1. Jacksonville Jaguars; Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
This is happening. There’s no real explanation needed for this pick anymore. Unless something insane happens on draft night, the Jaguars will be taking Trevor Lawrence with the number one overall pick.
IF NOT THEN; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Other picks; Zach Wilson, QB, BYU; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
2. New York Jets; Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Much like the first pick, we are all expecting the Jets to take Zach Wilson with the number two overall pick. Though it may not be as tight of a lock as the first overall pick, it still looks very likely to happen.
Right before his Pro Day, ESPN reporter Chris Mortenson stated that the Jets starting quarterback job was “Zach Wilson’s to lose.” After balling out on his Pro Day, I think it’s safe to say Wilson will be the Jets quarterback when the 2021 season starts.
Wilson will be put in a lot better situation than Sam Darnold. The Jets seem to have the right people in place at this point and time who will look to actually build around Zach Wilson and his skillset.
In Mike LaFluer’s offense, Wilson should thrive. Though I’m a Bills fan, I’m excited to see what Zach Wilson will do for the Jets moving forward. Maybe, just maybe, they finally got a franchise quarterback.
IF NOT THEN; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Other picks; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State; Mac Jones, QB, Alabama; Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
3. San Francisco 49ers (via Dolphins); Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Get ready everyone. Social media is going to explode if Roger Goodell reads out Mac Jones’ name for the 49ers here at pick three. Though this will be met with roaring boos and broken items, I don’t think Kyle Shanahan cares. Shanahan will ultimately take the player Shanahan wants, who I believe is Alabama’s Mac Jones.
Now, before I get into my reasoning, I would like to say that I would draft North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with this pick, not Mac Jones.
Lance, to me, definetly has the higher ceiling and is far more athletic. I also think the offense he played in at NDSU is a spitting imagine of the 49ers offense. From fullbacks to speedy receivers and tight ends to a solid rushing attack, it is almost like looking in a mirror. Sadly for Trey Lance fans, I still feel it’s Mac Jones for the 49ers.
Now, I’m nowhere as confident as I once was about this pick. Again, I think Trey Lance should be the pick here, but also again, I don’t think it will be.
I’m really caught in two mindsets here, what I want to happen and what I think will happen. That’s the duality of the NFL Draft “Expert.” I’ve got to push aside what I want, Trey Lance, and write a thesis about why the Niners will pick Mac Jones instead.
I like Mac Jones, and I think he’s a very good quarterback, this isn’t a diss on him, it’s more about praise for Trey Lance and how good I think he could be in the NFL. That’s just it though, how good he could be. We just don’t know at this time. I think, as of right now, we have a better grasp on Mac Jones then we do on Trey Lance.
Though they’ve played the same number of games, 17, Mac Jones is more ready to play. Look, I get the number of games argument, but it’s more about when those games took place then the number itself.
In 2020, Mac Jones started 13 games. Winning a National Championship, breaking a few college football passing records, and finishing third in the Heisman Trophy race behind DeVonta Smith and Trevor Lawrence.
Jones led the nation in passing yards (4,500), completion percentage (77.4%), was second in passing touchdowns, and first in passer rating (203.1). Insane season.
Trey Lance, on the other hand, only started one game in 2020, against Central Arkansas. A game where he looked great/amazing running the ball, just not so much throwing the ball. Going 15-30 with 149 yards, two touchdowns, and his first interception of his college career.
To go along with the “more ready” mantra, one thing Kyle Shanahan values more than anything from his quarterbacks is accuracy. He’s even quoted in saying that, “it begins and ends with accuracy.”
Out of the two, Jones, at this point, is far more accurate. Lance, though not completely inaccurate, does have some accuracy concerns. According to PFF, on percentage of accurate throws 10+ yards downfield (since 2018), Lance ranks 154th, with a 36% completion percentage. Mac Jones on the other hands ranks third with 56%. Joint with Justin Fields and Joe Burrow.
Lance also had a 44.1% accurate pass rate throwing beyond the line of scrimmage in 2019 and 2020. That percentage is the worst out of first round quarterbacks since 2017.
I would like to stress this, I think Lance can get taught up and improve on all of his numbers to maybe become the best QB in this class. But I think with Kyle Shanahan, he’s going to want to have a quarterback that he knows is accurate, not someone he needs to teach up.
Lance is very (very) raw, so much so that he would have the second lowest number of attempts by a first round quarterback ever. Cam Newton only had 292 to Lance’s 319, but Cam won the Naty and the Heisman that season, at the FBS level. Lance did similar things to Cam, but only at the FCS level.
Look, all in all, I think the 49ers traded up to get a guy that will be ready to play week one. I’m not completely ruling out Lance doing so, I just feel Mac Jones is more ready at this point and time.
Mac Jones is accurate, a very quick thinker, and a very smart mover around the pocket. Sure he’s not showing off his wheels every play, but he’s not a statue. When needed, he can move, just sometimes it looks a little awkward.
Again, I’d like to stress this, I would draft Trey Lance if I was the Niners. I think his ceiling is much higher and if given time can be a beast in the NFL. I just think it’ll be Mac Jones and provided reasoning on why I think so.
I am excited to see what he can do if/when he’s drafted by the 49ers here with the third overall pick. If he’s not drafted here, I honestly have no idea where he’ll end up. That’s what’s fun about the draft!
IF NOT THEN; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Other picks; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State; Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
4. Atlanta Falcons; Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
This pick will ultimately come down to Trey Lance and Kyle Pitts. From what I’ve heard, new GM Terry Fontenot wants North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, whereas new head coach Arthur Smith wants Kyle Pitts.
Now, though I like the idea of Trey Lance going to Atlanta, Matt Ryan is 35 going on 36, and isn’t really showing any signs of slowing down. After watching Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers (who is 37) and Jordan Love, I think the Falcons will ultimately pass on Lance in favor of the “generational talent” known as Kyle Pitts.
Adding Kyle Pitts to this offense would make it almost impossible to stop. You already have Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones (potentially), and Hayden Hurst, now you’re adding Kyle Pitts? Seems almost too good to be true.
With Pitts, you’re not just getting a tight end, but insane weapon out wide. Most of the time, tight ends will be guarded by linebackers. How do you expect a linebacker to match-up against someone like Kyle Pitts? At 6’6” and weighing in at 245 lbs., Pitts may be the greatest tight end prospect in NFL history.
At his recent Pro Day, at that size, Pitts ran an astonishing 4.44 in the 40 yard dash, which is the second fastest 40 tight by a tight end in combine or pro day history (Vernon Davis, 4.38, 2006). Even his wingspan is ridiculous, registering at 83 ⅜” is the largest of any tight end in the last 20 years!
He also produced a 33.5 inch vertical, a 10 ft 9 in broad jump, and put up 225 lbs. 22 times. It should be illegal for someone of that size to be that freakishly athletic, it just doesn’t seem fair to the players having to guard him.
He’s also not just a workout freak, he is an elite weapon for any offense. In his last season at Florida, Pitts caught 43 passes. Of those 43, 12 of them were touchdowns and 27 of them were first downs.
He’s also an elite red zone target, an area where the Falcons (somewhat surprisingly) struggled with at times last season. When targeted in the red zone, Pitts caught all 31 passes. Not only does he not drop passes in the red zone, he didn’t register a single dropped pass ANYWHERE on the field. That just doesn’t happen.
Again, I think there’s a very solid chance the Falcons draft Trey Lance, I just think that the idea of adding Kyle Pitts to this offense would be too good to pass up (whether Julio is there or not).
Kyle Pitts is one of my favorite players in the draft. His combination of size, speed, and versatility make him (arguably) the greatest tight end prospect ever. As an opposing defense, how to you think you’d stop them? I don’t know if you can.
Ironically, the only thing that probably will be able to stop the Falcons are the Falcons themselves. If they can get out of their own way, we could be seeing a nice little resurgence in Atlanta. Kyle Pitts would be an awesome pick by the Falcons.
IF NOT THEN; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Other picks; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State; Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; TRADE BACK
5. Cincinnati Bengals; Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
If the reports are true, the Bengals are 50-50 on whether to take LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase or Oregon’s Penei Sewell. Though the Bengals offensive line needs some work, I think it’ll be very hard to pass up a receiver like Ja’Marr Chase here at five, especially after seeing what him and Joe Burrow did in their final season at LSU.
