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NFL Mock Draft 2021: Edition 2 (Senior Bowl Edition)

DeVonta Smith, No. 3 to Miami

The first major checkpoint of the 2021 NFL Draft process took place this past weekend, with the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl is not the most crucial part of the pre-Draft process, but it is an important chance for prospects to make their first real impressions in front of NFL teams. It has taken on special importance in the year 2021, as so many opt-outs of the 2020 college football season meant that a big chunk of these prospects were showing out for the first time since 2019. Plenty of prospects both helped and hurt their stock over the weekend, giving us plenty of reason to create a new 2021 mock draft.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Since my Edition 1 Mock Draft in December, Jacksonville has overtaken New York for the No. 1 overall pick and also hired Urban Meyer to be their head coach. It's certainly an intriguing fit, but one ripe with potential if things go right. Meyer will play a role in whoever the Jaguars take here, and I'd be shocked if it wasn't Trevor Lawrence. He checks just about every box an NFL team could be looking for, and Lawrence fits in just about any offense you put him in at the next level.

2. New York Jets

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The Jets are in a really fascinating position at pick No. 2. Do they give up on Sam Darnold after three underwhelming seasons, or give him one more chance? And if they do choose to move on, do they go after Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson? I think they'll be pressured into going with a QB in this class, and Fields makes the most sense. He's the type of "new-school" quarterback prospect NFL teams want right now, and he proved his toughness in this year's CFB Playoff.

3. Miami Dolphins

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Miami needs more help for Tua Tagovailoa, which makes either O-Line or receiver the selection here. I think receiver ends up being the play, and Ja'Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith will battle to be the top wide out in this Draft. Smith edges out Chase, fresh off a historical 2020 season and already having a great relationship with Tua.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Matt Ryan has had a tremendous career in Atlanta but he'll be 36 entering 2021. It's about time the Falcons think of a long-term solution at the position, and they'd jump at the chance at Zach Wilson if he is still available. Wilson has a game that actually reminds me a lot of Ryan, although Wilson is a little bit more mobile. Atlanta could follow the Alex Smith-Pat Mahomes method, and have Wilson watch Ryan for a year before giving him the keys to the offense.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Penei Sewell was one of the bigger name opt-outs for the 2020 college football season, making it easy to forget just how dominant he was in 2019. He was the best blocker in all of college football as a 19-year old, and there's a good chance he goes much higher than No. 5. However if he does last this long, the Bengals get the franchise tackle they need to keep Joe Burrow upright.

6. Philadelphia Eagles

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The Eagles desperately need more weapons offensively and while Chase is still available, I actually think Kyle Pitts makes the most sense. He's fresh off one of the best tight end seasons in college football history, and fits a clear need. While Philadelphia does still have Zach Ertz, he's in the final year of his contract and could be traded over the off-season, giving Pitts snaps right away.

7. Detroit Lions

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

While Detroit took Jared Goff from LA in the blockbuster Matt Stafford trade, QB could still be in play for the Lions at pick seven. However, I envision Detroit giving Goff a year to see what he can do, and adding a dynamic receiver like Chase would be a major help. Chase was the Biletnikoff Award winner in 2019, and would be a Top 10 prospect no matter the Draft.

8. Carolina Panthers

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

The run on quarterbacks continues with Carolina, who could be a contender to trade up. Teddy Bridgewater had a solid 2020, but I'm not sold on him being the long-term guy for head coach Matt Rhule. Instead, the Panthers take Trey Lance, who was wonderful in 2019 but played just one game in the wacky 2020-21 FCS season. His body of work overall isn't as impressive as the three signal-callers taken in front of him, but he's still certainly a first-round prospect.

9. Denver Broncos

Patrick Surtain Jr., CB, Alabama

Not only do the Broncos have to deal with Patrick Mahomes in the AFC West, there's another rising star QB in the division now in Justin Herbert. If the Broncos want to contend at all, they need to upgrade a patchwork secondary. Enter Patrick Surtain Jr., a three-year starter at Alabama who will battle former Virginia Tech corner Caleb Farley to be the best DB in this class.

