We're one week into free agency which, for the first time since the end of the 2020 regular season, means that we have new information about all 32 NFL teams -- what needs they wanted to address and which faces they wanted to bring in to address them. Those 32 makeovers will continue as the draft approaches but for now, here's our first post-free agency mock draft. The Panthers, 49ers and Bears all move up for quarterbacks while the Jets, Eagles and Chargers move back in Round 1 in exchange for draft picks.
In case you're interested, here are the mock-draft trades:
- Panthers get No. 2, No. 147; Jets get No. 8, No. 73, 2021 1st rounder
- 49ers get No. 6; Eagles get No 12, No. 43
- Bears get No. 13, No. 198; Chargers get No. 20, No. 52
OK, let's get to it.
Mock Trade from New York Jets
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Soph • 6'3" / 227 lbs
We're not convinced the Jets are going to stay put at No. 2 and if they don't, several teams could be interested in moving up for a QB. Zach Wilson is our QB2 but that doesn't mean he's QB2 for the 32 NFL teams. And for the Panthers, we feel like Justin Fields would be a perfect fit, especially if the team was willing to let him sit on the bench for the first month or two of the 2022 season instead of throwing him out there.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 3
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 201 lbs
This is becoming a popular pick for us, primarily because the team has said publicly that it's committed to Tua Tagovailoa. That could change, of course, but even after adding Will Fuller in free agency, Chase is too good to pass up here.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Soph • 6'6" / 245 lbs
Are the Falcons going to stick with Matt Ryan for 2021 (and possibly 2022), because if so they'll need to continue to build around him, not to mention fix a floundering defense. Working from the premise that Ryan remains (there's a $24.9 million dead cap hit if he's a post-June 1 cut) and Atlanta adds arguably the best pass catcher in this class to the roster.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Cincy addressed a bunch of defensive needs during the first week of free agency, but perhaps more importantly it signed offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who was a huge need. The Bengals could still target the offensive line here, but this week we have them taking the most explosive wideout/returner in this class.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 6
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Soph • 6'2" / 214 lbs
This is the first time in a long time we've had Zach Willson falling out of the No. 2 pick, but he doesn't stay on the board long; the 49ers trade up from No. 12 to get Wilson, who had an outstanding 2020 campaign and improved his draft stock from second-tier draft prospect to top-10 pick.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Alabama • Soph • 6'0" / 170 lbs
Is Jared Goff the long-term answer? Almost certainly not. In fact, Detroit could still choose to take a QB here, but for now we have them targeting the best WR in college last season, Smith, who will add depth on the roster with both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones signing elsewhere in free agency.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 8
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • Soph • 6'3" / 214 lbs
Well, well, well. The Jets trade down six spots and still get a quarterback -- along with an extra '21 third-rounder and a '22 first-rounder. Not bad, especially since Jones, in our mind, is the quarterback most ready to play right away after only Trevor Lawerence.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Soph • 6'2" / 197 lbs
The Broncos cut A.J. Bouye and signed Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller (though Fuller's deal is just for one year). And while Bryce Callahan was a bright spot in the secondary in 2020, he, along with four other CBs, will have his contract expire next spring. Farley, who opted out for 2020, is our CB1.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 331 lbs
The Cowboys need to fix their defense but it will be hard to pass up on Sewell, who we've routinely had going in the top 5 each week. Dallas also has needs along the offensive line, and with a healthy Dak Prescott set to return, Sewell would be a great pick here.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Penn State • Soph • 6'3" / 248 lbs
The Giants have needs along the offensive line but they did sign TE Kyle Rudolph and WR Kenny Golladay, positions which were also on the to-do list. Meanwhile, the defense could use some upgrades too. Micah Parsons opted out of the 2020 season but he's the No. 1 LB in this class.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 202 lbs
The Eagles have been mostly quiet in free agency but they did land safety Anthony Harris, though only on a one-year deal. Surtain may not seem like an immediate need for Philly, but other than Darius Slay, who is signed through 2025, no other CB has a contract beyond next season.
Mock Trade from Los Angeles Chargers
Round 1 - Pick 13
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 226 lbs
What, you thought Andy Dalton was the long-term answer? In reality, it very well may be, but the best way for GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy to insure they're employed a year from now is to make a move for a QB. Lance checks every box as a "modern-day NFL quarterback," he just needs experience. And if all it costs Chicago to move up is an additional second-rounder, they have to do it.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Northwestern • Soph • 6'4" / 315 lbs
The Vikings have needs along the interior offensive line and Slater, who was dominant at left tackle during the 2019 season -- and he played right tackle the two seasons before that -- has the versatility to line up anywhere. In fact, his future may be inside at guard or even center.
