2021 NFL mock draft: It's never too early!
Roob's 2021 NFL mock draft
The 2021 draft is right around the corner, and it's never too early to start predicting what's going to happen.
Next year's draft, which is scheduled to be held in Cleveland, will likely be held April 22-24, although the NFL hasn't released the official dates yet.
Is Clemson's Trevor Lawrence a slam-dunk for the first pick? Where will the latest North Dakota State phenom quarterback get taken? Who will the Eagles select?
We've got it all figured out!
(All photos from USA Today Images)
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
He’s got 66 touchdowns and 12 interceptions plus more than 700 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs in 30 games at Clemson. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Lawrence isn’t the first pick next year.
2. Panthers: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
One of the best offensive tackle prospects in college football in recent years. A massive, powerful blocking machine who’ll step right in on opening day of 2021 as a starting left tackle.
3. Redskins: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
After the Dwayne Haskins experiment flops, the Redskins select an Ohio State quarterback in the first round for the second time in three years. Fields succeeded Haskins in Columbus after transferring from Georgia and the two are good friends. At least for now.
4. Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Chase won’t match his 84-for-1,780-20 production playing with Joe Burrow this past year, but he’s a flat-out stud and the best receiver in this draft.
5. Jets: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
Joe Douglas loves defensive linemen, and he gets Gregg Williams a big-time pass rusher who had 19 1/2 tackles for loss and 15 1/2 sacks last year in his first season in Coral Gables. Only Ohio State’s Chase Young (16 1/2) had more this year.
6. Bengals: Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, Alabama
Surtain’s dad, also Patrick, had 37 INTs during his 11-year career with the Dolphins and Chiefs and made three Pro Bowls and an All-Pro team. His son has a chance to be the same sort of player.
7. Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The school that produced Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs in the first round in recent years strikes again with Waddle, who hs 1,408 yards, 13 TDs and an 18.1 average at Alabama despite sharing the ball with a host of very talented receivers.
8. Giants: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Linebacker U hasn’t produced a 1st-round linebacker since LaVar Arrington in 2000, but that ends next spring with Parsons, who returns to State College after a sophomore season with 14 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, five pass breakups and four forced fumbles. Dude is a beast.
9. Broncos: Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina
Blossomed this past season with four INTs and nine pass breakups playing in the receiver-rich SEC. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, he definitely projects as an NFL corner.
10. Chargers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Chargers need a franchise running back, and if Etienne’s senior year is anything like the last two, he could be a rare top-10 running back. Only Jonathan Taylor had more rushing yards the last two years than Etienne’s 3,272, and Etienne had more TDs (43). He also caught 37 passes.
11. Cardinals: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
After leading the BCS with an insane 114 catches in 2018 and off to a hot start this past year, Moore suffered a season-ending hamstring injury and missed Purdue’s last eight games. He’s healthy again and another record-setting season would make him a high 1st-round pick and another weapon for Kyler Murray.
12. Falcons: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Already a two-year starter at left tackle in South Bend, Eichenberg did not allow a sack in 2019 and improved his run blocking. If that progress continues, he’ll be Notre Dame’s fourth 1st-round offensive lineman in six years after a 36-year drought.
13. Titans: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
The Titans could definitely use some firepower on offense and Ross goes into 2021 with 112 catches, nearly 2,000 yards and 17 TDs in two seasons at Clemson, along with a 16.7 average. At 6-4, 205 pounds, he’s got NFL size, and with Trevor Lawrence as his QB his junior year numbers are almost certain to be impressive.
14. Bears: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Was projected as one of the top corners in this year’s draft but elected to return to Palo Alto for his senior year. Paulson is one of only four BCS players with at least four INTs in each of the last two years and at 6-1, 190 has good size.
15. Dolphins: LaBryan Ray, DT/DE, Alabama
The big question with Ray is health. He’s only played 17 games in three years in Tuscaloosa, but when he’s healthy he’s a uniquely versatile player at 6-5, 290, capable of lining up anywhere along the defensive line. He needs to stay healthy and produce, but if he does he’ll be a mid-1st-rounder.
