(Photo by USA Today)
Not only did we have a wild Free Agency period in the NFL but this past week there were a flurry of trades involving teams in the Top-12 of the 2021 NFL Draft. We begin to see what a lot of the teams will be doing come Draft time with their picks.
In this Mock Draft, we see some aggressive and interesting trades and some surprising picks as well.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB – Clemson
This is the least surprising pick of the entire draft. Lawrence is not only the best QB in this draft but the best to have ever come through the draft process. Urban kicks off his NFL Head Coaching career with the QB for the foreseeable future in Jacksonville.
- New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB – BYU
The Jets say they like Sam Darnold but with a new staff in place, it makes sense that they start over with a new QB. Even though Wilson is QB4 on my board, there is no denying that he has some real talent. It’ll be interesting how he does playing real competition on a consistent basis as he struggled playing up to competition in 2020.
- San Francisco 49ers (via Miami): Trey Lance, QB – North Dakota State
San Francisco made a huge splash last week by trading up to #3 from 12. This all but signals that the 49ers are ready to take the next step towards winning a Super Bowl. In a Kyle Shanahan offense, Lance has the opportunity to maximize his potential with not only his ability to make every throw but as well as being a very good runner.
- Detroit Lions (via Atlanta): Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State
Detroit Lions acquire No. 4 from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for No.(s) 7, 41, 2022 2nd-Round Pick & 2023 2nd-Round Pick.
Both the Lions and Falcons restructured their QB’s contracts, but the Lions will still have a lot of Cap Space to work with after the 2021 season while the Falcons will be in cap purgatory, making it easier for the Lions to part ways with Goff. New Lions GM Brad Holmes comes from the Rams who are known to be aggressive and he brings the same mentality to Detroit as they trade up for Justin Fields. They are in a “rebuild/retool” and will need a Franchise QB going forward and Fields is the perfect player to lead that with his great talent on the field and his leadership qualities.
- Cincinatti Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT – Oregon
The Bengals still need to address their OL and they go with the best option available in Sewell. He would give Burrow elite protection for years to come and he will need it coming off a season-ending knee injury. Sewell might be the best OL to come out of college since Quenton Nelson.
- Miami Dolphins (via Philadelphia): Kyle Pitts, TE – Florida
Miami has a real chance to solidify their team this off-season with the number of picks that they have. They signed Will Fuller to go with DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, and now with the 6th pick, they draft Kyle Pitts. This surrounds Tua with the playmakers necessary for him to be able to succeed.
- Atlanta Falcons (via Detroit): Rashawn Slater, OL – Northwestern
Atlanta Falcons acquire No.(s) 7, 41, 2022 2nd-Round Pick & 2023 2nd-Round Pick from the Detroit Lions in exchange for No. 4.
The Falcons have a pretty good O-Line but they shore it up for the foreseeable future by getting Rashawn Slater. He has the ability to line up anywhere on the Offensive Line and provides extra protection for Matt Ryan and what should be a great offense under new Head Coach Arthur Smith.
- Houston Texans (via Carolina): Ja’Marr Chase, WR – LSU
Houston Texans acquire No.(s) 8, 39, 113, 2022 & 2023 1st-Round picks from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for QB Deshaun Watson.
Amid all of the Sexual Assault allegations, the Panthers still pull the trigger on trading for Deshaun Watson. They have spent all off-season clearing cap space and have not used much of it and there is only one reason for that: Deshaun Watson. For Houston, drafting Chase will give them a #1 WR after trading away DeAndre Hopkins a couple years ago. Hopefully they don’t mess this one up either.
- Denver Broncos: Jaycee Horn, CB – South Carolina
Denver did a nice job addressing their CB needs by signing Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency. Another CB isn’t a major need here but after the performance Jaycee Horn had at his pro day, it will be hard to pass him up here at 9. Horn has every attribute you want in a top Cornerback and he will help solidify the Broncos secondary going forward.
- Dallas Cowboys: Pat Surtain ll, CB – Alabama
The Cowboys could really use some Offensive Line help here but Pat Surtain is too good of a player to pass up, especially at another position of need. Dallas’ defense last year was one of the worst of all-time and their Defensive Backfield definitely did not help with that issue. Surtain and Horn have been battling lately over CB1 title but both guys are worthy of that title. Surtain joins his former Alabama teammate, Trevon Diggs, in Dallas to try and improve the defense on a win-now ready team.
