Pickard’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0by Andersen Pickard March 28, 2021 0 comments
The new league year is nearly two weeks old. With many high-profile signings and even a couple of league-altering trades in the books, it’s time to dive into yet another mock draft. This two-round mock features 10 new pick swaps, including one that involves players.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Third mock, third Lawrence-to-Jags selection. Next.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
It appears more and more likely that Wilson is the Jets’ guy here, especially after a dominant Pro Day on Friday. He could be something special in Mike LaFleur’s system.
3. San Francisco 49ers (via HOU, MIA): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The 49ers shocked everyone by moving up to No. 3, essentially guaranteeing they draft a quarterback. They’ve been linked to Trey Lance after this impressive Pro Day, but Fields is more experienced and should have an easier transition to the NFL.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
This is an intriguing trade-back spot, but the Panthers are likely the only team that would legitimately part with a large haul of picks. With the Falcons unwilling to do inter-division business, they take Matt Ryan‘s future successor in Lance.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, T, Oregon
Sewell is ferocious in the trenches and makes plenty of sense for the Bengals. Bolstering the receiving corps is intriguing, but after a lack of protection cost Joe Burrow the second half of his rookie year, drafting Sewell is the way to go.
6. Miami Dolphins (via PHI): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Miami moved up to No. 6 in an apparent effort to give Tua Tagovailoa a dominant wide receiver for years to come. Florida’s Kyle Pitts would be a fun pick here, but Chase is the more conventional option for Miami.
7. Detroit Lions: Rashawn Slater, T, Northwestern
If they don’t trade back, the Lions will have to decide if they want to add help at wide receiver, cornerback, or tackle. In the end, Jared Goff will benefit from the protection of Slater. The Lions will still have plenty of time to take a receiver later on.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (via CAR): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
TRADE: JAX acquires pick No. 8 from CAR for picks No. 25 and 106, G Andrew Norwell, and QB Gardner Minshew
Whew, there’s a lot to unpack here. For starters, the Jaguars make a huge splash and give Lawrence one of the best tight end prospects we’ve ever seen. As for Carolina, they stay in the first round, add an early fourth-round pick, get major help at guard, and bring in Minshew to compete with Teddy Bridgewater after missing out on Fields and Lance. Carolina could go cornerback here (or even take Pitts), but this haul is too good to refuse.
9. Tennessee Titans (via DEN): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
TRADE: TEN acquires pick No. 9 from DEN for picks No. 22, 53, and 2022 first-round
This may be an unpopular opinion, but trading up for a top-three receiver seems like the ideal strategy for Tennessee. Can you imagine an offense of Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, and Waddle? Meanwhile, the Broncos fall back 12 spots but add a mid-second and future first.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
As much as Dallas needs offensive line help, the Cowboys won’t turn down a chance to draft the best cornerback in the draft. Whomever they pick is a matter of team preference, but Surtain is gaining a lot of hype as the best corner in the draft.
11. New York Giants: Jaycee Horn, CB, USC
The Giants extended Leonard Williams and signed Kenny Golladay this month, leaving them plenty of room for preference in the draft. They did sign Adoree’ Jackson, but going cornerback would still be an intriguing route. Once again, this would depend on whom they prefer between Horn and Caleb Farley.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (via SF, MIA): DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Philadelphia traded back to No. 12 but could still end up with a top-three receiver. Smith’s stock took a hit due to BMI concerns, but it’s obvious that he possesses talent. Pairing Smith’s height with an offense that already features Jalen Reagor could spell success.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech
No change here. Darrisaw still seems like the perfect fit for a Chargers team looking to protect Justin Herbert in his sophomore campaign.
14. Miami Dolphins (via MIN): Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
TRADE: MIA acquires pick No. 14 from MIN for picks No. 18, 81, and 156
Miami continues to be aggressive, moving into the No. 14 spot to land the draft’s top pass-rusher. While Miami moves up, Minnesota drops four slots and accumulates two later picks.
15. New England Patriots: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
This seemed like a great landing spot for Micah Parsons. However, Patrick Chung‘s sudden retirement puts New England in need of a safety. They did sign Jalen Mills, but selecting the top safety in the draft still seems inevitable.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
While analysis on Parsons has varied drastically, one thing is clear: the Penn State product is a playmaker. It’ll be interesting to see how long he lasts, but if he’s still on the board at No. 17, Las Vegas should snag him in a heartbeat.
18. Minnesota Vikings (via MIA): Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
Vera-Tucker is the top interior offensive lineman in the draft. Minnesota gets its guy after trading down.
19. Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
TRADE: BAL acquires pick No. 19 from WFT for picks No. 104, 2022 first-round, and 2022 third-round
Outside of Sammy Watkins, Baltimore has failed to bring in wide receivers thus far. While players can choose where to go during free agency, the NFL Draft presents no such privilege. Baltimore secures a long-term playmaker by trading with Washington.
20. Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Despite what the Bears’ social media team tries to tell you, Andy Dalton isn’t a true QB1. He might open the year as the starter, but drafting Jones and letting him develop under Dalton for a few months makes a lot more sense.
