April 28, 2021
BY Lance Cartelli

2021 NFL Mock Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft is almost here. 

With the Miami Dolphins making two blockbuster trades with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively, there's some big movement in our 2021 NFL Mock Draft. 

Who will the 49ers take with the No. 3 pick? Who are Dolphins targeting at No. 6 after two franchise-altering deals?

We've got the answers right here. 

Check out our full 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft here

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Even the Jaguars can't screw this one up. Selecting Trevor Lawrence is the biggest no-brainer in the draft. 

Lawrence is a supercharged quarterback prospect who will step in Day One as the Jaguars' starting quarterback. 

Trevor Lawrence's Dynasty Rookie Draft Profile via our friends at DynastyNerds

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU 

The biggest riser up the board this year, Zach Wilson is arguably the most fun prospect to watch in the entire draft. 

The freestyling passer has the improvisational skills that have taken over the NFL recently. The Jordan headband-wearing signal-caller lets it rip from multiple arm angles and every pass seems to be dropped in the bucket. His highlights are eerily reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo, but his lack of competition this past season — plus a previous shoulder injury — doesn't quite make him a sure thing. 

But if Wilson can translate his playmaking ability to the NFL, he'll be a star with the Jets. 

Zach Wilson's Dynasty Rookie Profile

3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State 

The 49ers made the massive move up from No. 12 to No. 3 to select a quarterback, but which one? 

While the Mac Jones rumors are running rampant, it's hard to understand why the 49ers would pay such a hefty price to draft a quarterback with limited upside and athleticism. 

Jones would be a good fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense, sure, but nearly every QB can fit in the most passer-friendly offense in the league. Shanahan's had his taste of limited upside QBs who can operate his offense and he's seen what guys like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen have done to his defenses. 

Shanahan's ready for his own elite talent and that points to the pure untapped potential that is Trey Lance. Built like a tank, Lance has arguably the best arm in the class and as much potential as Lawrence. Lance also immediately enters the NFL as the best running QB since Lamar Jackson. That gives Lance a solid floor while he develops as a passer with the Niners. 

Trey Lance's Dynasty Rookie Profile

4. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State 

Thanks to the 49ers, the Falcons now are in the most enviable position in the draft. 

The fourth-overall pick is now an extremely hot commodity with the rights to Justin Fields on the line. Will the Falcons stick and pick their hometown boy or trade the pick for a plethora of assets? Any other option would be malpractice by the Falcons' front office. 

We think they'll go with Fields who could really excel in Arthur Smith's offense in Atlanta. Fields offers incredible accuracy and athleticism which gives him tantalizing potential. 

Don't listen to the noise that Ohio State QBs aren't successful in the NFL. None of the recent players have had the talent that Fields possesses. He'll have to speed up his internal clock in the league but he's a steal at No. 4. 

Justin Fields' Dynasty Rookie Profile

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU 

The first four picks in the NFL draft couldn't have gone any better for Cincinnati who might have to change their name to the Bayou Bengals with this selection. 

While the Bengals desperately need to protect Joe Burrow better, the rumors are that the former LSU passer has been pushing Ja'Marr Chase to Cincy's front office. 

Adding Chase, who opted out of last season with LSU, would give the Bengals one of the most exciting offenses with rookie phenom Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon. 

The last time we saw Chase on the gridiron, he was a simply dominant pass catcher. He might not wow you with his speed or athleticism, but Chase just knows how to win — especially down the field with contested catches. 

Let's not forget that he was the WR1 on the same team as Justin Jefferson, who just lit up the league in his rookie campaign. 

Ja'Marr Chase's Dynasty Rookie Profile

6. Miami Dolphins: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida 

The Dolphins have plenty of juicy options at No. 6. They could take the top tackle on their board — either Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater — but they decide to upgrade the passing game by picking Florida's own Kyle Pitts. 

While the term "generational talent" is thrown around way too often, Pitts is one prospect who fits the bill. In fact, he might be the single most talented player in the entire draft. That's how good he is. 

Pitts looks like LeBron James on the football field, just bigger and faster than everybody else.

He's not just a top-end receiver, either. Pitts is a willing blocker, which gives him added value as teams won't be tipped off to whether the play will be a run or pass with him on the field. 

