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Let me begin this inane exercise with a caveat: If Bill Belichick reunites with Jimmy Garoppolo today, then things could obviously go in a different direction this evening when Roger Goodell begins to flex his bro-hug muscles.

Actually, let me clarify: In full disclosure, this entire process is filled with caveats even in the best of times. Even fuller disclosure: In terms of medical information and having a combine clearinghouse for on-field and health testing, this is not the best of times to be mocking 32 players to 32 teams. Yet we proceed. So here goes, anyway!

I ended up surprising myself here. Never would have guessed I have the same number of receivers and running backs in a 2021 mock. But I do. Can't recall ever feeling less certain about a class of defensive tackles or edge rushers. How about one trade that fills two QB needs? I am very much embracing the weird.

(And one final disclaimer: As you are reading this, I can guarantee you that in realtime I am bugging one of my editors to please let me tear this up and rework it based on something I just heard that has probably a 51% chance at best of actually being true. And they will rightfully ignore me and/or tell me to pound sand.)

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Clemson • 6'6" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Under almost any other set of circumstances I would have Urban Meyer beginning his NFL foray with Justin Fields. Just not under this one.
Round 1 - Pick 2
BYU • 6'2" / 214 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
2nd
Jets fans will have a love/hate relationship with comparing his career to the other four QBs in this draft. Couldn't Adam Gase have lost one or two more games?!?!!!!
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • 6'3" / 214 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
5th
Sometimes it is an elaborate smokescreen … and sometimes it just is what it is. Kyle Shanahan has found the perfect vessel, or hastened his inevitable departure.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Florida • 6'6" / 245 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
Oh how the football people in that building are eager to move back, within reason. And maybe they work something out with Miami, so the Dolphins get Ja'Marr Chase ahead of Cincy and Atlanta gets Pitts or Penei Sewell or any other WR in the draft. But I'm going chalk and banking on owner Arthur Blank wanting some pizzazz to lure fans back.
Round 1 - Pick 5
LSU • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
They should be trying to trade down harder than anyone in this draft, but this is the Bengals. Not happening. I would go tackle and they very well could go Sewell, but I keep hearing Chase, who should be a stud.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • 6'0" / 170 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
3rd
They want an explosive cog for the passing game, and with deep New England roots in this organization, and Belichick a special teams freak, I think the return stuff puts him maybe just ahead of teammate Jaylen Waddle here.
  Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • 6'3" / 227 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
3rd
All I heard for months was The Hoodie is all about Trey Lance and doesn't want Fields. My gut tells me that was in fact an elaborate smokescreen. A Jimmy G trade mitigates this, but this just feels right to me. New England swaps firsts and sends one of its fourth-round picks in 2021 and a 2022 first-rounder to Detroit to get it done.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Oregon • 6'5" / 331 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
They badly need corners, and if Fields is on the board, I could see owner David Tepper asking some probing questions. They have been all about trading down and that is a very real possibility. But I have them trying to incubate Sam Darnold.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Penn State • 6'3" / 248 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
Teddy Bridgewater gives them a young, competent NFL starting QB. Big box to check. Could this be Lance or Fields? Sure. But they are building with defense and Vic Fangio in this scenario gets his pick of any defensive player in the draft. Guys I trust have given me Junior Seau as a Parsons comp. So I lean to him over the two corners about to go off this faux board.
Round 1 - Pick 10
South Carolina • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
4th
I'd take a tackle here, but I don't believe Dallas will (maybe if Sewell is here). I keep hearing coaches are all over Horn and many people smarter than me are convinced he is the first corner.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 6'2" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
This very well could be Waddle, or Kwity Paye. They like them both. I just keep going back to their depth chart at corner (it should be deemed a shallow chart in this instance) and the film tells you Surtain is special.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
They may ultimately end up moving up a little to make this happen.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Northwestern • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
How do you not add arguably the best tackle in this draft for Justin Herbert? Offensive line been an issue there for quite a while.
Round 1 - Pick 14
USC • 6'5" / 308 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
4th
Never discount them taking a defensive player with Mike Zimmer at the helm, but man O-line has been a big problem for them for quite some time. This is also a very legit landing spot for Lance, and Minnesota has been heavy on evaluating this QB class. This is a coin flip for me between Vera-Tucker and Christian Darrisaw.
  Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 15
North Dakota State • 6'4" / 226 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
4th
