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BEST DRAFT PICKS BY EACH TEAM

I am still in draft mode and enjoying the process of piecing together all that happened throughout the event.

Everybody loves watching and reacting to each pick as they are announced and you begin to get a picture forming of which teams are having a strong draft.  Once the dust has settled, it is fun to start reviewing each NFL team’s final draft class and who are the standout selections.

This is what we are going to do now.  With a few extra names inevitably mentioned to enhance the context of how teams built their class, join me as I offer my favourite pick from each NFL team.

AFC EAST

BUFFALO BILLS – Spencer Brown, OT, Round 3, Overall Pick 93
A 6’8”, over 300lbs strong offensive tackle with the athletic profile of a running back.  Out of small-school Northern Iowa, I had hoped Brown would ascend into the third round, which is where the Bills nabbed him.  They focused on defensive line early before taking Brown, a move designed to solidify depth at OT to help keep Josh Allen in the pocket and, with Brown’s quick movement skills, he can contribute to a run game that struggled last season.  Brown immediately celebrated in true Buffalo tradition…

Buffalo Bills 3rd Round Draft Pick Spencer Brown Join Bills Mafia by jumping through Table

MIAMI DOLPHINS – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Round 1, Overall Pick 6
The super-fast Jaylen Waddle was a great selection for the Dolphins to start their draft.  He will once again hook up with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who he played with for a couple of years at Alabama.  That familiarity will help them both next season.  Waddle is as capable as any receiver from this draft of breaking a game open, due to his speed and yards-after-catch ability.  He can also make plays on special teams.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Christian Barmore, DT, Round 2, Overall Pick 38
Another Alabama prospect with a high ceiling.  Barmore is a first round talent and New England traded up to make sure they got him at the start of day two.  He’s a big-game player with powerful technique and the ability to push blocks backwards and hit gaps.  It has been a busy off-season for the Patriots with many new faces arriving and Barmore has the skills to play early on the interior of the defensive line.

NEW YORK JETS – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, Round 1, Overall Pick 14
Yes, the Jets took my guy Zach Wilson to be their new quarterback with the second overall pick, but my favourite part of their draft was actually this one.  They traded up nine picks to get the versatile Vera-Tucker, who can play at both tackle and guard.  His skill set should see him play along the line straight away; I hope they put Vera-Tucker at left guard next to the Jets’ first round selection from last year, Mekhi Becton.  How about that?  No worries for Zach Wilson from that side!  One last thing of note on this draft class for the Jets: They drafted two players named Michael Carter (the second of which is named Michael Carter II).  Wonderful!

AFC NORTH

BALTIMORE RAVENS – Rashod Bateman, WR, Round 1, Overall Pick 27
Year after year, no matter who the general manager is, the Baltimore Ravens have a habit of making the draft process look easy.  They began with the selection of Bateman in the first round.  The Ravens passing game needs improving and Bateman will be a viable target as a rookie, wherever he is lined up on the offense.  Throughout the draft, Baltimore found value, including another good receiver in Tylan Wallace in round four.  Both he and Bateman are exciting options to have come into the team.

CINCINNATI BENGALS – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Round 1, Overall Pick 5
With the way the board was going to fall, Cincinnati were always going to be in a nice spot at the fifth overall pick.  Getting offensive tackle Penei Sewell to protect quarterback Joe Burrow would have been great; instead selecting Burrow’s old LSU buddy Ja’Marr Chase feels like a decision that will excite the offense and the duo should hit the ground running.  The two broke records together and won a National Championship in college and I look forward to seeing them play with each other again in the Bengals uniform.

CLEVELAND BROWNS – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Round 2, Overall Pick 52
The Cleveland Browns had a good draft, addressing needs and finding good value along the way.  Owusu-Koramoah is a tough, fast linebacker with coverage skills, who was expected to be a first rounder.  The ex-Notre Dame defender slid, reportedly due to health concerns, and the Browns traded up to get him in the second.  He can be placed in different areas of the formation and will be a great fit to the Browns’ scheme.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Quincy Roche, EDGE, Round 6, Overall Pick 216
I’m not completely sure what to make of Pittsburgh’s draft class.  They found good talent, including a shiny new running back in Najee Harris in round one, but I don’t think they addressed the areas of concern early enough.  The selection of Roche, a smart and athletic edge rusher, was a highlight.  He had great production at Temple and as a Miami Hurricane.  I especially like the value here; the Steelers got Roche in the sixth round.  He will fit in Pittsburgh’s pass rush rotation, doing so from a two-point stance out wide.

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

AFC SOUTH

HOUSTON TEXANS – Garret Wallow, LB, Round 5, Overall Pick 170
Only five picks for the Houston Texans, across the middle rounds.  They chose to concentrate on the offensive skill positions with their first three selections, then in round five turned to defense and TCU’s Garret Wallow, who is one of my sleepers in the draft at linebacker.  Wallow was a production machine at college, a downhill thumper when bursting to a tackle and he also has good coverage ability.  He stays in the state of Texas and I expect him to push for a starting role early in his NFL career.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Kwity Paye, DE, Round 1, Overall Pick 21
Given the depth in this year’s offensive tackle class, it was a little surprising the Colts did not find a starting LT during the process.  An area that does need improving is pass rush and Indianapolis looked to sort this out early by taking Kwity Paye.  He is a really nice scheme fit and can contribute from various spots along the defensive line; the Colts can try him off the edge and also push him further inside the formation on certain downs.  I expect Paye to push for a starting role immediately.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Round 1, Overall Pick 1
We all knew it was coming.  Long before we heard the words “With the first overall pick…”.  Now finally, Trevor Lawrence is officially a Jaguar.  Jacksonville had a pretty good draft overall and also took Lawrence’s Clemson teammate Travis Etienne in the first round to add at RB.  Lawrence is of course the headline act, with a top-class skill set that has had him set to be a franchise quarterback since his freshman college year.  I cannot wait to watch him play on Sunday’s.  Jacksonville fans need to enjoy this moment and get behind Lawrence, accept that there may be some early teething issues and embrace that they have perhaps the most gifted QB prospect to hit the NFL in the last 20 years.

TENNESSEE TITANS – Elijah Molden, CB, Round 3, Overall Pick 100
The Titans had some holes to fill on their depth chart within the defensive backs.  Last year they drafted cornerback Kristian Fulton, who was one of my favourites in 2020, then in the first round this year they selected CB Caleb Farley and added Elijah Molden in the third.  I thought selecting Molden to play the slot or deep safety role was excellent when added to those other two names.  Those are three really talented players who could be roaming the secondary together for years to come.  Good luck trying to pass on Tennessee!

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS – Javonte Williams, RB, Round 2, Overall Pick 35
Another team that appeared to put together a solid class were the Denver Broncos.  They were also rumoured to be close to a deal with the Packers for disgruntled quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Denver could have had a great weekend!  There is still a good chance of getting Rodgers in June.  The highlight of their draft was trading up a few places to grab North Carolina running back Javonte Williams.  He has a bit of everything to his rushing game and would have been sought after at the top of the second round.  I also liked Denver’s selection of offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz in the third.  Whether or not it’s Rodgers at QB, Williams should be a valuable contributor as a rookie.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Creed Humphrey, C, Round 2, Overall Pick 63
The offensive line for the Chiefs will have a totally new look to it when the 2021 season begins, following the business they did in free agency.  Humphrey will also be a welcome addition; a first round talent who slid all the way to Kansas City at the end of round two.  He is capable of fighting for a starting place instantly and this is a great value pick.  Another of which was when the Chiefs took offensive guard Trey Smith in the sixth.  Talk about the rich getting richer.  I bet the Chiefs draft room could not believe their luck when Humphrey fell into their lap.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Round 3, Overall Pick 79
I felt as though the Raiders had an inconsistent draft.  They seemed to spend too many picks on the same area of the field.  My favourite moment from them was the selection of Malcolm Koonce in the third round.  If you listened to the EDGE episode of our Full10Yards scouting podcast, you would have heard that both Lee and I like Koonce as a sleeper at the position.  I was still pleasantly surprised he made it into day two and the variety in his pass rushing makes him an exciting prospect.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Rashawn Slater, OT, Round 1, Overall Pick 13
Unlucky for some.  Pick number 13 was not so for the Chargers.  Having already found a new starting quarterback last year in Justin Herbert, the next-best thing is finding a new offensive tackle to protect him.  They certainly found that in Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater, a strong and technically brilliant talent.  I would have said that Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater were the only two OT’s worth trading into the top 10 for.  As it happened, the Chargers did not need to move and still got their guy.  Great drafting.

NFC EAST

DALLAS COWBOYS – Jabril Cox, LB, Round 4, Overall Pick 115
Jabril Cox is one of my favourite players in this entire draft class.  A talented coverage linebacker who moved during his college career from North Dakota State to LSU, putting up great production at both along the way.  I was expecting that Cox would have a chance to rise into the second round, so was disappointed to see him still on the board in the fourth.  The Cowboys made some strange selections, but they got this one right.  Cox is a quality linebacker prospect and Dallas got him at good value here.

NEW YORK GIANTS – Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Round 2, Overall Pick 50
A good draft class for the New York Giants, who set about adding to a defense that looked promising last season.  Ojulari was my top EDGE player pre-draft and unfortunately dropped out of the first round with the dreaded injury red flags.  His skill set fits the New York Giants defensive scheme nicely and his potential is sky high.  Ojulari can be a part of the rotational pass rush as a rookie.  As an added bonus, New York were able to trade down a few places and still make this pick.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – DeVonta Smith, WR, Round 1, Overall Pick 10
The Eagles traded up a couple of places to guarantee themselves DeVonta Smith.  I like the fit here; some extra star-power is needed in the Eagles receiving group and Smith will challenge all types of defensive coverages from different spots on the formation.  It’s a case of friends reunited once again, as Philadelphia will likely start the season with Jalen Hurts at quarterback, who was teammates with Smith at Alabama.

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Round 2, Overall Pick 51
There is a nice balance to the class that Washington came away with.  They took advantage of the deep number of tackles and selected Samuel Cosmi in the middle of the second.  Cosmi is a rangy and athletic player who will be in contention to start for Washington early at either OT position.  His quick movement works well in open space, so he can have an impact as a run blocker.  A close second and an honourable mention here goes to Washington’s selection of WR Dyami Brown in round three.  Brown will really stretch the field for the offense.

Photo Credit: Black and Teal

NFC NORTH

CHICAGO BEARS – Justin Fields, QB, Round 1, Overall Pick 11
Bravo, Chicago!  Perhaps THE moment of the first night was when the Bears decided to deal with the Giants to move up from pick 20 to 11 and make Justin Fields their new signal caller.  Fields should not have fallen this far; the ex-Ohio State quarterback is super-talented.  He can make all the throws and has a great mentality, so I expect him to grow and succeed in the NFL.  Whatever your opinions on current veteran Chicago QBs Andy Dalton and (Super Bowl winner) Nick Foles, they are a great brain trust to help Fields develop.

DETROIT LIONS – Penei Sewell, QB, Round 1, Overall Pick 7
I thought the Lions may be one of the candidates to trade down before the draft started.  Then Penei Sewell fell to them and I bet they could not get the pick in quickly enough!  Even with the early run on quarterbacks it would not have been a reach for a team to make Sewell a top 5 selection.  Detroit took the opportunity to add Sewell to a tough-looking offensive line where he will help protect new QB Jared Goff and assist a rushing attack that was near the bottom of the league last season.  The Lions found good value throughout their draft, and it all began by taking the best offensive lineman in the class.

GREEN BAY PACKERS – Eric Stokes, CB, Round 1, Overall Pick 29
Aaron Rodgers may not have liked it, but Green Bay’s first round selection of Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes was my favourite of their draft.  I have been high on Stokes as a prospect over the last year and during the scouting process.  He has some nice scheme diversity to his game and the speed to take away quick throws instantly.  Stokes can potentially make a good CB tandem with Jaire Alexander in the secondary.  The Packers taking versatile O lineman Josh Myers in round two was also a good pick, but given the reports, he may not be blocking for Aaron Rodgers next season.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Round 1, Overall Pick 23
It’s another first round hit for the NFC North.  Riley Reiff’s exit in free agency made me feel sure the Vikings would target a new left tackle early.  To be able to deal with the Jets in the aforementioned trade, slide down to 23 overall and still get Christian Darrisaw was great business.  His zone blocking qualities will fit excellently in Minnesota and add some powerful body-moving that will create space for the running game.  As a result of the trade, the Vikings were able to add a bunch of talent over the three days.

NFC SOUTH

ATLANTA FALCONS – Kyle Pitts, TE, Round 1, Overall Pick 4
With the fourth overall pick, the Falcons made Kyle Pitts the highest selected tight end in NFL history.  They could not resist his all-round skill set and the dominant performances he produced in college while playing for Florida.  I like the fit with the Atlanta offense; Pitts will be another weapon to go with an already strong receiving group.  A huge positive is that he was able to be so productive while lining up at different spots along the offense.  Pitts has all of the potential to become one of the premier players at his position in the league.

CAROLINA PANTHERS – Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, Round 2, Overall Pick 59
Choosing a favourite pick from the list of the Panthers draft class is difficult as they made so many good picks.  In fact, I think Carolina may have had the best draft of all.  They found talent and value all the way through the rounds.  Carolina’s best moment came in the second round when LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. fell to them, a player who fills a need and has previously worked under Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who you expect will know how to get the most out of Marshall Jr.  The best part of this for the Panthers?  They began the round at pick 39 and traded down twice, twenty places, and were still able to make this pick.  Good work.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Paulson Adebo, CB, Round 3, Overall Pick 76
The Saints focused on defense in the opening three rounds.  Selecting edge rusher Payton Turner and linebacker Pete Werner with their first couple of picks, New Orleans then decided to fill a need at cornerback by picking Paulson Adebo.  The ex-Stanford CB comes with some risk having really played only one high-level season at college, but Adebo is physical with great movement skills and could hold down a role on the outside of the Saints secondary opposite Marshon Lattimore.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – Jaelon Darden, WR, Round 4, Overall Pick 129
The reigning Super Bowl champions have spent the off-season making sure to keep all of their starters from last season.  Tampa Bay then selected good rotational and backup players throughout the draft to fill their roster.  In the fourth round they picked North Texas receiver Jaelon Darden, a quick slot WR who will have a role on the depth chart.  The Buccaneers offense is exactly the type of situation Darden needed to thrive in at the next level and he could be a playmaker early in his pro career.

NFC WEST

ARIZONA CARDINALS – Rondale Moore, WR, Round 2, Overall Pick 49
Another division and another small, fast wide receiver prospect.  I thought this was a bit of an uninspiring draft from the Cardinals, albeit they did manage to fill some needs.  As long as Moore can stay healthy, he will operate as a gadget player across the Arizona formation while other receivers line up on the perimeter.  It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals attempt to get Moore to work on their offense.  I’d like to also mention Arizona’s decision to select versatile safety James Wiggins in the seventh.  He is one of my favourite players in this draft and could prove to be a steal.

LOS ANGELES RAMS – Bobby Brown III, DT, Round 4, Overall Pick 117
I really liked a few of the Rams’ mid-round picks.  They went for guys with upside that can be worked into their system.  Bobby Brown III is a high ceiling defensive tackle out of Texas A&M, who displays a good motor and the strength to fight blocks, with room to improve in terms of his technique.  With draftees like Brown III, this is the sort of situation you like to see them go to so they can realise their potential by learning from good veteran players.  In this case, he will have the chance to learn from the best DT in the league, Aaron Donald.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Trey Sermon, RB, Round 3, Overall Pick 88
When choosing between my favourite draft picks for the 49ers, it came down to the two Trey’s.  Despite Justin Fields still being available, I like that San Francisco made quarterback Trey Lance the number three overall pick and think he has a real chance to start this season.  In the third round, the Niners traded up to take Ohio State running back Trey Sermon.  I’m a fan of his game and think he too can contribute to the offense early.  Sermon’s tough, tackle-breaking ability will help to gain yards in the right situations.  As Andy stated in his draft winners and losers article, this pick may not be good news for the running backs already on the roster, but Sermon’s style can be a valuable asset.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Tre Brown, CB, Round 4, Overall Pick 137
Not much to choose from with the Seahawks, who made only three picks.  I expected them to address wide receiver and they did in round two with the selection of D’Wayne Eskridge, a fast, reliable playmaker who also has value in the return game.  Seattle then filled a need in the secondary in taking Oklahoma cornerback Tre Brown.  He likes to play in close coverage and has positional versatility; Brown can line up on the outside and in the nickel.  I think the Seahawks will enjoy developing Brown’s skill set and figuring out where he best fits on their defense.

