh with the horse that is Myles Garrett would be incredible.
#27 Baltimore Ravens – Edge Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
It may cause the Ravens physical pain to pass on Alabama products Dickerson and Barmore here. While Baltimore is impressively excellent at taking mid-round pass rushers and having them become productive, they decide to swing for the fences at the position this time around.
#28 New Orleans Saints – WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Do you really think Sean Payton will be able to help himself if Kadarius Toney is on the board?
#29 Indianapolis Colts (F/GB) – OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
The way the board seems like it’s going to break on draft night I believe Ballard will look to move down. Indianapolis’ two biggest needs are offensive tackle and edge, and the Colts figure to have multiple options all in the same tier at 21. Ballard is no stranger to moving around the draft board so I suspect he will drop down, add picks, and still get a value at either position.
#30 Buffalo Bills – RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
I don’t agree with this pick, but I’m not projecting what I’d do. Buffalo gets their choice of any running back.
#31 Kansas City Chiefs – OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
If you watched the Super Bowl you understand this.
#32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – IDL Christian Barmore, Alabama
The rich get richer. There will come a day Suh doesn’t line up anymore. On that day, Barmore will be ready.
#33 Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
About the teams that draft a quarterback draft help thing. Well, here ya go.
#34 New York Jets – CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
New York’s corner situation is a disaster.
#35 Atlanta Falcons – RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Imagine the jersey revenue if the Falcons walk away with Justin Fields and Najee Harris.
#36 Miami Dolphins (F/HOU) – OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Grier back to sticking with the value positions and giving Tua the best possible protection.
#37 Philadelphia Eagles – WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
Roseman adds some size to the opposite side of Reagor.
#38 Cincinnati Bengals – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
After passing on Sewell the Bengals take a tackle.
#39 Carolina Panthers – CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
Carolina’s corner situation is a disaster.
#40 Denver Broncos – IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
The Broncos could use some help on the interior and theoretically this would help Lock.
#41 Detroit Lions – IOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
Detroit doubles down at offensive line to ensure Goff/their-future-quarterback is protected.
#42 New York Giants – LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
This is an insane value.
#43 San Francisco 49ers – WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina
Shanahan wants to add a real speed, vertical threat to Lance’s weapons.
#44 Dallas Cowboys – Edge Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Rousseau had a disappointing Pro Day which may drop him lower than it should when it’s combined with the fact the opted out of 2020.
#45 Jacksonville Jaguars (F/MIN) – OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
And now protection for Lawrence.
#46 New England Patriots – S Jevon Holland, Oregon
One day Devin McCourty will retire (I think) and Jevon Holland is the assignment sound type player Belichick is into.
#47 Los Angeles Chargers – CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
The Chargers need to restock their corners.
#48 Las Vegas Raiders – OT Jackson Carman, Clemson
Find you someone that loves you like Mayock loves Clemson prospects.
#49 Arizona Cardinals – WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
I don’t know if Kliff can pass on this toy.
#50 Miami Dolphins – RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina
Here’s the Dolphin’s running back.
#51 Washington – QB Kyle Trask, Florida
Washington figures it’s worth a shot here in the second.
#52 Chicago Bears – OT James Hudson, Cincinnati
Before you yell at me that this is an egregious reach just remember that Ryan Pace drafted Adam Shaheen 45th overall.
#53 Tennessee Titans – OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa
Jon Robinson, addressing needs with athletic traits.
#54 Indianapolis Colts – Edge Joe Tryon, Washington
Good chance the Colts address offensive tackle and edge with their first two picks.
#55 Pittsburgh Steelers – IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Pittsburgh needs help on the interior.
#56 Seattle Seahawks – CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
Seattle trading down from this pick is nearly a certainty. If they stay, Melifonwu has the high level athleticism the Carroll/Schneider regime has coveted over the years.
#57 Los Angeles Rams – LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
Right in a row two NFC West teams without a first round pick that I expect to trade down from this slot in order to acquire additional picks.
#58 Baltimore Ravens – OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
#59 Cleveland Browns – LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
The Browns just sit here at 59 and grab an incredible value.
#60 New Orleans Saints – CB Aaron Robinson, UCF
Given Lattimore’s recent criminal situation New Orleans may be in the market for a corner early on.
#61 Buffalo Bills – CB Greg Newsome II, Washington
Adding Newsome opposite White would be tremendous.
#62 Green Bay Packers – CB Elijah Molden, Washington
We all watched Kevin King get torched in the title game, but Green Bay needs a better slot corner as well and Molden has been the best slot corner in college football the past two seasons.
#63 Kansas City Chiefs – Edge Carlos Basham Jr. , Wake Forest
Good value that’s not only a fit but addresses a need.