2021 NFL Mock Draft Post-Week 16

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       As the final chapter of the 2020 NFL regular season closes in, we begin to see teams lock in playoff spots or get eliminated over the past week. For those getting eliminated, they turn towards the offseason, where they can refuel for next season, or start their rebuilding phase. Looking forward to the 2021 NFL Draft, picks 1 and 2 have already been secured by the Jaguars and Jets respectively. While the order could change outside these to picks following week 17, this mock draft will be done through the draft order following week 16, and although it will not feature any trades, there will be trade scenarios mentioned if need be. So let’s get into it. The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock.

    1. Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson: The Jacksonville Jaguars won the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes last week, following their loss to the Bears and the Jets upsetting the Browns. This pick is almost a lock and Lawrence is viewed as the consensus QB #1 in this draft. A prospect who has almost everything you want in a quarterback, Lawrence comes into the NFL as a proven winner. Here, the Jags get their QB of the future and the leader of their franchise moving forward. 
    2. New York Jets- Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: Even with all the Zach Wilson hype going around, I still believe Fields is the right pick here at 2. Although there were a couple bad games from Fields this past season, he’s done enough for me to believe he holds a spot as QB #2 in the draft. Like Trevor Lawrence, Fields has the ability to make plays with his legs in addition to his arm talent. Yes, Penei Sewell could be the pick here, but I don’t believe Sam Darnold is the future, and the Jets get their quarterback of the future here in Justin Fields.
    3. Miami Dolphins- Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon: The main focus here for the Dolphins is protecting Tua, and here they get Tua some much needed help on the o-line. The Dolphins, already in playoff contention, get themselves a cornerstone on the offensive line moving forward. Sewell, who would’ve been OT #1 had he been able to come out last year, is the best player in this draft. While the Dolphins may already have their offensive tackles of the future in Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt, Sewell is versatile enough to move to the inside. The rich get richer.
    4. Atlanta Falcons- Zach Wilson, QB, BYU: While Matt Ryan is under contract through 2023, the Falcons pounce on their potential QB of the future in Zach Wilson. Wilson has been outstanding this year, leading the Cougars to an 11-1 record, winning the Boca Raton Bowl. With great athletic ability and one heck of an arm, Wilson puts on a Falcons uni ready to be the next great quarterback in Atlanta. 
    5. Philadelphia Eagles- Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU: While I went back and forth between wide receiver and cornerback here for Philly, I ultimately decided to give them Ja’Marr Chase. After his 2019 campaign, Chase instantly became WR #1 on many scouts’ boards for the 2021 NFL Draft. He can really do it all, and can instantly in Philly. With Jalen Hurts seemingly being the QB of the future, and Wentz potentially being out there next season, the Eagles need to get Hurts some help, and they get it here in Ja’Marr Chase. 
    6. Cincinnati Bengals- Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama: While offensive line is most definitely the biggest need for Cincy, Sewell is really the only offensive lineman worth taking in the top 10. This could be a potential team that trades down if they can’t get Sewell, the value at corner is too good to pass up. Cincinnati lacks a future here at corner especially if William Jackson opts to leave during the offseason. Here, Surtain gives them an instant CB #1 going into the future, as Cincinnati begins the process of beefing up the cornerback room. 
    7. Detroit Lions- DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama: Back to back Alabama players go here, as the Lions select the 2020 AP College Football Player of the Year. Even if Kenny Golladay decides to resign with Detroit, wide receiver is still a massive need. Following Golladay on the depth chart, Detroit lacks a complimentary receiver moving forward, and DeVonta Smith offers more than just that. Picking Smith here, the Lions get themselves a dynamic duo for Matthew Stafford to work with next season, and for the quarterback of their future. Trey Lance is most certainly an option here, but I feel Matthew Stafford still has one more good year left in him. 
    8. New York Giants- Micah Parson, LB, Penn State: There’s so many good players available here for the Giants to take. Gregory Rousseau, and Jaylen Waddle are both potential fits here for New York, but here I have them going with Micah Parsons. Blake Martinez and Tae Crowder are not enough at MLB and Micah Parsons helps tremendously. While off the ball linebackers aren’t necessarily picked that high, Parsons offers great versatility. A high-powered blitzer, with solid ability in coverage, Parsons can be a stud at the next level, and can be that key piece the Giants are missing on defense.
