2021 NFL Mock Draft

July 2, 2020 2:00 AM EST

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1

  • Popular positions for 2021? 5 QBs and 4 Safeties drafted in Round 1
  • Jaguars, Panthers, Lions top T-Law destinations ??
  • Patriots lose Round 3 pick in Spygate 2
  • Next 2021 mock draft Thursday August 2
Team Analysts Wanted for 2021 Draft Cycle!

Drafttek.com is looking for several analysts to join the team for the 2021 draft season. Ideal candidates should possess both right-brained creative writing skills, along with left-brain abilities to dig through statistics and share those with readers. Part-time, requiring about 2 hours per week. Writers for Giants, Bears and Patriots are needed. Hard-core fans of those teams are ideal, however all candidate with strong writing/analysis skills are welcome. If interested, contact Steve at Drafttek1@Gmail.com.


Round 1 Picks 1- 16 (Below)

Forward to Round 1 Picks 17- 32

Forward to Round 2

Forward to Round 3

Forward to Round 4/5

Forward to Round 6/7

2021 NFL Draft Big Board

2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings




1 Jacksonville
Trevor Lawrence
Clemson
QB
Reach/Value:
+0
Height:
6'6"
Weight:
220
Trevor Lawrence NFL Draft photo
The Jaguars have fully purged their roster in the offseason, shedding virtually all their big-money contracts that put them at the top of the salary cap list in 2019. At this point, it is assumed that the popular Gardner Minshew is a stopgap QB for the 2020 team, likely leading the undermanned Jaguars squad to a bottom-5 finish in the standings, and a shot at the top QB in the NFL Draft.

Thing is, nobody told Minshew that his time as the team's starter is expected to be temporary; he, like other starting QBs around the NFL, has been privately working out with his pass-catchers.

The Jaguars' locker room in recent years has been the most toxic in the NFL in terms of team cohesiveness and morale. 25% of all player grievances emanated from the Jaguars, and virtually all point to Executive VP Tom Coughlin fining players for all sorts of silly infractions. Owner Shaheed Khan finally had enough, firing Coughlin at the end of the 2019 season. If the team can begin to cultivate some team unity similar to the Dolphins in 2019, and battle hard every week, they could string together some wins which could take them out of the running for Trevor Lawrence. If Minshew is able to convince GM Dave Caldwell and HC Doug Marrone that he's got the right stuff, the Jags will be looking elsewhere in the 2021 Draft. Until proven otherwise, however, Lawrence will be the pick here.
2 Washington
Ja'Marr Chase
LSU
WR
Reach/Value:
-3
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
200
Ja'Marr Chase NFL Draft photo
To start, I would like to acknowledge the coaching career and life of former Offensive Line Coach Joe Bugel, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 80. The 'creator of the Hogs' was beloved by players and coaches alike, and 'Buges' will undoubtedly be honored by the franchise soon.

As the NFL barrels full-speed ahead towards a late-July opening of training camp, the Redskins received some rare praise from NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks; "If No. 2 overall pick Chase Young is as good as advertised, the Washington Redskins are on their way toward becoming a Super Bowl contender." Now, you may 'belly-laugh' at that, but Bucky urges you not to, citing Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio's experience-and success, both as defensive minds and in developing pass-rushers.

While the much-talked-about five (5!) RD1 picks on the defensive line have a chance to make a huge impact on the field for the Washington franchise, much of the team's success still lies in the play of second-year QB Dwayne Haskins. Haskins has reportedly said and done all the right things this offseason, exceeding Ron Rivera's very public expectations of the young quarterback. If Dwayne can turn his numerous Twitter videos of impressive throws during his offseason workouts into impressive plays made in-season on Sundays, this team could truly turn some heads in the near future.