He'd give the 'Fins two legit tight ends and would immediately help Tua Tagovailoa in his sophomore season. 

Kyle Pitts' Dynasty Rookie Profile

7. Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell, OL, Oregon 

The Lions might be the biggest wild card in the top 10. If they don't trade back, then we expect them to upgrade the offensive line. 

The knee-biters, led by new coach Dan Campbell, could draft one of the star receivers still available — DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle — but that doesn't seem like a move a rebuilding Detroit team would make. Instead, we think they'll focus on the offensive or defensive line. And Penei Sewell lands right in the Lions' lap as Detroit starts their rebuild around, ahem, Jared Goff. 

Sewell, just 20, has just jaw-dropping athleticism for someone his size. The 330-pounder moves with such grace that he could be mistaken for a tight end. 

While he's not perfect — no prospect is — Sewell has the kind of upside a team should bet on. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern

The Panthers could surely draft one of the top five quarterbacks if one drops to them, but with Sam Darnold trade, we think the Panthers will look to protect their new passer. 

Carolina gets the Northwestern product who many believe is the top offensive line in the entire draft. 

Rashawn Slater didn't play last season for Northwestern, but he showed incredible potential two years ago. His best game came against last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young. 

Slater might be better suited for guard, but that doesn't mean he isn't worth a top-10 pick. 

9. Denver Broncos: Jaycee Horn, DB, South Carolina 

Other than perhaps Mac Jones, nobody his risen up the draft board faster this offseason than Jaycee Horn. 

Horn is one of many defensive backs in this year's class with NFL bloodlines. His father is former Saints star receiver Joe Horn. 

The younger Horn is one of the most physical corners in the draft. Almost to a fault. The 6-foot-1 defensive back is a little too handsy with receivers and that could cause penalty problems at the next level, but there are worse qualities in corners. 

If you want to see what Horn could possibly do at the next level, just watch his game film against Auburn where he singlehandedly put together the most dominant cornerback performance of the campaign while torpedoing Seth Williams' draft stock. 

10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, DB, Alabama

The Cowboys have to be ecstatic that the draft plays out like this. 

With the selection of Patrick Surtain, the Cowboys re-establish the former Bama cornerback duo with Trevon Diggs. 

Surtain might not have the quick-twitch athleticism that's ideal in top cornerback prospects, but he has elite traits with NFL bloodlines (his father was a Pro Bowl cornerback). Those are the kinds of players you take with top-ten picks. 

11. New York Giants: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan 

The Giants are another wild card in this draft. They loaded up this offseason on both sides of the ball — including reeling in Kenny Golladay to be the team's new No. 1 receiver. 

But that still might not stop them from taking either of the Alabama receivers. But it does for us as Kwity Paye seems to be the perfect fit for the Giants, who could use another pass rusher. 

Paye might not have had stellar production at Michigan, but his quickness and agility could turn him into a feared pass rusher. 

Kwity Paye's Dynasty Rookie Profile

12. Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Thanks to a bang-bang trade that could technically be a three-team deal, the Eagles moved back from No. 6 to No. 12 while adding the Dolphins' first-rounder next season. And Philadelphia is still able to land the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. 

The Eagles desperately need to add playmakers on offense. Jalen Reagor didn't live up to the hype last year while Philadelphia had to rely on guys like Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham. 

But adding Jalen Hurts' former Alabama teammate sure should help. Smith might lack ideal size, but that didn't stop him in the SEC. His athleticism and ability should translate to the NFL. 

Smith looked like a Marvin Harrison clone at Alabama and could immediately be Hurts' go-to option in the passing game. A trio of Smith, Reagor and Dallas Goedert is a good start to the rebuild on offense. 

DeVonta Smith's Dynasty Rookie Profile

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Chargers might have bigger needs — like on the offensive line or in the secondary —  but Jaylen Waddle's game-breaking ability paired with Justin Herbert's borderline-erotic deep passing is just too good to pass up. 

Waddle was arguably the best receiver on the Crimson Tide last season before breaking his ankle. And the Chargers could sneakily use some more talent in the passing game. Last year, Herbert was dropping dimes to guys named Tyron Johnson, Jalen Guyton and K.J. Hill.

Imagine what Herbert could do with some talent outside of Keenan Allen. 

