It's been 34 weeks since the start of the 2021 college football season, and we've done an NFL mock draft each and every week (it sounds nuts because it is), but this time we're doing something a little different. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco has been doing this for years -- a mock draft on what he thinks teams should do. It's a great idea because it gets you on the record, plus it gives fans an easy way to point out where you were criminally wrong.
That said, last year Pete thought the Panthers should've taken Rashawn Slater with the eighth-overall pick (O-line is a HUGE need for Carolina this year). And in 2020, Pete thought the Dolphins should've taken Justin Herbert at No. 5. Here's a look at Pete's what teams should do mock this year.
So we're going to follow Pete's lead, but we'll take it a step further: We're going two rounds deep with the 64 picks we think every team should make. A sneak peak: The first quarterback doesn't go off the board until Pick 16 and then the next QB doesn't get taken until Round 2, when four are selected. All told, 10 wide receivers lead the way, followed by nine edge rushers, eight cornerbacks and eight offensive tackles.
Keep reading to see both rounds.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
Who knows what the Jaguars have planned here -- Trent Baalke last week said the team is eyeing four players -- but offensive tackle makes the most sense when it comes to keeping Trevor Lawrence upright.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 265 lbs
Hutchinson starred at Michigan and now he moves a few miles down the road to join the Lions. He's the best player in this class and talk that he has already reached his ceiling is just that. He's 21 and he's only going to get better.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Evan Neal OL
Alabama • Soph • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Edge rusher and cornerback are options here as well, but a team with so many holes should bolster the offensive line, especially if Davis Mills is the QB of the future (which appears to be the case).
Round 1 - Pick 4
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Thibodeaux has game-changing talents and, frankly, he's been all over the board in our mock drafts, mostly because teams have differing opinions on him. They're no denying he's just about unstoppable when he's locked in and the Jets desperately need to upgrade their pass rushers.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 200 lbs
Gardner is our CB1, he had a fantastic 2021 season for the Bearcats, and he didn't allow a single touchdown during his career. We considered Charles Cross here too.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Don't overthink it, Carolina. Fix the offensive line, worry about the QB position later, either next draft cycle or by working a trade for Baker Mayfield.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 272 lbs
First the Giants get the best cornerback in the class and two picks later they get Walker, who has been mentioned as the possible No. 1 overall pick. No offensive line help, but New York can address that in Round 2.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
This team is bereft of offensive talent beyond Kyle Pitts and while QB is a need, you could argue that wide receiver is an even bigger one. And Garrett Wilson is special.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 9
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Again, QB would be an obvious choice here but Stingley feels like a Seahawks cornerback. He's coming off a fantastic pro day and Seattle has needs in the secondary.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 10
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Williams would've been our WR1 had he not torn his ACL in January and while the Jets understand that he won't be ready to go to start the season, he would give Zach Wilson the type of big-play weapon he lacked as a rookie.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Drake London WR
USC • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
If Ron Rivera is intent on rolling with Carson Wentz -- and it appears that he is -- then the team might as well get him some weapons. At 6-foot-5, London was a high-point-catch machine before his '21 season ended prematurely with an ankle injury. He reminds us some of his former teammate at USC, Michael Pittman, and London has all the tools to be WR1.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Washington • Soph • 5'11" / 193 lbs
Two CBs are already off the board, but McDuffie is worthy of a top-12 selection. He was dominant on the outside at Washington but he can line up anywhere in the secondary, and having the opportunity to play alongside Patrick Peterson would be invaluable to his development.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 13
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
Fair or not, Hamilton's stock will be affected by his 40 times. That's great news for the Texans and Lovie Smith, who get one of the best defenders in this class at No. 13.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jermaine Johnson II EDGE
Florida State • Soph • 6'5" / 262 lbs
After transferring from Georgia, Johnson has a fantastic season at Florida State. And he told us at the combine that he felt like he had something to prove going from the SEC to the ACC. He did that and then some, then he dominated the Senior Bowl, and followed that up with an electric workout in Indy. The Ravens drafted Odafe Oweh a year ago and he'll get a running mate with Johnson here.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 15
Jordan Davis DL
Georgia • Soph • 6'6" / 336 lbs
Davis dropped some weight, showed up at the combine and at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, ran the 40 in 4.78 seconds, had a 32-inch vertical, and a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches -- and oh, by the way, he was a one-man wrecking crew in the SEC. It's easy to say Davis is a two-down player but his obvious strength and surprising speed make a legit three-down threat who just needs to refine his pass-rush arsenal beyond the bull rush. The biggest question is if he can keep his weight down, which directly correlates to his stamina, and his ability to stay on the field.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 16
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • Soph • 6'1" / 219 lbs
This almost certainly won't happen but this is where we'd target Willis, who has a ton of upside but is still extremely raw. It would also make the Saints' trade up a lot more palatable, taking a QB instead of, say, an offensive tackle here.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Kenyon Green OL
Texas A&M • Soph • 6'4" / 323 lbs
Green can play outside or inside and at Texas A&M he lined up against some of the best defensive linemen and edge rushers in the country. The Chargers could go either tackle or guard here -- they have needs at both positions -- but with four tackles already off the board, Green makes sense here.
