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2021 NFL Mock Draft by The81Nation
Published at 2/10/2021 11:12:11 AM
Here's my 2021 NFL Mock Draft! No trades or anything like that as it's too unpredictable. Feel free to comment, criticize and discuss!
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Sunshiiiiiiine. Sunshiiine. The Jaguars thought they had a franchise guy in Blake Bortles three years ago, but he flopped and the Gardner Minshew experiment, while spirited, was not a success. When a team is rebuilding, step one is the quarterback and there hasn't been this much hype around a QB since Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft. Lawrence has an excellent arm, above average mobility and pocket presence along with incredible intangibles and a track record of winning. What more could the Jags ask for?
The Jets...need...everything. I mean EVERYTHING. They're in the exact same situation as the Jags, except they have a decision to make about their quarterback. Do they trust Sam Darnold? If the answer is no, Justin Fields or even Zach Wilson could be the pick here. If the answer is yes, and I'm inclined to think yes due to the Jets previous history of stubbornness, then they pick the next best thing: the left tackle. Sewell is a prototypical left tackle and might be able to help Darnold shake off his nervous pocket demeanor.
The Dolphins really lucked out on this traded pick from the Texans as it's number 3 overall. The Fins could use some playmaking ability at wideout for new QB Tua Tagovailoa. This pick can be used on either Ja'Marr Chase or Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. Smith is coming off a Heisman season, he's Tagovailoa's former teammate and Chase is also coming off of opting out of football for a year, so I see Miami selecting Smith. Smith is a physically gifted receiver who could stand to gain a little weight, but that can come with time in the league,
I don't understand the hatred coming for Matt Ryan. I refuse to believe that the Falcons want someone else under center. The defense got pounded by the better offenses like the Packers, the Saints, and the Buccaneers. The Falcons need a leader on D, and Micah Parsons is that leader. he's a swarming tackler with high football IQ. There's concern about him taking a year off, but he should combine well with the athleticism of Deion Jones.
How's this for irony? DeVonta Smith is headed to Tua Tagovailoa, and now Ja'Marr Chase is headed back to Joe Burrow. The Bengals really need a playmaker on the outside with AJ Green aging. Chase is a smooth route runner with unbelievable athleticism and should be a spark plug for an offense that could erupt if Burrow comes back healthy and confident from his torn ACL.
The Eagles are back at it again. Older, injury prone and the backups aren't good enough to consistently win games. Especially when they're pulled for third stringers against the Football Team in their regular season finale (too soon?). Carson Wentz could be on the move and the team will likely be moving on from the likes of Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz. Playmaking will be a necessity for a new look offense. Jaylen Waddle was supposed to be the number one receiver last season at Alabama before he got injured and watched DeVonta Smith steal the show. He has a dynamic quality about him and a wide catching radius. If Waddle is healthy and Jalen Reagor can take a step forward, the Eagles offense might not be in such a slump if Jalen Hurts is meant to be the new starter. Keep an eye on Patrick Surtain II or an offensive tackle here as well.
Detroit is moving in a new direction. They declared that loud and clear with the trade for Jared Goff. The Lions may add a wide receiver later, but this is a chance to see what the offense can do. Surtain is a lock down corner and would team well with Jeff Okudah and could be the staples of a Lions defense for the future.
I think the Panthers may trade back. People are already shoving Teddy Bridgewater in front of busses and i don't think that's fair. He had a decent season but couldn't come through in the clutch a couple times. This was his first year in a new offense and the main cog of the offense, Christian McCaffery, was out for all but 3 games. I say give him another year. Boost the offensive line and defense in the draft, starting with Farley. Farley has size, length and athleticism that a starting corner requires, and has the ball skills of a former wide receiver...which he is.
