The Draft Academy: Mock Draft 3.0 Deshaun Watson to the Jets
This is the first mock where every pick is set from 1 to 32. Now I'm going to dive into some mock trades, in particular trades surrounding Houston Texans quarterback Deshawn Watson. I have a total of 4 trades in the 1st round of this mock draft with the biggest being between the New York Jets and the Houston Texans for Deshawn Watson. This is going to be a crazy offseason in terms of quarterback movement with up to 15 teams having a question mark at that position.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
See every mock draft created for the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence is going to be in Jacksonville. After the pro day he had where Urban Meyer took his new toy for a test drive, Lawrence is the closest thing to a lock in this draft and I, along with every other NFL fan, would be shocked to see the Jags go in a different direction.
2. Carolina Panthers (from NYJ through HOU)
Justin Fields QB, Ohio State
TRADE 1: NYJ receives Deshaun Watson
: HOU receives 2021 pick #2, 2021 2nd round #34
2022 1st round (NYJ), 1st round (SEA)
TRADE 2: HOU receives 2021 pick #8
2022 1st round
2023 1st round
:CAR receives pick #2
After trading Deshawn Watson to the Jets I have the Texans trading back to add to their draft capital since they are in a full rebuild. In the end, they receive 5 first rounders, 1 second-rounder, and Sam Darnold for Deshawn Watson. The Panthers get aggressive and trade up to select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. With the weapons they have on offense they could easily be one of the most explosive offenses in the league and by adding Justin Field they will have the chance to let him sit for a little behind Teddy Bridgewater until he is prepared to come in and start. This is a young team with a lot of talent looking to take the next step.
3. San Francisco 49ers (from MIA)
Zach Wilson QB, BYU
TRADE: MIA receives 2021 1st round pick #12, 3rd round pick
2022 1st round pick, 4th round pick
2023 1st round pick
: SF receives 2021 1st pick #3
The 49ers also trade up to get their guy. Zach Wilson is a perfect fit in this system and should thrive in San Francisco. With his ability to play from both inside and outside of the pocket he can make plays with both his arm and legs in the pass and run game. With Jimmy G not being able to play a full season, the 49ers need to look in another direction, and considering that this roster is loaded with talent, they need to find their future quarterback. If this team can get and stay healthy next year they will be in playoff contention in a loaded NFC West.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Trey Lance QB, NDSU
The Falcons finished off the run on quarterbacks, making the first 4 picks all signal-callers which would be a first. The Falcons are one of the harder teams to pick for as they don't necessarily need a quarterback and need a lot of other positions but you would hope that as a franchise you aren't picking in the top 5 very often so when you do you need to make it count. Lance is a project quarterback in my opinion and this is a perfect situation for him. He can sit behind Matt Ryan for at minimum a year while he not only learns an NFL offense but gets accustomed to the game at this level. His floor may not be as high as some of the guys drafted above him but his ceiling is just as high as all of them except for Trevor Lawrence.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell OT, Oregon
This is like the Trevor Lawrence pick, if Sewell is there at 5 the Bengals need to take him. After Burrow was injured and seeing Patrick Mahomes run for his life in the Super Bowl, many teams are going to improve on their offensive line. Although Sewell opted out of the 2020 season that shouldn't hurt his draft stock as he is the most talented tackle in this class. He will be protecting Burrow's blindside and former 1st round pick Jonah Williams can bump over to right tackle and the Bengals can begin to feel more comfortable about their line's ability to protect their franchise quarterback.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
Jamar Chase WR, LSU
The Eagles are in an interesting spot with Carson Wentz potentially moving on, giving way to Jalen Hurts. They dealt with a lot of injuries last year and are an aging team with negative cap space. I see them going with the most talented receiver or defensive back and in this mock Chase, who is my highest ranked receiver, is still here for them. Chase can instantly become a WR1 for any offense in the NFL and will become the quarterback's best friend. He is my favorite player in this draft as he seems to just always get open and is amazing downfield. He can run any route asked of him and has the elite strength to bully corners. After seeing what his former teammate, Justin Jefferson, was able to do his rookie year I'm very excited to see what Chase can do.
7. Detroit Lions
Devonta Smith WR, Alabama
After trading Matthew Stafford for a boatload of picks and 26-year-old quarterback, Jared Goff, the Lions can try to build up the team around Goff. With Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones potentially leaving in free agency the Lions are going to need to surround Goff with weapons. With a young duo in D'Andre Swift and TJ Hockenson, they could add the weapon they need on the outside with Devonta Smith. After dominating the 2020 season, Smith increased his draft stock, and adding him to the Lions will give them the WR1 that they need. Smith has a slim build but he consistently gets open and has amazing hands. He will be able to step in and take over the WR1 role if Golladay leaves and be one of the best WR2 if Golladay resigns.
