Round One | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The Raiders’ focus should be on their defense, but it would be hard to pass up Ja’Marr Chase here. Chase could come in and give the Raiders an extremely talented player alongside Henry Ruggs. A pass-catching group of Chase, Ruggs, and Darren Waller would be able to carry whoever happens to be under center.
18. Miami Dolphins: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
In this 2021 NFL First Round Mock Draft, the Dolphins narrowly miss out on getting Chase. However, Rashod Bateman is a fantastic consolation prize for a team that desperately needs to upgrade their receiving group. Bateman would instantly become one of the top targets for QB Tua Tagovailoa in the 2021 NFL season.
19. New York Giants (from trade w/ Washington): Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Strengthening their offensive line is something the Giants need to keep in mind this offseason. Their right tackle situation is not yet settled, and Christian Darrisaw could provide that stability immediately. Darrisaw would be a potential improvement on both Matt Peart and Cameron Fleming at right tackle.
Regardless of whether or not the Giants move on from Nate Solder this offseason, Darrisaw would fill an immediate need for offensive line talent.
20. New York Giants (projected trade w/ Chicago): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
The Giants follow up their selection at pick 19 with a trade up. They swap picks 42, 51, and 116 with the Chicago Bears.
Following the trade, the Giants add the extremely talented Gregory Rousseau to bolster their pass-rushing depth. Rousseau has an extremely high ceiling in the NFL and would give the Giants a dynamic weapon on the outside.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (projected trade w/ Indianapolis Colts): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
The Chargers executed perfectly in this 2021 NFL First Round Mock Draft. They moved down and picked up a second-round selection while still adding a talented offensive tackle in Alijah Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker could either slot in as a left tackle or kick inside and provide additional talent on the offensive line’s interior.
22. Tennessee Titans: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Things have not worked out between the Titans and Isaiah Wilson after selecting him in the first round in 2020. Therefore, the Titans need to find someone to replace Jack Conklin at right tackle. Samuel Cosmi is a good candidate for that, while also being someone who could shift to left tackle in the event of an injury to Taylor Lewan.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Jets need to keep adding weapons to their offense, and Travis Etienne is just that. Pairing Etienne with the athleticism of Justin Fields at quarterback would give the Jets a strong backfield.
Etienne is a talented back who could make plays both in the running and receiving game. His athleticism and long speed would add an extra dimension to the offense.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Pittsburgh makes upgrading their offensive line a priority of this 2021 NFL First Round Mock Draft. Both starting tackles from last season are set to be free agents this offseason. Even if they bring Alejandro Villanueva back this offseason, they still need a right tackle.
Alex Leatherwood would be the perfect candidate for the Steelers. He could start at right tackle and then shift over to left tackle if the Steelers keep Villanueva in the short term.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The best Jaguars team of the last decade has been built around a strong defense. A big part of that was having strength on the defensive line, precisely what Christian Barmore brings. Barmore could be an immediate starter alongside Taven Bryan.
The combination of Bryan, Barmore, Josh Allen, and K’Lavon Chaisson can be one of the best units in the league.
26. Cleveland Browns: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
With Olivier Vernon set to be a free agent, adding Azeez Ojulari opposite Myles Garrett gives the Browns an immediate replacement. Ojulari exploded into national recognition in 2020 and is a player who could continue to improve over the coming seasons.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Ravens are looking for a player to partner with Patrick Queen in their linebacker group. Nick Bolton would immediately fill that need and make for a fascinating pairing with Queen.
The Ravens have built their team around a dominant defense in the past decade. Adding Bolton would give them an additional strong presence in the middle of their defense.
28. New Orleans Saints: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Saints need more consistency on defense, at a discount. Trevon Moehrig is a talented option at safety who could give the Saints a strong piece on their back end to try. He’s a high-floor prospect that has the intangibles to improve the defense’s consistency.
29. Green Bay Packers: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Green Bay has one of the best left tackles in the world in David Bakhtiari. However, on the right side of the offense, they need to find a permanent partner. Teven Jenkins can come in and be a long-term option at right tackle for Aaron Rodgers and, eventually, Jordan Love.
30. Buffalo Bills: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Cornerback is one of a few areas the Buffalo Bills could look to improve on defense in 2021. Tre’Davious White is a talented player, but they do not have a consistent partner for him that they can trust. Ifeatu Melifonwu could come in and develop into that sidekick.
Ultimately, Melifonwu is a talented cornerback who could help the Bills in their push to go one step further in the 2021 NFL season.
31. Detroit Lions (projected trade w/ Kansas City): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Lions give up their second (41) and third-round (72) selections in 2021 to move back into the first round. With that selection, they add a new quarterback in Mac Jones. Jones has the opportunity to learn behind Jared Goff before potentially taking over in the next year or two.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Shaq Barrett could be set to be on his way out of Tampa Bay this offseason. The Bucs need to find an immediate replacement opposite Jason Pierre-Paul, and Joseph Ossai could be the perfect fit. Ossai is a talented pass rusher with plenty of upside who can also drop back into coverage at times.
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