In that famous last season, the Chase and Burrow combined for 1,780 yards (which led the nation) and 20 touchdowns (which led the nation) with Chase winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s best wide receiver and Joe Burrow being given the Heisman Trophy receiving, breaking almost every passing record in college football.
While winning the Heisman, Burrow received 93.8% of the votes, which is the most in college football history.
Not to mention LSU were crowned National Champions and were the first number one seed in the College Football Playoff to win a Naty. All in all, it was a pretty remarkable season with Chase and Burrow being at the center of it.
These two, Burrow and Chase, when together, were one of the most lethal one two punches in college football history. If the Bengals want to get even more out of Joe Burow, adding Chase to the roster would be their best option, in my opinion.
Another thing that I feel is important to note here is that Ja’Marr Chase was clearly the number one guy at LSU. Justin Jefferson, a second team All Pro selection and runner up in the Rookie of the Year voting, was easily LSU’s number two guy. That fact may be getting lost on some people.
Along with their impressive final season together, Chase put on an absolute show at his Pro Day. Recording a 4.38 40 yard dash time, posting a 41 inch vertical, and a 11 ft broad jump. Absolutely crushing it while reminding everyone what type of an athlete he is, in case they forgot.
Looking at Chase and Burrow’s season together is nice, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a pressing need for the Bengals. Well, this off-season, the Bengals lost longtime wide receiver AJ Green to the Arizona Cardinals.
As of right now, the only REAL options at wide receiver are second year wide out Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. So their stats together along with no real big time options out wide, this pick makes a lot of sense.
Something Joe Burrow stated on a recent podcast was that the Bengals struggled in the deep passing game, Ja’Marr Chase would certainly help with that.
With Chase on one side, Tee Higgins on the other, and Tyler Boyd working underneath in the slot, the Bengals would have one of the better young receiving cores in the league.
Adding Chase to this would be a very wise move by the Bengals here. With Tyler Boyd primarily being lined up in the slot, the Bengals, by adding Chase, would give Burrow another option and a true number one wide receiver.
I would like to say that I am aware the Bengals need some offensive linemen, but I think Chase would be too hard to pass up. After watching what they did in college together, why would you not want to replicate that at the next level?
Yes Penei Sewell is an attractive option but I feel the Bengals needs lie more on the interior o-line. Unless they were to move Sewell, Jonah Williams, or Riley Reif inside, I think it’d be wiser to look towards that in the second and third rounds.
I love reuniting college teammates in the pros, and I think that if they reunite, the Bengals could have some fun on offense. Adding Ja’Marr Chase to an offense with Burrow, Higgins, Boyd, and Mixon would be fun to see. Draft a guard or center later, take Chase now.
IF NOT THEN; Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Other picks; Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; TRADE BACK
6. Miami Dolphins (via Eagles); Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins, like a few teams in this draft, are coming in with one goal in mind: make sure our quarterback is truly “our guy.” Though Tua showed flashes last year, he was most underwhelming when you compare him to Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, who was taken one pick after Tua.
To do this, you have to make sure they have the most weapons possible. To me, the best weapon available at this point is Tua’s former Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle. When you look up the term “weapon” in the dictionary, Waddle’s picture should be right there.
Now, I do think there will be some discussions when it comes to this pick for Miami. Depending on whose available, Ja’Marr Chase could be the pick here, but with Cincy taking him at five, that scenario goes out the window.
To me, this pick really comes down to Jaylen Waddle vs Penei Sewell. This past week, the Dolphins traded guard Eric Flowers back to Washington, and talks have started about moving last years second round draft pick Robert Hunt into guard and play Sewell at right tackle, protecting Tua’s blind side.
Though I think that is a very likely and very possible scenario, I just think the Dolphins would have a hard time passing up on someone like Jaylen Waddle, whose mentality has been compared to that of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Brian Flores would love to have someone like that on the roster. I think Waddle would be perfect for Miami.
Now, though Waddle will inevitably get the label of “speedster,” he’s so much more than that. To me, even though DeVonta Smith won the Heisman, Waddle is ‘arguably’ a better prospect. Before getting hurt last season, Waddle was on pace to beat Smith in most, if not all, statistical categories.
Though Smith had more receptions before Waddle’s injury in week five, Waddle had more yards, averaging more yards per reception by almost 10 yards (22.3 to 12.7), and had the same number of touchdowns. He even caught more passes per target then Smith. With Smith getting targeted 47 times with 38 catches and Waddle being targeted 29 times with 25 catches.
Along with averaging over 20 yards per reception, Waddle hauled in 21 of 26 passes when he was targeted 20 yards or more down field. Very impressive stuff there from Jaylen Waddle.
Another thing about Waddle, in his two years as a top option for Bama, their QBs had a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeting Waddle in BOTH 2019 and 2020. Waddle’s not just a speedster, he’s an insane wide receiver.
One thing that could hurt Waddle in the draft is his ankle injury that he suffered against Tennessee this past season. Team’s will want to see how his ankle is before they shoot for him. I’m one to say his ankle is fine and you’ll be fine by drafting him, but I get the concern.
Like I said above, I think Waddle would be awesome for Miami. Not only does he give the Dolphins a game changer out wide, he also provides Tua with a familiar target and an elite mentality that could help push the Dolphins offense to the next level.
The Dolphins are building a nice little culture down their in Miami. I think Waddle would be a perfect fit for the culture they’re trying to build.
After watching Tyreek Hill average 26.3 yards per reception in their own building, I think Miami would love to have their own version of Tyreek Hill. A receiving core of Waddle, Will Fuller, and DeVante Parker would give the Dolphins one of the sneaky good cores in the entire league.
IF NOT THEN; Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Other picks; Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon; DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; TRADE BACK
7. Los Angeles Chargers (TRADE); Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
This would be an absolute dream scenario for the Los Angeles Chargers. If Penei Sewell makes it past the Bengals at five and then the Dolphins at six, the Chargers HAVE to move up for him.
For the Chargers, a team who drafted their franchise quarterback last year, they have to be looking at the top left tackles in this draft.
This offseason, they went out and got Corey Linsley from Green Bay, Matt Feiler from Pittsburgh, and Oday Aboushi from Detroit. So, with Brian Bulaga holding down the right tackle spot, the Chargers have only one real hole on offense, and that’s at left tackle.
Not only is Sewell widely considered to be the best tackle in the Draft, but there’s also some familiarity here. By drafting Sewell, this’ll give Herbert a familiar blind side protector in Sewell (who played with him at Oregon) and help bolster the Chargers offensive line even more. This gives the reigning Rookie of the Year a guy he trusts, which is awesome.
Much like Ja’Marr Chase before, Sewell was another famous opt out from this past season, causing some people to forget how good he was at Oregon. Whether he opted out or not, Sewell is a dominant presence on the left side of the o-line.
At 6’6” and 331 lbs. (6’4” at his Pro Day), Sewell would definitely solidify the Chargers offensive line. If Sewell goes to the Chargers, this would EASILY be their best offensive line of the 21st century, maybe their best o-line ever.
He may not be the finished product, but his ceiling is insane. If I was Justin Herbert, I’d be begging Tom Telesco and co to move up in the Draft to select Penei Sewell. This would be an absolute slam dunk by the Chargers if this were to happen.
They’ve invested heavily into their o-line so far, invest in it even more by taking the best left tackle in the Draft.
IF NOT THEN; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Brandon Staley coached Jalen Ramsey, I’m sure he’d love to have add a lock down corner to replace the recently released Casey Hayward.
Other picks; STAY PUT; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL, USC; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama; DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
8. New England Patriots (TRADE); Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Justin Fields slide ends here at pick eight with the New England Patriots sending some picks and Stephon Gilmore for the rights to their quarterback of the future. Speaking as a biased Bills fan, I hate this. From a neutrals perspective, this could be a match made in football Heavan.
Over the past few months, rumors were circulating about the New England Patriots and their love for Justin Fields, with the first report coming around March 20th by Daniel Jeremiah. With Cam Newton’s injury history, and the fact that he’s on a one year deal, makes this pick almost to obvious not to happen.
Justin Fields possesses a very similar skill set to current Pats starter Cam Newton. Though his arm may not be as strong, I would argue that Fields is more accurate and just as athletic as the former NFL MVP. After a year (or so) in development, Fields would be the perfect heir apparent to Newton, who is on a one-year deal.
Recent reports have come out about Robert Kraft (Patriots owner) basically saying the Patriots suck at drafting. One thing they’ve always done is trade back, but not this time. This time they change their draft strategy and go after a QB of the future in Justin Fields.
