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2021 NFL Mock Draft by Mr. Matts Sports Blog - 4.29
Published at 4/29/2021 5:42:00 PM

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Round 1

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

NFL Comparison: Athletic Peyton Manning/Better Matt Ryan
6-3/221
Lawrence has a combination of football IQ, leadership, arm talent, size, athletic ability and college production that is unmatched even by the best recent QB prospects. One would likely have to go all the way back to 1965 with Joe Namath to find a QB prospect with as much instant star power and can’t miss potential as Lawrence.

Lawrence is a rare prodigy in team sports than can only be compared to LeBron James, Sidney Crosby and Bryce Harper. Like those guys, the only thing that will stop Lawrence from winning and achieving greatness would be a lack of a supporting cast. Lawrence is fortunate to have a big name coach in Urban Meyer to take the pressure off of his shoulders. Thing are looking up in DUVAL!!!!!!!


2. Jets: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU

NFL Comparison: Derek Carr/Jay Cutler/Jim McMahon
6'2"/214
Wilson has an elite arm, plays with a swagger and toughness that Jet fans will love. Wilson has a lot in common with Cutler (both good and bad) in terms of great arm talent, solid size and some arrogance. Like Cutler and Carr he had only one great college season. He is also similar to McMahon as a BYU product that is a straight up gunslinger. All three of those guys proved to be solid starters yet McMahon was the only one to win a title and he needed the 85 Bears defense. Wilson is a nice start for the Jets but they will need a lot more help on defense and on the perimeter if they hope to compete in the AFC.


3. 49ers: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State

NFL Comp: Marcus Mariota/Steve McNair
6'4"/226
As long as Jimmy G is still in San Francisco I am taking Lance here. They may still take Mac Jones or Justin Fields but Lance has the perfect skill set for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Lance used a lot of play action in college and played under center substantially more than any other QB in this draft.
Lance has the athletic tools and skill set to become an elite QB as long as he is given time to learn. I compare him to McNair who has similar size and was a great athlete coming from a small school in Alcorn St. McNair sat two years before becoming a full time starter. Like Mariota, Lance is good at taking care of the football but he will need more consistent play at the NFL level to have a better career than Mariota.


4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida

NFL Comp: Tony Gonzalez/Taller Vernon Davis
6'6"/245/4.44/22 reps
Matt Ryan is still a top 10 QB when given talent around him. He’s also still ‘only’ 35 years old. The Falcons could trade down or they could draft a QB here. However, most think they will take the athletic freak from Florida. Pitts has a knack for the endzone (12 TDs in 2020) and is a matchup nightmare that can play inside or wide. The only concern is using a pick this high a TE. In the past guys like Vernon Davis and Eric Ebron have been good but not worth the top 10 pick. New coach Arthur Smith will need to get Pitts 8-10 targets per game to be worth the pick.

The Falcons have a history of smoothly going from one go to guy to another. They went from Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez to Julio Jones. Now for the next 10 year they have Calvin Ridley and Pitts. They could trade Julio or have him in a lesser role.


5. Bengals: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

NFL Comp: Trent Williams/Jason Peters
6'5"/331/30 reps/80.13 wingspan
Last year I compared Joe Burrow to Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman and David Carr. If the Bengals fail to protect him by NOT taking a franchise tackle then Burrow is likely to end up more like Carr than Aikman and Kelly, the two guys in Canton. Sewell is too good to pass up even if the Joe wants to reunite with Ja’Marr Chase. They can make it up to Joe by targeting Terrace Marshall in the second round. There will be plenty of other WR’s there. This is the only chance they have to get a franchise changing blindside protector.


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

NFL Comparison: Hines Ward/Faster Michael Crabtree
6'1"/201/4.34/41 vert
Chase was the best WR in 2019 by far. He won a National Title and the Biletnikoff Award. He is also a high character guy that Head Coach Brian Flores covets. He is a big play machine that had 20 TDs and averaged 21.2 ypc in 2019. The Dolphins could have the clear cut #1 guy for Tua.


7. Patriots: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State

NFL Comp: Aaron Rodgers/Dak Prescott
6'3"/227/4.46
The Lions have a ton of needs and should be looking to trade down. According to the draft value chart, the difference between picks 7 and 15 is 450 points, the Patriots have pick #46 worth 440 points. Throw in a third rounder next year and we have a deal perfect for both teams. The trade would ensure Fields doesn’t go to the Detroit’s division rivals in Chicago who may be looking to trade up from 20 to get Fields.