By Liam Lodge (@Liam66NFL).

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Ed Farrar’s What I Would Do Mock Draft

By Ed Farrar (@Farrardise)


Time to embrace the chaos kids. Most mock drafts are all about speculating what teams will actually do, but not this one. This is all about what I would do. Working off of my personal board, and discounting any external factors and opinions, I’ll be making every single pick the way I would do it if I was on the hot seat. It may therefore be ‘unrealistic’. However it will be unequivocally correct. So without further ado. Let’s get stuck in.

1. Jaguars

QB, Clemson – Trevor Lawrence

This doesn’t need too much explaining. Trevor Lawrence is the most complete Quarterback prospect we’ve seen in a long time, and will be a true franchise changer for the Jaguars.

2. Jets

QB, BYU – Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson is my QB3 but he should still be the pick here for the New York Jets. His arm talent is ridiculous, far superior to what Lance and Fields possess, and I think he’d be an ideal fit for the new Mike La Fleur offence they’ll be running in New York. He reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers, and I’m sure Mike will be keen to find a toy like the one his brother gets to play with in Green Bay.

3. 49ers

QB, North Dakota State – Trey Lance

All the league buzz appears to suggest that Alabama’s Mac Jones will be the pick. However this mock is all about me, so I’m taking the insanely talented Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. He’s got a huge arm, dissects the field at lightning speed, and is a game changing running threat. Stick him in that Shanahan offence and watch the championship rings flow.


4. Raiders (Falcons)

QB, Ohio State – Justin Fields

Atlanta send 4 and 2022 6th to Las Vegas for 17, 80, 2022 1st and 2022 4th

The Raiders are in purgatory. They have a middling roster with a Quarterback just good enough to keep them competitive, but a long way away from being true competitors. Thankfully John Gruden is on a ten year contract, so he can afford to put together a blockbuster trade for Justin Fields. Trade away Carr now, start Marcus Mariota Year 1, and build around a rookie Quarterback with insane potential moving forward.

5. Bengals

WR, LSU – Ja’Marr Chase

I don’t really think there is an incorrect choice here for my Cincinnati Bengals. Both Penei Sewell and Ja’Marr Chase are elite prospects, who would definitely be building blocks for the franchise moving forward. Given the depth of this offensive line class, and Chase’s personal connection with Burrow, the LSU receiver has the slight edge.

6. Dolphins (Eagles)

TE, Florida – Kyle Pitts

The Dolphins traded back up to 6 so they could secure an elite offensive talent, and Kyle Pitts is just that. Miami needs to keep investing in offensive weapons for Tua as the draft goes on, but grabbing a genuinely generational talent here is a great start.


7. Lions

OT, Oregon – Penei Sewell

I for one believe that Penei Sewell would be very willing to do some ankle biting if necessary, so this appears to be a slam dunk pick for the Lions. Aside from being a great culture fit for Motor City Dan Campbell, Sewell is the kind of elite talent that will be a guaranteed cornerstone of your franchise for years to come. Slam dunk pick.

8. Broncos (Panthers)

QB, Alabama – Mac Jones

Carolina send 8 to Denver for 9, 114 and 253

With four Quarterbacks off the board already, and Denver genuinely desperate for one, the Broncos have to ensure they get Mac Jones by trading up a spot. Drew Lock is not good enough, and the Broncos can’t afford to waste the offensive weapons they have on rookie contracts by kicking that can down the road. Jones isn’t a special playmaker, but he can execute an offence, and all he needs to do to be an upgrade over Drew Lock is throw accurately to a wide open Jerry Jeudy. The Broncos have the kind of talent to allow Jones to excel, so this is a great pick.


9. Panthers (Broncos)

CB, Alabama – Patrick Surtain

The Panthers slide back to add a little draft capital and still get the player they would have wanted anyway. They have a need at offensive tackle, but given the depth of that class I decided to get the cleanest corner prospect in the draft with Patrick Surtain.

10. Cowboys

OT, Virginia Tech – Christian Darrisaw

I imagine real life Jerry Jones’ draft board is just Kyle Pitts and a list of corners. However I’m not drafting for need, I’m drafting for value, and getting my OT2 in this draft as a succession plan for Tyron Smith is great value.

11. Giants

WR, Alabama – DeVonta Smith

Hi. I’m Ed, and I’m a Daniel Jones apologist. I genuinely believe Jones is the future in New York. They just need to surround him with some talent. Bringing in Kenny Golladay was a good start, but that doesn’t stop me from taking DeVonta Smith here. Forget the weight, he’s a special playmaker.

12. Eagles (SF/MIA)

OT, Northwestern – Rashawn Slater

Lol sorry Chargers fans but the Eagles are going best player available here. They may have bountiful other needs, but Philadelphia are a long way from competing so don’t need to force a need here. Slater is the best player left on my board and is therefore my pick. Investing in the trenches is never a bad thing.


13. Chargers

WR, Alabama – Jaylen Waddle

Right. I’ll admit this isn’t the ideal scenario for the Chargers given they would have had their hearts set on an offensive tackle, but it’s going to be ok #BoltUp fam. This is a deep offensive line class, so no need to panic just yet. In the meantime let’s take yet another weapon for Justin Herbert to throw to. If they can build up some chemistry this combo might be one of the most deadly in the league.

14. Vikings

IDL, Alabama – Christian Barmore

The Vikings would have been dreaming of Rashawn Slater here one imagines, but there’s no need to reach for an offensive lineman. Christian Barmore can be an instant upgrade for the Vikings pass rush, and a very disruptive presence on the interior for years to come.

15. Patriots

LB, Notre Dame – Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah

The Patriots couldn’t get into the Quarterback market, so instead they get a hard-hitting and versatile defensive piece that will be a perfect fit for the organisation.


16. Cardinals

CB, Virginia Tech – Caleb Farley

This feels about the right time to take Farley off the board in my opinion. Barring the injury concerns he’s a top tier talent in this draft class, and possesses the upside to be a true shutdown corner for the Cardinals moving forward.

17. Falcons (Raiders)

Edge, Georgia – Azeez Ojulari

The Falcons getting out of fourth overall pick and still landing my Edge1 in this class is a huge success. Azeez Ojulari is a serious upgrade for Atlanta’s pass rush, and now they possess some serious draft capital to build around Matt Ryan moving forward. A pretty good haul all considered.

18. Bears (Dolphins)

WR, Minnesota – Rashod Bateman

Miami send 18 and 156 to Chicago for 20 and 83

I’m not usually one to trade up for non-QBs. However in this scenario I’m the GM of the Chicago Bears and I’m therefore incredible desperate for playmakers. I think Rashod Bateman has WR1 potential, and pairing him with Allen Robinson could give the Red Rocket enough firepower to save Ryan Pace’s job for another year. Andy Dalton MVP Season incoming.


19. Football Team

OT, Texas – Samuel Cosmi

The Bears needed to jump above Washington to take Rashod Bateman, as I’m sure the Football Team would have been interested in placing him across from Terry McLaurin in their offence. The Football Team won’t be too disappointed however because they get my OT4 to be their franchise left tackle of the future.

20. Dolphins (Bears)

WR, Purdue – Rondale Moore

I considered sticking at 18 and picking Cosmi, but I’m happy to invest in the offensive line come Round 2. Instead I go for another weapon for Tua in Purdue’s Rondale Moore. I realise he’s 5’7, but imagine the possibilities for a Dolphins offence containing Parker, Moore, Gesicki, Pitts and *Insert Seventh Round Running Back Here*. This gives Tua the best possible chance to succeed which has to be the priority for Miami.

21. Colts

Edge, Michigan – Kwity Paye

I was actively looking to trade out of this pick as the Colts, however the 31 other me’s were unwilling to trade up. I therefore took it upon myself to upgrade the underwhelming Colts pass rush by selecting Kwity Paye. Paye is an athletic freak with immense levels of drive, and is therefore a great addition to the Indy locker room.


22. Titans

WR, LSU – Terrace Marshall

The Titans have so many holes popping up on their roster, with replacing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith in that offence having to rank high in their priorities. Terrace Marshall is an absolute stud who can be an excellent complement to AJ Brown, but also can operate as a big slot and provide Ryan Tannehill with a big target over the middle of the field.

23. Jets (Seahawks)

CB, Northwestern – Greg Newsome

The New York Jets cornerback room is one of the most bleak in the NFL, so investing their second first round pick in one is probably a good decision. I’m a huge fan of Newsome’s game, with his ability in zone coverage a massive benefit. This is an excellent value pick in my eyes.

24. Steelers

CB, Florida State – Asante Samuel Jr

Steelers fans appear to think this is the perfect spot to take a running back. However, as we all know, there is no perfect spot to select a running back. I would get into an entire debate over causality and argue that fixing the offensive line would be more beneficial than investing in a premiere back moving forward, however I’m taking a corner so it seems a bit pointless. I love what Samuel brings to the table, and love investing in my defence.


25. Jaguars (Rams)

Safety, Texas Christian – Trevon Moehrig

The Jaguars have so many holes in their roster, so I think hitting the best value picks is the only way to go about this draft. Taking the best Safety in this class can be a huge benefit for this defence, and I think the best value for getting an offensive lineman comes in the second round anyway. It isn’t a sexy pick for Trevor Lawrence, but it’s a really good one.

26. Browns

LB, Tulsa – Zaven Collins

I was originally planning on taking an edge rusher for the Browns here, Jayson Oweh being the frontrunner, however I think the all-round package that is Zaven Collins makes the most sense for Cleveland. Collins is exceptional in coverage, can rush the passer and has both exceptional instincts and exceptional athleticism. I think this coaching staff can get the best out of him.

27. Ravens

IOL, USC – Alijah Vera-Tucker

People seem to be very keen on getting a receiver for the Ravens in the first round, but I think the deterioration of their offensive line is the main issue that needs to be addressed on Thursday. I don’t think Vera-Tucker is a tackle in the NFL, but he’s a plug and play guard who can have a big impact for Baltimore.


28. Saints

CB, South Carolina – Jaycee Horn

I’m not as huge on Jaycee Horn as everybody else appears to be, but I’m comfortable in taking him in this kind of range. If the Saints stick him in man coverage, and let him do his thing, he can bring great value. With the uncertainty surrounding Marshon Lattimore’s future I think this is a sensible pick.

29. Packers

WR, Ole Miss – Elijah Moore

Elijah Moore appears to be a pretty popular selection for the Packers in a lot of the mock drafts I’m reading right now, and I also think it makes a huge amount of sense. Cornerback is also a massive need for the Packers, but I don’t see value in that right now, so we add a slot weapon for Aaron Rodgers to play with.

30. Bills

Edge, Penn State – Jayson Oweh

I imagine Jayson Oweh will go earlier than this come draft night, but in this scenario the Bills luck into a super athletic edge rusher that could become a really disruptive presence on that defensive line. Given positional scarcity I think this is the right pick for Buffalo here.


31. Ravens (Chiefs)

OT, Notre Dame – Liam Eichenberg

As I said, the Ravens need to focus on investing in this offensive line given the downhill trajectory it is on. So now they get their Orlando Brown replacement in Liam Eichenberg. The length issue seems to be putting people off the Notre Dame tackle as a first rounder, but I think he’s a perfect fit for this run heavy Ravens offence and can survive and thrive at tackle in the AFC North.

32. Buccaneers

IOL, Oklahoma – Creed Humphrey

When making this pick I purely considered what the most likely factor to derail the Bucs championship run in 2021, and that led me to the offensive line. Pressuring Tom Brady through the interior is the favoured way of troubling the GOAT, and when Ali Marpet was missing in 2020 the offensive line was shaky. Bringing in Creed Humphrey, who can play any of the three interior positions, prevents that possibility.


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Lee Wakefield – 2021 Final Mock Draft

By Lee Wakefield (@Wakefield)


1. Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

So we’ve known Trevor Lawrence was the number 1 pick of this draft for what? 4 years? We could have written this pick in stone a long, long while ago.

Urban Myer stood around 5 yards from Trevor Lawrence at his pro day. Jaguars fans donated $20,000 to Trevor Lawrence’s wedding gift fund. Trevor Lawrence posted a thank you message to Jags fans saying thank you and said that he hoped to see the fans in the community soon.

Then we have the rumours that Lawrence has had a copy of the Jaguars offensive playbook in his possession for a number of weeks.

Write this in blood.

2. Jets

Zach Wilson, Quarterback, Bingham Young

As long as Trevor Lawrence has been the number 1 pick of this draft, it feels like Zach Wilson to the Jets is almost as poorly kept a secret.

Joe Douglas has all but told the media outright that Zach Wilson is the pick.

I like Zach Wilson, he’s my QB3, I think he’s got bust potential being picked at number 2 overall though.

However, he’s also got a heck of a lot of strengths to his game – Arm talent is insane, athleticism is superb, escapability is there, he’s clutch and I feel like he’s got the personality to handle the bright lights of the Big Apple too.

Wilson will be starting for Gang Green year 1 – I think there will be some rookie growing pains, for sure but there is also a distinct possibility that the Jets have their guy here.

3. 49ers

Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State

Why does this pick feel like I am going out on a limb here?

Because it absolutely should not.

I do not buy the Mac Jones to the 49ers talk. I just can’t.

I don’t see Jones as a quarterback that teams trade up for and I sincerely believe if San Francisco are infatuated with Jones, they could have stuck at 12 or swung a draft night trade to 7 or 8 in order to snag him.

On to Justin Fields though… Well I think this is a home run pick if this is what happens on draft night.

Fields should be perfect for Kyle Shanahan’s boot-leg and play-action heavy offense, but he would also add in the option of running some read option and just adding another layer to what Jimmy Garoppolo gives the 49ers offense (and incidentally to what Mac Jones could offer).

Fields would also have the advantage of sitting behind Garoppolo for at least half a season before taking the reins too, which could do him the world of good so that he can improve the mental aspects of the game too.

4. Falcons

Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

Atlanta is being talked about as a prime trade down candidate but I feel like some people don’t realise that the Falcons may find this harder than it appears.

They will be targeting a quarterback needy team to come up and give them a big haul, and we are all thinking; New England, Washington, Chicago.

However, why would one of these teams trade up to 4 when everyone knows the Bengals and Dolphins aren’t taking a QB? I think the aforementioned teams will likely be targeting Detroit at pick 7.

So, on to the pick the… Penei Sewell is an incredible consolation prize as opposed to trading down.

Arthur Smith has come in as Head Coach and he is going to want to run the ball. I think Penei Sewell adds to what is a line that needs a piece or two adding before they can execute Smith’s running game.

Sewell is super powerful, super athletic, great in space, he’s an excellent fit for Atlanta and Smith – He’ll be a friend to the running game but also Matt Ryan.

5. Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU

“Offensive tackle!” I hear you scream. “Joe Burrow is going to get killed”, I hear you shriek.

Well, yeah of course the Bengals need an offensive tackle, but please let us remember that the draft is 7 (seven) rounds long and you can get good players later in the draft.

Ja’Marr Chase gives the Bengals their new AJ Green, and they can pair him with Tyler Boyd to create a scary duo for Burrow to throw to as he moves into year 2 of his NFL career. Cincinnati also has Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon as offensive weapons, so there are the beginnings of a pretty scary offensive for Joe Burrow to pilot.

Chase is an unbelievable route runner, he’s incredibly athletic and he’s absolutely dominant at the catch point. As listeners to the podcast would have heard an awful lot of time, our guy Kieran Patterson rates him as one of the best prospects at the wide receiver position in a very long time.

You’re welcome Bengals fans.