16. Patriots: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The Patriots have only taken two QBs in the first round in the last 50 years — Tony Eason in 1983 and Drew Bledsoe in 1993. It’s time for that to change, and Lance is an intriguing prospect. He had 28 TDs, 0 INTs and 1,100 rushing yards for the Bison last year, which is mind-blowing in any division. Imagine an Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl with two North Dakota State graduates squaring off against each other?
17. Browns: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Little’s original plan was to turn pro this year, but after earning First-Team All-Conference honors in 2018 he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener vs. Northwestern and decided to return for another year to reclaim his status as a first-round pick. When healthy, he’s a stud.
18. Jaguars: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
After drafting Lawrence, the Jaguars’ biggest priority will be protecting him, and Leatherwood is a versatile prospect who moved this past season from right guard to left tackle, which should be his position in the NFL.
19. Raiders: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Doesn’t have the interceptions of some of the other top corners — four in two years — but he’s an elite cover corner and a willing tackler. Plus, he’s from Ohio State, which has been a real cornerback factory in recent years, and that will only help him on draft day.
20. Buccaneers: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Athletic marvel at 6-5, 315 who over the last two years has piled up 12 1/2 tackles for loss, 8 1/2 sacks and five pass breakups out of the interior defensive line. Will be the Seminoles’ first first-round defensive tackle since 2006, when the Eagles took Brodrick Bunkley at No. 14.
21. Vikings: Quincy Roche, Edge, Miami
Roche would be a great fit opposite Danielle Hunter on the Vikings’ D-line. Roche racked up 26 sacks, 39 1/2 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in three years at Temple before transferring to Miami for his final season of eligibility. Only five players in all of the BCS — including Chase Young and A.J. Epenesa — had more sacks over the last three years.
22. Steelers Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Hubbard finished 8th in the Heisman balloting this past year after a monster BCS-leading 2,094-yard, 21-touchdown season for the Cowboys. He’s a capable receiver (45 catches the last two years), has good size at 6-1, 205 and with James Conner entering the final year of his deal the Steelers could very well need a replacement.
23. Eagles: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Even if Jalen Reagor is everything the Eagles hope he is, even if J.J. Arcega-Whiteside makes huge strides next season, the Eagles will still need playmakers, and Smith — who had 68-for-1,256-14 this past season — will finally give the Eagles the wide receiver corps that Carson Wentz needs.
24. Colts: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia
Smart, physical safety who has five INTs, 6 pass deflections, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, 5 1/2 tackles for loss and 135 tackles in the last two years.
25. Cowboys: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Cowboys need an infusion of young talent on the offensive line, and the powerful Cosmi is a good fit playing on the same line as former college teammate Connor Williams.
26. Packers: Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama
Massive 340-pounder is a two-year starter for the Crimson Tide and projects as the first interior lineman in the 2021 draft.
27. Seahawks: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Cisco, a high school teammate of Grant Delpit, has 12 interceptions over the last two seasons - most of anybody in the country - and Cisco gives the Seahawks a big-time playmaker in the secondary.
28. Bills: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Moses would have been a 1st-round pick this past season but tore his ACL before the season even began and missed the entire year. So he decided to return to school for his final season. Moses is a Sean McDermott type of player — athletic, tough, physical and versatile.
29. Saints: Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington
The 6-5, 265-pound Tryon gives the Saints a big-time pass rusher. He had 8.0 sacks and 12 1/2 tackles for loss in his first full season at Washington and should be even better this coming season.
30. Chiefs: Cade Mays, OT, Tennessee
Mays is the kind of versatile offensive lineman Andy Reid loves — strong enough to play guard and athletic enough to play tackle.
31. 49ers: Dimitri Moore, LB, Vanderbilt
An accomplished pianist and athletic inside linebacker, Moore has amassed 183 tackles in his two seasons with the Commodores along with 9 1/2 tackles for loss, 1 1/2 sacks and six pass breakups.
32. Ravens: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
The Ravens haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Mike Wallace in 2016. They drafted Marquise Brown last year but they need weapons for Lamar Jackson and Williams, who had 830 yards and eight TDs playing playing with a struggling true freshman quarterback, is a great value pick at the end of the first round.