- Kennedy Paynter, Senior Draft Analyst (@Kennedy_Paynter on Twitter)
3 Cincinnati
Gregory Rousseau
Miami (FL)
EDGE
Reach/Value:
-1
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
260
Gregory Rousseau NFL Draft photo
When the biggest Bengals news of the summer is actually about the New England Patriots, you know your franchise is flying under the radar. The second-year regime has maintained an extremely low profile since the 2020 NFL Draft, and little hype has built on the striped team from Cincinnati. Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner created some excitement in media rounds as his praise for both Steelers-castoff Fred Johnson and sixth-round pick Hakeem Adeniji have been lauded as starters at Tackle. WOOOOOOOO!! YEAH!! LET'S DO THIS!!

...Sorry; I tried. In all seriousness, though, I believe that quiet is exactly what this franchise needs. After nearly two decades of being a team with a 'bad boy' reputation that under-delivered in the playoffs, Zac Taylor's squad needs to be one that exceeds expectations, rather than over-promising and under-delivering. Regardless of the hype (or lack thereof), the talent at skill positions surrounding first-round QB Joe Burrow is something to be legitimately excited about, as long as Turner's celebrated offensive line can keep the reigning Heisman-winner on his feet.

- Kennedy Paynter, Senior Draft Analyst (@Kennedy_Paynter on Twitter)
4 Carolina
Justin Fields
Ohio State
QB
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
223
Justin Fields NFL Draft photo
The Cam Newton saga here in Carolina has finally come to a close.

On Sunday night, Adam Schefter tweeted out that the New England Patriots had signed Cam Newton to a 1-year, $1.05M contract with up to $6.45M worth of incentives. The Patriots once again outsmart the rest of the NFL and sign a former MVP for dirt cheap. To really get the nostalgia juices flowing, Newton released a video on his YouTube channel, which included a montage mixed with the silky smooth stylings of Boyz II Men as he finally bid farewell to the Carolina Panthers and their fans. Quite frankly, it's the type of farewell the Panthers should have given to Cam Newton, and not the other way around.

As much as fans like myself are going to miss the jovial former MVP, it's finally time for all parties involved to turn the page and look towards the future. The Panthers have a young coaching staff and a young roster filled with talent. After loading up on defensive players in the 2020 NFL Draft, Carolina looks to reclaim its former identity as the defensive powerhouse in the NFC South. KK Short is going to greatly benefit from the presence of rookie RD1 pick Derrick Brown, as the Panthers desperately need to defend against the run better than they did in 2019.

There are still many questions about the offense, and specifically the quality of the protection Teddy Bridgewater will have at his disposal throughout the year. Carolina does not have the stout, veteran offensive line like that of the Saints, so it will be incumbent upon Bridgewater to quickly get the ball out of his hand and operate Joe Brady's offense in rhythm. Should that fall apart, it would put Carolina in a perfect place to potentially draft Miniature Cam Newton! Check out the C3 Carolina Cat Chronicles podcast Tuesday nights at 9 PM to hear us discuss all the latest in Panther Nation!

- Cody Lachney, Panthers Analyst
5 Detroit
Penei Sewell
Oregon
OT
Reach/Value:
+3
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
325
Penei Sewell NFL Draft photo
If the Lions are picking this high again in 2021, figure someone besides Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will be doing the picking. With the reins to the Lions bandwagon of pain handed down from Martha Ford to her daughter Sheila Ford Hamp, the long-suffering Detroit fan base demands at least the appearance of some passion to win from the top. Bringing Quinn back for year 6 after another flop season will not create that appearance.

Regardless of who fills out the card, the Lions would do well to grab Oregon LT Penei Sewell, who was lauded by PFF as achieving their highest-graded season ever by a lineman. Sewell's 95.5 grade prompted PFF to suggest he should be in the Heisman Trophy conversation for this year. Power, athleticism, quickness, patience - Sewell is the complete package at an athletic 335 pounds. His highlight tape looks like a high school blue chipper in terms of the constant physical domination of his opponents. Disclaimer: As a Lions lifer, I have two major reasons to doubt he'll be available at this slot: 1) he's way too good to slide this far and 2) these kinds of things don't happen for the Lions. Here's to just this once being proven wrong.

