Nia’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Nia NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and teams are making their final pre-draft trades and finalizing who they plan to pick. Let’s take a look at who each team could draft with their first-round picks (no trades).

1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson

Lawrence is the consensus first-overall pick, and it is for good reason. He is a winner who will likely be a Hall of Famer by the end of his career. Lawrence can make any type of throw and has a powerful arm. Many fans and scouts have said he is the best prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012, if not better. Lawrence has also pledged to donate $20,000 to charities in Jacksonville, further proving that he could be headed for Jacksonville soon.

2) New York Jets – Zach Wilson – QB – BYU

The Jets recently traded their quarterback, Sam Darnold, to the Carolina Panthers, implying that they will take a quarterback in the draft. With Lawerence off of the board, the Jets will turn to the next best option in BYU’s, Wilson. Wilson was tremendous in his senior season and showed Patrick Mahomes type potential with incredible on-the-run throws.


3) San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance – QB – North Dakota State

The 49ers gave up a haul to trade up to No. 3 after being in the Super Bowl just two years ago. Many news outlets have suggested that the 49ers will take a quarterback at pick three, but none have figured out which one: Mac Jones, Justin Fields, or Lance? The 49ers have said that they are committed to their current quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, for the next season. So if they intend to have a quarterback sit for a year, there is no better option than Lance. Lance showed tremendous potential at North Dakota State with great arm strength and running ability. Kyle Shanahan will be able to develop Lance into a Pro Bowl quarterback if he is drafted at pick three.

4) Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields – QB – Ohio State

The likely options for the Falcons with the fourth pick are Kyle Pitts, Lance, or Fields, and with Lance off the board, the Falcons will go with Ohio State’s Fields. Fields will likely sit a year if drafted and be the successor of current quarterback, Matt Ryan. Fields will benefit from that as he will be able to learn behind a future Hall of Fame quarterback and improve his ability to read the field and pick up blitzes.


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5) Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell – OT – Oregon

At number five, the Bengals could consider Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase, but Sewell would be the right choice. Sewell is one of the best lineman prospects the NFL has seen in years and would be an instant game-changer for the Bengals. In 678 pass-blocking snaps at Oregon, Sewell allowed just one sack. Protection for their second-year quarterback, Joe Burrow, will be key as he is coming off of an ACL injury that sidelined him for a portion of the season last year.

6) Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase – WR – LSU

The Dolphins are a piece or two from being an elite team, and Chase would be one of those pieces. Although it would be nice to pair up Tua Tagovailoa with one of his former receivers in Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins likely traded up for Chase. Chase is one of, if not the most complete receiver in the draft and will dominate for years to come in the NFL alongside DeVante Parker and Will Fuller in the Dolphins offense.

7) Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama

The Lions are at a tricky position with the 7th overall pick. They can go many ways with this pick, but filling the positional need at wide receiver will be a big key for them during the draft after losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones during free agency. Waddle is one of the best receivers, and if not for an injury that sidelined him for the majority of his final season, he could have been considered the consensus number one receiver in this draft. T.J. Hockenson and Waddle will form one of the deadliest tight end/receiver combinations in the NFL if the Lions take Waddle.


8) Carolina Panthers – Kyle Pitts – TE – Florida

The Panthers will be lucky to add Pitts to an already explosive offense with the eighth pick in the draft. Pitts is one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory and would instantly impact with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and running back Christian McCaffrey.

9) Denver Broncos – Kwity Paye – DE – Michigan

Paye could be a pick that surprises fans, but it should not.  He is an incredible athlete with good toughness that would be able to surprise many people early. Broncos fans likely will not be happy with this pick as only four percent of voters said they would be content with Paye at No. 9 in a poll done by Mile High Report, but they will be glad Paye was the choice once they see him in action.

10) Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain II – CB – Alabama

The Cowboys defense ranked in the bottom 10 during the last season, and defense will likely be the primary focus for them during the draft. With cornerback being their biggest need on defense, the Cowboys will select Surtain II to help strengthen the position. Surtain is a great tackler and overall physical cornerback who will be limited to only playing on the outside but possesses an incredible skillset for an outside cornerback.

11) New York Giants – Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State

The Giants have holes to fill on their defense, the main one at the defensive end position. Parsons will primarily play linebacker and can come off the edge and be successful as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end. He has minor character concerns, but his upside outweighs the small risk by taking him as he will be very successful alongside Blake Martinez.

12) Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith – WR – Alabama

The Eagles are in desperate need of a wide receiver, and it is likely that if Waddle and Chase are off the board, then the Eagles will take Smith. The Heisman Trophy winner from last season posted incredible numbers during his senior season with 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. By taking Smith, the Eagles will hope to find a future Pro Bowl receiver to pair with their 2020 first-round pick, Jalen Reagor.

13) Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater – OT – Northwestern

The Chargers will be looking for a starting left tackle during the draft and will be glad that Slater is still on the board at 13. The second-best tackle will provide much-needed protection for second-year quarterback, Justin Herbert. In 1,312 pass-blocking snaps, Slater allowed just five sacks.

14) Minnesota Vikings – Gregory Rousseau – DE – Miami

Rosseau is a high-risk, high-reward prospect. With only one full year of tape during college, teams will be betting on his upside in the draft. Rosseau is a tall defensive lineman standing at 6’7” and showed tremendous potential with his quickness. In this mock, the Vikings will take a chance on Rosseau in hopes of becoming a playoff-caliber team again in the near future.

15) New England Patriots – Mac Jones – QB – Alabama

If Jones is available at the 15th pick, it is hard to imagine a scenario where the Patriots pass up on taking him and finding their quarterback of the future. Jones was terrific during his junior season, passing for 4,500 and 41 touchdowns. He is also a very accurate quarterback and threw the ball over 77 percent in his final season. Some concerns with Jones is that he is a fairly unathletic quarterback and did not face much opposition in college due to Alabama’s uber-talented roster.

16) Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn – CB – South Carolina

Horn is a name that has flown up many draft boards during the pre-draft process, and it is likely that if he is on the board, the Cardinals will take him. He is a versatile cornerback who thrives in press coverage and is great at jamming receivers off the line. Horn would be a strong addition to an improving Cardinals defense.

17) Las Vegas Raiders – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB – Notre Dame

The Raiders, much like the Dolphins, are a few pieces away from being a playoff team, and Owusu-Kormoah could be what puts them over the top. Cory Littleton struggled last season, and the Raiders could be looking to find his replacement or a player that could take over Nick Kwiatkoski‘s role since he has had problems with injuries. Regardless of the role he plays, Owusu-Kormoah is a very talented linebacker who can make tremendous plays using his speed.

18) Miami Dolphins – Christian Darrisaw – OT – Virginia Tech

One of the primary reasons the Dolphins did not make the playoffs last season was due to poor offensive line play. Drafting Darrisaw would significantly help their offensive line and help Tagovailoa feel more comfortable. During 293 pass-blocking snaps in the 2020 season, Darrisaw allowed no sacks, an impressive feat.

19) Washington Football Team – Rashod Bateman – WR – Minnesota

The Football Team had one of the worst receiving corps in the league last season outside of Terry McLaurin, but they did a good job addressing the problem in free agency signing Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries. Adding Bateman would take the Football Team receiving corps to the next level. Bateman has good size for a receiver and can create separation well, which will allow him to be a great No. 2 option behind McLaurin to start off his career. The Football Team had one of the best passing defenses in the NFL, and adding Bateman could transform the offense and lead the Football Team back to the playoffs.

20) Chicago Bears – Alijah Vera-Tucker – OG/OT – USC

Although many Bears fans are hoping for a cornerback in the first round, Vera-Tucker is a prospect that any team with a need on the offensive line should consider due to his versatility. He can play as both a guard and tackle and should help the Bears’ offensive line from anywhere on it.

21) Indianapolis Colts – Samuel Cosmi – OT – Texas

The Colts will be disappointed that none of the top-3 tackles are available at 21 but will be happy to find their replacement for former starting left tackle, Anthony Castonzo. Cosmi has great footwork and is fantastic as a pass blocker. During 594 passing snaps in 2019, Cosmi allowed just one sack.

22) Tennesse Titans – Caleb Farley – CB – Virginia Tech

The Titans will be euphoric that Farley is on the board, and with the 22nd pick, it would be a no-brainer for them to select him. Purely based on film and athletic ability, Farley would surely be the first cornerback taken off of the board. However, unfortunately, due to injury concerns, there is a chance that he slips. Farley ran an unofficial 4.28 during his pro day and in 2019 held quarterbacks to a 26.8 passer rating when targeted, which was the lowest among any cornerback in one of the power five conferences.

