Pickard’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Pickard’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

by March 15, 2021 9 comments

The NFL’s legal tampering period kicks off on Monday, meaning a plethora of free-agent signings will be finalized early in the week. Before the deals run rampant, let’s take a look at a two-round mock draft with four new trades sprinkled in.

Click here for Version 1.0 from February

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

There’s no doubt about this pick. Lawrence is an elite prospect and has long been a lock for No. 1 overall.

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The Jets could either go with Wilson or Penei Sewell here, and it’s a much trickier decision than it looks. However, next year’s suboptimal class of quarterbacks will likely force the Jets to draft a signal-caller before it’s too late, leaving Sam Darnold on the trade block.

3. Carolina Panthers (via HOU, MIA): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

CAR acquires pick No. 3 from MIA for pick No. 8 and 2022 first-round

Miami is in a perfect position to trade back. Meanwhile, plenty of teams are looking to trade up, with many of them searching for a quarterback. Thanks to Houston’s unwillingness to trade Deshaun Watson, Carolina will turn their attention to trading up for Fields.

4. New York Giants (via ATL): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

NYG acquires pick No. 4 from ATL for picks No. 11, No. 76, 2022 first-round

With three quarterbacks off the board after three picks, Atlanta will trade back in hopes of not reaching too far for Trey Lance. The Giants are a perfect trade partner. By moving up to snag Pitts, New York adds a talented playmaker while stealing him from the Philadelphia Eagles, who sit at No. 6.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Sewell, arguably the best prospect in the draft, is a perfect fit for the Bengals given their needs at tackle. Sewell is a beast in the trenches and will be tasked with protecting Joe Burrow in his return from a heartbreaking ACL tear.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

With Pitts off the board, the Eagles pivot to the next-best option. Chase is a dynamic playmaker with great burst, vision, hands, and athleticism. With a new quarterback in tow, the Eagles pair him with arguably the top receiver in the draft. Perhaps this will be the moment that brings an end to Philadelphia’s revolving door at wide receiver.

7. Detroit Lions: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Lions could snag Jaylen Waddle here, but it seems more likely that they bring in a wide receiver via free agency and the later rounds of the draft. Despite taking Jeff Okudah in the first round last year, cornerback continues to be a position of need. Farley is the consensus top prospect at his position and could help transform the Detroit defense.

8. Miami Dolphins (via CAR): DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

There’s a legitimate argument to be made for Miami selecting Waddle here. However, Smith won the Heisman Trophy this past season and might be a slightly safer pick. Either way, both Smith and Waddle have experience playing with Tua Tagovailoa. They’d be great fits playing alongside their old quarterback in a Miami organization that is on the rise.

9. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Surtain is a great weapon in man coverage with the ability to be a strong playmaker. He was a three-year starter at Alabama and possesses great size and length. There is always the chance that Denver reaches for an offensive player such as Trey Lance, but taking a cornerback is a much wiser decision.

10. Dallas Cowboys: Rashawn Slater, T, Northwestern

While Dallas could look to address its defense, bolstering the offensive line makes plenty of sense, too. After all, the Cowboys need to focus even more on protecting Dak Prescott. Plus, more help in the trenches could lead to more success for Ezekiel Elliott, who struggled in 2020.

11. Atlanta Falcons (via NYG): Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The Falcons move down seven picks but still get their guy. Lance impressed in his Pro Day on Friday in front of several NFL decision-makers, including Falcons head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot. He’s not a perfect prospect, but Lance can sit behind Matt Ryan and learn from the veteran before taking over in late 2021 or perhaps 2022.

