Last update: Sunday, April 18, 2021.
This is our 12th-annual backward mock draft. It's what it sounds like: What would the 2021 NFL Draft look like if the order were reversed? Who would the Chiefs take with the first pick? My annual Backward NFL Mock Draft is listed below.
Go here for my 2021 NFL Mock Draft
or here for my 2021 NFL Mock Draft
Real 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Fantasy Football Rankings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Buccaneers re-signed all but one of their prominent free agents, so they don't really have any needs. One thing they must address is finding a quarterback to play once Tom Brady retires. Trevor Lawrence is an obvious selection for the Buccaneers in this backward order, though it would be disappointing not to see him play until 2022 or 2023.
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Kansas City Chiefs: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
We saw what happened to Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. The pass protection must be upgraded, yet Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were both released. This is another obvious selection, as Mahomes would be thrilled if his team could somehow obtain the top tackle in this class.
Buffalo Bills: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Bills have stated that they want to find a new tight end this offseason. Getting Kyle Pitts to play with Josh Allen would be a dream, as it would make Buffalo's offense much more dynamic than it already is.
Green Bay Packers: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The Packers seem to hate the idea of giving Aaron Rodgers better receiving options, but how could they not pull the trigger on Ja'Marr Chase? Perhaps they'd select another quarterback, but Chase is the logical choice.
New Orleans Saints: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Saints have been searching for a great threat across from Michael Thomas for quite some time. Emmanuel Sanders was a bust in that regard, but Devonta Smith certainly would not be. Zach Wilson would be in consideration if the Saints didn't give their two quarterbacks so much money.
Baltimore Ravens: Rashawn Slater, OT/G/C, Northwestern
Lamar Jackson won the MVP in 2019 because of his amazing offensive line. It was not a surprise that Jackson's play declined when Marshal Yanda retired and Ronnie Stanley got hurt. The Ravens need to add a couple of new blockers through the 2021 NFL Draft.
Cleveland Browns: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
There's no telling how much longer Odell Beckham Jr. will be on Cleveland's roster. I imagine the Browns would take the opportunity to land one of the top receivers in this class if they could.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The Jaguars lose out on Trevor Lawrence in this backward mock draft, but Zach Wilson is a nice consolation prize. As mentioned, I nearly mocked Wilson to the Saints, but they paid lots of money to two quarterbacks this offseason, so I don't think they'd pull the trigger on the assumed No. 2 overall pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Steelers could opt for the top cornerback in this class, but how often is Pittsburgh in a position to land a talented rookie quarterback like this? They almost certainly would select either Justin Fields or Trey Lance.
New York Jets: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Speaking of Trey Lance, this isn't as good of a consolation prize as the Jaguars received with Zach Wilson. Still, the Jets wouldn't have much of a choice, as they traded Sam Darnold and are now locked into a quarterback.
Tennessee Titans: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Titans lost Adoree Jackson this offseason. They signed Janoris Jenkins as a replacement, but he's just a short-term solution. I have Tennessee picking Tyson Campbell in my real 2021 NFL Mock Draft, but Patrick Surtain would obviously be a better choice.
Indianapolis Colts: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
We'll see if the Colts can secure a viable left tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft to replace Anthony Castonzo. They'd obviously have a much better chance of doing so if the NFL Draft were conducted in a backward order.
Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
We've reached the point where the selection in the backward mock is the same in the regular one. The Bears may have to settle for the fifth quarterback in the real draft, and that's exactly what they're doing in this scenario.
Washington Redskins: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
I have the Redskins selecting an offensive lineman in my real mock draft. However, they would likely opt for a cornerback if one of the top players at the position happened to fall to them, which is what's happening in this backward mock.
Miami Dolphins: Zaven Collins, DE/OLB, Tulsa
I have the Patriots picking the versatile Zaven Collins in my real mock draft. Given that Brian Flores learned under Bill Belichick, he would likely have interest in Collins as well.
Las Vegas Raiders: Jackson Carman, G/OT, Clemson
Here's a second identical pick to my real mock draft. The Raiders need to address every level of their defense. However, they dumped three-fifths of their offensive line this offseason, so they need to rebuild their blocking unit as well.
Go to 2021 Backward NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.
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