Home NFL news Lance Zierlein 2021 NFL mock draft 1.0: Patriots, 49ers select QBs in Round 1 In – NFL.com
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news Lance Zierlein 2021 NFL mock draft 1.0: Patriots, 49ers select QBs in Round 1 In – NFL.com

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In my first mock of the 2021 NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 29 – May 1, I have quarterbacks going first and second overall — something we haven’t seen since Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were taken with the top two picks in the 2016 draft. Remember, this mock is a projection of where I believe players will go — not necessarily a reflection of my opinion as to where the players should go.

Note: The order of the final two spots below will be determined by the outcome of Super Bowl LV (the Buccaneers and Chiefs are ordered in this mock based on regular-season record).


Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
·
QB

School: Clemson | Year: Junior

This pick should be set in stone as the Jaguars hit reset with a brand new face of the franchise.

New York Jets

New York Jets
Zach Wilson
·
QB

School: BYU | Year: Junior

If the Jets don’t love a quarterback in this spot, it will make sense to see if there are any takers for a trade. If there aren’t, starting over at QB would make sense. Wilson has significant arm talent.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
DeVonta Smith
·
WR

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS

School: Alabama | Year: Senior

It is imperative for the Dolphins to add a playmaker to pair with Tua Tagovailoa and give the offense some much-needed explosiveness.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons
Patrick Surtain
·
CB

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Surtain is a big, long, fast cornerback with the ability to mirror and match pass routes. He can strangle the catch point and is exactly what the Falcons need as a top-tier CB1.

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals
Kyle Pitts
·
TE

School: Florida | Year: Junior

I understand the Bengals need offensive line help, but they also have the 38th overall pick and loads of cap space to address that area. Pitts has a chance to be a generational talent and a relentless nightmare for opposing defenses.

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles
Micah Parsons
·
LB

School: Penn State | Year: Junior

Parsons, who opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, is scary talented with outstanding body composition, rare speed and excellent open-field tackling ability. He’ll help tighten up the Eagles’ porous linebacker corps.

Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions
Ja’Marr Chase
·
WR

School: LSU | Year: Junior

The Lions could go in a number of directions here, including cornerback or linebacker, but with almost an entire receiving corps set to hit free agency, Chase could serve as a splashy WR1 for their new QB.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers
Rashawn Slater
·
OT

School: Northwestern | Year: Senior

While some believe Oregon’s Penei Sewell has the higher potential upside, Slater is a low-risk, high-yield lineman who has five-position flexibility up front, a great deal of play strength and pro polish to his game.

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
Caleb Farley
·
CB

School: Virginia Tech | Year: Junior (RS)

My guess is that we may see the Broncos address linebacker and maybe pass rush in free agency, which would give them the opening to add a big, talented CB like Farley to contend with the division’s explosive, young QBs.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys
Penei Sewell
·
OT

School: Oregon | Year: Junior

Tyron Smith turned 30 in December and hasn’t played 14 or more games in a season since 2015. Sewell could give the Cowboys flexibility up front, playing either right tackle or guard until it’s time to take over on the left edge for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

New York Giants

New York Giants
Jaylen Waddle
·
WR

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Finding another weapon for Daniel Jones is essential, and Waddle has game-breaking explosiveness on all three levels of the field with an ability to back safeties off the line of scrimmage for Saquon Barkley.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers
Trey Lance
·
QB

School: North Dakota State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Lance could go higher with a run on quarterbacks. If he’s available at 12th overall, he might be too enticing to pass up. His background and skill set fit perfectly within Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers
Christian Darrisaw
·
OT

School: Virginia Tech | Year: Junior

While he he plays with low-burn energy at times, Darrisaw’s tape can be like watching a young Russell Okung, and that is exactly what the Chargers need.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings
Alijah Vera-Tucker
·
OT

School: USC | Year: Junior (RS)

One of the most surprising developments from the 2020 college season was Vera-Tucker’s play at left tackle after transitioning from guard. Needless to say, he’ll offer guard/tackle flexibility at the next level and would be an instant upgrade on the Vikings’ O-line.

