This NFL Draft season has been a tricky one so far. The college football landscape has been a construction site without a vision. Holes have been dug and concrete poured in various areas, but the plans seem not to exist in any official capacity. Games are being canceled left and right. Each conference has its own protocols for our current situation, and many draft prospects chose to opt out of the 2020 season altogether. It is a weird time to do a mock draft. But I can promise you, with confidence, no sarcasm whatsoever, that this is the greatest 2021 2-round NFL mock draft of all time.
Miller’s 2021 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round One
1) New York Jets: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The first pick has felt like chalk for a long time. Some out there will attempt to discredit Fields because Ohio State has not traditionally groomed quarterbacks toward success at the next level. Others will discredit him because he left Georgia instead of allowing his talent to rot away there. But I think it showed desire and hunger to leave Georgia. I believe that the way he was treated there is driving his wildly successful junior season.
Fields is on a mission, and his tools seem to have been sharpened in the offseason because he’s having one of the most efficient seasons as a passer that we’ve seen at such a high level, similar to what Joe Burrow did in 2019.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jaguars are in good shape either way if they continue to lose football games at the rate they are now. With their excess draft capital, they always have the firepower to get back up to the second overall pick, but they would rather sit and attack one of the top two prospects. Lawrence going at number two in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft is not an indictment on his play but a nod to just how impressive Fields has been so far in 2020.
3) Washington Football Team: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
I would love to go quarterback for them here, but in a bad NFC East, I think there are other ways to attack the position in the offseason. Sewell is an outstanding prospect who is only going to get more technically proficient as he ages. His dominance physically is doubly impressive if you account for just how young he is. He isn’t the physical freak that Tyron Smith was, but the age-adjusted production at left tackle is unbelievable for Sewell. He’s too good to pass up here.
4) Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
No trades yet, Cowboys fans. This is a bit of a nightmare scenario for America’s Team, as the value here with any player on the board for their needs isn’t a home run. However, they absolutely must continue to build along the back end, and pairing Patrick Surtain will former teammate Trevon Diggs is a stylistic match made in heaven.
5) Los Angeles Chargers: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
I am very much against the thought of running backs and linebackers drafted highly due to positional value, but the NFL isn’t in lockstep with me. Parsons certainly does not hurt his draft stock by being a former defensive end when he was recruited, which means he has only played as an off-ball linebacker for three years. He also has the pass-rush chops to add value on passing downs both as a blitzer and coming off the edge.
6) Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Make your young quarterback comfortable. Now, I’m personally already on the Waddle-as-WR1 bandwagon, but the match here was fit for a chef’s kiss in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft. Jaylen Waddle is a freak of an athlete who, although undersized compared to a traditional WR1, can glide through the air and elevate with any cornerback lined up across from him.
He’s almost the perfect combination of Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. His feet are lightning quick like Jeudy, but overall his pure speed is comparable to Ruggs. He’s a threat in all three levels of the field, and he can also (if they want to) be utilized as a punt returner.
7) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State
Well, well, well, there seems to be a theme here. I know that Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are already good players, but as we saw early on with the Dallas Cowboys before the Dak Prescott injury, having three ridiculously talented wide receivers is not a bad thing.
Adding Ja’Marr Chase to the mix gives Joe Burrow a weapon he’s extremely comfortable with that takes the pressure off Boyd and Higgins, allowing Burrow to distribute the ball the way he did in college — to a plethora of outstanding weapons.
8) New York Giants: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
This was an internal struggle. Personally, I wanted to go quarterback, but I don’t believe with all of my heart they should give up on Daniel Jones, and I don’t believe they will either. Farley is just about everything you want in a cornerback. He possesses the ideal height/weight/speed combination, and although there are still parts that are rough around the edges, there is a clear path toward sharpening those points.
He’s still working his way into the position after playing quarterback in high school, and if he can avoid the injury bug, the Giants may finally get their CB1.
