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NFL Mock Draft 2021: Edition 4 (Final Edition)

Ja'Marr Chase, No. 5 to Cincinnati

 1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Although we usually have a good idea who the No. 1 pick will end up being the closer we inch to the Draft, it's rare to see a prospect never move from the top of draft boards throughout the entire process. After an illustrious collegiate career, Trevor Lawrence will make the jump to Jacksonville and team up with Urban Meyer. He'll need improved weapons around him if he is to succeed, making the next few selections for the Jags just as crucial.

Previous Selection: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Other Possibility: N/A

2. New York Jets

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Zach Wilson may not be a complete 100 percent lock at pick No. 2 like Lawrence is first overall, but he's certainly nearing that territory. The former BYU Cougar is coming off a massive 2020, when he went from a solid college quarterback into a bonafide Heisman contender and future NFL starter. He'll start up a new era for the Jets, who will also be breaking in a new head coach in former San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Previous Selection: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Other Possibility: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

3. San Francisco 49ers

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

With Lawrence and Wilson locked in at one and two, the No. 3 pick is where things really begin. San Francisco gave up a bunch to ascend from the 12th selection to three, but it's still unclear who they intend to go after. Quarterback is the obvious choice considering the prospects available, but a certain tight end, Kyle Pitts, could also be in play. Recent rumors indicate that it's primarily down to either Trey Lance or Mac Jones, with Jones emerging as the heavy favorite. It could all just be a smoke screen, but the smart money is still on the Alabama product here.

Previous Selection: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Other Possibility: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

4. Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Considering that Trey Lance and Justin Fields are still available in this mock, it wouldn't surprise if Atlanta were to trade down to a QB-needy team. However, I never do trades in my mocks, so the Falcons instead stay firm and draft a potential generational tight end prospect in Kyle Pitts. Pitts is already a matchup nightmare with his blend of size, speed and route running but I'll be curious to see whether the creative coaches in the NFL can take him to an even higher level.

Previous Selection: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Other Possibility: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The final pick in the Top 5 looks like it will come down to either Penei Sewell, who I've had mocked to Cincinnati for some time, and Ja'Marr Chase, generally viewed as the top wide out in this Draft. Sewell seems to be trending in a worrying direction on boards and the Bengals did sign Riley Reiff this off-season. Things seem to be setting up for Chase to be the selection, and his prior connections with Joe Burrow only add to the possibility.

Previous Selection: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Other Possibility: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

6. Miami Dolphins

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

In much the same vein as San Francisco, Miami operates as a fascinating wild card near the top of the Draft. They want to supply Tua Tagovailoa with more weapons on the perimeter, but could be in good position to land a sliding prospect, such as Penei Sewell, if need be. Even though wide out is the more obvious need, Sewell is my No. 2 prospect in this cycle, and a safer selection.

Previous Selection: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Other Possibility: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

7. Detroit Lions

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Another contender to trade down, or perhaps even select a quarterback, the Lions hold a fair bit of power at this spot. I had mocked Justin Fields to them previously but more and more, I get the feeling they'll give Jared Goff at least one full season to show what he can do in the Motor City. Instead, they turn to the need at wide out, which is currently one of the worst position groups in the NFL.

Previous Selection: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Other Possibility: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

8. Carolina Panthers

Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Yet another selection that could go several different directions. Carolina just traded for Sam Darnold and look like they will operate with him as their franchise QB, at least for the time being. That takes Lance and Fields off the board, even though it's been reported they really like Fields. With that in mind, offensive line makes the most sense, considering it was an incredibly inconsistent group throughout 2020. Rashawn Slater's far from a flashy first-round selection, but he fits a need.

Previous Selection: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Other Possibility: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

9. Denver Broncos

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

In my initial writeup of this mock, I had the Broncos taking Trey Lance because it seems extremely unlikely both Lance & Fields last beyond the Top 10. However, the Broncos recently acquired Teddy Bridgewater, giving them a pair of serviceable, if rather underwhelming, signal-callers in Drew Lock and Bridgewater. With quarterback solved for now, they focus on their obvious need at linebacker. Parsons can play on the inside or outside and has proven to be among the most versatile defenders of this year's cycle.

Previous Selection: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Other Possibility: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

10. Dallas Cowboys

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

An aging offensive line may rank as the top need for the Cowboys entering the Draft but with Sewell and Slater both gone, they instead turn their attention to their pass defense. Dallas has been connected to Patrick Surtain for awhile and the former Tide corner makes the most sense. Surtain has a good chance at being the first defensive player off the board, depending on what comes of Micah Parsons.

