17. Cleveland Browns (from Las Vegas): Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Trade! The Cleveland Browns trade No. 26 and No. 59 to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for the No. 17 pick.
The Browns are invested in improving their edge-rushing situation opposite Myles Garrett. Here, the sim has them getting aggressive and trading up for Georgia pass rusher Azeez Ojulari.
Some draft pundits have Ojulari as their top edge, citing his bend, explosiveness, and clutch plays as their most significant reason for having him atop the position. With Ojulari and Garrett, the Browns now have one of the most athletic pass-rushing duos in the NFL.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (from Miami): Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Trade! The Las Vegas Raiders trades No. 26 and No. 59 to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for the No. 18 pick.
It appears that the Raiders decided they didn’t want to trade back and chose to send the exact picks they got from Cleveland to Miami and move up to 18. Subsequently, they select Caleb Farley, who has the tools to become one of the elite man corners in the NFL.
Great size, speed, and burst, Farley is an easy prospect to fall in love with. Inexperience and lingering back issues drop him in the mid-late first round in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft, but the Raiders are more than happy with the value.
19. Washington Football Team: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
Washington has the luxury of mulling over several quality options here. They elect to lock down their left tackle position with Texas offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi. Cosmi is an elite athlete with easily projectable traits and is one of the most impressive athletes we’ve ever gotten testing numbers for. His athletic ability and hand usage should lead to early career success.
20. Chicago Bears: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
It’s no secret — the Bears massively overpaid Robert Quinn. After an underwhelming season, the Bears choose to address the edge-rusher position and add high-motor demon Joseph Ossai. The perfect playstyle to play opposite of Khalil Mack, the Bears now have an unrelenting duo of pass rushers. NFC North quarterbacks should be worried about these teammates coming after them.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Colts have had a quiet offseason despite many expecting them to be serious players in free agency. They instead elected to bring back core players and save cap space for upcoming contracts. The Colts defense was one of the best in the NFL last year but struggled to generate consistent pressure off the edge.
Adding an explosive athlete like Kwity Paye could help the defense take the next step. He still has development to do as a pass rusher, but his upside is undeniable.
22. Tennessee Titans: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
The Titans draft Isaiah Wilson in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft expecting him to be their right tackle of the future. Not even a full calendar year later, and it’s evident that was a colossal mistake. Wilson is the definition of a bust, but the Titans have the opportunity to mend that mistake with this selection.
Jalen Mayfield was excellent in limited action and could be the right tackle the Titans were hoping they were getting last year.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Jets have invested a ton on the defensive side. Signing guys like Carl Lawson, Jarrad Davis, Lamarcus Joyner, and Sheldon Rankins boost the defense’s overall depth and talent. Here, the Jets follow that up by landing some evaluators’ top linebacker. Micah Parsons could flourish under Robert Saleh, likely to be used as an off-ball linebacker who occasionally comes up to rush the passer.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Pittsburgh Steelers have needs all across their depth chart and did very little during free agency to address them. Christian Barmore is a mountain on the football field, checking in at roughly 6’5″ and 315 pounds. You can never have too many pass rushers, and Pittsburgh now has one of the scariest and deepest pass-rushing units.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Despite James Robinson’s success as a UDFA last year, the Jaguars find Najee Harris‘ value too good to pass up here. Najee has a unique skill set unlike any player in NFL history. Elite size, power, and contact balance to churn out tough yards, Harris also possesses elite hands and concentration at the catch point, making him a true three-down weapon. Jaguars land this year’s top running back in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft
26. Miami Dolphins (from Las Vegas): Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Dolphins continue their pursuit for their first playoff appearance under Brian Flores. They were very close last year and expect to be competitive again in 2021. The Dolphins’ defense was the driving force behind their season last year, so it’s not unreasonable for them to try and reinforce their top strength.
Even with a poor athletic showing at the Missouri Pro Day, Nick Bolton has the talent to keep his draft stock afloat. The Dolphins get a high floor defensive leader in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
The Ravens take one of the top offensive lineman available in Alijah Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker has natural size and athletic ability; he is already well-developed past the average lineman. He has legitimate five-position versatility. I could see a reality where he is a top-five guard at some point in his career.
28. New Orleans Saints: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
The Saints have let go of several players this offseason, including cornerback Janoris Jenkins. With their first-round selection, the sim has New Orleans taking his replacement in Ifeatu Melifonwu. A rare physical specimen with salivating movement skills, pairing him with Marcus Lattimore could be fearsome.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (from Green Bay): Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Trade! The Kansas City Chiefs trades No. 31 and a 2022 3rd-rounder to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the No. 29 pick.
The Chiefs are desperate for offensive tackle talent and depth. Teven Jenkins provides both. A smooth pass set with elite play strength, Jenkins’ film has enough pancakes to be considered an IHOP. Does he move to the left side, or does 2020 NFL Draft pick Lucas Niang swap to the opposite side?
30. Green Bay Packers (from Buffalo): Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Trade! The Green Bay Packers trades No. 31 and a 2022 3rd-rounder (via Kansas City) to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the No. 30 pick.
Despite the strange trade back and then trade up, even the simulator knows that the Packers should finally get another elite receiver to pair with Davante Adams. Kadarius Toney is an explosive YAC monster who, at times, displays nasty routes and could develop into a complete receiver with time. He’s similar to someone like Curtis Samuel, who Green Bay missed out on this offseason.
31. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City through Green Bay): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
It feels almost certain that the Bills will be drafting a running back in the early stages of the 2021 NFL Draft. They take Clemson superstar Travis Etienne here, whose game-breaking speed and legendary acceleration make him an exciting prospect.
Adding Etienne to an offense led by Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs gives the Bills a lethal offensive trio. The Bills net a third-round pick and their franchise running back in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Tampa Bay has been on fire, selecting defensive backs who see a minor slide on draft day. Like Antoine Winfield Jr. last year, Greg Newsome could prove to be much better than his draft placement suggests. Newsome is my CB4 with a dog mentality and more than enough athletic tools. He’s been consistent and productive in the Big Ten and projects as a quality cover corner in the NFL.
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