[Editor’s Note: Version 1.0 below was originally published on February 18, 2020]
We know that you might be thinking that it’s too early for a 2021 NFL Mock Drafts. But, it’s never too early, especially when NFL teams project into the future when determining their free agency and NFL Draft plans. With the rumors starting to fly around free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft, we figured this would be a good time to start letting you in some of the top college football prospects headed into the 2020 season. That way, you can start projecting your team’s needs and plans into the future as well.
Before we begin our 2021 NFL Mock Draft, it’s worth mentioning that we are still over 60 days away from the 2020 NFL draft, where the Cincinnati Bengals will probably select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick. Burrow is coming off of one of the best collegiate seasons we’ve ever seen, ultimately leading his team to a National Championship win and earning himself Heisman Trophy honors.
Enter Trevor Lawrence
In addition to Burrow, the 2020 NFL Draft has one of the most decorated quarterbacks in college football history in Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Let’s not sleep on Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who might just have the best traits of the group. But while all of these players ooze elite traits and should be superstars in the NFL, the 2021 NFL Draft will feature one of the best prospects in the history of the NFL.
His name is Trevor Lawrence, a player who won a National Championship as a true freshman and will draw comparisons to Peyton Manning. In this 2021 NFL two-round mock draft, we will take a look at which lucky team will land Lawrence as I predict the first 64 picks.
For the draft order, we will use the Las Vegas Super Bowl odds, courtesy of VegasInsider.com. To get an idea on my perspective for team needs, you may want to take a look at my 2020 Pre-Scouting Combine 7-Round Mock Draft to refresh your memory on how I predicted all 256 picks of the 2020 draft playing out. With that said, the Washington Redskins are now on the clock.
2021 NFL Two-Round Mock Draft: Round One
1. Washington Redskins: Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Usually, if a fan sees a mock draft that has their team picking first, it won’t go over well. But when the prize is Lawrence, that changes everything. Lawrence is one of the best prospects we’ve ever seen enter the NFL ranks, and if Washington finds themselves holding the first pick in this 2021 NFL two-round mock draft, it is safe to say that Dwayne Haskins didn’t pan out.
2. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
One year after landing Burrow, the Bengals must find a left tackle who can protect his blindside for the next decade. NFL scouts are sky-high on the mammoth Oregon offensive tackle, and the Bengals finally take a huge step to solidify their offensive line.
3. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
If you watched the national championship game, you would have noticed that the best player on the field was Ja’Marr Chase. Chase is an elite wide receiver that will develop into one of the league’s best weapons.
4. Carolina Panthers: Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
The Panthers struck out and missed on finding a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, their patience pays off as they are able to land the next Randall Cunningham. Fields can hurt defenses with both his arm and his legs.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Patrick Surtain Jr., CB Alabama
The Jaguars traded Jalen Ramsey and are rumored to be releasing A.J. Bouye prior to the 2020 season. Replacing this tandem won’t be an easy task. Patrick Surtain Jr. is the son of former Miami Dolphins great Patrick Surtain. However, he may be even more talented than his father.
6. Detroit Lions: Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
The Lions have been in purgatory for quite some time. For their franchise to take the next step, they must add more dynamic players on both sides of the football. Rondale Moore is a big-play wide receiver who could develop into Matthew Stafford’s favorite target.
7. New York Giants: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
The Giants must bolster their pass rush in my version of a 2021 NFL two-round mock draft, and the talented Miami Hurricane can help them with this goal. Rousseau notched 15.5 sacks in 2019, and the scary part is that he is just getting started.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
While Kyler Murray is uber-athletic and exceptional when it comes to eluding the pass rush, the Cardinals must not take him for granted. Finding a quality left tackle to protect Murray’s blindside should be on the top of the list of team needs.
9. New York Jets: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
If the Jets want Sam Darnold to reach his full potential, they must provide him with a bonafide number-one wide receiver. Jaylen Waddle has blazing speed and is a big-play waiting to happen.
10. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Thomas, EDGE Clemson
The Colts’ best pass rushers, Justin Houston and Jabaal Sheard, are entering the downside of their NFL careers, so a youth movement at the position is needed. Xavier Thomas doesn’t have the production you would expect, but I see a huge breakout season for him in 2020.
11. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
When you watch a Penn State game, the first player you notice is Micah Parsons. He is physically imposing and all over the field. The Broncos’ defense is flooded with playmakers. Drafting Parsons can put them on the verge of being a consistent playoff team.
12. Atlanta Falcons: Caden Sterns, S Texas
The Falcons continue to overhaul their poor defense by adding the athletic safety from Texas. Sterns is a heady football player who must prove to be able to stay healthy but should be an instant plug-and-play in the Atlanta secondary.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyson Campbell, CB Georgia
While the Buccaneers’ secondary showed vast improvement during the second half of the 2019 season, they still lack that true shutdown corner. If Tyson Campbell lives up to the hype, this would be one hell of a steal by the Tampa Bay front office.
14. Buffalo Bills: Dylan Moses, LB Alabama
It was quite the surprise when Dylan Moses announced he would be returning to Alabama for his senior season. Moses has the tools to be a special player. He could take a very good Buffalo defense to the next level.
15. Miami Dolphins: Shaun Wade, CB Ohio State (via Houston)
The Miami Dolphins get another first-round pick thanks to the Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade they pulled off before the start of the 2019 season. The Miami Dolphins need to find a cornerback to line up opposite of Xavien Howard. Shaun Wade is a versatile chess piece who could flourish under Brian Flores’ defense.
