US Sports Veteran
Despite the salary cap dropping to $182.5 million, the start of NFL free agency was electric. Plenty of big names changed teams, and football fans got more than a few surprises. Free agency and the wave of veteran cuts that preceded it also had enormous implications for the 2021 NFL Draft. Let’s see what picks changed after the first wave of signings.
Before we get into it, I want to remind readers that this mock draft focuses on my predictions for teams during the draft. My first two mocks dealt with what I would do for each team, but we’re deep enough into the offseason where I feel comfortable making predictions.
The 2021 NFL Draft is officially open.
Mock 3.0- Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Mock 2.0- Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
Mock 1.0- Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
This is about the time of year where writers get bored and desperate for clicks, so they start changing the consensus No. 1 pick for attention. Let’s make this as clear as possible. Lawrence is the best quarterback and player in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Jaguars won’t pass on him at first overall. There’s nothing else worth discussing here.
Mock 3.0- Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
Mock 2.0- Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
Mock 1.0- Zach Wilson, QB BYU
I’m still willing to give Sam Darnold another year and see if he can turn the corner now that Adam Gase is gone. However, all of the rumors and moves coming out of New York fully point toward the Jets taking a quarterback. Considering the weak 2022 quarterback class and the timely changing of coaching staffs, it makes sense to get general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh their “guy” at quarterback.
The Jets don’t have to trade Darnold either, although a trade might benefit both parties. I still believe that Darnold could find a starting job in the NFL, but things are beyond repair for him in New York.
Trade: Panthers trade 8th pick to the Dolphins for the 3rd pick
3. Carolina Panthers (*Via Dolphins/Texans)- Justin Fields, QB OSU
Mock 3.0- Zach Wilson, QB BYU (Pick traded to Panthers)
Mock 2.0- Zach Wilson, QB BYU (Pick traded to 49ers)
Mock 1.0- Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
While the Dolphins have plenty of spots they can upgrade, Brian Flores’ team doesn’t have any massive needs they can fix at No. 3. Carolina, on the other hand, has aggressively pursued quarterbacks this entire offseason. Once Lawrence and Wilson go flying off the board, Carolina’s only chance of landing one of the top-three quarterbacks is by trading up with either Atlanta or Miami.
The Dolphins should relish the chance to move back and collect future assets. That puts Carolina in the ideal spot to take Fields, who some analysts view as the second-best quarterback in this year’s class. The Ohio State product doesn’t have to start immediately either. Fields can sit behind Teddy Bridgewater until he’s ready, or the front office gets too impatient and forces the move.
Mock 3.0- Justin Fields, QB OSU (Pick traded to Broncos)
Mock 2.0- Justin Fields, QB OSU
Mock 1.0- Justin Fields, QB OSU
Matt Ryan recently restructured his contract in a way that makes it highly unlikely Atlanta chooses a quarterback this year. They’ll have a chance to find Ryan’s heir in 2023. If the Falcons aren’t tearing everything down and rebuilding under new head coach Arthur Smith, they should try to trade down and accumulate as many picks as possible. There’s one problem. No one wants to pay the price to move up with the top three quarterbacks off the board.
Carolina trading up the third overall drops the fourth pick’s value and freezes Atlanta’s chance of getting a king’s ransom in a trade. Instead of accepting a lesser deal, Atlanta drafts a generational talent at tight end. A once-in-a-decade prospect with agility, size, and speed, Pitts is the perfect weapon to line up alongside Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
On a side note, I don’t believe that four quarterbacks go in the first four selections, which partially influenced this decision. If it didn’t happen in 2018, then it’s not happening now.
Mock 3.0- Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
Mock 2.0- Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
Mock 1.0- Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
The Bengals recently did second-year quarterback Joe Burrow a massive favor by adding Riley Reiff. Cincinnati plans on starting the veteran Iowa product at right tackle, which leaves Jonah Williams on the left side. While Williams, a highly coveted prospect in 2019, is only ten starts into his career, the Bengals could maximize the talent along their offensive line by drafting Sewell and moving Williams inside.
Sewell and Williams are both talented enough to kick inside to guard and still perform at high levels. Adding Reiff and drafting Williams shouldn’t preclude the Bengals from targeting Sewell. He’s a rare breed that dominated opponents as a 19-year-old at Oregon. If Cincinnati decides not to draft an offensive lineman, they’ll trade back and target a corner or Micah Parsons.
Mock 3.0- Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
Mock 2.0- DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
Mock 1.0- DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
Chase and DeVonta Smith have two of the best seasons by college wide receivers in history. Meanwhile, Jaylen Waddle has the most attractive combination of athleticism, speed, and twitch in this wide receiver class. I still think that Chase has a heavy advantage on Smith and Waddle, which makes him an easy pick here for the Eagles.
Nick Sirianni’s team didn’t have enough cap space to target a pass catcher in free agency. They also seem determined to trade Zach Ertz despite a shrinking market. Even though the Eagles took Jalen Reagor in 2020, Philadelphia should go back to the well this year. Any of the five best receivers in this class could all join the Eagles tomorrow and be the best wide receiver on the team by far.
Trade: 49ers trade 12th pick to the Lions for the 7th pick
7. San Francisco 49ers (*Via Lions)- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota St.
Mock 3.0- Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech (Pick traded to 49ers)
Mock 2.0- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota St. (Pick traded to WFT)
Mock 1.0- Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
There’s a noticeable drop-off at quarterback after the top three prospects come off the board. Lance has ideal mobility and arm strength, but he has the fewest starts among the four top quarterback prospects and played against FCS competition. Lance projects as a developmental quarterback that needs a stable situation to prosper. He can’t get thrown right into the fire.
This offseason illustrated that the 49ers don’t feel entirely secure with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. The Eastern Illinois product is already 29 and only has one season with more than seven appearances. When healthy, Garoppolo is a middle-of-the-pack quarterback, but the 49ers believe they’re still capable of competing for a Super Bowl. A young quarterback could open cap space with his contract and inject some extra juice into the offense.
Mock 3.0- Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama (Pick traded to Dolphins)
Mock 2.0- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
Mock 1.0- Micah Parsons, LB PSU
The Dolphins recently signed Will Fuller to a one-year deal worth upward of ten million dollars. Some players signed short-term deals this offseason hoping to hit larger paydays when the cap begins rising again. Considering Fuller’s injury history, recent suspension, and one-year deal, there’s no reason why his presence should prevent Miami from adding Waddle.
There isn’t a consensus on the top wide receiver prospect this year. While some analysts point toward Chase and Smith’s historic seasons, others are more attracted to Waddle’s dynamic play. It’s a case of potential versus production, even though Waddle averaged 139 receiving yards per game before getting injured in his final collegiate season.
Mock 3.0- Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama (Pick traded to Falcons)
Mock 2.0- Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
Mock 1.0- Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
Denver needs a quarterback. Unless Drew Lock takes a Josh Allen sized step forward in 2021, he’s probably heading out the door. The Broncos should try and trade up for the third or fourth-best quarterback this year, especially considering some of the question marks around next year’s quarterback class. However, the team also said they want to give Lock one more year to prove himself.
The Broncos are a quarterback away from being a ten-win playoff team, but with the top quarterbacks off the board they go with Farley. The Virginia Tech product’s combination of length, size, and speed is enticing. He had some awesome college games and would look great in a defense already featuring Bryce Callahan and Ronald Darby.
Mock 3.0- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
Mock 2.0- Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
Mock 1.0- Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech
Dak Prescott is the best quarterback in the NFC East, but the Washington Football Team still has a slight advantage over Dallas heading into the 2021 season. Washington’s defense tormented Dallas last year, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s arrival should open their offense as well. The Cowboys need an injection of blue-chip talent. While Rashawn Slater provides a contingency plan along a banged-up offensive line, Surtain could walk in the door and be Dallas’ top corner immediately.
The biggest knock against Surtain is his lack of speed. He’s nowhere near as fast as Farley, but that doesn’t matter if he controls receivers at the line of scrimmage. Surtain was terrific in press and man coverage at Alabama. If he can do that at the NFL level, his lack of speed won’t matter.
Mock 3.0- DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama
Mock 2.0- Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
Mock 1.0- Kwity Paye, EDGE Michigan
The Giants recently restructured Nate Solder’s contract to bring back the 32-year-old for another season. Solder opted out in 2020 and had the worst season of his career in 2019. Pro Football Focus (PFF) claims he allowed 11 sacks. New York invested in left tackle Andrew Thomas last year, which means Solder probably starts on the right side this season.
