The 2020 NFL Draft feels like ages ago. The 2020 college football season is finally here, so without further adieu, so is a 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
1.1 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Lawrence has two All-ACC selections with 66 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in his first two years. Lawrence has led the Clemson Tigers to two College Football Playoff Championship berths and one victory. Lawrence can make plays on the run and hit every notch on the field. My comparison for Lawrence is Aaron Rodgers. Lawrence displayed leadership skills and acumen after leading the #WeWantToPlay campaign to save the 2020 season. Lawrence would instantly lead a Jacksonville locker room who is in the middle of a full-scale rebuild. Lawrence will add new dimensions to a lackluster Jacksonville Jaguars offense.
1.2 Washington Football Team
The pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Great Wall of Sewell comes in at number two overall after winning the Outland and Morris trophies. If Sewell gets his hands on you, he is going to steer you straight to the turf. Sewell has a knack for getting underneath a defender and driving them off the line of scrimmage. Sewell is the third Oregon player to earn the honor of unanimous All-American. Sewell will slide in and take over the gap that was created by the departure of Pro Bowler Trent Williams. My comparison for Penei Sewell is Jonathan Ogden.
1.3 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Ja’Marr Chase was a superstar for the 2019 LSU Tigers who would go on to win it all. Ja’Marr led college football in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Chase won the Biletnikoff Award, earned unanimous All-American, and All-SEC honors. Chase has excellent hands and can get underneath almost any pass. Chase can switch gears in an instant and shake off contact. Ja’Marr has an excellent history with Bengals franchise quarterback Joe Burrow and they will mesh instantly. Ja’Marr will become wide receiver one after veteran A.J. Green decides to hang them up.
1.4 New York Jets
The pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Rousseau was the second-best pass rusher in the country behind Chase Young last season. Rousseau has incredible length and his blend from power to speed is unreal. Gregory has a huge frame at six feet, seven inches tall, and 265 pounds. Rousseau can stack and shed the best tackles in college football. He had the second-most sacks in the nation in sacks with 15.5. Rousseau would instantly be the most skilled pass rusher on the Jets defense. Rousseau is physical enough to flourish in a Gregg Williams defense.
1.5 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Bridgewater would make a good bridge quarterback for NDSU star Trey Lance. Trey Lance comes from North Dakota State who has pushed out Carson Wentz and Easton Stick in recent years. Lance has incredible reads and can dissect a defense with ease. He proved that after passing for 28 touchdowns to a whopping zero interceptions. Carolina’s previous franchise quarterback loved to run the ball and so does Lance, Lance rushed for 1,100 yards and four touchdowns last season. Lance is the most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s draft and I compare him to the likes of Lawrence and Fields in that aspect.
1.6 Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Carr’s time in Oakland/Las Vegas is coming to an end. The Fields era is ushered in by Mayock’s first quarterback selection as a general manager. Unsurprisingly, Mayock’s first quarterback selection would be from a blue blood program. Fields perfected Ryan Day’s offense and led the Buckeyes to the college football playoffs. Fields passed for 41 touchdowns to just three interceptions. Fields has one of the best cannon’s in all of college football and an amazing pocket presence. Fields possess all the traits required to be one of the NFL’s best field generals.
1.7 New York Giants
The pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Micah Parsons is the premier linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft and adding him to a versatile Patrick Graham defense is a must-see defense. Parsons has amazing speed and can catch up to and take down some of college football’s best ball carriers. Parsons can cover, change direction and match changed coverages with ease. Parson is a willing blitzer and racked up five sacks last season. Parsons would start immediately for the Giants and would add a new dimension to their pass rush and combo coverages.
