It's that time of the year finally with the college football season ending and blog writers like myself with way too much time on our hands coming up with mock drafts before the list of players competing in the NFL Combine have even been established. Normally I would just do the top ten, but as a Giants fan I will go as far as the top 11 simply because I want to write about their pick. For Picks 12-15 I will put the Best Available, and leave the debate for everyone else in the comments.
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson
Look, this one is easy despite the Urban Meyer Head Coaching rumors. Trevor Lawrence has been the best College Football Prospect since 2018, and to say because he lost to Ohio State Justin Fields should go number one is absolutely nuts. The Jags are rebuilding in all aspects, including their coaching staff and front office, but this pick should be a no brainer for whoever they put in those spots, including Urban Meyer. Urban Meyer was a great college head coach, and clearly he's a winner, but the jump to the NFL has taken College Coaches souls, and is very hard to do well. Putting any new QB with a young coach is going to be difficult, and generally doesn't work, but Urban Meyer with either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields will not work and the idea of this shouldn't excite any Jags fans. That said we aren't here to discuss Urban Meyer, we are here to discuss Trevor Lawrence and why he should go number one: 10,000 Yards, 90 TD, 17 INTs, and a QBR of 164.3. That's it. That's all you need to know.
#2 New York Jets
Pick Penei Sewell LT, Oregon
The Jets may have taken LT Mekhi Beckton in last years draft, and as good as Bekhton is, Penei Sewell is the Trevor Lawrence of Left Tackles. Look for the Jets to give Darnold one more year, or at least half of next season to show any remote promise at all, especially now that Gase is out and the Jets will have a much improved Offensive Line. For anyone who isn't sold on the idea of taking Sewell here, I would like to point out he's 6'6 and 331 Pounds, AND has NEVER given up a sack in his collegiate career. Regardless of if Darnold can become the guy in New York, the Jets are going to have a top ten offensive line over the next five years with Mekhi Beckton (6'7, 364 Pounds) at RT and Sewell at LT. Fields may bring more excitement to the team, and may even rejuvenate the franchise, but Sewell is the can't miss prospect here and is the smartest pick on the board... it just sucks that he plays the same position as the only other member on. the tram who is showing any remote promise. The last reason I will give to Jets fans as to why Sewell is the pick, is because Offensive lines should be set before the Franchise QB even steps foot in the locker room, that was one of the major problems with Darnold, and is currently a massive problem with guys like Daniel Jones and even Deshaun Watson who looks like he will be leaving Houston shortly. Set your future up, don't rush it by taking Fields and setting him up for failure.
#3 Miami Dolphins (Via Houston)
Pick: DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith comes off the board pretty early for a WR here but I think its the right move for that offense as well as Tua. Reports have been flying out left and right that the team isn't sold on Tua's talent, which to me is fine but there is clearly talent there, he may just be adapting slow to the speed and quick decision making of the NFL. Too has learned from Fitz, and I think will continue to flourish in what looks to be a very healthy locker room. In 2019, Smith had 1256 receiving yards and 14 TDs with Tua as his QB, so clearly there's good chemistry there, and of course this season with Mac Jones (a significantly worse QB) throwing him the ball he won the Hesiman trophy with 1856 receiving yards and 23 TDs. Although I think Ja'maar Chas is the best receiver on the board, if the Dolphin want to give Tua the best chance at success, and help him on the mental game that is the NFL, bringing in a Heisman Trophy winning WR who he's had success with in the past is certainly the correct decision.
#4 Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Justin Fields QB, Ohio State
I think Justin Fields is a bit of a forced pick by Atlanta, but at the end of the day they got a little lucky with having Fields here at 4. The top two guys on the board, Trevor Lawrence and Penei Sewell went 1 & 2, and with DeVonta going at 3 which I think will surprise some people Fields just happens to be sitting there. Fields showed great promise especially against Clemson in the CFP Semi-Final Game, and I think he can learn a lot from seasoned vet Matt Ryan whether or not the team decides to name him the starter. On top of learning from Matt Ryan, similar to what the Chiefs did with Mahomes and Alex Smith, and what the Dolphins did with Fitzmagic and Tua, Just Fields would be walking into an offense with arguably the best receiving corps in the league. This is a great value pick for the Falcons, and even though there are some talks about the Falcons taking Zach Wilson, I think recency bias and probably a strong NFL Combine showing comes into play to help bolster Fields draft stock. If this happens, congratulations to Atlanta Falcons Fans, because in a normal year a QB like Fields doesn't make it this far and would either be going #1 or #2, and your going to get a few extra seasons out of Julio.
#5 Cincinatti Bengals
Pick: Micah Parsons LB, Penn State
The Bengals need to give Joe Burrow help on offense, that's no secret. But, there's no offensive lineman worth taking at 5, and the choice has to be either Ja'Marr Chase or Micah Parsons. I can see why Chase would be the pick, he played with Burrow at LSU, a season which they obviously had success, but with Joe Burrow probably rehabbing next season and the team hopefully not rushing him back, now's the time to develop the defense a little, so when he does come back he doesn't need to be absolutely perfect for them to win games or throw the pall 40 times a game. Micah Parsons at Line Backer is a special player, and what I believe can be a great young leader for the Cincinnati Defense. Joe Burrow at the helm of the offense and Micah Parsons at the forefront of that defense is a recipe for success, and great in terms of playing the long game for years of success after next year which I believe to be their last year in rebuild mode (similar to what the Browns did this year with Baker and Myles Garret leading the team). If your a Bengals fan or even an NFL fan in general, get excited because over the next 5 years there will be playoff football in Cincinnati.
