2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft via PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator v 10.0

2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Raiders-to-Micah Parsons connection has been noted for a while now. They can be ones to overlook character concerns, and they need lots of help at the linebacker position. Parsons is in another stratosphere in terms of athleticism than what they have there right now. Only now really growing into his own, Parsons is going to be a big upgrade for the Raiders.

18. Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The Dolphins have a bevy of options at this spot. However, the pass-rushing group is always an interesting one. There is a good chance that the best pass rushers are still on the board, as they are here.

The Dolphins can get nice value with the top edge rusher off the board. And hey, it is a need anyways. Azeez Ojulari will allow the Dolphins to bring in a stout run defender with enough explosiveness and bend to only improve as a pass rusher moving forward.

19. Washington Football Team: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

With both linebackers and all the quarterbacks gone, the Washington Football Team is free to address offensive tackle if they wish. Teven Jenkins’ rise makes him a worthy pick in this slot. With elite nastiness and underrated athleticism, Jenkins is far from a slow mauler like some prospects in this vein. While Jenkins does have things to improve, there is a clear path to him being a successful starting tackle in the NFL.

20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

The Bears’ need at wide receiver is well-explored. They may have Allen Robinson, but for how long? Meanwhile, they are actively shopping Anthony Miller. Another weapon on the outside could help Chicago’s offensive production. Rashod Bateman, with 4.4 speed, can be an easy separator for this offense. He can be an extremely reliable target and still has WR1 upside to boot.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

With Anthony Castonzo’s retirement, the Colts will need to address the tackle position sooner rather than later in the 2021 NFL Draft. Even with four tackles off the board, Samuel Cosmi is fair value and can fill that need effortlessly for Indianapolis. Cosmi’s ever-improving hands combined with fleet, light footwork make him an ideal fit for the Colts’ offensive line. He will help protect Carson Wentz as he tries to rebound in 2021.

22. Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Titans released both Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson after the season. With that, it opened up a big-time hole at cornerback. Caleb Farley‘s back injury has caused him to fall down draft boards slightly, but the elite athleticism and fluidity he possesses are rare. For the Titans, Farley is the type of high-upside player you do not get to pick often at No. 22, and they pounce on the opportunity.

23. New York Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC

If there is one spot on the offensive line that the Jets need, it’s guard. With the best guard in the class available here, it is an easy pick for Joe Douglas and company. Alijah Vera-Tucker is one of the most complete players in the class. With highly functional athleticism, masterful hands, and fantastic football IQ, Vera-Tucker is a Day 1 starter.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via PIT): Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Trade! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade picks 32 and 96 to the Pittsburgh Steelers for pick 24.

The Buccaneers are making a move up the board here in this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft for a relatively low cost (third-round selection). However, it makes sense to come up for Kwity Paye.

An athletic freak and one of the most purely talented pass rushers in the class, Paye will immediately give the Buccaneers a successor to Jason Pierre-Paul after the 2021 season. For Paye, he is well-equipped for a year of learning in a rotational role to allow him to adjust.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

The Jaguars get fabulous value here as Christian Barmore falls right into their laps. Needing some more juice on the interior of their pass rush, Barmore’s rapid ascension up the board with his wicked quick first step will help the Jaguars continue to build up their defensive line. If they want a return to “Sacksonville,” Barmore is a great player to enable that.

26. Cleveland Browns: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

Even after the signing of Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns have a long-term need at the edge-rusher position. There is still no static person that will be there for the next few seasons as a partner to Myles Garrett. So, with a toolsy guy like Joseph Ossai on the board, it is hard to argue with them taking a swing of the bat with this pick.

Ossai’s hand usage is raw but already detailed for where he is at on his learning curve. This is a guy who has not scratched the surface on his ability just yet. Ossai can do that in Cleveland.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The Ravens certainly need an edge rusher. They lack much-needed depth and still need a player to take significant reps with the departure of Matthew Judon.

Enter in Jayson Oweh, who is a raw but talented pass rusher. This is the type of player that teams will be willing to bet on because of his elite physical traits. Oweh may lack a cohesive pass-rush plan, but the toolbox is starting to grow. If he can harness the physical talents, Oweh could be special.

28. New Orleans Saints: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

The Saints could go linebacker, but they have options to attack the receiver position if they wish. Getting someone opposite of Michael Thomas is paramount. And an LSU product is the answer to it, as they go with Terrace Marshall Jr. in this one. Marshall is dynamic after the catch and can attack all three levels of the field. That is the versatile option that the Saints need to elevate their offense.

29. Green Bay Packers: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Packers certainly have needs elsewhere outside of linebacker, but it’s a position that Green Bay will need to address at some point in the draft. With great value here thanks to Zaven Collins dropping slightly, the Packers are all over this scenario. Collins can be the big, athletic enforcer that this Packers’ defense needs. With impressive coverage ability on top of that, Collins should fit in nicely.

30. Buffalo Bills: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

Just like the Saints, the Bills go with a guy that is close to home. To cement their defense as a truly elite unit, the Bills could use another top coverage cornerback across from Tre’Davious White. Thus, Ifeatu Melifonwu does make a world of sense.

A phenomenal athlete who brings the punch in the running game, Melifonwu has the fluidity and all the tools to excel on the boundary. Especially since he will be tasked with covering No. 2 receivers, Melifonwu is an instant starter who should thrive.

31. Minnesota Vikings (via KC): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The Vikings got significant draft capital in their trade back with the Chiefs. And with that pick, they still fill a significant need thanks to an especially deep tackle class. Alex Leatherwood can play guard or tackle in Minnesota and has the athleticism to work within Minnesota’s zone scheme. Wherever he plays, Leatherwood projects to be a good pro because even if he fails at tackle, he has all the traits to be a steady guard for a decade.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (via TB): Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

In this 2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft, the Steelers close this one out by getting a running back to help improve their 32nd-ranked rushing attack. With the worst running back room in the league, Najee Harris feels like a fantastic fit for the Steelers.

Harris checks off every box they usually look for in a running back and can add to the passing attack as well. The Steelers jump on the value of Harris at No. 32 and hope to inject a gritty running style into the offense that has jived in Pittsburgh for so long.

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