8. Houston Texans
Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama
After trading Deshawn Watson and then trading back from the 2nd overall pick in this mock, the Texans decided to build the best team possible before worrying about the quarterback position and with Sam Darnold still being only 23 years old they may have something in him. Surtain is my highest ranked corner and is the best man corner in the draft. The Texans simply need talent and they need as much of it as possible and adding a premier player at a premier position is a good way to start.
9. Denver Broncos
Caleb Farley CB, VT
The Broncos added a lot of young talent on the offensive side of the ball in recent drafts, most recently adding Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler last year but with some of the injuries at quarterback, they weren't able to produce the way many people expected. With everybody getting healthy again hopefully, the offense can take a step forward this year. I have them drafting Caleb Farley who is my 2nd ranked corner but with his elite build and athletic ability he could easily turn into a lockdown corner. Cornerback is a big need for them after trading Chris Harris and recently releasing AJ Bouye.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern
The Cowboys are another team that dealt with a ton of injuries this year, starting with star quarterback Dak Prescott and all along the offensive line. With Tyron Smith getting older and dealing with injuries, Slater can bounce around the offensive line until he needs to take over the left tackle spot. Some reporters have Slater ranked as their top tackle above Sewell so the Cowboys could be getting a steal at the 10th pick. The only other route I could see the Cowboys taking would be drafting a corner but since the top two are already taken in this mock, any other corner would be a reach here.
11. New York Giants
Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts is exactly what the Giants thought they were going to get in Evan Engram. Since he hasn't developed into an elite tight end the Giants have the opportunity to take Pitts who is arguably the best skill player in this draft. He can line up all over the field and is a mismatch nightmare. He can be labeled as a wide receiver and run just about any route. Taking tight ends in the first round isn't necessarily getting the most bang for your buck but Kyle Pitts is just that good that it doesn't matter what position he plays.
12. Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama
TRADE: SF receives 2021 first-round pick #3
: MIA receives 2021 first round pick #12, 3rd round pick
2022 first round pick, 4th round pick
2023 first round pick
After trading back to add more even draft capital the Dolphins are still able to draft one of the best playmakers in this draft in Jaylen Waddle. Not only is he an amazing receiver but he is a former teammate of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and could help him take the next step in becoming the Dolphins franchise quarterback. The Dolphins have lacked a deep threat who can stretch the field and Waddle could instantly become that threat. With blazing speed he not only can stretch the field but he can take any touch to the endzone and is a very good route runner who knows how to get open. On top of all of this, he can add to special teams as a return man, although the Dolphins may want to be careful with this considering he was injured on a kick return in college.
13. Los Angelas Chargers
Christian Darrisaw OT, VT
This pick isn't going to change very often in my mocks because it is the biggest need for the Chargers and should be their biggest priority. They may want to add another edge rusher if Melvin Ingram looks to move on but protecting Justin Herbert should be priority number one after watching what happened to Joe Burrow and then Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. Darrisaw could become the franchise left tackle or he could bump inside to the guard position and lock down the interior offensive line. Either way, he is a great addition to this already loaded offense.
14. Indianapolis Colts
Mac Jones QB, Alabama
TRADE: MIN receives 2021 1st round #21, 2nd round
2022 5th round
:IND receives 2021 1st round #14
The Colts have one of the best defenses in the NFL, one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, a young stud running back, but just lost their quarterback to retirement and not have a massive hole on their team. I have them trading up in front of the New England Patriots, who could be interested in Mac Jones. Mac Jones could be a perfect fit for the Colts. With the talent they have on offense, Jones would be able to thrive in this offense and if the Colts can add another threat of two on the outside this offense could be unstoppable with how well Jones can throw the deep ball teams won't be able to stack the box against Jonathan Taylor leading to a very balanced, potent offense that would give many teams nightmares.
15. New England Patriots
Micah Parsons LB, Penn State
The Patriots have a lot more holes on defense than many people think. They need linebackers, edge rushers, interior defensive linemen, and potentially more depth at corner with Jason McCourty a free agent, and Stephon Gilmore coming up in trade talks. Parsons could help fill a few of those holes as a linebacker and edge rusher. With so many quarterbacks going early talented players are going to fall and Parsons might be one of those players. He is a super athletic backer who can play sideline to sideline and is also dynamic as a pass rusher which is often what the Patriots look for in their linebackers. With Hightower potentially looking to retire, Parsons could immediately step in as the leader of that defense. He is a player who can rack up 150 tackles or 10+ sacks depending on how the team wants to use him.
