Welcome to the first of several mock drafts. This 2021 NFL mock draft will not include trades, but future installments will include trades. Stay tuned for more mock drafts as prospects rise and fall.
2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 – Picks 1-16
No. 1: Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson
Congrats Jaguars, you won the Lawrence sweepstakes. Lawrence is one of the most hyped prospects in draft history, and this is a slam-dunk selection.
No. 2: New York Jets, Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU
Wilson has usurped Justin Fields as the so-called QB2 in the 2021 draft cycle. Robert Saleh and the Jets land their guy at No. 2.
No. 3: Miami Dolphins, DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Smith, one of the most dominant Heisman winners in recent memory, would be a devastating weapon in the Miami offense. At the very least, Smith brings separation and big-play ability to a fairly static receiver corps.
No. 4: Atlanta Falcons, Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State
Fields returns home to Georgia to quarterback the Falcons. This is not necessarily the end for Matt Ryan, but the Falcons could use a boost of energy in the organization.
No. 5: Cincinnati Bengals, Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon
Sewell and incumbent left tackle Jonah Williams will immediately be one of the best tackle duos in the NFL.
No. 6: Philadelphia Eagles, Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
Chase shredded college football in 2019 before opting out in 2020. After years of picking the wrong receiver, the Eagles finally hit a home run.
No. 7: Detroit Lions, Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State
Detroit gets the heir apparent to Jared Goff, picking up the high-upside quarterback out of North Dakota State.
No. 8: Carolina Panthers, Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern
Slater can play at guard as well, but he will be the left tackle of the next decade for the Panthers. With the top four quarterbacks off the board, the Panthers will have another roster-building season before selecting a quarterback in 2022.
No. 9: Denver Broncos, Patrick Surtain, Cornerback, Alabama
Surtain may not be as polished as some cornerbacks who have come out in recent seasons, but he is a perfect scheme fit in Vic Fangio’s defense.
No. 10: Dallas Cowboys, Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
Dallas begins the rebuilding of its defense by getting the star corner from Blacksburg.
No. 11: New York Giants, Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Paye flew up draft boards during the 2020 season, and he will find a nice home in the blue side of East Rutherford. New York has a talented defensive interior, but Paye would help on the edge in a massive way.
No. 12: San Francisco 49ers, Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina
Horn is a darling of many draft aficionados, but he would have big shoes to fill if Richard Sherman leaves the Bay Area.
No. 13: Los Angeles Chargers, Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw has top-10 pick upside, but the Chargers get an offensive line cornerstone to protect Justin Herbert for the next decade.
No. 14: Minnesota Vikings, Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
In 2020, the Vikings generated one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL. Danielle Hunter is coming back, and Ossai could pop off immediately.
No. 15: New England Patriots, Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
New England drafted a pair of tight ends in the 2020 draft, but Pitts may be the best tight end prospect of the last decade. He has limitless upside as an offensive weapon. Do not be fooled by “tight end,” Pitts has legitimate wide receiver skills, and he could be the modern-day Rob Gronkowski if New England figures out how to throw the football.
No. 16: Arizona Cardinals, Wyatt Davis, Interior Offensive Line, Ohio State
Arizona has their bookend tackles in D.J. Humphries and Josh Jones, but the interior of the offensive line needs work. Davis could be a starter from Week 1.
Embed from Getty Images