Quarterbacks must dominate the highest of April’s draft, and that is the reason mirrored in my newest 2021 NFL Mock Draft. I performed GM for all 32 choices and mocked what I believe groups must do — no longer will do — within the first-round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
This can be a no-brainer choice for the Jags. PFF’s lead draft analyst, Mike Renner, wrote just lately that Lawrence “is really the kind of prospect who comes round most effective as soon as in a technology.” Jacksonville can dash the cardboard in with self belief.
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Renner additionally just lately when put next BYU signal-caller Zach Wilson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields in an editorial for PFF.com, during which he mentioned:
“The one manner I’d cross Fields over Wilson is that if I had an offensive coordinator who wanted a speeding danger on the quarterback place. Differently, Fields’ problems with preserving onto the ball mixed with Wilson’s elite off-platform skill and arm ability in the end offers the BYU quarterback the nod.”
PFF’s Seth Galina additionally praised Wilson in his article evaluating the previous Cougars quarterback to any other important pre-draft riser in Joe Burrow, calling out Wilson’s notable arm ability as a key separator between the 2 possibilities. And no quarterback in school soccer has a better grade than Wilson in 2020.
Whilst some Jets lovers are inspired by way of what Sam Darnold has proven in flashes all the way through his three-year NFL profession, the previous USC standout merely hasn’t proven sufficient to warrant passing on a ability like Wilson at No. 2 total.
three. Philadelphia Eagles (by means of Dolphins): QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
With Carson Wentz most likely on his manner out of Philadelphia, the Eagles wish to get competitive at upgrading on the quarterback place in April’s draft. Rookie Jalen Hurts confirmed flashes of competence because the crew’s starter, however he nonetheless completed the ultimate 4 weeks of the season as some of the lowest-graded quarterbacks.
Fields has his personal justifiable share of considerations as a prospect, however he’s nonetheless the No. three total participant on PFF’s board and the first-ranked school quarterback on the subject of PFF passing grade during the last two seasons (2019-20).
four. Atlanta Falcons: QB Trey Lance, NDSU
No non-quarterback picked at No. four total in 2021 will take Falcons from a four-win crew to a Tremendous Bowl contender with a 36-year-old Matt Ryan below middle and at the books for greater than $80M in 2021 and 2022 mixed. I’m sorry. So, even though the Falcons’ entrance administrative center remains to be assured in going the space with Ryan, including an inheritor obvious on the quarterback place with the — preferably — uncommon alternative they’ve drafting throughout the height 5 must be a very simple choice.
PFF’s 10th-ranked signal-caller on the subject of passing grade in 2020, Ryan provides business price if Atlanta’s brass can discover a suitor or can proceed to begin forward of a rookie quarterback with what must no less than be an stepped forward training scenario and two top-flight extensive receivers (Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley).
Lance is a toolsy prospect with a large number of the measurables (dimension, athleticism, arm power) ability evaluators glance to focus on and broaden on the quarterback place. He is additionally a developmental piece Atlanta can really feel assured in sitting at the back of Ryan for a longer length prior to beginning below middle within the NFL.
Five. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
The Bengals get their dream state of affairs on this mock draft. Whilst reuniting quarterback Joe Burrow along with his former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase is the sexier choice at No. Five, crew want and ideal participant to be had fit up too completely right here with Sewell nonetheless at the board. The previous Oregon Duck is a generational offensive take on prospect who earned PFF grades in 2019 that we’ve by no means observed from an underclassman within the PFF Faculty technology (2014-20).
6. Miami Dolphins (by means of Eagles): WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
If Miami does not need to get uber-aggressive at upgrading the quarterback place with their No. three pick out, buying and selling again to procure extra high-end ability in long run drafts and nonetheless land a celeb wideout like Chase places them at the rapid observe to surrounding Tagovailoa with sufficient ability to be successful. The previous LSU wideout is recently PFF’s No. 1 extensive receiver and No. Five total participant within the 2021 magnificence. He additionally earned the third-ranked PFF receiving grade (91.three) in school soccer at simply 19 years of age as a real sophomore in 2019.
