This is it. With the NFL Draft right around the corner, I’ve done it. I’ve watched all the film, I’ve read all the reports, and this here, is the best mock draft you’ll ever read. I’m so confident that if even one of these picks is wrong, I’ll never do another mock draft. So wait no longer, because you’re about to read all about who your team is taking in the first round.
To prove how adept I am, read last year’s mock.
The Best Mock Ever (2021 Edition)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson
Ever since Trevor Lawrence upset Alabama as a true freshman in the National Championship game, it has been a given that he would be the first overall pick whenever he declared for the NFL. That time has come, and after losing 15 straight, the Jacksonville Jaguars secured the draft’s first overall pick. Of all Adam Gase’s failures, and there are many, accidentally winning two games was the greatest of all. Urban Meyer takes his generational quarterback number one, putting the AFC South on notice.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU
Sam Darnold’s time in New York is running out. After being an impressive, if raw, collegiate prospect with all the tools and nothing but upside, he couldn’t make the jump in the NFL. While not as embarrassing as Mark Sanchez getting stripped by a butt, Sam’s legacy in New York will ultimately be that time he “saw ghosts” against the New England Patriots. Some will say that Adam Gase is the worst head coach of the last 15 years, and that Ryan Tannehill’s success in Tennessee should be a good indicator of what happens when you get a guy away from a bad coach, but others will say a change of scenery is always in everyone’s best interests.
So the Jets go in a brand new direction, the Jets take an impressive, if raw, collegiate prospect with all the tools and nothing but upside. An unprecedented pick, really.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields, Quarterback, THE Ohio State
The genius of Kyle Shanahan’s offense is that anybody can run it. I sincerely believe Jimmy Garoppolo is still the starter in San Francisco because he’s handsome. This is a quarterback that will turn 30 without having a 4,000 yard season. In the biggest win of his career, he completed six of eight passes for 77 yards, 62 of which came after the catch. The 49ers have a unique combination of scheme and speed that allow for small passes to turn into big gains. CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens have stepped in during “Gameday Garoppolo’s” many injury sabbaticals, and actually averaged more yards and touchdowns per game. I’m not saying “anyone” can run this offense, but… anyone can run this offense.
Which is why I don’t understand why San Fran gave up the 12th overall pick, a third round pick, and two more first round picks to move up to number three. There isn’t an elite pass rusher in this class, and that’s the only other position than quarterback that you would trade that much for… so the 49ers are basically that friend that bought a piece of crap car, and then outfitted it with tinted windows, a modified exhaust, expensive rims, and a painting of a dragon on the side. Good job putting a hemi in a Prius!
But at least there will finally be an Ohio State quarterback that succeeds in the NFL!
4. Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Has Matt Ryan had a Hall of Fame career? He’s won league MVP, he’s put up some good numbers, I just… I just feel like… if we’re being honest… they need a dynamic wide receiver from Alabama. If he had a dynamic wide receiver from Alabama, he might have a Super Bowl by now. Some people think Atlanta should draft their quarterback of the future, address the defense, or take advantage of a very strong offensive lineman class, but I disagree. I’m giving them the one thing they’ve never had, a dynamic wide receiver from Alabama.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Anything But OL, Syracuse
Last year, franchise savior Joe Burrow, was sacked 32 times in 10 games. That sounds bad. What sounds worse is that he was pressured 109 times in 10 games, and knocked down 47 times. That’s in ten games. Being the first overall pick nearly almost always means you’re going to a bad team, but the Bengals could not seem to protect him last year.
And by that, I mean they refused to protect him last year. Despite obviously having some issues on the offensive line, Zac Taylor, who broke the NFL record for passing attempts the year before, had Burrow dropping back to pass 47 times a game. Not that they could run the ball anyway, because the offensive line was so poor, they seemed far more interested in throwing it. As a result, an impressive rookie season was cut short.
