Akansh’s Pre-Free Agency Mock Draft 1.0
With free agency just around the corner, let’s dive into our first mock draft of the season. For this mock, and for the sake of simplicity, there will be no trades involved. With that, the 2021 NFL draft is officially open, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock!
With the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence. This really is no secret. Lawrence is the consensus number one prospect. With Urban Meyer at the helm, they will select their franchise’s face for years to come.
With the likes of Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford being traded, Sam Darnold could be next on that list. It’s been rumored for quite some time, and expect it to be done before draft night. The Jets will then turn around and draft their future franchise QB in Zach Wilson.
Miami goes most dynamic player here. With DeVonta Smith’s recent comment about Tua and Mac Jones, it’s hard to envision a reunion. Instead, the Dolphins will turn to one of the most explosive players in the draft.
Atlanta goes best player available (BPA) after a run on skill players. Atlanta will draft a future cornerstone of their team while also adding essential protection for Matt Ryan.
The Chase-Burrow reconnection here will be too good to pass up for the Bengals. With Sewell and Pitts off the board, the Bengals will find their true WR1 to replace A.J. Green.
“Yes, Jalen Hurts is the guy. Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the Eagles, has basically sent the message to his personnel department and Howie Roseman that he wants to do everything he can to help Jalen Hurts be successful.” This definitely sounds like a smokescreen. Perhaps to avoid other teams trading up in front of them to select a QB.
After most likely losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency, the Lions will look to Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. With Chase and Pitts off the board, the Lions still add an explosive playmaker.
Matt Rhule had a front and center seat to Lance’s pro day. The organization has made it clear they do not view Teddy Bridgewater as a franchise QB. Instead, Teddy will provide the perfect bridge as Lance learns the nuances of the position.
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.
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.
The Giants continue to build around Daniel Jones with this pick. Adding a player such as Waddle that is just as explosive after the catch will further relieve the pressure off of Jones. He also provides value as potential KR or PR.
After missing out on the top quarterbacks and yet to pull the trigger on a potential QB trade, the 49ers go BPA. Selecting Paye further solidifies the trenches and creates a scary duo in Bosa and Paye.
Find franchise QB? Check. Now protect him at all costs. With Slater’s versatility, he will be a critical addition in keeping Justin Herbert protected.
The Vikings have many needs this offseason. Adding a guard might be tough to justify with the 14th overall pick. Instead, they provide another weapon to Zimmer’s arsenal.
Jones seems to fit the mold for a Belichick quarterback, given he played for Nick Saban. Cam Newton’s return should allow the Patriots to be patient with Jones as he continues to grow.
With JJ Watt’s addition, the Cardinals will most certainly look to solidify the offensive side of the ball. Adding Vera-Tucker should provide Kyler Murray additional time in the pocket to find D-Hop down the field.
Mike Mayock will continue his trend of drafting defensive linemen. Hopefully, Rousseau can develop into a consistent pass rusher, a much-needed role for the Raiders.
After cutting ties with Kyle Van Noy, the Dolphins will fill this void sooner rather than later. Considering the Dolphins added an offensive playmaker with pick number three, defense here is the logical choice.
Cosmi is an athletic blocker with tons of upside. Brandon Scherff has officially signed his franchise tag, and the addition of Cosmi could make for an elite left side. Providing comfort and protection to no matter who the QB is.
Once again, the Bears have missed out on finding their answer at QB. Instead, they will address the o-line and further develop their run game.
While the Colts fielded a strong defense in 2020, the addition of another pass rusher could take this group to the next level. Lined across from DeForest Buckner, Phillips should see favorable matchups.
All signs point to edge rusher after the Titans put up a whopping 19 sacks in 2020. Combined with the fact that Jadaveon Clowney is set to leave, the team will need to add some serious reinforcements. Tying for eighth most, with 8.5 sacks in 2020, Ojulari looks to do just that.
After finding their new QB of the future, the Jets will select a new weapon for their new defensive-minded head coach. Newsome’s coverage ability will provide an instant upgrade to the Jets squad.
After missing out on the top offensive linemen and top quarterbacks, the Steelers will instead use this selection on an additional weapon for Big Ben. Bateman’s height of 6’2 could allow him to be a monster in the slot. Bateman and Claypool combined could be a terrifying duo for years to come.
Selecting Trevor Lawrence only does so much. The Jaguars will need to shift their attention to keeping him upright and make his transition to the NFL as seamless as possible. Jenkins is one of the best blockers in the draft class and could just be the protector T-Law needs.
The Browns will continue to address the defensive side of the ball. Bolton might not be the flashiest player, but his consistency will be crucial to continue building the defense.
After missing out on the top wide receivers, the Ravens will reach to find a WR1 for Lamar Jackson. At 6-foot-three, Marshall could just be the receiver Jackson needs on the outside. He also posses the speed and after-the-catch ability to be an explosive playmaker in the slot.
What the Saints do with their current cap situation will decide the fate of this pick. However, with critical losses on the defensive line, Onwuzurike can minimize the departures’ effect.
The whole “Rodgers doesn’t have enough weapons” is a myth and blown way out of proportion. The Packers will undoubtedly see the highlights of Kevin King in the divisional round. They will look to add a physical corner opposite Jaire Alexander.
Elite defense? Check. Franchise QB? Check. Solid running game? Not so much. Adding Harris will provide a workhorse for Josh Allen to rely on. His versatility also allows for another receiving threat for Allen to find.
Free agency is set to hit, and the Chiefs will lose 60% of their offensive linemen. Drafting a tackle will most certainly happen. It’s just a matter of who and when. Drafting Eichenberg gives the Chiefs their best chance at a plug-and-play guy.
Tom Brady has signed another extension. Yes, he will be 45 years old when his contract expires. To continue playing, he will need to be kept upright as much as possible. Limiting the hits Brady takes will be the key for him to play at a high level.