A lot ot stuff can happen between now and the draft, and this offseason will be one of the craziest in NFL history. Plenty of trades and free agents will shake things up, but for now, this is more of what I think will happen compared to what I want to happen with my normal Falcons mock drafts.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
This really isn’t any personal bias, but I think the Jets will prefer Wilson over Fields, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Wilson does have a bit more polish, and with nobody to mentor Fields, selecting the more “ready” prospect is the right move.
3. TRADE: Houston Texans: WR Devonta Smith, Alabama
I’ll just call my shot on Deshaun Watson to Miami now, and with Tua Tagovailoa in the fold, Houston snags his old running mate in Devonta Smith. The Texans are very adamant that Watson isn’t being traded, but I think the Dolphins can offer way too much for them to ignore. I don’t think Smith is the best receiver in the draft overall, but I do think he’s the right guy for the Texans and a fantastic player.
4. TRADE: Detroit Lions: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Detroit has tons of draft capital, and I don’t think they see Jared Goff as QB1 for the life of his entire contract. They use their 7th overall pick along with a future first and some day two choices to snag their quarterback of the future. Fields can develop a bit behind Goff and harness his incredible gifts to hopefully get Detroit back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Media pundits have Rashawn Slater in this spot, but I’m not buying it just yet. Protecting Joe Burrow is a must, and the flexibility that this pick offers with Jonah Williams at guard or right tackle is way too enticing. I think Sewell is more of a pure left tackle than Slater. As a Falcons fan, it sucks to miss on Sewell; he will be a franchise player for a decade. The Bengals would be foolish to pass on him here.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
This is a weird pick, mainly because the Eagles are in a peculiar spot. I do think they’ll trade Carson Wentz, but they still have Jalen Hurts. Pairing the home run hitter and physical Chase with Jaelen Raegor is worth double dipping on first round wideouts in back to back years. I like Chase a lot here, even though a wide receiver wasn’t selected in the top ten in 2020.
7. TRADE: San Francisco 49ers: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Atlanta moves back again and acquires another future first round pick. In addition to any other day two picks the Falcons get, the Niners will have to pay a hefty price to jump Carolina and Denver to get their hands on Trey Lance. Lance is very raw, but he is a dream fit with Kyle Shanahan. He’s the most athletic quarterback in the class, and the sky’s the limit if he can refine his technique as a passer.
8. Carolina Panthers: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
After getting sniped for the last of the “big four” quarterbacks, Carolina pivots to adding possibly the best weapon in the entire class. Pitts is a walking mismatch that will give the Falcons headaches for years to come. With Taylor Moton possibly leaving in free agency, I could see the Panthers going for Slater here as well.
9. Denver Broncos: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Farley is a pretty good scheme fit, and with no quarterbacks available in this range, Denver pivots to one of the highest upside players in the class. Von Miller may be cut, so EDGE could be in play here as well. Farley is an athletic specimen with fantastic press coverage skills, and he immediately becomes CB1 in a secondary that may lose Justin Simmons.
10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Surtain II has been the victim of some prospect fatigue, but I think he’s still the most technically sound corner in the class. With Dallas likely having to pay Dak Prescott big money, they look to replace the mass exodus of cornerbacks potentially leaving in free agency. I could see the Cowboys targeting offensive line here as well, but they need a lot of help everywhere with a bloated cap sheet.
11. New York Giants: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
I still think Jaylen Waddle is the best wideout in the class, and he offers a lot of what Odell Beckham Jr. gave the Giants. He uses his elite speed to seperate and is dynamic after the catch. The Giants may move on from Daniel Jones after this season, but Waddle makes this team better from day one and takes a lot of pressure off of Saquon Barkley.
12. TRADE: Atlanta Falcons: OT/G Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
After grabbing a ton of additional picks, the Falcons still get one of the most polished players in the class at a position of need. Slater has tremendous technique, and although he profiles best as a guard in the NFL — he has All-Pro potential and is the best guard prospect since Quenton Nelson. Adding a guy like Corey Linsley in free agency would create an imposing wall to protect Matt Ryan and establish the run with a guy like Javonte Williams or Najee Harris in the second round.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Darrisaw was one of the best tackles in college football this past season, and keeping Justin Herbert upright is imperative in 2021. Darrisaw is very balanced, and his sky is the limit if Brandon Staley and company can clean up his technique. This is one of those perfect prospect-team fits, as the Chargers badly need help up front.
14. Minnesota Vikings: G Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Interior offensive line is still a problem in Minnesota, and they pick up an immediate plug and play guard that will help open lanes for Dalvin Cook and keep Kirk Cousins (or Jimmy G?) upright. Vera-Tucker is one of the best guard prospects you will find, and he has lots of flexibility as well.
15. New England Patriots: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Mac Jones’ fall stops here. I think he is a supremely talented passer, and while he was surrounded with LOTS of talent in Tuscaloosa, he is a fantastic leader with a nice arm. Even though he isn’t an elite athlete, he possesses that quickness in the pocket that Tom Brady utilized in New England, and Bill Belichick grabs his quarterback of the future as he makes a push to win one without TB12.
16. Arizona Cardinals: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
With rumors that Patrick Peterson will be departing Arizona, albiet disputed, corner is a massive need for the Cardinals. Byron Murphy has been solid on the boundary, but Arizona could still use another big physical corner like Horn to press on the line of scrimmage.