Comparable: It is too early to jot down off Tua Tagovailoa, however the Miami Dolphins must nonetheless draft a height quarterback by means of Kevin Cole
7. Detroit Lions: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
The previous Penn State off-ball linebacker is recently PFF’s sixth-ranked prospect at the 2021 NFL Draft board. Parsons additionally completed the 2019 season because the highest-graded off-ball linebacker (91.6). He additionally possesses position versatility that Dan Campbell and the Lions must covet in that he can play off-ball alignments on early downs and rush off the brink or blitz on passing downs. Parsons is likely one of the higher pass-rushing off-ball linebacker possibilities we have now observed during the last few drafts.
eight. Carolina Panthers: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
Drafting a decent finish early within the first around isn’t nice from a positional price viewpoint, however Pitts doesn’t simply play tight finish. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Florida Gator recently owns some of the easiest PFF grades within the nation irrespective of place (96.2) whilst taking part in 261 offensive snaps at inline tight finish, 79 at slot receiver and 69 at extensive receiver. If Carolina does not make a play for an improve over Teddy Bridgewater, surrounding him (or a veteran they achieve in loose company or by means of business) with extra ability along Robby Anderson and DJ Moore must lend a hand give Joe Brady and the offense sufficient to steer a extra aggressive Panthers crew in 2021.
nine. Denver Broncos: Edge Kwity Paye, Michigan
Paye is an extraordinary athlete that received’t ultimate deep into the 1st around if he does take a look at in addition to anticipated on the 2021 NFL Scouting Mix. He additionally has the fourth-best PFF pass-rush win price (26%) of any Energy Five edge defender within the nation. Denver faces some ranges of uncertainty at edge defender with Von Miller (31) coming off a critical ankle damage and recently below felony investigation.
10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
These days PFF’s top-ranked cornerback and No. 14 total participant within the 2021 magnificence, Farley is a fluid athlete with the entire equipment important to dominate at out of doors cornerback within the NFL. Sooner than opting out of the 2020 season and stating for the draft, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound Farley earned a 90.Five PFF protection grade that ranked 1/3 amongst Energy Five cornerbacks in 2019.
11. New York Giants: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Waddle is arguably a greater receiver prospect than Henry Ruggs III used to be popping out of Alabama in 2020. An explosive, dynamic athlete, Waddle ranks throughout the height 5 in yards according to path run (three.64) and yards after the catch according to reception (11.Five) during the last two seasons.
12. San Francisco 49ers: WR DeVona Smith, Alabama
Whilst the 49ers can be sensible to ship a bundle of choices and gamers to a crew drafting throughout the top-three to land an improve at quarterback, pulling off this sort of blockbuster business and discovering a right kind suitor for Jimmy Garoppolo’s products and services is more straightforward mentioned than completed. If Kyle Shanahan & Co. do keep put at No. 12 and proceed to paintings for a deep postseason run with Jimmy G. below middle, they will wish to do the whole lot they may be able to to construct an elite offense round him. Smith completed the 12 months with the easiest single-season receiving grade (94.nine) within the PFF Faculty technology (2014-20) and recently ranks eighth total on PFF’s 2021 NFL Draft Board.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
A former three-star recruit, Slater earned 75.Zero and 76.6 PFF grades taking part in proper take on for Northwestern as a real freshman and sophomore in 2017 and 2018, respectively. His PFF grade jumped as much as 90.Zero in his first season beginning at left take on for the Wildcats in 2019. He instantly fills a necessity for the Chargers alongside the offensive line irrespective of whether or not he performs take on or inner offensive line on the subsequent point.
14. Minnesota Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw is likely one of the larger school soccer breakouts in 2020. A former three-star recruit out of Maryland, Darrisaw has stepped forward his grade from 68.6 beginning at left take on in 2018 as much as 95.6 taking part in the similar place in 2020. The 6-foot-Five, 350-pounder earned himself some cash this season, evidently.
15. New England Patriots: DI Christian Barmore, Alabama
Barmore’s consistency at Alabama is explanation why to be thinking about him as a high-end prospect, however his performances within the Red Tide’s bouts with Notre Dame and Ohio State within the Faculty Soccer Playoff are one of the crucial ideal we have now observed from any defensive take on on this magnificence. Purchasing into the excessive finish and proceeding to broaden Barmore (RS So.) on the subsequent point is a profitable funding for the Pats at No. 15, particularly realizing the loss of intensity within the 2021 defensive take on magnificence.
16. Arizona Cardinals: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Surtain is a large, instinctive out of doors cornerback prospect that are meant to push Farley for CB1 within the 2021 magnificence by the point April comes round. Surtain leads all school cornerbacks with no less than 400 defensive snaps performed in PFF grade (87.Zero) in 2020.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Edge Jayson Oweh, Penn State
In spite of important funding (Clelin Ferrell, Arden Key, Maxx Crosby, Maurice Hurst) within the line of defense lately, the Raiders’ pass-rush remains to be a bottom-five unit within the league and has been for the reason that Khalil Mack business. And the wish to support in that house is magnified now that they have got employed Gus Bradley at defensive coordinator for the reason that he blitzes at some of the lowest charges within the league.