Waddle's speed alone will open up opportunities over the middle for Allen and others, while Herbert and Waddle should make sweet, sweet music on majestic deep balls that will destroy a defense. 

Jaylen Waddle's Dynasty Rookie Profile

14. Minnesota Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

The Vikings are another team that would love how the draft is playing out. (Easy for me to say since I wrote it, therefore I'm biased. But I digress...)

Minnesota desperately needs help on the interior offensive line and — if Slater plays tackle — then Alijah Vera-Tucker is the best available in the draft. 

The USC product has the ability to play tackle, but he should be even better at guard or center. That kind of versatility makes Vera-Tucker even more attractive to teams. 

15. New England Patriots: Teven Jenkins, OL, Oklahoma State

The Patriots could be in the mix for Mac Jones here, but they could be holding out hope that the 49ers get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo so we have them going with some offensive line help in the Oklahoma State tackle. 

While Teven Jenkins doesn't have ideal arm length to play tackle, he's one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the draft. He has a mean streak that plenty of teams could use, especially the Patriots. 

16. Arizona Cardinals: Greg Newsome II, DB, Northwestern

With coach Kliff Kingsbury's seat getting a little warmer, it's no surprise that the Cardinals are another team that's loaded up this offseason.

The Cards would love one of the big two defensive backs to fall to them at No. 16, but they miss out on Surtain and Horn. They then settle for the next best corner: Greg Newsome II. 

With the departure of Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals could use some fresh blood at defensive back to team up with Budda Baker in Arizona's secondary. 

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, Edge/LB, Penn State

The Raiders need to make some big changes on defense after last year's historically bad campaign. 

They take a risk by drafting arguably the best off-ball linebacker in the draft in Micah Parsons. The Penn State product could even transition to a pass rusher, that's how athletic he is. 

Parsons, who opted out of the 2020 season with Penn State, can be deployed as a defensive weapon in the modern NFL. A player with his kind of athleticism who can also cover and blitz would be a phenomenal chess piece for the Raiders to play with. 

Micah Parsons' Dynasty Rookie Profile

18. Miami Dolphins: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami

After adding Pitts, the Dolphins — with their second first-rounder — select a pass rusher who could end up being the best in the class. 

Phillips won't have to go far if he's drafted by the Dolphins and he'd fill a big hole on Miami's defense. 

Phillips has the talent and size of a top-10 pick, but he does have some red flags which is why he drops to No. 18. 

Phillips started his career at UCLA before retiring from football, but if he can convince teams that he has a passion for the game then he should be a sure-fire first-round selection. 

Jaelan Phillips' Dynasty Rookie Profile

19. Washington Football Team: Christian Darrisaw, OL, Virginia Tech 

The Football Team could certainly trade up for a QB like Trey Lance or Justin Fields or take Jones at No. 19 if he's available.

In this mock, we think Washington will pass on Jones to build up the playoff-worthy roster in the wide-open NFC East. 

Darrisaw should help solidify the offensive line with his bend and quick feet that should be an ideal fit in WFT's offense.

20. Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama 

Mac Jones' fall down the draft boards ends with the Chicago Bears

The Alabama product could go as high as No. 3, but in this mock draft, we think he'll slide all the way to No. 20. 

Chicago might've signed Andy Dalton to be the franchise's starting quarterback, but that is a short-term fix and the Bears need to eventually find their answer at the position. 

While Jones isn't the most athletic — or exciting — passer, he's incredibly efficient and accurate. 

21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OL, Texas

The Colts' roster doesn't need a ton of help, except at one position: left tackle. 

And with the retirement of Anthony Costanzo, the once-great Colts offensive line has a glaring hole. But, with Indy's luck, they land one of the last first-round talents at offensive tackle in Texas' Samuel Cosmi, who could step right in as a starter next to Quenton Nelson. 

22. Tennessee Titans: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss 

This might be the surprise of the draft.

A year after taking all-time draft bust Isaiah Wilson, the Titans make another potentially risky selection in the first round by adding the speedy slot receiver out of Ole Miss. 

Elijah Moore has skyrocketed up draft boards this offseason thanks to his explosive work with the Rebels. 

Moore also has a big proponent on his side: A.J. Brown. 

With the loss of Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis, the Titans must find a receiver to play opposite of Brown and Moore could be a great fit. 