23) New York Jets – Jaelan Phillips – DE – Miami

The Jets lack a big playmaker off the edge, and Phillips will be that guy for them. With the Jets’ new head coach being a defensive-minded one in Robert Saleh, it should not take many additions to transform their defense. But adding Phillips could be crucial to that transformation. Pairing Phillips up with Quinnen Williams would create a disruptive line that could dominate offenses.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris – RB – Alabama

With the departure of James Conner, the Steelers could be looking to the draft for a replacement, and there is no one better than Harris or Travis Etienne to take his place. In this case, it’s Harris. Harris is a powerful running back, often drawing comparisons to Titans running back, Derrick Henry. He would add the element of having a dominant backfield to a Steelers team that has not had one since Le’Veon Bell‘s days with them.

25) Jacksonville Jaguars – Pat Freiermuth – TE – Penn State

Freiermuth would be a shocking pick for Jaguars fans, but the value of a good tight end cannot be understated. He can do it all. Freiermuth is a good blocker, a physical tight end, and is more than capable as a receiver. Adding a good tight end to an offense with James Robinson, D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Jones Jr. for Lawrence would be important and could allow for the Jaguars to make the playoffs next season.

26) Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins – DE/LB – Tulsa

Collins seems to be a popular choice in mock drafts for the Browns to select. The Browns have been in contact with the Tusla hybrid defensive end/linebacker, and he could be headed to Cleveland next season. Collins is fantastic in coverage posting the highest coverage grade among linebackers since 2014. He does lack speed and struggles in pursuit but could be a special talent in the NFL if he plays to his strengths.

27) Baltimore Ravens – Terrace Marshall Jr. – WR – LSU

The Ravens have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL but significantly lack skill at the wide receiver position. The Ravens have a unique rushing attack with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, along with quarterback, Lamar Jackson, being very mobile as well. Adding Marshall Jr. would be the perfect addition to take the Ravens over the top and become serious super bowl contenders to compete against the Kansas City Chiefs.

28) New Orleans Saints – Trevon Moehrig-Woodard – S – TCU

The Saints have a variety of positional needs, but there is none bigger than their secondary. Sean Payton attended TCU’s pro day and was able to see Moehrig-Woodard showcase his abilities. So it is likely the Saints have their eye on him. Moehrig-Woodard has a high IQ and great ball skills, which will allow him to thrive in the NFL and significantly improve the Saint’s secondary.

29) Green Bay Packers – Kadarius Toney – WR – Florida

The Packers decided to select quarterback Jordan Love last season instead of a receiver, and the receiver struggles proved to be costly last season. In this mock, the Packers will be addressing that need by taking Florida’s Toney. Toney is an intriguing prospect as he is filled with potential. He is a great route runner and has an incredible change of direction ability. If Toney booms, the Packers will create a deadly receiving corps consisting of Davante Adams and Toney and attempt to make another deep playoff run next season.

30) Buffalo Bills – Christian Barmore – DT – Alabama

The Bills are a very complete team which is what allowed them to make the AFC Championship last season but could use some help in the interior part of their defensive line. Barmore is a big defensive tackle standing at 6’4” and 310 lbs, who was an explosive and powerful rusher at Alabama. He is a risk since he was inconsistent during parts of the season, but the Bills can take the chance on Barmore due to their depth with his high upside in mind.

31) Baltimore Ravens – Creed Humphrey – C – Ravens

Humphrey is too good to pass up for the Ravens, who need a center. He possesses a very high IQ, and although he is not very athletic, he is almost always able to successfully make the block needed due to his good mechanics and use of hands. Humphrey will fill a big gap on the Ravens line, and along with Marshall Jr., significantly boost the Ravens’ odds of making a super bowl run.

32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kellen Mond – QB – Texas A&M

The Buccaneers taking Mond would be similar to the Packers taking Love last year, a move that shocked the NFL Draft world, but one that could make sense. Their current quarterback, Tom Brady, is 43 years old, and although he has not shown significant signs of slowing down just yet, drafting his successor now could be a good idea. Mond will likely need a couple of years to develop in the NFL before being ready to start, and there is no better person to learn from than the widely-regarded GOAT of football. He has tremendous upside, great arm strength, and on-the-run throwing ability. But will need to work on his ability to make accurate throws under pressure and his overall consistency. Mond will have time to improve these areas of his game behind Brady and immediately be able to make an impact once he gets the opportunity to start.

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