First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco, Washington get QBs

Garrett’s First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Let’s do a quick rundown. The Raiders said sayonara to Trent Brown, Rodney Hudson, and Gabe Jackson, but re-signed Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good. Alijah Vera-Tucker simply needs to be the pick here, which means it assuredly won’t happen.

Vera-Tucker is one of the most versatile OL in this class. He committed to USC as a left tackle, played right guard as a sophomore, left guard in 2019, and then left tackle again for his final season. Given the patchwork nature of Las Vegas’ offensive line, Vera-Tucker can plug in wherever needed.

18. Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Micah Parsons‘ slide finally ends at pick 18 as the Dolphins go the best player available and select arguably the most talented defensive player in the class. We all have heard about the off-field issues that have hurt his draft stock, but what we do not know is the depth in which they have impacted him and if that is enough for Brian Flores to cross him off the board. 

As expected, Parsons wowed at the Penn State Pro Day, running a 4.39 40-yard dash and measuring in at 6’3″ and 246 pounds with 31-inch arms and 11-inch hands. Once a sure-fire top-10 pick, Miami gets a steal as they continue to build upon a phenomenal up-and-coming roster.

19. Denver Broncos: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Denver appears content on giving Drew Lock another shot and traded back. In the process of moving back, they not only add a 2022 second-round pick but see one of the highest-rated linebackers fall to them at pick No. 19 in Zaven Collins.

At 6’4″ and 260 pounds, Collins owns the cover skills to mirror running backs and tight ends. He floated around Tulsa’s defense and made an impact all over the field, wracking up 236 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, and 8 pass breakups through three seasons while winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (the nation’s best defensive player) in 2020. Collins backed up the tape with a 4.67 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical, and 124-inch broad jump during his pro day. 

20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Rashod Bateman is a nuanced route runner with strong hands and the ability to catch the critical 50/50 balls. He only played in five games in 2020 before opting out, but his 2019 tape was more than enough. While lined up alongside Tyler Johnson, Bateman hauled in 60 receptions for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Bateman measured 6’0 3/8″ and 190 pounds during his pro day but showed his EXOS number was not a fluke when he clocked an impressive 4.39 40-yard dash. He also posted a 36-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 125 inches. After the workout, Bateman told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero he tested positive for COVID-19 during the summer and never felt like himself during the season.

Fortunately, Bateman said he feels back to normal now, which is scary for defenses. If Andy Dalton can be average, I will not be surprised to see Bateman have the most productive rookie season of the 2021 class.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State

Out of all the pro days, Penn State’s Jayson Oweh might come out the biggest winner. Standing at 6’5″, 252 pounds, he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash (99th percentile), 6.83 three-cone (98th), 4.21 short shuttle (89th), recorded a 39.5-inch vertical (96th), a 124-inch broad jump (99th), and measured in with 34.5-inch arms to boot (83rd).

In 20 games, Oweh recorded 7.0 sacks and 13.5 tackles, but I would not let the stats fool you into believing he is unproductive. The Colts can play him with his hand in the dirt or at outside LB in coverage.

22. Tennessee Titans: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

I have always pegged Tennessee as a team that was undoubtedly going to take an edge rusher. However, after the addition of Bud Dupree in free agency, I feel they can be more flexible. Sure, they still need help defensively, but the offense watched a massive amount of their production leave in free agency.

The seemingly forgotten player due to playing on the same team as Justin Jefferson and Chase, Terrace Marshall Jr. possesses all the skills needed to be a WR1 in the NFL. Playing alongside A.J. Brown, the Titans get an instant upgrade over Corey Davis and help keep the offense rolling into 2021.

23. New York Jets: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The New York Jets were active in free agency, and fans should be excited about the new regime’s changes. The Jets improved on all three levels with Carl Lawson, Jarrad Davis, Sheldon Rankins, and Lamarcus Joyner. Robert Saleh continues to add to their depth chart by selecting Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with pick No. 23 in this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

Owusu-Koramoah is an undersized “prototypical” linebacker (6’1″, 221) but, given his athleticism and coverage skills, is a defensive weapon who can line up all over the defense. He can cover sideline to sideline and is the best defender on the board. Owusu-Koramoah was a Butkus Award winner, AP All-American, and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

The Pittsburgh Steelers have more needs than draft picks, but without addressing the offensive line, things are going to get ugly. Not only do they address the LT vacancy, but they also get one of the nastiest tackles in the class in Teven Jenkins.

His drop step is the best in the class, and he plays through the fourth whistle. Jenkins measured in at nearly 6’6″ and 317 pounds, then put on a show in the weight room, bench pressing 225 pounds 36 times. He followed this up with a sub-five-second 40-yard dash. For a peek behind the curtains, this is how Jenkins described himself in his post-workout interview

“A tough, physical, nasty mother(expletive),” Jenkins said. “A dude that doesn’t shy away from hits, a dude that actually wants to get physical, and a dude that’s gonna bust his ass.”