6. Dolphins (Eagles)

Kyle Pitts, Offensive Weapon, Florida

A few weeks back there were a couple of crazy Friday night trades that went down with the Dolphins moving from 3 to 12 and then back up to 6.

There is a reason, or to be more precise, a player that Miami wanted and had in mind when they swung the second trade with the Eagles to come up to 6, or maybe a couple of players.

I think the two players they would want to grab here are Ja’Marr Chase or Kyle Pitts.

The Dolphins have the makings of a superb offense and a superb roster from back to front on both sides of the ball, I think they need an x-factor player like Chase or Pitts to be the jewel in the crown.

Pitts is an absolute game changer.

Pitts is an unbelievable athlete, he’s got absolute vines for arms, he’s got great hands and he’s a Red Zone God… Pitts is a meta prospect, he’s a cheat code, he may develop into a player who actually changes the way NFL defense is called.

I cannot pigeonhole him as a “tight end”, and nor should you. He is going to be moved around and be a mismatch nightmare. Pitts could turn out to be the best player in this draft class.

7. Patriots (Lions)

Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State

New England sends picks 15 and 46 in 2021, as well as a 2022 3rd round pick in return for pick 7

Here we go then! The first trade up of the evening as the Patriots go up to the 7th overall pick in exchange for a couple of second day picks.

Detroit is ripe for the picking, because of the factors that I mentioned during the Penei Sewell pick and also because they are in rebuild mode and those future picks would be more useful to them than most other teams.

Lance is a player who definitely needs some marinating for a year or so but all of the physical traits are there in terms of athleticism and arm strength.

He needs to get better in terms of his accuracy and the nuances of throwing with more touch and to just gain some more experience considering he only started 19 games in his college career and that was at FCS level.

The Patriots have Cam Newton in the building and in a stylistic sense, he is relatively similar to Trey Lance which would aid the transition for both Lance once he takes over as starter and also the Patriots in the medium term as they don’t have to install a new type of offense when they hand the keys over to Lance whenever that may be.

8. Panthers

Rashawn Slater, Offensive Tackle, Northwestern

With Sam Darnold on board the Panthers can kick the need to draft a quarterback down the road, and in an ideal scenario, Darnold is markedly better than he was in New York and Carolina has their guy (for now, at least).

This means no exciting trade up but it does mean that resources can be spent elsewhere and after a completely defensive draft class in 2020, the Panthers surely have to spend some premium draft capital making life easier for their new passer, right?

Well I think they would be best served in doing so and therefore I feel they’ll go head and strengthen the offensive line with a high end, but also versatile lineman in Rashawn Slater.

Carolina has brought in Pat Elflein and Cameron Erving already this offseason, recently drafted Greg Little and Dennis Daley and re-signed right tackle Taylor Moton to a 1-year contract for a smidge under $14m. The final remaining starting lineman in Charlotte is center Matt Paradis who is under contract for another season, so all in all when we add Slater to the mix, the Panthers should be able to muster an above average starting five.

Slater has the versatility to allow Matt Rhule to find the best combination more easily, as well as coming in as the star man on the unit. 

9. Broncos

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Very little has been made of the off-field problems that have been reported about Micah Parsons, despite it being quite public for a short period of time. No draftniks are dropping him down their boards, nobody is saying he could slide and no one really seems to… care too much?

It’s bizarre and pretty disappointing – Some of the allegations are horrendous and my moral compass is telling me that more should be being made of it, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case so for the purpose of this mock I will draft him accordingly.

That means talent rules everything, which to be honest, is usually the way with the NFL anyway.

Parsons makes too much sense for Vic Fangio and his defense. Parsons has athleticism, he’s got range and he’d be a serious upgrade on Josey Jewell or Alexander Johnson in the heart of the second level of the Broncos defense.

Fangio has had linebackers like Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman in San Francisco, and the Roquan Smith in Chicago – He’s not had a linebacker like those guys in Denver… Until now.

10. Cowboys

Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback, Alabama

I don’t think Jerry Jones can resist taking a name brand when it comes to the draft this year, the Cowboys need a corner and I think they will opt for Patrick Surtain II over Jaycee Horn here.

Surtain is the Son of former Dolphins and Chiefs All-Pro corner of the same name. This is what I mean by name brand.

The younger Surtain is taller than his father and is a very well rounded cornerback, a player who you can certainly see that he’s the Son of a former NFL player. Surtain was starting for Alabama as a Freshman, so we can deduce from this that he is a high-end prospect, add that to the fact he’s a second generation NFL player and to the tape and we have a top 10 draft pick.

Surtain is a finesse corner with smooth, fluid movements, a high football IQ and good tackling ability, he should be able to come in and be the CB1 in Dallas and form an all-Alabama duo on the boundaries with Trevon Diggs.

11. Giants

Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Dave Gettleman loves to draft players in the trenches and this pick follows that trend, plus it fills a big need for Big Blue – Paye wouldn’t be my pick, as anyone who has read my report in the Full 10 Yards Draft Guide will attest to, but I do believe this is a hand-in-glove fit between player, team and general manager.

Paye is an uber-athletic prospect and if he can improve in certain aspects of the game, he could be a problem. I feel like he needs to improve hand usage and placement and become a little more controlled by harnessing his all-action style. I also feel he is much less impactful when he comes up against a tackle who is as athletic as he is.

However, I will admit that the NFL and draft media seem to be a heck of a lot higher on him than me. I can certainly see the strengths but I am scared of the potential issues more than any other player in this class.

12. Eagles (SF/MIA)

Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama

If the Eagles are going to roll with Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback this year then they will need to get some weapons for him.

I know that Philadelphia invested three draft picks in the wide receiver position last year but none were in the class of Jaylen Waddle.

Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen will love to have a YAC monster like Waddle, he can also act as a field stretcher to make space for the likes of Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz (if he stays around) in the short and intermediate passing game. Philly should be running a heavy dose of 12 personnel, play-action and also quick passes to help Hurts and the running game. Waddle’s deep threat and aforementioned YAC ability works in all three of these facets. 

I know that Jalen Reagor can do a lot of this but teams should not stop having a potentially good player on the roster, preventing them from drafting a potentially great player, and who has ever said, “ahh, I feel like we have enough quality weapons on the roster”?

13. Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle, Virginia Tech

The Pre-Draft press conferences from both Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco yielded completely different levels of information for fans and media over the past week or two.

General Manager Telesco did his usual routine of giving absolutely nothing away, to the point of not even confirming that the Chargers see left tackle as a need.

Staley however, gave more away a little bit more without confirming anything in particular. Staley spoke about the defensive scheme and the requirements of that scheme for certain positions, he spoke about special players on the Chargers roster and also about the requirement of length on the offensive line.

That last part spoke to me more than anything when it came to the 13th pick of the draft. I am a big fan of Rashawn Slater and Alijah Vera-Tucker, but they don’t have the longest arms and I feel that sort of ruled them out of being selected here if the Chargers had the chance.

Christian Darrisaw has the most prototypical body type for the position in what is a little bit of an undersized group at the top of the offensive tackle class when it comes to length.

Darrisaw is an ascending prospect who has risen up draft boards a lot this year – He has good foot quickness, power and of course the length. He is also a good athlete and is proficient in both pass and run blocking.

I do feel like I would like him to be more aggressive, I’ve described him as more of a doorman as opposed to a back-street brawler, in play style but as long as he is keeping Justin Herbert upright, Charger fans won’t be too displeased.

14. Vikings

Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Guard, Southern California

Minnesota needs offensive line help, they probably need two players on the left side of the line – The Vikings lost Riley Reiff to the Bengals, and their offensive line probably needed work regardless.

The Vikings definitely have a type when it comes to offensive linemen – In the past three drafts Minnesota has drafted Brian O’Neill, Garrett Bradbury and Ezra Cleveland, all of whom are fantastic athletes, and the selection of Alijah Vera-Tucker would make another great athlete to add to these three.

The selection of Vera-Tucker would have another advantage from a draft management point of view too in that because the former Trojan can play both guard and tackle, it means that Rick Speilman and Mike Zimmer aren’t backed into a corner if and when they take another lineman in terms of needing a guard or a tackle.

15. Lions (Patriots)

DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

A lot has been made of DeVonta Smith’s measurements, and it’ll be used as a stick to beat him with until he has consistent success in the NFL to prove that he really is the exception to the rule rather than a talented outlier.

The Lions receiving room was seriously depleted with the losses of Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay in free agency, so they will have to start right away with the restocking and they will be looking to add one of the “big 3” receivers in this class. If Detroit could pull off a trade like this where they move back a handful of spots and still manage to get a top tier receiver then that’s a big win for Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes in their first season together.

The Lions brought in Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in free agency but it’s a group that is thin, even with those additions.

They need a headliner, someone to shoulder the load… And whilst they might not be the broadest of shoulders, DeVonta Smith is unbelievably talented and also offers something different from a style point of view to Williams and Perriman.

Smith will offer Jared Goff a reliable pair of hands at all three levels of the defense and give this offense a big upgrade.

16. Cardinals

Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina

The Cardinals lost Patrick Peterson in free agency this offseason and will be on the lookout for an immediate replacement – They could find that in Jaycee Horn.

Horn’s selection should mean that the Arizona secondary shouldn’t suffer much from the loss of Peterson, as they already have a couple of young defensive backs who are really promising in Budda Baker and Byron Murphy and these three could form a great core group in the Red Sea for years to come.

Horn is a long and physical corner who is scheme versatile, so should be a great fit no matter the role that Vance Joseph would have in mind.

Horn has the speed and explosiveness to physically match opposing wide receivers, as well as the alpha mentality that you often see on dominant cornerbacks around the league.

I really feel like this is Horn’s floor and whichever team gets him has a potential star in the making on their hands.

17. Raiders

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Linebacker/Safety, Notre Dame

Las Vegas loves to take guys who do things fast; those who run fast 40’s and play the game at a pace.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ticks both of those boxes.

New Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has just left behind Derwin James in Los Angeles and loved that he could move James around the defensive formation to take away mismatches that the offense would try to create. I feel like he’ll be pounding the table for another positionless defender in Owusu-Koramoah.

Bradley’s defense relies on pressure being created by the four defensive linemen and everyone else being able to cover their zones and Owusu-Koramoah is absolutely fantastic in pass coverage. He can also deliver bone-jarring hits that you wouldn’t expect from a linebacker of his size, as well as the range to cover from sideline to sideline.

18. Dolphins

Jaelen Phillips, EDGE, Miami

Miami started off their draft by taking a potentially transcendent star on offense and they will build on that great start by taking a player who is potentially the best pass rusher in the draft as long as everything works out.

Jaelen Phillips doesn’t even have to move home stadium for this pick so he should be able to adapt to the league about as quick as any draft pick due to his familiar surroundings.

Phillips is probably the most well-rounded edge defender in the draft with no real discernible weakness outside of the medical history.

Even non-Dolphins fans will be wishing Phillips well given he had already retired due to repeated concussions. Because of this, there is risk attached to this pick but I see the 18th pick as a spot where Miami can afford to gamble a little bit as it’s a luxury pick – because of this, don’t rule out Najee Harris or another offensive weapon here!

On the field, Phillips would almost certainly be the best pass rusher on the roster and would provide a big upgrade for the ‘Fins roster.

19. Football Team

Teven Jenkins, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma State

The Washington Football Team is such an underrated team, this team is a few pieces away from being able to challenge for it all.

The problem is one of those holes is at quarterback.

I don’t think they’ll see Mac Jones as the answer and they already have the ultimate bridge QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick under contract, so they’ll kick that can down the road and instead, they’ll put things in place for the next guy under center and restock their offensive line.

I know that Teven Jenkins has played predominantly on the right side but he has played at left tackle (as well as right guard) too, so really they’ll be looking at a player with some flexibility. The Football Team should be looking at Jenkins as a long term left tackle but with the safety net of being able to move him with minimal fuss if he’s not a success on the left. Morgan Moses’ contract has two more years left to run and has $0 of dead cap after the 2021 season (with a saving of $7.75m).

Jenkins is a ferocious run blocker who plays all the way through the whistle and he has plenty of pass blocking experience given Oklahoma State runs an air raid offense.

20. Bears

Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver, Minnesota

As much as the Bears top brass were undoubtedly ecstatic to bring back Allen Robinson, I very much doubt that the Bears and their star receiver will be able to work out a long term solution, so they should probably start planning for life without him.

General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy are probably going to have to plan for life outside of Chicago if they don’t have a successful season, so another season for the Bears to take Bateman is to maximise the potential of the offense in 2021.

They seemed to have been able to apportion most of the blame on to Mitchell Trubisky, who is now Josh Allen’s backup in Buffalo, and the coaching and front office likely have one more swing of the bat.

The Bears need a QB, but with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles, they have two veterans who should be able to squeeze out some wins in the right circumstances and with the right supporting cast – Picking a new QB would be a pick for the next HC/GM combination, and Pace and Nagy will be living very much in the here and now.

Bateman gives the Bears a great complimentary piece to Robinson; he’s a precise route runner, he gives a deep threat, he’s got great hands and great ball tracking. Bateman will benefit from being the Robin to Robinson’s Batman in year 1, however make no mistake, Bateman is a future WR1 in the league.

21. Colts

Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech

I can hear Colts fans now grumbling about left tackle and the fact that Anthony Costanzo has retired leaving a huge opening on the blindside.

I hear you Indy fans… I do, but who are we going to take here with the 21st pick? The draft is 7 rounds long and there is a really deep class of offensive tackles this year.

I feel like the Colts would be better served in grabbing themselves a potential bargain, rather than reaching for a tackle at this stage, so they are taking cornerback Caleb Farley here.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to roll into the season with Rock Ya-Sin and 31 year olds, TJ Carrie and Xavier Rhodes are your top 3 cover guys.

Ya-Sin is raw and both of the vetern guys are on 1 year contracts so Chris Ballard and Co. have to start planning for the future. The selection of Farley offers them a chance to select a player who has an enormous ceiling, and who without injuries would have been off the board a long time ago with the 21st pick.

The injuries are scary, but if Farley can stay on the field, this has the chance to be a home run pick. 

22. Titans

Eric Stokes, Cornerback, Georgia

The Titans lost a whole host of cornerbacks this offseason; Adoree’ Jackson, Malcolm Butler, Desmond King. Kevin Johnson and Janoris Jenkins have come in as replacements but neither set the pulse racing and much like the Colts in the previous pick, they need to start planning for the future at the position.

Eric Stokes is another superb prospect at the position, who brings both coverage abilities and fantastic speed at the position. He can cover in zone and man coverage although his strengths lie in zone and off-coverage techniques, this allows him to have eyes on the football rather than his man, which should lead to more turnovers – Something Stokes became much better at forcing in his final season at Georgia.

The Titans defensive just was not good last year and the decision to promote Shane Bowen to Defensive Coordinator was a head-scratcher considering he still called the defensive plays in 2020 despite not being DC. Jon Robinson has splashed the cash on the likes of Bud Dupree and Denico Autry up front – Now it’s time to reload the back end.

23. Jets (Seahawks)

Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

Head Coach Robert Saleh got his new guy at quarterback earlier on in this draft and now the Jets can juice up their defense later on in the first round by taking my number one edge defender, Azeez Ojulari.

The Jets have five picks in the first 107 selections of the draft so they can really look to reload both sides of the ball on the first two days of the draft (as well as their first pick in the 4th round.

They could do with another tackle to pair with Mehki Becton, another interior lineman and another receiver to round off the investment made in that position and then Zach Wilson should be relatively well stocked on offense for his rookie year. Mike LeFleur as an OC should be fantastic and the offense should be very Shanahan-esque which should make it easier for Wilson to run things in his rookie year.

However, let’s talk about this pick – Ojulari should make a fearsome pass rushing duo with newly acquired Carl Lawson, especially with Quinnen Williams going through the middle too – Saleh should be able to have fun with these guys!

24. Steelers

Landon Dickerson, Interior Offensive Line, Alabama

Is Landon Dickerson everyone’s favourite player in this draft class? He’s certainly right up there for me.

He seems to have the personality off the field to be a great leader and team mate but on the field he has a nasty demeanor and a play style which is that of someone who just wants to bully the guy across from him.