12. Tennessee Titans (via SF): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

TEN acquires pick No. 12 from SF for picks No. 22, 53, and 2022 second-round

Tennessee lost Adam Humphries and Kalif Raymond already this offseason. Now, they’re set to wave goodbye to Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, too. Trading up for Waddle could cost a pretty penny, but the Alabama product has proven that he is the real deal. An offense with Waddle, A.J. Brown, and Derrick Henry could be the best in the league.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech

Darrisaw is a relentless and physical prospect who fits nicely in the Los Angeles system. He is reliable in both pass and run protection and should have a somewhat seamless transition to the NFL. Darrisaw should be an immediate starter for the Chargers. A clear upgrade of Trey Pipkins and Sam Tevi, the Virginia Tech product will be tasked with protecting young sensation Justin Herbert in his sophomore season.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Paye is a great fit for the win-now Vikings. The athletic Michigan product is the top edge-rusher in the draft and should have an immediate impact in 2021. The Vikings could pursue Christian Barmore or Trevon Moehrig here, but Paye’s ceiling is too great to pass up.

15. New England Patriots: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Parsons has been vastly overlooked and could fall to the Patriots at No. 15. It would be unlike Bill Belichick to draft a quarterback or wide receiver here, so the defensive-minded head coach might focus on Parsons, whom he would be foolish to pass on. However, a trade back is also in play.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

After Paye, the edge-rusher rankings get a bit messy. Each team has its own take on the leaderboard, so Arizona has plenty of options here. However, Ojulari does make a lot of sense. The athletic and quick Georgia product could form a terrifying three-headed monster with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

There are a lot of questions surrounding Rousseau, whose decision to opt out of the 2020 season will likely hurt his draft stock. Still, he should be drafted on Day 1. Las Vegas is an ideal landing spot thanks to its historically aggressive mentality when drafting. It would come as no surprise if the Raiders see Rousseau’s high potential and snag him with their first-round pick.

18. Miami Dolphins: Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC

Vera-Tucker is a solid lineman with experience at both guard and tackle. This versatility coupled with exceptional athleticism make him an obvious first-round pick. He’d be a good fit in Miami, where he would be tasked with blocking for second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

19. Washington Football Team: Teven Jenkins, T, Oklahoma State

Jenkins is a big-bodied blocker with experience at both tackle and guard. A physical and relentless player out of Oklahoma State, Jenkins might not start right away for Washington but should develop into a very talented lineman. Trading back from No. 19 is not out of the question, either.

20. Chicago Bears: Samuel Cosmi, T, Texas

Cosmi is a talented tackle with good length and athleticism. He needs to fill out his frame a bit more, but that’s not a major concern. The Texas product would make plenty of sense on a Chicago team that recently cut right tackle Bobby Massie.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan

Mayfield is a vastly underrated prospect who has all the tools of an NFL star. The main knock on the big-bodied, athletic lineman is his abbreviated sample size. Still, when you have an opportunity to put a player like Mayfield next to Quenton Nelson, you do it 100 percent of the time. Mayfield should become an elite player no matter where he ends up.

22. San Francisco 49ers (via TEN): Jaycee Horn, CB, USC

Horn has great size and length and should be quite impactful when defending passes along the sideline. The biggest concern surrounding the USC product is his subpar tackling ability, but he’s a value pick in the back half of the first round nonetheless. Furthermore, San Francisco is set to lose Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, and K’Waun Williams in free agency, so cornerback is certainly one of their main positions of need.

23. New York Jets: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

New York hasn’t been linked to too many first-round edge-rushers so far, which is somewhat surprising considering they need assistance at the position. With Horn off the board, look for the Jets to pivot to help in the trenches. Defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh would love a young playmaker. Luckily for him, Phillips is just that.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Liam Eichenberg, T, Miami

The Steelers are in a tricky position because they need offensive line help but Eichenberg isn’t a perfect fit for their system. The Notre Dame product is better in run schemes than pass protection, though he certainly isn’t a liability in the latter, either. Still, after Eichenberg, there is a significant drop-off in talent at the tackle position. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Pittsburgh snag him here.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

Jacksonville would love to draft a receiver here to complement their shiny new toy at quarterback. However, defense is equally important, and the Jaguars’ unit struggled in 2020. Adding a cornerback is a must for the Jaguars and Newsome’s stock has risen recently. The pros of his excellent technique outweigh the cons of his injury history enough to warrant selecting him on Day 1.

26. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Owusu-Koramoah is a really fun player to watch and could be a good fit on a contending team like the Browns. He is a confident player with great speed and instincts. His ability to shift into a hybrid safety role also showcases how versatile he can be. The Notre Dame product is a near-lock as a Day 1 pick and probably deserves to be drafted higher than the consensus is expecting.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

Ossai is a talented athlete who can play both off-ball and in the trenches. He is an explosive player whose confidence has increased, making him look like a truly natural defensive weapon. Ossai has room to improve when defending the pass, but he boasts plenty of potential. This is a solid investment for Baltimore that could pay off big-time.

28. New Orleans Saints: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Oweh is a prospect who has potential but is not a first-round lock. He is impactful against the pass but has struggled in run defense, leaving plenty of room for development. Still, given his ceiling, this could be a sneaky good pick for the cap-stricken Saints.

29. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

As much as the Packers really don’t need help at wide receiver, Bateman at No. 29 might be too valuable to pass up. He isn’t a flashy player but still has the makings of a future NFL star thanks to his balanced traits and proven success at Minnesota. He’d be a perfect fit for a stable offense like Green Bay’s.

30. Buffalo Bills: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

Stokes’s value has crept into the backend of the first round thanks to an impressive Pro Day performance in which he ran a 4.25 40-yard dash. In addition to his speed, he has good vision, though his technique needs improvement. Still, for a Buffalo team that has things figured out on offense, adding Stokes to the secondary could be a very strong move.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Collins is a really good football player, and there’s not much more to say about him. He is a balanced and complete player with impressive size, length, and power. He tumbles to the end of the first round in this specific mock but could be the first linebacker off the board (and has the makings of a Bill Belichick favorite if he passes on Parsons at No. 15) come April.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama

Another player falling to the end of the first round is Barmore, a nicely-built lineman with great hands and power. He never saw the starting reps that you would expect from a first-rounder yet still projects as a penetrating player in the trenches who could alleviate some of Tampa Bay’s defensive needs.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dillon Radunz, T, North Dakota State

The Jaguars open the second round with an intriguing pick. They are strong at tackle with Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, yet Radunz could come in and provide alternative options at the very least. With guard Andrew Norwell likely to be traded, Radunz could play guard or take over at left tackle and force Robinson to guard. Depending on how Taylor develops, Radunz could slot in at right tackle and force Taylor to guard or even the bench. Those are scenarios for training camp, though. In the short-term, it is evident that Radunz is a talented blocker who adds depth to the Jaguars’ offensive line.

34. New York Jets: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Harris is both a talented runner and pass-catcher whom many see as the best running back in the draft. The New York offense could become sneaky good if they sign a wide receiver, draft a top quarterback, and land Harris in the second round.

35. Atlanta Falcons: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

Moehrig is a very intriguing prospect who has mid-first-round potential. However, with minimal need for safety among teams picking in the back half of the first round, the TCU product could fall to Day 2. He’s a weapon in the passing game but could improve when defending the run. Moehrig would be a nice fit for an Atlanta defense set to lose both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee this week.

36. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Etienne was a standout runner in college who could be an offensive centerpiece in the NFL. He makes plenty of sense for a Miami team that lacks a true featured back. With Aaron Jones headed back to Green Bay, Etienne is likely better than any running back on the open market. He’s a lot cheaper, too, and likely won’t cost a first-round draft pick. Snagging the Clemson product would be huge for the Dolphins.

37. Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

This isn’t a super flashy move for the Eagles but rather one that screams potential. Bolton looked solid in college and impressed in pass defense. Bolton would probably be a Day 1 starter for the Eagles and, at the very least, is a reliable option in the second round.

38. Cincinnati Bengals: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Cincinnati continues its focus on offense by drafting a talented slot receiver in Toney. He’ll fit in really nicely alongside fellow youngsters Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins while providing electric reliability to assist in Burrow’s return from injury.

39. San Francisco 49ers (via CAR): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

SF acquires pick No. 39 from CAR for picks No. 43, 117, and 196

The first (and only) mock trade of the second round results in the 49ers ending Mac Jones‘s tumble. The fall to Day 2 hurts, but it could prove to be worth it as Kyle Shanahan‘s offense is San Francisco is widely seen as an ideal fit for Jones. The talented passer has great vision and led Alabama along its championship journey this past season.

40. Denver Broncos: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

One pick away from landing Jones, the Broncos will instead pivot to Trask. The Florida quarterback has a solid build and impressive football IQ, though there are some concerns that the majority of his college success came thanks to the elite play of Pitts and Toney. Still, he’ll make for a decent developmental pick in the second round and could compete with Drew Lock for Denver’s starting job.

41. Detroit Lions: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

After going cornerback at No. 7, Detroit takes a wide receiver in the second round. Moore is an electric prospect who possesses some unknowns. For starters, he appeared in just seven games over the past two seasons due to injury. Further, he projects as a wild card player with a Curtis Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk ceiling and a very low floor. Still, Dan Campbell and Anthony Lynn are both expected to boost creativity in Detroit, so they just might find a way to utilize Moore.

42. New York Giants: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

Tryon is an explosive athlete who should have a seamless transition to the NFL. He’s nothing flashy, but the Washington product does project as an immediate starter. After addressing the offense in the first round, New York will be looking for defensive help and Tryon makes plenty of sense.

43. Carolina Panthers (via SF): Alex Leatherwood, T, Alabama

Leatherwood projected as a late first-round pick just a few months ago. However, a poor Pro Day coupled with the rise of other linemen hurt the Alabama product’s stock. Still, he is a versatile player with experience at both guard and tackle. Solid in pass protection, Leatherwood figures to compete for a starting job right away.

44. Dallas Cowboys: Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington

Dallas went O-line in the first round and pivots to the other side of the trenches for its second pick. Onwuzurike is a physical rusher who is solid against both run and pass schemes. Picking the Washington product in the middle of the second round could pay off nicely for the Cowboys.

45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

After Jacksonville used their first three picks on offense, they answer with a potential steal in the middle of the second round. Holland is versatile and athletic, and while he still has some development ahead of him, but there’s a lot to like about the Oregon product.

46. New England Patriots: Landon Dickerson, G/C, Alabama

After losing Joe Thuney and potentially David Andrews, too, it would be unsurprising to see Belichick snag a lineman from Alabama. He is a sturdy player with experience at several positions, though there are concerns surrounding his injury history. Still, his potential as a Year 1 starter makes him worth the risk.

47. Los Angeles Chargers: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State

With Justin Herbert gearing up for his second season and Austin Ekeler coming off an injury, bolstering the offensive line remains atop the Chargers’ to-do list. After taking a tackle in the first round, snagging Ohio State’s athletic guard one round later shows how committed Los Angeles is to shoring up its offense.

48. Las Vegas Raiders: Daviyon Nixon, DL, Iowa

Nixon has first-round potential but likely isn’t quite there yet. Still, if he falls to Las Vegas at No. 48, they would be foolish not to take him. The Iowa rusher has great length and hands in addition to impressive burst.

49. Arizona Cardinals: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

The Cardinals have a glaring need at tight end. Freiermuth is the second-best prospect at his position and possesses a wonderful blend of physicality and swiftness. He could be a nightmare for defenders and would fit nicely in the strong Arizona offense.

50. Miami Dolphins: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

With Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts set to walk, the Dolphins have a clear need at linebacker. They did just trade for Benardrick McKinney, but it cost them fellow linebacker Shaq Lawson. Perhaps Browning, a physical player with a high ceiling, could be just what Miami needs at the position.

51. Washington Football Team: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

It has been widely speculated that Washington could look to bring in a wide receiver to complement Terry McLaurin. While Marshall isn’t a top prospect, he does possess a great blend of hands, route-running, and versatility. Outside of a minor injury concern and perhaps a developmental timeline slightly on the longer side, there’s not a lot to dislike about the LSU pass-catcher.

