Round 1 | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
General manager Mike Mayock traded a third-round rookie to Miami for linebacker Raekwon Mcmillan last August. Now he dips back into the linebacker pool and adds Nick Bolton to a defense ranked 24th against the run in 2020.
18. Miami Dolphins: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah brings an element to the pro game much like Isaiah Simmons did in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Miami Dolphins have benefitted from linebacker Jerome Baker’s progression but need another element in the backfield of their front seven.
19. Washington Football Team: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Teven Jenkins starts a run on the offensive line, a hot commodity in the 2021 NFL Draft. At Oklahoma State, Teven Jenkins showed the versatility of playing at guard or either tackle spot. Head coach Ron Rivera would appreciate the tenacity he’d bring to the offensive line.
20. Chicago Bears: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
We don’t know who the Chicago Bears are going to put under center. What we do know is that running back David Montgomery is going to have one of the best run-blocking tackles at his disposal with Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Following former Colts tackle Anthony Castonzo’s retirement in January, general manager Chris Ballard was left with a big hole to fill. His job got tougher once Philip River retired but after the recent trade for quarterback Carson Wentz, that spot is filled.
With Wentz in house and the top quarterbacks coming off the board early in Round 1, Ballard needs to look elsewhere. Samuel Cosmi is one of the top tackles available in the 2021 NFL Draft following a mid-round run on the position, and Wentz will welcome all the help up front he can get.
22. Tennessee Titans: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans drafted Jeffery Simmons in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and turned around two years later to fill the spot opposite Simmons with Christian Barmore. Head coach Mike Vrabel needed another big body up front on a defense that gave up the fifth-most yards in the NFL in 2020.
23. Denver Broncos: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Much of the talk amongst Denver Broncos country revolves around Drew Lock and the quarterback position. However, in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, new general manager George Paton trades down and chooses to pair linebacker Zaven Collins and create a 1-2 punch with Alexander Johnson.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
The Pittsburgh Steelers have three offensive linemen with expiring contracts in Alejandro Villanueva, Zach Banner, and Matt Feiler. Given their salary cap situation, offensive tackle will be a must if they can’t retain any of their pending free agents.
Alijah Vera-Tucker is the sixth offensive tackle taken in the first round by PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Yannick Ngakoue talked his way out of Jacksonville last fall, now Urban Meyer needs his replacement. Lawrence will be the ticket on Sundays, but Joseph Ossai, matched across the defensive line from other EDGE Josh Allen, would give the Jaguars an exciting pass-rush duo.
26. Cleveland Browns: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Quarterback Baker Mayfield took a step forward in 2020, and now’s the time to capitalize if you’re head coach Kevin Stefanski. There’s a possibility Odell Beckham Jr. gets cut in 2021, and if that’s the case, Kadarius Toney would slide in and expect to make that quick jump to the pro level.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
The Baltimore Ravens could be on the lookout for a right tackle following Orlando Brown’s request to be traded. The left tackle spot is expected to go back to Ronnie Stanley, which means Alex Leatherwood would slide into the right spot in case Brown is traded.
28. New Orleans Saints: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
It’s not confirmed yet, but Drew Brees may be retiring. If that’s the case, head coach Sean Payton could push for a quarterback here in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Instead, Brees gets a weapon for a last push for a title run in Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth.
29. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Green Bay Packers select a wide receiver in the first round for the first time since 2002 for quarterback… Jordan Love? We’ll see. A quick glance at Aaron Rodgers’ contract says he has at least another year leading the Packers’ offense, now with the first-round weapon he wanted.
30. Buffalo Bills: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
One of the missing elements to the resurgence of the Buffalo Bills’ offense was their rushing attack. Devin Singletary didn’t progress from a solid rookie season, and Zack Moss didn’t break out either.
Najee Harris is the top running back on Pauline’s big board, and for a good reason — Harris ran for over 1,400 yards and 26 touchdowns for Alabama last fall. Quarterback Josh Allen needs a reliable rushing attack to take the Bills’ offense to the next level.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
By halftime of Super Bowl LV, we could all see the issues Kansas City was having up front. Patrick Mahomes didn’t have a clean pocket all night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ front seven in large part due to the lack of depth on the offensive line.
Last year’s third-round pick Lucas Niang will be back after opting out of the 2020 NFL season. Eric Fisher may not be ready for kickoff following his torn Achilles in the AFC Championship Game against Buffalo. Adding Jalen Mayfield to the mix will give Andy Reid more depth he clearly needs up front.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
What many thought they couldn’t do, they did. While Tom Brady has garnered much of the attention, and rightfully so, it was the Buccaneers’ defense that wreaked havoc against the Chiefs’ offense. Pass rusher Shaq Barrett is due to become a free agent, which means Azeez Ojulari would need to step in opposite veteran Jason Pierre-Paul.
Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?
Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.