2021 Mock Draft Rounds 1-3

Who Will Win The Early Rounds?

By: Courtney Burrows

It’s that time of the year when everyone is getting geared up for the NFL Draft and mock drafting is taking place in every platform from Twitter to ESPN.  I decided to do my own three-round mock draft because I’m addicted to all things fantasy and NFL.. and I like to think I make better choices than most….so let’s see what’s in store for the 32 teams at least from my point of view!

Round One

  •  Jacksonville Jaguars-Trever Lawrence, QB Clemson.  This is a no-brainer.  The Meyer-Lawrence Era is beginning.  Lawrence is one of the best all-around QB in the draft in the last few years.  He will slide into his starter role with weapons around him and prosper!
  • NY Jets-Zach Wilson, QB BYU.  If there isn’t a trade-up for this pick, I think the Jets bypass Justin Fields and grab Wilson.  He is a stud coming off an elite 2020 season of 3,692 passing yards.  New Head Coach Saleh will want a talented young gun to build his future team around.
  • Miami Dolphins-Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU.  I know it is rare to think that Chase comes off the board before DeVonta Smith, but if the Dolphins are smart about it, they will draft as I draft!  Chase is big and physical and will give the Dolphins the edge as a deep threat option.  Chase is above Smith in my book as WR#1 because of how he always seems to be at his best when he jumps and contests the catch beating the secondary with ease!
  • Atlanta Falcons-Justin Fields, QB Ohio State- I do believe that Matt Ryan has one more year in him, but he is 35 and not many QBs last into their 40s in this league.  So, Fields will be drafted to take the helm.  Fields threw for 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions in the 2020 season and still has growing and untapped potential that the new coaching staff in Atlanta can use to their advantage.
  • Cincinnati Bengals-Penei Sewell, OL Oregon- Now I know that the Bengals need a star wideout for Burrow to throw too, but more importantly he needs protection.  He played through 10 incredible games proving his worth as the #1 pick last season then got hurt.  What does that prove?  The O-line needs help and Sewell is the best one to do that off the boards as he can open holes, protect the pass, and go nose to nose with the biggest defensive tackles out there and hold his own easily.
  • Philadelphia Eagles-DeVonta Smith, WR Alabama- Assuming that Hurts is the starting QB, whats more fun than reuniting the two Bama stars in Philly.  It’s no secret the Eagles need WR help and fast, so for them to pass up the Heisman winner who logged 1,856 yards last season would be insanity.
  • Detroit Lions-Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama- The Lions just made a huge trade and sent Stafford to LA for Goff, so an immediate need is a capable wideout for him to throw too since all the other WRs in Detroit are up in the air with free agency.  Waddle has proven himself at Alabama to be efficient on special teams and as a speed demon in the open field. 
  • Carolina Panthers- Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State- Unfortunately, Bridgewater has not panned out like me or others thought for the Panthers.  Lance is a freak of athletic nature who still is unpolished and needs work, but he can learn for a bit behind Bridgewater, then take over and shine for years to come.  2020 season wasn’t what it was cracked up to be for all players but in 2019, Lance threw for 2,786 yards with zero interceptions.
  • Denver Broncos-Patrick Surtain, CB Alabama-The Broncos released CB AJ Bouye and find themselves in need of secondary help especially at cornerback.  Surtain fills that gap.  He is tall, quick, and can outrival in man to man coverage.  Surtain’s patience and consistency are his better qualities and ones that are hard to find in rookies. 
  • Dallas Cowboys-Micah Parsons, LB Penn State- What is there left to say about the dismal state on both sides of the ball the Cowboys found themselves in this past season.  Parsons is too talented to pass up, so they will grab him here, and he will start day 1 helping the defense regain it stardom.  Parsons has edge-rush ability as well as linebacker ball skills with arms that can wrap opposing offensives up.
  • NY Giants-Kyle Pitts, TE Florida-Pitts reminds me of the Raiders’ Darren Waller because he can play and produce all over the field.  The Giants should part ways with Evan Engram as he just hasn’t been the same with QB Jones.  Jones needs a new flashy, sticky handed weapon, and Pitts cannot be passed up.  The Giants have a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but Pitts could provide them with an offensive spark in the first game!
  • San Francisco 49ers-Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech-The 49ers have a lot of defensive and secondary players moving into free agency, and so there is much uncertainty.  Farley is a certain bet.  He is a beast-like competitor that seems to always find the holes to intercept passes and his explosiveness has him running those balls back after the catch.  Despite sitting out 2020, Farley is a fluid player that can stop and change directions on a dime defending the jump balls, and he is one player that cannot be overlooked. 
