2021 NFL MOCK DRAFT - R1
Draft order is based on current Superbowl betting odds, post 2020 NFL Draft.
1. TREVOR LAWRENCE, QB - CLEMSON
Jacksonville Jaguars // The Jags have confirmed that Gardner Minshew is the guy in Jacksonville for now. Come December they will see the error of their ways, but will be licking their lips at the tantalising realisation that they will only be four short months away from drafting one of the best QB prospects of the last decade.
2. JUSTIN FIELDS, QB - OHIO STATE
Washington Redskins // Ron Rivera may be willing to give Dwayne Haskins a year's grace at the behest of Dan Snyder, but he will quickly discover that Haskins is not the future in Washington. Fields gives the Redskins a fresh start under center and has the opportunity to be a true franchise player for a perennially underachieving ball club.
3. JA'MARR CHASE, WR - LSU
Cincinnati Bengals // Joe Burrow should have a solid first year in Cincy, but the Ohio native may experience some growing pains as he gets used to a new offense and the pressure cooker atmosphere of the NFL. Here, the Bengals gift Burrow with some familiarity and reunite him with his favourite college receiver. Chase has the opportunity to succeed as the Alpha wideout in this offense in what will be life after A.J Green.
4. GREGORY ROUSSEAU, DE - MIAMI
Miami Dolphins // Miami needs playmakers on both sides of the ball and to continue loading its roster with young, controllable talent. A weapon for Tua was tempting here - Jaylen Waddle would have been a second college-pro pairing reunited on the bounce - but Rousseau stays in Miami and gives the Dolphins a can't miss defender off the edge with both exceptional production and measurables who will contribute right out of the gate.
5. JAYLEN WADDLE, WR - ALABAMA
Carolina Panthers // Waddle is too good for the Panthers to pass on. The focus for Matt Rhule in the 2020 draft was defense, but if Teddy Bridgewater is going to be a success in Carolina, then the Panthers need to build the offense around him. Robby Anderson should afford him a deep threat, but DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel have never truly emerged as "the guy" during their years in the league so far. Waddle is a weapon that can serve as a true WR1.
6. PENEI SEWELL, OT - OREGON
New York Jets // New York realise that swing tackle George Fant is not the answer on the blind side and cut bait after a year. Sewell is an elite prospect who is too good to refuse and give the Jets a dancing bear to bookend with Mekhi Becton for the next decade. Sam Darnold will finally have the opportunity to showcase his talents and the Jets finally get moving.
7. WALKER LITTLE, OT - STANFORD
New York Giants // Andrew Thomas was one of the best picks of the 2020 draft. Dave Gettleman did not buy into the pre draft hype that built in favour of some of the other tackles taken highly and took the best of the lot. Nate Solder is on the downswing of his career and so Thomas will move across the line in 2021 and replace the ex-New England stalwart, allowing the high floor of Walker Little to sure up the right side of the offensive line for years to come.
8. ALEX LEATHERWOOD, OT - ALABAMA
Detroit Lions // Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn orchestrated a nicely balanced 2020 draft, picking 9 times and addressing multiple needs in the process. This pick could go in a number of different directions but there is still work to be done in order to give Matt Stafford one last shot at the Big Dance and so the run on tackles continues. Alex Leatherwood comes in to replace the middling Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
9. SHAUN WADE, CB - OHIO STATE
Arizona Cardinals // The Cardinals are not far from relevance again and a top shelf tight end would complete a glittering array of offensive weapons for Kyler Murray and enable him to vault into national superstardom. However, the value isn't here at this stage of the draft and so Arizona opt for a talented corner to start opposite Patrick Peterson.
10. JUSTYN ROSS, WR - CLEMSON
Miami Dolphins (FROM HOU) // Remember that aforementioned playmaker? Well talent meets need at this juncture and Miami manage to obtain two of the most exciting players in the draft to begin an impressive haul.
11. DYLAN MOSES, LB - ALABAMA
Las Vegas Raiders // The 2020 draft saw the Raiders add some real talent to the roster, especially to the offensive skill positions. 2021 will allow them to plug some holes in the defense. Despite spending in free agency upgrading the linebacking corps, there is still an opening that will allow them to add Moses, who has one of the highest ceilings of anybody in the draft. Speed, explosiveness, coverage ability and more; Moses is suberb value here at number 11.
12. MICAH PARSONS, LB - PENN STATE
Denver Broncos // Denver are another linebacker needy team that would have jumped on Moses, but Parsons is more than simply a consolation prize. With excellent run stop recognition, sideline-to-sideline ability and able to rush the passer when required, Micah Parsons will be a staple of the second level of the Broncos defense and possesses a high floor.
13. MARVIN WILSON, DL - FLORIDA STATE
Chicago Bears // The first interior defensive lineman comes off the board. Ideal timing for the Bears who draft Marvin Wilson; a hulking two gapping defender who will free up and allow both Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn to eat.
14. TRAVIS ETIENNE, RB - CLEMSON
Atlanta Falcons // Todd Gurley signed a one year contract with the Falcons this off season, but how much juice does he have left? The mystery surrounding his knee has never truly been revealed and this feels like a stop gap for the Falcons who opt to pick Travis Etienne to be their back of the future.
15. SAMUEL COSMI, OT - TEXAS
Los Angeles Chargers // The coaching staff appear high on Pipkins, but if that doesn't work out in the long term, then here is a hedge. Cosmi has experience on both sides of the line but appears more natural on the left. Justin Herbert needs as much protection as the Chargers can afford for him to ease any growing pains.
16. PAULSON ADEBO, CB - STANFORD
Cleveland Browns // Greedy Williams was a little overrated going into the 2019 draft, but the Browns took him in the 2nd round believing he could be a number 1 corner. Unfortunately this has not happened but he does provide serviceable depth in the secondary. Cleveland need more than this though as Denzel Ward can't do all the heavy lifting. Adebo brings playmaking skills to give Cleveland shutdown ability on the perimeter.