The Draft Academy: Mock Draft 2.0
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
With my mock draft 2.0, I'm still not going to be performing trades. After the Super Bowl, I will start mocking some trades and hopefully, some of the uncertainty surrounding Matthew Stafford and Deshawn Watson will clear up. There are potentially five teams within the first eight picks that are in need of a quarterback so there are so many different ways that this draft can go.
** Picks 31 and 32 are not set yet due to the Super Bowl happening on February 7th between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars Pick 1: Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
This is the only pick that isn't going to change in any of the mock drafts that I do. He is the most obvious number one overall pick since Andrew Luck and the Jaguars would be making a massive mistake by not drafting him. Some rumors are saying that for Ohio State coach, and newly appointed Jaguars head coach, Urban Meyer is going to draft quarterback Justin Fields out of Ohio State since he was able to get Fields to transfer back in 2019. I highly doubt this will happen since Lawrence is a much more talented prospect and this pick shouldn't be in question.
2. New York Jets Pick 2: Zach Wilson QB BYU
I could see the Jets falling in love with the way Wilson plays. Mike LaFleur is a product of Kyle Shanahan and is going to take over as the Jets offensive coordinator. Wilson could be a perfect fit for a Shanahan type offense that uses a lot of play-action with a quarterback who can play both inside and outside the pocket. Obviously, the Jets need help in other places on the offense before they will be able to become a good offense in the NFL but Wilson would be a fantastic piece to build around.
3. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) Pick 3: Penei Sewell OT Oregon
If the Dolphins don't win on the Deshawn Watson sweepstakes they can do multiple things from trade back, draft a wide receiver, or draft an offensive lineman and since this wide receiver class is very deep I have them taking the best lineman in this class to protect Tua. Considering Tua is 15 months removed from an almost career-ending injury we have yet to see him at his best. By giving him the best lineman in this class he will have a career-long protector at either tackle position because they may want to move Sewell over to right tackle since Tua is a lefty.
4. Atlanta Falcons Pick 4: Justin Fields QB OSU
The Falcons would be ecstatic if Fields fell to them at four. With Fields being able to sit behind Matt Ryan for a few years then Fields could easily develop into an elite quarterback at the next level. His one issue is his ability to get through progressions and with Matt Ryan teaching him he should be able to develop very nicely with his ability to read the field. His physical traits are very good with his combination of athleticism and accuracy he could be the next franchise quarterback for the Falcons.
5. Cincinnati Bengals Pick 5: Rashawn Slater OT Northwester
The Bengals are upset that Sewell did not fall to them hear but Slater is far from a consolation prize. The number one priority for the Bengals has to be protecting Burrow. I considered pairing Ja'Marr Chase back up with his college quarterback and I'm sure the Bengals will consider it if Sewell isn't there but Burrow needs to be protected. Even if that means having to slightly reach on a player. Slater can play both tackle and guard and could thrive in the Bengals system.
6. Philadelphia Eagles Pick 6: Ja'Marr Chase WR LSU
The Eagles need a lot of help. They have an older roster, have -50 million in cap space, and have a big problem at quarterback with Carson Wentz not playing up to his contract and Jalen Hurts has a lot of unknowns. Ja'Marr Chase is the best wide receiver in this class in my opinion and he would give whoever starts at quarterback an instant number one threat. After watching what Justin Jefferson was able to do in the NFL I'm very excited to see what Chase can on Sundays.
7. Detroit Lions Pick 7: Devonta Smith
After the massive trade of sending Matthew Stafford to the LA Rams for two first-round picks, one third-round pick, and twenty-six year old and former number one overall pick, quarterback Jared Goff. They have fully accepted the idea of rebuilding and can potentially build around Goff. With Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola all set to hit free agency the Lions need weapons. Coming off a Heisman season, Smith can take over the WR1 role if Golladay doesn't sign back. He is a silky smooth route runner with the ability to consistently get open at all levels of the field and is great at the catch point. He does possess a smaller frame and had his breakout year as a twenty-two-year-old but that doesn't take away from what he can do on the field.