16. Arizona Cardinals
Kwity Paye EDGE, Michigan
The Arizona Cardinals have had one of the most consistent edge rushers in Chandler Jones but haven't been able to find a rusher to play opposite of him. Kwity Paye can be exactly that even though Jones is starting to get older. Paye is a very athletic rusher who didn't produce crazy numbers in the NFL but he developed well year in and year out and should fit in well opposite of Jones. The Cardinals need help more on defense than offense and with Patrick Peterson looking like he is moving on they need help on the back end as well but Paye is too talented of a pass rusher to pass up on at this point in the draft.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Gregory Rousseau EDGE, Miami
The Raiders have been looking for a pass rush ever since they traded away Khalil Mack and with Clelin Ferrell looking more and more like a bust the Raiders need to look elsewhere for productivity. Gregory Rousseau was extremely productive in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season. He is a big, long rusher who just eats up space with his length. He isn't the most technically sound rusher but he can always learn how to improve on his pass rush moves. For all, we know he could have been mastering his craft during this 2020 season where he didn't play. I have a lot of faith in him and believe he would have developed a lot more if he played this 2020 season so getting him at 17 could end up being a massive steal for the raiders.
18. Miami Dolphins
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame
The Dolphins traded back and were able to land Jaylen Waddle with the 12th pick so they go to the other side of the ball with this pick and take Owusu-Koramoah out of Notre Dame. He is a mix between a safety and a linebacker where he has the speed and athleticism to cover wide receivers in the slot and the toughness to play against the run. He is a three-down player that will allow defenses to stay in their base defenses while going up against spread offenses with three receivers. I would like to see him improve upon his ability to shed blocks as well as add some muscle to his frame that helps give him more functional strength.
19. Washington Football Team
Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota
Rashod Bateman is the most underrated prospect in this draft in my opinion. There are so many talented receivers in this class that he seems to get overlooked. I think he would be a perfect fit for this offense as he can immediately step into the WR2 role behind Terry McLaurin. He has great hands and does a very good job separating. He is best in the short to intermediate areas of the field but can win on some vertical routes. I would selfishly like to see him go to a better situation with a better quarterback but with the Football Team just resigning Taylor Heinicke he could be an answer at quarterback with the way he was able to play in the playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adding Bateman could create a dynamic duo on the outside for Washington.
20. Chicago Bears
Samuel Cosmi OT, Texas
The Bears are supposedly in the running for Carson Wentz and that could make their quarterback situation worse. With Mitch Trubisky leading the Bears on a season-ending playoff run, the Bears decided to go with the best overall lineman. After seeing how well David Montgomery performed they need to lean more on the run game to help out whoever ends up under center. He is a big-bodied tackle who can play on both the right and left sides. He has the length and holds up on the edge but I would like to see him add muscle/play strength to help him in the run game. He is more of a body blocker than a mauler who can push people in the run game but with added strength, he may be able to turn into more of a mover.
21. Minnesota Vikings
Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
TRADE: IND receives 2021 1st round #14
: MIN receives 2021 1st round #21, 2nd round
2022 5th round
The Vikings were able to add to their draft stock by trading back with the Indianapolis Colts and still draft the player that best fits them. The Vikings need help in the front seven and Barmore is a perfect fit. He is a big-bodied defender who moves well to transfer his skills to 3rd down to be able to rush the passer. He has the strength to move lineman against the run and he has the quickness to get past blockers in the pass rush. The Vikings have a great edge rusher in Hunter and some very good rangy backers but they are missing the middle of the defense defender who can play all three downs and that's exactly what Barmore is.
22. Tennessee Titans
Joesph Ossai EDGE, Texas
The Titans swung for the fences by adding edge rusher Jadaveon Clowney who ended up missing the majority of the season and wasn't productive as a pass rusher. They have a solid rusher in Harold Laundry but they need someone to play opposite him and Ossai can step into that role. He's a very good athlete that has spent time as both an edge rusher and as an off-ball linebacker. He will need to develop his technique and rush moves more but he is a good athlete and with head coach Mike Vrabel teaching him, he should be able to develop very well on that defense.
23. New York Jets
Alijah Vera-Tucker IOL, USC
After swinging a trade to bring in Deshaun Watson the Jets need to do everything they can to protect him and keep him happy. With Mekhi Becton holding down the left tackle position, Tucker can move inside to the left guard position and they will have two linemen who are dominant in the run game. He was the starting left tackle for USC this season so he is still very good as a pass protector and would help lock up the left side of the line for the Jets for the foreseeable future.