The seat isn’t just hot under Zac Taylor, it’s a throne of flames that would make Sauron blush. So instead of taking OBVIOUS NUMBER ONE TACKLE IN THIS DRAFT, Penei Sewell, they take a wide receiver or something that will make the Bengals an interesting Madden team.
6. Miami Dolphins: TRADE
After starting off with the third overall pick, the Miami Dolphins traded down to 12, and that wasn’t enough, so they traded back up to six. Now, they’re trading again, this time, with themselves in 2022. It’s a straight-up pick swap, their own 2022 first round pick for the sixth overall pick in 2021. Who are they taking? You’ll have to wait until they’re on the clock in 2022.
7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
Chase is the total package at wide receiver. Size? He’s got it. Speed? You’ve got it. The Tape? Brilliant. This guy is about as close to “can’t miss” as a wide receiver prospect gets. Outside of maybe Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts, the most talented player in this draft class. So it makes the most sense for him to go to Detroit, where they just lost Kenny Golladay, and there’s a rich, storied legacy of wasting elite talent.
8. Carolina Panthers: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon
I know it would be very tempting for Carolina to take Trey Lance here, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s not how we do things here. They’re taking Penei Sewell, the best lineman in this draft, and saving quarterback for another day. Why? Because I have a funnier landing spot for Lance, I don’t know, say they don’t like how raw he is. In this universe, the Panthers are firm believers in taking the best player available.
9. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State
Everyone and their mother pounds the table about how great Drew Lock is. By deliberately using small sample sizes, people try to convince us (read: themselves) that he is a good quarterback. I just absolutely refuse to believe that. The Raiders defense forced 15 turnovers all year, and Lock committed four of them. In a division that includes two great young quarterbacks and Derek Carr, you need bigger guns than Drew Lock to compete. So they do the most Denver Broncos thing possible, taking a raw, athletic quarterback that will never, ever develop.
10. Dallas Cowboys: A Defense? Hello? Please? Bueller?
Dak Prescott was averaging nearly 400 yards a game last year before he got hurt. He threw more touchdowns than Cam Newton did last year (though that’s not saying much). The Cowboys have no problem whatsoever scoring points. But stopping the other offense? What’s that? You’re telling me the defense is supposed to stop the other team from scoring? They gave up at least 30 points in half of their games last year. I don’t care who it is, take SOMEONE that plays defense.
11. New York Giants: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
The pieces are falling into place for the New York Giants. They have a solid defense, some real pieces on offense, and if Daniel Jones can just step it up in 2021, they could make some real noise in the NFC East. This isn’t a particularly strong edge class, but pass rush remains New York’s biggest weakness. It’s a reach, but it’s a reach that makes sense. Ideally they’d trade down before making this pick, but we’ll see what happens.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Do I think Jalen Hurts is the answer in Philadelphia? No. He didn’t impress me in college, and he doesn’t impress me now. But if he’s going to be the guy for the time being, he’s going to need weapons. And this weapon is also named Jaylen. So Jalen to Jaylen is how it goes, because I’m a simple man, and I like wordplay more than I like gimmicky mediocrity at quarterback.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Any Fans, Any Fans At All, UCLA
The Los Angeles Chargers might’ve been the only team in the NFL that didn’t mind the empty stadiums. For the first time, maybe ever, the Chargers weren’t booed at their home stadium by an invading force of away fans. Without fans, there wasn’t an opportunity for the visitors to take over. With vaccines being administered every day, the “return to normalcy” becomes more and more likely, and with it, the worst home-field advantage in the NFL.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami
I love the idea of Gregory Rousseau and Danielle Hunter on the same defensive line. That is so much freak athleticism screaming off the edges. The Bears are hoping Andy Dalton can make them competitive (laughing while crying emoji), and the Lions downgraded from eternal underdog Matthew Stafford to lifelong overachiever Jared Goff. This division is a two-horse race, and if the Vikings can get after Aaron Rodgers, they might be able to challenge for a division title this season.