--Jud Branam, DraftTek Analyst
6 Miami
Alex Leatherwood
Alabama
OT
Reach/Value:
-3
Height:
6'6"
Weight:
310
Alex Leatherwood NFL Draft photo
If Miami is picking so high again, it suggests only a disappointingly-small improvement from 2019. Despite overwhelming optimism in South Florida, the reality is that the rebuild is far from complete. At Pick 6 (sorry; couldn't resist), the Dolphins could go a number of different ways. On paper, the defense looks good and should be the strength of the team in 2020. Chris Grier needs to keep adding pieces to the offense and that should be the focus early in the 2021 Draft.

Let's not forget that the Phins will be installing a new offensive scheme in 2020. Wily old OC, Chan Gailey, replaces Chad O'Shea in an attempt to create a more potent attack. Gailey's offense is familiar to incumbent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, but should also suit Tua Tagovailoa if/when he is thrown in as the starter.

Even though the new offense should make use of the quick passing game, the offensive line will need to be improved further. If Miami wins too many games to put them out of range for drafting Penei Sewell, then they could look at Alabama's Alex Leatherwood or Stanford's Walker Little. It would be nice for Leatherwood to reunite with Tua, so he's the pick.

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- David Payne, Dolphins Analyst
7 NY Jets
Patrick Surtain II
Alabama
CB
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
203
Patrick Surtain II NFL Draft photo
While CB is our choice again in this CMD, the main DB news Jet fans will be concentrating on is Jamal Adams and his trade demands. Adams is entering Year 4 of his Rookie deal, and is unhappy that he will earn just under $7.2M this year. The Jets can exercise his 5th-year option, and then in theory, Franchise Tag him for another 2 years, leaving him with very little real leverage. The fines for sitting out or missing team activities are a lot more substantial than in the past too, meaning his only real option is to demand a trade-away.

While Adams has played fantastically since entering the league, and has more than lived up to his contract and lofty draft position, it doesn't automatically mean he should get an improvement on his current deal just yet. His ploy to get a move away and force the Jets' hand appears to be to talk a lot on social media and turn the fans against him, and it seems to be working. During this current climate of uncertainty, having a football player crying over earning $7.2M is not sitting well with some fans, and his tweets about the team, and potential playing destinations has annoyed others. This is a standoff that could potentially run for a while.
8 NY Giants
Shaun Wade
Ohio State
CB
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
194
Shaun Wade NFL Draft photo
This pick of CB Shaun Wade is predicated on a negative outcome for 2019 RD1 pick DeAndre Baker in either of two areas: the disposition of Baker's arrest for armed robbery in Florida in May; or continued poor performance on the field in the 2020 season. Recent developments on the former appear to exonerate Baker, although we've yet to hear from the Giants (or the NFL) on the matter. As far as his actual play on the field, we'll need to see what happens in 2020, though in Baker's defense, he showed improvement toward the end of the 2019 season.

In short, Baker needs to cross all t's and dot all i's here on out. Should he be able to get it together, the team will focus on other positions in the 2021 Draft. Edge looks particulaly leaky at the moment, with the Giants' depth chart showing Kyler Fackrell and Devante Downs as starters, with 2019 RD2 Oshane Ximines as a primary backup. The team has a $4M offer on the table to last year's team sack leader Markus Golden (10 sacks), who oddly is generating little interest around the league. The team obviously needs proven production, and can also turn to still-available free agents Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen.

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9 Chicago
DeVonta Smith
Alabama
WR
Reach/Value:
-5
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
175
DeVonta Smith NFL Draft photo
2020 is a big year for the Bears; 2020 is a big year for Matt Nagy. Nagy, in his third year as HC, has to get his offense firing early in the season to even have a chance of keeping pace with the Packers and Vikings in the NFC North. Nagy will hope that the Trubisky/Foles dilemma will be solved in pre-season. Whichever QB gets to start in week 1, it's hard to imagine they'll make the offense a dynamic one. Ted Ginn clearly thinks Trubisky has the inside track on the start, and that seems to be the scripted word coming out of Chicago for now.