As far as statistics go, in Fields’ first season at Ohio State, he threw for 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Though this was a “bad” season for Fields, he still threw for 2,100 yards 22 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing over 70% of his passes. His rush numbers were also on pace to be better, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt as opposed to 3.5 the season prior.
This season, you could say Fields played some of his worst football, i.e. the Indiana and Northwestern games. I’ll give him a pass on the Northwestern game because he was playing with a hurt thumb on his throwing hand, which led to a dominating rush attack spearheaded by Trey Sermon.
This would be a great succession plan for the Patriots. Again, Cam is on a one-year deal. Having Fields mature under Cam for a year would be huge for him. Even if Cam gets hurt during the season, Fields will be ready to play, and may just keep the job once he gets it.
As a neutral or a Pats fan, I would love this move. As a Bills fan I absolutely hate it. If Bill Belichick and co can get their hands on Justin Fields, everyone will think somethings up, but it could very well happen.
IF NOT THEN; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (Mac Jones, if San Fran takes Lance)
Other picks; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State; DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
9. Denver Broncos; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Before I get into this, I am aware the Broncos just traded for Teddy Bridgewater. That move makes a ton of sense for the Broncos. An experienced quarterback who would push everyone in that quarterback room. To me though, I don’t think the Broncos are done in their QB search.
I just don’t feel the Broncos are satisfied with their quarterback room. Again, sure, Teddy is a nice addition, but won’t get you very far in the end. I think the Broncos still need to look at a quarterback and to me, the one that’d fit nicely for them is Trey Lance.
Like I stated above with my 49ers reasoning, Lance is an extremely raw prospect that will more than likely need time before becoming a full time starter. By adding Bridgewater, the Broncos have a guy that can start while also groom Lance into becoming the future starter. Dudes got all the tools to be an absolute mad man at the next level, again, he just needs time.
He’s a great athlete and has a nice little hose for an arm. The fact that he’s inexperienced should be fun for NFL teams. He’s not the finished product and that’s a very scary idea.
Dude showed out, simple as that. Becoming the first freshman to win the Walter Payton Award (FCS Heisman) while throwing for 2,786 yards with 28 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,100 yards with 14 touchdowns.
Out of the top quarterbacks in this years draft, Lance has the most rushing yards on designed runs, totaling 1,007 yards. That total was 188 yards more than the next quarterback on the list, who was surprisingly Trevor Lawrence.
One big thing coaches ask of their quarterbacks is to not give the ball to the other team. In his time as the full time starter for North Dakota State, Lance threw a grand total of one interception. Coming in the one off game against Central Arkansas this past fall.
With his ability to run the ball coupled with his smart decision making, it’ll make him a hard prospect to pass up on. Sure he may need time to develop, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking him.
If you watch some of his stuff it can vaguely remind you of John Elway. A quarterback with a great arm and great athleticism. Now, Lance is more athletic than John, but dude still could take some people on down the field, i.e. Super Bowl 32.
Broncos new GM George Paton was at all the Pro Days for the big name quarterbacks. Whether it’s Trey Lance or Justin Fields, I still feel the Broncos should take a quarterback.
I just find it hard to believe the Broncos would be comfortable going into a somewhat “make or break” season with just Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. They’ve got to capitalize on their opportunities and take the best QB available.
Lance is very athletic, has a really nice arm, is very smart, and has the build of an elite quarterback. If he realizes his potential, he could become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
IF NOT THEN; Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Other picks; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky; TRADE BACK; TRADE UP
10. Dallas Cowboys; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
In all but one mock draft, I have had the Dallas Cowboys taking Patrick Surtain from Alabama. Now, some circumstances have changed since I released mock draft 1.0, and I now think that this pick will be South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn.
Why Horn over Surtain you might ask? Well, from what I’ve read, there are some pretty nice connections between Jaycee Horn and the Dallas Cowboys.
The first tidbit of information is that current Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy coached Jaycee Horn’s father Joe for many years in New Orleans. The second connection is Dan Quinn, Dallas’ new DC, also has a strong relationship with South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp. Are these enough to place Horn in Dallas? Possibly.
Now, it doesn’t matter who it is, either Horn or Surtain would be nice. The Cowboys are in desperate need of help at the top of their defense. After losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins, to say the Cowboys secondary was found out, would be putting it lightly.
Scoring is not (and will not) be an issue for the Cowboys, but stopping teams from scoring is a big issue. Before Dak got hurt, the Cowboys were involved in a shootout every game, with score lines reading 40-39, 38-31, 49-38, and 37-34. Big oof.
Out of all the needs on their defense, cornerback is arguably the biggest of them all. This past season, the Cowboys ranked in the bottom 10 in total yards allowed and ranked in the bottom five in passing touchdowns allowed last season.
At the beginning of the draft season, it seemed as if Surtain was the guy. But ever since probably March, Jaycee Horn’s stock has been on the rise like a friggin rocket and doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon.
The reasons for that go mostly to his dominant Pro Day (running an impressive 4.39 40 time, registered a 41.5 inch vertical, and had a broad jump of 11 ft 1 in.) and Caleb Farley’s recent back surgery. Though those are the main reasons, that should not take away from how dominant he was at South Carolina.
While playing for the Gamecocks, Horn covered the likes of AJ Brown, Kyle Pitts, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Elijah Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr., Dyami Brown, Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell, Josh Palmer, Trevon Grimes, Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, AND Seth Williams. All these guys are either on NFL rosters or are getting drafted this year. Dude can cover ANYONE on the field.
In fact, the only receiver who got more than 60 yards on Horn was the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith. Horn is an island out there, locking up anyone who comes his way on offense.
Horn also has the size NFL teams are looking for, standing at 6’1” and weighing 200 lbs. He has the size and athletic ability to guard any wide receiver. Throughout his time at South Carolina, Horn totaled 101 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and 23 passes defended.
Horn is an absolutely dominant corner, and that shows through his stats as well as the receivers he went up against. He’s played against the best and may just be the best corner in this draft.
Again, the Cowboys need defensive help, Horn would provide that. To me, the connections may be too strong to see him get passed on by Dallas here at number 10.
IF NOT THEN; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Other picks; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL, USC; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; TRADE BACK
11. New York Giants; DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
I just feel like this was meant to happen. To me, DeVonta Smith just feels like a New York Giants. I know they’re getting linked with Micah Parsons, Jaycee Horn, Kwity Paye, Rashawn Slater, among others here, but I just think Smith would be too hard to pass up for the G-Men.
Earlier this off-season, Giants GM Dave Gettleman “vowed” to get his hopeful franchise quarterback some weapons. Even though they already signed Kenny Golladay to a decent contract, he’s their only “real” option out wide.
I don’t want to discredit Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton too much, but the Giants could do with another upgrade out wide. If recent reports are to be believed, the Giants are “locked in” on DeVonta Smith. So here, I’ll give them the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.
DeVonta Smith is arguably the most consistent receiver in this class. Being the only one out of the possible first rounders with two thousand yard seasons. I also view him as the best route runner in this draft. His ability to separate from receivers is something to be admired.
Last season, dude was un-guardable. Like I pretty much said above, his ability to get open and what he would do with the ball after he caught it was something to behold, totaling 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. Absolutely crazy season.
Though I think they could definitely go a different direction with this pick, I think DeVonta Smith would be too hard to pass up for the G-Men.
That being said, Gettleman did drop a quote of “you can’t be afraid to overdraft somebody,” so maybe look out for that.
If the Giants truly believe in Daniel Jones, they should put him in the best situation to succeed by drafting another option to partner Kenny Golladay. This will be Daniel Jones big season with the Giants. If he fails to impress with this supporting cast, it will be curtains for him in New Jersey.
Look, Daniel Jones definitely has the skill-set to be a good NFL quarterback, but he needs to cut down on the turnovers and dumb decisions. Hopefully by adding Smith, Jones would cut down on those mistakes. Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Evan Engram, and now DeVonta Smith would build a nice security blanket for the former sixth overall pick.
IF NOT THEN; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; the Giants need an edge rusher, the Giants may take a punt at Paye here at 11 OR Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Other picks; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL, USC; TRADE BACK
12. Philadelphia Eagles; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Eagles are one of those teams in this draft that could really do anything. Though their biggest needs are (arguably) corner and wide receiver, I could totally see the Eagles taking an offensive or defensive lineman with this pick.