9) Carolina Panthers: Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young
This young man is an outstanding fit for a Joe Brady offense. Zach Wilson is a bit more athletic than Joe Burrow is, and he isn’t as mentally advanced as Burrow, but his ability to work within the confines of the BYU offense has been impressive to watch. What will really get people excited is the shortstop style in which he plays the game.
We’re seeing more and more quarterbacks who are looking like athletes, throwing from awkward platforms and a litany of different arm angles, which is what Wilson does. He doesn’t have quite the arm of Patrick Mahomes or Kyler Murray, but his game looks similar to what a Mahomes-Murray love child would look like.
10) Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
He’s become somewhat the forgotten man because of Wilson’s rise and his one underwhelming performance of the 2020 season, but Lance should still be considered in the conversation for QB3 given his physical attributes. He’s an outstanding runner who possesses ideal size and an arm that contends for the best in the class. However, the level of competition and small sample size could hurt his stock.
The Falcons should be embracing a rebuild, and unlike the Packers, they are actually closer to the end with their franchise quarterback. Giving Lance the ability to get his feet wet without being thrown directly to the wolves might be his best option. I’m sorry, fans of Atlanta sports. I know it’s been difficult recently. Hang in there and just let the rebuild do its thing.
11) Denver Broncos: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw’s stock has risen tremendously in 2020. He has great length and could put more meat on his frame to sturdy out even more. He’s a smooth athlete with a nice quick set as a pass protector and an anchor already more than sufficient at the college level. He must continue to improve in his vertical set, particularly in remaining patient and not getting too far over his skis, but the tools are all there to be a nice piece at right tackle for the Broncos.
12) San Francisco 49ers: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
This may come as a surprise to some, but Horn’s 2020 season before declaring for the NFL Draft was incredibly impressive. He is a great mixture of size and athleticism, but what is most impressive about him is his attitude. There is no way around it; Horn is mean. He wants to punch you in the mouth all the way to the whistle, and even sometimes through the echo of it. He might be penalized early in his career due to his physical style, but I can’t imagine a better mentor for a young cornerback than Richard Sherman. Do yourself a favor and find yourself tape of Horn from 2020. You will not be disappointed.
13) Detroit Lions: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
It will be interesting to see how this wide receiver class formally grades out, but there is a chance Bateman ends up at number two behind Waddle. Rashod Bateman is a complete alpha on the field and is a fluid athlete for a 210-pound receiver, which helps him deliver devastating footwork on complex route breaks.
As with CeeDee Lamb the year before, his post-catch ability might be where he is most gifted, and we’ve seen a shift toward embracing and valuing that at the NFL level with quicker and quicker passing attacks becoming the norm.
14) Minnesota Vikings: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Gregory Rousseau is a nice fit for the Vikings. First, he is a body on the defensive line, which I’m not sure we can say about the current roster. Second, he possesses a massive frame at 6’5″ and 260 pounds, and it looks like he could add much more mass.
He was incredibly productive in 2019, and he did it all without practically any technical refinement whatsoever. For some, that is a huge positive looking toward the future. I tend to be more cautious about it, given that literally everybody in the NFL is a professional athlete, and it will be much more difficult to out-athlete the opponent at the next level. However, he has outside-in potential and can even drop into coverage. Develop those hands, and he could be devastating.
15) New England Patriots: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
It was difficult not to go with Kyle Pitts here, but we’ve seen more and more often that the tight end position is a difficult transition early, particularly for the oversized slot types. DeVonta Smith is an all-around receiver who does everything well but might not have that trump card that the very top tier possesses. No matter, he has some of the best hands in the class, is a nuanced route runner, and his work around the sidelines, elevating over top defenders, makes him feel bigger to the viewer than his frame suggests.
The Patriots do not often draft with conventional wisdom, but they relax a bit in 2021 and make a quality selection at a position of need in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft.
