The NFL season has kicked off in momentous fashion and before you know it, the 2021 NFL Draft will be here before you know it. And with two great weeks to open up the season, some teams’ offseasons have already become more clear. With that clarity, it means a new 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft can give some future optimism to teams that might have a long season ahead of them in 2020.
Even though it is early in both the NFL and college football seasons, this mock draft will strive to accurately predict just what may happen in the 2021 NFL Draft next April in Cleveland.
Farabaugh’s 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Round One
1) Carolina Panthers: Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
The Panthers are in a tough spot here if they land the first overall pick. Teddy Bridgewater has not too bad, but Matt Rhule is essentially trying to figure out what works at the NFL level. However, Bridgewater, even with his contract, should not deter the Panthers from drafting a quarterback, especially one that is the caliber of Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence is a slam dunk quarterback prospect. His natural arm talent and delightful processing is some of the best we have seen from a QB prospect in recent memory. There is not much Lawrence can not do, and he seems destined for NFL stardom. The Panthers have to lock down a franchise game changer and keep Lawrence in the Carolinas.
2) Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
Cincinnati has a no-brainer at this spot. The Bengals offensive line has been nothing but porous through the first two weeks of the season, and it is clear that Joe Burrow is running for his life. While Burrow has been impressive, the Bengals have to protect their franchise quarterback.
Thus, enter in an elite offensive tackle prospect in Penei Sewell. With tight end-like movement skills and powerful hands, Sewell is already a fantastic tackle. However, there is room for him to grow as well. The Bengals lock down the franchise left tackle and have a nice tackle duo with Sewell and Jonah Williams moving forward.
3) Detroit Lions: Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
This could be slightly early for a linebacker given positional value, but Parsons is more of a hybrid defender on top of his ability at the second-level. Two of the biggest things that the Lions need are good linebackers and pass rush, and Parsons brings both of those to the table.
A freakish athlete, Parsons is the best linebacker in this class pound for pound. His edge and physicality allow him to lead a defense with ease. However, he also has great hands and flexibility to win off the edge. Parsons would give Detroit a much-needed stalwart in the middle of their defense.
4) Washington Football Team: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
Notoriously, more and more speed kills at the skill positions. However, for the wide receiver position especially, we have seen Marquise Brown and Henry Ruggs both be the first players off the board. Jaylen Waddle follows that tradition here as he goes with Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin to Washington.
Washington is starving for receivers. There is no clearer picture than that right now, as McLaurin has accounted for 46% of the team’s receiving production. Even with Kelvin Harmon slated to return, Waddle would be a great way to add more speed and another threat for defenses to pay attention to in the passing game. Along with Steven Sims, this suddenly becomes a solid wide receiving corps.
5) Miami Dolphins: Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
The Dolphins need a dynamic number one option in this offense. No matter how you feel about Preston Williams and DeVante Parker, both are better off as being a complement rather than the alpha dog out there.
Tua Tagovailoa would get that alpha guy in Rondale Moore, who is an absolute game-breaker. A walking home run, Moore smashes angles and works both out of the slot as a deep threat and as a gadget player that can take a play to the house, showing off rare elusiveness. The Dolphins offense needs some speed anyways, and Moore brings that to the table.
6) New York Giants: Dylan Moses, LB Alabama
The Giants have a few places they can go here, but with a putrid linebacking group, they have to add to it in a big way. Enter Dylan Moses, who is still a freaky athlete for the position and a natural in coverage.
Already the leader of the Alabama defense, Moses brings known leadership and great smarts from the Saban system to immediately contribute to the Giants defense. While the Giants have had the defensive line to bust run lanes, Moses is the guy who can take advantage of the defensive line and make plays. This is a natural fit.
7) New York Jets: Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
Adam Gase is likely gone after this season and it leaves the Jets with so many questions moving forward. However, the flashes Sam Darnold has shown may cause Joe Douglas to stave off for another season. They need receiver help desperately, so Ja’Marr Chase makes a lot of sense here. With rare ball skills and body control, Chase can be the number one option in the Jets offense and the main target that Darnold relies on in a pivotal fourth year.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
No matter how you view Rousseau, even if he is pretty raw, NFL teams are going to jump out of their chairs looking at his physical tools. The Falcons have a hole at edge rusher with Takk McKinley as a question mark beyond the 2020 season. As such, the lengthy and explosive Rousseau takes his place as a disruptive force in Atlanta.
9) Denver Broncos: Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
Drew Lock suffered an unfortunate shoulder injury that is going to knock him out for the foreseeable future. While he may return and show out at the end of this season, this right here is a dream scenario for the Broncos. They get Fields to fall into their lap and work with this talented group of weapons that the Broncos have assembled for him. With Fields’ legs as another weapon, the Broncos have a threatening offense.
10) Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn State
The second Penn State player selected in the top 10 of this 2021 4-round NFL mock draft, Oweh is a ridiculously gifted player. He looks like he has rockets attached to his cleats coming off the ball. The explosiveness and length are all there for Oweh to be a potent pass rusher. The Dolphins have a hole off the edge, and while Oweh is raw as a pure pass rusher, the Dolphins could potentially develop him into a star with his tools.
11) Los Angeles Chargers: Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota State
The hype for Radunz is going to gain steam as draft season goes on. Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy has talked him up, and when he says a guy is loved by the league, it usually comes true on draft day. Radunz is a physical mauler who is still light on his feet and can move really well in space. While there are some hand usage issues, Radunz is a plug and play starter. It is time for the Chargers to protect Justin Herbert.
12) Jacksonville Jaguars: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S Florida State
It is time for Gardner Minshew to get his due credit. He has shown out in his time in Jacksonville, and if he keeps playing the way he has, there is no reason to believe he will not be the Jaguars quarterback next season.
However, the Jaguars’ safety room is the Achilles’ heel right now of their defense. Getting a guy that can man up players in the slot, play single-high at a high level, and still get physical and throw his body around in the box would be a perfect addition to this defense. Nasirildeen has a high ceiling with his natural tools, and his skills prove that he is a first-round prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
13) Las Vegas Raiders: Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
It is tough to say where the Raiders will be after two good wins, especially since Derek Carr has played well. However, Lance is fantastic value here and Carr still has a lot more to prove this season. With a bevy of weapons including Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller, and Josh Jacobs, Lance’s live arm and creativity outside the pocket would fit like a glove in Jon Gruden’s scheme.
14) Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
The Eagles and Carson Wentz have struggled early out of the gate. No matter how it is sliced, though, there are question marks opposite of Darius Slay. Avonte Maddox is getting his opportunity now, but Surtain is an outstanding value here at a position of need. With elite length and peskiness, Surtain gets physical and takes receivers right out of the play with his press technique. Given his playmaking ability and scheme versatility, this fit in Philadelphia makes sense for both sides.
15) Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
This is a great fit for the Browns. Owusu-Koramoah is not just any linebacker, but a linebacker, slot cornerback, and safety all rolled into one player. The calling card of Owusu-Koramoah is his elite coverage skills. Given the struggles in the safety and linebacker room for the Browns, Owusu-Koramoah gives them a great weapon to match up against tough weapons like Mark Andrews and others in the AFC North.
16) Minnesota Vikings: Marvin Wilson, IDL Florida State
Even with Michael Pierce returning to the field next season, the Vikings need another disruptor on the interior of that defensive line. Minnesota has a bevy of needs on that side of the ball, but getting an explosive lineman such as Marvin Wilson this late is just too good to pass up. He fits perfectly at the 3-technique in this Vikings defense.