    9. Carolina Panthers- Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida: After using every single one of their selections in the 2020 draft on defensive players, they select Kyle Pitts, a tight end from Florida, to kick off their 2021 Draft. Pitts is one of, if not, the best tight end prospect we’ve seen in recent memory. Seemingly unrecoverable, Pitts found paydirt 12 times in 2020 and hasn’t dropped many passes, if at all. Referred to as the biggest mismatch in college football by Tim Tebow, there’s almost no way Pitts falls out of the top 10. Here, Carolina adds to an already deadly receiving corps, getting their next great tight end.
    10. Denver Broncos- Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech: To me, cornerback is the biggest need for Denver. A.J. Bouye is past his prime and has been on and off the field, Bryce Callahan has been great, but after that, the cornerback room isn’t the greatest. Although Michael Ojemudia, their rookie corner from Iowa, has flashed at times, he has yet to work out his inconsistencies, and therefore I believe Caleb Farley is the pick. Farley in his short sample size, has shown off his great ability in man coverage and his outstanding ball skills. By adding Farley, the Broncos could develop a great cornerback room with Farley and Ojemudia on the outside, and Callahan in the slot. 
    11. Dallas Cowboys- Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas: If they can’t trade up for one of Surtain II or Farley, I could definitely see the Cowboys trading back. However, since this mock doesn’t include trades, I have the Cowboys taking the best offensive tackle on the board in Samuel Cosmi. Standing at 6’7, Cosmi has good ability in both pass protection and run blocking. Although he’s a raw prospect, Cosmi can develop into one of the better offensive tackles in the league. Growing up in Texas, Cosmi gets to put on a uniform for his hometown team. 
    12. Los Angeles Chargers- Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL): Gregory Rousseau’s fall in the draft finally ends, as the Chargers scoop him up. While Darrisaw would’ve been a great pick, Rousseau’s value is way too good to pass on. Following this year, Melvin Ingram is set to become a free agent, and I think LA moves on from him, opening up a spot for Rousseau. Running a 4-3, the Chargers’ scheme is perfect for Rousseau. While I think Kwity Paye will be better out of the gates, Rousseau has the higher ceiling. Standing at 6’7, Rousseau can become a scary edge rusher, if he can develop in the technical aspect. With his freakish athleticism and frame, the Chargers hope Rousseau can develop and form a 1-2 punch with Joey Bosa. 
    13. Minnesota Vikings- Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State: Wyatt Davis is the exact player the Minnesota Vikings need. A two time First Team All-American, Davis has been a centerpiece on Ohio State’s offensive line. Although he had a slow start, Davis was able to get it together and repeat as a First Team All-American. With Davis, the Vikings get immediate help on the offensive line, especially in the run game. With Dalvin cook sticking around in Minnesota for the next five years, the Vikings give him a little bit of help and fill a position of need.
    14. New England Patriots- Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama: While the Patriots have been abysmal when it comes to drafting wide receivers, they desperately need help at wide receiver, and Jaylen Waddle certainly fills that need. Waddle, who was putting up great numbers in 2020, unfortunately saw his season cut short, fracturing his ankle against Tennessee. However, scouts were able to see enough from Waddle, as he showcased his explosiveness in the open field, great hands, and unheard of acceleration. All this added to his dangerous return ability makes Waddle an exciting prospect. Trey Lance is a definite option here, but I think Bill goes and signs someone in free agency, or maybe even sticks with Cam for another year. Whoever the Patriots QB of the future is, they are getting someone special in Jaylen Waddle. 
    15. San Francisco 49ers- Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State: North Dakota State produces yet another 1st round QB prospect, this one being Trey Lance. Whether it’s by a release, or trade, I don’t think the 49ers start Jimmy Garoppolo under center next season. While they aren’t necessarily in cap hell yet, they will be in the next year or two, and they could free up some much needed space by moving Jimmy and getting their QB of the future here. Adding Trey Lance makes the 49ers running game that much more dangerous, as Lance  possesses a great athletic ability, along with his great arm talent. With this pick, the 49ers stay competitive and at the same time, build for the future. 
    16. Las Vegas Raiders- Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan: Although they drafted Clelin Ferrell with the 4th pick in 2019, he has been slightly underwhelming. Maxx Crosby has continued to look great, but  the Raiders need just a bit more pass rush from up front. Enter Kwity Paye. In my opinion, I think Paye is the best pass rusher in this draft. Although Rousseau may have the higher ceiling, Paye should be a stud out of the gates. With Paye the Raiders are getting a player that can wreak havoc off the edge, and can also stop the run. This is a homerun pick for Vegas.