24. Pittsburg Steelers
Liam Eichenburg OT, Texas
Alejandro Villanueva is getting older and is also set to hit free agency so the Steelers decide to replace him immediately, even if he decides to resign. Eichenburg is a massive body and coming out of Notre Dame he is going to be NFL ready. With how well Notre Dame can produce NFL linemen, Eichenburg looks to continue that trend. He is another big-bodied tackle who can be dominant in the run game. As a pass protector, he doesn't possess the quickest of feet so some smaller, quicker edge rushers may be able to get the best of him.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
Kadarius Toney WR, Florida
The Jags secured their franchise quarterback and head coach for the foreseeable future and now look to give Lawrence as many weapons as possible. Toney is very similar to a former Florida Gator that played under Urban Meyer, Percy Harvin. He isn't the biggest receiver but he is tough, has great hands, knows how to get open, and is fantastic after the catch. He would be an amazing asset for Meyer to use in both the pass and run game and he also adds in the special team's factor as a returner.
26. Cleveland Browns
Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
Collins is my second-ranked backer and one of my favorite players in this draft. He can play all three downs and is very good in the pass game as a zone backer. He has made some great plays when dropping into zone coverage as an underneath defender and shown the ability to return interceptions for touchdowns. He is a big backer with good athletic ability and has made some massive hits in the run game. He has the athletic ability to play sideline to sideline while also showing the instincts to play in-between the tackles. The Browns need help on defense to take some of the pressure off of Myles Garrett and their linebackers are lacking.
27. Baltimore Ravens
Jaylen Mayfield OT, Michigan
The Ravens went from having a strong line to having some big issues. After losing Marshal Yanda to retirement and now Orlando Brown wants to play and be paid like a franchise left tackle the Ravens have a problem. If they end up trading Orlando Brown they will have an immediate need to add to the offensive line. Jaylen Mayfield only played in 15 career games so he doesn't have a lot of experience under his belt but that could lead to him falling in the draft and a team like the Ravens getting an absolute steal. In the games he has played he's looked very good. He can play all over the line and has great athleticism to be able to play in space as a pulling lineman when he needs to. He could make an impact from day one, especially if he is asked to replace Orlando Brown.
28. New Orleans Saints
Terrace Marshall Jr. WR, LSU
The Saints are most likely in a transition from Drew Brees to Jameis Winston and should look to get the most value they can in this draft considering they are almost $-100 million in cap space and have gone full in on a Super Bowl the past few seasons. The Saints don't have a WR2 behind Micheal Thomas and Terrace Marshall could step into that role. He does just about everything well. He has good hands, can get open to all levels of the field, is good after the catch, has good size, and good ball skills. He can line up all over the field and consistently win against both man and zone coverage. He was the forgotten man on the 2019 championship team behind Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson but was able to shine in the 2020 season. He is another receiver who tends to get overlooked in this very talented class.
29. Green Bay Packers
Asante Samuel Jr. CB, FSU
Kevin King is arguably the most hated man in Green Bay this offseason. After the performance he had the Packers need to look for a better, more consistent CB2. With Jaire Alexander as one of the top man corners in the league, the Packers look to Asante Samuel Jr, son of former New England Patriot Asante Samuel. Samuel Jr. is slightly undersized but he is excellent in man coverage. He has good athleticism with great feet, loose hips, and an excellent ability to match feet with receivers. He can struggle when it comes to run support and tackling due to his size but the Packers are drafting him to play pass coverage opposite Alexander and I believe he will do that with a lot of success.
30. Buffalo Bills
Travis Etienne RB, Clemson
Having a player as talented as Travis Etienne fall is scary because an offense like the Buffalo Bills is already very talented and having him sit here at 30 would be a realistic yet horrifying scenario as a Patriots fan. Etienne is arguably the most explosive back in this class and can take any touch to the endzone. He has shown elite vision and ability to create while also showing that he can be a consistent threat in the passing game. After spending a picks on the running back position the past two seasons the Bills look to finally get a franchise back who can take a three-down workload. Giving another threat to Josh Allen could push him over the edge in the race to win MVP and help this Bills team reach a super bowl.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Wyatt Davis IOL, Ohio State
This offseason should be all about protecting Patrick Mahomes. He was running for his life in the super bowl and yes a lot of that was due to some massive injuries upfront, it showed that the Chiefs had next to no depth on the offensive line. Wyatt Davis not only gives them depth but could also be an instant playmaker. He projects as a starting guard. He has very good functional strength to move people in the run game and can work across many different schemes. He does a good job of anchoring down in the pass game and would help Mahomes out a lot upfront so they never get a repeat of what happened in the super bowl.
32. Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Najee Harris RB, Alabama
Last but not least the Tampa Bay Bucs. With Leonard Fournette potentially leaving in free agency and Ronald Jones entering the last year of his contract the Bucs decide to draft a year ahead of their needs. Harris would be an elite back for Tom Brady and the Bucs. He is powerful, elusive, and can play in the passing game out of the backfield. He had an amazing 2020 season where he helped lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship. He can do just about everything you could ask and by putting him behind the offensive line that the Bucs have he would be able to dominate from day one. This is a scenario where the rich get richer which I see happening a lot for the Bucs this offseason.