I think he’d make a fantastic Pittsburgh Steeler, especially at a time where they have lost a number of pieces from the unit and could probably do with establishing a fresh culture within the unit, and there’s no better place to start doing so by getting a new pivot.

This also helps the Steelers get ahead of the curve for this time in 12 months where they will likely be welcoming in a new QB, because this has to be Ben Roethlistberger’s last rodeo, right?

Dickerson’s injuries are scary but the guy was doing cartwheels and building a home gym a few months removed from an ACL tear – He’s built from different stuff and I’d love to see him do in the first.

The Steelers honestly could do in a few directions here so they are hard to pin down but honestly, I feel that there is a good chance that this is how they go on Thursday night.

25. Jaguars (Rams)

Travis Etienne, Running Back, Clemson

Friends reunited here as the Jaguars take the QB and RB1 from Clemson in the first round. This combination worked a treat for the Tigers over the past three years and now Urban Myer will be hoping that this duo can be the lifeblood of his offense once more.

James Robinson’s fantastic rookie season keeps him in a position where he’s getting a fair amount of snaps in 2021 but this pick helps him and Jacksonville from a couple of points of view; firstly, it allows them to have an effective thunder and lightning combination in the backfield and it guards against Robinson having a Sophomore slump.

The Jags brought in Marvin Jones and Phillip Dorsett to supplement DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault in the offseason, so adding in Etienne should give Lawrence a good cast to throw the ball to. If Jacksonville spends their second rounder (33rd overall) on a good offensive lineman, that would be offensive starters sorted.

From the 45th pick onwards the Jaguars can concentrate on defense, perhaps starting with a safety, where I feel it’s a sweet spot for someone like Richie Grant or Javon Holland.

26. Browns

Zaven Collins, Linebacker, Tulsa

I feel like after the signing of Jadeveon Clowney, the Browns defensive is absolutely stacked and if they come together to execute week in-week out, they really could be the best unit in the league.

So, what do they need to do? Continue to stack strength on strength.

Linebacker is the only level of their defense where they just have functional players who fulfill a role and do their job, so I really feel like the selection of Zaven Collins takes this defense to yet another level.

Collins is an athletic freak who can drop into coverage at a really high level, the thing is, we often hear this said about players who are undersized, such as Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah or Isaiah Simmons, or Devin Bush… but no, Zaven Collins is 270lbs. He’s an coverage linebacker in an edge defender’s body. Incidentally, he can rush the passer part-time too, which means he becomes an incredibly versatile piece and a real modern day NFL defender.

Get Collins at 26 and as we discussed a couple of weeks ago on the podcast, are the Browns going to the Superbowl? 

27. Ravens

Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

This one was just too easy for me.

Jayson Oweh has been nailed on for the first round ever since his, quite frankly, insane pro day workout. Oweh ran a 40 time that wide receivers would have been proud of, he jumped vert and broad jumps that defensive backs would have been proud of and showed agility and bend which we saw on tape as playing as an outside linebacker at Penn State.

Physically he’s a complete package and I feel like a team like the Ravens will just fall in love with that kind of skill set.

Don Martindale is known for being blitz-heavy and therefore he needs a deep rotation of pass rushers in order to execute the game effectively without his guys being so sapped of energy that they become ineffective.

Baltimore lost Matt Judon, Jihad Ward and before that Yannick Ngakoue from this rotation, and therefore I can see Oweh being the first of a couple of investments at the position and I think he’ll slot into the role Matt Judon played for the Ravens.

The production is obviously the big knock on Oweh but there’s a good chance that in a scheme where the success is shared around because the angles of attack are basically 180°, that Oweh’s NFL production is much better than his college production.

28. Saints

Greg Newsome II, Cornerback, Northwestern

Greg Newsome is my CB4 but drops below Eric Stokes on draft night because much like Caleb Farley he’s inexperienced and he has also suffered with injuries throughout his college career, having only appeared in 17 games over 3 years at Northwestern.

Newsome offers teams ideal size, athleticism and length for an outside cornerback at the NFL level; he’s twitchy, instinctive and he also attacks the ball in the air when it is thrown in his vicinity.

Newsome’s next development should be turning pass deflections (in college he had 20) into interceptions (1 career pick) and this will really elevate his game into another stratosphere and give him potential CB1 appeal. Right now, I think he’s a top tier number 2 corner but with a few improvements to his game and if he can prove himself from a health standpoint it’s all there for him.

From a roster building point of view for Mickey Loomis and the Saints, they probably aren’t going to be able to extend both Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk – Newsome allows them to have a top tier CB2 to Lattimore for one year before they probably make the former Ohio State Buckeye a cap casualty in 2022. By then Newsome may have elevated his game enough to be a number 1 corner and the Saints can look to build behind him.

29. Broncos (Packers)

Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama

Denver sends picks 40 and 71 in 2021 in return for pick 29

This trade is based on the Chargers’ trade up with the Patriots last year when they took Kenneth Murray. So I feel this is realistic considering Green Bay and Denver are in opposite conferences and will enjoy the extra pick in the second and third because really, what huge holes do they have? They could also see it as having the ammo to move around the board as they would now own 11 picks, with two in each round aside from the 7th where they would just have the one.

New Denver GM, George Paton has said himself that the team likes Drew Lock but are “still looking”. We know that they made a run at Matt Stafford and I don’t think they will be satisfied entering the season with Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel as their QB room, so here they swing a trade with Green Bay and bring in the final of the “Big 5” QBs in Mac Jones.

This would be an all out camp battle between Drew Lock and Mac Jones for the starting job – If Lock has a fire lit underneath him then great, Denver gets a better version of their QB, if not, then Jones comes in and gets his shot immediately.

Either way, they have a tradeable asset in the former Missouri passer and can recoup some of the capital used in this trade. It could go down as another swing and a miss when it comes to QBs for the Broncos but until you have the guy you have to keep searching.

30. Bengals (Bills)

Samuel Cosmi, Offensive Tackle, Texas

Cincinnati sends picks 38 and 111 in 2021 in return for the pick 30

Now are we happy Bengals fans?

I told you earlier in the mock draft that the draft is 7 rounds long and that they could draft Ja’Marr Chase and still keep Joe Burrow off the surgeon’s table next season.

Samuel Cosmi isn’t a perfect prospect at this moment in time but he could be a heck of a tackle if they develop him correctly.

He’s got length and athleticism which are really standout attributes that you cannot teach! He certainly needs to fill out his frame, add muscle and work on his technique as a pass blocker but at the 30th pick, how often are teams selecting a perfect prospect? Rarely.

Cosmi has good experience playing at both right and left tackle too, so it solves the problem of “what to do with Jonah Williams?” almost straight away. Riley Reiff could play guard and then the Bengals also have Trey Hopkins coming back at center at some point, so medium to long term, this line is looking like it has a chance, which it simply didn’t in 2020 – Hence why Joe Burrow’s knee has a big scar on it.

31. Ravens (Chiefs)

Trevon Moehrig, Safety, Texas Christian

Earlier this week the Kansas City Chiefs fleeced traded with the Ravens with offensive tackle Orlando Brown being the headline and meaning the 31st pick now belongs to Baltimore.

Not long after this news it was rumoured that the Ravens are expected to sign Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva after the draft. So let’s assume those rumours are true – which would make sense given that Villanueva is still on the shelf despite the career he’s had in Pittsburgh – And that the Ravens aren’t going to be looking for a starting left tackle in the early throws of this draft.

I think that the Ravens make this pick and double down on defensive reinforcements late in the second round, this time opting to take arguably the best and most complete safety available in the draft in TCU’s Trevon Moehrig.

Moerig will give fresh impetus to a secondary which is great on the outside but lacking somewhat through the middle in Baltimore. Moehrig is a ball-hawk when he’s allowed to roam the middle of the field with seven career INTs and two forced fumbles, which plays into the modern NFL which is geared around generating extra possessions for your offense.

I did consider the Ravens moving out of this pick, which I do think is a possibility considering they have no second round selection and don’t get back on the clock until 94 after this pick at 31.

32. Buccaneers

Christian Barmore, Interior Defensive Line, Alabama

What do you give to the team who seemingly have everything? This is the question that Jason Licht will have on his mind.

Well the most prudent thing to do would be to look at one of two things; are there any talents who have fallen and really stand out as the best player available or look forward to next March and whether there are any aging veterans who are going to be out of contract and won’t be back.

Ndamukong Suh certainly stands out in the second of those categories and Christian Barmore certainly could benefit from a year under the wing of Suh without the pressure to perform from minute one as Tampa Bay attempts to run it back after bringing the Lombardi Trophy to the Gulf Coast.

Barmore could be worked into the rotation slowly which could suit in since he’s coming out as a Redshirt Sophomore with only 2 seasons under his belt at college level – Like a lot of prospects, landing spot is going to be super important for Barmore and Tampa Bay is just about the perfect spot for him given the veteran leadership that will be around him, not only in his position room but on the whole roster and coaching staff. If it all falls into place, Barmore and Vita Vea is a potentially league-wrecking duo on the interior of the defensive line.

So that wraps up my final mock draft before the 2021 NFL Draft. This week on the podcast we will be dissecting each other’s mock drafts and it should be a really thought provoking conversation, so I hope you can join us for that one before we all settle down together and watch the picks unfold.

Final word before signing off – Don’t forget to pick up your draft guide before Thursday, we’ve just lowered the price to £3.99 for the final few days. It’ll be a great accompaniment to whatever you’re drinking and whatever is in your snack helmet on Thursday night.

You’re already on the website… So why not go over to the shop and support grassroots American football in the UK with a little purchase? I’ll even leave the link here. 

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Garcha’s Pre-draft Takes Part 1 – By Raj Garcha

QB Class – Do Rep’s matter?

This is a first of a 5-part series looking at what takeaways can be gained from last year’s draft. Firstly, we shall be examining the QB class, and in particular, the value of examining the number of reps each QB has had at college, and how that has translated to the NFL production.

Looking at last year’s prospects, now they have had a full rookie season, (albeit very much different to the norm without a rookie camp, OTA’s and preseason), we have more data to examine why Justin Herbert proved to be the top QB in last year’s draft based on his rookie production. 

So why was this case? 

Consensus coming out of last year’s draft was in the big games, Herbert tended to fall below expectations in the pressure situations and tended to over-rely on his powerful arm at the expense of accuracy. However, as was proved, those theories were dispelled very quickly with one of the best rookie seasons by any 1st year QB for a very long time. In addition, Joe Burrow selected 1st overall by the Bengals, was on par to challenge Herbert for rookie of the year status, had it not been for a porous Bengals offensive line, meaning Burrow was practically running for his life every game. Conversely, Tua Tagovailoa had his well-documented struggles as a rookie, despite having a 6-3 record. Looking at their underlying college data, one area stands out ahead of the rest, reps.

Below are the college reps for each of the 4 QB’s taken in the 1st round of the 2020 draft.  Jordan Love has been included in the data, despite not playing a single snap for Green Bay: –

QBDraft ClassAttempts
Justin Herbert201293
Jordan Love201125
Joe Burrow20945
Tua Tagovailoa20684

As the data shows, Herbert undertook the most reps of the four QB’s, and with the interrupted preseason schedule, this valuable experience probably contributed to his successes in his rookie year. Conversely, Tua had the least snaps among the college QB’s last year; that may explain the reasoning why Coach Flores made the sudden decision of thrusting Tua into the line-up mid-season. To analyse these numbers in more detail, let us look at the data of 1st round QB’s drafted since 2017, and how they stack up to this trend.

QBDraft ClassReps
Baker Mayfield181497
Patrick Mahomes171349
Justin Herbert201293
Daniel Jones191275
Deshaun Watson171207
Josh Rosen181170
Jordan Love201125
Lamar Jackson181086
Joe Burrow20945
Sam Darnold18846
Tua Tagovailoa20684
Josh Allen18649
Dwayne Haskins19590
Mitch Trubisky17572
Kyler Murray19519
San Diego Union Tribune

The average reps within the dataset, which came out to be at 943 repetitions, which is between Joe Burrow and Sam Darnold. What is interesting to observe is amongst the top 5 QB’s, four on this list are consensus franchise QB’s. Of the rest of the QB’s that have above average college reps, only Josh Rosen has proven to be a bust; the jury is still out on Daniel Jones with this year proving to be the pivotal year as to whether he can be considered a franchise QB.

Of those falling below the average reps, Josh Allen and to a certain extent Kyler Murray buck the trend. The jury is still out on Tua after his rookie season, whereas the remaining QB’s are now or pending their second teams as probable back-ups. In defence of Allen and Murray, the reasoning behind their ascent can be attributable to a stable, patient coaching staff who decided building the offense around them whilst gaining experience was the best recipe for their success.

With this data to hand, what does that mean for this year’s QB Class? Below are the college reps of the five-consensus 1st round QB’s in this year’s draft: –

QBDraft ClassAttempts
Trevor Lawrence211138
Zach Wilson21837
Justin Fields21579
Mac Jones21556
Trey Lance21318

As the data shows, only Lawrence fulfils the criteria of meeting the number of reps translating to success in the NFL. Of the other 5 QB’s, Fields, Jones and Lance would rank in the bottom 4 of the overall list of QB’s drafted in the last 4 years, whereas as Wilson has similar reps compared to Darnold coming out of college. With the experience of Darnold to boot, is it now finally time for Jets to invest in Robert Salah and Mike McDaniel for the long haul and use their plethora of draft capital to build around Wilson for the future. A revolving coaching door mixed with a less than average QB college rep catalogue, has proven to be the worst mix for a QB to succeed.

We know Lawrence is going 1 to the Jags, and only a miracle stops Wilson being drafted to the Jets at 2, so where does that leave the 49ers choice and the other QB hungry teams in this year’s draft based on this data. In all likelihood, Shanahan will be a coach for the long haul, and therefore patience akin to that displayed with Josh Allen may need to be displayed for whoever their selection may be. This is also why Miami may have decided to keep the 49ers 1st round pick rather than their own, in the trade that ensued between the Eagles and the Dolphins. 

With these stats to hand, do the Falcons gamble at 4 to have an inexperienced QB sit behind Ryan for at least a year? Do the Panthers under Rhule and Joe Brady recreate the Buffalo model of adopting the longer game and getting experience into their chosen man under centre if they decide to draft a QB this year? Is the combination of an uncertain Broncos coaching staff mixed with a QB with limited reps a recipe for failure based on recent history? What about any other team in the hunt for QB; do the Patriots oust Cam even though Belichick is in win now mode with his F.A spending spree, do Washington risk drafting and starting a rookie knowing they are probable favourites in their division, are the Bears the worst possible scenario for any rookie QB with the head coach and GM being on their ‘prove it or gone’ season?

So many enthralling subplots and storylines are still to transpire before and on draft day, and come this time next year, it will be fascinating to revisit this topic using a full year’s sample of the 21 class’ draft.

Part 2 of this series will look at why the 2021 Wide Receiver class is similar to the 2020 Offensive Tackle Class, so stay tuned.

Follow Raj on Twitter @The_Garch

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Can we Stop Saying Prospects are Pro-Ready? By Ed Farrar

Ah Pro-Ready. Possibly my least favourite draft term. Vague enough to not really mean anything, but pervasive enough to completely change how we rank draft prospect.

Theoretically it gives us a good insight into who can be early contributors in the NFL, but really it limits imaginative thinking on draft day. Why do I think it’s so awful? It’s partly because of my beliefs over what a good drafting philosophy is, but also because it’s just a silly way of labelling players and it needs to stop. There will be a lot of people who will gawk at this theory, so let’s go through why the pro-ready label is so ridiculous.

Firstly, I really don’t believe there is any such thing as a safe, pro-ready prospect in the NFL Draft. Jeff Okudah was supposedly one of the cleanest corner prospects of the last decade. How did his rookie season go? Andrew Thomas was the most pro-ready of those top four tackle prospects in 2020 by most accounts, but was by far the worst of the lot this past season. The draft is a complete crapshoot the majority of the time, as much as us twitter scouts would like to say otherwise, so the word is completely pointless the majority of the time.

