The 2020 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday, but here at All NFL Draft 365, we don’t take any days off. Preparations and tape study is already underway for the 2021 Draft so why waste time presenting our thoughts?
We had such a great time over the past 8 months on our new website and we couldn’t appreciate your support any more than we do. It ended with the first ever virtual draft, which the NFL and ESPN did phenomenal jobs putting it on without any noticeable hiccups and great production.
I can’t wait to watch the 2020 draft class over the next couple weeks to see where my analysis was right, and more importantly, where I was wrong. I’ve learned a lot over the past year and I know that 2021 will be even better.
We are finally going to see Trevor Lawrence enter the draft (most likely as technically he can go back to school). Lawrence has already been compared to the likes of Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning with more athleticism, so it will be really fun to finally break down his film. Without further ado, here is my Way-Too-Early 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
1) Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
I expect the Jaguars to trade away RB Leonard Fournette and DE Yannick Ngakoue, essentially making them the Dolphins of the 2021 draft. I don’t believe Gardner Minshew is the answer in Jacksonville, and if they own the first overall pick, you can bet it will be Trevor Lawrence. We’ve already heard he’s the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck.
2) Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Bengals should be much improved with Joe Burrow under center, but they need to improve their offensive line. Sewell is one of the best OT prospects coming out of college in several years. This is about as no-brained a pick as Burrow was this year.
3) New York Giants
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
This is another WR heavy draft class, but Chase is on a level of his own. The Giants are lacking that top tier WR on their roster. They have the QB, RB, and offensive line, now they can get an elite pass catching weapon.
4) Washington Redskins
Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
It’ll be very interesting how QB Dwayne Haskins does this season and how Washington views him next offseason. If they are picking in the top 5 again, I think there is a very decent chance that they’ll look at QBs again. But here I just went with the top player remaining on my board who isn’t a defensive lineman.
5) Carolina Panthers
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
I really like Teddy Bridgewater, but we just don’t know how he’s going to play as a starter with his own team for a full season. The Panthers signed him to a three year deal this offseason, but they can pretty much get out of it after 2020. Fields might push Lawrence for the top spot, but eventually I think he lands as the second QB in this class.
6) New York Jets
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Jets still haven’t fully solved their edge rush problems. Rousseau has the prototypical size of a speedy edge rusher and has the potential to dominate ACC competition this year. Rousseau fills their biggest remaining need and could instantly improve their defense that has an underrated secondary.
7) Detroit Lions
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Parsons has been dominating at Penn State and he has the potential to rise up to a top 5 pick in 2021. The Lions still have a big need at linebacker and Parsons is the best in this class.
8) Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle might’ve been the best WR at Alabama in 2019, which is seriously saying something. DeVante Parker broke out in 2019 but the Dolphins need another top option. New QB Tua Tagovailoa can reunite with one of his elite Alabama targets.
9) Las Vegas Raiders
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The Raiders upgraded the LB position this offseason, but Moses is a big upgrade over Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski. They’ve addressed almost every position in the draft in 2020 and 2019, except LB. they can now get a guy who was projected as a top 15 prospect in 2020 before hurting his knee and coming back to Alabama for his senior season.
10) Denver Broncos
Walker Little, OT, Stanford
The Broncos seriously upgraded their offensive weapons in the 2020 offseason, but they didn’t do much for their offensive line. Walker Little was projected as a top 10 pick in the 2020 draft before going down with a knee injury. Going back for his senior season and proving the injury isn’t lingering should put him back in top 10 talk.
11) Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Andre Cisco is simply a ball-hawking playmaker in the secondary. It’s tough for a safety to get drafted even in the top 15. But it would surprise me if Cisco drops much past pick 10. The Dolphins focused on the trenches in 2020, and now they can add playmakers on both sides of the ball in 2021.
12) Los Angeles Chargers
Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Alex Leatherwood was a surprise prospect who decided to return to school for his senior year who wasn’t forced to due to injury. And OT-needy teams in 2021 are thankful for him. This will be a great offensive line class and the Chargers still need a LT of the future after trading Russell Okung and not drafting a tackle early in the 2020 draft.
13) Arizona Cardinals
Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
The Cardinals were linked to Derrick Brown throughout the draft process, but the Panthers took him one pick before them. They ended up with the versatile LB Isaiah Simmons, and now they can get that big body in the middle of their defensive line. Wilson has been a dominant force for Florida State and him and Simmons would be a fearsome duo in the NFL.
14) Chicago Bears
Trey Lance, QB, NDSU
If the Bears are picking at 14 that means they didn’t make the playoffs. Which means Trubisky didn’t get the job done again. I don’t expect the Bears to pick up his 5th year option this year anyway, and Nick Foles is only tied to the Bears through 2021, with a very cuttable contract. The Bears need to try again at QB.
15) Atlanta Falcons
Xavier Thomas, EDGE, Clemson
The Falcons signed Dante Fowler this offseason, but didn’t really do anything else to seriously help the edge rush position. Besides CB, that was probably their biggest weakness in 2019. Falcons would be getting a great edge rusher with a very high ceiling in a college program filled with great edge rushers.
16) Jacksonville Jaguars ( via LAR)
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Rondale Moore has a very similar skill set to Laviska Shenault Jr., who the Jaguars took in the third round of the 2020 draft. Most NFL teams try to fill out their WR room with different types of skill sets, but I love the idea of filling a team with a bunch of gadget receivers. Both guys can run the ball, block well on the perimeter, catch swing passes, and are electric with the ball in their hands. The Jaguars would be a lot of fun to watch, and don’t forget about Lawrence with that number one overall pick.