Now, I don’t want to rule out those last two options entirely, I just feel the need for a lock down corner or a weapon on the outside should take priority here with the 12th pick. Well, with the top receivers gone, I think the Eagles should look at Alabama corner Patrick Surtain II. (I could see the Eagles trading up for Jaylen Waddle)
For years now, the Eagles have needed secondary help, and Patrick Surtain would provide that. Adding a corner with the skills of Surtain and pairing him with Darius Slay would be a home run in Philly.
Some people might be surprised to see Patrick Surtain fall past the Dallas Cowboys. In this scenario, I think there’s a real chance of it happening, mostly because of the links between Horn and the Cowboys that I mentioned above.
Now, I could totally see this scenario getting flipped around between Horn and Surtain, I just think those links are too hard to break for the Cowboys. So the Eagles pounce on the opportunity to take Surtain here at 12.
Much like the other top corners in this draft class, Surtain has great size and physical attributes for the position. He’s a very long and athletic corner that can cover anyone of the field. At 6’2” and 208 lbs., he will make most quarterbacks think twice before throwing his way.
While at Alabama, Surtain put of some great numbers. In 40 games at Alabama, Surtain made 116 tackles with 6.0 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, 24 passes defended, and four interceptions. In his final season at Bama, Surtain had nine passes defended and one interception.
As far as accolades go, Surtain takes the cake. In the 2020 season, Surtain was named SEC Defender of the Year, was named to the All SEC First-Team and named a Unanimous All-American, while also taking home a National Championship.
Though he may not be a twitchy as Jaycee Horn, Surtain has all the abilities to be an excellent corner in the NFL. Like I said above, his size and athleticism just can’t be taught. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to Dallas, but for now, I’m going to keep him in Philly.
In a division with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Dallas Goedert, Kenny Golladay, Evan Engram, among others, it would be smart to add an elite corner like Surtain to the roster.
NOTE; If the Broncos pass on a quarterback, I bet they take Horn. So that’ll mean Dallas takes Surtain and then I think Philly takes Kwity Paye. Just my gut feeling right now.
IF NOT THEN; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan OR Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Other picks; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; TRADE UP; TRADE BACK
13. Detroit Lions (TRADE); Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Detroit Lions are (probably) going to go after one of two options in the first round of this draft. The first, and probably most obvious need, is wide receiver, especially after losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. That being said, this class is historically deep, meaning they can get a day one value guy during day two.
The other position of need is defense. Yes, I’m calling their defense a position because all of it needs revamped. Whether it’s at corner, linebacker, defensive line, wherever, they’ve got to get someone to help improve their defense. Micah Parsons could be that guy.
Last season, the Detroit Lions possessed THE worst defense in the league. Ranking dead last in total yards allowed (6,716; 419.8 ypg), third to last in passing yards allowed (4,558; 284.9 ypg), fifth to last in rushing yards allowed (2,158; 134.9 ypg), and dead last in points allowed (519; 32.4 ppg).
To go along with their points allowed numbers, no other team in the NFL allowed over 500 points. The Lions allowed 27 MORE points than the Jaguars, who ranked second to last (492; 30.8 ppg).
He, Parsons, is a “do everything linebacker.” Essentially meaning he will excel wherever you put him on the defense. In his time at Penn State, Parsons recorded 192 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended.
Parsons also ranked as the best linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft against the run, according to PFF. He can make plays in the passing game and running game, and the Lions certainly need help in both areas.
In the season before he opted out, Parsons recorded 109 total tackles, five sacks, and four forced fumbles. Even though he opted out, his ability just cannot be ignored.
Reports also state that Parsons has got some character concerns, with some comparing him to the likes of Reuben Foster. Though it could cause him to slide a little, teams like the Lions probably won’t be able to ignore his insane talent.
Now, I’m not saying Micah Parsons would solve all their problems, but he could at least mask some of them. If Dan Campbell really wants to bite peoples kneecaps off, start by getting a player like Micah Parsons.
IF NOT THEN; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Other picks; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky; Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; STAY PUT
14. Minnesota Vikings; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern
This would be an absolute dream scenario for the Minnesota Vikings. If the board falls like this, Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater could fall right into their lap. Though this may be unlikely, I really like this scenario and pick for the Purple People Eaters.
Yes, the Vikings defense wasn’t great last year. Head coach Mike Zimmer went as far to say that it was the worst defense he’d ever coached. If Slater’s not available, then the Vikings will probably go after an edge rusher. I just can’t see them passing on the versatile tackle if he were to become available.
Over what seems like forever, the Vikings offensive line has sucked, and I mean, it’s sucked hard. For a team with Playoff aspirations like the Vikings, if they want to go anywhere, they’ve got to improve that o-line.
After this past season ended, Pro Football Focus released their 2020 offensive line rankings. Unsurprisingly, the Vikings ranked 26th as a whole and ranked 28th as far as pass blocking goes. And some fans want to say Kirk is the problem? Dude can’t do a whole lot behind that o-line.
Though the Vikings drafted Erza Cleveland in the second round, he was seen as a project piece that could develop into a very good tackle. The problem was they moved him inside to guard, and the rook struggled. That being said, he was not alone.
Along with Cleveland, center Garrett Bradbury and guard Dakota Dozier poor to say the least. Cleveland ranked 37th out of 40 right guards in regards to pressure rate. Bradbury ranked 34th out of 36 and Dozier ranked 36th out of 39. PFF also stated that, “none of their three starters on the interior cracked the top 32 at their respective position.” That’s a problem that I think Slater could fix.
In his time at Northwestern, Slater played both right and left tackle, but as I said above, has the skill-set to play every position on the offensive line. As a freshman at Northwestern, Slater was named the best freshman offensive lineman by PFF. Then as a junior, Slater gave up 0 sacks in 11 starts at left tackle.
Throughout his entire career, Rashawn Slater totaled 1,312 pass blocking snaps (per PFF). In those 1,312 snaps, Slater gave up five sacks. FIVE SACKS! That is absolutely crazy to think about and is a stark contrast to what the Vikings are used to.
If the Vikings really want to challenge the Packers in the division, they’ve got to (finally) improve their offensive line. They’ve got a borderline elite group of weapons and a good quarterback. The Vikings should focus on keep Cousins upright so he can find those weapons. Viking fans should be thrilled if this plays out.
IF NOT THEN; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC
Other picks; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern; Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa; TRADE UP; TRADE BACK
15. Carolina Panthers (TRADE); Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
In this scenario, the Carolina Panthers tackle both of their biggest needs. By trading the eighth pick to the Patriots, the Panthers, in return, get Stephon Gilmore (along with other picks) which will help solidify the back half of their defense.
Along with Gilmore, the Panthers get themselves a starting left tackle to protect newly acquired Sam Darnold in Christian Darrasaw.
The Panthers offensive line, on the face of it, is kind of a hot mess. They have nice weapons, but have some holes on the o-line. This off-season, the Panthers went out and signed a couple of (what we could call) rejects from around the league.
Legends such as Cam Erving and Pat Elflein joined the team, pairing them with Bills legend John Miller. Other than Matt Paradis and Taylor Moton, the Panthers can’t go into the season with those three aforementioned players. Sam Darnold will die. Darrasaw, or any tackle for that matter, should be the pick for the Panthers.
Darrasaw is an absolute beast at the left tackle position. In his last season at Virginia Tech, Darrasaw was named a first team All-ACC selection and was a two and a half year starter while playing for the Hokies.
Darrasaw is 6’5” and weighs 314 lbs and an absolute beast when it comes to protecting the quarterback. In 2,317 offensive snaps, with 1,103 pass blocking snaps, Darrasaw gave up seven sacks and 21 QB hurries in three years.
That being said, in his final season at Virginia Tech, Darrasaw allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits, and just six QB hurries. Great production during his final season.
One thing I found interesting about Darrasaw’s snaps is the fact that he had more run blocking snaps every year, except in 2018, his first year as a starter. With Christian McCaffrey (hopefully) back and fully healthy, the Panthers should be looking for someone whose as good of a pass blocker as they are a run blocker. That’s Christian Darrasaw in my opinion.
Look, I know they’re being linked (again) with Justin Fields. I just find it hard to believe they’d trade three picks for Sam Darnold and then draft another quarterback. Whatever you think of Darnold or Fields, I don’t know if that’s the smartest strategy moving forward.
