The NFL and college football seasons are past their midway points, which means it is a perfect time for a new 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. A few key moves in the NFL, along with risers in college football, have shaken up the landscape that was once stable in the summer. All of this will help shape the unpredictable landscape that is the NFL Draft come next April.
Many players are looking to continue their tear in college football, like BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Meanwhile, others are out training hard in preparation for the NFL Draft process already, like former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. Regardless of the stage these players are in, it feels as if draft stock among most players has shifted in the last three months, even if some of them have not stepped onto a football field.
As such, it is time for an updated 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Farabaugh’s 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 1-16
1. New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Folks, let’s just call this what it is — inevitable. Both Trevor Lawrence and the New York Jets seem to be on a collision course with one another, and for good reason. The Jets are in a place where they just need to hit the restart button on everything. Joe Douglas has to get his guy in there, and that is Lawrence.
Lawrence is one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory with effortless arm talent, athleticism, and precise accuracy that few have at his age. It hurts to move on from Sam Darnold so early, but it’s something I feel has to be done with a prospect like Lawrence staring the Jets in the face.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
I think there is a great argument that thus far on the season, Justin Fields has been substantially better than he was in 2019. The once Georgia Bulldogs now turned Ohio State Buckeyes signal-caller looks more collected and accurate than ever before.
The Jaguars feel good about themselves for getting a guy that is a franchise changer at the second overall spot. Even with promising flashes from Gardner Minshew and even Jake Luton, Fields is far too good of a prospect to turn down. The Jaguars move ahead as they try to reach the levels of success they had in 2017.
3. Dallas Cowboys: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
For Cowboys fans, this one is tough. We have no idea what is going on between Dak Prescott and the Cowboys organization right now, and the Cowboys are in a great spot to take a quarterback. However, I am going to assume that Prescott will be back.
With that being said, I am not sure how you pass up on a talent like Penei Sewell. He is the safest player in the draft and one of the freakiest athletes at the offensive tackle position I have ever seen. Tyron Smith has injury issues. I love Smith, and he is fantastic, but you can not pass on the type of talent that Sewell has proven to be.
4. New York Giants: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Giants are a mess all over the place. However, the degradation of the cornerback room has been one that is stark this season. With Sewell off the board, the Giants could bite on a linebacker, but instead, they will opt to go for a lengthy, disruptive cornerback.
Patrick Surtain II has deep football bloodlines, and his pesky physicality perfectly complements James Bradberry on the other side. The Giants get one of the best cornerback duos in the league with the selection of Surtain.
5. Washington Football Team: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
In this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, there was no bigger flip for me than getting the Washington Football Team a future franchise quarterback. They have all but abandoned Dwayne Haskins, and outside of him, there is simply no one else to put the future of your franchise behind. Enter in the breakout star of the 2020 season, emerging superstar Zach Wilson.
Wilson has made some unreal throws this year in tight windows. His consistent accuracy and ability to work outside of structure are valuable traits in today’s modern NFL. Washington needs a spark plug to jump-start their franchise, and Wilson can be that guy.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
This is likely the first huge surprise of the entire mock draft, but if you watch Kwity Paye’s tape this season, this selection is justified. Through only three games, Paye has put up an outstanding 25 pressures. This is a player who has taken leaps far beyond what I thought he would do this year.
He is a polished pass rusher with explosiveness and a deadly bull rush on top of that. The Chargers have a budding young star at quarterback in Justin Herbert, and the efforts of Paye can help them elevate the team as a whole to the next level.
7. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Dolphins could truly go in a million different directions here, but Micah Parsons is by far the best player available on the board. Not only does he have a high level of play at the inside linebacker spot and in coverage, which is a spot the Dolphins could use help at, but he also offers versatility off the edge.
