Round 1 | Picks 17-32
17) Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Despite impressive performances from Maxx Crosby, the Las Vegas Raiders remain one of the least productive pass-rushing units in the NFL. They should look to address this with either a defensive tackle or EDGE prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Or maybe both. Recent moves would suggest they will need to add offensive line pieces. However, they are one of a small number of teams who can afford to address that in free agency. Another defensive area of need is in the secondary following the release of Lamarcus Joyner.
At 6'5" and 310 pounds, Christian Barmore already has the body type that would make him a dominant presence on the interior defensive line in the NFL. He is an extremely powerful young man who already has a pocket full of tools to help him win at the line of scrimmage, whether that is getting to the quarterback or playing against the run. Barmore's draft stock is currently hindered by his limited use during his short Alabama career. A season spent in the spotlight will see that change and Barmore will undoubtedly be considered a first-round prospect by the time Roger Goodell opens the 2021 NFL Draft.
18) Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
For me, Najee Harris was the best player in college football in 2020. He has every weapon in the running back armory. Harris can win in multiple ways, whether with a brutal stiff arm, deft spin move, or taking to the air to hurdle over a player. He gives a team a multi-faceted option on offense with excellent catch ability in addition to his skills as a runner.
19) Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Washington Football Team, simply put, is preparing for the quarterback market. Picking at No. 19, it's unlikely they have the capital to contend for one of the "top four". As a result, they could look to add a later-round option. Finding another pass-catching threat or two in the form of a wide receiver and tight end is high on the agenda. Although they have one of the NFL's strongest defensive lines, they should look to add support behind it in the form of a linebacker and safety.
At 6'1" and 215 pounds, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah blurs the line between the traditional build of a linebacker and safety. In many respects, he figures to be the 2021 NFL Draft's version of Isaiah Simmons. Versatile, athletic, and aggresive when it comes to tackling, Owusu-Koramoah is teeming with upside. During his time at Notre Dame, he has lined up at a multitude of positions, proving productive in the box and also in coverage. Used correctly, Owusu-Koramoah can become a leader in the heart of an NFL defense.
20) Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
One of the most beleaguered offenses in the 2020 NFL season is a prime candidate for a new quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Chicago Bears will presumably call time on the Mitch Trubisky experiment, and Nick Foles hasn't been much better. However, will they be in a position to grab one? Although Allen Robinson received the franchise tag, they need to add wide receiver to their shopping list. Offensive tackle is also an area of need. Cornerback will be the prime defensive need with a number of players set to hit free agency.
Despite splitting targets with Tyler Johnson in 2019, Rashod Bateman still managed to break a 1,000+ yard season. Although his opportunity to shine as the true WR1 at Minnesota has gone with his opt-out and subsequent suspension of the BIG Ten season, Bateman has already shown that he can possesses the hand skills, contested-catch ability, and route running skills to be a threat in the NFL.
21) Indianapolis Colts: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Indianapolis Colts moved quickly to replace the retired Philip Rivers with Carson Wentz. Ensuring Wentz is surrounded by the right pieces will be pivotal to his chances of rebuilding his career. As a result, expect offensive tackle and wide receiver to be an area addressed. On defense, they could add a cornerback. However, finding a consistent pass-rushing threat could be seen as a bigger need.
A record-setting season guiding Alabama to the National Championship has propelled Mac Jones up the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback rankings. With the number of quarterback-needy teams, there is a solid chance that Jones creeps into Day One contention. There will be question marks about his experience as a one-year starter at the college level and whether his success was more a product of his surrounding cast and system than skillset. Despite this, he is smart and accurate and could be a successful NFL quarterback in the right environment.
22) Tennessee Titans: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Outside of A.J. Brown and tight end Jonnu Smith, the Tennessee Titans don't have a huge amount of pass-catching talent for Ryan Tannehill, and they could address that in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, it feels far more likely that the Titans will lean on coach Mike Vrabel's defensive past and add talent on the defensive front seven, including defensive tackle and EDGE.
Although Gregory Rousseau is far from the finished product, NFL teams will be willing to bet on his athletic upside and phenomenal production levels from last season at Miami. Only Chase Young had more sacks and sacks per game than the redshirt freshman. Rousseau lined up all across the defensive line in 2019, possessing the versatility that the NFL values so highly.
23) New York Jets: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
When Trevor Lawrence appeared to have a minor sophomore slump early in 2019, running back Travis Etienne was the man that Clemson leaned on. Power and speed are the keys to Etienne's success, and he also has the pass-catching ability, which is becoming increasingly necessary to succeed in the NFL. Expect Etienne to pay one of the first running backs off the board in April.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
Following the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey and the likely departure of Alejandro Villaneuva, the Pittsburgh Steelers may make multiple offensive line selections in the 2021 NFL Draft. Will they also consider a succession plan for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger? Other offensive options include running back and wide receiver. Meanwhile, one of the league's better defenses may look to add linebacker and cornerback options in the later rounds.
Versatility is key in the NFL, and Alijah Vera-Tucker may well be the poster boy for offensive line versatility in this 2021 NFL Draft class. Vera-Tucker committed to USC as a tackle, saw time at right guard as a sophomore, excelled at left guard in 2019, before sliding across to left tackle in 2020 where he had an excellent season. There are question marks about his size in regards to his NFL projection. However, USC lists him at 6'4", making him the same height as Jedrick Wills, last year's first round tackle out of Alabama.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Although Kyle Pitts was held in high regard prior to this season, he has exploded onto the scene as a tight-end touchdown machine in 2020. No tight end in college football has more touchdowns than the Florida pass catcher. He will need to get stronger and maybe even add a little weight if he is to be considered a true tight end in the NFL, but he has shown he is willing to get his hands dirty blocking when required.
