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2021 NFL DRaft

New York Jets Draft: Clay’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft – 2.0

Outside of a few names, free agency is all but done as we are about to enter the second week of April. That means that the holes on each roster are not likely to change much in the next three and a half weeks before the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 29th. 

In the first edition, not only was it pre-free agency but it was only one round long but there were no trades. This time we take it up a couple notches adding a second round and a bunch of different trades, limited to the first round. In these 64 picks, you will get a combination of what is being said around league circles and media, in addition to what I would personally do if named the General Manager for each franchise. 

Round One

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

This is written in ink, set in stone, guaranteed. There is no question that Trevor Lawrence will be the first pick in the draft. Urban Meyer has come out of retirement just for this chance and this chance alone. Minshew mania was fun while it lasted but that was just a fling, the time has come for that long term marriage.

  1. New York Jets- QB Zach Wilson, BYU

If you caught Play LIke A Jet Live with myself and Luke Grant, you know what our thoughts are on this selection. In short, after the 49ers decided to trade up to three, rather than two, it made everything very clear, this pick will be for a quarterback by the New York Jets and nobody else. There is still a possibility the quarterback is different but all signs point to the BYU star, if you don’t take my word for it, maybe you’ll believe another former Brigham Young quarterback, Steve Young. After lighting up his pro day making these “wow” throws with the Jets brass there, they now know what he looks like in person, which was likely the second to last check mark on their list; medicals being the final. The baby faced quarterback still does not come into an amazing offensive situation but there are parts to be excited about. Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder have the potential to be a top 15 trio, there is a bulldozer of a left tackle to protect the blindside in Mekhi Becton and a young and upcoming play caller in Mike LaFleur. There will be questions along the offensive line and running game, but that could still be worked out in this draft class.

  1. San Francisco 49ers – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan blew up the NFL world two Fridays ago after moving up nine spots to be able to select their quarterback of the future. There is still no telling where they are leaning, as all three projected first round quarterbacks left on the board are in play. Justin Fields seems like the consensus third best passer in the class but the buzz for this pick is focused on Lance and Jones, with the former being the selection. Lance would be able to come in and sit behind Jimmy G. in year one, allowing him to learn the NFL game and Shanahan’s complicated offense, after only playing one game in 2020.

  1. Chicago Bears – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

TRADE: Falcons receive 20, 52, 2022 1st and 4th, 2023 1st and James Daniels for 4

This is different, right? The Bears tried going all out for Russell Wilson this offseason but the Seahawks were adamant that they were not trading their Hall of Fame quarterback. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy know they only have one chance to right the ship and even though they mentioned last week they were happy to go into the season with Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback, in no world does anybody actually buy that. They trade up 16 spots to take their guy. Now is this likely to happen? Maybe not. Is it possible to see the Bears make some excessive move to get a new quarterback? Absolutely. This is what happens when you are desperate. 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

Cincinnati hurt themselves late in the year winning meaningless games but they are somehow lucky to still get their choice of the best non-quarterback prospect in the draft. Burrow went down with a gruesome injury last year but even before that he was dealing with incompetent offensive line play. Sewell should help a little bit at the left tackle position, kicking Jonah Williams to left guard. With Burrow you need to protect your investment, if you’re the Bengals front office. There were choices with Kyle Pitts and the receivers but ultimately this is what they end up doing.

  1. Miami Dolphins – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

After all of the shuffling, the Dolphins seem to be content picking sixth, rather than third or twelveth. In this spot, they had four quarterbacks and Sewell go off the board in the preceding picks, allowing them to get the best pass catcher for Tua Tagovailoa. People have different names as their best wide receiver in the class but it is still Ja’Mar Chase here. His pro day was the first action we have seen from him since the Championship right before Covid. Chase gives Miami that bonafide number one target who can line up in any receiver alignment, which opens up some many different things for the other guys.

  1. Detroit Lions – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

After letting their top two wide receivers walk in free agency, you would think with the Bama pass catchers available they go there. What that told me is that wide receiver is not an overly important position to them, or at least not enough to take that position here. Instead they go on the other side and take the top cornerback in the class in Jaycee Horn, giving them two cornerbacks selected in the seven. The receivers in this division are tough (Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Allen Robinson), and slowing those guys down will be vital to their success.