New England Patriots

New England Patriots
Justin Fields
·
QB

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

It’s hard to project where the QBs will land this year, as I expect grades to vary greatly by team. But Fields is a talented quarterback with big-game experience who will have a chance to compete for snaps immediately in New England.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
Azeez Ojulari
·
Edge rusher

School: Georgia | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Finding an impactful defender up front should be one of the Cardinals’ priorities. Ojulari is twitchy and powerful and has a game that should translate well in the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
·
LB

School: Notre Dame | Year: Junior (RS)

The Notre Dame product is one of the most exciting defenders in this draft class. He’s athletic and sticky in coverage, while possessing blazing pursuit speed and scary pass-rush potential.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
Gregory Rousseau
·
Edge rusher

School: Miami | Year: Sophomore (RS)

With just one full year of tape to his name and a good chunk of his sack production coming from an inside alignment, Rousseau might be a bit of a risk. But he is very long and has traits that GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores should love.

Washington Football Team

Washington Football Team
Elijah Moore
·
WR

School: Ole Miss | Year: Junior

This is a tough pick to project, as many of the elite position players at areas of need will be gone. Fortunately for Washington, Moore is flying well under the radar. He’s a very consistent, high-volume slot receiver with excellent hands and toughness.

Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
Teven Jenkins
·
OT

School: Oklahoma State | Year: Senior (RS)

Jenkins is a rock-steady tackle with experience on both sides of the line, though he’ll likely line up at right tackle in the NFL. He plays with a nasty demeanor and has excellent hand and core strength.

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts
Jayson Oweh
·
Edge rusher

School: Penn State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

The Colts could go with a cornerback here, but they covet elite length and explosiveness off the edge. Oweh might be too tempting to pass on despite his need for pass-rush polish.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans
Kwity Paye
·
Edge rusher

School: Michigan | Year: Senior

Finding a pass rusher is critical for the Titans’ future success. Paye has a rare combination of size (6-foot-4, 272 pounds) and short-area quickness that, with a more focused rush plan, could cause O-linemen fits at the next level.

New York Jets

New York Jets
Travis Etienne
·
RB

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

School: Clemson | Year: Senior

A three-down rusher with a winning background, Etienne runs with great urgency and competitiveness. Improving the ground game could have a huge impact on the success of a young QB, if the Jets do indeed take a passer at No. 2 overall.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers
Zaven Collins
·
LB

School: Tulsa | Year: Junior (RS)

The Steelers need a running back, but GM Kevin Colbert doesn’t draft RBs this early. He does, however, seem to love taking linebackers in Round 1, and Collins’ rare combination of size, range and coverage will be appealing.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaycee Horn
·
CB

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS

School: South Carolina | Year: Junior

The son of former NFL receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee has prototypical size (6-1, 200) and length. He’s best in press coverage, but has the eye discipline and athleticism to play in any scheme.

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns
Christian Barmore
·
DT

School: Alabama | Year: Sophomore (RS)

The Browns need help in the secondary, but adding a talented interior rusher with the ability to play the run is a worthwhile choice.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens
Trevon Moehrig
·
S

School: TCU | Year: Junior

Moehrig is a ball-hawking safety who would represent an immediate upgrade in the Ravens’ back end. He can play high, low or over the slot, which only increases his value.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints
Tyson Campbell
·
CB

School: Georgia | Year: Junior

Campbell, a former high school sprint champ, has outstanding length and long speed and exciting upside, but might need some time to gain the polish required to cover in the NFL.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
Landon Dickerson
·
OL

School: Alabama | Year: Senior (RS)

This could be a perfect fit thanks to Dickerson’s ability to play guard or center. However, the number of career injuries are mounting (suffered season-ending ligament damage in December), and his medicals will be a focus. Great leader and great fit if healthy.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
Najee Harris
·
RB

School: Alabama | Year: Senior

The Bills took a big step forward in 2020, but they need more balance in their offense. The physical three-down runner with talent as a receiver out of the backfield could immediately upgrade not just the running game but the offense overall.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jaelan Phillips
·
Edge rusher

School: Miami | Year: Junior (RS)

A long-limbed edge rusher with exciting athletic talent and size, Phillips would help bolster a Bucs pass rush that could lose Shaq Barrett and Ndamukong Suh to free agency. Due to a lengthy injury history, his medical reports will garner plenty of attention.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
Greg Newsome II
·
CB

School: Northwestern | Year: Junior

Adept in press-man and zone coverages, Newsome is a long outside corner. He has the ability to tilt contested catches in his favor on both short and deep passes.

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