Alex Hale’s 2021 Mock Draft 1.0

With this year’s NFL Draft, I expect projecting picks to be a bigger crapshoot than before because of the entire process being simplified to work during the pandemic.  Things that may have been tracked during previous years like a drug test or even a character check could fall through the cracks.  This should make things even more unpredictable than before.  We shall see as the process moves on.  As for Mock 2.0 and 3.0, those will be scheduled for early March and April as usual, with 4.0 being the released Draft week.  This Draft season will be an unusual process to evaluate talent and one that could separate the good Front Offices in the NFL from the great Front Offices.  Buckle up folks, it’s draft season again!

If you’d like to view Alex’s top 15 big board, check it out here.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence: Don’t overthink it, Lawrence is the best QB in the draft.  You take him.
  2. Houston Texans (from New York Jets)
    TRADE: Houston acquires the #2, #20, and #23 overall pick, plus a 2021 3rd round pick and 2022 1st and a 2023 1st Round pick for QB Deshaun Watson
    QB Zach Wilson, BYU: Zach Wilson would’ve fit so well in New York, but the Jets get the superstar they want as Wilson goes to Houston for a major rebuilding project.
  3. Carolina Panthers (from Miami via Houston)
    TRADE: Carolina acquires the #3 overall pick from Miami in exchange for the #8 overall pick, a 2021 3rd Round pick, and 2022 2nd round pick.
    QB Justin Fields, Ohio State: Carolina has shown they will be aggressive in pursuing a QB.  While Fields could slide to 8, Carolina shouldn’t mess around and pair Fields with their offensive weapons.
  4. Atlanta Falcons – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon: With the Top 3 QBs off the board, it’s too early to draft Mac Jones or Trey Lance here.  I don’t expect the Falcons to find a deal for Matt Ryan and should just build a line to protect him and get the best Tackle on the board.
  5. Cincinnati Bengals – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida: They have WRs and if they can’t get Sewell, get a matchup nightmare for defenses in Pitts.
  6. Philadelphia Eagles – WR JaMarr Chase, LSU: The Eagles need WRs, if they don’t take the best one here, they’re a joke.
  7. Detroit Lions – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State: Even though the Lions just acquired Jared Goff, the Lions should consider taking the extremely talented Lance and have him sit and learn behind Goff.
  8. Miami Dolphins (from Carolina) – WR Devonta Smith, Alabama: The Dolphins acquire more picks and get their guy.  Unless they can land Deshaun Watson, this would be a dream scenario.
  9. Denver Broncos – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech: Broncos have weapons on offense, now need to get CBs in a pass-heavy AFC West.  Farley is the best CB in the class.
  10. Dallas Cowboys – OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern: The Cowboys need to build their line.  Slater is a versatile lineman who has performed at a high level against some of the best talents in the Big 10.
  11. New York Giants – EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami: What would Dave Gettleman do…I mean they have a powerful front line, but they lack a true speed rusher.  Rousseau would only make that line that much more terrorizing.
  12. San Francisco 49ers – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama: Richard Sherman is a Free Agent this offseason and there’s no guarantee he’s returning to San Francisco, regardless if he returns or not, if either Farley or Surtain is on the board, the 49ers should take them.
  13. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech: The key for the Chargers is the protect their Franchise QB going forward, Darrishaw is a good first step.
  14. Minnesota Vikings – QB Mac Jones, Alabama: There are some rumors surrounding Kirk Cousins and if the Vikings can move him, they should consider it.  Mac Jones is more polished than some other QB prospects and either can develop for a year or step in right away.
  15. New England Patriots – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State: Classic Belichick pick, sure there are character concerns, but he’s a top-five talent.  Under Belichick’s system, Parsons should fulfill his potential and be an impact player.
  16. Arizona Cardinals – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan: Cardinals need more on their defense and while they could go CB, the better value here is a pass rusher.
  17. Las Vegas Raiders – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame: The Raiders could definitely use some LB help and Owusu-Koramoah is too good of a value to pass up.
  18. Miami Dolphins- OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC: The Dolphins need Interior O-Line help and it would be wise to protect Tua if they’re not going to upgrade at QB.  Vera-Tucker is the best Guard on the board and will easily start from day one.
  19. Washington Football Team – OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama: There isn’t a QB worth taking at this point and I’d assume they’ll get a veteran.  If that’s the case, they’d be wise to make sure he’s well protected.
  20. Houston Texans (from New York Jets via Chicago)
    TRADE: Houston acquires #20 overall from New York via Chicago in exchange for QB Sam Darnold
    EDGE Jaelen Phillips, Miami (FL): There are rumors swirling that JJ Watt will be traded along with Deshaun Watson.  If so, the Texans could look to replace him.
  21. Indianapolis Colts – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame: While the Colts could go QB and take Kyle Trask, the loss of Anthony Costanzo to retirement makes the void at LT much more important to address first.
  22. Tennessee Titans – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota: Corey Davis is set to leave in Free Agency, so the Titans need a #2 WR to run opposite AJ Brown.  Bateman was a standout at Minnesota and the next best WR after Smith/Chase.
  23. Houston Texans (from New York Jets via Seattle): OG Wyatt Davis Ohio State- The Texans still have Laremy Tunsil, but their O-Line still is atrocious.  Since they’re rebuilding, they can take a flier on Davis who is recovering from a knee injury and without the injury would be a Top 15 prospect.
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Najee Harris Alabama: With Ben Roethlisberger returning, the Steelers will try to build around him for one more run.  The Steelers running game was atrocious, Harris would bring an instant bell-cow runner for Ben to rely on.
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LA Rams) – TE Pat Friermuth, Penn State: The Jaguars have Laviska, Chark, Westbrook, and James Robinson for Trevor Lawrence to work with.  Adding Friermuth puts their Franchise QB in a great starting position in the NFL.
  26. Cleveland Browns – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina: While Horn will probably go earlier, this is a dream scenario for the Browns getting an outstanding CB to play opposite Denzel Ward and giving them 3 early draft picks in Ward, Horn, and Greedy Williams to build a secondary around.
  27. Baltimore Ravens- OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan: It seems that Orlando Brown Jr. wants a raise and the Ravens may have to move him to appease him.  Mayfield can fill the gap left by Brown and help the Ravens O-Line not miss a beat.
  28. New Orleans Saints – LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa: Both Demario Davis and Craig Robertson are approaching their mid-30s.  The breakout prospect from Tulsa may be a great replacement if there are no quarterbacks left on the board.
  29. Green Bay Packers – WR Kadarius Toney, Florida: Regardless if Aaron Rodgers decides to hang it up, the Packers need another WR to run opposite Davante Adams.  Toney would create a Thunder/Lightning duo in Green Bay.
  30. Buffalo Bills – RB Travis Etienne, Clemson: The Bills lack a real rushing threat in their backfield and Etienne can help take the pressure off of Josh Allen as well as provide in the passing game.
  31. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Rondale Moore, Purdue: Probably the most explosive receiver in the draft…sounds like a Kansas City Chief already.
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Jay Tufele, USC: Outside of Vita Vea, the Bucs may lose all of their DTs for next year.  Tufele is scheme versatile and pairing him with Vea will give interior lineman nightmares for years to come.

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