We're closing in on the 2021 NFL Draft, which officially kicks off on April 29. As we await Roger Goodell stepping onto the podium and putting the Jacksonville Jaguars on the clock with that No. 1 overall pick, why not take a stab at what may be in store for us? The powers that be here at CBS Sports asked for a mock draft from yours truly and -- being the company man I am -- I delivered. By now, we all have a good sense of what's to come in the top few selections, but things can go off the rails rather quickly after that.
In this mock, I have just one trade going down on draft night, which involves Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots jumping up a few spots to bring in a quarterback they can develop behind Cam Newton. However, that deal comes outside of the top 10, where four other quarterbacks had already come off the board.
Alright, let's not waste any more time and cannonball into this mock (in which I naturally expect to get 32 out of 32 correct)!
Round 1 - Pick 4
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • 6'6" / 239 lbs
Atlanta could -- probably should -- consider trading down if it's not going quarterback, but I currently have the Falcons inserting Pitts into what is already a very pass-happy offense. When it's all said and done, the Florida product could end up being the face of this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • 6'6" / 325 lbs
This isn't as exciting of a pick as bringing in Joe Burrow's former LSU teammate in receiver Ja'Marr Chase, but this is the smart play. As we saw last season, Cincy's O-line couldn't keep Burrow upright and got him hurt. Start building a force in front of your franchise QB and worry about weapons later.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Alabama • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Detroit could look to trade down or even grab a QB at this spot. However, it instead elects to give the Jared Goff experiment a go for 2021 and provide him with a speedy pass catcher, who also has promise as a returner.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Northwestern • 6'3" / 305 lbs
The Panthers solidified the quarterback position after acquiring Sam Darnold in a deal with the Jets, which frees them up to go elsewhere at this spot. Now, they elect to bring in a stud tackle in Slater to protect Darnold going forward.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Ohio State • 6'3" / 227 lbs
The Broncos effectively cut their losses with Drew Lock by selecting Fields and the franchise will likely be better for it. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, Denver needs to find a quarterback with a higher ceiling and Fields brings that to Mile High.
Mock Trade from New York Giants
Round 1 - Pick 11
Trey Lance QB
North Dakota State • 6'4" / 226 lbs
Bill Belichick sees the top quarterbacks quickly coming off the board and calls up his old friend Joe Judge to help him out. New England leaps up to get a promising young QB in Lance, who can develop behind Cam Newton in 2021. The Patriots send the Giants their No. 15 pick, a second-rounder (No. 46) and a 2022 third-rounder.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'1" / 175 lbs
The Eagles tipped their hand that they weren't going for a QB in the draft after they traded down. That means it's the Jalen Hurts Show heading into next season and Philly does what it can to ensure it kicks off successfully by bringing in one of the more talented receivers in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Virginia Tech • 6'5" / 314 lbs
The Chargers found their franchise quarterback last year and now it's time to protect him. They were successful in doing so in free agency by signing Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler and now continue that mission by adding Darrisaw, who is a tackle prospect oozing with potential.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jaelan Phillips EDGE
Miami (FL) • 6'5" / 266 lbs
Minnesota could go with an offensive lineman here, but it also needs help rushing the passer. So long as Phillips is healthy, he's an edge rusher that can come in and immediately help Mike Zimmer's team get after the quarterback after the Vikings recorded the fifth-fewest sacks in 2020.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 15
Round 1 - Pick 16
Jaycee Horn CB
South Carolina • 6'1" / 205 lbs
Arizona will be thrilled if Horn falls to them at No. 16. He's considered to be one of the best players at his position in this class, and improving the secondary following the departure of Patrick Peterson is a massive need for Kliff Kingsbury.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Northwestern • 6'1" / 190 lbs
The Raiders could go with an offensive tackle or linebacker here, but the secondary has been a need for what seems like forever. Newsome gives Las Vegas a defensive back that will immediately be plugged into the secondary and help a unit that allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Zaven Collins EDGE
Tulsa • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Miami cut bait with Kyle Van Noy this offseason, leaving a bit of a hole at linebacker. In Collins, the Dolphins get a player that has the potential of lining up all over the field, which is the type of versatility that Brian Flores will love.
Round 1 - Pick 19
USC • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Instead of going all out and trading up for a quarterback, Washington continues to build a strong roster. Vera-Tucker can play tackle and guard and gives the organization some top-tier talent for the long haul with guard Brandon Scherff on the franchise tag for 2021.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Oklahoma State • 6'6" / 320 lbs
Chicago looks ready to enter the 2021 season with Andy Dalton as its starter. With that in mind, the Bears decide to bring in some protection for him in Jenkins, who upgrades the O-line upon arrival.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Azeez Ojulari EDGE
Georgia • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Justin Houston is still a free agent, so it's unclear if he ultimately finds his way back to Indy. In Ojulari, the Colts have a strong complement to DeForest Buckner, forming a strong 1-2 punch off the edge.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Kwity Paye EDGE
Michigan • 6'4" / 272 lbs
Tennessee drastically needs help rushing the passer after a 2020 season where it only took down the quarterback 19 times (third-worst in the NFL). The Titans were able to sign Bud Dupree in free agency but this is a spot they should double down on to inject life into a dormant pass rush.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 23
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Farley's slide down the board stops at No. 23 with the Jets. Everything surrounding his back surgery has come back positive and the Virginia Tech corner would likely be the top player at his position if he was 100% healthy. New York could end up getting a steal at a position of need with its second first-rounder.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Clemson • 5'10" / 205 lbs
After letting James Conner walk in free agency, Pittsburgh is the first to strike at the running back position. Etienne is an ideal replacement for Conner and could contribute out of the gate in the Steelers backfield. He has 4.40 speed and has the makings of a true three-down back.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 25
TCU • 6'2" / 208 lbs
This has been a popular landing spot for Moehrig. While the Jaguars do have some depth at the safety spot, the Washington product has plenty of upside and is polished enough to be able to help a Jags secondary that ranked 27th against the pass in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Jamin Davis LB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 234 lbs
Cleveland has quietly had one of the best offseasons in the NFL thus far. That success now opens the Browns up to go in a number of directions with this pick, but Davis presents a potential diamond in the rough. He put together a strong pro day and has only scratched the surface of his potential.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • 6'7" / 265 lbs
The Ravens still need a go-to receiver after coming out of free agency with just Sammy Watkins but are out of the range to fill it in the first round. Here, they address another need due to the departures of Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon in free agency. Rousseau has high upside and could evolve into the next great Ravens pass rusher.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida State • 5'10" / 184 lbs
New Orleans appears like a team that is intrigued with seeing how the Jameis Winston-Taysom Hill combo will go in 2021, so we don't have the Saints targeting a quarterback. Instead, they add to their secondary by bringing in Samuel, who'll look to carry the mantle his father left in the league after a career where he received four Pro Bowl nods.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Notre Dame • 6'1" / 216 lbs
Buffalo was able to retain Matt Milano but the club could look to bolster the linebacker position even more with Owusu-Koramoah. He was extremely productive with the Fighting Irish and could be a versatile piece to add to the Bills defense thanks to his ability to rush the passer and drop back in coverage.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Round 1 - Pick 32
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • 6'5" / 253 lbs
The Buccaneers can go with the best player available after retaining their Super Bowl core. Pass rusher Oweh falls in their lap, which injects even more youth into a position that dominated in Super Bowl LV. The addition also gives the Bucs some nice long-term insurance with JPP only signed through 2021.