The NFL is an enigma that everyone is trying to figure out. So, how will the 2021 NFL Draft play out according to Pro Football Network’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator? In this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, we take an in-depth look at some scenarios and where the top players in the draft could end up.
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2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft | Picks 1-16
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
There are no surprises to kick off this mock draft. Unless the sun somehow dies in the next month and life on Earth ceases to exist, this will happen. Trevor Lawrence will be a Jacksonville Jaguar and the future of the franchise in Duval.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The more that comes out about the draft, the less this pick feels like a toss-up. The Jets and Zach Wilson feel like they are on a collision course for each other. In this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, Wilson goes to the Meadowlands, where his mobility and ability to excel outside the pocket will be on full display. The Jets say a painful adieu to Sam Darnold and may look to move him after selecting Wilson.
3. San Francisco 49ers (from Houston through Miami): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
This one is just so much fun to imagine. Justin Fields had a phenomenal pro day workout, but the fit with Kyle Shanahan was evident even before that. Fields is phenomenal both as a pocket passer and on the move (e.g., designed rollouts).
Additionally, he adds an entirely new dimension with his legs and 4.44 speed. His dynamic deep ball also opens up this offense significantly with George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel. Overall, it is a beautiful marriage.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The smoke around the Falcons and Trey Lance has been building in recent weeks. Now, it is obviously possible that the 49ers swipe Lance. However, in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, that does not happen.
Lance’s great tools and underrated mental processes make him a far more complete quarterback than most admit. In the power-throwing scheme in Atlanta, Lance can be the successor to Matt Ryan. This is an easy scope to view it through. Lance goes to Atlanta, sits for two years, and then mans the ship.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Bengals have legitimate options here. Any of the wide receivers would give Joe Burrow a big-time target. Still, when push comes to shove, the Bengals need to protect their star signal-caller.
The hole at tackle is massive, and Penei Sewell is sitting right there. The Bengals take him and protect Burrow for the future.
6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
This is Miami giving Tua Tagovailoa a phenomenal weapon to work with. Ja’Marr Chase is an exceptional prospect in this draft. He can be the mismatch weapon and No. 1 target that Tua needs as a safety valve. The only question will be how much Tagovailoa utilizes Chase’s skill set. If he trusts Chase and gives him jump ball opportunities, this pairing will dominate in the NFL.
7. Detroit Lions: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
This one is interesting. Simply put, Rashawn Slater to the Lions is not mocked often, but it is a perfect fit. There is a potential hole at right tackle, and the Lions may not trust anyone already on their roster to fill it. Slater meshes well with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn’s wide-zone scheme and immediately improves the Lions offensive line.
8. Carolina Panthers: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
This puts the Panthers in a tough spot in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft. With four quarterbacks off the board, they may target Mac Jones, but they instead add a phenomenal weapon. Teddy Bridgewater will enjoy throwing to Kyle Pitts. A massive mismatch weapon, Pitts should give defenses plenty of trouble alongside Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Robby Anderson.
9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Broncos may very well be interested in upgrading at quarterback. Yet, they can’t address that here, and they attacked the cornerback position with ferocity this offseason. Thus, they fixate on linebacker, which has been a problem area in Denver. Micah Parsons is an obviously toolsy player who has to fix the rough edges of his game at this point. The selection benefits both sides as Vic Fangio gets his athletic linebacker.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Cowboys are in desperate need of a cornerback after this offseason. Despite drafting last season Trevon Diggs and re-signing Jourdan Lewis, Dallas must find an alpha guy. Patrick Surtain II can be just that. He has phenomenal eyes and discipline in zone coverage. Add in his length as a disruptor at the catch point, and you have a great Cover 3 cornerback.
11. New York Giants: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The second wide receiver is off the board as DeVonta Smith and his filthy route-running skills head to the Big Apple to join Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay. A great 1A to 1B situation, the Giants add to their already impressive set of receiving weapons for Jones. Smith’s weight might draw some concerns, but his special skill set is undeniable and will allow him to succeed at the next level.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from San Francisco through Miami): Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Eagles are in a position to take the ransom’s pick on the board. In this case, they go and add some swagger and playmaking ability to their secondary. Jaycee Horn is a dynamic player who was lights out at his pro day. With a 4.32 40-yard dash time and an overall freak show display, Horn is only climbing up draft boards. The Eagles may have picked their future lockdown cornerback.
13. Washington Football Team (from LAC): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Trade! The Washington Football Team trades picks 19 and 51 to the Chargers for pick 13.
This is the first big move-up of the mock draft. The Washington Football Team sees the need to go and solidify their quarterback position. With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke, they have capable placeholders but not a guy who can drive the bus to the promised land. With Mac Jones‘ recent uptick in his stock, Washington jumps up the board to get their guy and maximize the window of their stout defense.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
There is no question that the Vikings could go multiple avenues at this point. Again, there is serious value still on the board. Nonetheless, value and need are a match made in heaven. Christian Darrisaw will allow the Vikings to protect Kirk Cousins at a much higher level than they have in recent memory.
Potentially the second-best tackle in the class, Darrisaw is a natural fit in the Vikings’ wide-zone scheme and locks down the tackle position for years to come.
15. New England Patriots: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Despite his recent back injury, Caleb Farley only sees a minor drop in this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft. Luckily, it is the New England Patriots who jump all over him to stop a slight fall. With questions about the future of the cornerback position on both sides, Farley allows Bill Belichick and company incredible flexibility on the back end.
Even more so, Farley will be a guy who can reach the levels past that of J.C. Jackson. He can keep this secondary performing at a high level.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
This fit is one that I find really interesting. Jaylen Waddle is obviously a phenomenal deep threat, and Arizona does not have the true speedy WR who can take the top off the defense as effectively as Waddle. Andy Isabella, thus far, has not cut it.
Waddle can add a different dimension to the air raid scheme with Kyler Murray and take unwanted pressure off of DeAndre Hopkins on the other side. It will be an entertaining year in Arizona if this happens.
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