21. Green Bay Packers (via IND): Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan
TRADE: GB acquires picks No. 21 from IND for picks No. 29, 214, and 2022 third-round.
Mayfield should have a really quick transition to the NFL, making him a great fit for the win-now Packers. He’ll provide low-cost support in the trenches as Green Bay looks to make a Super Bowl run.
22. Denver Broncos (via TEN): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
After making some key moves during free agency, the Broncos don’t have too many glaring holes. They could improve their pass-rush attack, for which Rousseau could provide major assistance.
23. New York Jets (via SEA): Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
The Jets need help at cornerback and Newsome is the best available at his position. He’ll provide plenty of youth in first-year head coach Robert Saleh’s defense.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dillon Radunz, T, North Dakota State
For Pittsburgh, it’s all offensive line. They may look for reinforcements at running back, but tackle should be the top priority. Radunz is the choice here, though Liam Eichenberg and Samuel Cosmi are also intriguing.
25. Carolina Panthers (via LAR, JAX): Samuel Cosmi, T, Texas
Speaking of Cosmi, he lands with the Panthers here. Carolina traded back while adding Norwell and Minshew, leaving tackle as one of their biggest voids. There’s a lot to like about the Texas product.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
New mock, same pick. Owusu-Koramoah fills many areas of need for Cleveland thanks to his ability to play linebacker, cornerback, and safety. If he’s still on the board, this pick is almost guaranteed.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Ravens got their wide receiver and now shift their attention to the defense. The second tier of edge-rushers is a bit scattered, but Ojulari is probably the best remaining from the bunch.
28. New Orleans Saints: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
With Janoris Jenkins in apparent legal trouble, the Saints make cornerback an even bigger priority than it already ways. A couple of names provide intrigue, but none more than Samuel.
29. Indianapolis Colts: Liam Eichenberg, T, Notre Dame
30. Buffalo Bills: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Here’s another pick that stays the same from the 2.0 mock. Stokes’s draft grade shot up after his impressive 40-yard dash, which was likely enough to land him in the first round. He could further strengthen a nasty cornerback room in Buffalo.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Look at that: another pick that carried over from the last mock. There’s not much to say here outside of defending the selection of a linebacker rather than offensive line help. Linebacker is an underrated position of need for the Chiefs, who, on the other hand, added Joe Thuney in free agency.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
Make it three straight picks that are identical to the pre-free agency mock. Sure, Tampa Bay brought back Ndamukong Suh. However, he is aging and likely won’t be retained for 2022. Barmore can develop under Suh and become a solid lineman with several years of team control.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Jacksonville has already made plenty of moves at wide receiver, most notably signing Marvin Jones Jr. Still, supplying Lawrence with yet another playmaker helps to set him up for immediate success.
34. New York Jets: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
35. Atlanta Falcons: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
Atlanta lost both Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee in free agency, so taking a safety here seems right. They could go offensive line after drafting Lance earlier, but that need for secondary help is just too significant.
36. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Landon Dickerson, G, Alabama
This is an awkward pick that might draw some questions, but Dickerson is a versatile player who can fill in anywhere. He can still provide immense value for Miami even if not a Week 1 starter.
37. Arizona Cardinals (via PHI): Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
TRADE: ARI acquires pick No. 37 from PHI for picks No. 49 and 2022 fourth-round
It’s hard to predict how the run on running backs unfolds, but the disappointment of Clyde Edwards-Helaire could hurt the stocks of Harris and Travis Etienne. Still, Arizona moves up to early in the second round, grabbing Kenyan Drake‘s replacement.
38. Houston Texans (via CIN): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
TRADE: HOU acquires pick No. 38 from CIN for picks No. 67 and 2022 third-round
The Texans have been busy this offseason, adding a bunch of older players on short-term pacts. Trading up for Etienne provides the offense with fresh youth.
39. Chicago Bears (via CAR): Teven Jenkins, T, Oklahoma State
CHI acquires pick No. 39 from CAR for picks No. 83 and 2022 second-round
Nobody really knows what the Bears are doing, but the first round of the draft should provide some clarity. After snagging Mac Jones, they move up in the second round to get him some protection.
40. Denver Broncos: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
This is a fun pick for the Broncos, who are an under-the-radar candidate to make a splash at linebacker before training camp begins. Bolton could be considered a steal at this pick.
41. Detroit Lions: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
After passing on a wide receiver in the first round, Detroit gets its guy here. Toney is a valuable slot weapon who will assist in making life easier for Jared Goff.
42. New York Giants: Spencer Brown, T, Northern Iowa
Some might view this as a reach, but Brown clearly has the talent to become an eventual starter in the NFL. This is a very solid pick for the Giants in the second round that could pay off if Brown develops quicker than expected.
43. San Francisco 49ers: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Moving to No. 3 in the first round took San Francisco out of the running for a top cornerback. That’s okay, though, because they re-signed K’Waun Williams. Complementing him with Melifonwu helps the 49ers get younger and cheaper while still strengthening the defensive core.