    17. Arizona Cardinals- Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina: With Patrick Peterson regressing, the Cardinals need some corner help on the outside, and Jaycee Horn is the perfect fit. A very physical press coverage corner, Jaycee Horn shined bright in 2020, besting most of his receiver matchups, Seth Williams namely. Horn, being the son of former Saints WR Joe Horn, has excellent ball skills, as he tallied 2 picks and 6 pass deflections during his 2020 campaign. Footwork needs improvement, but here, the Cardinals are getting a great outside corner to pair with Byron Murphy who will continue to play in the slot. 
    18. Indianapolis Colts- Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech: After seeing Kyle Trask’s awful performance against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, I have trouble seeing him getting picked in the top 20. That makes this pick a bit more difficult, as I believe it’s between Darrisaw and Bateman. The receiver class is much deeper than the offensive tackle class, so I opted for Darrisaw here at pick 18. An experienced starter at Virginia Tech, Darrisaw has shown to be a monster in both the pass and run game. Castonzo isn’t getting younger, and Darrisaw plugs in perfectly, potentially being their next franchise left tackle. 
    19. Washington Football Team- Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota: I don’t feel confident that any of the quarterbacks left on the board are worth picking here for Washington, so it looks like they will be getting their franchise quarterback through free agency or in the second round. For this pick, Rashod Bateman is the move. All year long we’ve heard how outside Terry McLaurin, there’s no true threat. Sure, Steven Sims Jr. has been there at times, but he’s not consistent enough. In Bateman, the Football Team is getting themselves a receiver that can go up and get it. With McLaurin being the speedy deep threat and Bateman being the tough, go up and get it guy, the Football Team now has themselves a couple of weapons that can significantly help their franchise quarterback, whoever that may be. 
    20. Chicago Bears- Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern: I’d say Mitchell Trubisky has been playing his way into a second chance. He has kept this team in playoff contention, winning 3 of the last 5 games, and playing fairly well at that. SO with QB potentially sorted out, for at least one more year, the Bears turn to looking for their franchise OT. Charles Leno Jr. has been atrocious this season, so I feel Rashawn Slater is the move. The hype around Slater started last season against Ohio State, more specifically Chase Young. Young only tallied one sack that night, but that was against Northwestern’s right tackle. Yes, Rashawn Slater didn’t allow Chase Young to get a sack in his snaps against him. Assuming Trubisky hangs around in Chicago for one more year, the Bears should take Slater, adding some much needed protection. 
    21. Jacksonville Jaguars- Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame: The Jaguars just took their franchise QB in Trevor Lawrence earlier in the draft, so let’s get him some protection. The Jags offensive line has been ranked as one of the worst this season, so Liam Eichenberg should be able to come in and help immediately. A Redshirt Senior out of Notre Dame, Eichenberg has shown to be a powerful blocker up front and hopes to be the next great offensive lineman to come out of Notre Dame. 
    22. Cleveland Browns- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame: The Browns are lacking a lot at linebacker. Other than Mack Wilson, they don’t really have any playmakers. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah offers exactly what Cleveland is looking for. Watching tape, it seems as if Owusu-Koramoah is all over the field for Notre Dame, making plays left and right. If he’s available here at pick 22, it’s a must pick for Cleveland, as this is far and away their biggest need.
    23. Miami Dolphins- Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson: Already having gotten Tua his protection, it’s time to get him an additional playmaker and Travis Etienne is still on the board. Etienne is far and away the best running back in the draft, as he offers help in both the rushing and passing game. While Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed have both played well this year, I’m not so sure if they’re the running backs of the future. Sure, they could be an okay 1-2 punch moving forward, but Etienne’s playmaking ability is too good to pass up. With this pick, Etienne takes over the Dolphins starting running back role, and Gaskin and Ahmed move into the backup role. 
    24. Baltimore Ravens- Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC: Ever since Marshal Yanda retired, the Ravens interior offensive line has not been the same. Ben Powers and Patrick Mekari have been solid, and Bradley Bozeman has been serviceable, but I don’t believe any of those guys can be stars. Alijah Vera-Tucker could be that guy. A versatile piece coming out of USC, Vera-Tucker shows good ability in both the run and pass game. While he isn’t the best athletically, he makes up for this with his strength as a blocker. Although Lamar Jackson has done a good job withstanding hits, he can’t continue getting hit like he has been and Vera-Tucker offers much needed support and protection. 