Secondly, let’s call it what it is for just a moment. There are some racial undertones to draft coverage, especially with Quarterbacks, and it makes itself clear with terms like pro-ready. White linebackers are described as instinctive and having excellent football IQ. Black linebackers are described as athletic and toolsy. It’s clearly problematic. Just look at the whole Justin Fields palava right now. Fields is athletically gifted but can’t process well enough and doesn’t have a good enough work ethic. Our full of smiles white Quarterback Mac Jones however is hyped as the perfect teammate and a brilliant scheme fit for everybody despite his lack of arm, athleticism and any evidence he can perform without the best offence in college football around him. 

Explain to me how Mac Jones is more pro-ready than a two year starter in Justin Fields.

Explain it.

Yes I think Fields has issues with holding on to the ball too long, and yes he does need to get through his reads faster, but the evidence is clear that he can do it. It’s all over his tape. Even with that though he has the athletic tools to make up for any early issues he has as a passer, which Jones does not, and I’d love to hear how the guy who was at the forefront of the campaign to get this season played, and fought through broken ribs to out-duel the number one pick in this draft in the Sugar Bowl, doesn’t want it enough. There’s a theme here, and it’s staring us in the face. 

Away from the undertones of the term pro-ready and the debates it causes, this whole Fields vs. Jones debate is indicative of the main issue we have when viewing the concept as a desirable trait. Because, beyond any other argument, pro-ready is just an inherently stupid term to use when talking about Quarterbacks. It’s the reason the Chicago Bears took Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson. It’s the reason Lamar Jackson was selected 22 picks after Josh Rosen. It’s the reason people genuinely believe that Mac Jones is a better fit to the 49ers at 3 over the clearly more talented pair of Fields and Lance. It just makes no sense. I don’t understand why people look for a plug and play starter at the Quarterback position from Year 1, instead of a player who has genuine superstar potential for the next decade plus. Mac Jones may have a theoretically higher floor than Justin Fields or Trey Lance, but who actually cares? NFL GM’s don’t want to bust on a Quarterback because it probably means they’ll be out of a job, but I’d rather go down in a blaze of glory with Trey Lance than watch Mac Jones be out-manoeuvred by a more talented Quarterback in key moments, a la 2019 Jimmy G. The best Quarterbacks in the league are these physically gifted freaks right now, so why would you ever settle for a cheaper and less talented Matt Ryan over a Josh Allen type who is raw but could be genuinely special.

CBS Sports

It’s the same reasoning behind why I have Kellen Mond ranked higher on my big board than Kyle Trask in the developmental sphere of this Quarterback class. I don’t care about getting a potentially limited starter in Trask. Instead I’m going to throw my chips towards the guy with all the traits to be great. Now there is a much higher chance that Trask hits his ceiling in the NFL, for him I’d say that would be the career of Nick Foles, but he’s never going to be good enough for me to want him as my Quarterback long term. Kellen Mond has a more boom or bust profile, but whilst the chances of him hitting his ceiling is lower, his ceiling is Dak Prescott. I know which one of those guys I want to gamble on.

For me this translates to other positions as well. As I said earlier, I don’t think there is such a thing as a truly safe prospect. Especially with the 2021 Draft being packed with opt-outs that we haven’t seen play in a year. Therefore why should we chase these ‘pro-ready’ guys, when they are more than likely just not, rather than taking shots on guys with huge ceilings who may need a little work. I think the only position where I’m truly considering how pro-ready a player is running back, but that’s a positional value thing mainly. Given the lower value, I’d prefer to get a guy who will execute what you ask him to on Day 3 than a high end talent in Round 2. Give me Rhamondre Stevenson over any of the top tier guys every day of the week and let me invest in valuable positions on Day 2. Other than that though, it’s a silly thought. Especially given teams should never enter the draft needing to fill a massive need. That should be sorted in free agency.

So let’s stop using the term pro-ready. Knowing that some players project to be early contributors is useful, especially in the mid rounds where I’m looking at more limited prospects, but when I’m making a long term decision for my franchise it shouldn’t factor into the equation. Let’s chase elite talent at elite positions, especially when it’s about choosing the face of your franchise moving forward. Because you don’t want to be stuck paying a Mac Jones $30 million a year when Lamar or Mahomes come to town. We’ve already seen how that plays out.

Follow Ed on Twitter @Farradise

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Friday Night Fallout: Draft Trades

On Friday 26th March the 2021 NFL Draft underwent some pretty sizable changes, just as we were all finishing work and settling into our weekend, BAM, Adam Schefter did what Adam Schefter does, and dropped some huge news about the NFL Draft and more specifically a huge trade between the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Dolphins traded the 3rd overall pick to 49ers for the 12th overall pick, a 2021 third-round pick (the compensatory pick for Robert Saleh’s hiring) and first-round picks in both 2022 and 2023.

Miami’s third overall pick was always going to be up for auction and it did feel as if it was a care of when and not if the pick was dealt. Well, John Lynch and the 49ers front office got the job done – Much to probable dismay to the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, who were well and truly in the hunt, and probably still are, for a quarterback.

The drama still wasn’t over – Less than 30 minutes later, the Dolphins were at the centre of another trade!

This time they were moving back up, sending the 12th and 123rd overall picks this year as well as a 2022 first-round pick to Philadelphia, in order to acquire the 6th and 156th picks for next month’s draft.

The takes then began to fly in the group chat… So what did we think about these trades and how are they going to affect the draft?

Lee, Raj, Sean and Logan give you their takes below.

What does this mean for the 49ers?

Lee – The 49ers have said that Garoppolo is “their guy”. San Francisco have also said they are “good” with whichever QB drops to them at 3.

I believe the former to be front office speak and the latter to be academic.

Trevor Lawrence is all but a Jacksonville Jaguar and all the signs point to Zach Wilson being the apple of the Jet’s eye.

So it’s down to Justin Fields and Trey Lance for the 3rd overall selection.

Personally I feel like Justin Fields is the better and also the safer choice. He’s played at a higher level, for longer and whilst athletically, both Lance and Fields would be fantastic in Shanahan’s offense – Imagine a super athletic runner in Shanahan’s counter based running scheme – I do feel that Fields is the better player now and in future.

Perhaps Garoppolo can babysit Fields for half a season before the rookie takes over? $1.4 deadcap in 2022 doesn’t offer the former Patriot much protection from a contractual standpoint.

Sean – At #12, the Niners were never in the running for their future QB but now they’re right in the thick of it. And that has to be their plan; you don’t give up a king’s ransom for anyone other than a quarterback. Assuming the first two picks are Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, the Niners will have their pick of Justin Fields or Trey Lance. Smarter people than me can say who would be a better fit for Shanahan’s system – I think the big-armed, athletic Fields might just be the prize here – but either way, it seems the writing’s on the wall for the incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers have been at pains to say Jimmy G is their QB1 but even if he starts the campaign as their guy, who knows whether he’ll finish it. (What price a return to the Patriots?)

Raj – The Niners are in their Super Bowl window, and they believe they are a QB away from being back at the top table. After seeing the Rams upgrade their QB room, Murray ascending in Year 2 and Wilson continually performing as a top 10 QB, Lynch and Shanahan felt now was the time to strike; and by trading to 3 allows them to do this. My belief is Fields will be the next QB in San Fran; Shanahan has already experienced coaching Fields at a QB camp a few years back, so the familiarity is there. By not giving up any further 2021 picks for the trade, that is also a big win for the 49ers. With Bosa, Kittle et al returning next year, and with Shanahan being able to mould the new young QB to fit in with his famous run based scheme, don’t be surprised to see the 49ers deep in the playoffs next year. 

Logan – The 49ers move all but confirms they are ready to give Jimmy G a fire under his belt to do better. “Jimmy is here to stay” is coach speak for “we couldn’t find a team who was willing to trade for him”. The 49ers could cut Jimmy next year for a whopping $1.4 million in dead cap money. Kyle Shanahan ready to have his chance to groom his “young” QB of the future, which could make Jimmy G a back up once again in the NFL

What does this mean for the Dolphins?

Raj – 24 hours have passed, and overall I’m happy with how things have turned out; however there is a tinge of wanting more. I’m surprised no additional 2021 picks were accumulated such as a SF 2nd rounder, however overall the moves made give the Dolphins flexibility for at least the next 3 years. Flexibility to pick the top passer in this year’s draft, flexibility to pursue an alternate QB next year should Tua not be the answer or the flexibility to build around Tua should he prove to be the QB answer in South Beach (e.g a Diggs style trade by Buffalo last year). Now the Dolphins have the ammunition, it’s important to hit on the picks otherwise the process of accumulation would have gone to waste. Pitts and Najee would be just fine for round 1 😊. 

Sean – The multi-deal mayhem took Miami out of the mix and then back into it 30 minutes later, settling at #6 and gaining draft picks to boot. Knowing that the first three teams will be courting QBs (maybe even the top four for the first time ever), the Fins can safely assume they’ll still be able to snare a valuable piece to help Tua succeed next year. It’ll be one of OT Penei Sewell, LSU wideout Ja’Marr Chase or tight end freakazoid Kyle Pitts – basically whoever’s left after the Bengals have had their turn. My guess is the TE phenomenon Pitts, as he’s the least likely pick for Cincy. Dropping three spots, increasing draft collateral and still landing an elite talent looks like great business to me. Nicely played.

Lee – Let me just say, Chris Grier turning Laremy Tunsil into 4 first-round picks is absolute genius.

The end result of this Friday night’s shuffle in the draft order is that the Dolphins now hold the 6th and 18th picks and a further two top 50 selections.

If I were Grier and Brian Flores, I’d look to beef up the offense early to give Tua Tagovailoa a real shot in 2021. I’d be targeting Kyle Pitts at 6, Najee Harris at 18 and an offensive lineman at 36. Pitts is a game-changing mixture of size and speed and Harris gives them an elite runner who can also be a factor in the passing game. Combine those with a competent offensive line, Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker and Preston Williams and I feel that the offense could be nigh on unguardable because of the size and athleticism available. Spread it out and to force the defense in dime and either throw it to any of those receivers, or watch Najee run against super light boxes with mainly defensive backs to stop him.

Logan – The Dolphins are sticking with Tua as being the QB for the future with the transactions made Friday.  Brian Flores is going to build around Tua, with Kyle Pitts. Pitts is coming off an outstanding season with 12 touchdowns on the year. How many passing touchdowns did Tua have last year….11? Sure, he played half the season, but Carson Wentz had 16 In half a season and ended up traded. I think a new red zone target will boost this offense along with the new wideout Will Fuller joining the team this off-season. A second consideration is trading down again to pick 15, at the Patriots, securing even more capital for the future and having pick 15 and 18 grabbing two skill players.

Photo Credit – Associated Press

What does this mean for the Eagles?

Sean – Unlike the Niners and Miami, the Eagles are more of a long-term rebuild project. That’s why moving back to #12 and gathering more chips to play with – this year and next – makes sense. Sliding down the pecking order does limit Philly’s options a little but assuming they’re after a wideout, as many predict, they should still be able to snap up one of the Alabama two, Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith, as non-QBs slide out of the top 10. With Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, the QB room looks sorted so dropping down a few places for the chance to pick up more pieces should benefit them in the long run.

Logan – At 12th overall the Eagles are in the “get your guy” spot unless… a QB is on the board. They will have 10 minutes to decide on that pick if that is the QB, a rookie they want to add to the young Jalen Hurts and seasoned Joe Flacco or trade down to New England to allow them to get a QB and get a skill player 3 picks later at 15. . What should the Eagles do? Get the 2nd best wide receiver of this class, Jaylen Waddle,  and pair him with Jalen and watch the magic unfold.

Lee – The Eagles have made an underrated move by sliding back a few spots to acquire another first-round pick next year, which feasibly could give them three first-round picks next year. When your team is in rebuilding mode, this is never a bad thing – Just ask the Dolphins!

In terms of this year, most had the Eagles pegged to select a receiver to give Jalen Hurts another target to throw to. That really shouldn’t change too much despite Philly moving back six spots.

With the rush on quarterbacks in the top 10, some great players have to slide, which will include receivers.

Let’s say four QBs go before 12, plus Kyle Pitts and Penei Sewell also get taken. That means there are now 5 teams left to pick in the top 11 and the Big 3 are still there. Even if Miami takes one at 6, the Panthers, Broncos, Cowboys and Giants either have good receivers already or bigger needs early in the first round. Detroit probably takes a receiver at 7 but even so, simple math dictates that the Eagles are left with one of DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle.

Nice business.

Raj – The Eagles let the cat out the hat yesterday, it was Zach Wilson or nothing. They were QB hunting, but having the intel that Wilson was not going beyond 2, they decided to give Hurts the keys to the QB room for 2021. Philly knows this is a long term project, and with the ammunition of potentially 3 1st rounders in 2022, if Hurts isn’t the answer they have all the wiggle room to do whatever they want at QB. In the meantime, there are many holes they can fill in their ageing and depleted roster; and 12 allows them to be in play for one of the top CBs, Parsons or even a pass catcher falling out the top 10. And in 2022, who knows, a certain Deshaun Watson could be someone to perk Roseman’s QB search. 

What does this mean for the league and draft as a whole?

Logan – QB’s will go early in this year’s draft, presumably with 4 of the top 5 picks (Jaguars, Jets, 49ers, Atlanta), leaving Bengals the big winners of this presumably taking the 1st player beside outside of a QB thanks to the 2020 draft drafting Joe Burrow. As a fantasy player, I’m curious if Jaylen Waddle or Najee Harris go first or could they end up together on the Dolphins as they have picks 6 and 18?

Raj – The draft now starts at 4 and the ramifications of what the Falcons do affects the rest of the draft. Do they draft Ryan’s replacement, do they dare to trade inter division with Carolina, do they trade to a Denver or New England to make sure Carolina doesn’t get their QB or do they draft the best player available. What they ultimately do decides the strategy of a number of teams in behind, and don’t be surprised if there isn’t another blockbuster move taking place either before or on draft day. 

Sean – Pondering the ramifications of Friday’s shenanigans, it seems like the value of Atlanta’s fourth pick and Cincinnati’s fifth spot went up, as the sweet spot for picking either Fields or Lance (coud that actually be the Falcons’ intention?), or for selecting the first non-QB in the draft. In contrast, the Panthers (#8) and Broncos (#9) took the biggest blows, forcing them to trade up as well if they want to get their hands on anything but the scraps left over from the quarterback feeding frenzy. Maybe one of them could package up a deal to tempt the Falcons, Bengals or even the Dolphins (again), depending on the first names to come off the board? Then again, it may just be a case of c’est la vie and grab a top receiver or corner instead. One thing’s for sure, though: just when it felt like we had a sense of how Day 1 might pan out, someone shuffled the pack and we have to reassess everything. 

Lee – On one hand, I feel like this makes the first round less interesting due to the fact that I feel like we know the first three names that will be called, the shock for me would be that the Niners take Lance. However, as above, I don’t see it being out of the realms of possibility.

A winner not mentioned above is Atlanta because the price of their 4th overall pick just went up and there are still a number of QB needy teams out there. So unless the sands shift again prior to April 29th, the draft starts at 4.

On the other hand, outside of the QB run, the teams slated to pick from 5 to 15 could be winners too as non-quarterback talent is sure to slide down the board as teams scramble for their next signal caller. So it’ll be interesting to see where those high-end players are selected and as a fan of a team picking in the top 15, that makes round one more exciting!

Looking ahead, the events of Friday evening and the ripples from these trades will be felt for years to come.

Drop the guys a follow:

Lee Wakefield – @Wakefield90, Raj Garcha – The_Garch, Sean Tyler – @SeanTylerUK & Logan Brown – @Loganbrown0805

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Rob Grimwood’s 2021 NFL Draft Mock 3.0


by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller

It’s only been three weeks since the curtain closed in Tampa. Only another 27 more weeks until Week 1 of the new season left to go. Welp. It’s a bloody good job we have some high octane, fever pitch excitement coming our way over the next 2 months though, isn’t it? First, the free agency will fuel our desire to be consumed by this enticing league if only for a few days, but then it’s on to draft season, other wise known as our Christmas time. Cue the excitement.

