We’re at the midway point of the NFL season with the trade deadline fast approaching, and with that comes a new 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. A few trades have already been made and we are bound to see even more before the deadline is up. These trades lead to altered draft strategies involving capital and the future of a team.
Many teams are seeking to make a move to take them to that next level, gearing up for a playoff run (Baltimore trading for Ngakoue). Others are reading the writing on the wall and are simply making moves to prepare for the future (Dallas trading Everson Griffen & Cincinnati trading Carlos Dunlap).
With these moves in mind, it’s time to consider a new 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Please note that the draft order is predictive.[sv slug=mocksim]
3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Round One
1. New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
It’s clearly time for the rebuild in the Jets organization. Joe Douglas has done a good job adding talent in his limited time as GM, and armed with the top pick, Douglas can lead the rebuilding effort for the Gotham Green. Adam Gase is likely on his way out of the building, and a fresh new head coach would help catapult this team into a rebuild.
Trevor Lawrence is playing at a generational level and has looked like an NFL talent since high school. The Jets need to heavily invest in the talent around him on offense, but nailing the quarterback puts them a step ahead of the curve.
2. New York Giants: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Giants just spent the fourth overall pick on OT Andrew Thomas, but that hasn’t worked out so far. The Giants aren’t in full rebuild-mode yet, but Gettleman is on the hot seat. A good way to cool that down is by taking the safest player in the draft in Penei Sewell, one of the best offensive tackles the NFL has seen in years.
This move allows the Giants to move Andrew Thomas to right tackle, where hopefully he settles in at full-time and provides the Giants with two anchors on each side of the offensive line for a decade.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Amidst reports the Jaguars could be benching Gardner Minshew in favor of Mike Glennon, it’s clear the Jaguars are in sink mode once more, and a full roster purge is on its way. A rebuild starts with a quarterback, and the best available here is Buckeyes superstar Justin Fields.
Fields lit the poor Nebraska defense on fire this past weekend and looks ready to cement his status as a top-5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. His combination of arm talent and mobility are enticing and suggest plenty of upside as the Jaguars land their franchise quarterback with the third pick in this 3-round 2021 NFL mock draft.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Micah Parsons, EDGE/LB, Penn State
The Falcons are looking like a mess on both sides of the ball and it’s clear that they need to stock up on as many talented players as they can. After watching a few games this season, I came away with the belief that their secondary isn’t as bad as it seems on paper, and their biggest issue has been rushing the passer and a general inability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Thus, Micah Parsons is the logical choice.
While Parsons may technically be a linebacker, he is a terror rushing the quarterback with his incredible athleticism. His versatility meshes well with the linebackers on Atlanta’s roster already, especially if they are unable to extend Foyosade Oluokun with their cap issues. Draft as many blue-chip prospects as you can to build around Matt Ryan.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Bengals would surely be tempted on an offensive lineman here due to how porous the Bengals’ offensive line has been this season, but the value might not match up. The Bengals are set to lose William Jackson in free agency in favor of greener pastures, so to speak, leaving a massive hole in the Bengals’ secondary.
Taking a player with Farley’s ability in man coverage and athletic profile would go a long way in addressing the vacancy left behind by Jackson’s departure.
6. Minnesota Vikings: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
While the short-term outlook on the Vikings seems pretty bleak, the long-term outlook with plenty of building blocks looks very promising. It starts with moving on and replacing Kirk Cousins at the quarterback spot. That means Trey Lance throwing to Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Irv Smith, and Dalvin Cook is a potent offensive formula.
Depending on any changes at the coaching spot, the Vikings could be one of the league’s hottest teams. Lance’s arm talent and athletic ability have many calling him a “bigger Kyler Murray” and a great coaching staff could unlock his potential in Minnesota.
7. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Unfortunately, Jaylen Waddle suffered a season-ending injury this season. He has decided to go ahead and begin his draft prep. This injury is unlikely to really sway any evaluators away from what he can do, depending on his recovery and medical checks.
