2021 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers transfer up for BYU QB Zach Wilson, LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase heads to Atlanta | NFL Draft

The mock draft you like to hate is again. This selection of 32 choices, along side their accompanying trades, represents the choices we might make at every place, leaning on our college-to-pro projections and all the movie learn about and research that is going into developing PFF’s Giant Board and Draft Information.

In contrast to our preliminary mock closing season, we included trades that made sense for either side and added some important spice, in addition to advanced on some notions we disregarded closing 12 months, together with the price of inside defensive linemen. Some declare the easiest mock is not possible. They had been unsuitable. Experience!

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Eric Keen: It’s simple to overthink issues, however on this case, the Jaguars get their man. Lawrence, who has been the 2021 No. 1 total select in ready since he went 20-of-32 for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns in opposition to Alabama in January 2019, did not surpass his 90.6 passing grade as a real freshman in his sophomore or junior campaigns, however he did fare higher in different sides.

In spite of the signal-caller dropping Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross this previous 12 months, and contracting COVID-19 all through the center of the season, his Nine.three yards in keeping with cross strive and seven.1% big-time throw charge had been the most productive marks of his occupation. The Jaguars have round $70 million in cap house in a league the place the wage cap goes to head down, giving the Clemson big name an opportunity to thrive in probably the most higher environments for a primary total select in fairly a while.

2. Carolina Panthers (by the use of Jets): QB Zach Wilson, BYU

George Chahrouri: The Panthers may really feel down in the event that they fail to see the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, however in addition they may finally end up with simply as excellent a group by way of paying a lesser worth to transport as much as the second one select at a lower price. Carolina’s roster is a long way from very best presently, so in contrast to the Dolphins, buying and selling for Watson doesn’t in an instant lead them to a contender.

If they might by hook or by crook persuade the Jets to take Christian McCaffrey, the No. eight select and slightly sweetener for the No. 2 select, the Panthers would pop out as a large winner. This isn’t any hatred towards one in every of our favourite NFL avid gamers in CMC, who’s an absolute stud off and on the sector, however paying a working again $16 million in keeping with 12 months is not a successful technique.

If it weren’t for Trevor Lawrence’s generational splendor, Zach Wilson will be the alpha on this magnificence. Wilson used to be otherworldly each out and in of construction closing season at BYU. To cite PFF lead draft analyst Mike Renner on this 12 months’s PFF NFL Draft Information, “Wilson’s arm is particular. He made extra NFL throws weekly than some other quarterback within the magnificence.”

Wilson additionally initiatives to have the most productive yards in keeping with strive within the magnificence, and with offensive coordinator Joe Brady at his aspect, this Panthers offense might be electrical from the bounce. Wilson earned a 96.Five PFF grade from a blank pocket closing season (preferrred within the magnificence) and controlled to mitigate turnover-worthy performs to simply 1.2% of his dropbacks in spite of a 10.Nine-yard moderate intensity of goal, which used to be the very best of the possible first-round signal-callers.

It will have to even be famous that whilst Wilson didn’t face a lot in the way in which of drive closing season at BYU, his moderate time to throw used to be simply 2.eight seconds, which is true close to the NFL moderate. To make such a lot of impressive off-platform throws however stay that time-to-throw determine low is one thing you don’t see within the NFL outdoors of Kansas Town (this isn’t a comp to the newborn GOAT, however rattling, Wilson is spectacular).

three. Houston Texans (by the use of Dolphins): QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

EE: Even supposing the Texans get Tua Tagovailoa on this industry with Miami, they don’t leisure on the quarterback place. We’ve written about Justin Fields from a mathematical point of view this offseason, and whilst his projection isn’t fairly that of Wilson, he has an opportunity to seek out luck within the NFL given the correct instances.