As the pro-days get under way from next week, here’s my latest mock draft before my final draft comes your way in the middle of April. Keep your eyes peeled for the F10Y NFL Draft Guide coming your way soon though, pre-orders available from March 1st!


1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB – Clemson

Previous pick: Trevor Lawrence (QB) in my mock 2.0

The Jacksonville Jaguars are drafting Trevor Lawrence. Take it to the bank. Minshew Mania is a thing of the past as the Jags move on to start afresh with a shiny new franchise QB to rebuild around.


2. New York Jets – Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State

Previous pick: Penei Sewell (OT)

A lot of analysts have Zach Wilson moving above Fields but I just don’t get it personally. Fields has a had a better college career, he’s more prolific with his arm and with his legs; he’s the full package. I was hesitant to see the Jets move on from Darnold, and I still think there’s a chance the new coaching staff wants to give him a last chance, but ultimately I think they find a trade partner during the free agency period and then they get to draft and re-build around a fresh, young, talented stud.


3. *MOCK TRADE* Chicago Bears via Miami Dolphins/Houston Texans – Zach Wilson, QB – BYU

Chicago sends 20th (1st), 84th (3rd), 2022 1st, 2022 3rd and Anthony Miller (WR)

Previous pick: Justin Fields (QB), Carolina traded with Miami

You can’t ignore the hype for Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a talented dude that will fit in to the NFL just fine, I am sure… I just prefer Fields as a more polished player. Wilson had a superb 2020 with BYU and fully deserves his meteoric rise. The Bears love gambling on a QB with some question marks, although I believe Wilson is a better prospect than what Trubisky was. They can move on from the recent blunders at acquiring sub-par QB’s and they will hope Wilson can translate his great 2020 season in to the pros.


4. Atlanta Falcons – Penei Sewell, OT – Oregon

Previous pick: Zach Wilson (QB)

The Falcons would have liked for Wilson to fall here so they could get him sitting behind Matty Ice as a plug and replace when Ryan retires or moves on inevitably in the near(ish) future. They might even try and figure out a deal with Miami knowing the Dolphins phone will likely be ringing off the hook. Either way, whoever is picking at 4 will be selecting Penei Sewell. He’s pound for pound the second best player in this draft behind Lawrence and a near generational talent at tackle. Players like Sewell are rare gems that don’t come around very often.


5. Cincinnati Bengals – Kyle Pitts, TE – Florida

Previous pick: Kyle Pitts (TE)

No change for me here. Many can envisage the next best offensive lineman here which is fair, Smokin’ Joe does need better protection. But they also need a top quality target hog to go alongside Tee Higgins and a replacement for A.J Green’s receptions. I think they’d benefit more from one of the best slot receiving options in recent college history with blocking upside as a tight end in Kyle Pitts. Midway through the 2020 season Pitts was slated to go mid to late first round, but seeing just how good his receiving and contested catch ability is, it’s cemented him as a top-10 pick.

Photo Credit: UAA COMMUNICATIONS PHOTO BY HANNAH WHITE



6. Philadelphia Eagles – Ja’Marr Chase, WR – LSU

Previous pick: DeVonta Smith (WR)

The glaring need for better receiving options hasn’t changed since I wrote my mock draft 1.0. One thing that has changed is my opinion of the first WR off the board. Despite DeVonta Smith having a lights out year for ‘Bama, after re-watching 2019 tape on Chase, I think he just edges it for me as a more complete receiver and a better size for the NFL.


7. Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith, WR – Alabama

Previous pick: Patrick Surtain II, CB

After potentially losing Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola during the upcoming free agency, the Lions will likely need some better options and depth at receiver. Smith was the best receiver in college bar none last season and although on the light side at 175lbs, the natural talent is undeniable and will be an elite weapon for Goff to utilize at the next level.


8. Carolina Panthers – Patrick Surtain II, CB – Alabama

Previous pick: Micah Parsons (LB), Miami traded with Carolina

I’ve seen Carolina take Trey Lance here, which does make sense, but I think there are better quality players available that have a lot less risk attached. I think the Panthers like what they saw for the most part with Teddy Bridgewater in 2020 and give him another season at signal caller knowing that if it goes pear-shaped the 2022 draft will provide a replacement. Surtain is my CB1 in this class who has had an incredible college career for one of the nations leading college defenses. He’s a plug and play option for a team who needs better quality in the defensive secondary.


9. Denver Broncos – Jaycee Horn, CB – South Carolina

Previous pick: Gregory Rousseau, Edge

The Denver defensive secondary needs better quality and depth in numbers. Horn has been rising up draft boards after a scintillating 2020 for the Gamecocks and some draft experts have him as the top CB of the board. He’s certainly trending in that direction and I think he goes straight after Surtain Jr here to the Broncos.


10. Dallas Cowboys – Gregory Rousseau, Edge – Miami

Previous pick: Christian Barmore (DT)

Rousseau remains the top Edge rusher in this class after an extremely productive 2019 season. Despite him being a 2020 opt-out and not playing last season, he’s a mouldable asset on the defense – something the Cowboys desperately needs. Rousseau is raw as an Edge rusher after only playing one full season at the position, but he’s naturally gifted and has the physical tools to live up to being a top-10 pick. He’s definitely a Jerry Jones kind of pick.


11. New York Giants – Rashawn Slater, OT – Northwestern

Previous pick: Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

Another 2020 opt-out who has been climbing draft boards thanks to excellent 2019 tape is Rashawn Slater. Teams will love the fact he’s versatile and can play pretty much any position along the offensive line, and excel at it. The G-Men haven’t got the worst line, but by adding Slater they give Danny Dimes and Saquon Barkley a better chance to succeed on offense.


12. San Francisco 49ers – Caleb Farley. CB – Virginia Tech

Previous pick: Wyatt Davis, OG

Corner is arguably the biggest need for San Fran this off season. Farley is the next best available Corner and signifies a big tier drop to the next guy on the CB list in this draft; so the 49ers do what’s best for them by taking Farley here.


13. Los Angeles Chargers – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/OG – USC

Previous pick: Caleb Farley (CB)

Vera-Tucker has emerged as a dynamic and versatile offensive lineman worthy of a first round pick. Everyone knows the Chargers have needed a talented, well-rounded offensive lineman to plug the holes for a few years now as it’s been a glaring need in a pretty well-built roster. AVT can line up at tackle or inside at guard giving new Head Coach Brandon Staley assurances that he can protect his franchise QB Justin Herbert efficiently.


14. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Barmore, DT – Alabama

Previous pick: Alex Leatherwood (OT)

Very few players grew in 2020 as much as Barmore did in the heart of Alabama’s defensive line. He’s still a bit raw but has got all the talent, moves and natural ability to quickly become one of the better DT’s within the NFL. He’ll fit right in learning from the likes of Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.


15. New England Patriots, Micah Parsons, LB – Penn State

Previous pick: Dylan Moses (LB)

Parsons has top-10 talent, that’s for sure. Recent red flags regarding poor discipline and negative teammate stories will likely dent his draft stock a bit. Hence why I have him falling, and it would be further if it wasn’t for the fact this is the type of player that Bill Belichick thrives off coaching. This will be a great pick all around as Belichick will stamp out any past indiscretions Parsons may have and therefore providing a platform for Parsons to showcase his talents on the field. Yet again, the Pats draft a superstar.


16. Arizona Cardinals – Najee Harris, RB – Alabama

Previous pick: Najee Harris (RB)

It was a brutal end of the season for the Cards this year and one of the reasons behind that is the inability to run the ball effectively. Their rush game without Kyler Murray’s rushing stats would have them 30th in the league. There are holes on the defensive side of the ball at edge and corner, but those positions don’t offer the same talent quality at this point in the draft. Pound for pound Harris is a top-5 talent and by taking him, the Cards will have all their offensive weapons locked up for the foreseeable future. Murray, Harris, DHop and Kirk. Formidable.


17. Las Vegas Raiders – Wyatt Davis, OG – Ohio State

Previous pick: Creed Humphrey (C)

There’s a reason why Justin Fields is an early 1st round pick and it’s because Wyatt Davis was leading the line that protected him. I know there are other needs in Vegas particularly on the defensive line and in the defensive secondary, but their o-line desperately needs bolstering too. Whoever starts at QB in 2021 needs more help from their o-line and Davis provides just that.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

18. Miami Dolphins – Jaylen Waddle, WR – Alabama

Previous pick: Jaylen Waddle (WR)

I’ve had Waddle nailed on for this pick ever since my mock 1.0 back in November. I believe Waddle will still be on the board considering his draft stock didn’t move much after his season ending injury in week 5 against Tennessee, despite possessing a top-10 talent level. Waddle is one of the best receivers out of college in recent times and would have likely been higher than 18th had he avoided injury. It’s also a nice reunion and a bit of familiarity for Tua.


19. Washington Football Team – Trey Lance, QB – North Dakota State

Previous pick: Trey Lance (QB)

Another player that hasn’t moved since my November predictions is Trey Lance. If you don’t know already, I’m not a big fan of Lance being a first round pick. I’m not disputing he’s got talent, but as a quarterback – the most important position on the field – and not playing at the FBS level at college is a massive red flag to me. It’s a gamble and Washington love to pick questionable QB’s in the first round of the draft… see the careers of Dwayne Haskins, Robert Griffin, Jason Campbell and Patrick Ramsey for proof… all first round QBs that have not lived up to their draft price.


20. *MOCK TRADE* Miami Dolphins via Chicago Bears – Zaven Collins, LB – Tulsa

Miami receives 20th (1st), 84th (3rd), 2022 1st, 2022 3rd and Anthony Miller for the 3rd overall pick

Previous pick before mock trade: Kyle Trask (QB)

After Miami receive a decent haul for the 3rd overall and re-uniting Tua with Waddle earlier in the draft, the Dolphins switch focus to continuing on improving the defense. Linebacker is the next big need and Zaven Collins adds a nice blend of size, power and tackling abilty as an outside guy.


21. Indianapolis Colts – Christian Darrisaw, OT – Virginia Tech

Previous pick: Christian Darrisaw (OT)

There are a few needs in Indy, most notably at receiver and corner. But with the retirement of left tackle Anthony Castonzo earlier this off-season, the already stout Colts o-line loses a valuable piece which GM Chris Ballard will want replaced immediately. There will be decent cornerback options in the second round and the wide receiver class rivals that of 2014; so talent will be aplenty later in the draft to address the other needs.


22. Tennessee Titans – Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota

Previous pick: Patrick Jones II (Edge)

The Titans need more receivers, and that’s even before potentially losing Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith to the free agency next month. Bateman is a superstar in the making who is a great route runner and possession receiver, a perfect compliment for AJ Brown.


23. New York Jets via Seattle Seahawks – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB – Notre Dame

Previous pick: Travis Etienne (RB)

Pick a position on the Jets and it’ll need improving. None more so than at linebacker where 4 starters from 2020 are due to hit free agency. J.O-K is a versatile linebacker that can play multiple areas on defense and could even be moved to Safety if needs be in the NFL. I think Owusu-Koramoah is a bit of a reach here, but is probably the best swiss-army knife left in the draft and will tick boxes for the Jets scouts.


24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Creed Humphrey, C – Oklahoma

Previous pick: Samuel Cosmi (OT)

Maurkice Pouncey has just announced his retirement so why not grab an immediate plug and play Center here. Humphrey is the best Center in the class and is also one of the best players available in a position of need for the Steelers.


25. Jacksonville Jaguars via L.A Rams – Azeez Ojulari, Edge – Georgia

Previous pick: Rashawn Slater (OT)

Ojulari is a dynamic and lightning fast speed rusher out of Georgia who will help the Jags try to rebuild their defense which has all but crumbled since 2017. With Ojulari and Josh Allen on the edges, Taven Bryan in the middle with Myles Jack and Joe Schobert behind, all of a sudden this Jags defense is starting to look more like the formidable one from yesteryear.


26. Cleveland Browns – Kwity Paye, Edge – Michigan

Previous pick: Kwity Paye (Edge)

The Browns roster is pretty stacked on both sides of the ball and really started to get rolling in 2020. But other than Myles Garrett, there is a lack of talent off the edge, so Paye here makes sense. The Michigan product is a very athletic, powerful edge rusher that fits in to Joe Woods’ defensive scheme nicely. Paired with Garrett, this would be a scary and productive duo off the edge for the Browns.

Photo Credit: KIRTHMON F. DOZIER, DETROIT FREE PRESS

27. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Jones II, Edge – Pitt

Previous pick: Rashod Bateman (WR)

Jones is an excellent hand in the dirt speed rusher that will thrive in a Harbaugh/Martindale ran defense. The Ravens aren’t far off being a step closer to the Superbowl, addressing their Edge need here and exploring a deeper receiver talent pool in day 2 makes sense.


28. New Orleans – Rondale Moore, WR – Purdue

Previous pick: Jaycee Horn (CB)

I’m assuming that it will be Jameis throwing the rock for the Saints in 2021. If that is the case then he’s going to need more weapons. The last time we saw Winston in a full time capacity it was to the tune of 5,000+ yards in the 2019 regular season. Michael Thomas will be hyper-targeted I’m sure, but the Saints will require another elite weapon to play the other side. Rondale Moore is a fantastic slot receiver that will use his speed to burn inside corners and safetys over the middle of the field. MT as the possession guy, Rondale as the speed/YAC guy. Perfect combo.


29. Green Bay Packers – Alex Leatherwood, OT/OG – Alabama

Previous pick: Terrace Marshall (WR)

Depth on the offensive line is one area the Packers could bolster alongside the need for wide receiver or on the defensive front 7. Leatherwood is another elite level prospect out of the Crimson Tide and will fit in anywhere on the line as a plug and play prospect.


30. Buffalo Bills – Travis Etienne, RB – Clemson

Previous pick: Jalen Mayfield (OT)

Despite drafting two RB’s fairly high in the last two drafts, their inability to run the ball in the playoffs this year really cost them an opportunity of going to a Superbowl. There are other needs, but Etienne is a home-run pick that will offer so much more in the ground game and another option for Josh Allen to utilise out of the backfield.


32. Kansas City Chiefs – Nick Bolton, LB – Missouri

Previous pick: Deonte Brown (OG)

Back-to-back Superbowl finalists don’t tend to have many needs. They might want to bolster their offensive line options considering that was one of the biggest reasons why they failed to win in Superbowl LV, but there are also other positional groups that need better depth. Bolton will provide that as a hard hitting tackler in the linebacking corps.


32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dylan Moses, LB – Alabama

Previous pick: Quincey Roche (Edge)

This time last year had Moses entered the 2020 draft he would have likely gone top-10. However, he decided to play another season in college for Alabama to solidify his draft stock. Unfortunately though, Moses really struggled to overcome the season ending ACL tear he suffered in 2019 and only managed to put up standard numbers statistically. Despite the average 2020 campaign, knowing that he could be an all-pro talent if he manages to fully recover, it might be worth the Bucs throwing the dart at Moses and potentially having a fifth-year option in their back pocket, but ultimately we’ll have to wait to see what they do with upcoming free agents at linebacker Shaq Barrett and Lavonte David.

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Early look at the 2021 QB carousel

When Lions HC Matt Patricia was fired from Detroit a few weeks back, it got me thinking about Matthew Stafford. The former #1 overall pick from the University of Georgia will be entering his 13th season in 2021. But will it be with the Lions?

With Patricia and GM Bob Quinn out of the exit door, I fully expect Stafford to be in a new uniform come next season. No more meaningless Thanksgiving day games for him (perhaps).

Then it got me thinking about the potential quarterback carousel in 2021 when you include some of the talented QBs that will be coming in from the draft: Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Justin Field, Kyle Trask to name but a few. So let’s take a little gaze into my crystal ball and see who could end up where and why?


2021 Draft

Let’s start with the teams likely filling their QB holes with a pick in the 2021 draft.


Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas

New York Jets –

Trevor Lawrence


The first pick is more than likely going to fall to the New York Jets. We all hate to see it but Trevor Lawrence is pretty much nailed on to be their next QB. I feel so awful for him if Adam Gase keeps his role going into the 2021 season. While all the top rookie QBs usually find homes with bad teams purely because of the mess the teams are in, consequently giving them said picks, surely Lawrence and Gase is not a match-up any of us want to see. For the record, I feel Gase will be shown the door once the #1 pick is cemented into the record books.