New York never completed their offensive line rebuild. Solder probably won’t return in 2022, and I’m not sold on the team’s guard play. Luckily, Slater is good enough to play any position along the offensive line. Maybe he replaces Solder at right tackle during this season or plays the whole year at guard before moving outside in 2022. Either way, the Giants need to get their offensive line right finally.
While New York needs pass-catchers and DeVonta Smith is on the table, I’m assuming they’ll get a deal done with Kenny Golladay. If the Giants land the former Pro Bowler, then they’ll have an above-average wide receiver corp.
Mock 3.0- Micah Parsons, LB PSU (Pick traded to Lions)
Mock 2.0- Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama (Pick traded to Dolphins)
Mock 1.0- Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
After losing their entire receiving corps in free agency, the Lions added veterans Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams. Nothing against those two, but it’s going to be a real shock for Jared Goff to go from Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods to Detroit. The Lions need another viable top option in the passing game outside of tight end T.J. Hockenson.
While Smith has his flaws, he somehow always gets open with smooth route running and consistent releases. If the Lions are entering a full rebuild under new head coach Dan Campbell, the team should start targeting exciting young talent. Smith fits that mold. With the top two cornerbacks off the board, Smith has the highest ceiling of the remaining skill players.
Mock 3.0- Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech (Pick traded to Colts)
Mock 2.0- Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech
Mock 1.0- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
Los Angeles is heading in the right direction along the offensive line. Brandon Staley’s team already signed All-Pro center Corey Linsley and versatile guard Matt Feiler. Now it’s time for the Chargers to take it home by adding a franchise left tackle. Trey Pipkins can’t be the starter on Justin Herbert’s blindside heading into Week 1. The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year deserves better.
Darrisaw packs a punch. The Virginia Tech product’s combination of balance, mobility, power, and technique make him a top-15 prospect this year. Adding Darrisaw could turn Los Angeles’ front into a top-12 offensive line overnight.
Trade: Raiders trade 17th pick to the Vikings for the 14th pick
14. Las Vegas Raiders (*Via Vikings)- Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma St.
Mock 3.0- Kwity Paye, EDGE Michigan
Mock 2.0- Kwity Paye, EDGE Michigan
Mock 1.0- Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
Jenkins is a reach here, but the Raiders have made a habit of reaching for prospects under head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock. Damon Arnette, Clelin Ferrell, Kolton Miller, and Henry Ruggs III were all first-round reaches from just the past three years. However, unlike in those four examples, reaching for Jenkins by trading with Minnesota doesn’t saddle Las Vegas with a bad selection.
Jenkins is a wrecking ball in the running game, and he’s stout in pass protection. Las Vegas’ total reconstruction (or deconstruction) of the offensive line necessitates a massive move for a tackle in the draft. Jenkins is the fourth-best tackle available and can take over at the open right tackle position or overtake Kolton Miller on the left side. Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs desperately need someone like Jenkins along the line.
Mock 3.0- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota St.
Mock 2.0- Micah Parsons, LB PSU
Mock 1.0- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota St.
It hurts me to take Jones over Micah Parsons here. Parsons is the better NFL prospect, and he’s the top player at his position in the 2021 draft class. I would also welcome drafting Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman over Jones, even if the Alabama quarterback is building momentum as we approach April. However, Bill Belichick swinging for the fences with Jones makes too much sense.
The Patriots recently brought Cam Newton back on another one-year, heavily incentivized deal. Despite all of their spending in early free agency, the Patriots haven’t gotten significantly better. Maybe they reach 9-7 next year and grab the final wild card seed. This New England team is still at least a year away from competing at a serious level again.
Mock 3.0- Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
Mock 2.0- Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
Mock 1.0- Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
As tempting as it is to say Kliff Kingsbury doubles down on the offense by taking a wide receiver or running back here, Arizona’s cornerback depth is abysmal. The departures of Dre Kirkpatrick and Patrick Peterson have gutted Arizona’s secondary. They still have Byron Murphy in the slot, but the Cardinals need to draft at least one outside corner.
Newsome only has 17 games of college experience and a lengthy injury history. However, his tape is tremendous at times. Newsome possesses the necessary fluidity to excel in both man and zone schemes. He’s also aggressive at the point of the catch and against the run. His stock has risen considerably in the past month.