  • LA Chargers- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern- This is a simple pick for me and that is to protect your investment and your Rookie of the Year in Justin Herbert.  Herbert was sacked 32 times last season for 9th in the league.  Obviously, the offensive line needs to be addressed. Slater is an extremely versatile player who can tackle, play guard or center.  The Chargers need to help Herbert succeed and build up around him to advance to the Super Bowl, and Slater is the player to do that!
  • Minnesota Vikings-Kwity Payne, DL Michigan-The Vikings are used to having an elite defensive unit, and last year they didn’t live up to that as they ranked 32nd in pass rushing.  Needless to say, they need defensive line and edge rush help and Payne is an elite talent that can’t be passed on as the Vikings can find additional defensive help in later rounds as well.
  • New England Patriots-Terrace Marshall, WR LSU.  I know the Patriots need a QB and this might seem like a stretch for Marshall to come off the board so early, but he fits into a Belichick offense like no other.  Marshall is a large man who doesn’t look big when he runs because he is fast, elusive, and nimble.  His route-running ability is adaptable to all plays and that is perfect for an offensive mind like Belichick.   If Marshall would have played the entire 2020 season, he would have easily eclipsed 1000 yards, just wait to see him explode at the pro level.
  • Arizona Cardinals-Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Miami-The Cardinals need help in the secondary and a cornerback would be a smart pickup, but I don’t think they can let Rousseau slide past them especially since it looks like Arron Reddick is heading to free agency.  Though he sat out 2020, he had 15.5 sacks in 2019.  Rousseau can explode off the line like a train and dominates tight ends and blocks tightly. 
  • Las Vegas Raiders- Christian Barmore, DL Alabama- The Raiders allowed 29.4 points per game in 2020 which was the 3rd most in the NFL.  They need linebacker help and Barmore is their guy.  He is powerful and can knock lineman off their game, focus and collapse the pocket.  Raiders need a heavy presence up front and Barmore’s strength is perfect for Raider Nation. 
  • Miami Dolphins, Najee Harris, RB Alabama-This is one of the reasons I do not see the Dolphins taking both DeVonta Smith and Harris, too many Bama boys back together.  I feel that they are all in on their offense, and Harris will be the featured back, star, and will power through defenses and dominate.  We know that RBs run this league and Harris will be an elite one for years to come.  Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2020, and he is the guy that will help Miami contend against The Bills again for the AFC East.  We knew it was never going to be Myles Gaskin. 
  • Washington Football Team- Mac Jones, QB, Alabama.  Quietly Jones has crept up the boards in mock drafts, and we know that even though Taylor Heinicke was signed to a two-year deal recently, he is a backup.  Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions in 2020.  He is not flashy or dominate, but he is smart and patient, and very much like Peyton Manning.  I think given the chance, Jones could be a great league QB and WFT needs a future leader.
  • Chicago Bears-Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue-Though the Bears might trade up for a QB, if the perfect one does not fall into their lap, they need to think about replacing Allen Robinson.  Though Moore is a smaller wideout, he has electrifying speed off the line and is incredibly hard to tackle.  Moore can play slot and can also mix it up with screens and sweeps. 
  • Indianapolis Colts- Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas.  Now we know that Wentz will be under center for the Colts and to give him time and help him elevate the team, one thing is for sure, they need to replace tackle Castonzo.   Wentz needs protection while in the pocket, and Jonathan Taylor needs lanes to run.   Cosmi has character, poise, strength, and a great head on his shoulders.  He has experience at right and left tackle and playing both adds depth to his abilities.
  • Tennessee Titans-Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss.  Though most will think Moore won’t go off the boards until 2nd round, I think the Titans would be sneaky to jump and grab him.  He and AJ Brown have great history from their days at Ole Miss where Moore played 3rd string WR to him and DK Metcalf, talk about great players to be learning from.  I know the Titans need other positions like EDGE, IDL, S, and OT, but Corey Davis is set to leave and Adam Humphries is not a true #2.  Moore can play slot like he did at Ole Miss where he used his tall frame and sticky hands to catch and run for 1,193 yards.  He is an incredibly quick receiver who will be an amazing complement to Brown and another weapon for Tannehill.
  • NY Jets-Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota.  If the Jets are “all-in” on offensive and turning their dreary 2020 season around, they need a true #1 wide receiver that will complement Zach Wilson for years to come.  Bateman can play in the slot and on the outside.  In three years at Minnesota, Bateman racked up 2,395 yards and it easily could’ve gone over 3,000 if his Junior year was not cut short sue to Covid. 