Waddle’s game-breaking speed and playmaking ability will make him an enticing weapon to NFL teams. Of the three big “speed” wide receivers of the last three drafts, Waddle is likely the closest the NFL will get to a Tyreek Hill. Reuniting Tua Tagovailoa with this devastating weapon should be a top priority for Miami.
8. Dallas Cowboys: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
We all know just *how bad* the Dallas Cowboys defense has been. One player won’t fix all the issues on that team. Shaun Wade would be the Cowboys’ best playmaker in the secondary almost immediately since they foolishly let Byron Jones walk in free agency. He can play both inside and outside corner, providing some matchup flexibility that the Cowboys don’t have currently.
Wade’s not afraid to crash down and play the run, either. With plus length and athleticism, Wade is a high-upside player that can be a valuable cornerstone for the Cowboys for years to come with the right development.
9. Washington Football Team: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Zach Wilson has been this season’s biggest riser and has played himself into the first-round conversation. Despite playing a fairly average schedule, Wilson has led the Cougars to an undefeated start, displaying a fantastic mix of arm talent, placement, mobility, and improvisation ability.
Wilson’s profile fits the billing for a first-round quarterback, and Washington desperately needs a quarterback. Dwayne Haskins is on his way out, Kyle Allen is an impending free agent, and Alex Smith is almost 40 with an easily moved contract. They need to invest in a solution.
10. Los Angeles Chargers: Creed Humphrey, OC, Oklahoma
With the emergence of Justin Herbert solving the Chargers’ QB issue post-Philip Rivers, the staff needs to invest in what’s around Herbert. The defense is lights-out and should continue to be for the next few years, so the Chargers need to invest in the trenches on offense.
With Mike Pouncey’s injury history as well as heading into the free-agent market this offseason, the Chargers should invest in his replacement.
11. Denver Broncos: Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama
The Broncos have been missing that dynamic piece in the middle of their defense seemingly since DJ Williams. This position has been much-maligned and is currently their weakest link on defense. The Broncos invested heavily into their offense in the last two drafts and now must invest in their defense in this year’s to keep up with division rivals and make it back to the playoffs.
Dylan Moses is a dynamic linebacker that will instantly improve Denver’s defense and is a steal in this 3-round 2021 NFL mock draft.
12. New England Patriots: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
New England’s wide receiver situation is bleak at the moment. They are currently relying on drops leader Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Myers, and Gunner Olszewski. They need an alpha presence in that receiver room to elevate their passing game, and none of their current options are one.
Rashod Bateman’s savvy style of play and the ability to dominate and manipulate coverage would make him an invaluable piece for the New England offense, regardless of who the quarterback is.
13. Carolina Panthers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Panthers’ secondary has had a few too many lumps this season to be considered a position of strength. While Donte Jackson has flashed a good bit in his career, he isn’t a CB1 that defenses need to cover the best of the best.
Patrick Surtain’s man coverage ability and length will establish himself as a leader in the Carolina secondary.
14. Detroit Lions: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
While Detroit may end up moving on from Matt Patricia, they will still need better talent rushing the passer. They are among the league’s worst at generating pressures and sacks, which meshes poorly with the man-heavy scheme Patricia runs.
Gregory Rousseau’s explosiveness combined with his length and power makes him an enticing traits-based prospect.
15. Miami Dolphins: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The Dolphins are generating pressure at a pretty average rate, despite being 5th in the NFL in blitz percentage. They’ve invested pretty heavily into their secondary and now need to continue to build their front.
Oweh’s quickness and explosiveness make him a terror off the edge, with some astounding reported testing numbers. The former basketball player looks improved so far in 2020, putting his NFL stock at an even higher level.
16. Las Vegas Raiders: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The Clelin Ferrell selection hasn’t panned out for the Raiders, and they are still searching for that dynamic pass-rusher opposite of Maxx Crosby.
Aidan Hutchinson’s length, quickness, and power are an enticing mix. He put up a dominant game against Minnesota to start the season and will look to carry that momentum forward this season.