  1. Carolina Panthers – QB Mac Jones, Alabama

The brass in Carolina has made it known they are more than willing to move on from Teddy Bridgewater after one season. This does not seem like a value pick here but it does seem like the likely one if Jones is to fall. After coaching him in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, the word out there is that Matt Rhule came away very impressed with the quarterback’s knowledge of the game and the feeling that he can run the offense in 2021. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

TRADE: Broncos receive 12, 84 and 189 for 9

If the Dolphins can do it, why can’t the Eagles? They traded down from six to twelve a couple weeks ago but now move back in front of their division rivals to get arguably the best non-quarterback in the entire class. Pitts is listed as a tight end but is so much more than that, he is an absolute weapon. Line him up wherever you want and he will be a mismatch. He was listed at 6’6 with the longest measured wingspan from a pass catcher in NFL history and ran a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, he is the definition of a unicorn. Pitts and Goedart make a scary tandem and become the two safety blankets for Jalen Hurts.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – CB Patrick Surtain Jr., Alabama

Cowboys have to go defense here unless Kyle Pitts falls to them. With that not being the case, defense it is. They took Trevon Diggs last year in the second round who had a very solid rookie season. Bringing in another corner in Surtain will help solidify the backend of the defense in the hopes that they do not need Dak Prescott and the offense to put up 50 points to win.

  1. New York Giants – LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

Dave Gettleman has put a good enough offense around Daniel Jones to know whether or not he will be the quarterback moving forward. The defense took a step forward last year and added Adoree Jackson but is still lacking athleticism in the middle of the field and an edge presence. Parsons has the ability to bring both to this defense, showing with his production on the field in 2019 and in his pro day (4.39 40 yard dash).

  1. Denver Broncos – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

TRADE: Eagles receive 9 for 12, 84 and 189

Cornerback was a big need headed into free agency but the signings of Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby kicked the can down the road for at least this round. So instead they add a dynamic linebacker to the defense. They need speed on the team if they want to stop the speed they will face every single year, just in their division alone. Not only that, but having a linebacker capable of guarding tight ends like Travis Kelce and Darren Waller would allow Fangio to do other things with his defense.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

TRADE: Chargers receive 16 and 2022 2nd for 13

With DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Christian Kirk and potentially Larry Fitzgerald, they have names at the position. However, they need to get some speed to go along with these guys and nobody should provide that like Waddle can. Three of those names above could be on their way out after 2021 and getting a target like Waddle for Murray can make this offense take that next step.

  1. Washington Football Team – WR Devonta Smith, Alabama 

TRADE: Vikings receive 19, 82 and 2022 3rd for 14

Aggressive move by Washington to move up five spots to get the last of the “consensus” top-three receivers in this class. The Football Team was able to sneak into the playoffs last year at 7-9 but they have a chance to really take control of the division. The defense should be one of the best in the entire league, especially after adding a newly invigorated William Jackson and then adding Curtis Samuel to the receiving core that already includes Terry McLaurin. The quarterback is still in question but bringing Smith to this group makes it a spot quarterbacks will want to be.

  1. New England Patriots – CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

We saw the Patriots spend money in free agency like they went under .500 for the first time in two decades. The offense will look completely different with their signings, which was needed, but the defense will need to get some help too. They have two studs with Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson but Gilmore has been on the trade block ever since winning the Defensive Player of the Year and JC Jackson is heading into a contract year. As we know, Belichick likes to try to be ahead of the curve and getting Farley before either of those two guys are gone would not surprise me in the slightest. This all hinges on whether or not Farley passes the medicals for these teams this month.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

TRADE: Cardinals receive 13 for 16 and 2022 2nd

The Chargers walk out like bandits in this trade. They pick up a future second round pick to take the guy they were going to take at 13. Herbert is their present and future, they must be doing what it takes to protect him and give him the help needed. Slater is seen as the best offensive line prospect in the draft by some, so it stands to reason that this pick is a steal. Whether they see him as a tackle or a guard is another question, but getting him on that line is an automatic upgrade.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – iOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Could anyone really explain what happened in Las Vegas this offseason? Rodney Hudson, Trent Brown and Gabe Jackson were all traded for a third round pick this year and two fifth round picks in each of the next two drafts. So to say offensive line is a need is an understatement. Vera-Tucker is my favorite lineman in this class and should be a top 15 selection. He falls just beyond that mark and the Raiders should be thrilled if this happens.

