For the first time in months, there was some shakeup atop the 2021 NFL Draft order. The New York Jets are no longer the No. 1 overall selection, where they were long pegged to take Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. If Lawrence is off the board, as expected, do the Jets take the next best quarterback, trade back or take the best non-quarterback prospect?
In an article that dropped at CBSSports.com Monday, I explored the options available to the AFC East franchise in detail. Today, I put my name behind one of those options in my weekly mock draft.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Round 1 - Pick 2
Round 1 - Pick 3
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'5" / 335 lbs
Cincinnati upgrades its protection of Joe Burrow by selecting Penei Sewell. Sewell's selection enables incumbent left tackle Jonah Williams to flip to right tackle or slide inside as many had projected in the pre-draft process.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 227 lbs
The Georgia native is afforded the chance to stay home and play for the Falcons. The nation will be watching the College Football Playoffs, and that will start to shape the public perception of Justin Fields as an NFL draft prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
We are about three months removed from Trey Lance's showcase against Central Arkansas. There are traits that bring excitement but his game could use a little polish. Joe Brady has experience elevating young quarterbacks.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
DeVante Parker has been good, not great when healthy. Lynn Bowden Jr. is starting to make some plays for the Dolphins, but they need more firepower. Tua Tagovailoa had a better receiving room at Alabama, so to make his life easier, they should add a more reliable threat at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Los Angeles needs to stabilize its protection for Justin Herbert. Some want to see more urgency from Christian Darrisaw but his calm nature is what has drawn me to him. He executes and never gets too high or too low.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Rashawn Slater has the versatility to play tackle or to slide inside. Dallas needs to fix their offensive line, specifically after the injury to Dak Prescott. Slater is going to fill at least one void.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Jr • 6'3" / 265 lbs
Rinse and repeat. The Giants get an edge rusher in this mock setting nearly every week. They have a strong interior defensive line group but they can't apply pressure from the outside. The addition of a competent pass rusher would not only lead to more sacks but it would also funnel the quarterback forward into the pocket where the aforementioned interior defensive line awaits.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 170 lbs
It just feels as though Detroit is going to press the reset button this offseason. They've had two seasons of 10-plus wins since 1995. What they have been attempting to do has not worked, and it is time for change. Devonta Smith can step in and fill the shoes left by departing wide receivers.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 202 lbs
Denver will have some players returning from injury but they lack a shutdown player at the cornerback position. Patrick Surtain II offers that upside. The Broncos are not far away if they can figure out the quarterback position, but the options available do not meet the value.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Greg Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • Jr • 6'6" / 266 lbs
Minnesota gambled on Yannick Ngakoue but that gamble failed. They know they are in dire straits with the salary cap and must make some significant changes. By selecting Gregory Rousseau, they get a talented young pass rusher that also allows them to save cap space elsewhere.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Jr • 6'6" / 245 lbs
New England picked up two tight ends a year ago, but they have not been effective in the pass game. There is more than one way for the Patriots to add a weapon in the pass game. In an ideal world, they would target a free agent wide receiver to go along with Pitts.
Round 1 - Pick 16
USC • Jr • 6'5" / 308 lbs
Alijah Vera-Tucker has some in his corner suggesting that he can play tackle in the NFL. He has done well there in his first season but I still think it's a stretch to think he would do that at a high level in the NFL. His future is best served inside, and the Bears could use an animal like him.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Washington • Jr • 6'3" / 290 lbs
Once again, Las Vegas adds a big body at the heart of its defensive line. The Raiders have several players that need to take the next step in their young careers. Levi Onwuzurike can grow with them.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 185 lbs
Some may be scared away by the idea of selecting Jaylen Waddle because they've been beaten over the head with speed, speed, speed as a descriptive term and Marquise Brown has not exactly worked out for them. Waddle has much better play strength and is a more polished route runner.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jaycee Horn CB
South Carolina • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Washington is off to a great start with its defensive line. Any player added in the secondary would benefit by the consistent pressure brought on by the defensive line. Jaycee Horn is a ball of clay that still requires some molding but he became a much more physical player in 2020, and that will serve him well in the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Arizona could go in a number of different directions. The Cardinals are likely set with Haason Reddick and Chandler Jones rushing the passer but interior defensive line and tight end could be appealing if the right players are available. Derion Kendrick is a former wide receiver that possesses elite athleticism and could be another building block for that young foundation.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah is more of a coverage linebacker but Brian Flores should be able to deploy him in the appropriate manner. He has been able to get the most out of his team this season.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Jacksonville has a couple of talented pass rushers in Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson. If the Jaguars can add a capable interior defensive lineman, then they will have at least one unit on the roster settled for years to come.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 257 lbs
We are hitting a stretch of pass rushers here. Tampa Bay is not going to be able to retain everyone this offseason and there is a solid chance that Shaq Barrett outprices himself. Jayson Oweh would be a solid replacement.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 24
Miami (FL) • Jr • 6'5" / 263 lbs
Jaelan Phillips is a former No. 1 overall high school recruit. His journey to potential first-round pick has been meandrous but it's not where you start, it's where you finish. Phillips is a long player that can slide in next to Quinnen Williams and start to give that New York front some attitude.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Round 1 - Pick 26
Georgia • Jr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
With extra third and fourth round picks in the bank, Cleveland might be drawn to move up in the draft order to secure its top pass rush prospect. Azeez Ojulari has been a rotational player for the Bulldogs this season but his growth from 2019 to 2020 has been astounding.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Florida • Jr • 6'0" / 193 lbs
Kadarius Toney has a lot of game-breaking ability and is starting to round off his game as an attentive route-runner. Tennessee could finally get out from underneath Adam Humphries' contract, and Corey Davis might be too expensive to retain after the contracts doled out to Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Michigan • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Pittsburgh's offensive line has regressed ever since Mike Munchak left for Denver. Right tackle is not the only position on the line that needs to be addressed, but it is a start. Jalen Mayfield is one of the best tackle prospects available.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Nick Bolton LB
Missouri • Jr • 5'11" / 237 lbs
Green Bay attempted to save some money at the linebacker position in 2020 and it has not favored them on the field. The addition of Nick Bolton would give them the quality play that they have been lacking at the bargain value coveted.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'4" / 302 lbs
What's wild about the Chiefs is that they actually have evident needs, but the play of Patrick Mahomes supersedes all. They are a Super Bowl contender because of the strength of the offense. It is scary to think what they could become if they plug some of those deficiencies.