10. Dallas Cowboys

Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Once an obvious strength for this Dallas team, the Cowboy O-Line has really deteriorated over the last couple seasons. They have an excellent opportunity to address it in the Top 10 and while Sewell will definitely be gone, Rashawn Slater is a fine consolation prize. Slater played tackle throughout college, but there's some NFL personnel that think he'll eventually move inside and become a guard/center in the future.

11. New York Giants

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

It's easy to forget that Jaylen Waddle was having an even better year than DeVonta Smith before a broken ankle cost him most of the 2020 season. Even so, he'll contend for a spot in the Top 10, with the Giants making a lot of sense. He's the type of offensive weapon that can open up everything for New York, and he could also potentially play a role on special teams.

12. San Francisco 49ers

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

San Francisco suffered through an injury-ravaged 2020 after playing for a Super Bowl the year prior, making them a wild card entering the off-season. We will wait and see what happens at QB, but the more pressing need is actually at corner. It was a good unit in '20, but the top three cornerbacks hit free agency and adding a youngster would be helpful either way. Caleb Farley was the first big name to opt-out of the 2020 season, but asserted himself as a star with his work in 2019.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, OL, Virginia Tech

The Chargers have a real star at quarterback in Herbert, but providing the right support around him is critical. The offensive line has a massive hole at left tackle that must be filled, and Virginia Tech's Christian Darrisaw should go somewhere in the mid-first. Darrisaw didn't allow a hit or sack once in pass protection in 2020, and he could move anywhere along the unit.

14. Minnesota Vikings

Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)

One of the most notable breakout stars of the 2019 college football season was Gregory Rousseau, who posted 15.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman. While he opted out of 2020, there's still enough NFL interest out there that he should land somewhere in the first. The Vikings pass rush has seriously declined recently, and adding an impact pass rusher like Rousseau should be a priority.

15. New England Patriots

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

New England has obvious needs on the offensive side of the ball but with the top three receivers in this class gone, Micah Parsons becomes the selection. For the record, I think Parsons will probably go higher than 15, but team needs could cause him to drop slightly. In typical Patriots fashion, they take the dropping Parsons to add much-needed athleticism to the front seven.

16. Arizona Cardinals

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Patrick Peterson appears to be beginning to decline and also hits free agency over the off-season. Even if he is brought back, the Cardinals should look to add a young talent at the cornerback position. Enter Jaycee Horn, a well-built CB who played three impact seasons at South Carolina. He's still a little raw in some areas, but projects favorably if he lands in the right spot.

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

Although Kwity Paye played in just four games total in 2020, he has evolved into a first-round lock and a serious candidate to the first defensive end off the board this spring. Watch the game against Minnesota to get a good idea about why NFL scouts adore Paye; he had two sacks against a veteran O-Line and showcased eye-popping quickness and twitch. He would immediately upgrade a Las Vegas pass rush that has been underwhelming for a few years now.

18. Miami Dolphins

Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama

Already adding a ready-made playmaker on the outside with pick 3, Miami works on their offensive line here. Alex Leatherwood did not have a very good Senior Bowl showing, but he still is likely to land somewhere in the mid to late first round. Leatherwood was a four-year contributor while in Tuscaloosca, and has experience blocking for Tua.

19. Washington Football Team

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Mac Jones had a terrific Senior Bowl, outplaying every quarterback in Mobile. He was already a fringe first-rounder based on what he did in the 2020 regular season, but I'd be shocked if he doesn't go Day One now. Washington obviously needs to address the QB position and Jones is the type of level-headed, intelligent QB that the organization has too often ignored.

20. Chicago Bears

Jalen Mayfield, OL, Michigan

Could this selection be used in a possible Deshaun Watson deal? Perhaps, but if it does stay in Chicago the Bears have to address their porous offensive line. There are plenty of options to choose from in this spot, but I think they stay in the Midwest and take Jalen Mayfield. The Michigan product is able to play either guard or tackle, and he's a proven commodity as a run blocker.

21. Indianapolis Colts

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

While DeVonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle look like the top three receivers in this Draft, there's a long list of players vying to be the fourth wide out taken. That includes names like Rondale Moore, Rashod Bateman and Kadarius Toney. My guess is that it will end up being Toney, who was absolutely dynamite for UF in 2020. The Colts take a swing on him at 21, as both Zach Pascal and T.Y. Hilton are set to hit the open market.

