There are still a lot of unknowns with football in 2020. More and more universities and conferences are beginning to postpone or cancel their seasons. However, the NFL is about to get going with training camps, so there is still football, in some capacity, to look forward to. With the unknown of the 2020 college football season, it makes more sense than ever to start looking at where these young gentlemen might land, should they declare for the NFL Draft. Remember, mock drafts eight months prior to April are much less for potential accuracy and much more for displaying scenarios. Hopefully, this 2-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft is fun and engaging for everyone. I’m sure nobody will have any objections.[sv slug=mocksim]
Miller’s 2-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1
1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Sunshine looks to fit right into the Jacksonville Beach surfing scene as the Jaguars take their quarterback of the future. This has felt like a forgone conclusion since early on in his freshman year when he burst onto the scene at Clemson after receiving some of the highest praise ever given to a high school recruit. There were some ebbs and flows during his sophomore season, and as a pro prospect, he certainly isn’t perfect yet, but he is already an outstanding translatable talent with nearly unlimited potential going forward.
2) Washington Football Team: Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
Typing out “Washington Football Team” as a proper noun brings me a laugh, but I can assure you Fields is no laughing matter. I personally haven’t given up hope for Dwayne Haskins, but if the Football Team ends up picking second overall, they may just have to draft their second Ohio State QB in just three years.
This easily could have been Trey Lance, but without the all-important matchup against Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon on the schedule, it’ll be difficult to justify drafting Lance over Fields. Fields ability as a passer is still underrated, while his ability as a runner is good, but maybe a bit overrated by media. His style, however different than Cam Newton, brings a more mobile archetype to Washington than Haskins.
3) Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
I’d held off on watching him after the initial wave of hyperbole died down about his possibilities as a prospect. Whenever the term “generational” is thrown around, a good defensive stance is taken by yours truly, the court is slapped with two hands, and your best scorer is about to get locked down.
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But after a few viewings of Sewell, it’s incredibly easy to see why people far and wide have marked him down as an elite prospect. He’s technically proficient in both pass protection and as a run blocker, and although he’s not Tristan Wirfs athletically, he’s smooth and precise in his landmarks, and he consistently hits the bottom of the net in space blocking linebackers and members of the secondary.
4) Carolina Panthers: Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
Like Washington, the Panthers don’t necessarily need a quarterback as we sit today. However, if the Panthers end up with the fourth pick, it’s most likely because Teddy Bridgewater just won’t get the job done in the long run. Lance was a pleasant surprise while charting. He is clearly the best athlete on the field at his level of play, and he has the same effortless throwing motion that generates easy velocity from a compact delivery.
5) Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
Continuity is important to a young quarterback, and Tua Tagovailoa will love the idea of having a monster after the catch to complete easy passes to and promptly take his hands off the wheel. Rondale Moore might be another option here, but Waddle has a relationship with the young quarterback and all the ability in the world to house the ball on every touch.
Waddle has electric feet, but he’s more than just a YAC monster. This young man can make plays well outside his frame and overtop cornerbacks due to some unreal explosion that elevates him to the high point, where he makes strong catches before celebrating with a nice fist-on-hips and head tilt.
6) New York Giants: Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
Dave Gettleman was sitting in the warzone and took inspiration from Drake’s “Back to Back” with this pick. There are a few ways they could go with this pick, and they have some young, intriguing names in this secondary, but with the current unknown (and poor play) of DeAndre Baker’s situation, the Giants decided to go grab their CB1 of the future.
Surtain fits the ideal structure of a modern cornerback. He possesses good length and mass in his frame to play physically at the line of scrimmage and more than enough speed to carry receivers downfield. There is nothing more valuable to a defense than having a cornerback that can live on an island, and the Giants attempt to get their version of that in the second-generation pro.
7) Detroit Lions: Micah Parsons, LB Penn State
We might be able to put this one in pen if the Lions have a shot to take him in round one, and nothing seriously changes from a roster standpoint. The Lions have worked to improve their pass rush in the past two years, but you can never have too many guys that can affect the pocket.
Micah Parsons kills two birds with one stone. He is an absolute treat to watch play as an off-ball linebacker against the run, and he has an extensive background as a pass rusher dating back to high school. Parsons allows head coach Matt Patricia and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin to be creative with their personnel and alignments on obvious passing downs.
8) New York Jets: Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
For the love of all things holy, get Sam Darnold some help in New York! After the strong likelihood of an Adam Gase firing immediately following the 2020 season, the next thing the Jets should do is literally everything possible to aid the stunted development of Darnold. Darnold thrived in college when working in rhythm in the shorter areas of the field, along with making plays out of structure.
Chase is a menace when things break down offensively, finding spaces in zone coverage coming back to the quarterback or separating from cornerbacks by lulling them to sleep just moments before breaking back to a scrambling quarterback. Chase isn’t the jitterbug athlete that Waddle or Moore is, but he simply does everything well as a pass catcher, and that consistency is incredibly enticing.