- New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR – Alabama
New York had a great offseason addressing needs on both sides of the ball, but did especially great at WR & TE. Drafting Waddle here gives Daniel Jones another weapon to work with that even he can’t mess up.
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami): DeVonta Smith, WR – Alabama
Being able to trade back and still get a top-flight WR while gaining more draft capital is more than what Philly could have asked for here at 12. Smith is coming off a season where he won the Heisman Trophy but none of that has seemed to matter to a lot of teams. Concerns about his size has Smith sliding down a lot of draft boards but he doesn’t go past Philly who pairs him up with his former QB Jalen Hurts.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL – USC
The Chargers signed Corey Linsley, Oday Aboushi, & Matt Feiler to provide some protection for Joe Burrow and now take Vera-Tucker to put him at the Left Tackle spot. There are some questions where he fits best but Vera-Tucker made his name known at the Left Tackle spot and will stay for the future.
- Washington Football Team (via Minnesota): Mac Jones, QB – Alabama
Washington Football Team acquires No. 14 from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for No.(s) 19 & 51.
I won’t believe that Mac Jones goes in the top 10 until I actually see it so until that happens, Washington trades up in front of New England to draft Jones. Washington went all out in free agency by signing guys like Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries, and a lot more on Defense as well. Even though Taylor Heinicke signed a 2-Year extension and the team also signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, neither guy is the long-term solution going forward like Jones would be. I am not the biggest fan of Jones but the weapons currently on this team fit his abilities the best.
- New England Patriots: Micah Parsons, LB – Penn State
Micah Parsons has Top-10 talent but there are certainly some red flags that have dated back to his high school days. That doesn’t stop Belichick from drafting Parsons and adding him to a loaded defensive roster. The Patriots had a great off-season by addressing a ton of holes they had on Offense and with guys who opted out last year coming back on defense this year, New England can use the draft to build more depth on Defense.
- Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley, CB – Virginia Tech
The Cardinals signed Malcolm Butler recently as they desperately needed some CB help but they still need some more help there. Farley has some questions due to his medicals but he still has a lot of talent to give to a team. He has really good athleticism and versatility in multiple schemes on defense that will allow him to start on Day 1 for Arizona.
- Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Darrisaw, OT – Virginia Tech
Vegas had a really puzzling free agency period as they traded away most of their Offensive Line who was arguably the best unit in all of Football last year. Christian Darrisaw is a mauler at Left-Tackle and is the type of player Gruden looks for at that position.
- Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB – Alabama
Another 1st-Round pick for Miami and they go with Najee Harris as he instantly becomes their top guy at Running Back. Harris has the ability to be the Derrick Henry-like player for the Dolphins and easing the pressure off of Tua as they look to continue to build their offense to match thier defense.
- Minnesota Vikings (via Washington): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE – Miami (FL)
Minnesota Vikings acquire No.(s) 19 & 51 from the Washington Football Team in exchange for No. 14.
Danielle Hunter wants out of Minnesota and there isn’t anyone else worth mentioning at EDGE for the Vikings. Rousseau opted-out of the 2020 season but in 2019 had a breakout year with 15.5 sacks and still possesses all of the ability needed in an elite EDGE defender.
- Chicago Bears: Samuel Cosmi, OT – Texas
Cosmi is an elite athlete and is probably better than most of the Offensive Lineman for the Bears already. Chicago needs a lot of help on their line and they go with Cosmi who can play either Tackle spot so the Bears can plug and play him whenever and at whicever spot right away.
- Indianapolis Colts: Jalen Mayfield, OT – Michigan
Colts are needing a Left Tackle with Anthony Castonzo retiring. Jalen Mayfield mainly played at Right Tackle for Michigan but can flip sides over to Left Tackle. He is a very raw prospect but still possesses a pretty high floor and is a mauler along the line.
- Tennessee Titans: Kwity Paye, EDGE – Michigan
Another Michigan player off the board at 22 with Kwity Paye going to Tennessee. The Titans had the worth pass rush last year and with Paye able to playing hand in dirt or standing up, he is the perfect EDGE for the Titans with his good moves and athletic ability.