22. Tennessee Titans

Azeez Ojulari, DE/LB, Georgia

While Tennessee was hoping Jadeveon Clowney could be a massive difference-maker on defense, but he didn't record a single sack in eight games. The Titans could go the cheaper route in adding pass rushing abilities this off-season by selecting Azeez Ojulari. Ojulari's tape speaks for itself, and he wrapped up his collegiate career by recording three sacks in the Peach Bowl victory over Cincinnati.

23. New York Jets

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

In 2020 New York rotated their primary running back duties between 37-year old Frank Gore and untested youngsters Ty Johnson and La'Mical Perine. It's clear that they have to figure out a long-term plan here, and Najee Harris makes a ton of sense. Harris came back for his senior season and led the nation in rushing touchdowns, finishing fifth in Heisman voting. His 2020 was so strong it likely pushed him to RB1 territory over Clemson's Travis Etienne.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

Once a notable strength on this Pittsburgh team, the Steeler offensive line has really diminished in recent years. Enter Samuel Cosmi, a 6'7" behemoth of an offensive tackle who started 34 games over his Texas career. He doesn't have the upside of other O-Linemen in this Draft, but he could possibly have the highest floor of anybody not named Penei Sewell.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

Although he isn't a household name, Trevon Moehrig is my favorite safety prospect in this cycle. The former TCU Horned Frog is unbelievably rangy and he has excellent ball skills, picking off seven passes in his collegiate career. He helps a Jacksonville secondary that has a promising young talent in C.J. Henderson, but little else.

26. Cleveland Browns

Jaelan Phillips, DE/LB, Miami (FL)

Once a No. 1 recruit, Jaelan Phillips had a fairly fascinating collegiate career. He started off two injury-plagued seasons at UCLA before emerging as a real force on Miami's defense in 2020. Even though the injury concerns are still there, he's got all the tools to be a dominating end in the pros. Cleveland could use him to free up some attention away from Myles Garrett.

27. Baltimore Ravens

Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest

There's usually good value on edge rushers late in the first round and Baltimore takes a chance on one in Carlos Basham Jr. The long-time Demon Deacon is extremely well-rounded; not only will he rack up sacks but he's proven his worth in run support. He upgrades a Raven pass rush that could miss some pieces this off-season.

28. New Orleans Saints

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Winner of the 2020 Butkus Award, Jeremiah Owusu-Kormoah is an interesting prospect. He improved rapidly at Notre Dame and should acclimate quickly to the pros, but it's unclear what role he'll play in the NFL. Obviously he is an excellent linebacker, but there are some that think he could end up in the defensive backfield at some point. Either way, he adds a proven defender to a Saints defense that could use it.

29. Green Bay Packers

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

A year later than most expected, Green Bay adds an impact receiver in the form of Rashod Bateman. Bateman was 2019's Big Ten Receiver of the Year but was in an uncomfortable role in 2020, forced to play primarily out of the slot. Even in a loaded receiver class, Bateman is almost sure to land somewhere in the first round.

30. Buffalo Bills

Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

Buffalo has not shied away from going "best player available" with their high Draft picks, and Penn State's Jayson Oweh would fit that mold. Oweh is a monster who is just scratching the surface of what he can be as a pass rusher. Plus, Buffalo does have an aging defensive line, making this selection even easier for the front office.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jay Tufele, DL, USC

One of the more obvious needs on the NFC Champion Buccaneers is at interior defensive line. While Ndamukong Suh still played a major role this season, he's now 34. Tampa Bay can add a talented youngster to eventually fill his place in Jay Tufele. Tufele was another guy that opted out of 2020, but he showed impressive pass rushing technique for a player at his position, with 7.5 sacks the previous two seasons.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Zaven Collins, DE/LB, Tulsa

Another team with the luxury of being able to go "best player available" Kansas City takes a chance on Tulsa's Zaven Collins. A former high school quarterback, Collins had an impressive Tulsa career that he ended by taking home the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for being the country's best defensive player. His amazing versatility is the top selling point, as he could play just about anywhere defensively.

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