The Bears will once again lean heavily on their defense in 2020. In 2019, the defense only allowed opponents to score a total of 44 points in the third-quarter of their 16 games. Conversely, the offense only managed to score 37 total first-quarter points. It's easy to predict that the offense will once again be the focus of next off-season. Ginn is one new face on offense, along with Jimmy Graham and the rookie TE, Cole Kmet. Ginn's arrival, however, doesn't constitute a drastic improvement at WR.

Allen Robinson is a legitimate #1 receiver, but the supporting cast looks short-handed. Anthony Miller and Riley Ridley are talented players who will pray for more consistent QB play this year. With Robinson a free agent next year, the Bears would be sensible to dive into the WR pool early in the 2021 Draft. If available at #9, DeVonta Smith from Alabama would make a nice selection.

- David Payne, Bears Analyst
10 Cleveland
Jevon Holland
Oregon
S
Reach/Value:
-29
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
196
Jevon Holland NFL Draft photo
Compared to recent years, the Browns have had a relatively quiet off-season. New HC Kevin Stefanski seems to be handling the job well so far, but he's been spared the spotlight that a 'normal' off-season would bring. Stefanski needs to work out who will be calling offensive plays in Week 1. It may be better for the rookie HC to defer play-calling responsibilities to Alex Van Pelt whilst he himself handles the other pressures of the job. Either way, the offense should be improved from 2019 with hope that Baker Mayfield has ample weaponry, and an improved O-Line, to make a run at the elusive playoffs.

Defensively, the strength of the group is on the D-line. Extending Myles Garrett's contract is a priority and should get done as the Browns' leading edge rusher looks to put behind him the helmet-swinging problem of 2019. The linebacking corps looks thin with RD3 rookie, Jacob Phillips, penciled in for the start at SLB. The secondary has the makings of a strong unit, but Karl Joseph and Grant Delpit are a new pairing who both come with deficiencies.

Cleveland's approach to the 2021 Draft may depend on whether Odell Beckham remains with the team. If he doesn't, a replacement WR in RD1 would be a sensible route to take. If OBJ hangs around, the Browns would do well to further solidify the secondary. Oregon's Jevon Holland could move to the top of the Safety rankings with another solid year for the Ducks. Holland is a versatile defender who could play either SS or FS should either Joseph or Delpit struggle.

- David Payne, DraftTek Senior Analyst
11 Atlanta
Andre Cisco
Syracuse
S
Reach/Value:
-2
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
203
Andre Cisco NFL Draft photo
Atlanta has constructed an unusual balance of experience and youth in its secondary. The top 3 corners on the roster --Oliver, Sheffield, and Terrell-- have made a combined 29 starts in the NFL. Meanwhile, the top 3 safeties --Neal, Allen, and Kazee-- have made a combined 128 starts. Neal and Kazee are both free agents at the end of the 2020 season, not to mention Neal's struggles to remain on the field the past two seasons.

While Atlanta added Jaylinn Hawkins in the 4th round of last April's draft, their tight cap space and Neal's injury struggles suggest that they will need to prioritize Safety, especially the sort of bruising in-the-box presence that Neal has. Cisco projects more as a deeper safety and tackling isn't his best attribute, but his cover skills could be useful in a division with the TE and RB talent of the NFC South. He was #1 in the ACC in 2018 and 2019 in interceptions, with 12 INTs over the last two years.
12 Las Vegas
Marvin Wilson
Florida State
DL3T
Reach/Value:
+4
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
311
Marvin Wilson NFL Draft photo
After failing to draft a DT in either the 2019 or 2020 NFL Drafts, the Raiders are likely to move on from at least one of their mediocre selections from 2018 - barring a signficant boost in production. Recent drafts aside, the DT position has long been a struggle for the franchise, which hasn't taken one in the first round since Darrell Russell in 1997.