New England gets its QB of the future while Detroit gets more picks. Fields was the clear cut #2 QB behind Lawrence yet his stock may be falling according to many sources. It is remarkably similar to Rodgers in 2005. If he slides he will be an absolute steal. Fields has everything you look for in a QB. He has the arm, athletic ability and has played his best in the biggest games. The small concerns about his epilepsy are really a moot point. The slander he has faced in the draft process has been really confusing considering how well he has played and the fact that he’s never had any off the field issues.


8. Panthers: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Guard, Northwestern

NFL Comparison: La'el Collins/Duane Brown
6'4"/304/80.13 wingspan
Carolina put the franchise tag on RT Taylor Moton. The rest of the O-Line is average at best. Slater proved himself against the top pass rushers in the Big Ten including Chase Young. He can come in and compete to start at left tackle or guard from day one.


9. Broncos: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State

NFL Comparison: Lavar Arrignton/Ryan Shazier
6'3"/246/19 reps
The Broncos are going to get the best defensive player in the draft. Vic Fangio and Parsons could be a perfect match. Fangio has a history of utilizing linebackers in many ways and in different schemes. He was great with Patrick Willis in San Fran and Kahlil Mack in Chicago. Parsons is a versatile LB that can play inside, drop into coverage or rush the passer. That’s why he reminds me of fellow Penn St stud Lavar Arrington.


10. Cowboys: Patrick Surtain, Cornerback, Alabama

NFL Comp: Antrel Rolle/Jalen Ramsey
6'2"/208/4.42/40 vert/18 reps
They still have a major need at corner and Surtain is NFL ready. He is also a long and physical defender. He started all three years at Alabama and would no doubt start from day one in Big D as well. This guy has a NFL pedigree and has proven he can thrive with a high pressure program.


11. Giants: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

NFL Comp: Desmond Howard/Ted Ginn/DeSean Jackson
6'0"/167
2021 is a make or break year for third year QB Daniel Jones. The Giants already signed Kenny Golladay and now they add the explosive Heisman winner. Smith can give the Giants an element they have lacked since they got rid of Odell Beckham. Smith is very undersized for a #1 WR but if he could be used in a deep threat role he could thrive. Like Howard (the last Heisman Winner that was a WR), Ginn and Jackson, he may need to carve out a role as a kick returner to stay in the league long term.


12. Eagles: Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina

NFL Comp: Troy Vincent/Xavier Rhodes
6'1"/205/4.41/41.5 vert/19 reps
Eagles fans get the next Troy Vincent with the big corner out of South Carolina. Horn is the son of former Saints WR Joe Horn and is a physical guy that has proven himself against the top WR’s in the SEC.


13. Chargers: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama

NFL Comp: Eric Metcalf/Steve Smith Sr
5'10"/180
The Chargers have bigger needs, but Waddle is too good to pass up here. Waddle is an electric playmaker that can be used in ways that complement the skill sets of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. He could have a very similar role to the #13 pick in the 1989 draft in Metcalf. Metcalf was ahead of his time and would have been an absolute weapon in today’s NFL. Young QB Justin Herbert could take another big step with a playmaker like Waddle.


14. Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

NFL Comp: Laremy Tunsil/Taylor Moton
6'5"/322/30 reps/82.13 wingspan
Once the weakness of their team, the Vikings continue to add young players to an improving offensive line. They have used a first or second round pick on the offensive line the past three draft. The core of RT-Brian O’Neill,C-Garrett Bradbury and RG-Ezra Cleveland gives them great building blocks. The las piece is that big left tackle. Darrisaw has the size, length and feet to become a starting left tackle in the NFL.


15. Lions: Kwity Paye, Defensive End, Michigan

NFL Comparison: Shawne Merriman/Ryan Kerrigan
6'3"/261/36 reps/4.57
The Lions stay in state and get much needed help on the edge. Paye has the freakish athletic tools that scouts, and coaches crave. This would be an ideal draft for the Lions to trade down and still get an impact defender like Paye.


16. Cardinals: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Guard, USC

NFL Comp: Billy Turner/Joel Bitino
6'5"/308/32r
With the top 3 receivers and top 2 corner gone, the Cardinals go the safe route and take the versatile lineman from So Cal. Vera Tucker is a high character guy that played guard and tackle at USC. DJ Humphries is a stud at left tackle, but the other four starters are all 30 or over. Vera Tucker can compete for a starting job at either guard spot or at right tackle.


Picks 1-16



 








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