Round 1 - Pick 15
USC • 6'5" / 308 lbs
It feels like the Patriots filled every last one of their needs in free agency so we have them bolstering their offensive line with Vera-Tucker, who is one of the most versatile O-linemen in this class; he can play guard or tackle at a high level, providing New England with versatility across the unit.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Round 1 - Pick 17
Georgia • 6'3" / 240 lbs
The Raiders' defense was a mess and they have to get better at getting after the quarterback. They did sign Yannick Ngakoue, but there's no harm in doubling down on an edge rusher here too. Ojulari had a standout season for the Bulldogs and while he hasn't drawn the national attention of Kwity Paye or Jaelan Phillips, he's a legit terror off the edge.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Clemson • Soph • 5'10" / 215 lbs
The Dolphins filled a lot of their needs in free agency, adding 11 players, including RB Malcolm Brown. Still, running back remains a need and Etienne, who had a great pro day earlier this month, is almost as dangerous as a receiver as he is as a runner.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Virginia Tech • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Even after signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Football Team obviously needs a long-term answer at QB, but after winning the division and making the playoffs they'll likely have to trade up to get one. For now they're staying put upgrading the O-line with one one the most athletic linemen in this class.
Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 20
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Soph • 6'3" / 265 lbs
The Chargers addressed their offensive line early in free agency, and also added a short-term solution at tight end with Jared Cook. So it would make some sense to address the pass-rush position here, especially after trading down and still finding Kwity Paye on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'5" / 266 lbs
DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston were No. 1 and No. 2 in sacks for Indy last season. Buckner is a defensive tackle and Houston, an edge rusher, is a free agent. While offensive tackle is on the to-do list, Jaelan Phillips, who is coming off a big campaign for the U, makes a lot of sense here too.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Northwestern • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
The Titans cut cornerbacks Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler and signed edge rusher Bud Dupree. And while they could certainly target another edge rusher here, Newsome is one of the best cornerbacks in this class who has the physicality to match up against NFL wide receivers.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 23
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • 6'6" / 266 lbs
Rousseau opted out in 2020 and in the process saw his draft stock fall with the emergence of Ojulari, Paye and his Miami teammate Phillips. Still, Rousseau is a high-upside prospect who hasn't played the position long but will continue to improve with experience and coaching.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Samuel Cosmi OL
Texas • Soph • 6'7" / 309 lbs
JuJu Smith-Schuster re-upped with the Steelers, which means WR isn't an immediate need, but with Matt Feiler signing with the Chargers, O-line remains a priority. Cosmi is incredibly athletic for his size and he can play either tackle position.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 25
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Barmore was our DT1 coming into the season, took a while to get going, and then saved his best football for the final month of the season. He was absolutely dominant in 'Bama's run to the championship.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Tulsa • Soph • 6'4" / 260 lbs
For the 2020 season Collins had four sacks, four interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and two forced fumbles. At 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he looks more like a defensive end but moves with the fluidity of the modern day inside linebackers that have become so prevalent around the league.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Florida • 6'0" / 193 lbs
We love this pick. Ideally, the Ravens would land a taller wideout to complement Hollywood Brown, but Toney plays much, much bigger than this 5-foot-11 frame. He's a playmaker from anywhere on the field and would give Baltimore a legit weapon at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida State • 5'10" / 180 lbs
Samuel may only be listed at 5-foot-10, but he doesn't play like it. He compares his game to the similarly sized Jaire Alexander, and for us he's a younger, more physical Janoris Jenkins, who was released last week.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Purdue • 5'7" / 180 lbs
It's hard to imagine the Packers drafting a wideout, but Moore would be electric in Green Bay. The issues aren't with his playmaking abilities, which border on the unreal, but his durability and experience; he played in just seven games his last two seasons in college.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Georgia • Soph • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Tre White is one of the best CBs in the NFL but there's not much depth behind him. Taron Johnson is coming off a good season, but has just one year left on his current deal and Campbell would add a long, physical playmaker to a secondary that improved over the course of the 2020 season
Round 1 - Pick 31
Oklahoma State • 6'6" / 320 lbs
The Chiefs cut both their offensive tackles after the season, and while they signed guards Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, and tackle Mike Remmers, Jenkins has a chance to be really good. He can play on the right or left, and more importantly, can contribute right away.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Najee Harris RB
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 232 lbs
The Bucs don't *need* a running back, but Harris had such an impressive 2020 season for Alabama and he would be a big upgrade from Leonard Fournette. We can only imagine how Bruce Arians would find ways to use him in Tampa Bay.