Elijah Moore's Dynasty Rookie Profile

23. New York Jets: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Now that the Jets have added Wilson to their QB room, it's time to get him some more talent. 

While the Jets could try and wait until the second round to take a running back, there are too many teams eyeing this shallow class — including the Steelers, Jaguars, Bills and Buccaneers. 

Many believe that Alabama's Najee Harris is the top back in the draft, and he might just be, but Clemson's Travis Etienne fits the Jets' outside zone perfectly. 

He could be Wilson's best friend as he develops under center. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The run on running backs continues with the Steelers filling their gaping hole by drafting Alabama's Najee Harris. 

Harris could immediately come in and be a Day One starter in Pittsburgh as the Steelers try to re-establish themselves as a power, run-first team. 

Harris, who has been comped to former Bears running back Matt Forte, would be a valuable asset in the passing game as well.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig, DB, TCU

The Jaguars have a lot of talent, but still have plenty of holes now that they have Lawrence. 

Jacksonville could easily load up and grab an offensive lineman or receiver, but they should improve their defense. 

Trevon Moehrig is a ball-hawking safety with seemingly unlimited range. He could help slow down passing attacks in the AFC South. 

26. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The Browns desperately need an injection of talent and speed at linebacker. Enter, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. 

The Notre Dame linebacker's speed is so evident that there are rumors that some teams envision him as a safety. While we won't go that far, JOK could be a great fit in the modern NFL that needs linebackers to be able to play in space and cover. 

His explosiveness jumps off the screen and should immediately translate to the NFL. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah's Dynasty Rookie Profile

27. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State

Jayson Oweh is simply an athletic freak. 

The Penn State pass rusher doesn't have the production of a first-rounder, but who cares when you have the kind of eye-popping athleticism that Oweh possesses. 

The Ravens are the kind of team that bets on pure athleticism which makes Oweh an ideal pick at the end of the first round for a team that needs to add some players who can bring the heat. 

Jayson Oweh's Dynasty Rookie Profile

28. New Orleans Saints: Joseph Ossai, Edge, Texas

Despite losing multiple players due to salary-cap hell, the Saints still have one of the better defenses in the league. But with the loss of Trey Hendrickson, New Orleans could use another pass rusher. 

Of course, the Saints would love to find Drew Brees' replacement here, but there isn't an available option worth the No. 28 pick. 

Joseph Ossai is a linebacker-turned-pass rusher who is still learning the nuances of the position and he should fit what the Steelers are looking for in a sack artist.  

Joseph Ossai's Dynasty Rookie Profile

29. Green Bay Packers: Tyson Campbell, DB, Georgia

Packers fans have been pounding the table for the Packers to draft a wide receiver for the past couple of years... and they'll have to keep waiting. 

That's because the Packers value other positions higher than receiver, and they have some holes to fill this offseason — including at corner. 

All you have to do is see that the Packers, for some reason, paid Kevin King $6 million this season. While the Pack have one of the premier corners in Jaire Alexander, they have a big hole opposite of him. 

The Georgia corner should be a huge upgrade for Green Bay as he projects as a strong cover corner. 

30. Buffalo Bills: Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia 

The Bills get an absolute steal at the end of the first round. 

Azeez Ojulari might not be the biggest or strongest pass rusher in the draft, but he brings an element of pure speed on the edge. 

He's undersized, sure, but Ojulari should be able to hold up on running downs and not be used as a situational pass rusher which makes him a great pick in the latter portion of the first. 

31. Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

With the trade of Orlando Brown Jr to the Chiefs, the Ravens picked up a second first-rounder. They find themselves in a great position to add another weapon to the passing game. 

Rashod Bateman might not be as big as expected, but he's a physical route-runner who could do a lot of damage over the middle in Baltimore. 

The Ravens know they need a top-tier receiver and Bateman could end up being the second-best receiver in the class. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama  

The Super Bowl champions finish off the first round with a bang. 

In an incredibly poor defensive tackle class, the Buccaneers add the best of the bunch. 

The interior pass rusher hasn't been able to put it all together yet, but in the College Football Playoffs, he looked like one of the best players on the field. 

Barmore, with his explosive first step, will be able to learn from Ndamukong Suh for at least a season. 

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Photo: Getty Images / Illustration