44. Dallas Cowboys: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
As our own Alex Barbour alluded to, Phillips’s health concerns could drop him to the back-end of the second round. That’s a steep fall, but these are legitimate worries. Don’t be surprised at all if Phillips slips out of the first round.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN): Richie Grant, S, Oregon
Grant is a versatile safety who should align nicely in what the Jaguars are trying to build defensively. He has a nose for the ball and could provide a spark in a defense that needs to play better than it did in 2020.
46. New England Patriots: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
The Patriots may have added plenty of reinforcements in the passing game, but they didn’t really get younger. St. Brown is someone who is cheap and controllable, which Bill Belichick surely appreciates. Snagging St. Brown likely spells the end of N’Keal Harry‘s frustrating stint in New England.
47. Los Angeles Chargers: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
Going guard was an intriguing option here, but Tryon also stood out. He’ll fit nicely in Los Angeles’ 3-4 scheme and fills a significant position of need.
48. Las Vegas Raiders: Jackson Carman, T, Clemson
The Raiders could have taken a tackle in the first round, but you just don’t pass on Micah Parsons at No. 17. The Raiders end up getting help in Carman, who looked solid while protecting Trevor Lawrence‘s blindside at Clemson.
49. Philadelphia Eagles (via ARI): Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
This trade-back worked really well for the Eagles, who need a cornerback. Robinson becomes the second corner off the board in Round 2, and you could argue that he should have been drafted at least a dozen picks earlier. This is a win-win for the Eagles as they get value while filling a position of need.
50. Miami Dolphins: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
Harris and Etienne are great, but they don’t fit what Miami needs considering they already have Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. Instead, Williams gives them a powerful, young back who projects to have decent longevity in the pros. He also provides plenty of aid to Tua Tagovailoa, who can be assured that he is handing off the football to a reliable back.
51. Green Bay Packers (via WFT): Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington
TRADE: GB acquires pick No. 51 from WFT for picks No. 62 and 92
This is a solid pick for both sides as Green Bay gets a physical lineman and Washington works on solidifying its depth chart. Ultimately for the Packers, they get a player who projects as a future starter with the potential for some versatility.
52. Chicago Bears: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Davis is a versatile guard who plays best in run protection. He could potentially be a future starter. in an offense that is just a quarterback away from legitimate success.
53. Denver Broncos (via TEN): Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
The Broncos are set at tackle but could use some help in the interior. Adding young depth in the trenches could directly improve the performance of whomever Denver employs at quarterback this season.
54. Tennessee Titans (via IND): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
After moving the 53rd pick earlier in the night, Tennessee jumps back into the second round following a trade with the Colts. Here, the Titans take a Freiermuth, a pass-catching tight end who will complement Anthony Firkser quite nicely.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
This is a match made in heaven. Humphrey can play guard or center, and he should fit well in an offense centered around veteran Ben Roethlisberger. It would be a true shock if this selection doesn’t happen in late april.
56. Seattle Seahawks: Alex Leatherwood, T, Alabama
Seattle needs some more patchwork throughout its core, but those moves are likely better filled by free agents due to Seattle’s lack of strong draft picks. Instead, they add depth in Leatherwood, who once had a fairly high stock but has seen his value take a hit in recent months.
57. Los Angeles Rams: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
There has been a lot of discussion around Browning, who is very athletic and played well at Ohio State. Los Angeles doesn’t have much in terms of existing weakside linebacker talent, so if Browning impresses in camp, the starting job could be his.
58. Baltimore Ravens: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
Nasirildeen is a very physical and versatile player who has plenty of upside. However, considering a 2019 ACL tear, he also comes with plenty of risk. After snagging a receiver and pass-rusher in the first round, it will be interesting to see if they gamble, play it safe, or simply trade back.
59. Los Angeles Chargers (via CLE): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
TRADE: LAC acquires pick No. 59 from CLE for picks No. 159 and 2022 second-round
The Chargers have already strengthened two major areas of need in the draft, giving them the freedom to now bolster a position that is already strong. It’s easy to imagine Moore forming a very solid rapport with Justin Herbert.
60. New Orleans Saints: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Assuming New Orleans rolls out Jameis Winston at quarterback, Brown is a great fit for the Saints. He could be a solid No. 3 receiving option with versatility and burst. Taking a receiver in the first round made sense until the Jenkins situation forced matters to be more cluttered.
61. Buffalo Bills: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Version 2.0 had Buffalo taking Javonte Williams here, but since he’s off the board, they go with his teammate. It doesn’t seem like Devin Singletary is part of the Bills’ future plans, so it’s time that they build around Zack Moss and someone like Carter.
62. Washington Football Team (via GB): Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
63. Kansas City Chiefs: James Hudson, T, Cincinnati
The Chiefs signed Thuney during free agency so a tackle makes sense here. He may not be an immediate contributor but presents plenty of upside from a developmental perspective.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brevin Jordan, TE, Florida
This is an unconventional pick, but the Buccaneers do need to consider their tight end core. Cutting or trading O.J. Howard or Cameron Brate could be a financially stable move, and Rob Gronkowski will not last forever. Meanwhile, Jordan was dominant alongside Pitts and is viewed by many as the second-best tight end in the draft.
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