9) Arizona Cardinals: Creed Humphrey, IOL Oklahoma
Ah, that beautiful continuity bucking its head once again. The Cardinals are an exciting team with quarterback Kyler Murray slinging the pill, but they still have many holes to fill. However, a young quarterback can use a rock in the middle of the offensive line, and that’s what Humphrey brings. He’s seen a lot of incredibly important snaps at the college level and has started since his redshirt freshman season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him become a leader on the offensive line early at the NFL level.
10) Las Vegas Raiders: Shaun Wade, CB Ohio State
Wade will presumably make the transition from the slot to being a primary outside cornerback in 2020 for the Buckeyes. This helps the evaluation process quite a bit because if he is proficient inside and outside, it’ll only elevate his status as a player. He possesses the length and physicality to be a matchup against the elite-level tight ends on important third downs.
Hopefully, we see a more consistent ability to get his head around and break passes up at the catch point, but even if we don’t, his down-to-down consistency will propel him into the top 10.
11) Los Angeles Chargers: Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
There is a lot of talk throughout the Twittersphere about Cosmi’s ability to date. Many tend to give him the label of “overrated,” and some will even say he’s bad. But here’s a little secret about the NFL. They simply do not care what Twitter thinks, and Cosmi could be a perfect example of that. He’s long and athletic enough to get anywhere he needs to beat rushers to their spot, and even when things don’t go perfectly on a particular rep, he can recover and stop the dam from completely overflowing to the quarterback.
Cosmi needs to add some mass and strength to his frame to hold up better against good speed-to-power usage, and his hips consistently open parallel to the sideline on speed rushes instead of gaining depth with his vertical set, but the upside he possesses is palpable.
12) Atlanta Falcons: Marvin Wilson, IDL Florida State
HOT TAKE ALERT! Wilson is what everybody claimed Derrick Brown was. Wilson has legitimate pass rush chops with violent hands that never quit. His short-area quickness for a gentleman of his size is enough that it could excite Joe Buck. He’s not necessarily a blur off the snap of the ball, but his subsequent ability to move laterally and dismantle strikes from offensive lineman allows him a clear runway to a cowering quarterback.
It was difficult to let him fall to here because there is a tough argument to make that he isn’t a top-five player in the class as of today. Yes, the Falcons could use edge rush help in a bad way, and they already have Grady Jarrett and Marlon Davidson, but Davidson has position flex.
13) Miami Dolphins: Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame
The ability of Notre Dame to develop offensive linemen is undeniable. Eichenberg possesses an NFL frame and creates great power with efficient strikes and good grip strength to control defenders. He isn’t a massive offensive tackle or a freak athletically. He’s simply clean in his footwork, his stance remains consistent throughout games, and he’s an intelligent blocker. He’ll need to make improvements in his strike placement overall, but if there is anywhere we can bet on that happening, it’s with Notre Dame.
14) Chicago Bears: Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
Moore is one of the more electric players you’ll ever see with the ball in his hands. He’s hopelessly undersized for an NFL player at around 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, but you’d never know it if you watched him. He bounces off tackles so consistently that you’ll find yourself giggling as he scampers off for another 10 yards after the catch. He’s the perfect fit for a team with poor quarterback play because he’s the absolute perfect manufacture touch player.
As we all are aware of at this point, Mitchell Trubisky has struggled mightily to develop at the NFL level compared to his classmates, and the pressure is building. Moore might not be able to help Trubisky’s career in the long run (he’s not Superman, after all), but he will help the Bears mask some of their quarterback deficiencies. And listen, Nick Foles isn’t the long-term solution either, but there is no QB here worth the pick.
15) Denver Broncos: Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota State
This may be a surprise to the casual fan, but Radunz is highly regarded inside some NFL front offices according to some very influential and well-connected people in the scouting world.
Radunz dominates his competition with a mix of killer tenacity while remaining technically proficient as a run blocker. Even with the hype surrounding him, it’s difficult to place him above others simply because he doesn’t have to block many NFL-level rushers, and he isn’t asked to pass protect often in NDSU’s run-first offense.
However, the only real blemishes during passing downs came against South Dakota State, where he looked a bit uncomfortable on a few reps from a technical aspect. But that’s an exception in his play and not the norm. And his style will fit the thin, cold air of Denver well.
16) Cleveland Browns: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
Upside. Upside. Upside. Rousseau possesses good size and outstanding length for the position. He doesn’t possess jet pack explosiveness but has more than enough to threaten the outside shoulder of offensive tackles. His flexibility is admirable, and given his length, it would be great to see him continue to develop at the position. He does a good job keeping his distance from blockers and using the length he has as a weapon, but he needs to develop some legitimate pass rush moves to propel himself into the elite prospect discussion. As for now, Rousseau’s raw tool kit precludes him from that.