The ripple effect:

Sam Darnold will be the odd person out here. I cannot fathom why the Jets would keep both of these guys and for all intents and purposes, you should expect Lawrence to be the 2021 Week 1 starter. So what for Darnold? He is entering year 4 on his contract (5th year option not picked up at this point), which would make some teams interested. We all know the edge in the NFL is to take full advantage of QBs in their rookie deal. The Jets could do away with Darnold in exchange for a decent pick with the deal working for both sides.

  • The Jets get 4-5 years of Lawrence to build around (they have Mims and Crowder already there) as well as Seattle’s 2021 1st round pick (which could be i nthe middle of the round as things stand) meaning they have six top 100 picks in 2021.
  • Darnold’s new team get two years of Darnold who, under Gase, has not been put in a position to succeed. At still only 23, there is plenty of learning and progression Darnold has to go through and the ceiling I feel is still there.

As for destinations, a perfect landing spot would be the Indianapolis Colts or the San Francisco 49ers. Philip Rivers can surely only have 2021 until he hangs up his cleats. But he is a guy the Colts can move on from as he signed a one-year deal prior to the 2020 season. Similarly in San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo, despite taking his team to the Super Bowl last season, has had injury trouble and caps the ceiling of this team where he isn’t asked to do very much. If Kyle Shanahan says enough is enough and moves on from him, his dead cap is less than $3m.

Other suitors could include the Carolina Panthers ,who know that Bridgewater isn’t the answer and they are in a bit of a bind with cap space in 2021. They have the weapons and the run game to help support Darnold and Matt Rhule’s offence seems to be chugging along quite nicely in his first year as a HC. Washington would send Haskins away somewhere while other shots in the dark could be New Orleans (if it wasn’t supposed to be Jameis, we wouldn’t be getting Taysom Hill shoved down our throats) or Pittsburgh if Big Ben finally follows through with his retirement threats.

The price for Darnold come draft time should be around a late 1st rounder or a 2nd (with maybe a later round) pick. So anyone who’s anyone can feel like they’d have a shot at Darnold, if they see fit.


Image Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

– Jacksonville Jaguars –

Justin Fields


Justin Fields has gone from strength to strength with Ohio state, earning him third place in Heismann voting. Having a 16-1 record through his last 17 games, with 52 TDs and 3 INTs, has him shooting up to jostle with Lawrence for #1 overall consideration. As things stand, he’ll more than likely be a Jacksonville Jaguar in 2021 (lucky him).

Fields does have a few weapons at his disposal and it’ll only need a plug here and there on the offensive line. The Jaguars currently have two 1st rounders, as they have the Rams pick as part of the Jalen Ramsey deal. They also have six picks in the top 100 to reload that franchise.

The ripple effect:

Minshew Mania has died without a trace in Duval and like Lawrence, I don’t see how Fields isn’t the starter come Week 1 in 2021. So what does this mean for Minshew?

Well, a very plausible spot for Minshew to continue his Mania tour would be to travel north to Ohio and Cincinnati. Joe Burrow is recovering from that gruesome knee injury suffered against Washington and his recovery is likely to take 9-12 months. That means no training camp and, at the very best, being just about ready for Week 1 in 2021 (if at all!). We have no clue as to how Burrow will bounce back from the injury and if he’ll ever be the same player. Until Zac Taylor and the Bengals can figure that out, Minshew can provide a cheap alternative to be the bridge until Burrow returns.


Image Credit: Tim Warner / Getty

Carolina Panthers –

Zach Wilson


It would be hard to argue that the Panthers have overachieved this season considering the tumult in the franchise. They’ve moved on from Cam to Teddy, and Rivera to Rhule, but this Panthers team could be contenders sooner rather than later. Despite Rhule handpicking Teddy Bridgewater on a decent deal, to me he isn’t the answer as stated with the Darnold ripple effect with Lawrence. Matt Rhule and the coaching staff may not get a better opportunity to draft a franchise QB. Wilson can come in and sit behind Teddy for a number of weeks, if not the season, and the transition will be complete.

The ripple effect:

Not a huge one as Teddy would still start in Week 1 of 2021 but when he gets put on the shelf in 2022 or beyond, it’s anyone’s guess. Maybe a return to New Orleans?


Image Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn

– Washington Football Team –

Trey Lance


There could be a huge ripple effect, depending on how the appalling NFC East turns out, as a team with a losing record is likely to have a late 1st round pick, whereas the second-placed team in that division could end up with a pick around the #10 mark. Washington currently sit at the said #10 overall and Ron Rivera will get the chance to pick his franchise QB of the players left: Trey Lance, Kyle Trask and possibly Mac Wilson will be the guys he gets to choose from. Trey Lance is able to make NFL throws and the transition could be less bumpy for him. If needed, he could sit behind Alex Smith for a few weeks (should Smith still be there) before coming in and taking the team forward.

The ripple effect:

The knock-ons are minimal here as Alex Smith isn’t far away from hanging up his cleats but Dwayne Haskins could go and be a back-up somewhere else, knowing that he is not in the plans of the Football Team (or whatever their name is come 2021). Maybe even the XFL…


Image Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions – Kyle Trask


The Detroit Lions, clearing house with Patricia and Quinn already gone, could see the acquiring of a new flashy toy in the 2021 draft. They currently hold a top 15 pick and Kyle Trask could fit the bill. A big-armed quarterback and a traditional pocket passer, he could be a younger and cheaper version of Matt Stafford.

The ripple effect:

Stafford could possibly stay for another year while a rookie QB sits behind him. That being said, it makes a hell of a lot of sense for Stafford to be traded for a pick or a player. See below forthe current veterans where I talk about Stafford a bit more.

Other teams of note that may go for a QB in the draft: New Orleans (Mac Jones), Chicago (Kyle Trask), Las Vegas (Mac Jones)


Current veterans

Now let’s look at a few quarterbacks who could be dispensable or out of contract (or with an easy out) come 2021.


Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford is not the problem with this team
Nic Antaya – Getty Images

As I said above, and what started this whole article, with Patricia fired and Bob Quinn following close behind, it makes total sense for the Lions to move on from Stafford. There is a possible out in 2021 and his cap number is pretty team-friendly considering what you would be getting in return.

Possible suitors:

As much as I think he would be great in Tampa Bay, Tom Brady is likely there in 2021 so unless we skip forward 12 months and talk about 2022, I don’t see this happening unless Brady retires. Stafford suits the Bruce Arians vertical offence a lot better, he gets decent weapons to throw to and this team would be pretty fun to watch. I’m sure Stafford wouldn’t mind going from a dome in the north to a warm climate in Florida.

Other possible destinations for Stafford?

Could we see Broncos GM John Elway pull the plug on Drew Lock, which would make for an interesting trade? Drew Lock has shown flashes and is on a rookie deal, something that may be of interest to the Lions. You have to feel though by doing this trade, Elway is committing suicide as the Broncos GM.

One spot that could make sense for Stafford is Indianapolis. Stafford would be on similar money to what Rivers is this year in 2021 and there aren’t many other holes left to fill except for the defence. Stafford would be an upgrade on Rivers, for the same price, and you get another four or five years out of him (injury dependant).

Outside of that, the Las Vegas Raiders or San Francisco could sniff around the former Georgia QB. Or maybe New Orleans?


Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers

It might be the end of the Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco
 Joe Nicholson – USA TODAY Sports

I would personally be surprised to see Garoppolo as the 49ers QB come Week 1 of 2021. San Francisco could have a draft pick that allows them to take a QB or they could draft in a veteran such as Matt Stafford or Matt Ryan. The only thing against it is the players that need to be paid on the 49ers roster, with a plethora of hosuehold names due for negotiations.

Jimmy G is only a smidge off $2m in dead cap for the 49ers and has a mid-$20m base salary in 2021. Yes, he has gotten them to the play-offs, but you’d be hard pressed to say with confidence than more than a quarter of that was down to his play. They are a YAC team and a run-the-football team, which makes them far less multi-dimensional than Shanahan would like, but for the cost currently being associated with him, it works. If they are able to acquire someone in free agency with a higher ceiling who can make plays, this team could have a decent bounce-back in 2021.

Possible suitors:

The New England Patriots could continue the back and forth love (and hate) affair with Jimmy G, which would answer the question of who’s decision it was to get rid of him in the first place. The Patriots don’t like paying too much for QBs (see Cam Newton) and you feel Jimmy G has unfinished business with the NFL and could have a renaissance back in Foxboro’. That being said, Billy B has said that Cam Newton is likely to be with the Patriots in 2021. How many games can Cam lose for this team until Bill loses his patience with the former MVP and former #1 overall out of Auburn?

A long shot could be Las Vegas Raiders if they move on from the next guy on our list, Derek Carr…


Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders Rumors: Derek Carr 'being heavily shopped' at NFL Combine
Matthew Stockman – Getty Images

Despite Carr’s ups and downs this season, one thing is clear. He isn’t going to drive the Raiders that far, if at all in January, on any given year.

While the relationship between him and Gruden has smoothed out over the past year or two, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Raiders make a change at QB.

Possible suitors:

I wouldn’t have thought there would be a big market for Carr as he isn’t a guy that is going to win you a Super Bowl. That being said, you would get Carr at a discount as his cap hit is around the low $20m’s in base salary and his dead cap for the Raiders is a bit of change over $2m. While a move for Carr would likely trigger contract talks and extensions, a possible fit could be the Chicago Bears, who love drafting and acquiring average to below-average quarterbacks. While the location possibly isn’t what Carr is looking for, there could be a new HC in town if Nagy gets the boot, but there is enough to work with there for Chicago. The Detroit Lions could be another destination, with a dome and a few weapons on offence. With the Lions rebuilding, I’d possibly expect a draft pick but Carr could be a good bridge guy to have if selecting someone like Kyle Trask or Mac Jones from the draft in 2021.


Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers slams alleged anti-Muslim remark during moment of silence
Christian Petersen – Getty Images

Aaron looks as surprised as you probably are. But should we be thinking about Aaron Rodgers’ home in 2021?

The Packers picked up quarterback Jordan Love with their first round draft pick in 2020, leading to a media circus on the ramifications that went on for months. Aaron Rodgers has played at an MVP level in 2020, leading to the Packers jostling with New Orleans for the all important #1 seed in the NFC. Whether that’s due to him having a chip on his back or trying to prove that he still “has it” is anybody’s guess. But what if it’s for Rodgers putting himself in the shop window to his potential suitors?

The Packers in recent history have been fine with their quarterbacks sitting for multiple years and this was the case with Rodgers himself sitting behind Brett Favre.

Possible suitors:

Rodgers doesn’t really have an out on his contract in 2021 ($31m dead cap and $14m base salary) but surely when a QB to the calibre of Rodgers comes around, there would be a lot of teams wanting to enquire about his services.

The Las Vegas Raiders have the profile of a team that could pull the trigger. Outside of that, there isn’t really any team that seems a suitable landing spot nor can I find any avenues of reasoning.

It’s unlikely that Rodgers moves on from Packers but what’s the point in doing these if you can’t have a bit of fun?!

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Mock Draft – Andy Moore 1.0

It’s getting colder outside, the leaves are coming off the trees and there’s some very early Christmas trees going up. Can only mean one thing, it’s mock draft season! 

This year feels like it could lead to significant change at the game’s most important position, with a host of players approaching the end of their career. That is reflected in this draft and I’m sure it’ll get shaken out a bit more in the coming weeks and months.

  1. New York Jets – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

This feels like a no brainer for whoever holds the first overall pick. Ever since he stepped foot on campus Trevor Lawrence has been destined to lead one lucky NFL team to a bright future. There’s some ‘jokes’ that he might not want to play for the Jets, but when they fire Adam Gase, hire Eric Bieniemy and set out a solid plan to make an early Super Bowl run whilst he’s on his rookie contract, why wouldn’t he?

  1. New York Giants – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

It doesn’t feel like Daniel Jones is developing at quite the pace that Dave Gettleman needs him to, if he’s to keep his job long term with the Giants. However, moving on would be an admission that the early 2019 pick was a mistake. If they go for Sewell they can slide Andrew Thomas to RT, allowing the immensely talented Sewell to protect Jones’ blindside as he enters a make or break season.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

You’ve had your fun with Gardner Minshew, but he’s not the future in Duval. Fields is another QB that’s been hyped for success since his high school days and it’s easy to see why. The Ohio State signal caller is calm in the pocket and has a strong arm to get the ball downfield, he’s comfortable getting out of pressure and making plays with his legs as well. Jags fans should be extremely excited if he ends up in Florida next year.

  1. Washington (Via Dolphins, Via Texans) – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Woah – big move here. Wilson is the QB that we see gathering momentum every year when it comes to the draft. Accurate, decisive and confident making big time throws down the field, Wilson is having a fantastic season with the Cougars as they sit unbeaten in the upper reaches of the AP25. If the draft falls like this with Dallas and Atlanta so high up the board, you have to question if they’ll want to get in on the QB action – that’s why I’ve got Washington pulling the trigger with the Dolphins and moving up for their man.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Shaun Wade – CB, Ohio State

You’d assume that the Cowboys will be smart enough to at least pay Dak for another season once he’s rehabilitated his injury, if not they could well be in the QB market here. However, we’ve all seen just how leaky the Dallas defense has become in 2020 and they’re in desperate need of some big time players on that side of the ball. Wade would immediately offer some star quality in the secondary, comfortable either on the boundary or inside and willing to get stuck into the run game – he’s a certain upgrade for America’s team.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Michah Parsons – LB/Edge, Penn State

Other than receiver, you could argue for the Falcons taking nearly any position on the field here. Like the Cowboys, they’ll be doing their research on the Quarterback class in an attempt to find a successor for Matt Ryan. However, it’s the only elite Linebacker in this year’s class that they settle on. Michah Parsons is sitting out the 2020 CFB season, but his stock and talent level is strong enough that he appears to be a top 10 lock already. Aggressive in all phases of his game, Parsons will be a breath of fresh air for a stale NFC South defense.

  1. Miami Dolphins (via Washington) – Devonta Smith – WR, Alabama

With Ja’Marr Chase still on the board here, it’ll be a difficult decision for the Dolphins if they do choose to go receiver here. We all know that Chase is a generational talent, but there’s a lot to be said for the familiarity that Smith and Tua Tagovailoa possess. Smith is really showing why he’s so highly rated this year, averaging more than 13 yards per catch and tallying 759 yards across six games.

  1.  LA Chargers – Alijah Vera-Tucker – OG/OT, USC

It’s only natural that the Chargers should want to protect their new star QB, and they could easily go for a shiny new Guard or Tackle here. Alijah Vera-Tucker hasn’t had a lot of hype around him over on the West coast at USC, but he’s an extremely well polished prospect that could leap up draft boards with some solid performances in the Pac-12. An expert in pass protection, Vera-Tucker was rated the 2nd best pass blocker in the power five conferences by PFF last season.

  1. San Francisco 49ers (via New England Patriots) – Mac Wilson – QB, Alabama

Big move up here by the 49ers to make it four QBs off the board in the top 10. When Mac Wilson took over for the injured Tagovailoa last season there were plenty of question marks around him. However, this season he has come out and balled in every game he’s played, bumping up his draft stock with every performance. A highly accurate, natural pocket passer, Jones fills the Matt Ryan mould which Kyle Shannahan enjoyed working with in Atlanta. If he carries developing at the rate he currently is, this could be a steal.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Caleb Farley – CB, Virginia Tech

The Vikings might have considered Mac Wilson here if the 49ers hadn’t jumped above them here. Instead they choose to boost their secondary with the addition of Virginia Tech’s Farley, who is well in the mix as the best CB in this class. Starting his football career as a QB, and then his college career as a receiver before converting to an elite press corner. The Vikings will have to be wary of his injury history, but he looks to have put that behind him this season.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Walker Little – OT, Stanford

In his last 269 pass blocking reps, Walker Little has only allowed one pressure on the Quarterback. Even the part time NFL fan knows that Joe Burrow needs protection before he’s too battered and bruised to be the talisman the Bengals want him to be. Little therefore seems to be the perfect choice here IF Cincinnati can look past his injury history. Slated to be a top pick in last year’s draft, the tackle went down in week one with an ACL tear – the combine will be key to showcasing that he’s the player that many expect him to be.

