We are just over three weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and the smokescreens are smokier than ever. In the last week, I swear I've heard somebody tell me that every single QB is going to go to the Jets at No. 2 or the 49ers at No. 3. I've also heard every single QB in this draft class mentioned as the perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense.
Now, I think that says a lot more about Kyle Shanahan than the quarterbacks, but the point is that we're reaching that time of draft prep where you can't believe anybody about anything. Including 40 times at NFL pro days.
Anyway, my latest mock sees three QBs going in the first three picks, as well as a lot of receivers and corners going off the board. But who's going where? Let's find out.
Clemson • Jr • 6'6" / 220 lbs
Our NFL draft expert Chris Trapasso recently called Trevor Lawrence the greatest QB prospect of the last 40 years, putting him ahead of names like Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and John Elway. Geez, no pressure, Trevor.
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Jr • 6'2" / 214 lbs
People are starting to think I don't like Zach Wilson because I keep stressing that I prefer Justin Fields, so I'm going to say all the things about Wilson I like. I love his arm strength and his ability to think quickly on his feet and improvise. I love his attitude, as he shows the kind of confidence every great QB needs. I just worry that his confidence in his arm strength betrays him too often, and while he got away with it at BYU, he'll have to adjust quickly at the NFL level.
From Miami Dolphins
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 227 lbs
The 49ers didn't trade up to No. 3 to not take a QB, and as somebody who has long hoped to see Kyle Shanahan team up with Justin Fields, I'd be thrilled to see this happen. There just aren't many prospects with the kind of ability that Fields has who come around, and he played his best in big moments at Ohio State. As a prospect, he's closer to Trevor Lawrence on my board than any other QB in this class is to him.
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Jr • 6'6" / 245 lbs
If one of the top three QBs fell to the Falcons here, it wouldn't shock me to see them take one or trade down. Instead, they take yet another incredible weapon to add to their offense.
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Rumors say one of the reasons the Eagles traded down from No. 6 was they were sure Cincinnati would take Chase here. I can also see the Bengals taking an offensive tackle, but they can likely find another tackle with their next pick. They won't find another Ja'Marr Chase still on the board.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 182 lbs
A lot will be made of their Alabama connection, but Tua Tagovailoa isn't going to succeed in Miami without weapons. Here, the Dolphins get him one of the best in this draft.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • Jr • 6'3" / 214 lbs
I don't care what anybody says; I don't believe that Washington sees Taylor Heinicke as anything other than a solid backup option. The Football Team moves up to choose their desired QB of the future, who could supplant Ryan Fitzpatrick right away.
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'6" / 325 lbs
Now that Sam Darnold is in Carolina, the Panthers address a need for help on the offensive line. Sewell has the potential to be an All-Pro left tackle for the next decade.
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
I don't think it makes sense for the Broncos to start over at the QB spot just yet, so instead of hitting the reset clock there, they help Drew Lock out by improving the group of men protecting him with Slater.
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 202 lbs
Surtain is the first corner off the board, but I assure you he will not be the last in this mock. He's a day one starter for the Cowboys, and he has the potential to be a shutdown corner and one of the best in the league for a long time.
Miami (FL) • Jr • 6'5" / 263 lbs
Phillips had an excellent pro day last week, and it'll likely improve his draft stock. When I look at this class of edge rushers, there's nobody who stands out as the clear No. 1 guy, and it's going to come down to fit and preference. Phillips might not be the pick, but if the first 10 picks shake out this way, I'm confident the Giants take their favorite edge player.
From Miami Dolphins
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 170 lbs
The Eagles couldn't get Ja'Marr Chase, so instead, they'll have to settle for the Heisman Trophy winner who just posted one of the most impressive seasons I've ever seen from a college wide receiver. Not a bad trade down for the Birds.
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Protecting Justin Herbert must be the Chargers priority, and while Rashawn Slater seems to be more highly regarded among the draft literati, I prefer Darrisaw. So if I were to grade drafts, I'd be giving this pick an A.
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Jr • 6'2" / 261 lbs
Paye was more potential than production at the college level, and all that potential remains. He's explosive and powerful, but his repertoire needs refinement. If the Vikings help him tap into that potential, this could be a pick that pays off for years to come.
Jaycee Horn CB
South Carolina • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Another spot where I considered Trey Lance, but I don't see the Patriots taking a QB in the first round. Not with Cam Newton already on the roster and Jimmy Garappolo now on the trade block. Instead, the Pats take one of the top corner prospects in this class.