The Panthers have to sure up their offensive line. In a division with two great defenses, the Panthers should be looking to keep Darnold upright for the foreseeable future. Darrisaw would be a wise investment (after trading back) for the Panthers.
IF NOT THEN; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; reports are they love Horn, but if they can get Gilmore in a trade with New England, I think they’d be fine moving back
Other picks; STAY PUT; Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina; Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama; Rashawn Slater, iOL/OT, Northwestern; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC; Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
16. Arizona Cardinals; Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Cardinals are a very intriguing team as draft night approaches. Whether it be up or down, I think there’s a very solid chance the Cardinals make a trade in this draft.
If the reports are to be believed, the Cardinals are trying to get one of three players. Those players are South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, and Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle. With all of them already off the board, the Cardinals look to add another versatile player to their defense in the form of Zaven Collins.
My favorite quote about Tulsa’s Zaven Collins is that he’s a linebacker with the skills of a safety in a defensive ends body. At 6’4” and weighing 260 lbs. (apparently he’s 11 lbs. bigger now), Collins can makes plays all over the field.
In his last season at Tulsa, Collis totaled 54 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 touchdowns.
He also brought home the Lombardi Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award, was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year, and was named a Unanimous All-American in 2020.
Whether it’s at linebacker or defensive end, Collins will make plays for your defense. His size and skill set are a very rare combination, and after the Cardinals drafted Isaiah Simmons last year, they could be looking towards that “position-less” linebacker again.
Adding Collins to a defense that has the aforementioned Isaiah Simmons, Chandler Jones, and JJ Watt would be fun to see. The Cardinals have a nice offense, they’ve just got to start building up the defense. Collins would be a great pick for the Cardinals at 16.
IF NOT THEN; Trade up for Jaylen Waddle OR stay put and take Greg Newsome
Other picks; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; Najee Harris, RB, Alabama; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson; TRADE UP; TRADE BACK
17. Las Vegas Raiders; Alijah Vera-Tucker, iOL/OT, USC
The Raiders are going to be one of the teams to watch during the 2021 NFL Draft. The reason for that being based in the fact that they could go in a number of directions with this pick.
They have needs on the defensive side of the ball, mainly at linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, and edge rusher, but they also have some needs on the offensive side of the ball, most notably on the offensive line.
This off-season, the Raiders lost three starters on the offensive line. They traded starting right tackle Trent Brown back to the Patriots, they traded center Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals, and they cut starting guard Gabe Jackson, who signed with the Seahawks.
Though they have a lot of needs on defense, they severely need help on the o-line. Alijah Vera-Tucker could very well be the answer for the Raiders, either at guard or tackle.
Much like Rashawn Slater before, Alijah Vera-Tucker is one of the most versatile lineman in the draft, playing both guard and tackle in his time at USC. Though he played left tackle for the Trojans in his last season, most expect him to make the permanent transition into guard at the next level. Which would benefit the Cardinals.
In three years at USC, Vera-Tucker played 1,533 offensive snaps, with 975 of them being pass blocking snaps. Of those 975 pass blocking snaps, Vera-Tucker allowed just five sacks, three QB hits, and eight QB hurries. That essentially means that he had almost 200 pass blocking snaps (195) between sacks given up. Those are some impressive numbers there.
His ability to play both guard and tackle should make him a very sought after prospect in the draft. For the Raiders, who will need help at both guard and tackle, Vera-Tucker would provide them with options moving forward.
Whether he’s playing guard or tackle, Vera-Tucker would be a significant upgrade on the line for the Raiders. He’d not only help keep Derek Carr upright, but he’d also open up running lanes for Josh Jacobs and co. Vera-Tucker would be a very smart pick by the Raiders at 17.
NOTE: Vera-Tucker is also from Oakland. Though the Raiders don’t play there anymore, I think this would be a nice feel good story for both Vera-Tucker and the Raiders, giving him the opportunity to place for his (once) hometown team.
IF NOT THEN; Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama OR Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Other picks; Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramaoh, LB, Notre Dame; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky; Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU; Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech; Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
18. Miami Dolphins; Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
With their first pick, the Miami Dolphins got their quarterback a new weapon in the form of Jaylen Waddle. With their second pick, I think the Dolphins should go after a play-maker on the defensive side of the ball. For me, the Dolphins should get Michigan edge rusher Kwity Paye.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins are fairly set. Though they have good pieces in place, i.e. Xavien Howard, Byron Jones, Christian Wilkins, etc., they are lacking real depth in the edge rusher department.
This past off-season, the Miami Dolphins got rid of two of their edge rushers from the season prior by trading Shaq Lawson to the Houston Texans and straight up cutting Kyle Van Noy, who is now back in New England.
I think the thing that separates Kwity Paye from the other top edge rushers in this draft is that fact that he is probably the quickest out of the top guys. Where he truly lacked in production last season he made up for in his athletic gifts.
Some scouts blame his lack of production on being played out of position. While at Michigan, Paye registered only 11.5 sacks over four seasons, with a career high of 6.5 during his junior season.
Compared to the likes of Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau, those are not great numbers. But again, Paye is the quickest edge rusher in the draft. He possesses a great first step and has excellent burst and bend to get after the quarterback.
Banking on his athletic gifts, the Dolphins could get a much needed edge rusher in a division that features very mobile QBs in the form of Josh Allen, Cam Newton, and soon to be, Zach Wilson.
If the Dolphins want to keep the gap close between themselves and Buffalo, they’re going to have to 1) get Tua weapons and 2) get an edge rusher to get after the quarterback. In this scenario, the Dolphins come away with both and are looking to prove last year’s 10 win season was no fluke.
NOTE; I think there is a very solid chance Paye goes a lot sooner, with teams like the Giants and Eagles lurking around.
IF NOT THEN; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Other picks; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame; Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State; Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
19. Washington Football Team; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
This is a pick that should surprise a lot of people on draft night. Over the past couple weeks, Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis has been getting hyped up as a possible first round pick. Recently, that talk has shifted to he’s a possible top 20 pick.
Why is that I here you ask? Well, let’s take you back to the main cause of his surge up the draft boards, his insane Pro Day. The former Kentucky standout put on an absolute show at his Pro Day, coming in at 6’3” 234 lbs., Davis ran a 4.37 40 yard dash, had a 42” vertical, and had a broad jump of 11 ft.
Though he balled out in the drills, he’s not just a workout specialist, he’s an absolute beast at the linebacker position.
In his last season at Kentucky, Davis registered 102 total tackles (7th), two passes defended, one forced fumble and a sack and a half, to go along with three interceptions and an 85-yard pick six.
Davis has the athleticism to make plays all over the field. Coupling his athleticism with his size makes for a scary combination at the next level. He can cover anyone in the passing game and can make plays at the line by meeting runners in the hole.
Other than Micah Parsons, Davis is considered to be the best pure linebacker in this draft class, with some even rating him higher than Parsons. Like I said above, his size and speed make for a ridiculous, and somewhat unfair, combination.
For a defense that showed out last year, the Football Team should be looking to strengthen it by adding Jamin Davis.
Though I really like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the hype surrounding Jamin Davis just doesn’t seem like stopping. I think he’d be a great addition to Washington’s defense and gives them another very scary player for opposing offenses to deal with.
IF NOT THEN; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Other picks; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
20. Chicago Bears; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
The Bears could do a few things with this pick. For starters, they could trade up and select a quarterback to appease the fans. They could also draft an offensive lineman to keep new franchise savior Andy Dalton upright. Or they could draft a corner to replace the recently released Kyler Fuller. For this, I’m going to go with the latter.
Over the past four or so years, the Chicago Bears defense has been the strong point of their team. Corner back Kyle Fuller was a very key part to the teams success, but the cut him for cap purposes. The Bears still have Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Jackson, but the corner back position is lacking right now.
They did get a great value pick in last years draft by taking Utah’s Jaylon Johnson in the second round and did sign Desmond Trufant from Detroit, but I just think they’d love to add someone like Newsome to sure up the defense.
Now, he hasn’t gotten all the recognition the top three corners have, but he’s still a very good corner. On 387 snaps this past season, he only let up 98 yards on 34 targets and only 12 of them were catches. He’s a very fast and athletic corner who’s got great size for the position.
