NFL 2021 Mock Draft

Gavin McAferty, Journalist

The NFL Draft is right around the corner and it’s a mock draft season. Mock drafts are simulated fantasy sports drafts. Before a league’s draft takes place, people make mock drafts to predict what each team will take. With that being said, I will be providing my analysis and predictions on who teams will take and why. I’ll only be conducting a first-round mock draft and selecting for the first ten picks. This draft class features a lot of generational talent, meaning rare talent that you don’t come across often. Also, there is a possibility that a lot of teams trade out of the top ten.. It will be a good watch and I look forward to seeing if my selections will translate to real-time.
Although new Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach, Urban Meyer, said they’d evaluate every prospect closely and leave everything on the table, I’d take it with a grain of salt. Trevor Lawrence is undoubtedly the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. They would be fools to not select him with the first overall pick. The only other scenario I could foresee is them selecting offensive tackle Penei Sewell out of Oregon. My thought process behind that is that many believe he is the best offensive tackle prospect in the last 20 years. So if they wanted a generational talent at a different position they wouldn’t be crazy to take him. Also, they still have quarterback Gardner Minshew that is nothing short of a top 15 quarterback in my eyes. Minshew is at the very least serviceable and I wouldn’t be surprised if that scenario came true. At the end of the day though I believe they’ll select Trevor Lawrence.
The New York Jets are very fortunate to be in the position they’re in. The quarterback class is deep and they got a good amount of capital for trading former starting quarterback Sam Darnold. Justin Fields is a very solid raw prospect that I could see them selecting and working out. However, Zach Wilson has far better mechanics and is NFL-ready now and is General Manager Joe Douglas’ guy. Next, the San Francisco 49ers, a team that’s also in good positioning, the San Francisco 49ers will select Heisman finalist Mac Jones with the third overall pick per NFL Insider Ian Rapaport.
Matt Ryan has been spoiled pretty much his whole career with Julio Jones and other threats, now you add another weapon by selecting the best tight end prospect of all time: Kyle Pitts. The Bengals could go either way, Penei Sewell or Ja’Marr Chase. Here, they build the trenches for Joe Burrow by selecting Sewell and hope there’s still wide receiver talent in round two. Jaylen Waddle is more naturally talented and faster than a majority of the receivers, which is why he’ll go at six to the Dolphins. The Lions would be happy with any receiver, but to land, the top wideout in the class would be the cherry on top. The Carolina Panthers opt to fortify their offensive line for newly acquired quarterback Sam Darnold.
While the Denver Broncos seem to have some hope for Drew Lock, I believe if Justin FIelds is there they will have no choice but to take him. For decades the Broncos have sought out pocket passing quarterbacks. Now with a new culture, I think they’ll have a change of heart and pick the dual-threat quarterback with loads of potential and productiveness. Denver is extremely unpredictable this year because the insiders can’t get a grasp on what they want to do. Following that pick are the Cowboys who need a cornerback desperately, I believe they take the gritty player in Jaycee Horn over the other favored prospect because of characteristics and potential.