Mock 3.0- Christian Barmore, DT Alabama
Mock 2.0- Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami
Mock 1.0- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
Las Vegas and Minnesota have many overlapping needs, so I can understand if you’re skeptical about the Vikings moving back. Both teams need offensive line help. In this scenario, I put my faith in Minnesota finding help at tackle in free agency or later rounds of the draft. That means they get Vera-Tucker, who I believe is the fourth-best offensive lineman in the draft and a top-15 player. He only falls this far because he’s a guard.
There’s some risk involved with the Vikings passing on someone like Eichenberg. After releasing Riley Reiff, Minnesota needs a new starting left tackle. While Vera-Tucker played left tackle at USC, he projects as a guard in the NFL. It’s unfortunate, but Vera-Tucker is a much better value pick here than the remaining tackles.
Trade: Titans trade 22nd pick to the Dolphins for the 18th pick
18. Tennessee Titans (*Via Dolphins)- Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
Mock 3.0- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
Mock 2.0- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
Mock 1.0- Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
The Titans could probably use another edge rusher, but Mike Vrabel’s squad already spent a lot of money on Denico Autry and Bud Dupree. Tennessee ignores the weak edge class to find a replacement for Corey Davis instead. Davis made 65 receptions for 984 yards and five touchdowns in 2020. With tight end Jonnu Smith also departing, the Titans need several new pass-catchers.
Bateman isn’t a speed demon or athletic freak, but he consistently finds ways to make plays. He initially opted out of the 2020 season before reversing course and battling through COVID-19 with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Bateman is tough to bring down and could thrive alongside Pro Bowler A.J. Brown.
Mock 3.0- Mac Jones, QB Alabama
Mock 2.0- Kadarius Toney, WR Florida (Pick traded to Lions)
Mock 1.0- Jalen Mayfield, OT Michigan
I’d be shocked if Parsons fell this far in the actual draft. He’s by far the best linebacker prospect on the board, and talent trumps almost anything when it comes to the NFL. Ron Rivera should thank his lucky stars if Parsons falls into his lap. The Penn State product could take over for Jon Bostic in the middle or Khaleke Hudson on the outside immediately.
The Washington Football Team hasn’t had an excellent off-ball linebacker since London Fletcher in the early 2010s. However, Rivera isn’t limited to playing Parsons off the ball. The 21-year-old has a defensive end background, and it shows. Washington can’t pass up such a versatile player, even if linebacker isn’t the team’s biggest need.
Mock 3.0- Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
Mock 2.0- Jalen Mayfield, OT Michigan
Mock 1.0- Wyatt Davis, OL OSU
The Bears, Matt Nagy, and Ryan Pace are all poised to fall flat on their faces in 2021. It’s not Andy Dalton’s fault. The organization just isn’t well run and hasn’t excelled at maintaining the roster that went to the playoffs in 2018. When the wheels start coming off, it’s usually smart to focus on the trenches and keep an advantage where it matters most.
Chicago plans on releasing right tackle Bobby Massie, who served as a starter for the past five years. The Bears don’t have an immediate replacement for Massie on the roster unless they want to suffer with Germain Ifedi kicking back outside. Cosmi played both right and left tackle in college, making him a strong candidate to take over for Massie.
Trade: Browns trade 26th pick to the Colts for the 21st pick
21. Cleveland Browns (*Via Colts)- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
Mock 3.0- Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL USC (Pick traded to Chargers)
Mock 2.0- Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
Mock 1.0- Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
Cleveland liked what they saw left on the board enough to trade up with Indianapolis. Despite several free agent signings, the Browns still have a noticeable weakness at their linebacker level. Owusu-Koramoah isn’t a prototypical linebacker. He’s only 6-1 and weighs 215 lbs. In comparison, Isaiah Simmons weighed 238 lbs. last year when Arizona took him in the first-round.
Part of Owusu-Koramoah’s appeal is his ability to move into the slot and play like a larger safety. He’s also not afraid of sticking his head in the backfield and making a big tackle. However, the Browns might feel comfortable with versatile safeties Grant Delpit, Ronnie Harrison, and John Johnson III. If Kevin Stefanski’s team wants a more prototypical linebacker, Nick Bolton and Zaven Collins are available.