Yeah, that sounds like a guy who is going to fit in really well in Pittsburgh.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

When you get a franchise QB, there are two choices — get him weapons or protect him. In this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Urban Meyer chooses the latter and doesn’t want to run the risk of what happened to Burrow happening to Lawrence.

Samuel Cosmi was a three-year starting left tackle at Texas who has massive amounts of upside. Quick off the snap, he is a fundamentally sound tackle who could end up being the blindside protection for a long time.

26. Cleveland Browns: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

Cleveland has yet to find a complement to Myles Garrett off the edge. While they did sign Takkarist McKinley, the jury is out on which version will show up on the field.

Azeez Ojulari is one of the best pure pass rushers in this draft. He recorded 64 total tackles, 17.5 for a loss, and 15 sacks in his last two seasons, while finishing with 31 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, and 9.5 sacks in 2020. Ojulari had a solid pro day outside of the vertical (30″) with a 4.62 40-yard dash and a 127″ broad jump. Cleveland’s defense is already scary.

Ojulari puts them over the top. If the Browns play to their potential, no one should be surprised to see them representing the AFC in Super Bowl LVI.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

EDGE or safety is where the Baltimore Ravens need to look in the draft. They thought the answer was Earl Thomas, but he punched his way out of town. 

Over the last two seasons, Trevon Moehrig had 20 pass breakups and 6 interceptions while playing downfield and delivering powerful hits on ball carriers. At 6’2″, 200 pounds, the Ravens snag the class’ top safety with their first-round pick in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

28. New Orleans Saints: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley showed in 2019 that he could be an elite, lockdown corner, bringing fantastic size to the position. After allowing 28 passing TDs last year, the Saints still need help on the secondary.

If that’s the case, why is he available at pick No. 28? Farley’s recent back surgery is scaring NFL teams and has caused his draft stock to fall. Some may have him outside of the first round. While Farley’s camp continues to downplay the injury, saying he will be ready for camp, the once CB1 in 2021 has teams nervous. With that being said, the Saints did a good job of maintaining their nucleus of talent, and the potential upside of Farley is too significant to ignore.

29. Green Bay Packers: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

As much as I’d love to see the Green Bay Packers take a WR here, I will believe it when I see it. Although that does not mean they make the wrong pick in this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Liam Eichenberg fills a more important role for the Packers.

Eichenberg could be a Day 1 starter for the Packers at either tackle position. Billy Turner could slide over, and once David Bakhtiari is healthy, he can slide back, allowing Eichenberg to remain the starter. At 6’6″, 306 pounds, Eichenberg is a mountain-sized human yet quick off the ball. His pro day numbers backed this up with a 4.57 20-yard shuttle and a 7.53 in the three-cone drill.

30. Buffalo Bills: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami (FL)

Buffalo spent most of the offseason retaining their own players. Matt Milano, Micah Hyde, Mario Addison, and Vernon Butler are all back on defense. Their only loss was WR John Brown, but they can wait until Round 2 to address the position given this class’ depth. So, how are the Bills rewarded? By grabbing arguably the best pass rusher in the class. 

Jaelan Phillips‘ pro day reaffirmed everything you saw on tape. He measured in at 6’5″ and 260 pounds, netting a 36-inch vertical jump, 127-inch broad jump, 4.12 shuttle time, along with a scorching 4.56 40-yard dash. In three collegiate seasons (two with UCLA), Phillips has 86 total tackles, 49 solo tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 5 pass deflections.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

The Kansas City Chiefs watched Patrick Mahomes run for his life during Super Bowl LV. They lost both starting tackles during free agency, and while Joe Thuney and Kyle Long strengthen the middle of the OL, edge protection is imperative. 

Dillon Radunz has seen his stock soar in recent weeks and is now receiving first-round praise. PFN’s Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline stated during last week’s episode of Draft Insiders that the Chiefs are a potential landing spot for Radunz as well.

“Dillon Radunz, the offensive tackle from North Dakota state, the left tackle who protected Trey Lance, is getting a lot of late Round 1 buzz. The Kansas City Chiefs are in the market for a left tackle, so that could be a good coupling there. Radunz plays a style that Andy Reid and the Chiefs like. He’s athletic, he’s nimble, he’s mobile. He’s good on his feet. You could use him as a zone-blocking lineman. Radunz is a guy who I think would surprise people if he slides into the late part of Round 1, but he is getting that sort of buzz right now.”

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

Tampa Bay’s luxury is not having any glaring needs. GM Jason Licht deserves all the praise as he worked around the reduced salary to bring back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl roster. They are the first team to pull this off since the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers (who went on to repeat).

Christian Barmore is the best IDL in the 2021 NFL Draft class and falls to a perfect situation with the Buccaneers. They add more depth to what is already a strength, and Barmore will work in rotation with Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston. Barmore landing at pick No. 32 is one of the best values in my First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

Other than going defense, drafting Alabama RB Najee Harris or Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore adds immense value as well. 

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Tommy Garrett is a writer for Pro Football Network covering the NFL and fantasy football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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