A series of reaches at the position from Mario Edwards to Jihad Ward to Eddie Vanderdoes to P.J. Hall has plagued the franchise, and it's time they look to make a serious investment in the position. With 3 DEs (Crosby, Ferrel, Nassib), 2 LBs (Littleton and Kwiatkoski), 3 CBs (Mullen, Arnette, and Robertson), and 1 S (Abram) locked in for major roles in 2021 already, DT is the one position on the weaker side of the ball that is a complete question mark a year from now. Another S, a QB, or a WR to replace Tyrell Williams are the other options in RD 1.
13 Arizona
Carlos Basham Jr.
Wake Forest
DL5T
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
275
Carlos Basham Jr. NFL Draft photo
Despite the team's apparent improvement this offseason, the Cardinals still have holes to fill in the coming years before they can be a true contender. Depth is sorely needed on the offensive line, and the team is still missing a pass-catching TE to create mismatches in the red zone. Kyler Murray could use another reliable weapon when Larry Fitzgerald eventually decides to call it a career.

In this mock draft, though, DraftTek decides to focus on the defensive. Though Chandler Jones is finally receiving recognition for his ability to sack the QB --96 sacks since 2012, the most of any player in that span-- that defensive line still needs another elite pass rusher to make it a dangerous unit. Carlos Basham Jr.'s speed off the edge and elite inside counter will thrust him into the limelight as a dominant prospect that can be a reliable piece on any team. If the Cardinals find themselves missing out on the prominent talent in the top 10, his pure pass-rushing skill set would be an excellent recompense to add to that line.

The Cardinals did sign Devon Kennard to a 3-year deal in the offseason. Kennard has tallied seven sacks in each of his last two seasons with Detroit and will be a nice piece, but as the Cardinals learned with the secondary in 2019, depth is just as important to success as top-end talent, and Kennard is not the long-term solution. Another pass rusher to rotate in on obvious passing downs and get in the quarterback's face will help mitigate issues in the secondary.

Arizona was unlucky in this mock draft with two safeties taken just before their pick at #13. Patrick Peterson looked slow after his six-game suspension, and 31-year-old Robert Alford has yet to play a down for the team. Byron Murphy had some growing pains in his rookie year, starting in all 16 games but surrendering 70 receptions on 103 targets in 2019, per Pro Football Focus. But the need is up top to pair with two-time Pro-Bowl safety Budda Baker's up-front, run-stopping play style that netted him 147 tackles last season, good for 4th-most in the NFL. Assuming Arizona re-signs him this season, a true center fielder to go along with Baker would be another draft possibility for Arizona.
14 Denver
Micah Parsons
Penn State
ILB
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
245
Micah Parsons NFL Draft photo
As was mentioned in the previous month, since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos have used 8 of 11 Round 1 and 2 picks on offensive selections. Though the team is nicely stocked at the skill positions and the interior offensive line, The QB position is still unsettled as 2019 RD2 pick Drew Lock is not proven.

Defensively, the team seems mostly dependent upon the pass rush as it's defensive strategy. Moving inside, GM John Elway has invested three Day-2 pick into the interior DL in recent years - DeMarcus Walker (2017 RD2), Dre'Mont Jones (2019 RD3) and this year McTelvin Agim (RD3). Walker has failed to make an impact and will need to turn it around in his final contract year if he's even going to make the team. If Jones or Agim can make an impact, this will mitigate the IDL need, with starter's Shelby Harris and Mike Purcell hitting Free Agency next year.

Linebacker gets the nod for a 2nd mock draft in a row. Elway has thrown a couple of Day 3 draft picks at the position in recent years (Jewell 2018 RD4, Strnad 2020 RD5) with little result (well to be fair Strnad hasn't played yet). The Bronco depth chart shows Alexander Johnson and Todd Davis as starters for 2020. Davis has played well, but is a Free Agent after 2020. Johnson, a 28-yo RFA with an interesting story, played well in 2019 and will no doubt be retained.
15 Miami (Trade)
Rondale Moore
Purdue
WRS
Reach/Value:
+0
Height:
5'9"
Weight:
175
Rondale Moore NFL Draft photo
One of the most interesting positional groups on the Dolphins' roster is the Wide Receiver room. DeVante Parker established himself as a play-making #1 receiver in 2019, but only a second injury-free, productive year will convince most Phins' fans that he is the real deal. Preston Williams showed flashes of his undoubted ability, but he will need to recover from the knee injury that curtailed his 2019 season and prove he is more Jerry Rice than Jerry Seinfeld. I don't throw in the name Jerry Rice lightly; I honestly feel Williams has the talent to be an elite WR.