Certainly one of a number of developmental edge possibilities on this magnificence, Oweh is athletic and flexible for the placement however lacks high-end collegiate manufacturing. He earned simply an 81.eight PFF pass-rushing grade in 2019 and an 80.three PFF pass-rushing grade in 2020. On the other hand, he’s a mission price making an investment within the again finish of the 1st around for a Titans crew in determined want of a few juice alongside the brink.
18. Miami Dolphins: Edge Gregory Rousseau, Miami (Fla.)
Rousseau is a long way from a refined prospect, however the former Miami (Fla.) defender is a high-end athlete with ridiculous dimension and duration for the placement (6-foot-6, 260 kilos). He earned a 76.2 PFF grade taking part in up and down the road of scrimmage for the Hurricanes in 2019 and will instantly step in as a chess piece in Zimmer’s protection whilst he develops his pass-rushing talent set.
19. Washington Soccer Workforce: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Horn’s aggregate of athleticism and physicaility is uncommon for the cornerback place. He allowed simply 8 catches from 24 objectives for 116 yards within the seven video games he performed in 2020.
20. Chicago Bears: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Jenkins stepped forward his PFF grade in each and every of his previous 3 seasons at Oklahoma State, operating the entire manner as much as 92.Zero in 2020. He’s a street grader within the run recreation and a brick wall towards bull-rush sorts in move coverage. Activate his tape towards Texas’ Joseph Ossai, and you can temporarily perceive the hype.
21. Indianapolis Colts: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
Moore is in large part a projection on the subsequent point taking into consideration how few snaps we noticed him absolutely wholesome at Purdue, however his record-break 2018 season and jaw-dropping velocity, power and athleticism aggregate is sufficient to really feel assured in him as a first-round pick out.
22. Tennessee Titans: Edge Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Ojulari is the most productive natural velocity rusher within the 2021 magnificence and must pick out up wins alongside the out of doors edge early in his NFL profession. The previous Georgia standout has freaky explosiveness and the bend to show the nook and end on the quarterback. He earned a 91.7 pass-rushing grade that ranked 2nd amongst all FBS edge defenders in 2020.
23. New York Jets: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Bateman is not a freak athlete with high-end height velocity, however he is nonetheless some of the ideal natural separators on this magnificence as a result of his skill to get off the road of scrimmage and win along with his environment friendly route-running. The previous Minnesota standout led the rustic in yards according to path from an out of doors alignment as a sophomore in 2019.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Edge Jaelan Phillips, Miami (Fla.)
Jaelan Phillips used to be thought to be the No. 1 total recruit by way of the 247Sports activities Composite popping out of Redlands East Valley Prime Faculty. In his junior and senior season, Phillips mixed for 218 tackles and 30.Five sacks and two interceptions. The five-star defensive finish won 20 provides, in line with 247Sports activities, prior to deciding on the in-state UCLA Bruins over the likes of Alabama and others.
Phillips, then again, suffered 3 critical concussions early in his UCLA profession that ended in him retiring from soccer forward of the 2019 season. He sooner or later returned to the sport to play for Miami (Fla.) in 2020 and became in some of the higher seasons of any pass-rusher within the nation. The concussion considerations will power all the dialog surrounding Phillips, however there is no arguing he is one of the crucial purely gifted defensive possibilities within the magnificence.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (by means of Rams): S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The Jaguars wish to proceed to take a position draft capital within the secondary. Sidney Jones is the one Jacksonville defender with 100-plus snaps at out of doors cornerback and a PFF grade above 61.Zero. Rookie C.J. Henderson must proceed to recuperate with revel in so long as he can get wholesome, however the remainder of the intensity chart is just a little of a large number.
Moehrig (6-foot-2, 202 kilos) is the most productive loose protection prospect within the 2021 magnificence and must be coveted for his bodily equipment and ball manufacturing come April’s draft.
26. Cleveland Browns: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah, Notre Dame
An elite athlete with one of the crucial ideal natural explosiveness within the magnificence, Owusu-Koromoah can temporarily grow to be some of the league’s ideal protection linebackers if he continues to broaden on the place. He excelled in protection whilst taking part in a bulk majority of his snaps cut up between the field and slot cornerback positions.