16) Chicago Bears: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Joseph Ossai is listed as a linebacker here at PFN, but I think his best fit is as a primary edge rusher from a two-point stance who occasionally drops into coverage. He’s been a Swiss Army Knife for the Texas defense, but his work off the edge in 2020 has been impossible to ignore. He isn’t considerably tall, but he is well stacked together and can set a nice, firm edge by getting that inside arm extended through the chest of offensive tackles.
As a pass rusher, he has the explosion and bend to move quickly around the arc and has also flashed some impressive timing to get through uninhibited toward the quarterback.
Round One | Picks 17-32
17) Cleveland Browns: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
This was one of the more difficult selections in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft. It came down to Oweh and Michigan’s Kwity Paye, and although I don’t think there is a wrong answer, I think the correct answer at this moment is to pair Garrett with a bit of a different profile.
Oweh is going to bend people’s brains into a pretzel come NFL Combine time. There is an excellent chance we see outrageous testing numbers that include a 40-yard dash close to that of Montez Sweat. He also possesses better natural length than Paye, and allowing him to grow alongside the best pass rusher in the NFL could have Browns fans salivating as they devastate AFC quarterbacks.
18) Tennessee Titans: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
“Alexa, what is Terry McLaurin?” Ohio State wide receivers continue to be underrated despite being groomed by one of the best position coaches in football in Brian Hartline. Olave doesn’t have the same juice as McLaurin, but his burst is more than sufficient. More than anything, Olave is an outstanding route runner who possesses some unbelievable body control. And despite his more trim frame, he does not have any issues in contested situations.
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Somebody has to try and cover that three-headed monster in Dallas. Shaun Wade’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. He has struggled a bit with the transition to the outside. He’ll have to become more patient in press and not allow receivers to cross his face early, but he has every physical tool imaginable to succeed on the outside. The Penn State game might look scary, but he was beaten by a receiver making not one but two unbelievable one-handed grabs.
20) Arizona Cardinals: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Liam Eichenberg has been nothing short of outstanding in 2020, and his stock should continue to rise as the season and offseason progress. He’s technically proficient with good length and strength. He isn’t anything more than a decent athlete for the position, yet all he does is go out there and stop everything in his tracks. Notre Dame knows how to build offensive linemen, and Eichenberg is no exception.
21) New York Jets: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Kwity Paye will run somewhere around a 4.6 for the 40-yard dash at darned near 280 pounds, and it’s reported that his three-cone drill was the second fastest on the entire Wolverine roster. Like Oweh, this young man is a freak.
However, his game is a bit contradictory as he wins as more of a power rusher that likes to generate movement in speed-to-power situations. The issue with that is he doesn’t possess the ideal length of an edge rusher, and that lack of length could hurt his effectiveness as a power rusher at the next level, especially when it comes to countering. But if he’s able to improve his hands and use his lateral mobility, you’re looking at a 280-pounder who can legitimately win the edge with pure explosion, and that is not normal.
22) Miami Dolphins: Hamilcar Rashed Jr., EDGE, Oregon State
Rashed is still raw as a pass rusher, but his natural abilities and the success of guys like Brian Burns and Harold Landry should help elevate his stock. He is undersized for a traditional rusher, but he is a very nice chess piece in a multiple defense. He is extremely fluid and has an elasticity that is unrivaled in the class.
He isn’t as exciting as Randy Gregory coming out of Nebraska, but if you squint, you can see that Nebraska logo on his helmet. In a league that is getting the ball out fast, pass rushers NEED explosion, and Rashed has more than enough of that, and he can drop into coverage without much issue.
23) Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
I have said it before, and I will say it again. I am not here for your Cosmi vitriol. This offensive lineman is everything you want from an athletic standpoint as an offensive tackle. He’s a smooth mover who can get to any point on the field you ask and has shown flashes of that killer attitude you like to see from an offensive tackle both in the passing game and as a run blocker. He can still add a bit of mass to his lower half to generate more juice and strengthen his anchor, but sticking him beside one of the most impressive guards in all of football in Quenton Nelson isn’t a bad idea.