1.8 Detroit Lions
The pick: Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
The Lions haven’t had a solid interior pass rusher since Ndamkoung Suh and they rekindle that style of defense by adding the 2021 classes defensive tackle numero uno. Marvin Wilson is a large, solid defender who excels against the run and can chase down a rogue ball carrier in the backfield. Wilson has a strong motor who can get past a 1-on-1 with ease and make a splash play. Wilson will help set up other pass rushers and create situational pressure. My comparison for Marvin Wilson is Vita Vea.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
The pick: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
The Jaguars used their first pick to grab their franchise quarterback and now their next pick will be used to keep him upright. Humphrey possesses natural strength and can lead an offensive line room. I project Humphrey will start at guard, he is the best player available on my board and this pick also meshes with the fact that the Jaguars have an awful offensive line. Humphrey will instantly bolster the room and will start over anyone they currently have at either guard spot. Humphrey provides a financial out for Andrew Norwell’s albatross contract. Humphrey is amazing in pass protection against nose tackles. Humphrey is a former wrestler and translates his former sport into his current blocking techniques.
1.10 Chicago Bears
The pick: Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State
The Chicago Bears need a new signal-caller and Purdy is a great fit to take the helm. Purdy has been called a player who possesses the “IT” factor and would be an upgrade over anyone the Bears currently have at quarterback. Purdy gives you a blend of amazing arm talent and precision accuracy. Purdy is a touchdown machine, he passed for 27 scores and rushed for another eight. Purdy can leave the pocket efficiently and has a deadly pump fake in his arsenal too. Brock Purdy has all of the tools to become a great NFL quarterback and the Bears will display that confidence in him when they select him at tenth overall.
1.11 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Cosmi currently projects as my OT2, and the Chargers need help protecting Justin Herbert’s blindside. The Chargers have 2017 6th round pick Sam Tevi at left tackle and that will not bode well for the young signal-caller. Some would consider this a reach but he is the best overall tackle on the board and that is a glaring need for them. Cosmi is a powerful tackle with a large frame. Cosmi is raw when it comes to technique but he has an enormous ceiling. Cosmi returned to Texas this season to get his technique and aggression in order. The sky’s the limit for Samuel Cosmi this season in Austin.
1.12 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
The Dolphins look to have one of the NFL’s worst safety duos this season with Eric Rowe and Jamal Perry. Jevon Holland has a knack for finding the football. He has nine interceptions in the last two years. Holland led the Pac-12 in interceptions last season and is only one of three returning college players to have four interceptions the last two seasons. Holland fits the mold of the NFL’s do-it-all safety. Holland can take away the ball, he can enter the box, and play against the run, and he can maximize his athleticism in coverage. Holland is also an ace special teamer who was second in the Pac-12 in punt return yards. Holland will add a mix of skills to a Dolphins safety core in need of a true playmaker.
1.13 Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
The pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Dolphins are looking to add offensive firepower and why not a player franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa already has a rapport with. Jaylen Waddle is the fastest player in college football this season, Waddle led college football in punt return yards and yards per punt return. Waddle dropped a healthy 560 yards and six touchdowns as the fourth option in college football’s best receiving room last season. Waddle should dominate the game with the added snaps due to Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III departures. Waddle stretches the field because he is a home-run hitter who needs a single play to take it to the house. Waddle’s presence would help free other receivers and facilitate the run game.
1.14 Denver Broncos
The pick: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The Broncos need a man in the middle capable of facilitating the run and stopping intermediary passing. Dylan Moses was a projected first-round pick last season before tearing his ACL preseason. Moses is the most physically gifted linebacker in this class and his physical SEC pedigree translates every time he goes into make a tackle. Moses was a Butkus Award finalist in his sophomore season and was the field-general for a stellar Alabama defense. Moses would start day one for the Broncos and would be an upgrade over Todd Davis or Alexander Johnson at inside linebacker.
1.15 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts is a versatile tight end who plays like a larger and taller wide receiver. In Kingsbury’s air raid offense, you can’t have enough receivers and Pitts adds a whole new dimension to the offense. Kyle Pitts is a willing blocker and his frame helps him gain leverage over defensive ends. Pitts can climb the ladder and use his sizable catch radius to beat corners outside. Kyle Pitts is a dangerous receiver over the middle and can play inside or outside at Y receiver.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Travis Ettiene to the Atlanta Falcons is one of my favorite fits in this draft. Todd Gurley is not the answer and I don’t think Gurley’s knee will be able to give him prolonged success. Ettiene is an elusive runner who can make you miss with his jump cuts or his contact balance. Travis Ettiene has been an integral part of a very successful Clemson squad and he brings championship pedigree to the running back room. Ettiene is solid as a pass-catcher, and has plenty of time to improve in his pass protecting. The Clemson superstar will rush behind a youthful offensive line while adding luster to a talented passing offense.