Previous Selection: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Other Possibility: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

11. New York Giants

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

New York ranked 31st in the NFL in offense a season ago and while the healthy return of Saquon Barkley will be huge, they need more explosiveness in the passing attack. Freshly signed Kenny Golladay can operate as the traditional No. 1 guy, with the Giants adding Jaylen Waddle as a home run threat over the top, although I think he has the potential to be so much more than that.

Previous Selection: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Other Possibility: Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

After initially trading down from their perch at No. 6, the Eagles would love if a playmaking wide out were to slip to them. It's a possibility, but with Chase, Smith and Waddle all gone, they instead shift their focus to cornerback. Jaycee Horn has risen up boards quickly over the last several weeks and should seriously challenge Surtain as the first CB taken.

Previous Selection: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Other Possibility: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Justin Herbert showed more than enough promise his rookie season for Los Angeles to be very excited about his future. However, he won't be able to survive very long in the league unless the Chargers seriously upgrade his protection. They've already overhauled much of the unit so far, but the next step is to add a developmental piece in this Draft. Enter Christian Darrisaw, a capable offensive tackle with a proven pedigree from his time at Virginia Tech.

Previous Selection: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

Other Possibility: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

14. Minnesota Vikings

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Offensive line has been Minnesota's most obvious glaring weakness for the past half-decade now. At some point the front office will need to figure out a way to solve the issue and drafting in the mid-first round gives them a great opportunity. With Darrisaw taken a pick earlier, the Vikings instead shift to Alijah Vera-Tucker. The USC product was sometimes inconsistent, but has serious upside and could play guard if necessary.

Previous Selection: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Other Possibility: Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

15. New England Patriots

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

I want to go on record and state that there is absolutely no way we land at 15 with Lance and Fields still available. Simply put, at least one team is going to move up to draft one of them, most likely multiple teams. But in a hypothetical scenario where no trades are made, the Patriots get their choice of the pair. Justin Fields just feels like a New England-type selection, a stud college player who, for whatever reason, slides down draft boards right into Bill Belichick's lap.

Previous Selection: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Other Possibility: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

16. Arizona Cardinals

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Arizona needs to upgrade their defense with this selection and while front seven could be in play, the most likely scenario is in the secondary. The Cardinals may have solid veterans in the form of Malcolm Butler and Budda Baker, but a young developmental piece like Caleb Farley makes a lot of sense. Farley's draft stock appears to be sliding as of late, but he's still in decent position to be the third corner off the board.

Previous Selection: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Other Possibility: Zaven Collins, DE/LB, Tulsa

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

It's always a fun mystery to see where Mike Mayock, Jon Gruden, and Raider brass go in the Draft. They love to make unique, somewhat out-of-the-box moves that are nearly impossible to accurately mock. My best guess is they will target somewhere in the front seven, but which spot is unclear. Kwity Paye is the best player available in the front seven, making him the smartest bet.

Previous Selection: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

Other Possibility: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

18. Miami Dolphins

Zaven Collins, DE/LB, Tulsa

After taking Penei Sewell with their earlier first-rounder, Miami could choose to add a dynamic playmaker, such as the multiple receivers available, or even a tailback. However, Zaven Collins makes even more sense to me at this spot. The highly accomplished Tulsa product can do just about anything head coach Brian Flores needs, and the Dolphins have a slight need at LB now that Kyle Van Noy is no longer in town.

Previous Selection: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)

Other Possibility: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

19. Washington Football Team

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Again, I find it highly doubtful that Trey Lance will last this long into the first round, but that's just the way things work out. If it were to happen, I'd assume the Washington Football Team would jump on the chance on a first-round talent with this much upside. Although they brought on Ryan Fitzpatrick over the off-season, it's clear the organization will need a long-term face at the position to have any chance in the NFC East.

Previous Selection: Zaven Collins, DE/LB, Tulsa

Other Possibility: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

20. Chicago Bears

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

If the Bears are truly committed to Andy Dalton at quarterback, and it appears they are, they need to help him out. Receiver is a fairly real possibility with the talent still available at the position, but O-Line appears to be the more likely route. Oklahoma State's Teven Jenkins has some off-the-field concerns, but possesses the raw tools needed to be an effective tackle in the NFL.

Previous Selection: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

Other Possibility: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

21. Indianapolis Colts

Azeez Ojulari, DE/LB, Georgia

Denico Autry and Justin Houston both left Indianapolis over the off-season, meaning the Colts will need to address the pass rush near the top of this Draft. Kwity Paye, Jaelan Phillips, and Gregory Rousseau should all be in play, but Georgia's Azeez Ojulari offers more versatility. He's been an extremely disruptive edge presence for the Bulldogs the last two seasons, but showed real improvement in support in 2020.

