This has been a fantastic offseason so far.
From the Vikings perspective, it has been an active one. From moving on from Riley Reiff and Kyle Rudolph to trade rumors galore, there has been a multitude of activity surrounding the purple and gold. While we have done a lot of mock drafts on the Climbing The Pocket YouTube Channel, this is my first official mock draft of the 2021 offseason. Get ready, because it’s a wild ride.
- Jacksonville Jaguars-QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
A true generational prospect, Trevor Lawrence has every tool you could want. The best prospect since Andrew Luck, Lawrence has the potential to be one of the best to ever play the position.
2. New York Jets-QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
The second quarterback off the board is quite the debate among evaluators, but I believe it will end up being Justin Fields from Ohio State. Having the build of a power runner, high end athleticism and a powerful, accurate arm, Fields has always been the 1b. to Lawrence’s 1a. He will help bring the Jets back to relevance in the AFC East.
3. Carolina Panthers (Via Miami Dolphins)-QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Miami trades 3 to Carolina for 8, 72 and a 2022 first round pick
This is where things get interesting. Carolina trades up to get their guy, but it’s not Wilson. Its NDSU’s Trey Lance. Throughout the season, I had Lance as my QB2 and he is still there as I finish final evaluations. I believe the Panthers will prioritize a quarterback who can create well off structure but mainly thrives from inside the pocket. I believe Lance is better at that than Wilson is at this stage.
4. Atlanta Falcons-TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
The Falcons are in a really sticky situation. There isn’t anyone really to take at a position of need, so I have them going with the best player that isn’t a quarterback in Kyle Pitts. A versatile weapon, Pitts isn’t a normal tight end. He can play all over the field and win everywhere.
5. Cincinnati Bengals-OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
The biggest no brainer in the draft outside of Trevor Lawrence, Penei Sewell gives the Bengals the offensive line help they desperately need to protect Joe Burrow.
6. Philadelphia Eagles-WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
The Eagles were directed by owner Jeffrey Lurie to build around QB Jalen Hurts, so they go with most people’s WR1 in Ja’Marr Chase. A physical monster with contested catches, he will complement last years first-round selection Jalen Reagor very well.
7. San Francisco 49ers (Via Detroit Lions)-QB Zach Wilson, BYU
Detroit trades 12 and 154 to San Francisco for 12, 43, and a 2022 2nd
The Lions are in a multi-year rebuild and need to keep acquiring assets similar to how the Dolphins did the past couple of seasons. The 49ers are staying healthy and improved quarterback play away from being atop the NFC once again. Zach Wilson has all the tools and Kyle Shanahan will utilize his abilities on the move in play-action.
8. Miami Dolphins (Via Carolina)-WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Miami does it again. They move down, acquire ANOTHER first-round selection, and gets the weapon they likely would have selected at 3. We get a Tyreek Hill comp every year to a fast receiver, but this time around it’s different. Waddle plays the game just like Hill and is just as fast. He will add much-needed speed and diversity to the Dolphins receiver room.
9. Denver Broncos-LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Vic Fangio loves having playmakers in the front seven and he gets to add to that group with the selection of Micah Parsons. A hybrid player best suited to play in space, Parsons will give the middle of the defense a much improved look and provide some ability off the edge when needed.
10. Dallas Cowboys-CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Dallas desperately needs help at the cornerback position and it comes in the form of Caleb Farley. My top corner in this class, Farley has the size, length and athleticism to thrive on the outside. His ceiling is also sky high having only played the position for two seasons.
11. New York Giants-WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
The Giants are sticking with Daniel Jones for another season and they need to get him an alpha on the outside. While his size is concerning, DeVonta Smith’s production and play at Alabama speak volumes. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him be the outlier at his size of 6’1″ and 175 lbs.
12. Detroit Lions (Via San Francisco 49ers)-CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
As I mentioned earlier, the Lions are in a multi-year rebuild so they need to take talented players. Patrick Surtain II is just that. After the selection of Okudah last year, Surtain II can come in and be a solid number 2 with the potential to be the alpha in the secondary.
13. Los Angeles Chargers-OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The Chargers are going all-in trying to protect first round pick Justin Herbert. After singning Cory Lindsley and Matt Felder in free agency, they get the left tackle of the future in Christian Darrisaw. A powerful tackle, Darrisaw is also a good athlete allowing him to thrive in any offense.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (Via Minnesota Vikings)-EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Pittsburgh sends 24 and 56 to Minnesota for 14
Once Bud Dupree signed with Tennessee, it was a foregone conclusion that the Steelers would pursue an edge rusher to pair with TJ Watt. While we have seen some good things from Alex Highsmith, there isn’t a prospect more of a fit for the Steelers than Azeez Ojulari. Having drafted a linebacker in the first round 5 times in the past 20 years, they do it again with Ojulari who is a dominant pass rusher off the edge and fits very well into the Steelers scheme.