1.17 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley is the top cornerback in the country and due to team needs, he has to 17 shockingly. The Eagles would pounce immediately on Farley to bolster their below-average secondary. A duo of Darius Slay and Caleb Farley could be the best in the NFL. Farley is a physical corner who can press and play off man to an amazing degree. Farley is an athletic specimen who has played amazing for starting college as a wide receiver. Caleb runs routes like a wide receiver and uses his positioning to disrupt the passing game.
1.18 New England Patriots
The pick: Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh
Two of the Patriots interior pass-rushers, Adam Butler and Lawrence Guy will be free agents after the season. Belichick has always drafted by a mold that is built around replacing talent for cheap rather than pay players their market value. Tywman is a force in the middle and racked up 10.5, which was good for second in the ACC. The first Pittsburgh defensive tackle to lead the team in sacks since Aaron Donald. Twyman will add some juice to a lackluster pass rush in New England.
1.19 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Colts are in desperate need for cornerback help, Surtain II would start day one as an outside corner for Matt Eberflus’s defense. Patrick Surtain has a nose for the football, Surtain intercepted two passes while forcing three fumbles last season. Patrick Surtain has a good pace and can match with the biggest and best vertical, physical wide receivers. My comparison for Patrick Surtain is Charles Tillman, Patrick has the closest thing to the “Peanut Punch” since Tillman left the game.
1.20 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest
The Vikings released Everson Griffen last offseason, effectively ending his stand-out duo with Danielle Hunter. They rekindle a pass-rushing duo by grabbing Wake Forest pass-rusher Carlos Basham Jr. Carlos is a strong defender who is going to make your tackle play at his physical limitations for 60 minutes. Basham needs to improve in run-stopping and setting the edge but he has time to develop both of those traits. Basham is a physical specimen who has a bag of tricks for tackles. Pairing Basham with Danielle Hunter is a no-brainer.
1.21 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
The Cleveland Browns need a quality safety, they grabbed the most physical safety on my board. Paris Ford is very athletic especially as a run defender and he has top-end speed to attack a ball carrier in space. Ford is extremely physical and loves to play that way using his shoulders and padding to bring down opponents. Ford would “wow” factor to a lackluster secondary. I expect Ford’s draft stock to shoot up during the 2021 season.
1.22 New York Jets (via SEA)
The pick: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Rashod Bateman is a large, big-bodied wide receiver who is a tremendous route runner. Bateman can generate separation by himself and has pretty solid hands. The Minnesota receiver would join the team and be a solid-contributor. New York has a lackluster wide receiver room and Bateman could add talent that would stretch the field. If New York really believes Sam Darnold is the future of the franchise then it would be wise to give him a good supporting cast.
1.23 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
They don’t call him “Baby Gronk” for nothing, Pat Freiermuth is a straight play-maker at tight end. Freiermuth is a three-down tight end that can break open the seam, beat linebackers, and run blocks. Freiermuth landing in the system of an ex-Patriot linebacker who has played tight end makes this pick all the more interesting. Pat Freiermuth would join a Titans team that has no tight ends signed past this season. Freiermuth currently sits as the best tight end I have ever evaluated. Kyle Pitts went ahead of him due to the Air Raid scheme in Arizona.
1.24 Green Bay Packers
The pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
DeVonta Smith played amazing last season, he racked up 1,256 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. DeVonta did all of this while playing in the nation’s most crowded receivers room last season. The Packers are in desperate need for a second option at wide receiver and after they shockingly passed on a wide receiver last year, they grab one of the best in the country. DeVonta Smith can play when the lights are the brightest, he caught the walk-off touchdown to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs and win a national title.