Previous Selection: Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

Other Possibility: Jaelan Phillips, DE/LB, Miami (FL)

22. Tennessee Titans

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

The Titans lost two key components from their 2020 offense, as wide out Corey Davis signed with the Jets and coordinator Arthur Smith is now the head man in Atlanta. They still might have an opportunity to end up upgrading the receiver corps, as Kadarius Toney's speed and dynamic playmaking ability should open up A.J. Brown in the passing game, and Derrick Henry underneath.

Previous Selection: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

Other Possibility: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

23. New York Jets

Jaelan Phillips, DE/LB, Miami (FL)

New head man Robert Saleh, formerly the DC in San Francisco, desperately wants some new pieces to work with in the New York front seven. Linebacker is a real possibility considering the options available here, but Jaelan Phillips is a Top 15 talent who could slide down boards slightly. He had a breakout 2020 for the Miami Hurricanes, but his injury history is a real concern.

Previous Selection: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Other Possibility: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

With James Conner officially gone, Pittsburgh is looking at the possibility of their feature back being either Benny Snell Jr. or Anthony McFarland. Neither offer much long-term workhorse abilities, which the Steelers will need as Ben Roethlisberger's career draws to a close. That gives them reason to go after Najee Harris, who has asserted himself as the clear top RB in the class.

Previous Selection: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Other Possibility: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

Getting your franchise quarterback and then going offensive line to help protect him is a common move for teams drafting high, but the Jaguars can easily wait on O-Line, as they draft first in Round Two. Instead they focus on a need at safety and select Trevon Moehrig, who I've very high on. The rangy defensive back can easily plug in and make an impact, with the ball skills to be an interception magnet.

Previous Selection: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama

Other Possibility: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

26. Cleveland Browns

Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama

Receiver could be in play for Cleveland in the late first, as Odell Beckham Jr.'s future is still up in the air, but front seven is the more pressing need. I've previously mocked linebacker at this spot, but instead turn my attention to the interior defensive line. The Browns got rid of the declining Sheldon Richardson over the off-season; they replace him with the high-upside Christian Barmore.

Previous Selection: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Other Possibility: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

27. Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

In most drafts, Rashod Bateman would be a Top 15-20 selection and one of, if not the, top receivers off the board. This loaded receiver class threatens to drop him slightly, but Baltimore could use extra help on the perimeter. Bateman put together a marvelous career in Minnesota and is incredibly polished for his age, with some of the best hands in the draft class.

Previous Selection: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Other Possibility: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)

28. New Orleans Saints

Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

Keep your eye on the Saints as a team that could move up to try and snag a quarterback considering Drew Brees is officially retired. However if they stick firm, either wide out or edge rusher should end up being the selection. With the top five wide outs off the board, they turn their attention to pass rusher, where Jayson Oweh drops into their lap. Although incredibly raw, Oweh is an absolute freak athlete, and the Saints have proven they can develop the position.

Previous Selection: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Other Possibility: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

29. Green Bay Packers

Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern

Greg Newsome II is a name rising up at the right time and he could be in play as high as Arizona at No. 16. If he does last longer than that, Green Bay may be the eventual destination, due to their need at corner. The physical, well-rounded corner might not have the upside of others at his position in this cycle but has a higher floor.

Previous Selection: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

Other Possibility: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

30. Buffalo Bills

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Buffalo has operated under a "best player available" mentality over the last several draft cycles and I'm sure they'll do the same in this one. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the best defender available at this point in my opinion and also fits a need. The Bills did resign Matt Milano over the off-season, but linebacker was still a weak point in 2020.

Previous Selection: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami (FL)

Other Possibility: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

31. Baltimore Ravens

Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama

Baltimore recently acquired this selection from Kansas City in the Orlando Brown deal, trading away a proven offensive linemen. They'll use the selection to get younger across the line in the form of Alex Leatherwood, a guy who was a multi-year starter in the brutal SEC and still managed to play incredibly well. Although he's more natural at tackle, Leatherwood began his Tide career playing guard and he could theoretically do it in the pros.

Previous Selection: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan (to Kansas City)

Other Possibility: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

Even though Tampa already has one of the best linebacker duos in the league in Devin White and Lavonte David, Jamin Davis could still fit in. For one, David is now 31 years old and while he hasn't shown signs of decline just yet, he'll be out of his prime soon. Additionally, Davis could be able to play some outside linebacker, although that's not his natural position.

Previous Selection: Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State

Other Possibility: Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama

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