  • Pittsburg Steelers-Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson.  So the Steelers really struggled last season in the run game.  After Connor was hurt and returned, things just never looked the same.  Etienne’s 2020 season was incredible as he rushed for 1,572 yards.  He just seems to find the open lane and can barrel over tacklers.  My guess is 2021 will be Roethlisberger’s last year, so they will begin rebuilding, and Etienne is the perfect cornerstone for that to happen.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars-Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL USC.  The Jags are drafting the #1 QB as their #1 pick, now let’s get more depth and protection up front for Lawrence.  Vera-Tucker is 6’4” and 315 lbs with room to grow.  Vera-Tucker has great vision in his pass protection and has fantastic footwork and hands to keep pass rushers at bay.  Lawrence will be able to be patient in the pocket with Vera-Tucker added to the mix.
  • Cleveland Browns-Azeez Ojulari, LB/EDGE, Georgia.  The Browns need speed in their secondary and overall help on the defensive side of the ball.  Besides Myles Garrett, there are glaring holes to be filled.  Ojulari has remarkable burst off the line, and if he is paired opposite Garrett, then what an improvement that would serve.  Ojulari has flown somewhat under the radar but had 27 tackles in 2020, 18 of which were solo, and once he packs on more bulk, he can be an unstoppable force with Garrett bringing the Dog Pound back.
  • Baltimore Ravens-Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR USC-The Ravens need linebackers and safety help, but I can’t help but wonder if things would have been different in their playoff run with a reliable, consistent wideout.  Lamar Jackson can run, but he also runs for his life with no one to truly connect with downfield.  I believe they could trade for a veteran WR, but if they continue to build the offense with weapons, then Jackson and the Ravens will have better days ahead.  They also have time for other positions in later rounds.  St. Brown can line up in slot and outside.  He runs routes smoothly and efficiently which is something Jackson needs.  St. Brown is going high here, but I like the Ravens locking in someone who can grow with Jackson.
  • New Orleans Saints-Kadarius Toney, WR Florida.  The Saints having a glaring hole at QB for the future, but with no real prospects left on the board, they shift their eyes to assisting whoever is under center with a star top product alongside Michael Thomas.  Imagine the creativity and freedom in play calling Coach Payton will have if he has two speedy, incredibly talented wideouts on the field.  Toney is extremely adaptable and can line up anywhere but would be used best as slot.  He accelerates off the line like a bullet blasting past defenders deep, short, and in the middle.  This is a dream scenario of mine!
  • Green Bay Packers-Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina.  The Packers are in desperate need of a cornerback as it they have had issues with the position in the last few years.  We saw how the Packers were beaten late in the NFC Championship and the secondary lacked spark and consistency.  Horn is a large player who despite his size seems to be able to be present all over the field.  In his three-college seasons, he totaled 101 tackles.  Horn is the guy that can help turn things around for the Packers defense.
  • Buffalo Bills- Christian Darrisaw, OL Virginia Tech.  The Bills need to desperately improve their running game so that they can make it to the Super Bowl next year.  Darrisaw’s expert run blocking led his star running back last season to the have the 2nd most rushing yards in the ACC.  He uses his body and strong hands to stop defenders at the line.  Darrisaw could be dangerous with the Bills as all the other pieces have been lining up, but if they can be more efficient at opening holes and lanes for the run game, then look out league.
  • Kansas City Chiefs- Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa.  First of all, Zaven is the best name in the draft, it is modern and unique and I love how it rolls off my tongue.  That being said, Collins is a gifted linebacker who can be placed all along the line and still produce.  In 32 games with Tulsa, he had 236 tackles and two defensive touchdowns.  He is a playmaker, and it is no surprise that the Chiefs could use an upgrade on their defensive line.  The Chiefs roll on offensive, but always give up big plays and points as they averaged 22.8 points to opponents in 2020 which is up from 20.2 in 2019.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Carlos Bansham Jr, EDGE, Wake Forrest.  The Super Bowl Champs proved their defense was the key to their victories as it was an elite unit and really turned it up the last half of the season.  One of the main positions they need to address is Edge rusher since Shaq Barrett is a free agent.  I think they will resign him and add another with Bansham.  Bansham is physical and has quick bursts off the line of scrimmage, and he can change directions with ease to tackle.  He will be a crucial addition even if they do resign Barrett.