27. Baltimore Ravens: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Vera-Tucker is likely one of the highest-graded offensive tackles within the nation however ideal initiatives as an inner offensive lineman on the subsequent point. The USC standout can fill a necessity at both guard place for Baltimore straight away and supply intensity at more than one positions as a swing piece for an offensive line that suffered from accidents in 2020.
28. New Orleans Saints: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
PFF’s personal Seth Galina wrote an in depth piece evaluating Jones to former ‘Bama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa and claimed Jones must be regarded as as excellent a prospect as Tua popping out — if no longer higher.
Jones’ and Tagovailoa’s very deep passing stats had been an identical. On throws that traveled over 30 yards of their profession each had a 60% adjusted finishing touch price and a touchdown-to-intercepton ratio of 15 to one. Tua’s NFL passer score on those throws used to be 130.eight, whilst Jones’ used to be 131.nine. That’s eerie. Deep passing is probably not the most productive proxy for arm power, however you’ll be able to see at the movie that each move the NFL-level arm power threshold.
Jones’ throws appear to be they’re popping out quicker than Tua’s on tape, however I believe it is an optical phantasm as a result of Jones’ fast liberate confuses our brains. Tua had extra of a onerous liberate, so it looks as if the ball is shifting slower. Each can get balls out below drive, as smartly. You’ll be able to in finding clips of Jones falling backward and nonetheless getting some zip on his throws like Tua.
Tua’s mistakes had been most commonly him no longer seeing zone defenders. If truth be told, of his 14 turnover-worthy throws in 2018 and 2019, each and every unmarried one used to be of this selection. This might be both a deep protection creating a play baiting him right into a throw or him no longer seeing an beneath linebacker. You can name those learn mistakes — no longer seeing the sector or figuring out the protection and on occasion having unhealthy timing. Tua has made a few of those self same errors in his little time taking part in for the Dolphins, as smartly, so it’s nonetheless a slight fear. He’s additionally added accuracy errors, which does not make for a excellent combo.
For Jones, we see a lot much less of this. I charted most effective 3 of his 13 turnover-worthy throws as being on this bucket. Jones’ drawback used to be within the accuracy division. He made sensible reads however then used to be undone by way of his personal ball placement. He both threw over his meant receiver to a security who had no industry being within the play or simply threw at the back of a receiver in tight guy protection for the cornerback to get his fingers at the ball.
Jones at No. 28 can are available and compete with Taysom Hill and/or Jameis Winston for the beginning task in New Orleans as soon as veteran Drew Brees formally proclaims his anticipated retirement from the NFL.
29. Inexperienced Bay Packers: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Toney makes up for what he lacks in ball abilities and route-running polish with freakish athleticism, explosiveness and YAC skill this is really in a league of his personal within the 2021 magnificence. He broke greater than 30 tackles during the last two seasons and earned 80.Zero-plus PFF grades in each and every of the previous 3 years.
30. Buffalo Expenses: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
What Samuel lacks in dimension, he makes up for in athleticism and positional versatility. He’s an instinctive participant who doesn’t shy clear of touch if located within the slot or the field, and his motion abilities give him a bonus over a large number of out of doors receivers when coated up at cornerback. He most likely initiatives as a slot cornerback or protection on the subsequent point at simply Five-foot-10, 184 kilos, however he’s earned the most productive PFF protection grade (82.eight) of his profession taking part in out of doors cornerback for FSU this season.
31. Kansas Town Chiefs: OT Dillon Radunz, NDSU
Radunz is a large riser up draft forums coming off his stellar efficiency on the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. He additionally earned 79.1 and 87.2 pass-blocking grades in his 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectively.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Sam Cosmi, Texas
Whilst Donovan Smith did flip within the easiest single-season PFF grade of his profession in 2020 (72.eight), he can be a cap casualty taking into consideration that Tampa will most likely get competitive with re-signing Lavonte David, Chris Godwin and/or Shaq Barrett this offseason. Freeing Smith would save the Bucs greater than $14M in cap house. However even though Smith is retained for the overall 12 months of his contract, the Bucs will most likely lose a large number of their intensity alongside the offensive line to loose company (Joel Haeg, AQ Shipley, Josh Wells) and can be sensible to proceed to spend money on the placement.
One of the vital higher athletes at his place, the 6-foot-7, 309-pound Cosmi has earned 82.Zero-plus PFF pass-blocking grades in all 3 of his years at Texas. He additionally earned a 90.Five PFF grade in 2020.
Courtesy of PFF’s 2021 NFL Draft Information, in finding PFF’s height draft prospect, largest riser and wild card to observe at each and every place right here:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL | DI | EDGE | LB | S | CB