  1. Miami Dolphins – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

There are quite a few people that are high on this kid out of TCU, so it stands to reason that for a mock draft he should go higher than people like myself would expect. The Dolphins have a young safety they like in Brandon Jones but it does not seem like the type of “like” that would avoid them from taking a highly ranked player here at 18. The outside corner spots are locked up with Byron Jones and Xavien Howard but after what happened in Buffalo that last game of the year, they need to get even more help in that secondary outside of just those two.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

TRADE: Washington receives 14 for 19, 82 and 2022 3rd

The defensive end group looked like a position of strength for a long time in Minnesota between Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen and then trading for Yannick Ngakoue before the 2020 season. During the 2020 season, Hunter was out injured, Griffen was playing for a different team and Ngakoue was traded to the Ravens months after acquiring him. Now they need to look elsewhere and Phillips is an amazing start. He has dealt with injuries,, which led him to retire a couple years ago, but he was able to stay on the field in 2020. Depending on health, this could become the best defensive end duo in the league.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – HB Najee Harris, Alabama

TRADE: Bears receive 4 for 20, 52, 2022 1st and 4th, 2023 1st and James Daniels

Going from four to twenty is no small task. By making this trade, the Falcons show they were fine moving forward with Matt Ryan and building around him one last time, not to mention adding three first round picks and a starting guard in the process. If they get this far down, it only makes sense to give Arthur Smith his Derrick Henry. Harris could easily go earlier than this, if teams value the running back position. His size, balance, quickness and ability as a receiver will go a long way in his career. You can see how Smith wants to build an offense and with Harris who can wear down defenses, just like Henry, this is a perfect fit.

  1. Indianapolis Colts – OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

There have been two big changes to the offense this offseason. Carson Wentz is reunited with Frank Reich as the quarterback and Anthony Castonzo has retired after 10 years with the team. The latter was a stable on the offensive line for a decade and now they need to protect the former on the blindside. We saw how the lack of protection ruined Wentz in Philadelphia so filling this hole right away is a must. 

  1. Tennessee Titans – CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern

Newsome has been a name to show up on my Jets Mock Draft Monday a couple times now. This being the third time to see his name, he has moved up, every single time. The stock on Newsome has risen a lot since the end of the college season. The Titans are in dire need of help in the secondary after releasing Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler. 

  1. New York Jets – OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

Jenkins is another name that has risen up boards since the end of the season. Even before the hype of what he is, Jenkins has been the third ranked tackle on my board. I love what he brings to the table as a tackle but it’s possible and likely that he would wind up playing guard in the first year in New York. He has a physical style to his game and moves pretty well too, with his 9.36 (out of 10) Relative Athletic Score proving just that. It’s possible he does not fall this far but if he does Douglas would be wise to jump on this. They should be willing to get Zach Wilson as much help up front as possible and so far there have been no changes to the offensive line this offseason. Jenkins is a short term fix at either left or right guard and hopefully the long term solution at right tackle.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

Center has been set in stone for a decade in Pittsburgh but with the retirement of Maurice Pouncey, it becomes one of its biggest needs. The run game could not get going this past season and Big Ben is not as mobile as he once was, so making sure the protection is set for the upcoming season is a must. Humphrey is a big body in the middle of the line who has a ton of experience at a top program. People rave about his IQ at the position, making the transition from college to the pros a little less daunting.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

Has there been a bigger riser in this draft class than Jamin Davis? The former Wildcat was mentioned as a Jets selection in a previous Mock Draft Monday in the third round. Here, Davis goes in the late first round and is justified. He fits the mold of what teams look for out of the linebacker position in today’s NFL, a big body with well above average athletic ability, showing that he can play in the scrums and also out in space. It is also completely possible to see this team give their new quarterback some help up front, as well.

  1. Cleveland Browns – EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

The Browns have been connected to quite a few edge rushers throughout the first couple weeks of free agency, only walking away with Takk McKinnley. The 2017 first round pick is more of a name than anything else at this point in his career, so Paye should absolutely still be in play. He fits the four man front and can play opposite Garrett, hopefully taking some attention off of him. It’s possible that they could kick him inside from time to time on passing downs but he should make his money lining up over the right tackle.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

Another AFC North team looking for some help on the outside. The Ravens allowed both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue to walk in free agency and that was absolutely the right move on their part. They have been arguably the best organization at getting quality play out of their homegrown edge defenders and just adding to the pot should only pay off even more. Ojulari is the best fit in a 3-4 scheme, which Baltimore runs. They’ll need that go to pass rusher with those two gone, as Tyus Bowser, Jaylon Ferguson and Pernell McPhee do not seem to be quite on his level in that aspect.

