With the 2021 NFL offseason here, the journey for the 2021 NFL Draft officially begins. There have been many surprises since in-between the end of the 2020 NFL Regular season and Super Bowl LV. All 32 teams have important decisions to make when it comes to free agency. The impact of COVID-19 will restrict many scouts and coaches on their ability to analyze these prospects. Virtual Pro Days will be the best way for NFL organizations to study and evaluate these prospects. There will still be trades and the 2021 NFL Free Agency that will leave a tremendous impact on the 2021 NFL Draft, but it’s obviously too early to consider that in this mock.
2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Justin Fields Is Falling
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
All signs seem to point to Lawrence being the franchise quarterback under first-year Urban Meyer. The Jaguars’ offense ranked 30th in the league in points per game (19.1) this past season.
2. New York Jets – Quarterback Zach Wilson (BYU)
The Jets are likely moving on from Sam Darnold as their franchise quarterback and are now the strong-suiter to trade for Deshaun Watson. It would be best for the Jets to acquire the best tackle in over 15-years but they need a franchise quarterback.
3. Miami Dolphins – Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith (Alabama)
The Dolphins need to build around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this offseason. They can do this by getting the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the best receiver Tagovailoa has ever throw to.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Cornerback Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
Atlanta had the worst pass defense in the league this past season (293.6 passing yards allowed per game). This is the more concerning issue than trying to replace talented players they already have.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Offensive Tackle Penei Sewell (Oregon)
This will be the biggest steal of the Draft if the Bengals get the best tackle in over 15 years. Last season, the offensive line allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked 48 times.
6. Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
Last season, the Eagles’ offense continued to decline in productivity as the receivers never stepped in reliability. The Eagles will need a true number one receiver to help lead their offense.
7. Detroit Lions – Wide Receiver Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
The list of drafted receivers continues to rise in this 2021 NFL Draft. Detroit’s new quarterback in Jared Goff needs a reliable and dynamic receiver to help accelerate their offense. Detroit only has two receivers on their roster.
8. Carolina Panthers – Quarterback Mac Jones (Alabama)
Carolina is currently looking for their franchise quarterback. While there are two higher-ranked quarterbacks in the Draft but Jones has already developed a professional relationship with head coach Matt Rhule.
9. Denver Broncos – Quarterback Justin Fields (Ohio State)
It is not uncommon for President of Football Operations, John Elway, to give his quarterbacks short durations as the franchise quarterback. They will need a real franchise quarterback to lead their talented and dynamic offense.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Cornerback Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)
For the longest time during the season, the Cowboys had one of the worst pass defenses in the league. They will need one of the top defensive backs in the Draft to keep them stable.
11. New York Giants – Tight End Kyle Pitts (Florida)
Adding one of the most explosive offensive weapons in the Draft will the Giants’ 31st scoring offense (17.5 points per game) and 29th passing offense (189.1 passing yards per game) some new life.
12. San Francisco 49ers – Quarterback Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
Jimmy Garoppolo is playing under an expensive contract for the 49ers and is declining in his efficiency. Head coach Kyle Shanahan can develop a highly talented quarterback like Lance without being forced to play early.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Offensive Tackle Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech)
The Chargers have found their franchise quarterback in NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in Justin Herbert. Now they will need to protect him as he sacked 32 times this past season.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Defensive End Gregory Rousseau (Miami)
15. New England Patriots – Linebacker Micah Parsons (Penn State)
Before the season, the Patriots were hit with some opt-outs that would affect them primarily on the defensive side of the ball. Parsons could potentially be the next great All-Pro defensive playmaker for head coach Bill Belichick.
The Cardinals have a solid offense, but they lack an efficient traditional run game. Instead of reaching for a running back, they can solidify the interior offensive line.
Las Vegas has one of the worst defenses in every major category this past season. They need help up the middle of the defensive line as the first line of defense.
Miami found a new number one receiver for Tagovailoa, now they need to protect him. The Dolphins gave up 34 sacks this past season that needs a serious boost.
Last season, the offensive line for the Washington Football Team gave up 50 sacks, tied for third-most in the league. Whoever is under center, will need to have more time in the pocket to create a consistent offense.
The Bears are too-far back to get a franchise quarterback in the first round. Their offensive line play was as much of a disaster as the quarterback play for Chicago last season.
Last season, the Colts had a top-ten total and scoring defense, but their downfall was defending the passing game. They will need a number coverage corner for their 20th ranked passing defense (241.6 passing yards per game).
Tennessee’s defense only accounted for 19 sacks this past season, which is the third-fewest in the league. This is one area on their team they have consistently missed.
The Jets need as much help on both sides of the ball as possible. Their depth, as well as talent in the edge rushers, is low as they looked to raise the productivity of the pass rush next season.
There are plenty of concerns for the Steelers’ offense this upcoming season. The one position they can address this deep into the first round is the top running back to fix their last-ranked rushing offense.
Last season, the Jaguars gave 44 sacks this past season, tied for seventh-most in the league. This kind of consistent pressure from the opposing defense would make Lawrence’s transition into the NFL rough.
Cleveland has a lack of depth at the true outside linebacker position. This would force some of their current players to play at their natural inside linebacker positions.
The Ravens’ offense came crashing down as they had the last-ranked passing offense (171.2) this past season. Baltimore could use an explosive playmaker like Toney to give quarterback Lamar Jackson more options.
While Michael Thomas is an elite versatile receiver, they could use a deep-threat receiver for whoever is the starting quarterback. Bateman and Thomas could lead one of the most dynamic passing offenses in the league in 2021.
Right now, the Packers need to do whatever they can to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers hungry for a title with the team. Outside of Davante Adams, the Packers do not have a consistent threat at receiver.
The Bills will be left with some difficult decisions during free agency. They will need to find answers to address their defense, who finished 17th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (119.6).
The offensive line for the Chiefs had a disastrous performance in Super Bowl LV. They will need to make sure they will not be dominated into their offensive performance since Patrick Mahomes II took over as the starting quarterback.
Tampa Bay’s defense is preparing for the loss of several impact defensive playmakers, including Shaq Barrett. They wrap up this 2021 NFL mock draft by adding serious young talent in the final pick of the first round.
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