8. Carolina Panthers Pick 8: Trey Lance
The Panthers have a lot of good pieces on offense and just spent every single pick in the 2020 draft on their defense. With Teddy Bridgewater under center, the Panthers will be competitive but he isn't the quarterback that will be able to bring them to the playoffs. Trey Lance would be perfect for the Panthers if he can sit for a year or two and adjust to the pace of the NFL. He is an extremely athletic quarterback that is reminiscent of a former Panthers quarterback in Cam Newton. Lance needs to improve upon his overall accuracy as well as his ability to get through progressions and reading defenses. His decision making is very good as shown by throwing only one interception in his career. He could one day take over and be their franchise quarterback.
9. Denver Broncos Pick 9: Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
With Von Miller coming off of a season-ending injury and starting to get older the Broncos would be smart to start to look for their future replacement to line up opposite Bradley Chubb. Rousseau is a very raw prospect with a high ceiling if he can develop. His size, athletic profile, and length will help him make an impact immediately and being able to sit behind Miller and Chubb will help him learn techniques and details to become an elite pass rusher. He had the production of an elite pass rusher in 2019 and for all, we know he could have been working his tail off to master techniques to become a better pass rusher.
10. Dallas Cowboys Pick 10: Patrick Surtain CB Alabama
The Cowboys should target secondary and offensive linemen in this draft. They were consistently torched week in and week out in the pass game. Patrick Surtain should be able to help a lot on the back end. Towards the end of the season, Trevon Diggs was starting to play much better and now you can pair him with his former teammate, Surtain, who I think is the best man coverage corner in this draft. He is technically sound, has elite size and length, and has very good ball skills to create pass breakups and turnovers.
11. New York Giants Pick 11: Kwity Paye
The New York Giants and Dave Gettleman have to get better on both the offensive and defensive fronts. Gettleman has been known for drafting trench players and Paye would be a great addition as an edge rusher. If they are able to resign Leonard Williams, he and Paye could wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines. Paye hasn't had elite production but there have been games where has shown just how great he can be. He is very athletic with great size but there is still room for improvement in his game. He could be the edge rusher the Giants have been looking for.
12. San Francisco 49ers Pick 12: Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
The 49ers are in a very interesting spot. Some believe they need a quarterback and will trade up which I believe is very likely. But since there are no trades in this and there aren't any quarterbacks that are an option at twelve I have them taking cornerback Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech. Just about every corner from the 2020 roster is a pending free agent and Richard Sherman has already stated he doesn't see himself returning to the 49ers so Farley could step right in and become their CB1. He has the elite size and athleticism to be an excellent man corner in the NFL and with some of the studs that the 49ers have in their front seven, Farley could become the leader in the back end.
13. Los Angeles Chargers Pick 13: Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
The Chargers took a massive step forward with finding their franchise quarterback. Now they need to do everything they can to protect him. Darrisaw could step in and be his blindside protector from day 1. With the weapons, the Chargers have on the outside as well as in the backfield they could take a step forward and become a playoff contender in the coming years.
14. Minnesota Vikings Pick 14: Christian Barmore DT Alabama
Barmore is a beast in the middle of the defensive line. The Vikings are in need of a defensive tackle that can help in both the run game as well as in the pass game. He came on very strong towards the end of the season where he showed dominance, especially in the playoffs where he registered a sack in both games. He finished the season with 11 games played and 9.5 sacks so he has the production to show his ability as a pass rusher.
15. New England Patriots Pick 15: Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
The New England Patriots are lacking a lot of offensive pieces including a quarterback and weapons on the outside. Jaylen Waddle might just be the most explosive weapon in this draft class. Before his injury, he played in four full games where he averaged above 100 yards per game with a touchdown per game. His competitive toughness showed up when he attempted to play in the national title game against Ohio State and he simply was just not healthy enough to do so. Waddle is versatile enough to line up anywhere on the field as well as return punts and kickoffs.
16. Arizona Cardinals Pick 16: Jaycee Horn
This is a pick that needs to go towards the defensive side of the ball, especially in the back end. With Patrick Peterson aging the Cardinals needs to look for viable replacements at cornerback. They have had struggles trying to find someone opposite Peterson for a while and now with him aging this becomes an even bigger problem. Horn brings size and physicality to the NFL and is a solid value in the mid-round.