  1. New Orleans Saints – WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

It is the end of an era in New Orleans. They had their chance to get Brees to one last Super Bowl before joining the media side of the game, but outside of him, the lack of help on the offense let him down. Sure, it may have been more so at the tight end position but the lack of a number two receiver sure did not help. Michael Thomas and Rashod Bateman on the outside with Alvin Kamara still doing Alvin Kamara things is a scary sight for opposing defenses, even if Jameis Winston throws for 30-plus interceptions again.

  1. Green Bay Packers – iOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama

Lately it seems like the Packers do not quite draft for need but for best player. So while this is a possibility, it may not be the most likely. They have lost Corey Linsley to the Chargers in free agency and did not find his replacement on the open market. Linsley was a key piece in that offensive line so bringing in a guy like Dickerson could hopefully keep it rolling. We know David Bahktiari and Elgton Jenkins are two of the best at their jobs in the league but there are question marks at the other three spots, this at least clears one of them up.

  1. Buffalo Bills – HB Travis Etienne, Clemson

The Bills front office has done an incredible job building around Josh Allen, getting him to an MVP level player. That is great and all but the team had no chance in that Championship game against Kansas City and a big part of it was the fact that the KC defense was not scared of the run game. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss are nice players but they are rotational backs, same goes for the newbie, Matt Brieda. Travis Etienne could be the three down type back that puts some respect on the teams running game.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

It is not often you get to say you feel sorry for Patrick Mahomes, but that’s exactly how every non-Tampa fan felt on Super Bowl Sunday. The offensive line was an absolute mess with all of the injuries but after releasing Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, it was not getting any better on the outside. Joe Thuney should be a massive improvement at guard but Eichenberg gives them a new presence at left tackle. They still have Lucas Niang, who opted out of the 2020 season, entering his first season, as well. If all works out, they should be set at three of these positions for the next four-plus years.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – iDL Christian Barmore, Alabama

Just like last time, the Super Bowl Champions do not need a lot of help. They brought back every single starter from that last game, besides Antonio Brown, who could still go back. With this it’s just a matter of taking a good player at a position with a player that could be gone in a year. Ndamukong Suh will not be around forever so this could be his eventual placement in Todd Bowles’ defensive system, and as we know, Bowles does love to have his rotation up front.

Round Two

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – iDL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
  1. New York Jets – CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse

Just like the offensive line, the cornerback group has been neglected in free agency, meaning, they must really like a few names in this cornerback class to play opposite Bryce Hall. Melifonwu fits perfectly into the Robert Saleh defense, who is at his best when facing the quarterback, where his reaction and ball skills can come into play. He has great length to get physical with the opposing receiver and is pretty athletic showing the ability to sink his hips and close on routes in front of him. Might be a tad too early at 34 but his fit into the defense makes this selection a little better on paper.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
  1. Miami Dolphins – OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
  1. Philadelphia Eagles – WR Terrace Marshall, LSU
  1. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
  1. Carolina Panthers – iOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
  1. Denver Broncos – HB Javonte Williams, North Carolina
  1. Detroit Lions – LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
  1. New York Giants – EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
  1. San Francisco 49ers – EDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
  1. Dallas Cowboys – S Richie Grant, UCF
  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
  1. New England Patriots – WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
  1. Los Angeles Chargers – CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
  1. Las Vegas Raiders – OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
  1. Arizona Cardinals – OL Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
  1. Miami Dolphins – WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
  1. New York Jets – LB Baron Browning, Ohio State

TRADE: Washington receives Sam Darnold and 107 for 51

Washington is making moves! In the first they moved up for Devonta Smith and now they trade their second for Sam Darnold and a fourth round pick. As for the Jets, they get a new WILL for their defense, completely revamping their linebacker group from 2020. Browning has good size and an exciting athletic profile. Already possessing traits that you can’t teach, getting the coaching from a man like Robert Saleh could potentially make him one of the better young linebackers in the game. The defense was in need of athleticism in the back seven and adding Jarrad Davis and Browning to that linebacker definitely helps them go in the right direction.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky
  1. Tennessee Titans – OL Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
  1. Indianapolis Colts – EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas
  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Davis Mills, Stanford
  1. Seattle Seahawks – CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
  1. Los Angeles Rams – LB Jabril Cox, LSU
  1. Baltimore Ravens – WR Nico Collins, Michigan
  1. Cleveland Browns – WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
  1. New Orleans Saints – CB Aaron Robinson, UCF
  1. Buffalo Bills – iDL Dayvion Nixon, Iowa
  1. Green Bay Packers – WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina
  1. Kansas City Chiefs – EDGE Payton Tuner, Houston
  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington

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