The 2021 NFL Draft appears to be particularly strong at the quarterback position with upwards of four being taken in the first round. Teams with a quarterback in place might not find the same caliber talent available at other positions. As a result, there could be a lot of movement at the top of the order as teams move up for those quarterbacks. Rest assured, it will be a draft to remember.
Although trade scenarios are not applied in our projections until the order has been officially set, some of those possibilities should be abundantly clear.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Round 1 - Pick 2
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Jr • 6'2" / 214 lbs
The conversation for the second quarterback off the board has gotten interesting. Zach Wilson possesses a lot of traits that will excite NFL teams but there are some that will question the competition he played. Justin Fields could still be the second quarterback taken but Wilson certainly has a shot.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'5" / 335 lbs
If the Bengals stay put rather than trading down, the choice has to be Penei Sewell. It strengthens not only the left tackle position but the unit as a whole because you're improving two spots by sliding Jonah Williams over.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 202 lbs
Los Angeles fans were not thrilled with the Ja'Marr Chase selection. We are not projecting trades. If we were, I'd have the Chargers trading out because the board does not stack up well with their needs. Patrick Surtain is a great player but has not proven enough to be a slam dunk top-five pick.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'2" / 197 lbs
Similar conversation with Dallas, a trade down could be in play if a quarterback is still on the board. They have some players at linebacker that could potentially bounce back (Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee) but they don't have the talent at cornerback. Caleb Farley could step in and upgrade that position immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Eagles and Giants flip-flopped from last week's mock draft order from No. 6 to No. 19, which is absurd. The NFC East winner will make the playoffs, which means they would do no better than No. 19 overall despite having a record fitting of a top-10 pick. Is it worth losing a blue chip talent only to lose in the first round? Micah Parsons, from down the road at Penn State, steps in to fill a long-time need for Philadelphia.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Jr • 6'6" / 245 lbs
Detroit would probably balk at going tight end in this position after taking Eric Ebron and T.J. Hockenson in the top 10 and not getting comparable production. Carolina has speed at wide receiver so they add a fast, but aggressive playmaker at tight end in the form of Kyle Pitts.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 227 lbs
What is Washington going to do if they get left out in the cold with these quarterbacks? They have already laid their cards on the table by benching Dwayne Haskins. Kyle Allen and/or Alex Smith are not the future. Justin Fields is not going to be available at No. 8 overall because of trade-up possibilities. If Washington wants him, they will have to move up to get him.
Round 1 - Pick 9
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
By this point, you have heard Ryan Wilson's fact that Detroit is scheduled to have five wide receivers enter free agency so I'm going to regurgitate it. The restart button has already been pressed by the Lions organization so it would not be a surprise to see wholesale changes. Ja'Marr Chase and Kenny Golladay would be an awesome tandem, however.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 11
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Jr • 6'3" / 265 lbs
Miami spent a lot of money on upgrading the basement level of talent on defense but its focus must turn to adding long-term pieces to uplift the ceiling of this team. The season has been a struggle for Michigan but Kwity Paye has taken his game to a new level.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Joseph Ossai LB
Texas • Jr • 6'4" / 263 lbs
It will be interesting to see the direction Denver goes this offseason. They obviously have a decision to make at quarterback but this is not a team on the doorstep of competing for a Super Bowl right now. If that is the case, then there is no point for Von Miller to be there as difficult as it might be to process that as a Broncos fan.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The constant hammering home of the offensive line in recent mock drafts is not by accident. The unit needs to improve if basing the offense on the ground game is to continue. Christian Darrisaw has seen a significant rise in his stock this season.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 185 lbs
Bill Belichick has gone down to the convenience store a few times to pick up Band-Aids in 2020. The roster will be impacted by the return of players that opted out but Randy Moss is not walking through that door. The Patriots need some fresh talent at the wide receiver position. Jaylen Waddle is one of those elite talents.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Wyatt Davis OL
Ohio State • Jr • 6'4" / 310 lbs
The interior offensive line play has been particularly disappointing this season in San Francisco. They are able to overcome some of those deficiencies with the scheme but they would drastically benefit from improved talent.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
If Chicago's 2021 starting quarterback is on the roster, that is a problem. Trey Lance might not be available midway through the first round but they need to take their shot somehow, some way. He is a shapeless ball of clay but there is plenty of talent to cultivate.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Rashawn Slater is a Raiders offensive lineman. He plays nasty and could start at each position. In an offseason where teams must shed salary cap space to meet the maximum threshold, swapping Trent Brown for Slater might be an option.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Round 1 - Pick 19
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 257 lbs
New York has a strong defensive tackle rotation but they lack a pass rush. If they are able to add some dynamic pass rushers to go along with that interior play, they will boast one of the strongest defensive fronts in the league.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Arizona has relied upon Dan Arnold a fair amount this season and while he has performed admirably, there is room for improvement. Kyler Murray likes to use his improv skills so Freiermuth would give him another option when the play breaks down.
Round 1 - Pick 21
USC • Jr • 6'5" / 308 lbs
Alijah Vera-Tucker was regarded as one of the best interior offensive line prospects available before USC moved him to left tackle. He can hold up at that spot and Tampa Bay needs a replacement for Donovan Smith.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Miami added Kwity Paye with an earlier selection and now they get Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah. He is a rangy linebacker that can flow and create turnovers, which has been a staple of the Dolphins defense in 2020. The talent ceiling has risen.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 24
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 170 lbs
Jacksonville has bigger needs and they could go in another direction but I am drawn to the idea of drowning their new QB in options. The Jaguars are not going to fix all of their problems in one offseason so it is important capitalize on the best talents available. D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault and Devonta Smith are a dynamic trio to help make the rookie QB's transition easier.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Cleveland needs to add a defensive end and help at linebacker. It would not be a surprise to see them target wide receivers either. Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams are a perfectly fine duo at cornerback but each has struggled with injuries the past two years. If the Browns want to become consistently in the AFC conversation then they can not be so vulnerable to one cornerback injury bringing down their entire operation.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Round 1 - Pick 27
North Carolina • Soph • 6'2" / 233 lbs
Linebacker has been a consistent need for this Buffalo team. If they could add a rangy, instinctual linebacker like Chazz Surratt to play alongside Tremaine Edmunds, then they could be cooking with gasoline.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Hamilcar Rashed Jr. EDGE
Oregon State • Fr • 6'2" / 251 lbs
Tennessee needs pass rush help. Jadeveon Clowney has not been the answer. Vic Beasley was clearly not the solution. Mike Vrabel can not be thrilled that his unit lacks the ability to apply pressure on the opposing quarterback.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 29
Florida State • Jr • 5'10" / 180 lbs
Joe Douglas has his work cut out for him this offseason. Similar to Jacksonville, New York is not going to check all of their boxes this offseason. They could target offensive line, cornerback or pass rush help with their second first-round pick. Asante Samuel Jr. has a great foundation for improvement. As CBS Sports' Bryant McFadden laid out on the Pick Six Podcast -- check out his podcast 'All Things Covered' with his cousin Patrick Peterson -- Samuel's father was one of the best at studying opposing wide receivers, quarterbacks and knowing the play before it occurred.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Shaun Wade CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
L'Jarius Sneed and DeAndre Baker could render a need at cornerback unnecessary. The bodies could already be in the building but, in the event that isn't the case, Wade is another to throw into the mix. His season started rocky but the game against Indiana provided optimism.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • Jr • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Mac Jones lacks the mobility to be an early selection but he would be a fine replacement for Drew Brees because of the structure in place. The offensive line is always a priority for New Orleans and Michael Thomas is one of the best wide receivers in the game.