Also, though he only had one career interception on 114 targets, he had a career completion percentage of 56.1% with a 35.3% 2020 season, per PFF. Newsome II had 64 tackles in his career, 15 passes defended, and surrendered five touchdowns, but none in 2020 (per SI.com)
He also leads this years draft class in completion percentage allowed in single cover, at 10.5%, per PFF and only allowed .44 yards per coverage snap in 2020, which is the lowest in the 2021 Draft class (per PFF). Dude is a very talented corner.
Newsome has been rising up some draft boards as of late. His combination of size and coverage ability are making him a very hot commodity. Caleb Farley’s recent back surgeries are also helping his stock, as Newsome is now widely expected to be the third corner back off the board.
Now only would Newsome provide the Bears with a lock down corner, but it provide some local flair as well, as Newsome was born, raised, and educated in the city of Chicago.
In a division with Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, among others, I think it’d be smart for the Bears to invest in the corner back position. I don’t think there’d be many Bears fans upset with this pick.
IF NOT THEN; Trade up for quarterback
Other picks; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; TRADE UP
21. Indianapolis Colts; Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the most interesting teams coming into the 2021 NFL Draft. They are a very talented team but do have some holes on their roster. Most notably at wide receiver, left tackle, and edge rusher.
This off-season, the Colts are likely to lose aging veteran Justin Houston and Denico Autry in free agency (more likely to lose Houston due to his age (32)). They are also in a division that has very mobile quarterbacks in Ryan Tannehill, Trevor Lawrence (we expect), and Deshaun Watson (for now). I think it’d be smart to take one of the top edge rushers in this draft.
If it weren’t for the injury history, Jaelan Phillips may be considered the best edge rusher in this draft. Sadly, injuries are a big part of a player’s draft stock, which could see Phillips go a little later than some would expect if not for the injuries.
Much like Montez Sweat in 2019, Phillips is suffering from an unfair yet very similar circumstance. Like I’ve stated in every mock draft, before transferring to Miami, Phillips medically retired from football. His injuries included an ankle injury, a wrist injury in an off-the-field accident, and a concussion.
When healthy though, Phillips put up some good numbers. Standing at 6’5” and weighing 265 lbs., he is a massive threat rushing the passer. With Rousseau opting out this past season, Phillips accounted for eight sacks, 45 total tackles, and an interception.
Phillips also put together a nice little Pro Day as well, which to some people solidified their thoughts on him being the best edge rusher. He registered a 4.56 40 time, posted a 36-inch vertical, 10 ft 5 in broad jump, 4.12 shuttle time and 21 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
Again, if it weren’t for the injury concerns, Phillips may easily be the first edge rusher taken. Now, he more than likely won’t fall past Cleveland at 26, but Indianapolis makes sure that doesn’t happen by taking him here at 21.
If he can stay healthy, Phillips could be an elite edge rusher in the NFL. As I said above, there’s some athletic quarterbacks in this division. It’d be smart for the Colts to get a guy to get after the quarterback.
NOTE; I think there’s a good chance the Colts trade back, I just feel that if Phillips or Paye are available at 21, they’d definitely have to think twice about it.
IF NOT THEN; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia or Kwity Paye, depends on whose available
Other picks; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
22. Tennessee Titans; Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
This off-season, the Titans lost some key weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Most notably, the Titans lost Corey Davis to the Jets, Adam Humphries to the Washington Football Team, and Jonnu Smith to the Patriots. Those players were three of their top five leading receivers last season. They’ll need to get replaced.
As of right now, the Titans don’t have a real option out wide outside of AJ Brown. Now, they went out and signed Josh Reynolds in free agency, but they’ll need more options from Ryan Tannehill if they want to go far in the Playoffs. Elijah Moore would be a very good compliment to AJ Brown in the offense.
Moore has been one of those players whose name has been shooting up draft boards. A very dynamic player who has been compared to the likes of Desean Jackson and Tyler Lockett, Moore would be the perfect replacement for the recently departed Emmanuel Sanders.
In his last season at Ole Miss, Elijah Moore put up some very good numbers. Finishing the season with 1,193 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while also leading the nation in yards per game.
He showed off his explosiveness numerous times last season. While being Matt Corral’s favorite target (by far), Moore had three games where he registered over 200 yards receiving while also gaining 143 receiving yards against the eventual National Champions, Alabama.
The Titans have one of (if not) the best running back(s) in the NFL in Derrick Henry. Other than Henry and Brown, the Titans don’t have a ton going for them on the offensive side of the ball for Ryan Tannehill to work with.
Elijah Moore would give the Titans a receiver that can do a lot of things for an offense. He’s very explosive and, again, would offer a nice one two punch with AJ Brown. By drafting Moore, the Titans have another Ole Miss wide out for Tannehill to throw to.
IF NOT THEN; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Other picks; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan; Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
23. New York Jets (via Seahawks); Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
After trading away Sam Darnold and then drafting BYU’s Zach Wilson with the second overall pick, the Jets could go in a few directions with their second pick in the first round (via Seattle).
On one hand, the Jets and their new head coach Robert Saleh could go after a top edge rusher or a top corner to help sure up their defense. On the other, they could draft an offensive lineman to keep their new investment upright, giving him something Sam Darnold never really had
In last years draft, the Jets used their first pick to select Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, who performed well as the Jets starting left tackle. After getting the left side solidified (hopefully), the Jets could look to add a starting right tackle. Teven Jenkins, not only is a natural right tackle, but an absolute beast on the offensive line.
In his three years starting at Oklahoma State, Jenkins played 2,324 snaps, with 1,117 of those being pass blocking snaps. Of those 1,117 snaps, Jenkins only gave up two sacks. Two sacks in three years. Even crazier, over the past two years, Jenkins allowed zero sacks.
Now only does he not give up sacks, Jenkins rarely lets anyone get near his quarterbacks. Again, in those three years, he allowed just three QB hits and 27 QB hurries. Those are absolutely crazy pass blocking numbers.
Much like Becton before him, Jenkins is also a fantastic run blocker. While at Oklahoma State, Jenkins was one of the main cogs in an offensive line that opened up holes for Chuba Hubbard, who rushed for 2,000+ yards in 2019. For a team that struggles establishing the run, the Jets adding Jenkins to go with Becton would surly help get something going.
Jenkins is a monster on the offensive line. Though he doesn’t look the most threatening, Jenkins is every bit of 6’6” 317 lbs. He’s an absolute beast and any offensive line needy team would be smart to add him.
He has a great combination of size and strength that makes him an excellent blocker against the run and the pass. With Zach Wilson now the starter in New Jersey, I think it’d be wise to build him a solid o-line. Adding Teven Jenkins would be a good way to start.
IF NOT THEN; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Other picks; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson; Najee Harris, RB, Alabama; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan; Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; TRADE UP
24. Pittsburgh Steelers; Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Pittsburgh Steelers had (arguably) the weirdest 12-4 season ever last season. After starting 11-0, they fell flat towards the end of the season and got dick slapped by the Browns in the first round of the Playoffs.
One thing that really hurt the Steelers was their real lack of a competent run game, which has really been (somewhat of) an issue for the past few seasons, not just the last one. Ever since Le’Veon Bell’s last season (2017), the Steelers haven’t had a thousand yard rusher.
James Conner has performed well, at times, but injuries have really halted any real development the viewing audience expected from him. Having never played a full 16 game season and hasn’t ever started more than 12 games throughout his career. I think it’s time they add a true bell cow at running back.
To me, Najee Harris just feels like a Steelers running back. He’s bigger but is a great athlete that can make a lot of plays in the passing game as well as in the running game. Much like the aforementioned Le’Veon Bell.
While at Alabama, Harris put up 3,843 rushing yards (two back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons) with 46 rushing touchdowns, both are Alabama all-time records. In his last season at Bama, Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns. Those 26 touchdowns are the second most in a season by a SEC running back since Derrick Henry in 2015 (28).
Along with his great rushing numbers, Harris improved as a pass catcher each year at Alabama. From his junior to senior year, Harris’ receiving yards went up from 304 to 425, with Sark and Mac Jones using him a lot more in the passing game.
Like I said above, he’s a very big running back, standing at 6’2” and weighing 230 lbs. Even with his size, he’s an amazing athlete, as we saw by him jumping over defenders in college.
Now, I’m not saying he is Le’Veon Bell, but they are very similar in size and what they can do in the run game and pass game. The Steelers offense was the best when Bell was at his best. Drafting Harris could fill the void left by Bell.
