The 2021 NFL Draft is a long way from now, with nearly nine months separating us from the draft. Yet, there are still big questions about how the process will play out, given the current conditions of the world. Needless to say, it is not easy to predict this far out, but we can start gathering our suppositions nonetheless. This 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft is going to aim high in the sky to predict just a fraction of what may happen next April.
No trades will be used in this mock draft.
Farabaugh’s 4-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Trevor Lawrence has every physical tool to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL at some point in his career. With a splendid arm, smooth mechanics, high-end athleticism, and a delightful mental process, Lawrence is an outstanding prospect.
Is he perfect? No, his accuracy is a bit spotty, as PFN analyst Dalton Miller’s charting revealed, but still, for the Jaguars have been desperate for a franchise quarterback. This pick seems like a slam dunk.
2) Washington Redskins: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
The term ‘generational’ gets thrown around a lot and is, at this point, vapid and hackneyed at best. However, if there was one guy in this class to use this term for, Sewell might be that guy. He’s a tackle that moves like a tight end, has elite functional strength, fleet footwork, and precise hands. With Trent Williams gone, Washington can not afford to pass up on a guy like Sewell to protect Dwayne Haskins.
3) Cincinnati Bengals: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
Speed just kills, man. The Bengals know they are a little weak at wide receiver. A.J. Green’s future with the team is anything but certain and John Ross has not manifested into anything significant yet. So, they grab the dynamic and speedy Jaylen Waddle.
Waddle is a bit of a surprise here, but he sets himself apart by showcasing an elite ability to dictate what a defense does. After the catch, Waddle is dangerous, shifty, and elusive. There is real potential for this to happen here, even if the Bengals ideally would trade out of this spot to grab Waddle a little bit further down.
4) Carolina Panthers: Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
Teddy Bridgewater was signed by the Panthers this offseason, but is he really the guy of the future? There is always the chance that is true, but the Panthers’ new regime under Matt Rhule could want their own drafted quarterback to groom. Fields is a highly athletic, toolsy quarterback with eye-popping flashes of ball placement and football IQ, but he is far from consistent, as shown by Dalton Miller’s charting. Regardless, the Panthers get a high-upside quarterback who could be their franchise quarterback.
5) Miami Dolphins: Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
Dolphins fans would be salivating over the weapons for Tua Tagovailoa. With this selection, they could be DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Rondale Moore. Moore is a special weapon with the speed to have a similar effect to the aforementioned Waddle. He changes the way defenses play and can still hurt them after the catch. Speed is the one thing this Dolphins receiving room lacks, but with Moore, it gets it in spades.
6) New York Giants: Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
The linebacker room is a mess for the Giants right now. There is no young stud that they can point to that can lead the defense in the future. That changes with the addition of the insane and versatile Micah Parsons. With the ability to rush off the edge as well as penetrate gaps and still drop back in coverage effortlessly, Parsons is a seamless linebacker prospect. As such, the Giants add a modern-day linebacker and secure themselves a top-five player in the 2021 NFL Draft.
7) Detroit Lions: Marvin Wilson, IDL Florida State
Detroit really needs pass-rushing help in general, but the edge rusher group is a mixed bag. Julian Okwara and Trey Flowers are two nice pieces there, so the Lions instead attack the interior here. They truly lack the penetrating, athletic 3-technique that can make an interior pass rush so disruptive. Danny Shelton is a nice interior run defender, but Wilson coming into the frame adds pass-rush ability they simply lack there currently. With lots of upside and still room to grow, Wilson is a solid pick here for Detroit.
8) New York Jets: Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
Boy, do the Jets ever need some help at cornerback. Brian Poole is an ascending nickel cornerback in this league, but on the boundary, there are way too many question marks. Enter Caleb Farley, who is another name that might be a surprise, but with his physical tools at 6-foot-2 with great length and fluid hips, he has fantastic upside.
At this time of year, a lot of this stuff is a projection game, and Farley is the type of prospect who can end up around this range with a good 2020 season. The Jets add a lengthy, physical cornerback who might be a bubbling lockdown cornerback.