- Green Bay Packers (via New York Jets): Teven Jenkins, OT – Oklahoma State
Green Bay Packers acquire No. 23 from the New York Jets in exchange for No.(s) 29 & 62.
Green Bay makes an aggressive move by trading up to 23 and taking Teven Jenkins to play Right Tackle. Aaron Rodgers recently said that the Packers needs to show more of a commitment to him and they do that by getting him more protection. Jenkins has a really fun tape as he tends to maul a lot of defenders and has risen up draft boards since the process has started.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Creed Humphrey, IOL – Oklahoma
Maurkice Pouncey retired after the 2020 season leaving a huge void at Center. Creed Humphrey is arguably the best player at the position and with Big Ben getting older he will need as much protection as he can possibly get.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR – LSU
The Jaguars get their WR1 to go along with Trevor Lawrence for the future. Terrace Marshall was overshadowed in 2019 by Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson but in 2020 broke out and would have been talked about more if it weren’t for a COVID season. Marshall has a lot of ability and is really good as a 50/50 Wide Receiver which fits really well with Trevor Lawrence’s ability.
- Cleveland Browns: Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota
I contemplated going with Greg Newsome at this spot but with questions about OBJ’s durability and not having a true #2 with #1 WR ability, the Browns go with Rashod Bateman. He has the highest floor of all Receivers in the draft and is perfect for a playoff team ready to take the next step.
- Baltimore Ravens: Trevon Moehrig, S – TCU
Baltimore could easily go with an EDGE here after losing Matthew Judon but they need a safety next to Deshon Elliott and Trevon Moehrig is the guy. Moehrig really pops on his film with his aggressiveness and versatility that fits perfectly in the Ravens’ defensive scheme.
- New Orleans Saints: Greg Newsome ll, CB – Northwestern
Newsome has been shooting up a lot of draft boards and goes to the Saints at 28. There are questions about Marshon Lattimore as he was recently arrested on felony gun charges and it doesn’t help that he is due for an extension soon. New Orleans needs to find somone at the Cornerback spot going forward that is able to be the main guy there and Newsome is just that.
- New York Jets (via Green Bay): Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB – Notre Dame
New York Jets acquire No.(s) 29 & 62 from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for No. 23.
Robert Saleh gets a really interesting playing in Owusu-Koramoah who can play Weakside Linebacker and box safety due to his athleticism and versatility. Saleh has shown in the past with the 49ers that he has a great knack for putting players in a position to succeed and getting the best out of them. JOK needs to be in a specific scheme that allows him to play multiple roles.
- Buffalo Bills: Jaelen Phillips, EDGE – Miami (FL)
Buffalo was one of the finalists for JJ Watt before he signed with the Cardinals and never really addressed the EDGE spot after that. In comes Jaelen Phillips who was the former No. 1 recruit out of high school that has battled injuries before transferring to Miami (FL) and having a breakout year. He’s a super-athlete with a lot of versatility standing up or hand in dirt but he has to stay healthy for the Bills.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Leatherwood, OL – Alabama
We all saw what happened in the Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes is on his way to being an all-time great QB but there is only so much he could do without much protection. The Chiefs signed Joe Thuney and Kyle Long do address the Interior part of the line and now they need to address the Tackle spots after releasing Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. They go with Leatherwood who had an excellent Pro Day and has versatility to play anywhere on the Line (besides center) and does so at a pretty high level. He comes in to provide Mahomes the protection needed to win another Super Bowl.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE – Georgia