IF NOT THEN; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Other picks; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson; Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan; Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas; Wyatt Davis, iOL, Ohio State; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams); Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
There’s been a lot of rumors swirling around Christian Barmore as of late. A couple weeks ago he was a possible top 15 pick. Fast forward to today and people are saying he could drop out of the first round. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
The main reason behind why he may drop out of the first round is the rumor going around that he doesn’t take to coaching.
Now, Alabama head coach Nick Saban did defend him, saying, “We never had any issues here with him at all when it came to structure, whether it was football or academics,’’ Saban told Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
He continued by stating that, “he always worked hard in the off-season program, and he did whatever everybody told him to do. We were were very structured in regards to academics, and he worked very hard at that.’’ So I don’t know.
What I do know is that Barmore is pretty clear as the best defensive tackle in this draft class. For a team like Jacksonville, who struggled mightily against the run and in getting after the quarterback, Barmore seems like a near perfect option if he’s available.
Barmore possesses great size and length from the interior defensive line and can get after the passer as well as clog up holes in the running game as well. He’s an explosive player who, in his last season at Alabama, registered 37 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and three forced fumbles.
He also registered the most quarterback pressures (39) out of this d-tackle class. Those 39 pressures ranked nine more than the next closest player, Louisiana Tech’s Milton Williams with 30. The Jaguars could definitely use someone like Barmore in their defense.
Barmore was also named to the First Team All-SEC team and was named as the Defensive MVP in the National Championship against Ohio State, registering five tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack.
Now, I could easily see Barmore going to the Raiders at 17. The d-tackle position, as a unit for the Raiders, combined for 1.5 sacks. That’s not great. He also fits the mold of a player from a big time college who could be “over drafted.” So I wouldn’t rule that out.
I just feel that if Barmore falls past Vegas, the next ideal spot would be with the Jaguars. Urban Meyer stated a few months ago that the defensive line will be solidified.
“I always believe you build your team around the defensive line, and then you move backwards – so that’s what we’re going to do.” Barmore would definitely help the Jags build their d-line back to what it was when they went to the AFC Championship game.
Barmore’s got everything you look for in an interior d-lineman. He’s got great size and great athleticism that make him a match-up nightmare for most offensive units. Again, if he’s available, I think it’d be hard for Jacksonville to pass up.
IF NOT THEN; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Other picks; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson; TRADE BACK
26. Cleveland Browns; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Cleveland Browns are going to be addressing the defensive side of the ball with their first round pick and I am very confident in saying that.
Over the past few seasons the Browns have built up a very good offense, predicated on a good offensive line and a really talented one two punch at the running back position with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Though their offense was really good last season, their defense was not. Now, a lot of that could come down to the amount of injuries they had on that side of the ball.
In the secondary, Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and Grant Delpit missed significant time, which really hurt them. As long as they stay healthy, along with the addition of John Johnson from Los Angeles, the Browns secondary should be fine.
They also just recently signed Jadeveon Clowney to replace the recently injured/released Olivier Vernon, who recorded nine sacks last season (second on the team).
With the secondary and defensive end positions pretty much fixed (as long as they stay healthy), I think the Browns should target one of the top linebackers in this draft. To me, the best one available is Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Now, I personally don’t want to see Owusu-Koramoah slip this far in the draft. But with Jamin Davis’ stock surging and the fact that Owusu-Koramoah is kind of a positional mystery, I could see it happening. That being said, I can’t see him falling past Cleveland.
Though I could see this being somewhat of a problem, I love Owusu-Koramoah’s versatility. Dude has the ability to play linebacker (his listed position), safety, or even nickel corner. He just gives a defense so many options.
Coming into the Draft at 6’1” and weighing 221 lbs., Owusu-Koramoah is going to be one of the “smaller” linebackers at the next level. Looking at Derrick Brooks’ success in the NFL, I don’t think size is really the “end all be all” for linebackers anymore. Dude makes up for his perceived lack of size by being an absolute beast on defense.
Not only is he another “do everything linebacker,” he’s also a heat seeking missile. Wherever he’s playing on defense, somehow he always seems to find the ball. He just makes plays all over the field.
It’s not secret the Browns struggled against the pass last year, but I think Owusu-Koramoah could help solidify that. Out of the top linebackers, he’s arguably the best one against the pass. He can cover anyone on the field and if they do make the catch, they won’t be getting that far. The dude is a heat seeking missile.
If Owusu-Koramoah does fall in the draft, it won’t be past Cleveland, whose linebacking core was rated as one of the worst by PFF. JOK would give the Browns a do everything linebacker who will help solidify their defense.
IF NOT THEN; Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Other picks; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
27. Baltimore Ravens; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Baltimore Ravens will do two things with this pick. They’ll either go out and draft one of the top edge rushers in the draft or they’ll get Lamar some more options out wide. Even though they added Sammy Watkins in free agency, they should look to add more depth at the position.
As I just said, the Ravens just signed Sammy Watkins. But adding him, along with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, may make for the most injury prone receiver room in the entire NFL. It wouldn’t hurt them to add some more depth at the position.
Yes, the Ravens do need some help on the edges, but I just think if they want to see the best out of Lamar Jackson again, they have to look at the wide receiver options with this pick.
With Lamar, there obviously comes the threat of the run, so the Ravens would (probably) want to add someone who is effective in the pass game but can also block. I think Rashod Bateman fits right into that mold while also giving them some contrast to Waktins and Brown.
Though his numbers during his last season at Minnesota dropped from the season prior, that shouldn’t take away from how good of a receiver he is. In many ways, looking at Minnesota as a whole last season, that may have rounded his game a little more.
With Tanner Morgan’s struggles last season, Mohamed Ibrahim took charge of the offense. Rushing for 1,076 yards and 15 touchdowns in just seven games last season. He rushed for 100+ yards every game and even posted two 200+ rushing performances against Maryland and Illinois. Bateman’s role as a blocker increased a lot from the season prior, which is big.
In the season before, with another NFL caliber wide out on the roster (Tyler Johnson), Batman finished with 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 5 yard more per reception than Tyler Johnson. Who out caught Bateman 86 to 60 that season.
I think this would make a lot of sense for the Ravens. Like I said above, Bateman would be a very nice contrast to Sammy Watkins and “Hollywood” Brown. His ability as a receiver is just as good as his improved ability as a blocker, which fits what Baltimore wants to do on offense.
If the Ravens draft Bateman, we could begin seeing the return of MVP Lamar Jackson. We know the Ravens are going to kill in running the ball, Bateman will give them an excellent option out wide to make them a bigger threat in the passing game than in recent years.
IF NOT THEN; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Other picks; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama
28. New Orleans Saints; Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Reports are saying that the Saints could be looking at a quarterback with this pick. Though that could be very likely, I just think they have more needs on their roster (with very few picks to address them) and should ride this year out with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill at QB.
Instead of going after the quarterback, the Saints should address (arguably) their biggest position of need, cornerback. With Janoris Jenkins leaving for Tennessee this off-season, the Saints only have three or four corners on their active roster.
A few weeks ago, this scenario would have never played out, but now, this seems like it could likely happen. Even though Caleb Farley recently had back surgery, the value would be too hard to pass up here at pick 28.
If it weren’t for said back surgery, Farley would be the first or second corner taken in the draft. Now, he’s expected to be the fourth cornerback off the board, and the Saints should be very thankful for that.
Another thing that could also hurt Farley is the fact that he opted out of this past season. Unlike the other players who opted out, i.e. Ja’Marr Chase, Penei Sewell, and Micah Parsons, Farley had that aforementioned injury, which could drop him more.
Farley is an extremely raw prospect. It’s kind of crazy to think that he’s only really played corner for two seasons, which makes him a very appealing option for teams. After playing quarterback in high school and then receiver when he first got to Virginia Tech, he knows the offensive side of the ball well, which helps him though he’s inexperienced.
His aforementioned rawness is very appealing because that means he’s got room to grow. Seeing his blend of size and athleticism together is very fun to see, especially since he’s nowhere near the finished product. His ceiling is very (very) high.
As I said above, his blend of size, speed, and athleticism would make him an ideal target for the Saints (if he were to fall this far). In a division with receivers such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Robbie Anderson, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley, it’d be a very smart move by New Orleans to address the cornerback position.
Just imagine a defensive backfield with Marshon Lattimore and Caleb Farley. That should make Saints fans very excited for this upcoming season (again, if he falls this far).
NOTE; There is a real possibility that the Saints trade up, I just don’t know with who and who for, so I just kept Farley here, who is someone reports say they really like.
