NFL

NFL Draft 2021: Mock draft picks 1 through 32

NFL Draft is just around the corner, and the final mock drafts are being drawn up. We take a look at who we think will be taken when in Thursday's NFL draft

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AS English Mock Draft
CHRIS DELMAS AFP

So much talk in the sports world this time of year revolves around the NFL, despite the season not starting for another six months. The Draft has had the National Football League in the top block of the papers for the last month.

NFL Draft 2021

Quarterbacks have been and will be the story in this year’s draft, but there are so many other stories coming into Thursday’s selection show. Tyler Pitts could make history if he is drafted in the Top 5 of the first round. Who will be the first defensive player to be taken? Even the experts rarely can predict what will happen in the first round of the NFL Draft, but that doesn’t shy nearly everyone from trying. So here is AS English’s first ever crack at an NFL Mock Draft.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB

There will not be a single person around the league surprised if the Clemson QB’s name is called by Roger Goodell in the opening pick of the draft. Widely considered a first overall pick since his freshman year in college, Lawrence won the National Championship his freshman year, and has continued to drop jaws with his pin point precision and devastating mobility since then. If the Jags take anyone else it will stop the presses and cause shockwaves around the NFL.

2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB

The Jets sending Sam Darnold to the Panthers was clear evidence the New York is ready for a fresh start. Zach Wilson is a sure shot to be picked by the J-E-T-S Jets with the number 2 pick. Wilson’s 33 TD’s and 3 picks last year mixed with his elusiveness when he tucks and runs has him in prime position to be called after Trevor Lawrence.

3) San Fransico 49ers: Mac Jones, QB

What the Niners do with the third pick in the draft is one of the top stories coming into draft week. San Fran traded up to get the pick 3 because head coach Kyle Shanahan has eyes for a quarterback. Mac Jones fits the bill perfectly for a Shanahan offense. He is a pocket passer with an incredible completion percentage coming into the pros, and that’s exactly the kind of QB Shanahan loves to work with.

4) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE

A trade could be a possibility for the Falcons, who could be open to offers in the first hours of Thursday. But Kyle Pitts might be too tempting of a choice at the fourth spot. A superstar at the TE position, Pitts might be best player in the draft.

5) Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OL

The biggest needs for the Bengals in this years draft are on the offensive line and at wide receiver. With last years top pick Joe Burrow still rehabbing from a knee injury, priority number one will be protecting him when the QB comes back. The top lineman with little doubt this year class is Oregon’s Penei Sewell.

6) Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith, WR

While Ja’Marr Chase is widely considered the best WR in the draft, Smith was a Heisman Trophy winner last year, and comes from the same system that Dolphin’s QB Tua Tagovailoa comes from. The chemistry could be electric from the start for the former Alabama teammates.

7) Detroit Lions: Caleb Farley, CB

The Lions made a trade with the Denver Broncos, meaning even if they have their eyes on a specific player they think they will be able to snag his in the nine spot. Caleb Farley is the top defensive player in the draft so don’t be surprised if the Lions go after the Virginia Tech corner with their top pick.

8) Chicago Bears: Ja’Maar Chase, WR

The Bears come into this years draft will plenty of needs. They picked up Andy Dalton this offseason so I think they steer clear of a QB in this years draft. Most teams would give and arm and a leg to get a chance at LSU’s Ja’Maar Chase. Perhaps the top playmaker in the draft Chase might bring excitement to an Bears offense that has been in need of a spark plug.

9) Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, QB

A lot of doubt has surrounded Drew Lock this offseason after a disappointing season in the Mile High City last year. Lock has failed to convince fans around the Colorado capital, and John Elway and GM George Patton will have a choice to make if they’re going to take a QB. The North Dakota St. gunslinger had a fantastic 2019 season, and despite playing just one game this season he still a top choice at the quarterback position.

10) Dallas Cowboys: Rashawn Slater, OT

The Cowboys saw the face of their franchise go down at the beginning of the season, but Jerry Jones showed his faith in his Dak Prescott by giving him a contract extension despite a devastating injury that kept him out the remainder of the season. Now Jones is in the business of protecting his long term investment and Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater will be a secure selection to round out the top 10

11) New York Giants: Kwity Paye, EDGE

The Michigan pass rusher could be the perfect fit on the Giants defensive line. He dropped weight for his Pro Day and now Paye is more agile and still as powerful on the edge. He could be an instant game changer on defense for the Giants.

12) Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, WR

The QB situation for the Eagles is shaky at best. But no matter who head coach Nick Sirianni names as his week one starter they would be handed a big boost with some depth at the wide receiver position. Jaylen Waddle is a top three talent at the WR position, and would be a useful resource for whoever is taking snaps for the Philly this season.

13) Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, OT

Offensive tackle is one of the top needs for the Chargers in this years draft, and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw fits that need perfectly. While he may not be the best run blocker in the draft, he is among the top pass protectors in this years class. Something that Justin Hebert would appreciate greatly.

14) Minnesota Vikings: Micah Parsons, ILB

Taking a linebacker from Penn State is never a bad idea. The Vikings can bulk up their linebacking core with Micah Parsons who can defend the run and proved his worth in the pass coverage game over the last year with the Nittany Lions

15) New England Patriots: Kadrius Toney, WR

Bill Belichick would have loved a crack at one of the top QB’s in this years draft after Tom Brady’s departure last year left the franchises future in the balance. It’s unlikely that any of them will drop of the 15th spot, so look for the Pats front office to give Cam Newton another option in the passing game.

16) Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB

The Cardinals have been fantastic drafting secondary defenders over the last decade. Patrick Peterson parted ways with the Cards this off season and Kliff Kingsbury knows Jaycee Horn is coming from a cornerback hot bed at South Carolina.

17) Las Vegas Raiders: Sam Cosmi, OT

It may not be the sexiest pick of the draft, but the Raiders need to sure up their O line, and Texas big boy Sam Cosmi is a perfect candidate to fill in immediately. His quick feet and towering 6’7” frame give him tremendous upside for this season and the future.

18) Miami Dolphins: Jaelen Philips, EDGE

The Miami Dolphins have two picks in the first round of the NFL Draft, and for their second selection they go defense. Jaelen Phillips, the University of Miami product won’t have to go to far if drafted by the Dolphins. The only doubt coming into this years draft class is if he can stay healthy or not.

19) Washington Football Team: Jeremian Owusu-Koramoah, LB

This is one of those spots where teams that have a handful of need just look for the best available talent in the draft. With a shortage on the linebacking front, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could be the best player still on the board at this point of the draft.

20) Carolina Panthers: Jalen Mayfield, OT

At 319 pounds Jaylen Mayfield is one of the biggest bodies in the draft. While there is still room for some fine tuning, Mayfield has the presence and the strength to be playing on the line for the Panthers for a long time.

21) Indianapolis Colts: Teven Jenkins, OT

The Oklahoma State lineman had a fantastic year at right tackle for the Cowboys. If the 320 pound lineman is still on the board at pick 21, the Colt will take him to strengthen an O line that needs some steadying

22) Tennessee Titans: Greg Newsome II, CB

If there’s one thing Mike Vrabel loves its a smart defender. That’s exactly what Greg Newsome II is. The cornerback from Northwestern has an knack for being in the right place at the right time. Add that to his impressive physique and speed makes him a favorite to land in Tennessee.

23) New York Jets: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE

With their second pick in the first round, look for the Jets to make a big splash on the defensive end. Gregory Rousseau is one of the best D ends coming-out of college. The 6’6” Hurricane sat out last year to focus on the Draft which is why he may drop to 23. If both Wilson and Rosseeau wind up being success, we may look back at this draft as the turning point for the Jets franchise.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Azeez Ojulari, OLB

When you think the Steelers, you think the Steel Curtain, you think Troy Polamalu, and James Harrison. In the last few years Pittsburgh hasn’t had a star defender with game changing ability on a week to week basis. Azeez Ojulari could be the next big name to patrol the middle of the defense at Hienz Field

25) Jacksonville Jaguars: Liam Eichenberg, OT

With the Jags having selected Trevor Lawerence with the first pick in the draft, they would be wise to look to Liam Eichenberg with their second pick. The offensive tackle out of South Bend still has some improvements to make, but the 305 pound lineman could be protecting Lawrence for a long time.

26) Cleveland Browns: Zeven Collins, LB

The Browns offense is chalked full of big names, but they could use another star on the defensive side of the ball. Zeven Collins could be exactly what the Browns need. Freakish size and speed give him excellent capacities in coverage, and his ability to play inside or out will give the Browns some flexibility.

27) Baltimore Ravens: Jason Oweh, EDGE

With the first of two picks late in the first round look for the Ravens to vamp up their defense. Jason Oweh is an incredible athlete coming out of Penn state. There is still some molding in store for the former Nittany Lions, but a defense first franchise like Baltimore would be liking their lips if Oweh fell to 27.

28) New Orleans Saints: Rashod Bateman, WR

The Saint will be looking to create a new identity on offense in the Post Brees era. While they likely won’t take a chance any a QB with their first pick they will look to add weapons on offense. Rashod Bateman can play in the slot and outside and would complete a frightening receiving core for the Saints.

29) Green Bay Packers: Terrance Marshall Jr., WR

The LSU wide receiver is one of the fastest in this years class. With his ability to open up a defense with his pace, he could be the perfect accessory for Aaron Rodgers

30) Buffalo Bills: Travis Etienne, RB

In the New age NFL, drafting running backs in the first round has fallen out of fashion, but Travis Etienne is a special back coming out of Clemson. With lightening quick speed and a soft hands out of the back field make him the favorite to be the first running back taken in the draft. Not to mention the Bills had quite a bit of success with former Clemson running back CJ Spiller.

31) Baltimore Ravens: Trevon Moehrig, S

With their second pick in a matter of minutes, the Ravens go with the top saftey Trevon Moehrig. The ball hawk out of TCU has a nose for the ball, and doesn’t mind crashing in to stuff the run.

32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Pat Freiermuth TE

Tampa Bay are in the rare air of having all of their starters from last year returning, so this years draft won’t be about filling holes as much as it will looking towards the future. While TB and Gronk still patrol on O for the Bucs, Pat Freiermuth would be a perfect pick up for the Bruce Arians men. The Nitanny Lion could back up Gronk and learn from NFL living legends.