  1.  Carolina Panthers – Ja’Marr Chase – WR, LSU

The Panthers have been far more competitive than a lot thought this year, and a lot of credit for that must fall on the QB play of Teddy Bridgewater (especially given the absence of Christian McCaffrey). It therefore figures that the Panthers will give their QB some extra weapons in the draft. Ja’Marr Chase is going to be an elite player, no matter where he lands, and if he makes it to this pick then it can only be because of recency bias and the fact he chose to sit out of the season. If Chase is off the board here, then Carolina could elect to go with one of several Corners who would present good value in the ‘teens. 

  1. Detroit Lions – Dylan Moses – LB, Alabama

Will Matt Patricia be making this pick if the Lions are anything less than a playoff team? Probably not. But if he is, then Dylan Moses could be exactly what the former Patriots defensive coordinator is looking for. A tough tackling senior who is in a comeback season after a season ending knee injury in 2019, Moses is the leader of the Alabama defense this year. One man who is a fan of the Alabama product is his Head Coach, and when Nick Saban raves about a guy then there’s normally some substance to back that.

  1.  Denver Broncos – Gregory Rousseau – Edge, Miami

This move feels like an ideal fit to me. A year after stacking their offense with high calibre talent, the Broncos will surely focus on defense this time around. With Von Miller in the twilight of his career, Denver could snag his potential replacement and the first out and out edge rusher in the draft with this pick. Rousseau is another one who has sat the season out due to the Covid uncertainty, but with an exceptional set of tools he’s put himself in a good place to go in the top half of the first round.

  1. New England Patriots (via 49ers) – Kyle Pitts – TE, Florida

I’ve got the Patriots moving back in the first round primarily because they’ve got so many holes to fill that they’re going to look to accumulate as much draft capital as possible. This is yet another team that could take a QB in what seems like a draft that will mark a generational shift at the game’s most important position, but there’s a chance that Bill and co persist with Jarett Stidham in the meantime. Kyle Pitts has been electric for the Gators this year, if you listen to the podcast you’ll have heard all of us hyping him beyond belief. But it’s not an exaggeration to say that he’s a huge matchup nightmare for defenders everywhere. 

  1. Miami Dolphins – Wyatt Davis – OG, Ohio State

Having already got a shiny new toy for Tua to throw to, the Dolphins add some protection for him in Ohio State Guard, Wyatt Davis. Those of us who watch the Dolphins have been pleasantly surprised with the progress the line has made this season, especially given the three rookies that are starting on it. But you can never have enough protection for your star QB and Davis is an incredible talent. Possessing fantastic balance and powerful hands, the Buckeyes linesman is comfortable in both phases of the game.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Nick Bolton – LB, Missouri

Controversial pick here (probably), but we know that Mike Mayock is happy to take a risk in order to get his guy. Bolton led the SEC in tackles in 2019 and produced in every column of the stat sheet. But it’s not just on paper that he produces, the Mizzou product reads the game fantastically, tracking down opposition players with his speed and acceleration. He’s also more than happy to get involved in the run game, attacking the line with a determination that could well win Jon Gruden over.

  1.  Chicago Bears – Kyle Trask – QB, Florida

As I said earlier in the piece, this year feels like a generational shift at the QB position. One young man who is placing himself in a very good position to benefit from this is Florida signal-caller, Kyle Trask. Since taking over for Felipe Franks in 2019, Trask has gone from strength to strength, taking big leaps up draft boards in the process. A traditional pocket passer with a big arm, Trask tore through the Georgia defense with little effort on Saturday night, a feat that will further bump up his stock. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Patrick Surtain II – CB, Alabama

The Eagles get the steal of the draft so far with this pick. Surtain is an expert outside corner, utilising the sideline to completely take opposition receivers out of the game. It feels like a while since the Eagles had this calibre of player at the Corner position, and god knows it has been evident at times. The Alabama standout would undoubtedly start on day 1 as the Eagles seek to grip what is an extremely weak division. 

  1. Cleveland Browns – Aiden Hutchinson – Edge/DL, Michigan 

The Browns are one of those teams that has some pretty solid pieces throughout their team, on both sides of the ball. Their priority in the 2021 draft will be finding pieces to complement their big stars. Aiden Hutchinson would be just that complement to Myles Garrett on a line which has the potential to act as a wrecking ball on its day. Hutchinson is a tackle machine that loves to get into the backfield and disrupt the run game. Utilised alongside Garrett and Sheldon Richardson, Hutchinson could be another piece in a very formidable unit.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jackson Carman – OT, Clemson

Having already added their QB of the future, the Jags follow the Dolphins’ model from last year and pick up a Tackle to protect their investment. In Jackson Carman, they have a player who not only has a name that fits in the bills, but an experienced player at one of the most difficult positions in the game. Carman frame is perfect for a Left Tackle, and he uses it to devastating effect, particularly in the run game. 

  1. Indianapolis Colts – Alex Leatherwood – OT, Alabama

Back to back Tackles off the board here as the Colts look to firm up their offensive line for one more year of Philip Rivers / the debut season of Jacob Eason. Leatherwood’s decision to return for his Senior season was a smart one as he looks to turn the raw traits he possesses into effective tools in the NFL. At 6ft 6’, 310”, he’s got a long reach and is adept at jarring his opponents at the point of impact (see tape vs Derrick Brown last season).

  1.  Arizona Cardinals – Chazz Surratt – LB, North Carolina

After taking Isiah Simmons in the top 10 of this year’s draft, the Cardinals have seemingly struggled with where to utilise him. It’s possible that Simmons pans out as more of a Safety in Vance Joseph’s defense, leaving a hole at Linebacker that this pick would fill. Surratt is quite raw at the position having started his UNC career as a QB, but what he lacks in experience he makes up for in sheer athleticism. Surratt would be particularly happy with this situation, beating his talented brother off the board.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Ar’Darius Washington – S, TCU

The Ravens are another of those teams that are seemingly looking to add complementary pieces to keep an already great team in place. In DeShon Elliot and Chuck Clark, the Ravens have two solid players at Safety but it feels like they could really benefit from a rangey playmaker to protect against the deep ball and shots over the middle. Step forward Ar’Darius Washington, arguably the best defensive back in the Big 12, who is all of the above and more.

  1. Green Bay Packers – Chris Olave – WR, Ohio State

Having been on the receiving end of a large backlash when they took Jordan Love over a receiver in this year’s draft, the Packers finally give Aaron Rodgers another high calibre target in the passing game. Chris Olave has started the season as the main target for Justin Fields and is living up to expectations. Not the tallest receiver, Olave would be the perfect ying to Davante Adams’ yang in the Packers receiving room, but he could go off the board even earlier if he keeps up his current level of performance.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Quincy Roche – Edge, Miami

The second Miami Defensive End to be taken in the first round, Quincy Roche has perhaps benefited from his teammate’s absence this season. The Temple transfer has already had a very good college career, and this season he’s shown no sign of letting up. Whilst he uses his power and speed to get to the Quarterback, Roche is also solid in the run game, adopting a patient approach in order to adjust and get into the backfield. The Titans could also trade back a bit here in order to build capital in the 2022 draft which feels like it could be a reshaping moment for them.

  1. New Orleans Saints – Pat Freiermouth – TE, Penn State   

It’s Jameis time in New Orleans! We all know that Lee will be very happy with the news that Winston still has a future in the NFL, and the future of the Saints is in good hands. With Michael Thomas having missed a substantial portion of the season and Jared Cook at the backend of his career, Sean Payton looks to give Jameis a solid receiving option in Pat Freirmouth. The Penn State Tight End has started this season as a rare bright spark for the Nittany Lions, with 197 yards and a touchdown on 16 receptions.

  1. Buffalo Bills – Jaycee Horn – CB, South Carolina

The Bills secondary features arguably the best Corner in the league in Tre White, but with Levi Wallace and Josh Norman as the secondary options they could look to add some more star power at the position. Jaycee Horn could well end up being a top 15/20 pick in the draft but with such a deep Corner class this year, some teams could go with other options instead. A perfect antidote to some of the quicker outside receivers in the league, Horn is comparable to the Dolphins’ Byron Jones in play style – if he performs at anything like that level in the league, he’ll make a team very pleased with their selection. 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Patrick Jones – Edge, Pitt

In an earlier mock for our CFB podcast, I had the Buccs taking Tom Brady’s replacement here, but with Trey Lance being the only viable QB option on the board in this scenario, the Buccs go with a different option. Patrick Jones is playing on a defense that doesn’t produce too many first round players, but he’s certainly producing like one. Already a polished player, Jones is a great edge setter with a great release and quick hands. He could be a steal this late in the first round.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Trey Smith – Guard, Tennessee

I almost gave the Chiefs another dangerous weapon in Jaylen Waddle here, but with uncertainty about his injury I opted on the side of caution. Instead, the Chiefs add a very solid piece to their offensive line in Trey Smith out of Tennessee. Smith has had a difficult route to the draft, with blood clots on his lungs hindering his development over the last couple of years. But, with a good consistent start to this year, and strong leadership off the field, the huge lineman is solidifying his place near the top of the 2021 draft.

  1. New York Jets (via Seahawks) – Josh Myers – Center, Ohio State

Another o-line/QB first round pairing here, as the Jets give Trevor Lawrence a sparkly new Center to develop with, in New York. Myers has good foot speed and can anchor very well at the heart of the line – he’s also a good communicator, helping Justin Fields step in as the Buckeyes starter in 2019.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trey Lance – QB, North Dakota

A Super Bowl trophy for the Steelers would be the ultimate way for Big Ben to cap off a fantastic career in Pittsburgh. They reward him by drafting his successor in this scenario. Lance is probably one of the major casualties of the disrupted college football season, with many hyping him as the QB3 for the 2021 draft. Because of his lack of experience playing D1 defenses, and because it’ll have been around 18months since he’s played any meaningful games, Lance may drop down to the bottom of the first or the start of the second where a team like the Steelers might be perfect for him. He’d get to sit, learn and give Mike Tomlin and co the time to prepare for his differing skill set if this is the case, and then who knows what the future might hold?!

Twitter – @ajmoore21

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College Football Winners & Losers Week 9

Apologies if you’ve missed this column for the last week or two – whilst we may have been otherwise distracted, College Football certainly hasn’t been. The SEC is going largely to plan, but the opening two weeks of the Big 10 has thrown up some shocks and anticipation has been building for the PAC-12 next weekend.

This week there was plenty of drama, Boston College ran Clemson close in South Carolina, Michigan fell to Michigan State in the 113th matchup between the two and Auburn blew out LSU. But other than Clemson, the other title favorites strolled to success with clinical efficiency, and Alabama did so without dropping a point.

But we start our winners section with an unbeaten team which seem to be going for strength to strength…

Winners (@ajmoore21)

  1. Cincinnati Bearcats

A ‘small school’ has never made the CFB playoffs, but there’s one team in the AAC that’s making a case for inclusion in 2020. The Cincinnati Bearcats moved to 5-0 with a crushing win over the Memphis Tigers on Saturday, and we had the privilege of watching it as the featured early game in the UK. 

Quarterback Desmond Ridder accounted for 5 TDs (three through the air, two on the ground), in what was a clinical performance. However, it was Jerome Ford who stole the show, with his nine carries translating into 116 yards and 2 TDs, including a 48 yard burst to put the cherry on the top of the 49-10 victory. Houston are up next for the Bearcats, but it’s the looming matchup with UCF in several weeks which looks set to be make or break for their season. 

  1. Texas A&M

In their second game of the season, Alabama rolled over the Aggies with little problem. But since then, Kellen Mond and co have taken down three SEC rivals to move to 4-1. Saturday’s victory over a much improved Arkansas was the latest sign that Jimbo Fisher might finally be getting the best out of his much hyped Junior Quarterback. Indeed, the Texas native surpassed Johnny Manziel to become A&M’s leading passer in yardage at the weekend.

In a back and forth game with the Razorbacks, Mond relied on playmaking Tight End, Jalen Wydermyer as his go to receiver whilst Isaiah Spiller moved the chains in the running game. On defense Myles Jones continued to improve his draft stock, batting away two passes and making seven tackles throughout the course of the game. 

With Fisher having A&M at 19-2 against unranked opponents, and a grand total of 0 ranked opponents on their schedule at present – is there anyone brave enough to say that the Aggies could still make the playoffs?

  1. Justin Fields

Two games into the Big10 season and you can see why so many players were adamant that they wanted to play this season. Justin Fields was always going to be a first round pick in 2021, but the suspension of the season earlier this year led to murmurings of ‘he’s only played one season’. Well, it’s fair to say two confident wins against solid opposition has shown that the former QB1 star is certainly not a one season wonder. 

On Saturday, Fields went 28 of 34 and threw 4 TDs, with the pick of the bunch a beautiful back shoulder throw to Chris Olave for the second touchdown of the day. With throws consistently on time and calmness in the face of pressure, Fields looked every bit the first round pick. A favourable run of games look set to showcase that to an even wider audience in coming weeks.

Losers (@Wakefield90)

  1. LSU Tigers

I am sure that we will hear all about this on Wednesday’s podcast but the Louisiana State University Tigers are a disaster zone at the moment.

TJ Finley threw two picks and coughed up the football on a fumble which led to 21 points, the fumble was a scoop and score and the two picks left gave Auburn great field position – When you have a defense which is giving up points in bunches, you have to have ball security. This led to Finley being benched for Max Johnson in the second half.

Unlike previous weeks and previous losses, LSU couldn’t muster any offense at all, it took the reigning champions until the 4th quarter to close a touchdown.

I know Keiran is going to have some words to say about Bo Pelini, the Tigers defensive coordinator, and with good reason.

The LSU defense played with no gap and eye discipline – they were constantly over pursuing and giving the Auburn offense all kinds of space on screens and misdirection plays, they also made Bo Nix look like prime Tim Tebow at times.

Don’t get me wrong Auburn were good but LSU made them look like world beaters out there on Saturday.

  1. Fans of Seeing New Teams in the College Football Playoff

We have been saying it for a couple of weeks now on the podcast but even now, as we now move in November, the college football playoff line up seems like it’s 75% locked in barring the order of the top three teams.

Boston College made it very interesting for most of their game against Clemson, but the Tigers overcame the loss of Trevor Lawrence, with DJ Uiagalelei performing admirably in his stead. Travis Etienne also came up big with a statement game of over 200 all purpose yards – Etienne was Clemson’s leading rusher and receiver on the day.

However, as usual Clemson got the W and should remain locked in to the #1 seed.

Elsewhere at the top, Alabama put on a shellacking as they shut out Mississippi State 41-0. DeVonta Smith and Najee Harris both had big games, especially Smith, who racked up 203 (!) yards receiving.

Ohio State also put up a nice win, seeing off Penn State 38-25 – This was pretty much the last chance for Ohio State to lose, given their remaining schedule.

In fact, between these three teams, the only potential loss I see for the remainder of the season is Clemson’s game against Notre Dame next week.

This means that there is only the 4th spot open for other teams, and as we discussed on last week’s podcast the folks who run the polls are cowards and it’ll be the same old story with the same old teams again. Big sad.

  1. Michigan Wolverines

As I always say, Michigan is bad.

They have a big name coach, they get big name recruits but do they get big time results?

Nope.

Their fans gave it the big time with all the little brother jibes towards Michigan State but do you know what have to do if you give it all of the big licks..?

Win!

Otherwise you leave yourself open to some almighty comeuppance. Which the Michigan State Twitter account had lined up the whole time.

And it was glorious, and the Spartans took back the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

Michigan needs to drop out of the rankings, they need to clear house and rediscover that winning mentality, and quick!

We’re talking about a blue-blood college football programme who have been nothing but mediocre for years now.

Until that happens, even if we don’t write it and publish it, you can include Michigan in the losers column for me.