Everyone has an opinion when it comes to predicting what will happen in the the 2021 NFL Draft, and most mocks will have their share of hits as well as their share of misses. In an effort to provide more clarity as to what the industry expects to happen at each pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, we have compiled 13 mock draft scenarios from CBS Sports, ESPN and NFL Media. Some general takeaways are below, and you can also read the description in each pick to learn how close some of these decisions are actually viewed.
- The Falcons and Lions are viewed as the most likely trade-up destinations for teams in the quarterback market for the 2021 NFL Draft. There were four projections with the Falcons trading out of the No. 4 spot and three with Detroit trading out of No. 7.
- Opinions on the edge rusher class varies significantly and that led to those votes being split and potentially caused a few to fall further than most are projected.
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Without further ado, let's kick this off!
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 3
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • 6'3" / 214 lbs
The decision between Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones was actually more evenly split than maybe most would expect. Fields and Lance combined to have as many votes as Jones, who was the heavy favorite.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Trey Lance QB
North Dakota State • 6'4" / 226 lbs
Atlanta was one of the teams most commonly projected to trade down but they also had four picks in favor of taking a quarterback. The majority of those projections were in favor of Trey Lance, who would presumably sit behind Matt Ryan.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 6
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • 6'3" / 227 lbs
Detroit was the other team projected to deal out of their pick. New England was most closely linked to Justin Fields, so the deal was made. If the Lions had stayed put, the pick would have been Devonta Smith.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • 6'6" / 239 lbs
There was only one vote for Kyle Pitts beyond No. 7 overall. However, five quarterbacks getting taken before Carolina's pick meant that he slid and the Panthers take him at No. 8 overall to help Sam Darnold.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Jaylen Waddle was one of the more surprising picks, post-Kenny Golladay signing. New York is going all in to surround Daniel Jones with weapons this season. Waddle was the only player to receive more than one vote in this spot.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 12
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 15
Jaycee Horn CB
South Carolina • 6'1" / 205 lbs
Even in trade-down situations, there was no one linked to Detroit who is still on the board. The majority of draft analysts have projected a wide receiver to Detroit, but No. 15 overall seems too high for the next best player at the position. Jeff Okudah has not panned out as anticipated thus far, and Jaycee Horn is the embodiment of a kneecap biter.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Caleb Farley is a bit of an unknown at this stage because of his back surgeries, but Arizona may be more inclined to compromise long-term health for short-term gain considering they have gone all in to upgrade the roster this offseason. I think Farley ends up being taken later than No. 16, but the mocks used here didn't agree.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Round 1 - Pick 22
Northwestern • 6'1" / 190 lbs
Greg Newsome II and Elijah Moore received the same number of votes. Tennessee has a big need in the secondary and Newsome comes across as a player Mike Vrabel would love, so he is the pick. There were just as many total votes for wide receiver as there were for cornerback, so a tiebreaker was not in play.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 23
Azeez Ojulari EDGE
Georgia • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Four players had two votes and one of them (Greg Newsome II) was off the board. The choice came down to Gregory Rousseau, Azeez Ojulari and Travis Etienne. There were more votes for edge rushers than running back, so the Jets get Ojulari to pair with Carl Lawson over a potentially sliding Rousseau.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Jamin Davis LB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 234 lbs
Cleveland fans are going to take issue with this selection of Jamin Davis just because of their strong belief in positional value. At the end of the day, it is all about adding good football players and they are not exactly investing a top 10 pick in the position. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was tied for the second highest vote-getter.
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • 6'4" / 200 lbs
Terrace Marshall was the overwhelming favorite for this pick. Jayson Oweh was the only other player to receive more than one vote. Baltimore adds Marshall to a wide receiver room that includes Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida State • 5'10" / 184 lbs
Four players got two votes and one of those, Caleb Farley, was already off the board. There were more votes for cornerbacks than other positions so Asante Samuel Jr. is the choice over Elijah Moore and Zaven Collins.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Tulsa • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Zaven Collins and Rondale Moore each had two votes but there were more votes for the linebacker position overall. Plus, the Packers would be quick to say they don't take wide receivers in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Georgia • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Caleb Farley and Tyson Campbell each had two votes, but Farley was already off the board to Arizona. I think the likelihood of this coming to fruition is trending down, but the projections do not reflect it yet.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Clemson • 5'10" / 205 lbs
Tampa Bay had the widest range of projections. There were 11 players mocked to the Buccaneers, including Stanford quarterback Davis Mills. Travis Etienne is the second running back off the board as the only player with more than one vote here.