9) Arizona Cardinals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
Well, blame me for letting this happen. With shades of CeeDee Lamb to the Cowboys coming up on my eyes, the Cardinals take the best player available and get an absolute steal in Ja’Marr Chase. Listen, they need an edge rusher, linebacker, and could stand to address those here with some decent on the board.
However, pairing Chase with DeAndre Hopkins is just too tough to pass up. Chase may have more flaws than most people realize, but this is a guy who can house slants at any time and clearly understands how to win vertically. All in all, Kyler Murray with Chase and Hopkins is just unfair.
10) Las Vegas Raiders: Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
The Raiders have a legitimate team brewing for themselves. With Henry Ruggs now in the receiving corps, this team has a good group of weapons. Ruggs, Tyrell Williams, Bryan Edwards, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Lynn Bowden, Hunter Renfrow, and more make up a strong offensive group.
However, Derek Carr has not been able to get them over the proverbial hump just yet. So, enter in a game-changer in Trey Lance. With a rocket arm, elite athleticism, and some dazzling throws on film, Lance takes the ceiling of the offense to an entirely new level for the Raiders, who will want to win a Super Bowl with their offensive weapons.
11) Los Angeles Chargers: Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame
Bryan Bulaga is a nice addition for the Chargers, albeit he must stay healthy. However, the right tackle spot is a disaster. Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins really do not inspire a lot of confidence. Thus, Liam Eichenberg is the pick here with tremendous upside. With quick feet, strong hands, and high football IQ, Eichenberg is an NFL ready guy already. Eichenberg, if he can cut down on some mistakes, has a very good shot to be picked in this range as a technically sound tackle.
12) Atlanta Falcons: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
The Falcons need to do something here about their pass-rushing situation. Dante Fowler was a good addition, but Takkarist McKinley enters the ultimate prove-it year after getting his fifth-year option declined. Certainly, edge rusher is a bit of a mess in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Rousseau is the guy getting the most hype due to high-level production.
With wicked length and superb bend, Rousseau has great natural tools to work with. However, technically from a pass rush plan standpoint, Rousseau is extremely raw. That can knock him down a few pegs, but the upside is undeniable to refuse, and the Falcons pounce.
13) Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
The Dolphins made sure to attack the trenches as much as possible in the 2020 Draft, but they should not stop there. At right guard, there is still a hole for them to fill, and Alex Leatherwood could fill it. With experience at multiple positions along the offensive line and proving he can be a steady, strong force, Leatherwood will fit in nicely with the Dolphins offensive line that will try to protect Tagovailoa.
14) Chicago Bears: Jevon Holland, S Oregon
The Bears are in a tough spot, to say the least. They are cap-strapped into their quarterback situation and have a plethora of needs elsewhere, including the secondary. Kyle Fuller and Jaylon Johnson do make for a nice duo at cornerback, and Buster Skrine was decent in the nickel.
However, Eddie Jackson is lacking a true running mate. Jevon Holland, who is PFN analyst Matt Valdovinos’ top safety in the class, has extremely high football IQ and is incredibly versatile, including being able to slip into the nickel. With the upside and production, Holland has on the back end, the Bears secondary would be an absolute force with him added.
15) Denver Broncos: Dylan Moses, LB Alabama
Listen, I like Alexander Johnson a lot. He is a pretty good linebacker for the Broncos and one of the more underrated guys around the league. Todd Davis is fine. Justin Strnad is a ton of fun for a rookie.
However, a top-10 talent in Dylan Moses falls here right into your lap at a position that could use an upgrade. You simply do not pass that up. Moses has elite athleticism, high football IQ, and coverage ability, which would fit perfectly into Vic Fangio’s scheme. The Broncos commit highway robbery and get a steal here.
16) Cleveland Browns: Shaun Wade, CB Ohio State
The Browns are a bit hard to pin down. In general, the cornerback room looks fine. Denzel Ward is terrific and Greedy Williams had a promising rookie season. However, Williams is nothing of a sure thing yet and there are questions behind him at this point after the 2020 season.
Enter in Shaun Wade, and the Browns have a guy with the versatility to work in the slot and on the outside. With a chip on his shoulder and smooth hips and feet, Wade’s stock is already through the roof, and the fit with Cleveland makes sense in a cornerback room that could be filled with question marks.