The Bucs were able to re-sign everyone from the Super Bowl team so they look to add more depth to their team. Azeez Ojulari is a nice prospect to learn behind Shaq Barrett off the EDGE. Not to mention he can also replace Jason Pierre-Paul once he becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. Ojulari did not have the best Pro Day but he still has a lot of raw talent and a knack for getting to the QB.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Landon Dickerson, IOL – Alabama
- New York Jets: Kadarius Toney, WR – Florida
- Atlanta Falcons: Zaven Collins, LB – Tulsa
- Miami Dolphins: Jayson Oweh, EDGE – Penn State
- Philadelphia Eagles: Pat Freiermuth, TE – Penn State
- Cincinnati Bengals: Elijah Moore, WR – Ole Miss
- Houston Texans (via Carolina): Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB – Syracuse
- Denver Broncos: Liam Eichenberg, OT – Notre Dame
- Atlanta Falcons (via Detroit): Joseph Ossai, EDGE – Texas
- New York Giants: Baron Browning, LB – Ohio State
- San Francisco 49ers: Wyatt Davis, IOL – Ohio State
- Dallas Cowboys: Dillon Radunz, OT – North Dakota State
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore, IDL – Alabama
- New England Patriots: Richie Grant, S – UCF
- Los Angeles Chargers: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE – Oklahoma
- Las Vegas Raiders: Trey Smith, IOL – Tennessee
- Arizona Cardinals: Travis Etienne, RB – Clemson
- Miami Dolphins: Rondale Moore, WR – Purdue
- Minnesota Vikings (via Washington): Josh Myers, IOL – Ohio State
- Chicago Bears: Eric Stokes, CB – Georgia
- Tennessee Titans: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR – USC
- Indianapolis Colts: Asante Samuel Jr., CB – Florida State
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelvin Joseph, CB – Kentucky
- Seattle Seahawks: Carlos Basham Jr., DL – Wake Forest
- Los Angeles Rams: Spencer Brown, OT – Northern Iowa
- Baltimore Ravens: Nico Collins, WR – Michigan
- Cleveland Browns: Levi Onwuzurike, IDL – Washington
- New Orleans Saints: Dyami Brown, WR – North Carolina
- Buffalo Bills: Elijah Molden, CB – Washington
- New York Jets (via Green Bay): Tyson Campbell, CB – Georgia
- Kansas City Chiefs: Ben Cleveland, IOL – Georgia
- Tampa Bay Buccanneers: Jay Tufele, IDL – USC
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Alim McNeill, IDL – North Carolina State
- New York Jets: Javonte Williams, RB – North Carolina
- Houston Texans: Daviyon Nixon, IDL – Iowa
- Atlanta Falcons: Davis Mills, QB – Stanford
- Cincinnati Bengals: Brevin Jordan, TE – Miami (FL)
- Philadelphia Eagles: Jabril Cox, LB – LSU
- Denver Broncos: Pete Werner, LB – Ohio State
- Detroit Lions: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR – Western Michigan
- Carolina Panthers: Walker Little, OT – Stanford
- Washington Football Team: Jackson Carman, OL – Clemson
- Dallas Cowboys: Tommy Togiai, IDL – Ohio State
- New York Giants: Aaron Robinson, CB – UCF
- Los Angeles Chargers: Jevon Holland, S – Oregon
- Minnesota Vikings: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S – Florida State
- Las Vegas Raiders: Michael Carter, RB – North Carolina
- Las Vegas Raiders: Jamin Davis, LB – Kentucky
- Miami Dolphins: Nick Bolton, LB – Missouri
- Washington Football Team: Trill Williams, CB – Syracuse
- Chicago Bears: Tylan Wallace, WR – Oklahoma State
- Philadelphia Eagles: Talanoa Hufanga, S – USC
- Tennessee Titans: James Hudson, OT – Cincinnati
- New York Jets: Hunter Long, TE – Boston College
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenneth Gainwell, RB – Memphis
- Los Angeles Rams: Tommy Tremble, TE – Notre Dame
- Cleveland Browns: Rashad Weaver, EDGE – Pittsburgh
- Minnesota Vikings: Amari Rodgers, WR – Clemson
- Cleveland Browns: Cameron McGrone, LB – Michigan
- Green Bay Packers: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR – Iowa
- Buffalo Bills: Tutu Atwell, WR – Louisville
- Kansas City Chiefs: Chazz Surratt, LB – North Carolina
- Tampa Bay Buccanneers: Quinn Meinerz, IOL – Wisconsin-Whitewater
3rd-Round Compensatory Picks
- New England Patriots: Benjamin St. Juste, CB – Minnesota
- Los Angeles Chargers: Aaron Banks, IOL – Notre Dame
- New Orleans Saints: Quincy Roche, EDGE – Miami (FL)
- Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Smith, EDGE – UAB
- Tennessee Titans: Paulson Adebo, CB – Stanford
- Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams): Brady Christensen, OL – BYU
- San Francisco 49ers: Keith Taylor, CB – Washington
- Los Angeles Rams: Joe Tryon, EDGE – Washington
- Baltimore Ravens: Payton Turner, EDGE – Houston
- New Orleans Saints: James Wiggins, S – Cincinnati