26) Cleveland Browns: Joseph Ossai, LB, Texas
Fans and the media following the Cleveland Browns have been crying out for the team to add a linebacker, and they could address the position early in the 2021 NFL Draft. They could also add a pass rusher to create a dominant duo with Myles Garrett. The offensive line has played surprisingly well this season and it would appear the main offensive need in the draft will be a wide receiver, with much speculation over the future of Odell Beckham Jr.
Joseph Ossai came to national attention following a sophomore season at outside linebacker for Texas that yielded 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. After transitioning to a full-time defensive end for 2020, Ossai is set to blow that production out of the water if he continues his early-season pace. His performances have skyrocketed him up big boards with the realistic possibility of him being the second edge rusher drafted in April. Ossai possesses the ideal combination of speed and size to succeed at the next level, and his positional versatility will only add value to his NFL Draft stock.
27) Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The mid-season addition of Dez Bryant to the wide receiver room demonstrates how important adding weapons for Lamar Jackson will be in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, the greatest gain to the offense could come from finding a replacement for the retired Marshall Yanda as the offensive line has struggled at times this year. Despite adding Yannick Ngakoue during this season, expect the Baltimore Ravens to add further pass-rush presence at some point in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Although relatively inexperienced due to spending time behind Yetur Gross-Matos on the Penn State defensive line, Jayson Oweh has incredible physical attributes that could help drive his stock in this 2021 NFL Draft class. A speed rusher with an explosive first step, Oweh has a long way to go in his development but shows incredible promise.
28) New Orleans Saints: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
For the first time since 2006, the New Orleans Saints potentially face their future without Drew Brees. Although they have Taysom Hill and may bring back Jameis Winston, the quarterback position has to be considered a possibility in the 2021 NFL Draft. Additionally, wide receiver and tight end are likely offensive needs. Despite being one of the NFL's best defensive units in 2020, expect the linebacker and safety positions addressed early in the draft.
It's been 23 years since Tulsa had a linebacker selected in the NFL Draft and 43 years since they had a first-round prospect. That could all change this year with Zaven Collins receiving serious first-round buzz. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker has been the heartbeat of a Tulsa defense that has been one of the most impressive in the nation. Collins has the athleticism, versatility and tackling ability to be a starter in the NFL as a rookie.
29) Green Bay Packers: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Wide receiver is a popular 2021 NFL Draft need for the Green Bay Packers, but is it really the prime one? The defense has been poor at times this season, particularly against the run, and upgrades on the defensive line and at linebacker seem inevitable. Cornerback also stands out as a pressing need for the Packers, with Kevin King set to become a free agent at the end of the year. They may also add reinforcements to an aging offensive line.
The Notre Dame offensive line has been arguably the best in college football in 2020 and left tackle Liam Eichenberg has been their leader. He combines NFL size (6-foot-6, 302 pounds) with strength and excellent football intelligence to provide solid pass protection as well as being impactful in the run game.
30) Buffalo Bills: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Prior to the start of this season, the Buffalo Bills locked up shutdown cornerback Tre'Davious White on a new deal and they could seek to add another cornerback to play opposite him early in the 2021 NFL Draft. Although Stefon Diggs has become the go-to guy for Josh Allen and Gabriel Davis has made progress through 2020, they could add another pass catcher. Interior offensive line should also be a consideration for the Bills in this 4 round 2021 NFL mock draft.
The junior cornerback led the Georgia Bulldogs in pass breakups in both of his first two seasons with the program, which is a testament to his playmaking ability in the secondary. He tied teammate Deandre Baker in 2018, who went on to be a first-round selection of the New York Giants. Stokes has the ability to disrupt the passing game as an outside cornerback, using his prototypical size at the position combined with a sound football intelligence. Can Stokes be the next Georgia cornerback to hear his name called in the first round? Concerns over his ability to turn break ups into interceptions have been addressed early in 2020 with his first career interception.
31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest
Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been defensively impressive in 2020, particularly against the run, their biggest needs in the 2021 NFL Draft are on that side of the ball. There are several starters set to hit free agency and it seems unlikely they can keep them all. After finding success with rookie offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, the Bucs could add another OT to bookend the offensive line. The wide receiver and running-back rooms could use extra depth. How will they juggle those needs in this 4 round 2021 NFL mock draft.
A former 3-star recruit playing for a team that isn't traditionally an NFL Draft powerhouse, Carlos Basham can fly under the radar in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, with an ability to contribute in both run defense and pass rush from multiple positions across the offensive line, there is no reason to believe that he won't be a consideration as a mid-to-late first-round selection.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Following the release of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, there is a very obvious offensive line need for the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect multiple additions across the line -- not just in the 2021 NFL Draft, but potentially in free agency too. Additionally, it wouldn't be a surprise to see them select further weaponry for Patrick Mahomes. Linebacker, cornerback, and another pass-rush threat alongside Chris Jones, look set to be the defensive priorities.
A potential early-round pick last year, Alex Leatherwood returned to Alabama to improve his stock ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. Leatherwood utilizes strength and aggression in pass protection, but his strongest suit maybe his run blocking ability. The debate will be whether he best projects as a tackle or guard in the NFL. Either way, he will be a stellar addition to any offensive line.