Akansh’s Mock Draft 2.0
Another week, another mock draft. We are officially in the single digits and have a little over a week to go until Roger Goodell steps up onto the podium.
After an exciting offseason with rim-rocking trades, changes are inevitable since my first mock draft before free agency. The draft order has been changed, needs have been adjusted.
With that, the 2021 NFL is now open, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock!
1. JAX: Trevor Lawrence – QB, Clemson
Sharpie, please. This one has been set in stone for a while now. Lawrence joins Urban Meyer in Jacksonville, where they look to lead their team to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
2. NYJ: Zach Wilson – QB, BYU
Sam Darnold was officially shipped off to Carolina. Leaving a vacant seat at the franchise QB position. Robert Saleh hands Wilson the keys for the foreseeable future.
3. SF: Justin Fields – QB, Ohio State
The debate of Fields versus Jones is undoubtedly an interesting one. People forget how good Fields is. Jones to SF remains a smokescreen. Shanahan grabs Fields and makes the NFL regret ever doubting him.
4. ATL: Trey Lance – QB, North Dakota State
The run on QB’s continues. This time Atlanta selects their QB and the future. In doing so, Lance is able to take a redshirt year and learn the nuances of the position from Matty Ice.
5. CIN: Ja’Marr Chase – WR, LSU
The Bengals elect to reunite the electric duo of Burrow and Chase. Adding Pitts or Sewell is an option here as well, but neither have the chemistry Burrow, and Chase already have.
6. MIA: Kyle Pitts – TE, Florida
The Dolphins traded down from three and still get their guy. Who just so happens to be one of the most explosive players in the draft.
7. DET: DeVonta Smith – WR, Alabama
After losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency, the Lions have a massive hole at the WR position. Injecting the Heisman winner immediately jump-starts the rebuild, and newly acquired Jared Goff and Co should be able to hit the ground running.
8. CAR: Penei Sewell – OT, Oregon
After trading for Sam Darnold, Carolina must do everything they can to protect their investment. Selecting OT1, Penei Sewell solidifies the left side of their line, giving Darnold one less thing to worry about.
9. DEN: Caleb Farley – CB, Virginia Tech
Farley fits the bill perfectly for a Vic Fangio corner: long and physical. George Paton’s influences from Minnesota carry over as he selects a corner in the first round.
10. DAL: Patrick Surtain II – CB, Alabama
Reuniting a former ‘Bama duo in Surtain and Trevon Diggs will be too good to pass up. It will also solidify the corner position for years to come.
11. NYG: Rashawn Slater – OT, Northwestern
The Giants went out and found Daniel Jones, his bonafide WR1 in Kenny Golladay. Now the front office shifts their attention to keeping Jones upright. Slater also fills the void left by Kevin Zeitler and solidifies the Giant’s offensive line.
12. PHI: Jaylen Waddle – WR, Alabama
The Eagles complete the trifecta of Ja(y)len’s. This time in Waddle. A trio of Waddle, Reagor and Hurts could be explosive if the three pans out.
13. LAC: Christian Darrisaw – OT, Virginia Tech
After missing out on Sewell and Slater, the Chargers elect Darrisaw as the man to protect Justin Herbert’s blindside. Protecting their young QB should be priority number one. Selecting Darrisaw does just that.
14. MIN: Alijah Vera-Tucker – IOL, USC
AVT appears to be a perfect scheme fit for Minnesota’s outside zone. He also provides flexibility and could line up at either guard or tackle. The Vikings have massive holes at both positions.
15. NE: Mac Jones – QB, Alabama
Mac Jones fits the mold for a Bill Belichick QB. Cam Newton’s return gives the Patriots time to be patient with Jones as he continues to develop.
16. ARI: Jayce Horn – CB, South Carolina
After losing Patrick Peterson to free agency, the Cardinals fill the void with the most confident corner of the class. His alpha mentality should translate to the big leagues, as he attempts to fill Peterson’s shoes.
17. LV: Micah Parsons – LB, Penn State
A top ten talent who takes a fall due to character issues. The Raiders take on the risk and add a much-needed upgrade at the LB position.
18. MIA: Kwity Paye – DE, Michigan
The offense has been addressed, now Miami looks to solidify the trenches. Adding Paye gives them a day one starter at the edge position.
19. WFT: Zaven Collins – LB, Tulsa
An already top defense looks to take the next step with the addition of Collins. His versatility will be essential for Ron Rivera and Co. Giving them a game-changer at two levels of the defense now.
20. CHI: Teven Jenkins – OT, Oklahoma State
One of the harder teams to predict in this year’s draft. After missing out on the QB lottery, the Bears will double down on the Andy Dalton experiment and invest in some much-needed protection for him.
21. IND: Azeez Ojulari – DE, Georgia
One of the best defensive units in the league in 2020 looks to be even more dominant in 2021. Adding Ojulari to a line that already has Deforest Buckner could be downright terrifying for opposing teams.
22. TEN: Greg Newsome II – CB, Northwestern
The Titans’ secondary took another hit in free agency. They look to recoup the group with the addition of Newsome, however, it still may not be enough.
23. NYJ: Jaelan Phillips – DE, Miami
His concussion and nagging injury history are without a doubt a risk. However, this could be one of the draft steals if Phillips can stay on the field.
24. PIT: Najee Harris – RB, Alabama
After losing James Conner in free agency and finishing last in nearly every rushing metric, the Steelers will attempt to patch the hole with the selection of Harris. Whether that cures, all the symptoms will remain to be determined.
25. JAX: Terrance Marshall – WR, LSU
Jacksonville gets greedy and addresses the offense once more. Marshall will be able to learn from newly acquired Marvin Jones and ultimately provide T-Law another deep threat.
26. CLE: Christian Barmore – IDL, Alabama
The signing of Jadeveon Clowney domino affected the release of Sheldon Richardson. Selecting Barmore might keep the unit from missing a single beat.
27. BAL: Rashod Bateman – WR, Minnesota
Failing to address the WR1 spot in free agency, the Ravens wasted no time finding Lamar his bonafide WR1. Bateman will have enormous expectations from fans, however, he could be just the man for the task.
28. NO: Asatne Samuel Jr. – CB, Florida State
The Saint’s cap situation has certainly affected offseason moves. Bringing Marcus Williams back was certainly a surprise. However, losing him and Lattimore in the near future seems inevitable. Drafting Samuel helps in the short run and gives the Saints some much-needed flexibility in 2022.
29. GB: Kadarius Toney – WR, Florida
This is it. This is the year. The Packers finally draft a playmaker for Rodgers in the first round. Toney’s big-play ability, opposite of Davante Adams, could be exactly what Rodgers needs for a Super Bowl run.
30. BUF: Joe Tyron – DE, Washington
The Bills roster is one of the most well-rounded rosters in the league. Adding Tyron gives them some much-needed youth and depth on the defensive line.
31. KC: Alex Leatherwood – OT, Alabama
The Chief’s o-line makeover is complete with the selection of Leatherwood. Joe Thurney, Alex Leatherwood, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe should be more than enough to keep Mahomes upright.
32. TB: Jayson Oweh – DE, Penn State
The rich get richer. After terrorizing Brees, Rodgers, and Mahomes, the defensive line adds another weapon. Oweh, a raw project, will benefit from learning from Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.