Martin McConnell’s Final 2021 NFL Mock Draft

17. Baltimore Ravens- Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

MOCK TRADE! The Baltimore Ravens send No. 27 overall, No. 104 overall, and No. 131 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders, in return for No. 17 overall.

With the addition of Orlando Brown, Baltimore won’t be coming up for a tackle. That being said, they could still use another position while still keeping the pick they got from the Chiefs, like they do right here. The Ravens have a pretty nice receiver room already, but that mythical “No. 1 receiver” has always eluded them. In this scenario, they trade up with the Raiders to grab Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman who, at this point in the draft process, has shown himself to have true No. 1 potential. Bateman might not have the burst or flashy speed of DeVonta Smith, but he does have the size, hands, and consistency to compete (and win) at the NFL level.

18. Miami Dolphins- Jaelen Phillips, DE, Miami (FL)

With their second first-round pick, the Dolphins keep one of their hometown college stars in south Florida. Since coming to Miami after transferring from UCLA, Jaelen Phillips has been a dominant defensive end when healthy. Phillips possesses elite traits, but he’ll likely be injury prone at the next level due to his past experience of getting hit by a car in April 2018. The injuries initially forced him to retire from football, but after fully healing, he realized his full potential with the Hurricanes. Phillips is a phenom athlete who will be a great player, and could have been a much higher pick if not for his injury history. The Dolphins might be getting the steal of the draft here.

19. Washington Football Team- Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

Watching tape on Teven Jenkins is an absolute treat. Jenkins plays like he wants to rip the defender’s head off, and his mean streak never stops. In the absence of Trent Williams, Washington has failed to find a tackle that can anchor the line for the next decade. At 23 years old, Jenkins could be just that. He was one of the most terrifying players in college football this year, and he could blossom into even more of a mauler at the professional level. Washington ends up with a force to protect their quarterbacks for years to come.

20. Chicago Bears- Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Chicago Bears take a big swing here at No. 20, selecting Virginia Tech defender Caleb Farley. I was tempted to have them come up for a quarterback earlier in the draft, but trading up with Detroit or Atlanta would cost so much at their spot. Instead, they strengthen their defense with something of a lottery ticket. Farley’s medicals are scary, to say the least, but by pure talent he might be the best cornerback in this class. Farley’s biggest strength, perhaps, is his size. The Bears could use him as a chess piece to cover tight ends over the middle, and bigger receivers on the outside. But once more, this all depends on whether or not he can stay healthy.

21. Indianapolis Colts- Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

So, I understand that No. 21 is a little high for Christian Barmore, but I think he’s just the kind of player that defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus would love to develop. Barmore has the tools and the size to excel as an NFL defender, but he gets a little ahead of himself in the technique department at times. As a prospect, he has a tremendously high ceiling, but he needs a lot of help to get the game to slow down for him. Eberflus will be able to kick Barmore’s development into high gear and hopefully have him ripping through interior offensive linemen as a rookie.

22. Tennessee Titans- Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

The Titans have one solid safety right now in the form of Kevin Byard, but pairing him with the draft’s top safety could help put their defensive backfield over the top. TCU’s Trevon Moehrig has the skills to make an immediate impact at the next level as a ballhawking centerfielder. Moehrig has drawn comparisons to Cincinnati’s Jessie Bates, high praise for such a young safety. If Kristian Fulton can develop into a high-end corner, the Titans could have their defensive backfield set here for quite a few years.

23. New York Jets- Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Jets decide to pair Zach Wilson with one of the draft’s top running backs. Travis Etienne has a lot of tread on his tires, but he’s still worth a first-round pick, especially near the bottom of the round. Etienne has multiple years’ worth of starting experience, and as Robert Saleh tries to teach Wilson to reign in his extreme arm talent, Etienne will make a solid safety valve option.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The more things change, the more things stay the same. The Pittsburgh Steelers will draft Najee Harris. I don’t have much else to say here, other than that I’ve been on this train for three months, so why not hop on while you still can?

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