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 18
Devin Lloyd LB
Utah • Soph • 6'3" / 235 lbs
The Eagles signed Kyzir White to a one-year deal, but there are still needs at the linebacker position. Lloyd was impressive during the '21 season and nothing changed at the combine. He's the prototypical off-ball linebacker in today's NFL (pay no attention to his 4.7-something 40 times -- he plays immeasurably faster), and it's like he was built in a lab.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 19
Northern Iowa • Soph • 6'7" / 325 lbs
Penning plays with an edge and the sole intent is to prove any remaining doubters wrong. He had a strong season and a dominant-at-times Senior Bowl week, and he could end up going in the top half of the first round when all is said and done. He'll fill a big need in New Orleans but the team still gets its QB with the scenario we lay out here.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Iowa • Soph • 6'2" / 305 lbs
The Steelers could go defensive line or wide receiver here but instead take a center, one of their weakest positions a season ago. Yes, the team signed Mason Cole in free agency but he's not guaranteed to win the job and Linderbaum brings some much-needed stability to the middle of the offensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 304 lbs
Wyatt is another player who changed some minds with his Senior Bowl week and he continued to convince folks of his first-round talents by putting on a show at the combine. Incredibly quick off the snap and powerful once he gets going, he can be unstoppable when he's on his game.
From Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 22
Arkansas • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Burks is a contested and high-point catch machine. Don't be fooled by his 4.55 40 at the combine -- he regularly outran defensive backs to the end zone in the SEC and that won't change in the NFL. The scariest part of his game is that he's not even close to his ceiling yet, and what better way to get there than in Green Bay. He reminds us of some combination of Anquan Boldin, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Deebo Samuel.
Round 1 - Pick 23
David Ojabo EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'4" / 255 lbs
Ojabo tore his Achilles at his pro day in March and that will undoubtedly affect his draft stock. But he is a terror off the edge and he's only been playing football for five years. He's a high-upside prospect who could see the field late in his rookie campaign.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Zion Johnson OL
Boston College • Soph • 6'3" / 316 lbs
Tyler Biadasz was good at times last season but there's certainly room for upgrading the interior OL. That brings us to Zion Johnson, who is another player who went to the Senior Bowl and proved he was worthy of first-round consideration. He played left tackle at Boston College and worked at guard and center in Mobile. He's a Day 1 starter at several positions.
Round 1 - Pick 25
This has been a popular pick for us over the months because of Hill's versatility. He's underrated nationally but watch him play and it becomes clear pretty quickly that he's in the running for one of the best defensive backs in this class. He's listed as a safety but he can line up anywhere.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Central Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 303 lbs
Raimann has only been playing left tackle for two years but as a converted tight end, he has the athleticism to match up against the quickest pass rushers in the NFL. He's not yet a finished product but the tools are there to be a dominant offensive lineman in the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Andrew Booth had a strong '21 season for Clemson and he's only going to get better with experience. Injuries could see him slip down draft boards but he's a first-round talent for us all day long.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • Soph • 5'11" / 231 lbs
We don't get the concerns about Dean's size -- he's 5-foot-11, 229 pounds -- and we love everything about his game. He was the captain of that Georgia defense, is a playmaking machine in the middle of that unit, and oh by the way, he also had a 3.5 GPA in Mechanical Engineering.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 29
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 187 lbs
Olave is probably the best route runner in this class but he alone won't be able to account for all of Tyreek Hill's offense. But he'll help, and more importantly, have a great chance to flourish with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Logan Hall DL
Houston • Soph • 6'6" / 283 lbs
Last spring, some people were surprised Payton Turner made his way into Round 1. Don't be shocked if his Houston teammate, Logan Hall, follows a similar path. He was unblockable at times last season and at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, he can line up just about anywhere.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Kyler Gordon CB
Washington • Soph • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Trent McDuffie, who played with Gordon at Washington, described him as freakishly athletic, and that shows up consistently on tape. He can play inside or out, is physical at the catch point and is physical in run support too.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 32
Baylor • Soph • 5'11" / 198 lbs
The Lions could go QB here and get the fifth-year option, but they instead bolster the secondary with Pitre, who is another player listed as a safety who can line up just about anywhere, including in the box.
33. Jacksonville: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
34. Detroit: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
35. NY Jets: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
36. NY Giants: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
37. Houston: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
38. NY Jets (via CAR): Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
39. Chicago: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
40. Seattle (via DEN): Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
41. Seattle: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
42. Indianapolis (via WSH): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
43. Atlanta: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
44. Cleveland: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
45. Baltimore: Luke Goedeke, OT, Central Michigan
46. Minnesota: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
47. Washington (via IND): Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
48. Chicago (via LAC): Darrian Kinnard, OG, Kentucky
49. New Orleans: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
50. Kansas City (via MIA): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
51. Philadelphia: Cole Strange, OG, UT-Chattanooga
52. Pittsburgh: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
53. Green Bay (via LV): Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
54. New England: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
55. Arizona: Ken Walker III, RB, Michigan State
56. Dallas: Travis Jones, DT, UConn
57. Buffalo: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
58. Atlanta (via TEN): Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
59. Green Bay: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
60. Tampa Bay: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
61. San Francisco: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
62. Kansas City: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
63. Cincinnati: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
64. Denver (via LAR): Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
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