Mock 3.0- Jaelan Phillips, EDGE Miami
Mock 2.0- Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
Mock 1.0- Joseph Ossai, EDGE Texas
I had Miami trade back because I hated their options with the 18th overall pick. It turns out I still hate their choices at 22. Harris offers a notable upgrade over Myles Gaskin in the backfield, and I believe the Alabama product is one of the dozen or so blue-chip prospects in the draft. However, Gaskin is a very underrated player, and I want the Dolphins to upgrade somewhere else.
Miami recently invested a ton of draft capital in the offensive line, but most of those players aren’t above average. Some help along the edge or at linebacker makes a lot of sense too. Upgrading those positions should take priority over adding Harris. However, unless the Dolphins add Kwity Paye, I don’t see a player that guarantees a significant improvement for them at 22 other than Harris.
Mock 3.0- Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
Mock 2.0- Najee Harris, RB Alabama
Mock 1.0- Najee Harris, RB Alabama
Saleh’s Jets already took several steps in the right direction this offseason. New York landed Corey Davis and Carl Lawson in free agency, beefing up two positions of need. However, the Jets haven’t addressed their abysmal cornerback depth yet. Blessuan Austin, Javelin Guidry, Justin Hardee, and Lamar Jackson aren’t taking this team to the playoffs. I think Bryce Hall has some staying power, but he’s the only somewhat reliable cornerback on New York’s roster.
Whether it’s Horn or Newsome, I don’t see a world in which the Jets can afford to pass on a cornerback here. They could always find Tyson Campbell, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Elijah Molden, Aaron Robinson, Asante Samuel Jr., or Eric Stokes in the second-round, but that’s leaving a lot to chance.
Mock 3.0- Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma St.
Mock 2.0- Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma St.
Mock 1.0- Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame
Oh, Colts fans. You thought you could trade back and still grab a starting left tackle? Not so fast! The Steelers are a complete mess. They’ve lost three or four key players on defense and could part ways with Steven Nelson soon. However, the offensive line is on life support and needs immediate attention.
Between Maurkice Pouncey retiring and Matt Feiler and Alejandro Villanueva hitting free agency, the Steelers need to take at least two offensive linemen in the draft. While Eichenberg doesn’t have a mesmerizing ceiling, his floor is one of the highest among left tackles in this class. Jenkins is the ideal pick at 24th overall, but Eichenberg is the best remaining option in this mock.
Mock 3.0- Trevon Moehrig, S TCU
Mock 2.0- Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame
Mock 1.0- Kyle Pitts, TE Florida
Despite an active offseason, the Jaguars still need plenty of help in the draft. They don’t have a tight end, the offensive line isn’t solidified, and how the defense will play is anyone’s guess. Adding Shaquill Griffin should remove Jacksonville from the cornerback market, but the franchise still needs some help on the back end.
Adding Rudy Ford and Rayshawn Jenkins should not deter Jacksonville from chasing the draft’s top safety prospect. Urban Meyer’s team isn’t going to win in the first year of this rebuild. It’s a long-term project, and that requires young, high upside players. The trio of Griffin, C.J. Henderson, and Moehrig gives Jacksonville hope for the secondary’s growth.
Mock 3.0- Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
Mock 2.0- Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
Mock 1.0- Eric Stokes, CB Georgia
The Colts have two options here. They can risk reaching for North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz and start him at left tackle, or they can take the top edge rusher on many analysts’ boards. Cornerback is also an issue for Indianapolis, but there aren’t any first-round corners left at this point.
Indianapolis has to fill the void left by Justin Houston at defensive end. While Houston was more of a situational pass rusher in recent years, he still played over 600 snaps in each of his two years with the Colts. Paye hasn’t put together a complete pass rushing arsenal yet, but he’ll make an immediate impact in the running game.
Mock 3.0- Jalen Mayfield, OT Michigan
Mock 2.0- Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn St.
Mock 1.0- Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL USC
The 2021 NFL Draft’s edge class is problematic for several reasons. There isn’t a single dominant pass rusher in the whole class. While some analysts prefer Paye, I believe that Phillips is a more talented pass rusher. He was the nation’s top recruit in 2017 before concussions forced him to retire at UCLA. Phillips eventually transferred to Miami, where he had eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2020.