1.25 Pittsburgh Steelers
The pick: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
The Steelers will most likely not re-sign Alejandro Villanueva after this season and this will put them in the tackle market. Leatherwood is the best offensive tackle on the board. Leatherwood played left tackle but for left-handed Tua Tagovailoa, he was not protecting the blindside. Leatherwood is a good run-blocker and athletically gifted for his six-foot, five-inch frame. The Alabama tackle should become more polished this season and help establish himself as a solid blindside blocker.
1.26 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys don’t have many holes on this roster but defensive tackle is one of them and they need help more immediately than ever after releasing Gerald McCoy. Barmore fits the 4-3 even front scheme that Dallas normally has used and that puts him slightly ahead of LSU’s Tyler Shelvin. Chrisitan is a tremendous athlete with a great frame. Barmore uses his power and raw athleticism to create disruption. Barmore has an amazingly high ceiling and it helps to have Nick Saban in your corner. Barmore needs to learn how to use leverage and pass-rushing tools to maximize his strength. I trust in his development at Alabama. They have recently pushed out NFL talents Raekwon Davis, Quinnen Williams, Daron Payne, and Jonathan Allen.
1.27 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The Eagles have brought in help at the cornerback The Saints and Sean Payton value versatility more than anyone else in the league. Rondale Moore broke onto the scene after gashing #6 Ohio State for 12 catches and 170 receiving yards in a 49-20 win that would cost Ohio State a college football playoff berth. Rondale Moore has blazing speed and amazing vision. Moore’s vision is running back like. Rondale Moore can carry volume, he caught 112 passes in 2018 and rushed 21 times throughout the 2018 season. Michael Thomas needs a partner-in-crime in New Orleans and Moore can be that man for years to come. Rondale Moore uses his five-foot, nine-inch frame to slip past defenders and break tackles. Moore adds a whole new dimension to this offense.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
When you pound the rock as much as the Baltimore Ravens, it is important to have solid blockers up front. Wyatt Davis is a mauler upfront who loves to get physical and has a very large frame for a guard. Davis needs to clean up in pass protection but when you’re blocking for a historic rushing attack, pass protection isn’t as important as it normally is. Wyatt would slot in as the starting right guard ahead Ben Powers on Day One. Davis has the upside to be a Pro Bowl offensive guard and he enters an offensive line with a lot of talent around him to help him reach his full potential.
1.29 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
The Chiefs spent half a billion dollars on Patrick Mahomes and they need him standing upright. The Chiefs have the worst interior offensive line in the league and they need help at all three spots. Trey Smith fills one of those holes instantly and becomes a quality starter for the Chiefs. Smith is extremely physical and uses his leverage effectively against pass rushers. Trey Smith was one of the best high school prospects when he came out and he is living up the hype. The only red flag is he had blood clots in his lungs causing him to miss his sophomore season.
1.30 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Paulson Adebo would bring help to an old and slow secondary in San Francisco. In the Super Bowl, the 49ers secondary got exposed and their outside corners got tossed around. Adebo would be a starting outside corner in San Francisco Day one. Adebo has great ball skills, he totaled 4 interceptions this year, that is good for first in the Pac-12. Adebo can play a zone-heavy defense and he can use his athleticism to break up the pass in his area.
1.31 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Bills have one of the NFL’s best defenses and only have one spot in need of improvement, the corner spots opposite of superstar Tre’Davious White. Shaun Wade is primarily a slot corner but could move outside this season with the departure of Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette. Wade is a solid tackler and doesn’t give up much in terms of separation. Shaun Wade comes from a program that has pushed out a plethora of NFL talent at defensive back this last decade.
1.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in my projection. Similar to the last Super Bowl champs, they will also take a running back in the first round. The Buccaneers Super Bowl window is not wide and they want win-now talent. Najee Harris would add new dimensions to the rushing game immediately. Najee Harris is a punishing back who doubles as a solid receiving back. My comparison for Najee Harris is Joe Mixon.