Now, taking into account Houston already had probably the most preferrred quarterbacks within the league in Deshaun Watson and made the location pear-shaped in a slightly short while, it could be an uphill climb for Fields. The proposed industry would quantity to one thing alongside the traces of:

Miami receives: Deshaun Watson

Houston receives: Tua Tagovailoa (consider this for later), Xavien Howard, Pick out Nos. three and 18 and every other long term first-rounder

Four. Atlanta Falcons: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

GC: There will likely be some clamoring for Atlanta to select a defensive participant right here, however drafting for want is a peasant transfer. Draft to win. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Ja’Marr Chase, Matt Ryan and Arthur Smith, amongst others, has the possible to shape the most productive offense within the NFL.

Chase is the selection as WR1. He didn’t play closing season, however at 19 years previous, his numbers would have made him the simple selection. The one reason why there is even a debate about whether or not he will have to be the primary large receiver taken is that the coronavirus pandemic has clouded our recollections of previous instances.

Chase annihilated deep protection, incomes a 99.Nine PFF grade on objectives of 20-plus yards downfield, together with 24 such catches (DeVonta Smith had 15 this season, for reference). Simply have a look at those warmth maps from the PFF Draft Information.

Five. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

EE: We’re relatively bearish at the worth of person offensive linemen at the box, however as Inexperienced Bay and Kansas Town confirmed within the playoffs and as Cincinnati confirmed all through the common season, being terrible alongside the road is extra destructive than being elite there may be really useful.

The issue is that purchasing even moderate tackles is lovely dear relative to taking one top within the draft. Whilst we nonetheless assume the Bengals want a receiver (everybody does), a prospect of Sewell’s high quality at this worth is awesome to no matter Cincinnati may achieve in unfastened company on a per-dollar foundation to give protection to Joe Burrow after his encouraging rookie 12 months.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

GC: So much has been fabricated from the Eagles going after a quarterback right here. And whilst we ascribe to the perception that thou shalt no longer cross up the danger at a really perfect signal-caller, we weren’t assured sufficient within the small samples of Trey Lance or Mac Jones and his boosted manufacturing at Alabama.

Simply because 2020 first-rounder Jalen Reagor hasn’t changed into a stud but doesn’t imply the Eagles shouldn’t draft essentially the most treasured participant at the board — even though he is a wideout. Smith would completely supplement Reagor’s electrical pace.

If you’re going to make a decision at the Eagles sticking with Jalen Hurts, it higher no longer be with the “neatly, we haven’t observed him with actual playmakers” caveat. Smith used to be so slippery off the road and ruled downfield in spite of his skinny body. His direction warmth map looks like the pc tousled and spilled pink paint at the box. He led the category in deep receiving yards and display yards. Smith is just the WR1 that Philly wishes.

7. Detroit Lions: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

EE: Many of us assume Waddle is a greater prospect than DeVonta Smith, and whilst Waddle used to be impressive at Alabama previous to harm, Smith does have the very best projected yards in keeping with goal in his magnificence. That mentioned, Waddle’s statistical comps come with Stefon Diggs, Sterling Shepard and Tyler Boyd — all very productive avid gamers.

The Lions, with their height 3 receivers heading to unrestricted unfastened company, wish to give new quarterback Jared Goff and his eventual successor guns to paintings with in what’s quickly to be a wide-open NFC North.

eight. New York Jets (by the use of Panthers): TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

GC: The Jets’ trust in Sam Darnold may value them Zach Wilson, but it surely provides them an opportunity to make stronger their weaponry and create a group harking back to the 49ers. Pitts is a decent lead to identify solely; his dynamic talent set will likely be an asset anywhere he traces up.

Pitts provides new Jets head trainer Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur a chess piece like George Kittle or Travis Kelce who can win from any place and at any stage. Pitts earned a 96.1 PFF receiving grade and posted 10 catches on objectives 20-plus yards downfield in 2020 — simply 5 at the back of Alabama’s DeVonta Smith on 11 fewer objectives.

Nine. Denver Broncos: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

EE: Denver must make every other guess on the quarterback place, and after taking an inexpensive shot in the second one around in 2019 with Drew Lock, they take a in a similar fashion strong-armed prospect in Trey Lance right here with a miles upper select.

