Round One | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
He’s fallen down boards a little bit, but Micah Parsons still has high upside and potential. A guy who is a bit new to off-ball linebacker, it is clear that Parsons is still learning the position. He is raw above the neck, but his natural athleticism and pass-rushing chops will allow him to get on the field on day one. From there on, Parsons’ ceiling is delightful.
18. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Talk about getting the entire band back together. The Dolphins go all-in on the Alabama offense and select Najee Harris to be their running back of the future.
Harris proved this year he is not just a pure bruiser, but he also has surprising amounts of wiggle and short-area burst. As a receiver, Harris is phenomenal and can be split out whenever asked. Harris brings a three-down skill set and will slide in to help Tua even more in this offense.
19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
An absolute unicorn out there, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can fit into the Washington Football Team’s defense nicely. They need a dominant coverage linebacker, and Owusu-Koramoah can be that.
At Notre Dame, he played at linebacker, slot cornerback, and even at safety more than enough to satisfy the need for this pick. An already stout defense gets even better behind one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
20. Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Bears know they need a quarterback and appear to be knee-deep in negotiations for Carson Wentz as we speak. However, until they get that quarterback, they will need to draft one early.
In this 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, they do address quarterback early and nab Mac Jones. Jones proved himself to be accurate and mentally decisive this season. The biggest question is this — can he elevate an offense around him?
21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
With the retirement of Anthony Castonzo, it is clear that the Colts will need a tackle to replace him. Enter Samuel Cosmi, who had his best year in 2020 after putting his raw ability together with technical skill. Despite a lack of length, Cosmi’s hand usage was much better, and he proved he could handle power better than ever before. With the athleticism to work in space, Cosmi makes a lot of sense for the Colts.
22. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Titans have long needed an edge rusher across from Harold Landry. In that 3-4 scheme, there may be no better fit available than Azeez Ojulari. A twitched-up, bendy edge rusher, Ojulari can stand up and be productive. There are still some things Ojulari needs to work on, especially his pass-rush plan, but his natural tools will allow him to step in on day one.
23. New York Jets: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
One of the best raw athletes at tackle in this draft, Jalen Mayfield has appeal if Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur are looking to implement that outside zone and play action-heavy scheme that Kyle Shanahan employed in San Francisco.
Mayfield is a little green around the edges, but his 2020 tape showed better hands and the ability to withstand power much better than he did before. His upside makes him worthy of a first-round pick in this 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Teven Jenkins is the definition of a Steeler. This past season, the Steelers missed the big maulers up front along the offensive line. They got minimal push in the running game, and despite a league-low 14 sacks allowed, Ben Roethlisberger did not have enough clean pockets.
Jenkins can step in and start from the get-go at either tackle spot and give the Steelers that nasty edge that they have been searching for on the offensive line.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
The Jaguars could use someone at every spot on the defense, but Christian Barmore has the ability to be a great interior rusher for them. After a strong 2020, Barmore is the consensus top defensive lineman in the class with great power and heavy hands behind his frame. Barmore has proven to be an effective 3-technique, and Jacksonville can slide him in as a starter early.
26. Cleveland Browns: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Olivier Vernon suffered a torn Achilles and will now likely be on his way out of Cleveland. Across from Myles Garrett, there is a void to be filled — enter Gregory Rousseau.
Once thought of as a possible top-five pick, Rousseau’s production and physical tools, like his length, put him into the first round. However, Rousseau is not overly explosive and is raw on the technical side of things. Still, Rousseau can be paired with Adrian Clayborn on that side in his first year. Then, he can help form a scary tandem by year two with Garrett.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
This might be my favorite fit of the entire first round. Joseph Ossai is the quintessential Baltimore Raven. With outstanding athleticism and fluidity in space, Ossai can work both as an edge rusher and off-the-ball linebacker.
There is the versatility that the Ravens have sought out in guys like Tyus Bowser. Ossai is a better pure speed rusher than an off-the-ball linebacker, though. He continued to show improvement over the season in regards to his pass-rush plan. The Ravens need that edge help, and Ossai is a great fit.
28. New Orleans Saints: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
The Saints have longed for the guy across from Marshon Lattimore for awhile now. They have some nice depth there, and Janoris Jenkins was admirable in his role, but Ifeatu Melifonwu can come in and help create one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL.
An explosive, fluid, and vicious cornerback, Melifonwu has all the right tools to be a dominant cover cornerback in the NFL. With such talented receivers in the division, Melifonwu can help the Saints’ secondary become a no-fly zone.
29. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Packers can use a wide receiver, but it does not need to be a first-round receiver. However, in this 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, the Packers take a jump on Rashod Bateman because of the value.
There are no worthy cornerbacks to slot in at this spot, so the Packers add a crisp, tough target in Bateman to please Aaron Rodgers. Bateman can work in the slot and on the outside to create easy separation, which is just what the Packers could use.
30. Buffalo Bills: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
There are a few questions for the Bills along the offensive line. Daryl Williams is a question mark to return, and the Bills do have some uncertainty on the interior of that offensive line. Alex Leatherwood can step in quite nicely and potentially cover whichever void the Bills see as more pressing.
With fantastic hands, football IQ, and some serious power behind those hands, Leatherwood has a chance to prove himself as a tackle first. If that does not work out, however, he will be an excellent guard.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
It was obvious based on what happened in the Super Bowl that the Chiefs need to invest in the offensive line. Yes, there were several injuries along that front, but there are plenty of questions on that offensive line as a whole after this season, especially on the interior.
Wyatt Davis allows the Chiefs to get a plug-and-play starter at guard with the ability to maul guys in the running game. But, most importantly, he will protect Patrick Mahomes at a high-level.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Buccaneers have a looming hole on the edge with the possibility of Shaq Barrett walking this offseason. The value here to get Jaelan Phillips on the edge to fill that void is too good for them to pass up, especially if his medicals check out.
Phillips proved to be an explosive, crafty, and bendy edge rusher this year at Miami. He can step in and be a high-level producer immediately in Tampa Bay.