More than anything, though, this is to establish a transition of power between Anthony Castonzo and Cosmi. The quarterback spot in Indianapolis is a bit of an unknown. Although this isn’t necessarily a win-now pick, without a quarterback, it’s difficult to see a path to true salvation while they stare down the Chiefs in the AFC.
24) Baltimore Ravens: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The Ravens have gone with two resources in recent draft history. Tight ends and speed. And we’re all out of room for tight ends in Baltimore. Now, they really just need more threats on the outside. Rondale Moore is undersized, but he could be used in multiple ways offensively, and that type of versatility is perfect for Baltimore. Moore will be used both as a runner and receiver. He can allow the Ravens to get the ball out of Lamar Jackson’s hands quickly and provide gains after the catch, which is his strongest suit and comparable to that of Waddle.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
He’s about as mean a player as you’d expect a young man playing in North Dakota would be. Radunz is a bruiser, but with more elegance than you’d expect from an FCS school. He will not wow as an athlete, but he’s effective in his pass sets and is a bully as a run blocker. His strikes are consistent, and he has adequate length. He reminds me of a Tom Coughlin style of player, and the value fits. Protect your rookie starting quarterback at all costs.
26) Las Vegas Raiders: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The Raiders have a type, and they do not care what we think about it. Hutchinson has been used similarly to the way that Rashan Gary was employed at Michigan. He doesn’t have a ton of reps at Michigan, and he is now out for the year with a leg fracture, but his physical skill set is too much to ignore later in round one. His tape against Tristan Wirfs is what really intrigues me the most and what I’m sure his agent will be pushing to teams to help them remember what he could be at the next level.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
The only part of the Tampa Bay defense that has a weakness is on the edge, and this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft would give Todd Bowles another piece on a stout defense. Basham is not some athletic freak who will come steaming off the edge toward the quarterback, but he will win as a run defender at the next level given his length and strength at the position.
He also possesses a pass-rush repertoire necessary for success in a bigger rusher. His counters to the interior are where he’s made his money as a rusher, and he’s a great candidate to slide inside on obvious passing downs given his size, strength, and impressive spin move that could trouble interior linemen.
28) Buffalo Bills: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
There needs to be someone out there to complement Tre’Davious White, and I can promise that person is not Josh Norman. Kendrick is still incredibly new to the position, and that shows in how raw he can be technically, but he has everything you want as an athlete at cornerback. His ability to attack the football seems to be a strength of his. As he becomes more comfortable at the position, his consistency should begin to shine through.
29) Green Bay Packers: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, Louisiana State
This young man picked up where Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson left off. Terrace Marshall has been an absolute menace in 2020, and his 6’3″ build is ideal for the X spot in an offense at the next level. He possesses outstanding ball skills, and his releases and route running are impressive for a lengthy receiver.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Campbell was very up and down in 2019, playing in a limited capacity, but he has shown every tool in the shed plus a lot more consistency in 2020. Campbell is the perfect blend of size, length, and athleticism, and if he puts it all together, he could become the best cornerback in the entire class. He has a sky-high upside, and if he becomes more disciplined with his eyes, he could achieve consistent greatness in his game.
31) New Orleans Saints: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Dylan Moses was an absolute animal in 2018, flying around the football field like the freak athlete he is. But 2020 seems like a different animal. He doesn’t look as decisive, and although he has always been more of a finesse player, he has looked like a more timid athlete overall.
However, coming off a knee injury and not playing in 2019, Moses is still working himself back into shape, and if he finishes 2020 strong, he could elevate his stock back up close to where we originally believed.
32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
It’s back-to-back Alabama players to close out the first round of this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft. Leatherwood has a ton of experience playing left tackle for Alabama and could be an immediate replacement for Alejandro Villanueva. He is a ready player with sound technical ability and fierce competitiveness that will play well in Pittsburgh. He must learn to play a bit more under control to become more consistent, but he must do so without becoming too passive and losing that edge he brings to the game.