A way-too-early 2021 NFL Mock Draft
I know what you’re thinking, “Caleb the draft just ended, why the hell are you already thinking a year ahead?” Well if you haven’t noticed, next year’s draft is going to be just as exciting as this past weekend. There’s a plethora of talent that clearly involves the likes of Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, but there’s an exciting crop of other ballers that will certainly be making an impact in the league come next season. The draft order is based off of this upcoming year’s Super Bowl odds coming from Bleacher Report, and it’s already taking into the account the picks that were made this weekend. So without further ado, here’s a very early look at the 2021 NFL mock draft.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Going out and grabbing Joe Burrow as your franchise quarterback is clearly a step in the right direction, however in order for him to succeed, you need to be able to protect him. Sewell is the perfect blend of size and strength with fantastic technique, body control and athleticism. If he was eligible last season he absolutely would’ve been one of the first tackles off the board.
- Washington Redskins, Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
I understand that the Redskins couldn’t pass on a generational talent in Chase Young. However, outside of the production from Terry McLaurin, Dwayne Haskins still doesn’t have a go-to receiving threat, and Chase is the perfect answer to that problem. Winning the Biletnikoff award as a sophomore is a huge deal, and Chase is just simply as good as it gets when it comes to receivers in this draft class.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Garder Minshew isn’t a bad quarterback in my opinion, but his ceiling is nowhere near as high as Trevor Lawrence. In my mind, Lawrence is simply a mobile Peyton Manning, and let’s just say that’s a top 10 quarterback right off the bat in my opinion.
- Carolina Panthers, Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
After going all in on defense in the 2020 draft, Teddy Bridgewater is going to need some protection if he’s going to be able to do his job. Enter Leatherwood who also would’ve been a first round lineman if he chose to enter the draft this past weekend, he’s physical, can play any position and will be a long-term solution for the struggling Panthers line.
- Miami Dolphins, Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa should be ready to step in and lead this team when the 2021 season rolls around, and who better for him to link up with than his former teammate in Waddle? I’d argue he’s as fast if not faster than guys like Tyreek Hill and Henry Ruggs, and he just has homerun playmaking ability no matter where he is on the field.
- New York Jets, Gregory Rousseau, DL, Miami
I personally think the Jets pass rush leaves much to be desired, but 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games in the form of Rousseau is more than enough to fill that hole in the defense.
- Detroit Lions, Devonta Smith, WR, Lions
The fabulous quartet of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Waddle and Smith finalizes with this pick as the Lions pick up a receiver who’s just as dynamic as the other three ballers I mentioned. There’s fantastic playmaking ability, surefire hands and the ability to break the defense open on every play. He’s easily capable of being a WR1 in the league, or he’ll form a dangerous duo alongside Kenny Golladay.
- New York Giants, Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
I’m highly willing to bet the first ten picks of this draft next year will be receiver heavy, and the Giants will certainly agree. Ross is a far more athletic Tee Higgins, and he’ll quickly become a favorite target for Daniel Jones.
- Arizona Cardinals, Walker Little, OL, Stanford
The Cardinals addressed one side of the line by picking up Josh Jones, however I love how Little manhandles his opponents, and he’s a son of a bitch to break away from in the run game. There’s no way they can pass him up if he’s healthy, he’ll give Kyler Murray plenty of time to do this thing in the backfield.
- Atlanta Falcons, Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Of course I think Todd Gurley is a ball player, but those knees aren’t going to hold up for much longer. Harris is an athletic freak and never shies away from contact, he’s a big play always waiting to happen, he’ll be ready to come right in and take the load off Gurley.
- Miami Dolphins, Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Dolphins have already grabbed Waddle early on in the first round, securing a playmaker on the perimeter, and adding Etienne alongside Tagovailoa will make this offense absolutely electric. He has outstanding speed, and is fantastic at finding open grass, and can factor into the passing game when needed, I really like this pick for the Dolphins.
- Denver Broncos, Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
He’s got to prove himself coming off of a torn ACL before the season even began last year, but Moses has the physicality and skills to immediately man a defensive front, I think Moses transcends scheme and will be absolutely valuable in any defense.
- Chicago Bears, Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
I’m not going to sit and here and act like I’m not biased on this pick, as a Bears fan I think selecting Fields redeems us of our Mitchell Trubisky mistake. Aside from a national championship, I consider Fields as an equal with Trevor Lawrence, we’d finally get our first real franchise QB in the door since Sid Luckman (yes it’s been that fucking long in my opinion).
- Cleveland Browns, Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
I don’t think Wilson is a world breaker, but I definitely think he has great size and strength and could absolutely excel as a run stopper in the league, he’s definitely difficult to move.
- Tennessee Titans, Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
I’m a huge fan of Bateman, and I hope he can be penciled in as a top ten pick when I make this mock draft again next year. He translates as a do-it-all receiver to me, he moves so well for his size, can play in the slot and has fantastic ball skills. Pairing him with A.J Brown would undoubtedly make the Titans two-dimensional.
- Las Vegas Raiders, Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Raiders are very talented on the defensive side of the ball, and Parsons’ outstanding athleticism combined with his motor and ability to find the ball carrier make him extremely valuable. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the best linebacker debate falls between him and Dylan Moses.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, Trey Smith, OT/G, Tennessee
I love Smith’s size, balance and combination of technique and aggression, he primarily played guard at Tennessee, but he can play both positions which make him all that more valuable. Lawrence will be able to drop back knowing he’s got solid protection in front of him.
- Minnesota Vikings, Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU
I don’t really know if Shelvin has a high ceiling as a pass rusher, but he’s as stout as they come in the run game, he’d be a valuable reinforcement on the line beside Danielle Hunter.
- Seattle Seahawks, Cade Mays, OT/G, Tennessee
Russell Wilson has always been a great quarterback, but his protection has usually always been not-so-great. Adding a road grader with fantastic size and a knack for being nasty like Mays will immediately give Wilson some security in the backfield.
- Los Angeles Chargers, Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
I don’t know if Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert will be the one leading the charge after the 2020 season, but I do know a tough, aggressive and technically sound lineman like Mayfield will make sure they can get business taken care of.
- Pittsburgh Steelers, Shaun Wade, DB, Ohio State
The Steelers played pretty well against the pass last season, but I’d be surprised if Wade fell this low and the Steelers didn’t take him because it would easily be the steal of the draft. He can cover, he can tackle and he can blitz, Ohio State once again churns out an NFL-ready defensive back who will make some noise.
- Green Bay Packers, Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
I don’t know why the Packers didn’t address the wide receiver position this past weekend, but they’d more than make up for it by selecting Moore. He’s an extremely versatile chess piece with blistering speed that would absolutely spread the field for Aaron Rodgers.
- Buffalo Bills, Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
The addition of Stefon Diggs is a fantastic one, however, if you compliment him with a big-bodied and aggressive receiver like Williams who has very good ball skills, the Bills will be able to move the ball down the field against anyone.
- Philadelphia Eagles, JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU
The Eagles left much to be desired in the passing game, but Stevens is an absolute dog. He knows how to position himself correctly to find the ball, can play in the box, closes out really well and lays hits that remind me of Brian Dawkins. The Eagles would be stupid not to get this guy in the building, if he’s still on the board.
- Indianapolis Colts, Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
The Colts did a great job reinforcing the aging T.Y Hilton with Michael Pittman Jr, however the addition of the technically sound St. Brown will go a long way on the offensive end of the ball.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Paulson Adebo, DB, Stanford
Adding Antoine Winfield Jr this past weekend was a big win for the Bucs, however, Adebo’s length, ball skills and ability to cover are too good to pass up for this secondary, I really like this guy.
- New England Patriots, Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
I’m sorry I just don’t have faith in the Jarrett Stidham experiment, sure the Patriots coaches are as good as they come but I definitely like Newman more. He has a fantastic arm, and I just feel a sense of security when I watch him on the field, I think Bill Belichik will come to agree with me.
- Dallas Cowboys, Caden Sterns, DB, Texas
The Cowboys didn’t address the position of safety this past weekend, but a dynamic playmaker like Sterns would immediately address that issue, he could come in and play right away.
- New Orleans Saints, Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma
Humphrey has been a reliable presence for the Sooners for years, and it would be no different blocking for Drew Brees, putting him alongside the likes of Ryan Ramczyk and Cesar Ruiz is a fun possibility to think about.
- Baltimore Ravens, LaBryan Ray, DL, Alabama
He has to prove he’s dominant coming off of foot surgery but with his big frame, and ability to stop the run and get to the quarterback at times, there’s a lot the Ravens could choose to do with Ray.
- San Francisco 49ers, Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State
The 49ers could use interior reinforcements since it looks like Raheem Mostert is ready to terrorize the NFC next season, and an aggressive and technically sound force like Davis is the man for the job.
- Kansas City Chiefs, Jay Tufele, DL, USC
Chris Jones is talented, but he was franchise tagged, so with an uncertain future, you absolutely want to pick up a strong, towering force such as Tufele who is keen at getting into the backfield.