15. New England Patriots: Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama
Once upon a time, the New England Patriots took a quarterback, and when I tell you he was the most unremarkable draft prospect you’ve ever seen, I’m not exaggerating. He wasn’t fast, he wasn’t strong, he was skinny-fat, and couldn’t even keep his job in college. He ended up being pretty good, achieving mild success with the Patriots. So they take Mac Jones, an equally unremarkable quarterback who has a great football IQ, but also exclusively threw the ball to receivers with a first round grade, being a massive offensive line, on a team that wasn’t ever going to lose.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Terrance Marshall Jr, Wide Receiver, LSU
Ya know what the Arizona Cardinals could use? A big, physical possession receiver. I look at this roster, and the thing that jumps out at me is the lack of a tall, physical receiver. Kyler Murray, not the league’s tallest quarterback, sure does love to sling it deep, and while some would argue this team needs some help on the defensive side of the ball, I’m going to give them something that, I repeat, they don’t have, that being a big, physical 50/50 ball winner.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: A High-Character Guy with a Second Round Grade, OT, University of Dayton
Jeff Heath and Brandon Parker are the projected starts for the Silver and Black this year. You might be asking, who are Jeff Heath and Brandon Parker? Well, to sum it up, have you ever gone to a K-Mart or a Roses and seen an action figure of “Power Guys” or “Z-Men?” Basically knockoff toys that are legally different from the Power Rangers and X-Men? That’s what the Raiders have at free safety and right tackle right now.
So screw best player available, screw taking the best player at a position of need, the Raiders Damon Arnette all over again, taking a guy they liked in an interview, approximately 24 picks ahead of where he was projected to go.
18. Miami Dolphins: TRADE
Ya know, when I mocked the Dolphins to trade their pick back in 2018, it was a throwaway joke. Every mock needs trades, so I just had it be Miami. I literally picked them so I could make the “Any Given Sunday” joke, and since then, they’ve had five first round picks, not including the two in this draft. Imagine if I’d picked the Los Angeles Rams or Seattle Seahawks, a team notorious for trading their firsts.
19. Washington Football Team: A New Team Name, American University
I had so much fun with this team for the first few weeks of the season. “Football team loses” and “Cleveland Browns defeat Football Team” sound like Onion headlines. But like any good meme trend, it was funny for a day, amusing for a week, and annoying after a month. With the 19th pick, and every quarterback worth taking off the board, “Riverboat Ron” Rivera selects a name that won’t offend people and hasn’t been legally claimed by Philip Martin McCauley.
20. Chicago Bears: Kyle Trask, Quarterback, Florida
Kyle Trask checks ALL THE BOXES for the Chicago Bears.
- Did he have good numbers in college? Yes
- Does he look like he’s prestiged in Call of Duty? You bet
- Is he going to be good in the pros? Absolutely not
- But does he play quarterback? According to Florida, yes
Trask joins fellow Gators, Danny Wuerffel and Rex Grossman, in not being the quarterback that finally throws 4,000 yards for the Chicago Bears as we all, as a nation, realize that nobody won the Khalil Mack trade.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Rashawn Slater, Tackle, Northwestern
It breaks my heart that the Indianapolis Colts never gave Andrew Luck the help he needed. We never got to experience Andrew Luck vs. Patrick Mahomes. We could’ve gotten Andrew Luck vs. Trevor Lawrence TWICE A YEAR, but the front office failed him. The new era doesn’t make that mistake. They’re gonna give Carson Wentz a real shot this season, and they’re going to do that by giving him some help up front.
22. Tennessee Titans: NO PICK, ONLY HENRY: PART II
WHAT PART OF “You think Titans make pick? No pick. Only Derrick Henry. Henry Smash,” DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?