The Dolphins need both linebacker and edge rusher help on an already budding defense under Brian Flores. With a defense that likes to flex its versatility, Parsons fits in like a glove.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Bengals just traded away Carlos Dunlap to the Seahawks, and the edge rusher position is a need. The Bengals are searching for a pass rush right now but have not found one consistently. In comes Gregory Rousseau, who is lengthy and uses that length as a weapon.
His upside is undeniable, and I can see him going even higher than this, but with him on the board for the Bengals, they swipe him up despite him not taking a step on a football field this year.
9. Carolina Panthers: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley has not played a down this year after opting out prior to the season, but people should not forget how much of a genuine freak he is on the field. He has the length, speed, football IQ, and, more importantly, fluidity to be a menace for NFL receivers to face every week. The Panthers need cornerback help, and Farley is good value here. The fit seems perfect given the Panthers struggles to stop a soul in the passing game.
10. Atlanta Falcons: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
The Falcons need pass rush help with Takk McKinley gone. They just happened to fall in a range where both Rousseau and Paye are off the board. Still, it is undeniable that it should be a focus for them here, and they take a guy who has the ability to get after the passer with ferocious intensity in breakout pass rusher Azeez Ojulari.
His rare combination of explosiveness and bend has been on display all season thus far. The fit to stay in Georgia feels natural, and Ojulari can move well in space in an off-ball role if asked as well.
11. Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Despite his season ending early with a broken ankle, Jaylen Waddle’s draft stock is cemented in the first round as long as his medicals check out. Make no mistake; there is nothing more to be seen from the Crimson Tide speedster.
Waddle changes how defenses play against a given offense, and the Lions need someone to likely replace Marvin Jones. Waddle gives a dynamic speed threat that meshes well with Matthew Stafford and creates a dangerous trio between himself, Kenny Golladay, and T.J. Hockenson through the air.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Quarterback is not an immediate need for the Vikings thanks to the mammoth contract they gave Kirk Cousins, but it stands to say they can move on from Cousins after 2021 and insert the electric Trey Lance as a result. Lance is an odd player to figure out right now because he is the rare redshirt sophomore from an FCS school declaring early.
After playing only one game this year, Lance has only one full season of tape to work off of, and it presents issues but exciting flashes. His resume is not flashy, but the natural upside is worth banking on here for the Vikings in this 4-round 2021 NFL mock draft.
13. New England Patriots: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
New England needs wide receiver help as badly as possible. Cam Newton has struggled, but with Lance off the board, there is no quarterback in this spot worth taking. Instead, they take the sure-fire stud in LSU superstar Ja’Marr Chase.
Chase has great physicality and ball skills to go up and make contested catches at his size. While he struggles to create wide separation consistently, the subtle separation is all there on tape. Chase is far from perfect, but the Patriots would get an alpha receiver in him, which they need.
14. Denver Broncos: Dylan Moses, LB, Broncos
The Broncos need to fortify the middle of the defense. Despite the admirable efforts of Josey Jewell, he really does not look like the guy in the middle of the defense. Dylan Moses brings speed and coverage ability to a defense that needs it badly, opposite of Alexander Johnson. The Vic Fangio scheme thrives when it has diverse and athletic linebackers, and that is what a Johnson-Moses duo creates for the Broncos in this 4-round 2021 NFL mock draft.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Jaycee Horn has showcased an NFL-ready skillset this year, and it should pay off in a hefty boost to his draft stock. Once thought of as an early day two guy, Horn has worked himself into the first-round conversation because of his natural playmaking skills and aggressiveness. The swagger that defines Horn’s game might make this 49er secondary the chirpiest in the league alongside Richard Sherman, and it is a fantastic fit.
16. Chicago Bears: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Bears are out of the range for a quarterback, but they could use some help at tackle. Christian Darrisaw adds a thunderous run blocker to the team. However, it is Darrisaw’s physical tools that make him this high of a selection. His quick feet and effortless mobility is something scouts will rave about. In addition, Darrisaw has phenomenal length, with solid hand placement and a steady anchor to make him a pretty complete first-round prospect.