Our faculty-to-pro projection machine is slightly bearish on Lance in case you put him in the similar instances he continued at North Dakota State, however given offensive coordinator’s Pat Shurmur’s luck with some younger quarterbacks (Sam Bradford) and less-elite quarterbacks (Case Keenum), there’s sufficient there in Denver to justify taking this shot.

10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

GC: We debated between a couple of choices right here because the Cowboys have gaping holes at each treasured defensive line and an offensive line in recession. In the end, Farley used to be the most productive participant on the place the place offenses shredded the Cowboys in 2020; no Dallas cornerback earned a 65.Zero-plus PFF grade closing season. Farley earned an 86.Nine grade as a sophomore along side a 26.eight passer ranking when centered prior to sitting out the 2020 marketing campaign.

11. New York Giants: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

EE: The Giants struck gold closing offseason with the purchase of James Bradberry in unfastened company, and there used to be some temptation to take every other nook right here to beef up a power. Alternatively, given the price proposition of elite edge avid gamers taken top within the draft relative to what they’re paid as veterans on the height finish, Paye is an athletic guess the Giants wish to make right here to safe their first elite edge defender in fairly a while.

12. Washington Soccer Crew (by the use of 49ers): QB Mac Jones, Alabama

GC: The 49ers may have taken Mac Jones, however they go for every other 12 months of Jimmy Garoppolo and snatch a couple of extra choices alongside the way in which. In the meantime, Washington desperately wishes to start out taking photographs at quarterback, and after lacking out at the Deshaun Watson teach on this state of affairs, this select makes essentially the most sense for them.

Jones has the short-area accuracy and skill to make timing throws that may very much receive advantages large receiver Terry McLaurin. Jones’ 84.2% adjusted of entirety proportion (accounting for drops, batted passes and throwaways) used to be the very best within the magnificence, and he eviscerated the center of the sector (see the warmth maps under).

You don’t must assume he’s higher than Tua Tagovailoa to take him within the first around. His participant comp within the 2021 PFF Draft Information sums this up completely — pass test it out.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

EE: Slater and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw are each similarly believable choices right here to give protection to reigning Rookie of the Yr Justin Herbert. Slater has statistical comps that come with Trent Williams and Nate Solder all through their first 5 NFL seasons as cross protectors, which would provide really extensive worth for a franchise that has struggled up entrance for the easier a part of a decade.

14. Minnesota Vikings: DI Christian Barmore, Alabama

GC: Opposite to fashionable trust, the analytics nerds are able to studying new issues. PFF’s Eric Keen has been identified for his talent to transform to the reality, and this switch-up to inside protection mattering is possibly the only excellent factor to occur in 2020.

It in order that occurs that his fatherland Vikings are ready to learn right here at No. 14 and snag the one inside defender value drafting any place close to the primary around. Barmore earned a 91.Five PFF pass-rush grade in 2020, and his participant comp from PFF’s Mike Renner is Gerald McCoy.

15. Houston Texans (by the use of Patriots, who get Tua Tagovailoa): CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

EE: Houston trades the rights to Tua Tagovailoa for New England’s first-rounder, because the Patriots industry out of the primary around for the second one immediately 12 months. Pairing Samuel with Xavien Howard (see the industry at Pick out No. three) provides the Houston Texans, who had been the eighth-worst group at turning wage into WAR on the cornerback place in 2020, a couple of protection guys with which to rebuild their protection within the Justin Fields generation.

16. Arizona Cardinals: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

GC: With Patrick Peterson at the means out, the Cardinals herald a CB3 to enroll in a all at once younger and flexible protection that is composed of Budda Baker and 2020 first-round select Isaiah Simmons. Surtain has the method and dimension to leap in and give a contribution in an instant. He compelled 10 incompletions closing season, the seventh-most within the draft magnificence.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

EE: The Raiders take a large receiver for the second one immediately 12 months, choosing the extra whole Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota. Bateman’s statistical comps for his first 5 years are Robert Woods and Davante Adams — additionally of their first 5 years — which might effectively supplement Henry Ruggs III‘s pace and Darren Waller‘s elite play in the midst of the sector. Bateman reported that he ran a sub-Four.Four 40-yard sprint, which will have to quell any of the synthetic fears about his straight-line pace.