Injuries are a serious concern with Phillips and could push him into the second-round. However, he would easily be a top-15 pick without his history of concussions. Phillips is an ultra-talented player, and the Ravens need replacements for Pro Bowlers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue.
Mock 3.0- Terrace Marshall Jr., WR LSU
Mock 2.0- Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
Mock 1.0- Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
The Saints and Sean Payton have plenty of issues. They sold out to win a Super Bowl they never even reached over the past several seasons. Serious salary cap issues forced the team into releasing multiple starters on both sides of the ball this offseason. New Orleans could use help at linebacker and cornerback. Nick Bolton and Zaven Collins are still on the board, but Marshall is too tempting to pass over.
The third receiver on a championship LSU team featuring Chase and Justin Jefferson, Marshall emerged as a first-round talent last season. In seven games, the junior caught 48 passes for 731 yards and ten touchdowns. Marshall isn’t the same type of player as the recently released Emmanuel Sanders, but he’s not redundant to Michael Thomas either.
Mock 3.0- Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern
Mock 2.0- Asante Samuel Jr., CB Florida St.
Mock 1.0- Terrace Marshall Jr., WR LSU
Feelings on Collins remain mixed in the NFL community. On the one hand, he might be the second-best linebacker in this year’s draft. On the other, he could struggle mightily in the NFL after dominating the American Athletic Conference’s lesser competition. I’m higher on Collins than most, but I think everyone can agree that he’s worth a late first-round selection.
After releasing Christian Kirksey, Green Bay’s projected starting off-ball linebackers are Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin. That’s problematic. Alternatively, the Packers could draft Florida’s Kadarius Toney or reach for a cornerback with this spot. However, neither of those options results in Green Bay landing a first-round talent like Collins.
Mock 3.0- Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami
Mock 2.0- Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL USC
Mock 1.0- Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
Buffalo has a lot of wiggle room with its first selection this year. The team kept all of their key pieces this offseason, making this a luxury pick. The team could use some extra oomph along the offensive line’s interior to revitalize the running game. Wyatt Davis could help in that regard, but he has an injury history and is more of a mauler than a polished product.
Instead of making a risky selection along the offensive line, Buffalo drafts a developmental defensive end. Rousseau was disruptive during his one season of elite play at Miami, amassing 15.5 sacks. However, Rousseau is still a raw talent that hasn’t filled out his pass rush arsenal yet. He projects out as the best long-term pass rushing option for Buffalo but probably won’t provide immediate help.
Mock 3.0- Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame
Mock 2.0- Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota
Mock 1.0- Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
Kansas City brought back Mike Remmers after releasing starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Remmers got destroyed in both of his career Super Bowl appearances, which came in losing efforts. The veteran started ten games for Kansas City in place of the injured Schwartz last year, but the Chiefs probably want him on the bench if possible.
The Chiefs invested a third-round pick in TCU’s Lucas Niang last year. The 22-year-old opted out, so we never got to see him in uniform. While Remmers probably sees his fair share of starts in 2021, Kansas City would love to have Niang and Radunz be their starting tackles for the next half-decade at least.
Mock 3.0- Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota St.
Mock 2.0- Christian Barmore, DT Alabama
Mock 1.0- Travis Etienne, RB Clemson
With Radunz off the board and Tampa Bay safely under the salary cap despite a flurry of re-signings, I’m falling back on the Barmore pick. While he’s inconsistent play-to-play and has lapses in concentration, Barmore has the highest ceiling of all players in a weak interior defensive line class.
Ndamukong Suh is one of the few free agents Tampa Bay hasn’t reached a deal with yet. Even if Suh returned to the Buccaneers, he’d probably only sign a one-year contract. If the former All-Pro doesn’t return, Barmore can start right away. If Suh is back, the Buccaneers still have a great rotational defensive lineman set to become a starter in 2022.
Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
Jabril Cox, LB LSU
Wyatt Davis, IOL Ohio St.
Travis Etienne, RB. Clemson
Pat Freiermuth, TE Penn St.
Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama
Jalen Mayfield, OT Michigan
Azeez Ojulari, EDGE Georgia
Joseph Ossai, EDGE Texas
Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn St.
Asante Samuel Jr., CB Florida St.
Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
Javonte Williams, RB UNC
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