Parker and Williams are set as the outside receivers, but there is greater uncertainty as to whom will play in the slot. Albert Wilson should have the first crack at filling the role, but he'll need to bounce back from an injury-ravaged 2019 and recapture his 2018 form quickly. If Wilson fails, there are plenty of young WR looking to step in. Isaiah Ford has flashed in limited playing time, and Gary Jennings appears to be the latest to try and learn the position. Come back, Jarvis Landry, all is forgiven!

The prediction is that Miami will be looking to draft a Slot Receiver in 2021; Rondale Moore from Purdue should fit the role nicely and also make an impact in the return game.

- David Payne, Dolphins Analyst
16 LA Chargers
Hamilcar Rashed
Oregon State
EDGE
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'4''
Weight:
233
Hamilcar Rashed NFL Draft photo
The Tom Telesco era of roster management for the Chargers has been both effective and predictable: The team has a big need, they fill it. Most recently, they resisted the siren call of Isaiah Simmons to go ahead and plug a long-term need at QB with Justin Herbert. Next year, the obvious hole in the Bolts' depth chart figures to be at rush end. Nick Bosa and Melvin Ingram are top talents, but both are in contract years. While that could bode well for the team's win-loss record this year, the odds of signing both to long-term extensions totaling $40M+ a year are basically nil.

The logical thing to do, then, is target an edge rusher in the draft. The Chargers figure to be middle to late first-round, so a couple of ends could already be gone. Gregory Rousseau looks like the early pick as top edge prospect in the draft, so he figures to go in the top 5. After him come a whole bunch of guys who might just break out big and move up. On that list is Oregon State's Hamilcar Rashed, a high-end athlete who projects as a 'Tweener LB/DE" who needs to add size at the next level. Rashed broke out in 2019 with 14 sacks and 22.5 Tackles for Loss, and he has not allowed the Covid pandemic to interrupt his conditioning workouts during this strange offseason. Depending on the progress made by QB Herbert this year, a franchise WR could also be tempting to Chargers' brass.

Jud Branam, Chargers Analyst

Jacksonville gets LA Rams RD1 pick (Jalen Ramsey trade)

Miami gets Houston RD1 pick (Laremy Tunsil trade)

Forward to Round 1 Picks 17- 32 Forward to Round 2 Forward to Round 3 Forward to Round 4/5 Forward to Round 6/7














O/A Rank Big 10 Conference
Top-30 Players
Psn
3 Justin Fields
Ohio State
QB
7 Shaun Wade
Ohio State
CB
15 Rondale Moore
Purdue
WRS
18 Rashod Bateman
Minnesota
WR
22 Jalen Mayfield
Michigan
OT
23 Micah Parsons
Penn State
ILB
27 Wyatt Davis
Ohio State
OG
34 Tanner Morgan
Minnesota
QB
38 Josh Myers
Ohio State
OC
47 Thayer Munford
Ohio State
OT
51 Baron Browning
Ohio State
ILB
55 Alaric Jackson
Iowa
OT
70 Chris Olave
Ohio State
WR
84 Pat Freiermuth
Penn State
TE
89 Cole Van Lanen
Wisconsin
OT
95 Daniel Faalele
Minnesota
OT
98 Kevin Jarvis
Michigan State
OG
101 Master Teague
Ohio State
RB
103 Nico Collins
Michigan
WR
110 Shaka Toney
Penn State
EDGE
111 Matt Allen
Michigan State
OC
129 Kwity Paye
Michigan
EDGE
141 J.D. Spielman
Nebraska
WRS
147 Luke Farrell
Ohio State
TE
154 Rashawn Slater
Northwestern
OT
158 Nick Eubanks
Michigan
TE
166 Blake Gallagher
Northwestern
OLB
167 Jake Ferguson
Wisconsin
TE
173 Derrick Barnes
Purdue
ILB
175 Cameron McGrone
Michigan
OLB
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