18. Houston Texans (by the use of Dolphins): EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

GC: Some other a part of the Deshaun Watson industry from Pick out No. three, the Texans glance to rebuild their group with a alternative for long term Corridor of Famer J.J. Watt. Ojulari initiatives extraordinarily neatly as a cross rusher, and he confirmed why in his ultimate season at Georgia, successful 25% of his pass-rush snaps.

19. San Francisco 49ers (by the use of Soccer Crew): CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

EE: After buying and selling again, the 49ers achieve Horn, who will have to step proper in for the departed Richard Sherman. Horn has the third-lowest projected adjusted of entirety proportion allowed within the draft magnificence along with the fifth-best projected playmaker charge (charge of passes damaged up or intercepted).

20. Chicago Bears: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

GC: If the Bears are by hook or by crook ready to make a transfer for Russell Wilson, this select figures to carry Alabama working again Najee Harris to Seattle. Assuming that doesn’t occur, Chicago will wish to create an atmosphere conducive to passing luck for whoever leads their offense.

Darrisaw may have simply long past forward of Rashawn Slater, as his projected drive charge allowed is in fact slightly higher and he earned an insane 95.6 PFF grade closing season — a 15-point bounce from his 2019 marketing campaign — that ranked moment within the FBS.

21. Indianapolis Colts: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

EE: Moehrig is the most productive protection within the magnificence and the kind of cast playmaker that the Colts have constructed their group with all through the Frank Reich/Chris Ballard generation. With Malik Hooker a pending unfastened agent, search for the Colts, a group that has used veterans very successfully to construct their protection, to head younger.

22. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (FL)

GC: The Titans may assault a large number of positions right here, however their cross rush struggled such a lot closing season that solely the Vikings, Bengals and Jaguars generated decrease drive charges. This afforded opposing quarterbacks a long way too many blank wallet. Rousseau is every other man who sat out closing season, however his 87.2 pass-rush grade on true cross units as a sophomore used to be encouraging sufficient to spice up his projection into the primary around.

23. New York Jets: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue

EE: The Jets, after sticking with Sam Darnold, get new head trainer Robert Saleh his Deebo Samuel/Brandon Aiyuk clone with the select from the Jamal Adams industry.

Moore, who ignored a lot of the previous two seasons, is as unhealthy with the ball in his fingers as somebody on this draft. And along side Kyle Pitts, he will have to in the end give the Jets the manufacturing they’ve longed for since they traded a number of choices for Darnold’s draft slot 3 years in the past.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

GC: Toney can rating from any place at the box, and with Giant Ben throwing the ball sooner than any quarterback since PFF began in 2006 (2.17-second moderate time to throw), a participant of Toney’s caliber would bode neatly for the Steelers’ offense.

Toney exhibited that talent at Florida, the place he lived within the brief and intermediate heart of the sector (see warmth map from PFF Draft Information). He’s uncooked as a direction runner however hauled seven of his 9 deep objectives in 2020, so it’s no longer as though he’ll be restricted if given the correct instruction.

We realized this 12 months from observing the Buccaneers steam previous the Chiefs that an NFL group fairly actually can’t have sufficient receiving weaponry. Pairing Toney with Diontae Johnson‘s route-running brilliance and Chase Claypool‘s physicality may assist profit from no matter Giant Ben has left within the tank or pave the way in which for the following Steelers quarterback to return out firing.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

EE: The Jaguars, after taking Trevor Lawrence first total, complement him on offense by way of taking Vera-Tucker with the second one select secured from the Jalen Ramsey industry. Vera-Tucker, who has inside-outside flexibility, boasts the most productive pass-protection projection of any inside lineman within the draft and provides plus play within the run sport.

26. Cleveland Browns: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

GC: The Browns invested closely in making a more potent pass-protecting core in 2020, and whilst they might truly use extra receiving ability, we as an alternative pivoted to the most productive linebacker within the draft — albeit one that is uncooked in protection.