In several iterations of this mock I had Chicago getting into this range to get a QB. And the Lions could take someone like Darrisaw in this spot and call it a win. But Jared Goff being the long-term answer at QB is unlikely, and they have ample draft capital to fill needs this year and beyond.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Tulsa • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Have heard they love him for weeks. They love Horn, but he is gone. And Najee Harris is not out of the question here, or another pass rusher. But I'm sticking with Collins.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Virginia Tech • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
3rd
In every prior version of this I had Trevon Moehrig penciled in, and I know they are very high on another safety, Richie Grant. And the defense needs major help. But so does the OL.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • 6'1" / 232 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
34th
POSITION RNK
1st
Give Tua some former Alabama teammates and see what he can do. No excuses. Would I be shocked if they go with a defender like Paye or Jaelan Phillips? No. But I have heard Harris here forever and I'm buying it.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Notre Dame • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Ron Rivera has been around a lot of great linebackers, and this kid has abundant potential. Moehrig will merit heavy consideration if he is there, but leaning LB.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Virginia Tech • 6'2" / 197 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
1st
Overt need at corner carries the day here for me. Maybe they land Lance. And Rashod Bateman makes a lot of sense, too, and I know they like him. I figure someone in back half of first round is comfortable enough with Farley's medical to take the gamble.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Michigan • 6'3" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
1st
They have a need at tackle, too, for sure and Teven Jenkins is out there. But Paye's size and power will get people's attention there.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Georgia • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
63rd
POSITION RNK
11th
If this was Phillips, or Azeez Ojulari or another pass rusher, I wouldn't blink. But that secondary needs major help and the brass in Tennessee loves this kid for good reason.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Georgia • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Got a strong sense early on that all things being equal this would be a pass rusher. Corner would not surprise me at all, either. Do they trust the medicals on Phillips?
Round 1 - Pick 24
North Carolina • 5'10" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
40th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Mike Tomlin loves Harris, but he's long gone, as is Collins, who they love. The buzz about them wanting to fix their run game is real.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Alabama • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
1st
They could address any level of the defense here, or go OL. I keep coming back to the interior of the defense, and GM Trent Baalke has gambled on boom-or-bust guys before with some potential red flags.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Kentucky • 6'4" / 234 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
43rd
POSITION RNK
4th
Been writing about this LB class for weeks and how much teams loved the top half-dozen or so. Browns working hard to upgrade their second level. They love Ohio State's Pete Werner, too, but I suspect that is more if they are able to trade down.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Miami (FL) • 6'5" / 266 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
3rd
He could be long gone by 11:30 ET Thursday night. If he went at 11 to NYG, I wouldn't be shocked. But in this exercise he is still here because of the medical concerns. And they are also very open to trading down, too. EDGE and OL are major needs, and there would be some high-fives if he is there when they pick.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Georgia • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
6th
They need corner help, and Greg Newsome II might be the pick here, but Campbell's size and potential – despite how raw he is – has me leaning to him for Sean Payton and Co.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Northwestern • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
5th
The run on corners continues. These guys always seem to draft DBs pretty high. I get the sense they are fairly comfortable with their young OL developing and they have done a lot of work on WRs, but there will be Day Two value there with how this board has gone.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Clemson • 5'10" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
36th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Throw this athlete in the mix of that offense that took off a year ago, and you really may win 50-47 game at Arrowhead in the AFC Championship Game, if that's what it takes.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Alabama • 6'6" / 333 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
65th
POSITION RNK
13th
They are shopping this pick. But I am not sold on someone moving up for a QB. They love Alabama kids. Every GM and coach in the league loves this kid. Wish I had a dollar for every time a decision-maker called him "a culture changer." Yes, the medicals are a problem, but you also might get five years of superior play at center or guard. Alabama teammate Alex Leatherwood or Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey or NDSU's Dillon Radunz or Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins all make sense.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Oklahoma State • 6'6" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
5th
They brought the entire band back together and can afford to take any position. No immediate need at tackle but Donovan Smith only signed a two-year deal and paying a right tackle $16M by 2022, with all the payroll they are already spending elsewhere, might not make sense for them.