USC • Jr • 6'5" / 308 lbs
Is he a tackle or a guard? I believe he's destined for the interior, but I think that destiny involves him being an excellent player there! He could be a Pro Bowl guard.
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
Honestly, I'm mad at myself for allowing Parsons to fall this far in the draft. I'm that high on him. Still, I don't know how teams will view him or how they'd envision using him. I do think he'd be a boost to a Raiders defense in need of pass rush help.
Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Trey Lance QB
North Dakota State • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
Alright, Big Ben is back, but the Steelers know that clock is almost done ticking. So they move up a few spots to grab Lance while he's still on the board. He'll need time to develop, and he can do that while Ben plays in 2021.
Mock Trade from Washington Football Team
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'6" / 306 lbs
I haven't seen Eichenberg in many mocks this spring, but I think he's more likely to be taken this early than a lot of other tackles I see featured more often. He's ready to start in the NFL from day one, and I don't have any questions about his ability to play on the left side. Now, that doesn't mean I think he's an elite prospect, but there's a high floor here.
Northwestern • Jr • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Newsome makes a quick trip down Lake Shore Drive to Soldier Field to help a Bears defense that needs to replace Kyle Fuller. He has the size, length, and ability to anticipate to be a No. 1 corner in the NFL.
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'2" / 197 lbs
If not for a minor back procedure, Farley would be right there in the conversation as the first corner likely to come off the board. Unfortunately for him, it's difficult to convince NFL teams there's such a thing as "minor" back surgery. The Colts take a shot on a very high-upside player.
Minnesota • Jr • 6'1" / 197 lbs
The Titans offense could use somebody to stretch the field vertically. It would make life a lot easier for everybody. Maybe this pick isn't Bateman, but he could fill that role.
From Seattle Seahawks
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 257 lbs
I just want everybody to remember that I loved Jayson Oweh long before he wowed people at his pro day. Robert Saleh already took his QB earlier in the draft; now he adds a fun new toy for his defense.
Mock Trade from Pittsburgh Steelers
Joe Tryon-Shoyinka EDGE
Washington • Jr • 6'5" / 259 lbs
I don't think Joe Tryon is a three-down player from the jump, but he has the potential to be an impactful defender as a pass-rusher right away. He's also the kind of player who can be used in different looks, and I think that will be attractive to Brian Flores and the Dolphins.
From Los Angeles Rams
Oklahoma State • Jr • 6'6" / 320 lbs
You take your franchise QB with your first pick, and then you go about finding people to protect him with your second pick. Jenkins has a mean streak to him I'm fond of, though I do think he's more likely to be a right tackle in the long term.
Eric Stokes CB
Georgia • Jr • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Maybe the Browns are higher on an edge rusher still on the board in this spot, but I see Stokes as a potential playmaker in the secondary. He'd be the fifth corner off the board, and I think at this point, the drop-off between tiers at corner is steeper than the one among edge players.
TCU • Jr • 6'2" / 202 lbs
I see this as a weak safety class overall, but I believe Moehrig is a solid prospect. Particularly at this point of the draft. He'd likely step right into the Baltimore defense, and he's an excellent fit for what the Ravens prefer to run.
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Ojulari is versatile and has a lot of potential. He played with his hand in the dirt (or turf) at Georgia, as well as in a two-point stance, and stayed on the field in nearly every situation. He'd be a valuable addition to the New Orleans defense.
LSU • Jr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Aaron Rodgers is seen fainting as the Packers use a first-round pick on a receiver for him. Seriously, Marshall strikes me as an excellent complement to Davante Adams and makes the Packers offense even more dangerous than it already is.
Greg Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • Jr • 6'6" / 266 lbs
I think Rousseau's 2019 season at Miami placed some unrealistic expectations on his draft stock last spring, but he didn't finish that season with 15.5 sacks by accident. He's a disruptive force with a lot of potential if developed properly.
Florida • Jr • 6'0" / 193 lbs
I mean, why not? Why not add another speed demon to the Kansas City offense for Patrick Mahomes to launch 70-yard bombs to?
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 310 lbs
I believe this is the third time I've mocked Barmore to the Bucs. Even with Ndamukong Suh back in Tampa, Barmore would be a nice rotation piece in 2021 and an excellent long-term option.