2021 NFL Mock Draft (2.0): Complete predictions for the first round

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama
Mitch Bannon
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama nter caption Boca Raton Bowl - BYU v Central Flori nter caption Boca Raton Bowl - BYU v Central Flori Boca Raton Bowl - BYU v Central FloriCFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State

The 2020 NFL regular season is over, and the playoffs are well underway. More than half the league is now focused on the offseason. In many ways, the NFL Draft is pinnacle of this period. In the next few months, various mock drafts will help fans familiarize themselves with the nation's top prospects.

The following mock draft has been created through an extensive process that includes watching games, analyzing fits, and reading reports and news.

The following trades are projected in this version of the Sportskeeda 2021 NFL Mock Draft:

  1. The Carolina Panthers trade up with the Miami Dolphins to acquire the third overall pick
  2. The San Francisco 49ers trade up with the Denver Broncos to acquire the ninth overall pick
  3. The Pittsburgh Steelers trade up with the Las Vegas Raiders to acquire the 17th overall pick

2021 NFL First-Round Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State

ubt that Trevor Lawrence will get picked here. The Jacksonville Jaguars, and whoever their next coach is, will take a franchise talent in Lawrence. This selection could change the Jaguars' fate as a franchise for years to come.

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

The first change from Sportskeeda's Mock Draft 1.0 is a new player for the New York Jets, a team that is also looking for a new head coach. Justin Fields lost the last game of his collegiate career, but the Jets will take a gamble on his versatility and his upside at second overall. By selecting Fields, the Jets will end the Sam Darnold era just three years after they picked him in the draft.

3. Carolina Panthers - from Houston via Miami: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

BYU v Houston
BYU v Houston

Some fans would be surprised if the Jets take Fields with the second pick in the draft. This development could motivate the Carolina Panthers to move up five spots to select the BYU gunslinger. Wilson could easily go second overall if the Jets favor him over Fields. But if Wilson is still available here, the Miami Dolphins will get trade offers.

4. Atlanta Falcons: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

Here, the Cincinnati Bengals get the player they probably would have picked regardless of the draft order. Sewell is the top offensive lineman in the class, and he will immediately upgrade the Bengals' offensive line. This team needs to protect QB Joe Burrow, and Sewell will help Cincinnati do that.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

7. Detroit Lions: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama

With a phenomenal 2020 season, including a Heisman Trophy victory, DeVonta Smith is an electrifying prospect. He scored three touchdowns in the National Championship Game, so Smith should rank ahead of his Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle. The Lions need to add some playmakers in this draft, and Smith could give this offense a sizable boost.

8. Miami Dolphins - from Carolina: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

The Dolphins could have selected Chase or Smith at their initial draft spot, but they'll happily trade down and select one of the top wide receivers in the class. With this potential pick, Waddle would reunite the Dolphins' dynamic young QB, Tua Tagovailoa.

9. San Francisco 49ers - from Denver: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

In the second trade of this NFL mock draft, the 49ers move up three spots to jump the New York Giants and the Cowboys to ensure that they get Trey Lance. The 49ers could choose to move on from QB Jimmy Garoppolo. If they will do, they'll need a new toy for coach Kyle Shanahan to play with.

10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

11. New York Giants: DE Kwity Paye, Michigan

12. Denver Broncos - from San Francisco: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

Gregory Rousseau has a lot of raw talent, so NFL teams will have to be patient while he grows. But with his remarkable athleticism, he has the potential to be an elite pass rusher. If the Broncos don't trade down in the draft, they could take Rousseau and hope to mold him into a star player for their defense.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

14. Minnesota Vikings: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

15. New England Patriots: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

For years, New England Patriots fans enjoyed watching NFL legend Tom Brady throw touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski. This duo is now playing in Tampa, so the team might look to draft its next star tight end. Pitts was the best player in the nation at his position, and he was the first tight end to be nominated for the Biletnikoff Award.

16. Arizona Cardinals: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

17. Pittsburgh Steelers - from Raiders: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

Ben Roethlisberger threw four interceptions in the Steelers' shocking NFL playoff loss to the Browns. This game made Pittsburgh's need for a quarterback of the future quite clear. Mason Rudolph is not the answer, so the Steelers could trade up in an attempt to find their next franchise quarterback in the draft.

18. Miami Dolphins: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

19. Washington Football Team: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

20. Chicago Bears: OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan

21. Indianapolis Colts: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

22. Tennessee Titans: DE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

23. New York Jets - from Seattle: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

24. Las Vegas Raiders - from Pittsburgh: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas

25. Jacksonville Jaguars - from Rams: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

26. Cleveland Browns: DL Daviyon Nixon, Iowa

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

28. Baltimore Ravens: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

Marquise Brown has been inconsistent this season, The Ravens are still built around the run, but they could take a chance on another first-round WR in the draft to pair alongside Mark Andrews and Brown. If they do, the Ravens could strengthen one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.

29. New Orleans Saints: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

30. Buffalo Bills: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

31. Green Bay Packers: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

Davante Adams is arguably the best WR in the NFL. But Green Bay should give Aaron Rodgers another target by finally picking a receiver in the first round of the draft. If the Packers add another playmaker, their offense will become even more dynamic and diverse.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: OL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State

Edited by Colin Tessier
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