The Broncos were a mess last year, but it also didn't help that their divisions was one of the most talented and improved in the NFL. At the center of the problems were Drew Lock and a struggling pass offense. The Broncos were fifth in rushing but fifth WORST in passing. But, as with Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater, I think Lock gets another year. He showed some flashes but he'll need to be a lot more calm under pressure and a heckuva lot more consistent. If that fails, QB could be on the top of their list next offseason. I think that Denver could focus on corner here. With a divisonal nightmare matchup like Tyreek Hill or Keenan Allen, AFC West teams must have a full defensive backfield. I don't think Horn would start immediately, but he'd be a good physical corner to put in the slot with the multiple motions that they'll see.
Do the Cowboys believe in Dak? That is the major question. Dallas once again had major playcalling issues but the talent is there. A fully healthy offensive unit could take the pressure off of Ezekiel Elliot who needs to get his head back in the game after the worst rushing season of his career. If they trust Dak, which I'm assuming the will, shoring up the defense would be a great idea. The line could use some work, and Kwity Paye would be a great start. He has an unstoppable motor and incredible intangibles, something the Cowboys are known for not having right now.
The Giants are finally trending in the right direction, if ever so slightly. They were just OK in about every category except their pass defense which was highly improved. They'd have won their division had the Eagles not intentionally thrown their playoff game against the Football Team (again, too soon?). But being OK will not win championships. The return of Saquon Barkley will greatly improve the offense as will possibly another offensive line and receiver selection in the middle rounds. But the Giants must get some consistency at linebacker. Blake Martinez is an excellent leader and signal caller and was a fantastic addition, now give him a freak athlete like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and the linebacking core can truly shine.
Alright, if you're reading this and you're a 49'ers fan, let me say this: DO NOT PANIC. The pandemic, injuries and being in the NFC West hit no one harder than the 49'ers last season. It had fans panicking about where the 13-3 team went. Aaron Rodgers said it best, "R-E-L-A-X." A healthy team combined with a few good draft picks should put San Fran back in the hunt. The return of Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Bosa ALONE can change games. Just heal, practice, and add in the new guys, starting with Vera-Tucker. He's an agile pass protector and projects as an excellent starting guard at the NFL level. Putting him next to incumbent LT starter Trent Williams will keep Jimmy G secure for a long time.
This pick is easy. When a team is building, the first step is get a franchise QB. Enter Justin Herbert. A front runner for rookie of the year and an excellent leader. His decision making could use some work, but the pressure he faced forced him into throws he wasn't necessarily comfortable with all the time. The second step: protect the blind side. Enter Christian Darrisaw. A starter since his freshman year, Darrisaw is a prototypical left tackle and could possibly get selected higher than this if a team wants to trade up and nab him. If he's available here, however, L.A. is walking away with a future.
I could see the Vikings trading up from here for Vera-Tucker, but Wyatt Davis is not a poor consolation prize. Davis is a mauler in the middle and has exceptional game tape from his time at Ohio State. He would be an instant plug and play with the Vikings offensive line, which would be greatly appreciated by both Kirk Cousins and MVP candidate Dalvin Cook.
Let me make this perfectly clear: Barring some unforeseen failure at the combine or injury, Justin Fields will NOT last this long. Period. However, this is an 81Nation mock and trades are not a thing. If Fields or Zac Wilson are on the board for the Pats, PICK HIM. The Patriots passing game was abysmal last season and the playcalling was basic at best. Fields or Wilson bring playmaking ability and a passing game back to a New England team who should get back to their roots, away from whatever garbage playcalling last season was.
Anyone else remember watching the SpongeBob episode where he was washing the dish that just wouldn't get clean and he screamed, "More power!!!" That's how the Cardinals are feeling with this pick. More offensive firepower! Kyle Pitts is an extremely talented tight end and will certainly be a first round pick. With Larry Fitzgerald's retirement looming, he'd be an excellent new security blanket for Kyler Murray and could send the Cards offense into maximum overdrive. Alright, enough with the SpongeBob... if they don't take Pitts here, then they could also shore up Murray's protection on the O-line or draft Travis Etienne to be their feature back.