Round One | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Alabama’s Christian Barmore boosted his 2021 NFL Draft stock with an impressive performance in the National Championship Game. In the second half of this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders get bigger and faster on the defensive line by adding Barmore. At 6’5″ and 310 pounds, Barmore will be an imposing figure lined up against any offensive line.
18. Houston Texans (projected trade with the Miami Dolphins): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC
The Houston Texans are in a full-on rebuild. With Tua now under center, the team needs to shore up their offensive line to protect him. They could have also gone with a WR to give Tua some weapons. Unfortunately, the top options were all taken off the board before this pick.
Instead, Houston drafts standout USC OT Alijah Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker is one of the rare athletic linemen that is capable of playing in any scheme. With Laremy Tunsil on one side and Vera-Tucker on the other, this offensive line should give Tua a fighting chance.
19. Washington Football Team: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
This draft pick is single-handedly courtesy of the Senior Bowl. Florida WR Kadarius Toney was excellent during the weeklong event. Our draft analysts had this to say: “Toney’s route running is arguably the best in Mobile. He constantly left guys in the dust in one-on-ones with crisp breaks and great hip movement.”
Washington will need to add a QB to their roster, but this spot might be too high for guys like Mac Jones or Kyle Trask. Instead, they bring in Toney, who should pair well alongside Terry McLaurin. If he can work on his drops, a problem evident during the Senior Bowl, Toney could develop into a legitimate WR1.
20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The QB situation in Chicago is a question mark. The team clearly cannot trust current starter Mitch Trubisky, nor can they rely on his backup Nick Foles. However, it looks like they will again look to the free agency market to fix their QB problem.
Meanwhile, they will focus on finding a replacement for free agent WR Allen Robinson. With Robinson being quite vocal about his desire to test the market, we are unlikely to see him back with Chicago. Instead, the team brings in Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman to try and fill the hole left by Robinson.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
This may seem high for Alabama QB Mac Jones, but the Colts have been forced into making a move here at QB. With Philip Rivers’ retirement, the Colts need an answer at the most important position in football. Jones impressed not only during the National Championship Game but also had a good week at the Senior Bowl. His draft stock has done nothing but increase as the draft has drawn closer.
Jones is a big-armed QB who has some similar traits to Rivers. The offensive line will need to be looked at staring down the barrel of Anthony Castonzo’s retirement, but that can be done in some of the later rounds.
22. Tennessee Titans: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Tennessee Titans need to work on fixing their secondary if they want to continue to find success. Drafting TCU safety Trevon Moehrig is a step in the right direction. Moehrig recorded 21 pass breakups and 7 interceptions in his three years at TCU. He should be the perfect complement to current free safety Kevin Byard.
23. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks): Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The New York Jets have just added Justin Fields to their roster. They continue to focus on skill position players by adding arguably the best running back available in this year’s draft — Alabama’s Najee Harris.
In what was nothing less than a dominant senior season, Harris averaged 5.9 yards per carry, rushing for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added 27 receptions for 304 yards. Combining a pass-catching RB and a mobile QB who can make plays with his legs will make scheming against the Jets’ offense quite difficult.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood is a perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a big, physical specimen who is used to dominating his competition.
It is very likely that the Steelers will be losing both Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler to free agency and need to find replacements earlier rather than later. In this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, they are able to do just that.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
New head coach Urban Meyer now has his franchise QB in Trevor Lawrence. Meyer needs to find ways to protect him. Bringing in Texas’ Samuel Cosmi will do just that.
Cosmi is a raw talent, but under Urban Meyer, I can see him developing into a premier OT. Playing RT in college, Cosmi boasted some unique attributes. He has some of the longest arms in the draft and measures in at 6’7″, 305 pounds. Although Cosmi ultimately decided to opt out of the Longhorn’s final two regular season games of the year, his draft stock has not diminished.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Cleveland Browns will likely use the 2021 NFL Draft to replenish their defense. In a division with high octane offenses in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and even Cincinnati, the Browns will need to bring in some high-impact defensive players.
Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is one of the top LB prospects in this draft, and for good reason. Not only is he a force when playing as an LB, but he is versatile enough to transition to safety as well. He will be a useful weapon for the Browns, however they decide to use him ultimately.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The Baltimore Ravens added Yannick Ngakoue during this season to bolster their pass rush, and in this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, they continue to add to that unit.
Penn State’s Jayson Oweh has incredible physical attributes, making him a perfect fit for the Ravens. He spent time learning behind fellow Penn State LB Yetur Gross-Matos and should be able to translate what he has learned to the NFL level.
28. New Orleans Saints: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The New Orleans Saints are in an interesting position here. QB Drew Brees is likely going to announce his retirement any day now, and their two options at the position are Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill. I think Purdue WR Rondale Moore makes the most sense here because he can fit a scheme with either of the two QBs stepping in.
If Winston is the starter, the team will likely be airing it out a lot more in 2021. Well, Moore’s spread and route-running ability make him the perfect candidate to stretch the field alongside Michael Thomas. If it is Hill the starter, Moore can play out of the slot and has the ability to take quick throws all the way to the house.
29. Green Bay Packers: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
In 2020, the Green Bay Packers saw what Aaron Rodgers could do with Davante Adams and little else. Rodgers put together a potential MVP-winning season. In this First Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, they will not make the same mistake as last year. This time around, they bring in some WR help for the veteran QB.
With most of the upper echelon options gone, Green Bay turns to Terrace Marshall Jr. from LSU. Marshall stepped in as LSU’s number one option after Chase decided to opt out, and he did not disappoint in the seven games he played. He could end being a steal for Green Bay at the end of the first round.
30. Buffalo Bills: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Buffalo Bills are going to need to replace Matt Milano. Pairing Missouri’s Nick Bolton with Tremaine Edmunds should erase any memory of Milano for Bills fans. Bolton excels at stopping the run and can easily slide back into coverage when needed. He is a versatile weapon that will improve an already impressive defense.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading to the Super Bowl. They now sit in the same position as the Chiefs last year, with a solid enough roster to use this pick on a luxury player. With Najee Harris going earlier, the Buccaneers opt to go with Clemson’s Travis Etienne.
It’s hard to see the Buccaneers keeping Leonard Fournette around after this season. This means they will need someone who could step in as RB1, similar to Clyde Edwards-Helaire did for the Chiefs this season. Etienne scored an insane 78 touchdowns (70 on the ground, eight through the air) in four seasons for the Tigers. He will fit in perfectly alongside Brady and his plethora of offensive weapons.
32. New England Patriots (projected trade with the Kansas City Chiefs): Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
If the Kansas City Chiefs are picking at 32, they won the Super Bowl again. In this scenario, I have them shopping their last pick of the first round. I can see the New England Patriots trading away some assets to get back into Round 1. They need to find a way to jump teams like the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers, who could all be looking to add QB help in the second round.
Here, they do just that and secure Florida QB Kyle Trask. Trask had a rough end to the 2020 season, causing his draft stock to plummet. However, I still think he has made enough of a case to be a first-round prospect. New England gets their new starting QB, and Kansas City adds some extra picks in the second and third round.
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