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Unimaginative 2021 Mock Draft 5.0 - WHERE AM I SENDING WATSON? 2021.02.27
Published at 2/27/2021 2:33:18 PM

Hello, and welcome to my 2021 NFL mock draft! Given the uncertainty of COVID times, it's hard to make evaluations, so this is more an exercise to get feelers and feedback! I appreciate any and all comments, so long as they're civil, and encourage discussion! Feel free to check out my previous mocks on my profile page as well! Thank you!

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Don't overthink it.

Previous pick: Same

2. Panthers: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU

An aggressive move by the Panthers to get their guy. Along with the 9th and 39th pick, RB Christian McCaffery gets shipped to the Jets for the privilege to select Zach Wilson. I have a feeling the Jets are gonna give Sam Darnold a chance to paly QB under the new regime, so they'll trade down to add picks and players.

Previous pick: QB Zach Wilson - BYU (Pick by Texans)

3. Dolphins: Ja'Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU

I'd really like to reunite Tua with his college WR Devonta Smith, but I think Chase is probably the better prospect. He's a big WR with ample speed and excellent hands, not to mention plus route running. He's a better prospect than former teammate Juustin Jefferson.

Previous pick: WR Devonta Smith - Alabama

4. Falcons: Gregory Rousseau, Defensive End, Miami

It isn't an NFL draft without the Atlanta Falcons reaching on a pass rusher. Rousseau is an immense physical talent, but he needs some developing before he can be a great player. The upside is through the roof with the Miami star. I don't think the Falcons are ready to take a QB, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

Previous pick: CB Caleb Farley - Virginia Tech

5. Bengals: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

Improving the offensive line for year two of the Joe Burrow experience is the top priority, and Sewell is an instant starter at left tackle. A prospect that PFF like to describe as "generational" is a great pick for Cincy at 5, and Sewell and Jonah Williams should be a nice pair of bookends.
Previous pick: Same

6. Eagles: Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech

Go ahead and pencil in CB or WR for Philly at 6. I think if Ja'Marr Chase is gone, they take whoever they prefer of Farley and Patrick Surtain, letting the pair of Alabama WRs fall. Farley is an instant starter at a position of huge need for the Eagles.

Previous pick: WR Ja'Marr Chase - LSU

7. Lions: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

The Lions offense is going to look very different next year. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are impending free agents, Matt Stafford is gone. Smith is a great, if undersized, WR prospect who can beat anyone deep and should be a RAC monster. He'll help the transition into an entirely new offense.

Previous pick: WR Jaylen Waddle - Alabama

8. Jets: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Guard, Northwestern

No more ghosts for Sam Darnold, as the Jets add a versatile offensive lineman. The immediate expectation is that Slater will start at right tackle across from Mekhi Becton, but he could also play either guard spot. Darnold needs to be kept upright if the Jets are to evaluate him effectively.

Previous pick: TE Kyle Pitts - Florida (pick by Jets)

9. Texans: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State

Deshaun Watson is off to Denver. Houston receives two firsts, two seconds, KJ Hamler, and Bradley Chubb. It sucks moving promising players like Hamler and Chubb so early in their careers, but it's worth it for Watson. Houston, meanwhile, is able to add Justin Field and quickly begin building around him. It may be a rare win-win.

Previous pick: CB Patrick Surtain - Alabama (pick by Broncos)

10. Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, Alabama

The secondary was a disaster for Dallas last year, so they take a step to fix it. Surtain has NFL bloodlines and was an excellent DB in college. He isn't an instant bandaid for the entire defensive backfield, but he's a start.

Previous pick: QB Justin Fields - Ohio State (pick by Patriots)

11. Giants: Kwity Paye, Defensive Tackle, Michigan

Joe Judge's defense desperately needs a productive pass rusher. Markus Golden and Kyrell Fackrell both failed to make an impact last year, and both could be gone next season (Golden already is). Paye is somewhat similar to former teammate Rashan Gary; incredible athlete, but with concerns about motor and bendiness. However, with Gary trending up, a team may hope Paye can follow to same development path.

Previous pick: EDGE Gregory Rousseau - Miami

12. Bears: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State

Picks 12 and 108 head to the Windy City in exchange for picks 20 and 52. The Bears have learned nothing about moving up to draft one-hit wonder QBs from the Trubisky experience, and do so again. A lot of the same concerns about Magic Mitch exist about Lance, and they're very similar players. But the Bears are desperate, HC Nagy and GM Pace are clinging onto their jobs, and they could make a bold move.

Previous pick: QB Trey Lance - North Dakota State (pick by 49ers)

13. Chargers: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida

The Chargers get a steal as Pitts slides a little bit due to the run on QBs. It sounds like Hunter Henry will be leaving in free agency, so the Chargers quickly move to replace, and potentially upgrade from, him. An offensive lineman is also very likely.

Previous pick: OL Rashawn Slater - Northwestern

14. Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Guard, USC

This guy is a mauler, and he's going to be a good guard at the NFL level. Depending on who drafts him, he may get a chance to play tackle as well. It's a good fit for Minnesota, who are always in need of offensive line assistance. An edge rusher or corner is also entirely possible.
Previous pick: EDGE Kwity Paye - Michigan

15. Patriots: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Belichick isn't going to reach on Mac Jones. Instead, he's going to make an effort to improve an awful receiving corps. Waddle brings a unique skillset to the Patriots, as they lack someone with his speed. New England is awful at drafting WRs, but this one could work out.

Previous pick: S Trevon Moehrig - TCU (pick by Cowboys)

16. Cardinals: Jaelan Phillips, Defensive End, Miami

There's a slim chance that three Miami edge rushers will go in the first round, though I don't think it'll happen. However, go ahead and lock in Jaelen Phillips as a first rounder. He's a bit small, but bends well and has good mechanics. I see him as being similar to Brian Burns.

Previous pick: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker - USC

Picks 1-16


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