17) Tennessee Titans
Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
Another receiver off the board, Ross would be a top 10 pick and the best WR in any normal draft class. His teammate Tee Higgins was drafted 33 overall in 2020, but Ross’ skill set is much better. Ross is a big target at 6’4”, but he’s also extreme athletic and attacks the ball at the highest possible point. He’d pair really well with A.J. Brown cutting across the middle of the field.
18) Cleveland Browns
Quincy Roche, LB, Miami
The Browns nearly have a compete roster after drafting a LT and starting safety in the 2020 draft. However, they didn’t really address the LB position, where they lost two starters in free agency. Roche can step in year one and be the link between the defensive line and secondary that’s currently missing.
19) Indianapolis Colts
Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
The Colts quietly have one of the better rosters in the league. I like their CBs, but Adebo can compete for a starting job in Year One. He was projected as a late first rounder in the 2020 draft before surprisingly retiring to school for his senior year.
20) Minnesota Vikings
Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
The Vikings filled almost every position of need in the 2020 draft, except top talent on the offensive line. Trey Smith is another guy who was projected in the first round in 2020 before deciding to return to school for his senior season. He was mainly seen as a second rounder until the end of the season where he started garnering mid-first round attention.
21) Green Bay Packers
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
DeVonta Smith is the fourth guy in the vaunted Alabama passing attack from 2019, but he still has a chance to be the best of the bunch. I don’t think many football fans will forget his 5 touchdown performance this last season against Ole Miss. Somehow the Packers didn’t take a single WR in one of the best WR draft classes in history in 2020, but I’ll change that in the first round here in 2021.
22) Buffalo Bills
Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
The Bills seemed to have completely turned this roster upside in just two seasons, so offensive line is one of their few needs. They’ve tried to address the offensive line in free agency, but they still don’t have that top end talent. Mayfield was part of a great offensive line in 2019 as the best one in the group.
23) Philadelphia Eagles
Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia
The Eagles decided to part ways with long-time safety Malcolm Jenkins after the 2019 season and only added one safety in the draft and a couple small contracts in free agency. LeCounte would most likely step in as a Week One Starter. He was yet another surprise prospect to go back to school following a great 2019 season and had round two talk surrounding him.
24) New England Patriots
Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia
The Patriots didn’t draft a QB in 2020, a surprise to almost everyone. Whether they roll with Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, or they sign someone like Andy Dalton or Can Newton, I don’t think they’ll hold that starting position for longer than a year. Jamie Newman transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia following the 2019 season. While he has yet to play a game for Georgia, he has great traits and is expected to dominate in Kirby Smart’s pro-style offense.
25) Seattle Seahawks
Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
Seattle still didn’t address the offensive line early in the 2020 draft. I imagine Russell Wilson is getting tired of running around every game and getting hit. Seattle absolutely needs to help protect Wilson before it’s too late. Cosmi has great tape in 2019 and his traits leave me wondering how high his draft stock will rise in 2020.
26) Pittsburgh Steelers
Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
The Steelers offensive line is aging and they need to inject some youth. Wyatt Davis is a big mauler that would fit right in with Pittsburgh’s playing style. RB James Conner struggles in evading tackles, so he needs clean running lanes. Davis will provide that for Pittsburgh.
27) Dallas Cowboys
Joe Tyron, EDGE, Washington
Dallas had one of the better drafts in 2020 as they let players fall to them that were high on their board. However, they didn’t address the edge position after Robert Quinn left in free agency. Tyron had a huge jump in production in 2019 from 2018 and became one of the best pass rushers in the PAC-12.
28) New Orleans Saints
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
The Saints have arguably one of the best roster in the league and one of the best receivers in Michael Thomas. They added Emmanuel Sanders in this offseason to complement Thomas, but they still don’t have much depth behind those two guys. Williams has been one of the most productive receivers in the SEC since his true freshman season in 2018.
29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Etienne was another big surprise prospect who decided to return to school in 2020. He was drawing interest as a second rounder and top-3 RB in the 2020 draft. The Buccaneers added a RB later than expected as that seemed like the biggest and most glaring need on their roster. It’s all about helping Tom Brady as much as possible at this stage in his career in order to guide Tompa Bay to a Super Bowl win.
30) San Francisco 49ers
Israel Makuamu, CB, South Carolina
The 49ers don’t have many needs, hence them drafting so late, but they could be facing a problem at CB soon. Richard Sherman is aging and they don’t have a true guy across from him. Israel Makuamu is the prototypical CB for the 49ers with his big size at 6’4” and 204 pounds.
31) Baltimore Ravens
Cade Mays, IOL, Tennessee
Baltimore had one of the best drafts in 2020 as they followed the same plan as the Cowboys with just taking the best players left on the board. However, Marshall Yanda retired during the offseason and they didn’t do much to replace him. Mays is an OT at Tennessee but he might transition better to guard in the NFL.
32) Kansas City Chiefs
Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Creed Humphrey was another surprise prospect who went back to school after getting some top-40 hype in 2020. The Chiefs got a great RB in the first round in 2020 in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but they still need a Center of the future for Patrick Mahomes. Humphrey was the Center for Jalen Hurts in 2019 and Kyler Murray before that in 2018 and has been the rock of the Oklahoma offensive line the last two years.