17. Las Vegas Raiders Pick 17: Micah Parsons LB Penn State
Defense needs to be a priority this offseason for the Raiders. This is the same pick as my first mock draft because they will not allow Parsons to fall past them. Although there have been some reports about character issues with Parsons with him fighting and hazing teammates, they have only come up very recently which leads me to believe they weren't that serious. Parsons' talent is unquestioned. As both a pass rusher and an off-ball linebacker he can make a difference on every play. His ability in pass coverage will need to improve if he wants to become a true elite linebacker.
18. Miami Dolphins Pick 18: Kyle Pitts TE Florida
I would honestly be shocked if Pitts fell this far in the draft. With so many quarterbacks going early though talented prospects are going to fall in the draft. In this scenario, it just so happened to be Pitts. Pitts is an elite prospect whether you label him as a wide receiver or a tight end. He can line up all over the field, create separation with both his size and athleticism and can block when asked to in the run game. He could instantly become Tua's best friend and create a dynamic tight end attack with Gesicki.
19. Washington Football Team Pick 19: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
The Football Team could use a most consistent presence behind their defensive line which is arguably the best in the NFL. Jeremiah could become a second level presence in both the pass and run game that they need. Now the offense needs more help than the defense does right now but sitting at nineteen the Football Team opts to go with the best player available route and add to the strength of their team.
20. Chicago Bears Pick 20: Wyatt Davis OL Ohio State
The Bears started the season strong and ended the season strong. They were able to make a playoff push with Mitch Trubisky as their starting quarterback and the future is unknown at the quarterback position. Regardless, giving them an offensive lineman will help the offense as a whole. Davis is the best interior offensive lineman in this class and after watching what David Montgomery was able to do as the lead back during the playoff push they should continue to use him as a bell cow. Adding a talented interior lineman will help in both the run game and with protecting whoever is under center.
21. Indianapolis Colts Pick 21: Mac Jones
The Colts were my favorites in the Stafford sweepstakes and I don't see them trading for Deshawn Watson so now they are left looking in the draft or the free agency for their future quarterback. Mac Jones could come into this situation and thrive. They have arguably the best offensive line with a stud running back and some solid weapons at receiver and tight end. Jones is a smart quarterback who does an excellent job of taking care of the ball and delivering accurate, catchable throws to his receivers with great anticipation. Some believe that he was a product of the team around him but I think he proved just how good he is at the Senior Bowl practices where he consistently made perfect throws to receivers he had never worked with.
22. Tennessee Titans Pick 22: Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State
The Titans could be losing two of their top receiver threat this offseason in Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis. By drafting Freiermuth they not only can replace Smith but Freiermuth can help in the run game which is what this team is built on. Freiermuth is not as dynamic of a receiver as some of the other offensive weapons in this class but he is going to be excellent over the middle of the field and in play action. He received the nickname "Baby Gronk" for a reason. He is a tough football player and would fit perfectly in with a Mike Vrabel coached Titans team.
23. New York Jets Pick 23: Kadarius Toney WR Florida
After taking Zach Wilson with the second overall pick the Jets should look to give him more weapons. Toney would be a perfect fit for what the former 49ers coach is going to want to build. He is electric in the open field and knows how to create separation at all levels of the field. Toney has shown this year that he has very consistent hands and can be relied on every down. He is also a weapon in special teams where he can return both kickoffs and punts.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers Pick 24: Najee Harris RB Alabama
The Steelers are in a very interesting spot. With Big Ben coming back for another year and them signing Dwayne Haskins I don't think they'll go after a quarterback this early in the draft. Instead, I think bringing in talent like Najee Harris could instantly become an elite back in the NFL. He has the size, athleticism, and power to be a three-down back. Not only can he also be a receiving threat out of the backfield but he is a very good and willing blocker in pass situations. The Steelers need to figure out if they are going to go all-in this year with Big Ben or start getting ready for life without Big Ben and either route they go Najee will help.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars Pick 25: Liam Eichenburg
After the Jaguars take their franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence they need to do everything they can to help him. Liam Eichenburg may not have the upside of some of the other tackles in this class but he is arguably the most technically sound, and Notre Dame has had a ton of success in developing NFL offensive lineman. Eichenburg could step in as either tackle position and immediately be NFL ready. At 6'6, 305lbs, he has the size and length to dominate in the run game and control edge rushers in the pass game.