52. Chicago Bears: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

Moore is a versatile athlete and a true nightmare for opponents. He would fit quite nicely as the third receiver behind Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. If Chicago takes a wide receiver in the second round, the Ole Miss product is likely their guy.

53. Tennessee Titans: Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF

After trading up for a receiver in Round 1, the Titans shift their attention to defensive help in Round 2. Tackling is a concern for the UCF product, but he has shown tremendous potential in coverage against slot receivers. After the Titans released Malcolm Butler, Robinson could step up and compete for a starting job out of camp.

54. Indianapolis Colts: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma

Perkins is a big-bodied rusher with a specific area of expertise in the pass rush. He is a solid run defender, too, though he sometimes gets a little too sloppy. Overall, though, Perkins is someone you don’t want to go up against. If he can become slightly more compact and disciplined, he could succeed in the NFL.

55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

Humphrey was in play for New England at No. 46 but fell to the Steelers. He is strong with a big frame and respectable power. He lacks length and is not super athletic but gets the job done. Pittsburgh desperately needs help at center and would love for Humphrey to fall to them.

56. Seattle Seahawks: Elijah Molden, CB, Washington

Molden, a Washington product, makes plenty of sense for the Seahawks. He’s a local player with solid athleticism and sneaky instincts. Of course, he’d have big shoes to fill in Seattle with Shaquill Griffin set to depart in free agency.

57. Los Angeles Rams: Jackson Carman, T, Clemson

Carman is a solid left tackle who could shift to guard depending on team needs. He is a big-bodied blocker who is reliable in both the run and pass game. For the Rams, finding affordable yet reliable protection will be important. After all, while Los Angeles is strapped for cash, they need to do whatever they can to preserve Matthew Stafford‘s health.

58. Baltimore Ravens: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

Eskridge has quietly risen up draft boards and should sneak into the second round. He has good hands and a background as a defensive back, which has led to him being an athletic and physical player who always gives full effort. It might take some development, but Eskridge could slot in quite nicely as a complementary option to Marquise Brown.

59. Cleveland Browns: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

Joseph has a small sample size but impressed when he was on the field. In 20 games, he aided his draft stock by boasting strong awareness and an ability to compete against stingy opponents. He certainly isn’t a guaranteed starter, but Joseph still projects to be a key depth player with upside.

60. New Orleans Saints: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

New Orleans went with an edge rusher in the first round and now takes a talented Florida State product on Day 2. Samuel is very versatile and has impressive upside. As a late second-round pick, he’ll provide the Saints with an affordable depth option who could eventually rise into a starting role.

61. Buffalo Bills: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

Devin Singletary is not the answer for Buffalo. Meanwhile, Zack Moss showed flashes of potential but never emerged as a true starter. However, Williams impressed at North Carolina as a big, physical runner. He should go in the first round and deserves a shot as a featured back. With this in mind, Buffalo seems like a great fit.

62. Green Bay Packers: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

Melifonwu has good range and solid size, making him an intriguing fit late in the second round. He needs to improve his technique but does show potential as an outside cornerback. He could be a very valuable developmental piece alongside Jaire Alexander.

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Trey Smith, G, Tennessee

Smith is a physical run-blocker with good hands. With Kansas City in need of offensive line help, Smith makes plenty of sense as the best player available. The biggest concern surrounding Smith is his history of blood clot problems, which could impact his durability. Still, this is a risk worth taking for the Chiefs. If the blood clots do not return, Smith could be one of the top investments in the draft.

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

The Buccaneers close the second round with more defensive help. Basham has really good power and backed up his work on the field with impressive stats at Wake Forest. He is a flashy prospect who won’t be a Day 1 starter but would still be an appealing fit in Tampa Bay.

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Andersen is a teenage sportswriter and reporter whose articles have appeared across the Prime Time Sports Talk, Sports Illustrated Kids, FantasyPros, and SB Nation platforms. He has also received credit from RotoWorld, CBS Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, The Athletic, SB Nation, NBC Sports, NY Post, and dozens of other sports sites for his reporting work.

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