Round Two

Round Two- This first round saw many offensive players fly off the board which means that the teams now need to fill the remainder of the holes on the field with other sleeper picks and options.  Here we go!

  • Jags- (Needs DL, TE, CB, LB, S) Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
  • Jets- (Needs CB, EDGE, RB, S, LB, OT)  Asante Samuel Jr, CB FSU
  • Falcons- (Needs EDGE, LB, CB, RB, DB, S)  Javonte Williams, RB North Carolina
  • Dolphins-(Needs LB, OT, S, DE) Jaelan Philips, DE Miami
  • Eagles- (Needs CB, LB, G, S, OT)  Javon Holland, S Oregon
  • Bengals- (Needs WR, CB, OL, LB) Tylan Wallace, WR Oklahoma St.
  • Panthers-(Needs LB, CB, OT, TE) Tyson Campbell, CB Georgia
  • Broncos- (Needs EDGE, LB, QB, OT) Patrick Jones, EDGE Pittsburg
  • Lions- (Needs CB, OL, LB, S) Daviyon Nixon, DL Iowa
  • Giants- (Needs EDGE, LB, WR, S, CB, OG) Jayson Oweh, EDGE Penn State
  • 49ers- (Needs IOL, OT, DT, QB, S) Jay Tufele, DT, USC
  • Cowboys-(Needs CB, S, DE, OT, TE) Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
  • Jags- (Needs DL, WR, TE, CB, S) Richie Grant, S, UCF
  • Patriots- (Needs TE, QB, LB, S, OT, DT) Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
  • Chargers- (Needs CB, IOL, LB, DT, WR) Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
  • Raiders- (Needs EDGE, IOL, LB, S, OT) Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
  • Cardinals- (Needs CB, RB, TE, LB, DL) Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
  • Dolphins- (Needs LB, OT, DE) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Norte Dame
  • Washington- (Needs OT, WR, CB, S) Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
  • Bears- (Needs QB, OT, IOL, CB, LB) Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
  • Titans- (Needs EDGE, IDL, CB, TE, OT) Alim McNeil, DL, North Carolina State
  • Colts- (Needs CB, S, WR, LB, TE) Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida
  • Steelers- (Needs OT, CB IOL, LB, QB, TE) Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
  • Rams- (Needs OT, EDGE, LB, IOL, CB) Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburg
  • Ravens- (Needs EDGE, TE, S, DL, OT) Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
  • Browns- (Needs CB, DL, OT, S, WR, TE) Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
  • Saints- (Needs QB, CB, LB, S, EDGE) Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
  • Bills- (Needs CB, LB, EDGE, TE) Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
  • Packers- (Needs WR, OT, C, LB, S) Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  • Chiefs- (Needs WR, IOL, OT, CB, DL) Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
  • Buccaneers- (Needs DT, WR, RB, OT, QB) Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia

Round Three

  • Jags- (Needs DL, WR, TE, CB) Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
  • Jets- (Needs EDGE, RB, S, LB, OT) Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
  • Texans- (Needs CB, EDGE, TE, WR, OT) Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma
  • Falcons- (Needs EDGE, LB, CB, DB, S) Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
  • Bengals- (Needs CB, OL, LB, DT) Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
  • Eagles- (Needs CB, LB, G, OT ) Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
  • Broncos- (Needs LB, QB, OT, S) Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
  • Lions- (Needs CB, OL, S) Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
  • Panthers-(Needs LB, OT, TE) James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
  • Washington-(Needs WR, CB, S) TuTu Atwell, WR, Louisville
  • Cowboys- (Needs S, DE, OT, TE) Joe Tyron, DE, Washington
  • Giants- (Needs LB, WR, S, CB, OG) Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
  • Chargers-(Needs CB, IOL, DT, WR, TE) Jared Goldwire, DT, Louisville
  • Vikings- (Needs CB, EDGE, S, OT) Trey Smith, OT, Tennessee
  • Cardinals-(Needs CB, RB, LB, DL) Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
  • Raiders-(Needs IOL, LB, S, OT) Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, FSU
  • Dolphins-(Needs OT, DE) Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  • Washington-(Needs CB, S, LB) Caden Sterns, S, Texas
  • Bears-(Needs QB, IOL, CB, LB) Jaylen Twyman, DB, Pittsburg
  • Eagles-(Needs CB, LB, G) Robert Hainsey, OT/G, Notre Dame
  • Titans-(Needs EDGE, CB, TE, OT) Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke
  • Jets-(Needs EDGE, S, LB, OT) Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
  • Steelers-(Needs CB, IOL, LB, QB, TE) Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
  • Lions- (Needs CB, OL, LB) JaCoby Stevens, LB, LSU
  • Browns- (Needs DL, OT, S, WR, TE) Jerome Johnson, DT, Indiana
  • Vikings-(Needs CB, EDGE, DE, S) Ta’Quan Graham, DT, Texas
  • Browns-(Needs OT, S, WR, TE) Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsnurg
  • Packers-(Needs WR, OT, C, LB, S) Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida
  • Bills-(Needs CB, EDGE, TE) Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke
  • Chiefs-(Needs IOL, OT, CB, LB) Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern
  • Buccaneers-( Needs WR, RB, OT, QB) Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

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