Parsons nonetheless projected neatly and generally is a particular chess piece given his talent as a cross rusher. The NFL values run protection on the linebacker place greater than we do, therefore why all of our groups on this mock have shied clear of deciding on Parsons. The Browns take pleasure in that right here.

27. Baltimore Ravens: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

EE: Orlando Brown Jr. is looking for a industry, and the Ravens are too sensible a franchise to cave into the calls for of a participant that, whilst excellent, is boosted a little by way of the stipulations elicited by way of taking part in for an offense led by way of Lamar Jackson and coached by way of Greg Roman.

Jenkins steps into the position of a bookend to Ronnie Stanley, who the Ravens prolonged closing season, and he supplies insurance coverage will have to Stanley no longer be to be had to start out the season because of the harm that knocked him out of the 2020 marketing campaign.

28. New Orleans Saints: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

GC: Our projections closing 12 months cherished Justin Jefferson in spite of some considerations about his loss of utilization at the outdoors. Marshall no longer solely suffers from that “slot-only” stigma, however he additionally didn’t have the once-in-a-lifetime alternative to play with Joe Burrow as a top-two choice in LSU’s offense.

As an alternative, Marshall continued a crisis of a 2020 season with the Tigers. In spite of that, he confirmed nice pace off the road and downfield talent, posting a 150.Zero-plus passer ranking when centered greater than 10 yards downfield and making 25 contested catches on 41 such objectives.

Terrace Marshall Jr. might be the scouse borrow of the draft and the additional piece head trainer Sean Payton and quarterback Jameis Winston want.

29. Inexperienced Bay Packers: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

EE: The Packers have a necessity at large receiver, and a few stories point out they’re going to lose Corey Linsley, the league’s most respected heart, as neatly. Alternatively, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been what the Packers have lacked on protection since prior to their closing Tremendous Bowl victory, a linebacker who can very easily play all 3 downs within the fashionable NFL. The previous Notre Dame big name has the very best projected playmaker charge at his place.

30. Buffalo Expenses: EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State

GC: Because of the entire paintings of normal supervisor Brandon Beane, the Expenses are one of the whole groups within the NFL. Whilst extra weaponry for quarterback Josh Allen would not harm, the Expenses had been not able to make the Chiefs pay for his or her vulnerable tackles within the AFC convention championship. Including probably the most preferrred cross rushers within the draft is a step towards that finish.

At 6-foot-Five and 252 kilos, Oweh is an absolute freak, as evidenced by way of two times touchdown within the height 10 of Bruce Feldman’s Freaks Record. Weirdly, he didn’t select up a unmarried sack closing season at PSU, however he did earn an 86.Zero PFF grade on true cross units and used to be dominant in opposition to the run. Oweh would make an affect for a Tremendous Bowl hopeful Expenses group.

31. Kansas Town Chiefs: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Omit

EE: There’s clearly a draw right here for the Chiefs to take a take on. In the end, Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher each had surgical operation this offseason, and 2020 third-rounder Lucas Niang opted out of what would had been his rookie marketing campaign, leaving the Chiefs’ offense with less-than-ideal replacements when it ran headfirst into Tampa Bay’s protection within the Tremendous Bowl.

That mentioned, a lot of the failure in that sport used to be on tertiary receivers Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins, and whilst the ones guys have emerged prior to now, throwing numbers at that place is of extreme significance in case you’re looking to win massive video games in opposition to whole defenses. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Ar’Darius Washington, TCU

GC: There are those that see a power and forget about it. That briefly turns a power right into a weak point. The Bucs have drafted higher than some other group over the last 4 seasons, and a large reason is their funding in protection avid gamers.

Washington provides to that dynamic protection with playmaking talent that extends everywhere the sector. He noticed 100-plus snaps every at slot nook, within the field and at unfastened protection closing season. Washington has the Honey Badger dynamism that makes him a no brainer on the finish of the primary around for the protecting champs.

Courtesy of PFF’s 2021 NFL Draft Information, in finding PFF’s height draft prospect, largest riser and wild card to observe at every place right here: 

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL | DI | EDGE | LB | S | CB

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