IF NOT THEN; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Other picks; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida; Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue; Davis Mills, QB, Stanford; TRADE UP
29. Green Bay Packers; Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Am I confident with this pick? No, not really. Why? Because of the fact that the Green Bay Packers haven’t selected a wide receiver in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002. Part of me thinks the Packers may actually help their quarterback by getting him another weapon to partner Davante Adams
Now, I am farly confident that the Packers will trade up, as they’ve traded up in the past three drafts, I just don’t know about wide receiver and I don’t really know who they’d trade up with. Again, the last time the Packers drafted a wide out was 2002! That’s a long ass time. But, I think Kadarius Toney would be too hard to pass up for the Packers if he were available.
A player I compared Toney to in my last mock draft was former Florida wide out Percy Harvin. Again, I’m not saying he is Percy Harvin or will be better than him, I just think there are similarities in their games.
For the Packers, who went up against Percy Harvin twice a year for four years, I think the Packers would love someone like that.
At Florida, Toney totaled 120 receptions for 1,590 yards and 12 touchdowns catches, 66 rushing attempts for 580 yards and scores on the ground, and an average of 21.6 yards per kick return and 11.3 yards per punt return, scoring on a punt return touchdown. He also threw a few balls, going 3-6 with 82 yards and a passing touchdown.
Along with those numbers, Toney didn’t drop a single pass 10+ yards downfield on 31 targets. Also, since 2019, Toney has had a total of 111 touches with 60 first downs and 44 missed tackles. Some of the play Toney makes, he makes out of nothing. His burst is ridiculous and his ability to make plays anywhere is draw dropping.
If the Packers took anything away from last season, it’s to actually help out Aaron Rodgers. Last year’s draft was not good for Green Bay, to say the least.
Jordan Love isn’t playing anytime soon. AJ Dillon, to be fair, did get promoted from third string to back-up as Jamaal Williams headed off to Detroit, so there’s that. Third round draft pick Josiah Deguara caught one pass last year, playing in only two games. Instead of going any further, I’ll just tell ya again, this draft stunk.
Green Bay, I know it’s not like you to draft wide receivers or help out Aaron Rodgers, but c’mon. After watching him murder the NFL with the zero weapons you drafted for him, you’ve got to get him someone. Imagine what he could do with Toney along with Adams. Crazy.
IF NOT THEN; Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama
Other picks; Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan; Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Asante Samuel Jr., Cb, Florida State; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; TRADE UP
30. Buffalo Bills; Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Bills are in a very nice position going into the 2021 season. This off-season, the Bills brought back almost all their starters from the AFC Championship game loss to Kansas City. To me, the Bills could don anything with this pick.
After watching every Bills game last year, I can tell you one definitive thing: they are very one dimensional.
Last season, the Bills surprised everyone with their insane passing attack. Josh Allen became an MVP candidate with Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley being named to All Pro Teams. The offense was insanely fun to watch, that is until they started running the ball.
Though I love Devin Singletary and Zack Moss, I find it hard to believe that if Clemson’s Travis Etienne is available, that they’d pass on him. For what the Bills do on offense, Etienne would be perfect.
I know there’s a lot of Bills fans out their that will not want Etienne because of the failed CJ Spiller experiment. To me, that’s just lazy. Just because they went to the same school does not make them the same player. Though Spiller is shiftier than Etienne, Etienne can do everything else better than Spiller.
One thing that’s somewhat gotten swept under the rug is Etienne’s ability in the passing game. At Clemson, you would see Etienne catch balls out of the backfield as well as him lining up in the slot and running routes.
Since 2018, the two players with the most 10+ yard gains on passes out of the backfield are DeVonta Smith and Travis Etienne, with Etienne having 27 to Smith’s 26. Also, he has the most receiving yards out of any running back since 2019 with 1,021 yards. He has improved on his passes catching ability every year too, which is nice to see.
Another big stat for Etienne (s/o PFF) is the fact that he has the highest career yards after contact per attempt in the 2021 draft class with 4.5 yards per attempt. The more and more I type about Etienne, the more I’d love him in Buffalo.
If the Bills truly want to take the next step they’ve got to add some sort of threat out of the back field. By adding Etienne, you’re not only getting a very multi dimensional back, you’re also taking hits off Josh Allen, which should be a huge priority.
I know most Bills fans want a corner or an edge rusher, I just think Etienne is too good to pass up. If they need to trade up get him, do it. I do not want to see this man on the New York Jets.
IF NOT THEN; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
Other picks; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; TRADE UP
31. Baltimore Ravens (via Chiefs); Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Like I said before, I think the Ravens will do two things in the draft. They have to look at some wide receivers and they have to get some edge rusher help. Since they’ve already got their wide receiver, now they move onto the other need. With Jayson Oweh sitting right there, I feel Baltimore has to take him.
If recent reports are to be believed, former Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh is surging up draft boards due to his insane athleticism. Though he’s an athletic freak, it must be said that Oweh did record zero sacks last season, which could be cause for concern. That being said, he still makes plays.
Listed as a d-end at Penn State (outside linebacker now), Oweh was fourth on the Nittany Lions last season in tackles with 38. He also registered 15 quarterback hurries and got five hits on the quarterback last season, so it’s not as if he’s not being disruptive.
Like I kind of said above, Oweh is an athletic freak who has been compared to Vikings standout Danielle Hunter. Both Oweh in Hunter had limited production in their last year at school. Oweh obviously had zero sacks, but Hunter registered one in a half sacks in a full 13 game season, Oweh only played in seven.
Though he didn’t necessarily show out during his final season at Penn State, Oweh definitely showed out at his Pro Day. At 6’5” 257, Oweh ran an insane 4.36 in the 40 yard dash. He also displayed a 39.5” vertical and a 11ft 2 inch broad jump.
For Oweh, the athletic gifts are there, now he just needs to gain some consistency. If he can put it all together at the next level he may be an unstoppable force coming off the edge.
For a team that lost both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency, it may be smarter for Baltimore to go after an edge rusher here and look at a wide receiver in rounds two and three. You don’t see players with that size and speed often, he’ll be hard to pass up for Baltimore.
IF NOT THEN; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Other picks; Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU; Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama; Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame; Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
32. Dallas Cowboys (TRADE); Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The final trade in the final mock draft of the 2021 NFL Draft season. Crazy how fast everything has gone. For this draft, I tried to limit myself to only a certain number of trades, sometimes I get a little trade happy. Though I didn’t have any trades from 15 to 31, I just feel like Dallas would love to jump some teams and take TCU’s Trevon Moehrig.
Like I said earlier about the Cowboys, the Cowboys have a good offense, it’s their defense that has been an issue recently. If the Cowboys want to get back to the top of the division, they have to improve their defense. Adding Trevon Moehrig after getting Jaycee Horn at 10 would be a brilliant move by the Cowboys.
I think Trevon Moehrig would fit in nicely in Dallas’ defense. Playing at safety, at 6’2” 202 lbs., Moehrig has the abilities to play as a center fielder or play closer to the line of scrimmage. His versatility would be a great addition to any defense. He has the ability to make plays all over the field from the safety position, making some compare him to Derwin James.
In his time at TCU, Moehrig totaled 124 tackles (85 solo tackles), 21 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and seven interceptions. At his Pro Day, Moehrig ran a 4.5 40 with a reported bad back, which is .03 seconds slower than the aforementioned Derwin James.
If the Cowboys want to challenge again in the NFC, they have to improve their defense. Their offense can score points with ease, they just need their defense to stop allowing teams to score with ease.
Moehrig would be a great addition to the Cowboys defense. Adding Jaycee Horn and Trevon Moehrig would make the first round an absolute win for the Dallas Cowboys. This has the potential to get the ‘boys back in the conversation.
This just feels like a Cowboys pick. Moehrig was born, raised, and educated in Texas. Not only that, reports say Moehrig impressed the Cowboys in their meeting. So much so Jerry Jones stated, “Congratulations. You’re a credit to football. And I’m proud of your career that you had at TCU.” Who knows, he may have been complimenting a future Cowboy.
IF NOT THEN; Bucs; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Other picks; Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia; Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami; Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington; Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State; Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia; Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia; Jevon Holland, S, Oregon; STAY PUT
- QB; 5
- RB; 2
- WR; 6
- TE; 1
- OT; 4
- iOL; 1
- DT; 1
- EDGE; 3
- LB; 4
- CB; 4
- S; 1