#6 Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Ja'Marr Chase WR, LSU
The Eagles are in absolute shambles after the firing of Head Coach Doug Pederson, and players like Zach Ertz, Jason Kelce and Carson Wentz out the door. Rumors have been surrounding the team since their week 17 tank game vs The Football Team, and even now their are reports that with Doug Pederson out Carson Wentz wants to stay. The point in bringing this mess up is that no one knows what the fuck is going on in Philly, but there are two certainties it seems like: #1 Jalen Hurts is their guy and #2 They need someone for him to throw the ball to. Ja'Marr Chase is the best receiver in the draft from my point of view, and passing on him would be a massive mistake, and would stunt the development of Jalen Hurts as he would have no WR1. Chase has the best hands in the draft, and is being compared to Kenny Golloday, who despite not being flashy at all is exactly what the team needs on the offensive side of the ball. That said, the Eagles are going to suck for a long time, and they need to find a suitor for Wentz ASAP, because keeping Wentz will hang over the head of Jalen Hurts for as long as he's there, and the winning culture is officially dead. #PrayersUpForEaglesFans
#7 Detroit Lions
Pick: Kwity Paye DE, Michigan
Kwity Paye is the highest ranked DE in this years draft, and at #7 is what I would argue to be a great value pick in the 2021 draft. He had 6.5 Sacks this passed year and 50 Total Tackles, which in 12 games as a Defensive End is pretty good. The Lions, like many other teams in the top ten are resetting, and it's gotta be at least the 5th time in the Matt Stafford Era that they've had to do so. Although Kwity Paye isn't going to change this team that much, he's a GOOD pick, not bad & not great. Of course Lions fans would've loved to see a great WR live DeVonta Smith or Ja'Marr Chase here, but with them off the board and Jalen Waddle as the next best guy, I think they have to pass on a Waddle due to his ankle concerns and potentially being the next Henry Ruggs (Good receiver, but taken way too early). Kwity Paye, and hopefully Jeff Okudah will be the staples for this defense for a long time to come, which I cannot stress enough, is a GOOD thing, not bad but not great... just above a "meh" evaluation.
#8 Carolina Panthers
Pick: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida
Great Pick for the Panthers in what I would view to be best case scenario for them. Like the Lions, they would've loved to have Chase of Smith fall to them, but at #8 there was simply no plausible way (barring injury) that this would happen. But, Pitts at TE is being compared to Travis Kelce & Darren Waller, which basically mean he's a WR1 at TE and a big target for Teddy B at 6'6 240lbs on offense. As a Giants fan, I would love for Pitts to fall in the lap of Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman but I see this spot as the worst case scenario for Pitts, as I could see him being taken even earlier (Cincy, Philly, or Detroit). Kyle Pitts will fit well with Carolina's System and Teddy B now has himself a legit redone target. Congrats Carolina fans, with CMC back next year, Robbie Anderson, DJ Moore and Kyle Pitts, your offense is exciting again.
#9 Denver Broncos
Pick: Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech
Gonna be honest, I haven't seen Caleb Farley play really ever, but a lot of these mock draft guys are super high on him. In 2018 through 2019 he had 6 INTs, and one for a TD, as well as 9 Kick returns for over 150 yards. Despite not playing in the 2020 season due to health concerns, just about everyone has him ranked high and that truly says something. If he is the best CB in the draft, which based on the other Corners in this draft I believe he is, I think the Broncos should be happy with taking him at 9. The Broncos are a team that I don't even think they know what's going on, so this pick could literally be anyone at any position, but I think taking a corner here is a safe play oof they want to hold onto Drew Lock and give him another year. The only reason I don't have them taking Waddle here is for health concerns obviously, but also because they just took Jerry Jeudy to be their WR1, and they need time to see if he pans out. That said I think this pick is either Caleb Farley (the safe choice), Zach Wilson (the full rebuild mode choice), or Jalen Waddle (best available choice). I don't think taking any of these three would be the wrong move, but each certainly says something about how the franchise views their team/current roster
#10 Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Gregory Rousseau DE, Miami
Gregory Rousseau is a great pick for Dallas here, and they also weaken the rest of the Division here by sniping the Giants potential first round pick at #11. Rousseau didn't play in 2020, but in 2019 he was able to get 15.5 sacks, 54 Total Tackles in just 13 games, which for his age was super impressive. The Cowboys Offense is ready to compete, they have a top 5 RB, a top 10 QB when healthy (I hate the Cowboys but you have to admit its true), and a top ten receive corps with Ceedee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and the emergence of TE Andrew Shultz this passed season. They took Trayvon Diggs last season, who played decent and taking a solidified edge rusher here is the right move for them. Good for Dallas, but they just Royaly Fucked the Giants.
#11 New York Giants
Pick: Jalen Waddle WR, Alabama
The Giants get a good WR at 11 with great potential in Jalen Waddle. Waddle had a pretty good year, despite a worrisome ankle injury that he was quoted on saying "he needed to re learn how to play the game like he used to". With all that said, I would've loved to see Pitts, or Rousseau here, but being realistic I assume both of those guys will be gone, and with no standout offensive lineman to take at 11 Waddle is the right pick, especially because. the Giants receivers are in the bottom half of the league, and are about to lose Golden Tate this offseason. Overall, I would be happy with Waddle, but ecstatic if Pitts or Rousseau fell (obviously if DeVonta Smith or Ja'Marr Chase fell to the Giants it would be even better, but there's 0% chance of that happening).
Zach Wilson QB BYU,
Trey Lance QB North Dakota State,
Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
Wyatt Davis O Line Ohio State
Rashawn Slater O Line Northwestern
#12 San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Zach Wilson QB BYU
#13 Los Angeles Charges
Pick: Wyatt Davis OL Ohio State
#14 Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Rashawn Slater OL Northwestern
#15 New England Patriots
Pick: Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama