We're less than a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft. A week from today, we'll all know exactly how the first round went down, and we'll be knee deep in stories and theories and questions regarding just what will happen on Day Two. But all that is for next week. Right now, it's time to take a look at where things stand, and how it all might shake out.
We know Trevor Lawrence is coming off the board at No. 1 overall. We think Zach Wilson is going No. 2 to the Jets. Beyond that, really, we don't know all that much. And that makes the first round incredibly intriguing. Anything can happen, and if history is our guide, a whole lot of weird stuff is what we should expect.
Let's mock this thing.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 3
Trey Lance QB
North Dakota State • 6'4" / 226 lbs
There was a ton of early speculation about Mac Jones and there has been a recent surge for Justin Fields coming off the board in this spot, but the 49ers generally do not leak. I'm thinking they go in another direction, with a player whose skill set is a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense. The fact that the Niners essentially scripted his Monday pro day factors in as well.
Mock Trade from Atlanta Falcons
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • 6'3" / 227 lbs
With Fields still sitting on the board at No. 4 overall, the Broncos make the Falcons an offer they can't refuse (No. 9, 40, 144, and next year's second-round pick) to move up for their new quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • 6'6" / 325 lbs
Joe Burrow won't need to worry about who his receivers are if he can't stay upright in the pocket. The situation in front of him was a disaster last season, and it resulted in Burrow suffering a season-ending injury. The Bengals can't let that happen again, which is why Sewell makes the most sense here. With the depth of this receiver class, they can still grab a top-end pass-catcher early in Round 2, just like they did last year.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 6
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • 6'6" / 239 lbs
Miami moves down three spots and lands arguably the best overall player in the draft. Brian Flores knows how unstoppable an offense can be with an athletic tight end who cannot be covered over the middle or in the red zone from his New England days, and he lands his version of that right here.
Round 1 - Pick 7
LSU • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Detroit loaded up on speed receivers in free agency, and here gets a No. 1 guy who is more physical and able to succeed in the short and intermediate areas of the field, providing a solid baseline for Jared Goff, and eventually, whichever quarterback the Lions tab as their long-term starter.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • 6'2" / 202 lbs
The Panthers spent their entire draft on defense last season, but still need quite a bit of help on that side of the ball. Landing one of the top cornerbacks in this class raises the floor and ceiling of their talent on the back end of the defense.
Mock Trade from Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 9
Northwestern • 6'3" / 305 lbs
Atlanta picks up two extra selections in this year's draft and one next year, and still lands one of the top offensive line prospects in this class. Slater has the versatility to play anywhere on the line, making him a good fit in the short and long term. The Falcons can still add more pieces on offense and defense later in the draft, where they are now stacked with multiple picks.
Mock Trade from Dallas Cowboys
Round 1 - Pick 10
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • 6'3" / 214 lbs
With the top offensive prospects that the Cowboys might be interested in off the board but a quarterback still there, Trader Jerry moves down from No. 10 to 15 and picks up No. 46 for his troubles. The Pats, meanwhile, sacrifice only a second-round pick to get their QB of the future.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 5'10" / 182 lbs
The Giants are all in on making Daniel Jones work. Adding Waddle as a complement to Kenny Golladay on the outside makes a ton of sense in that regard, giving the Giants a lot to work with in the deep passing game and opening things up for the likes of Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley underneath. Plus, Waddle is electric with the ball in his hands and can turn short throws into huge gains on his own.
Round 1 - Pick 13
USC • 6'4" / 315 lbs
The Chargers have already had quite the offseason upgrading their offensive line, and continue to do so here. Vera-Tucker has played guard and tackle and can fit at either spot, allowing the team to mix and match with him and free agent signing Matt Feiler to find the best way this all fits together up front.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jaelan Phillips EDGE
Miami (FL) • 6'5" / 266 lbs
Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer could of course take yet another cornerback here, but with the way the Vikings' pass rush has been depleted the past few years, they really need help on the edge. Phillips has some concerns with his medical history, but he is the most polished and versatile pass-rusher in this class and would help them both immediately and over the long haul.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 15
Jaycee Horn CB
South Carolina • 6'1" / 205 lbs
Dallas moves down five spots, picks up an extra selection, and still gets one of the top corners in the class. Horn is a physical cornerback with long arms and great athleticism, making him a good fit across from Trevon Diggs in new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Oklahoma State • 6'6" / 320 lbs
2018 third-round pick Brandon Parker has not developed into a starter and, after trading Trent Brown, the Raiders have a need on the right side of the line. That makes Jenkins a strong fit in the middle of the first.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Minnesota • 6'2" / 210 lbs
It sure seems like the futures of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are riding on their success or failure this year, which means they really need this offense to take a step forward. Enter Bateman, who can complement Allen Robinson with his speed and ability to make big plays.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 23
Northwestern • 6'1" / 190 lbs
You know Robert Saleh wants to start building up one of the league's worst defense. He's done great work with defensive backs in the past, and gets a good one to work with in Newsome, who isn't far off from the two corners that went a bit earlier in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 24
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 25
TCU • 6'2" / 208 lbs
Moehrig makes a ton of sense for a team that still needs a lot of help on the back end of the defense. Wide receiver and tackle are possibilities, but those positions have been pretty well picked over and still have plenty of depth available for Rounds 2 and 3. Instead, the Jags land the top safety on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Alabama • 6'5" / 310 lbs
This just makes way too much sense after the Browns cut Sheldon Richardson. It's not considered that good of an interior defensive line class, so Cleveland gets the top guy available in the mid-20s.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Notre Dame • 6'1" / 216 lbs
Owusu-Koramoah fills a couple roles for the Saints, given that he's equally capable of playing safety or linebacker. With Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins heading into their mid-30s, it's good to have some youth at those positions to bring the defense into the future.
From Kansas City Chiefs
Round 1 - Pick 31
Elijah Moore WR
Ole Miss • 5'8" / 185 lbs
Baltimore could opt for a tackle after trading Orlando Brown for this pick, but we have them going for a wideout after they signed Alejandro Villanueva to replace Brown in the lineup. The Ravens love speedsters who can both take the top off the defense and make plays with the ball in their hands, and Moore fits that bill here.