26. Cleveland Browns Pick 26: Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
The Brown's biggest need is to improve the defensive side of the ball. The offense and Baker Mayfield were able to take some big steps forward and win a playoff game this season. The defense needs help at linebacker and in the secondary so with this pick they take linebacker Zaven Collins. He is a versatile defender who can be used as an off-ball linebacker as well as rushing the passer. He could easily become the leader of a defense that has some extremely talented pieces.
27. Baltimore Ravens Pick 27: Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama
The Ravens have missed guard Mashal Yanda ever since his retirement and with Orlando Brown expecting to be paid like an elite left tackle the Ravens may end up with some big holes on the offensive line. Alex Leatherwood can play just about any spot on the offensive line and if Orlando Brown were to leave he could take over his tackle position and if he were to stay, Leatherwood could be kicked inside and play guard just as well. They also need help on the outside with receivers but not only is this draft class deep at that position but there are plenty of receivers in free agency that the Ravens could target.
28. New Orleans Saints Pick 28: Terrace Marshall Jr WR LSU
The Saints have a very good roster but are in a lot of trouble when it comes to cap space. They may need to rip a lot of the roster apart to fix the cap problem and with Drew Brees looking like he his going to retire they may have a hole at the quarterback position. I do think Jameis Winston is going to be the starter in New Orleans next season so why not give him more weapons on the outside. With Michael Thomas hopefully returning to form next season adding Terrace Marshall Jr. to the other side could be a massive move for this team. They have lacked a true WR2 and with Alvin Kamara being an elite threat out of the backfield Winston may get his second chance to prove why he was the number one overall pick.
29. Green Bay Packers Pick 29: Asante Samuel Jr.
After what happened to Kevin King in the NFC championship game the Packers biggest need immediately become a CB2. Jaire Alexander has cemented himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the league without being a big corner that the NFL seems to have fallen in love with. Asante Samuel Jr. is the son of former NFL corner Asante Samuel who was a super bowl winning corner with the New England Patriots. Samuel Jr. is a smaller corner at 5'10, 185lbs but he is very good in man coverage and his size doesn't stop him from getting involved in the run game. This is another team in need of a WR2 and with the depth of this draft and free agency I think it would be best if they waited on drafting a wide receiver.
30. Buffalo Bills Pick 30: Erick Stokes CB Georgia
The Bills made an incredible turn around this year, making it to the AFC Championship led by MVP candidate Josh Allen. The Bills should turn to the other side of the ball in this draft where they need a CB2 to play opposite of Tre White who like Jaire Alexander and the Packers is one of the top corners in the league. Eric Stokes could man the CB2 role. He needs to improve upon his technique in man cover as he can get grabby at times and his eye discipline can improve but he has the size and length to become a good press man corner.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pick 31: Quincy Roche EDGE Miami
The Buccaneers were able to make a Super Bowl push led by future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady. This offseason they have a lot of decisions to make, especially on the defensive side of the ball where they may lose some key starters. Quincy Roche had a solid season but when he was at the Senior Bowl he was dominating in practice. I was extremely impressed with his ability as a pass rusher and he could immediately step in as a rotational player to eventually be a 3 down player for the Bucs. He is a solid athlete and he is very technically sound as both a pass rusher and run defender. With the potential of the Bucs losing many front 7 starters they will need to look for replacements and Roche coudl step in and help immediately.
32. Kansas City Chiefs Pick 32: Nick Bolton LB Missouri
The Chiefs don't have many needs on either side of the ball but added depth at linebacker could be huge for them. Willie Gay Jr. has been a great pick and Nick Bolton could slide in and play right next to him. Bolton is a versatile linebacker who can play against both the run and pass game. In the run game he is a heavy hitter who plays well between the tackles and when tasked with playing in shallow zones he does a great job of coming down field to play the ball. There is room for improvement with his ability to play in space against both the run and pass games so he could be tasked with only being a two down backer to start until he develops a better sense for the game when in space.