17. TRADE: Indianapolis Colts: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
The Colts move up to jump Houston and Chicago because they badly need a tackle with Anthony Castonzo retiring. Cosmi played on the right and left side for Texas, but he is extremely athletic with plenty of flexibility. He needs to clean up some technical issues, but tackle is a must pick for the Colts, no matter who is at quarterback in 2021.
18. TRADE: Houston Texans: OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
Houston owns Miami’s pick after acquiring Deshaun Watson, and while I pondered another wide receiver here to replace De’Andre Hopkins and possibly Will Fuller, I decided to beef up their trenches. Mayfield can play all over the line and held his own against Chase Young — he has a very high ceiling and immediately helps to protect Tua Tagovailoa.
19. Washington Football Team: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
With no quarterbacks available worth taking, Washington creates an extremely dynamic duo of Kadarius Toney and Terry McLaurin. Toney has elite seperation skills and is fantastic after the catch, but his hands do need some work. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Washington pair him with his old buddy Kyle Trask later in the draft.
20. Chicago Bears: OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
Chicago needs help on the offensive line — plain and simple. Almost everyone is replacable, and with no quarterbacks available, they get a potential franchise left tackle. Eichenberg is a massive man, and if the Bears do roll with Nick Foles, he can be dangerous when he has time to throw. If they acquire Carson Wentz… good luck!
21. TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Even after moving back from 17, this is such a Raiders pick. I haven’t bought much Paye stock yet, but he has all of the tools to be a fantastic NFL EDGE. He needs some work, but I think his size, athleticism, and potential will be too much for Mayock and Gruden to pass on.
22. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas
The Titans got almost no pressure on the quarterback in the 2020 regular season, and they had almost half as many sacks against Baltimore in the playoffs as they had all season. Joseph Ossai fits their scheme, and he reminds me a lot of another former Longhorn/Titan linebacker — Brian Orakpo.
23. New York Jets: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
With a wealth of picks, the Jets revamp their offense and add the home run hitting Travis Etienne to their offense. The Le’Veon Bell experiment was a flop, but pairing Etienne with Wilson gives the Jets a lot of dynamic looks. They still have a pick at the top of a second round to add Pat Freirmuth or a wide receiver to create a new and young “big three”.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB/EDGE Zaven Collins, Tulsa
This is such a Steelers pick — and that’s a compliment. It feels like they almost have to go offensive line here with David DeCastro potentially leaving, but there are plenty of solid guards available later in the draft like Wyatt Davis. As with Ossai, Zaven Collins reminds me a lot of a former Steeler — Lawrence Timmons. Collins can truly do it all and adds another layer to an already very impressive Pittsburgh defense. The Steelers are a “best player available” team, and Collins is that guy with this pick.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
With the pick Jacksonville acquired in the Jalen Ramsey trade, Urban Meyer bolsters the trenches on defense. They need a lot of help everywhere, but Barmore is a great start. Used mostly as a rotational rusher at Alabama, he has the technique, build, and athleticism to become a true premiere interior pass rusher — which should help out another first round pick in Josh Allen.
26. Cleveland Browns: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
The Browns should be jumping for joy if Owusu-Koramoah is available. They have a massive hole at mulitple linebacker spots, and Owusu-Koramoah is extremely versatile. He can wear many hats, and he’s pretty good at any role he takes on.
27. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Last time i’ll say this — this is such a Ravens pick. Rousseau needs some work, but he is extremely gifted physically, and the Ravens may be losing Matthew Judon. They need help on the offensive line badly, but Rousseau is too good to pass up for Baltimore and Wink Martindale here. While he lined up mostly on the interior at Miami, he should get some good looks in roation next to former Cane, Calais Campbell.
28. TRADE: Miami Dolphins: WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
The Dolphins parlay what little draft capital they have to give the Saints some additional picks — who badly need them. They immediately move to scoop up one of the most underrated WRs in the draft. Marshall is falling down draft boards, but I think he’s a fantastic home run threat that would be beyond excited to play with Deshaun Watson.
29. Green Bay Packers: CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State
Green Bay finally has a chance to grab a guy like Rashod Bateman here, but with how bad their secondary let them down in the playoffs, I think they take a corner to pair with Jaire Alexander. Asante Samuel Jr. is a sticky press corner who can fill a need at nickel while evolving his game, especially important with boundary corner Kevin King departing.
30. TRADE: Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
With extra cornerback talent in the second round, I think the Jaguars get aggressive and give the Bills one of their two second round picks and other selections to get back into the first round ahead of Kansas City. Jacksonville has pretty solid skill players, so I think adding an offensive tackle to replace Cam Robinson would be a good move. Radunz had a great Senior Bowl, and Trevor Lawrence gets his blind side protected by a supremely athletic guy with a mean streak. If Jacksonville whiffs on Marcus Williams or Justin Simmons in free agency, safety could be in play as well.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Look, you’ve probably been wondering where Parsons has been. He has some serious hazing allegations against him, and I think he could be in for a draft day slide. However, the Chiefs have a big need at linebacker and have taken chances on guys with character issues before. His fall stops here. He is one of the best players in the entire class, and the rich get richer in Kansas City.
32. Tampa Bay Buccanneers: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
What do you get a team that has everything? So many wide receivers have went in this mock, but with Chris Godwin possibly departing, Bateman makes a lot of sense. Like Godwin, he’s a fantastic route runner with great ball skills. He’s a plug and play guy that helps Tom Brady make possibly one last run. I like Tyler Johnson quite a lot, and Mike Evans has committed to taking less money to keep the band together. If Godwin stays, I think this turns into a Nick Bolton or Dylan Moses spot if Lavonte David walks.
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