15. New England Patriots-QB Mac Jones, Alabama
After filing need after need in free agency along with getting multiple players back from opt outs, they get their quarterback of the future in Mac Jones. In the Ehrhart-Perkins system, you don’t need a QB with the biggest arm in the world and Mac Jones can thrive with Josh McDaniels. Plus, having a QB on a rookie deal is still incredibly valuable.
16. Arizona Cardinals-CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
The Cardinals need a cornerback and they get a feisty one in Jaycee Horn. Just like his dad Joe who played in the league for a decade, Jaycee is a dog on the field. He has the potential to grow into a lockdown corner down the line.
17. Las Vegas Raiders-OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
After losing both Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown this offseason, the Raiders go back to the trenches and get a powerhouse in Teven Jenkins. He will move people out of the way for Josh Jacobs in the running game and protect Derek Carr from getting blasted.
18. Miami Dolphins-OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
A less sexy selection than their first pick in this round, Rashawn Slater will be the consensus best offensive lineman left on the board among most evaluators. Slater has two things going for him here: he is an elite athlete for his position and the inside/outside flexibility will be huge as the Dolphins decide how they want to proceed moving forward with last years second-round selection Robert Hunt.
19. Washington Football Team-LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Washington has one of the most complete defenses in the NFL and they add to it with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. With a need at both safety and linebacker, JOK will give them a little bit of both while also adding a massive playmaking ability.
20. Chicago Bears-WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
Allen Robinson might be franchised, but I am not convinced that he will play a down with the Bears. Enter Rashod Bateman who I believe is the most complete receiver in the draft. A true X player, Bateman can truly play all over and will make a big difference for a receiver room that needs talent.
21. Indianapolis Colts-OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
After the retirement of Anthony Costanzo, the Colts get their LT of the future is Cosmi. At a massive 6’7″ and 314 lbs, Cosmi is a great athlete with adequate power. Putting him next to Quenton Nelson will give him the time to develop on the fly while he continues to add power to his frame.
22. Tennessee Titans-DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
The Titans added Bud Dupree to pair with Harold Landry in free agency and now they continue to beef up the defensive line with the addition of Christian Barmore. A truly great athlete, Barmore massively improved throughout the 2020 season playing his best football in the final 3 games against the best competition the Crimson Tide faced all season.
23. New York Jets-EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
After getting Carl Lawson in free agency, the Jets need to pair him with another quality pass rusher. Enter Bruce Feldman’s #1 freak on his yearly freaks list Kwity Paye. WIth a 6.37 3 cone, Paye can get around tackles with ease. Pair that with excellent awareness in the running game and the Jets are trending upwards.
24. Minnesota Vikings (Via Pittsburgh)-CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
After moving back and getting a second-round pick lost in the Yannick Ngakoue trade, the Vikings take another cornerback in the first round with Greg Newsome II. A feisty corner, Newsome II is a fluid athlete that will have Zimmer pounding the table for him at this spot.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars-OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
With Jacksonville having a good group of weapons that can be built on later in the draft, they need to focus on protecting Trevor Lawrence. Alijah Vera-Tucker gives them that with power and good athleticism. Having the guard/tackle flexibility will make a major difference as they choose a true best 5 to put onto the field.
26. Cleveland Browns-EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami (FL)
A former number one overall recruit, Jaelan Phillips has had quite the unique career. From two underwhelming injury riddled seasons, retiring after 2018 to bouncing back and having a great 2020, knowing which Phillips you will get is the key to unlocking his draft stock. If you get a fully cleared Phillips, he is an top tier 3 down defensive end/outside linebacker. He would complement Myles Garrett very well in Cleveland.
27. Baltimore Ravens-EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (FL)
After losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue yesterday in free agency, the Ravens need an edge rusher badly and get one in Gregory Rousseau. While he did get 15.5 sacks in 2019, he is very raw with his technique and will be able to learn under a great defensive coordinator in Wink Martindale.
28. New Orleans Saints-WR Terrace Marshall Jr, LSU
With Jameis Winston likely to take over as the starting quarterback, he will need another weapon opposite Michael Thomas. With Marshall Jr, you will get a receiver who can be a field stretcher early on and develop into a well rounded player.
29. Green Bay Packers-LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
It’s not often that you get to pick for need and value at the end of the first round, but the Packers have done that here with Nick Bolton. A fast player, Bolton will give the Packers something they haven’t had in quite some time: a linebacker that can play in coverage.
30. Buffalo Bills-RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
I am not of the belief that you should take running backs in the first round. However, when you have as complete of a team as the Bills do and struggle at the running back position, this is the time do that. Etienne will provide the Bills in the running game what they sorely have lacked: a true home run threat.
31. Kansas City Chiefs-OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
After the signing of Joe Thuney, it has become clear that the offensive line will become a point of emphasis for the Chiefs and Eichenberg is is ready right now to contribute and be a solid bookend for the Chiefs.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Likewise with the Bills, the Buccaneers are getting the band back together, but running back is a weak spot. Najee Harris will provide for the team what the 3 backs that played for Tampa Bay last season all by himself. In the attempt to run it back, Harris will be a great security blanket for Tom Brady.