    25. Tennessee Titans- Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas: The Titans have been the worst in the league this year when it comes to sack production, so a pass rusher like Ossai is much needed. Although a bit of a raw prospect, Ossai’s combination of size and speed is perfect for the next level. His main weakness comes in pass coverage, however, there is potential here, and he should progress in coverage moving forward. With Jadeveon Clowney being on a one year deal, and the future of Harold Landry being uncertain, the Titans get themselves a building block on the edge that can hopefully be their future. For a team that has totaled just 15 sacks this season. Ossai should help generate immediate pressure. 
    26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia: At the moment, we are not so sure about the futures of both Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. Yes, JPP has continued to prove that he is one of the better pass rushers in the league, but he only has one year left on his deal, and he isn’t getting any younger. For Shaquil Barrett, he currently plays on a franchise tag, meaning he is set to hit the free agent market this year. With all this uncertainty, the Buccaneers select Azeez Ojulari, a talented edge from Georgia. After an outstanding performance against Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl, where he totaled 3 sacks and forced 2 fumbles, Ojulari continues to skyrocket up draft boards. With this pick, the Buccaneers select their replacement for Jason Pierre-Paul, or maybe even Shaq Barrett if they are unable to reach an agreement.
    27. New York Jets- Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia: Another Bulldog comes off the board here this one being Eric Stokes. It’s been quite evident this season that the Jets desperately need a cornerback. Currently, the Jets have Brian Poole, Bless Austin, and Bryce Hall, as their top 3 corners, very lackluster. Stokes would probably be a day one starter in New York, instantly contributing to their cornerback room. An outside corner with great play recognition, Stokes has the potential to be a star in this league, an exceptional pick for New York.
    28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Najee Harris, RB, Alabama: Yes, I know, the running game usually starts with the offensive line, but Najee Harris is a different breed. Although eligible for the draft last year, Harris decided to come back for another season at Alabama in hopes to win a championship. He couldn’t have made a better decision. Not only is Alabama on track to win the National Championship, but Najee has replicated his 2019 season, and then some. This season, Najee was seemingly impossible to bring down in the open field, bullying defenders on his way to 24 rushing touchdowns. The Steelers, who haven’t been able to find their running game this season, get Najee Harris at pick 28, hopefully establishing a run game next season, while moving on from James Conner. 
    29. New Orleans Saints- Kyle Trask, QB, Florida: With the 29th pick, the Saints select the heir apparent to Drew Brees. Coming into this season, Trask was probably a third round pick at best. However, Trask and the Gators offense made their mark on the college football world. Trask led the league in passing yards per game, totaling 378.6 pass yards per game, along with 46 passing touchdowns, also 1st among quarterbacks. Although he doesn’t have the strongest arm, his accuracy on underneath routes is near perfection. With Trask, the Saints get their next quarterback, who ironically, has a similar game to Drew Brees.
    30. Buffalo Bills- Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa: The Bills defense has been a disaster this season. A defense that was one of the top in the league last season, Buffalo drastically fell off in this regard, as the Josh Allen led offense has been the source of many, if not, all their wins this season. So here, they go with linebacker Zaven Collins. Collins took a big step forward this season, earning AP First Team All America honors. He is a great athlete that shows very good instincts in coverage, and also shows to be a good tackler. With their current linebackers being Edmunds, Klein, and Milano, the Bills get themselves a big time addition, adding Collins with their first round pick.
    31. Green Bay Packers- Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU: With this pick, the Packers finally get Aaron Rodgers some help. Davante Adams and Robert Tonyan have shined as the lead pass catchers this season, but there’s still another piece missing. A receiver who has the perfect mix of size and speed, Marshall can be an immediate end zone threat in Green Bay. His production at LSU in 2020 was just as good as it was in 2019, even with a worse quarterback. Marshall puts on a Packers uniform ready to help Rodgers, and also contribute to the Jordan Love regime. 
    32. Kansas City Chiefs- Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma: The Chiefs offensive line this season hasn’t been good whatsoever. While some of that can be attributed to the loss of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, center is a massive hole that needs to be filled. So with this pick, the Chiefs get the best center in the draft. A 3 year starter at Oklahoma, Humphrey was the leader of the Oklahoma offensive line, communicating with his teammates to hold down their blocking assignments. Assuming the Chiefs resign Kelechi Osemele, they could be looking at a line consisting of Fisher, Osemele, Humphrey, Duvernay-Tardif, and Schwartz. 

 

 

 

 

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