16. Las Vegas Raiders: Justyn Ross, WR Clemson
If the rumors are true, it seems the Raiders plan on making a huge push for the services of Tom Brady. If that is their plan, finding game-breaking weapons for him should be a major objective. We have seen Justyn Ross shine on the brightest of stages, and I would expect no different at the next level.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Jobe, CB Alabama
When you play in a division with Patrick Mahomes, you must be able to defend the pass. The Chargers have some serious talent in their secondary. However, they could use a true shutdown cornerback to shadow the likes of Tyreek Hill.
18. Tennessee Titans: Brevin Jordan, TE Miami
It seems the Titans are ready to roll with Ryan Tannehill as their franchise quarterback. If that is the plan, they must surround him with talent. Don’t let the box score fool you, as Brevin Jordan’s production has been hampered by horrendous quarterback play. Jordan has the tools and skill-set to be an upper-echelon tight end in the NFL.
19. Cleveland Browns: Marvin Wilson, DT Florida State
Prior to a season-ending injury, Marvin Wilson was the best interior defensive lineman in college football in 2019. The switch seemed to turn on, and Wilson was absolutely dominant.
20. Minnesota Vikings: Paulson Adebo, CB Stanford
The decline of Xavier Rhodes happened so quickly, making cornerback the Vikings’ biggest need. Paulson Adebo was wise to go back to school, as he could develop into a very good prospect with some seasoning.
21. Chicago Bears: Brock Purdy, QB Iowa State
If Mitch Trubisky doesn’t improve, the Bears will only be able to commit to him for so long. The Bears’ defense is championship ready, yet their offense remains stuck in neutral. Purdy may be that spark they need offensively to get over the hump.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars: Walker Little, OT Stanford
Is Cam Robinson a franchise left tackle? Did the acquisition of Andrew Norwell pan out? With the Jaguars’ offensive line, there are more questions than answers. Walker Little can be one of the guys to help answer those questions.
23. Seattle Seahawks: Creed Humphrey, OL Oklahoma
Creed Humphrey was the best interior offensive lineman in college football for the second year in a row. He should be a welcomed addition to a poor Seattle offensive line.
24. Green Bay Packers: Israel Mukuamu, CB South Carolina
The Packers are a team without many needs, so they have the luxury of taking the best player available. Mukuamu is a fluid cornerback with exceptional movement skills. Pairing him with Jaire Alexander will give the Green Bay secondary quite the one-two punch.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Jay Tufele, DT USC
Pairing Jay Tufele with the likes of Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox gives the Eagles a terrifying defensive front that can wreak havoc on any offensive line.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jamie Newman, QB Georgia
The Steelers’ defense is ready to chase a title, but their offense is full of question marks. One of those question marks is the health of Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers must start planning for the future, and finding a quarterback like Jamie Newman to groom is paramount in this 2021 NFL two-round mock draft.
27. New England Patriots: Pat Freiermuth, TE Penn State
Ever since the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ offense has been a shell of itself. While comparing any player to Gronkowski is foolish, Pat Freiermuth has some traits that are reminiscent of the future Hall of Fame tight end.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Richard LeCounte, S Georgia
The cupboard is bare when it comes to the safety position for the Dallas Cowboys. Richard LeCounte is an enforcer in the secondary, and it shouldn’t take long for him to win over the Cowboy faithful.
29. New Orleans Saints: Trey Dean III, CB Florida
Trey Dean is a gifted football player who would pair nicely with Marshon Lattimore. The Saints’ Super Bowl window is closing quickly, and one area they need to improve most is their secondary.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
The 49ers need to start preparing for life after Joe Staley. Alex Leatherwood is strong, versatile, and reliable in the trenches.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Thomas Booker, EDGE Stanford
The Baltimore Ravens continue their search for their next great pass rusher. A franchise that has produced the likes of Peter Boulware, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, and Matt Judon sure knows how important game-changing rushers can be in today’s NFL.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Wyatt Davis, OL Ohio State
We wrap up the first round of this 2021 NFL two-round mock draft with the Super Bowl Champs protecting their star QB. If the Chiefs can keep Mahomes upright, they are a threat to win the Super Bowl every year. It makes too much sense to invest heavily in the offensive line, which is responsible for protecting Mahomes. Wyatt Davis is an absolute bruiser in the trenches.
- Washington Redskins: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
- Cincinnati Bengals: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
- Miami Dolphins: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest
- Carolina Panthers: Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
- Detroit Lions: Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane
- New York Giants: Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
- Arizona Cardinals: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
- New York Jets: Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee
- Indianapolis Colts: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
- Denver Broncos: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
- Atlanta Falcons: Calvin Ashley, OL, Florida A&M
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LaBryan Ray, DT, Alabama
- Buffalo Bills: Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
- Detroit Lions (Projected trade w/ Miami in 2020): Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
- Las Vegas Raiders: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
- Los Angeles Chargers: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
- Tennessee Titans: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
- Cleveland Browns: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
- Minnesota Vikings: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
- Chicago Bears: Deonte Brown, OL, Alabama
- Los Angeles Rams: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
- Seattle Seahawks: Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
- Green Bay Packers: Austin Deculus, OT, LSU
- Philadelphia Eagles: Thayer Munford, OT/OL, Ohio State
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
- New England Patriots: K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State
- Dallas Cowboys: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
- New Orleans Saints: Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
- San Francisco 49ers: JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU
- Baltimore Ravens: Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia
- Kansas City Chiefs: C.J. Verdell, RB, Oregon