23. New York Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Line, USC
A good quarterback behind a bad offensive line is a bad quarterback. A bad quarterback behind a good offensive line is a good quarterback. If the Jets keep building the offensive line the way they have been, it might not matter if it’s Wilson, Darnold, Tebow, or Joe Namath back there.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, Running Back, Alabama
This just feels like a Steelers pick, doesn’t it? Does it address Big Ben’s deteriorating arm? No. Does it bolster the secondary? Absolutely not. Replace missing pieces on the offensive line? Nuh-uh. But it does give them a bruising back that just makes sense as a Steeler.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: “Wait, We Pick Again?”
After taking Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, it was a party at Daily’s Place. Shahid and Tony were popping bottles, Urban Meyer said something politically incorrect, Cody Rhodes buried a promising mid-carder, it was awesome. Everyone was clinking glasses and too sweeting so hard, they forgot they had a second pick, and by the time they figured it out, the Cleveland Browns were on the clock.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State
After signing Takk McKinley and bringing Jadeveon Clowney in for a visit, it’s apparent the Browns like athletic pass rushers that don’t rush the passer. It’s easy to justify taking Oweh, because he’d be playing opposite the best edge rusher in football, Myles Garrett, and should easily be winning one-on-one’s.
Clowney was quoted as saying, “Yeah, that’s what they said about me too.*”
27. Baltimore Ravens: A 37 Year Old, Wide Receiver, Alabama
This is a massive year for Lamar Jackson. In 2020, he proved he was still every bit the lethal scrambler he was during his MVP campaign, but his numbers through the air declined. He threw 10 fewer touchdowns, three more interceptions, and saw his yards per attempt, completion percentage, and quarterback ratings take dives. Teams are starting to figure out how to contain Jackson, especially in the post-season, and if he’s going to join Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott in the mega-millionaires club, he’s going to need to have a good year as a passer.
So instead of getting Jackson what he needs, a big, physical receiver that can win in the redzone, the Ravens do what they’ve always done. They go out and get a small, slow receiver, well, well past his sports prime, and then fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman when Lamar fails to throw for 4,000 yards yet again in 2021.
28. New Orleans Saints: A Good Accountant, Wall Street
With everything the Saints have lost this off-season, they still don’t have a dollar in cap space. If every NFL superstar came to New Orleans and said, “hey, we’ll each play for a penny,” the Saints would have to turn them away. That’s without Drew Brees or their starting tight ends or any of the pieces they’ve lost. So I’m giving the Saints a good accountant. Maybe that will help them in their losing effort against
Thanos Tom Brady.
29. Green Bay Packers: Davis Mills, Quarterback, Stanford
As the final grains of sand start to circle the drain of Aaron Rodgers’ career, this is when the Green Bay Packers should be making big, splashy moves. They should be going out and getting explosive weapons, or defensive difference makers. Instead, they’re going to do what they did last year, and take a quarterback.
Last year, they got a guy that had all the tools physically but needed time mentally. This year, they get a guy that’s mentally ready, but lacks physical tools. Man, if you combined those two, you’d have someone like… like… like Aaron Rod-oh.
30. Buffalo Bills: Bubba Ray Dudley, Dudley, Dudleyville
Last year, I mocked Buffalo D-Von Dudley, and they made a deep playoff push. This year, I gave them Bubba Ray. With the complete tag team, no table is safe, and neither are AFC contenders. If I have to give them Spike next year, they’ve jumped the shark and it becomes Miami’s division, I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State
Micah Parsons is a top five talent and a bottom five human being, so he’ll fit in JUST FINE with the Kansas City Chiefs. Not that it matters in this, Tom Brady’s 78th run-through of Skyrim.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida
The rich get richer. You thought I forgot about Pitts, arguably the best pound-for-pound player in this draft? Nah, I was just waiting. A guy that probably should go in the top five falls all the way to Tampa, where he learns from the greatest tight end of all time. The rich get richer and life isn’t fair. Nothing is inevitable except Father Tom.
*He did not say this.