A few years ago, I coined the month of October ‘Mocktober’, where we really start to get a clear picture in our NFL mock drafts, and it stuck with me ever since. This month is when we really start today into the 2021 NFL Draft process. While most of the preparation has been behind the scenes, we are excited to debut a lot of it soon.However, we’re also starting to get a clearer picture of things to come. While some collegiate conferences have yet to start their season, others are two or three weeks in. As a result, we’ve seen several prospects take a jump in production from this season to last. Currently, we are four weeks into the 2020 NFL season. We’ve assembled the draft order in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft as if the season were to end following week 4 of the season.
1. New York Giants
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
New York has the first pick here, although it is surprising that it’s the Giants, and not the Jets. If they do, in fact, end up with the first overall pick, they have the opportunity to upgrade the quarterback position. Daniel Jones, their 2019 first round pick, hasn’t lived up to expectations. If New York has the first pick, then it’s clear that the 2020 season hasn’t gotten any better for them.
Trevor Lawrence is as good of a quarterback prospect as you can find in the NFL Draft. To put this as simple as possible, I think that Trevor Lawrence is an immediate upgrade for at least 20 franchises in the NFL. If GM Dave Gettleman pulls the trigger and brings Lawrence to New York, he’ll need to upgrade the offensive line. Additionally, he’ll need to find an additional weapon or two to aid Lawrence on offense.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
First off, I think it’s highly likely that the Atlanta Falcons enter the 2021 NFL Draft with a new head coach. Going a step further, I believe that hiring an offensive-minded head coach, such as Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, is a strong possibility. If that’s the case, look for them to find talent in the trenches to protect Matt Ryan.
Penei Sewell is an athletic offensive tackle that is undoubtedly a top five pick in this NFL Draft. In drafting Sewell, they’ll be able to line him up at right tackle, opposite of Jake Matthews. This should, in theory, provide them with some flexibility to improve the interior offensive line, too. Quarterback Matt Ryan will be 36 years old next season, so keeping him upright and healthy throughout the season must be a top priority.
3. New York Jets
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The New York Jets have been a disaster this year – plain and simple. While ownership has voiced a commitment to allow Adam Tase to finish the season as head coach, it’s clear that he can’t go on beyond the season. While it may not be fault of his own, Sam Darnold has shown regression during his career.
Justin Fields would bring a completely different style of play to New York. He will certainly offer more opportunities to spread a defense as a dual threat. However, I do believe that it’s important to surround him with capable coaching. Additionally, they’ll need to upgrade skilled positions and find more weapons on offense.
4. Miami Dolphins (Via Houston Texans)
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The big winners of the Houston Texans firing Bill O’Brien – the Miami Dolphins. This pick is yet another repercussion of the Laremy Tunsil trade that Bill O’Brien manufactured. As the season progresses, I expect this pick to get closer and closer to ending up being the first overall selection.
Micah Parsons is a very talented linebacker. In a sense, he’s similar to Isaiah Simmons last season. Where as Simmons is a linebacker that is capable of dropping into coverage, Parsons is a linebacker that is also a very talented pass rusher. Head coach Brian Flores, a defensive-minded coach, would have a field day inserting Parsons into this defense.
5. Dallas Cowboys
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Dallas Cowboys must find a way to upgrade their defense this offseason. One way of doing so would be to draft a top cornerback here with the fifth pick. We’re not seeing Caleb Farley on the field with Virginia Tech after he opted out of the season due to coronavirus, but he still remains a top defensive prospect. Furthermore, he’d almost certainly be an upgrade form what they have. As we’ve seen so far this season, defense is a liability for them.
6. Washington Football Team
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
On Wednesday, head coach Ron Rivera benched Dwayne Haskins in favor of KyleAllen at quarterback. While I do believe that Haskins deserves more time, it stills remains quite evident that the franchise must surround their quarterback with skilled players.
Ja’Marr Chase would be a nice compliment to Terry McLaurin. After most of the talent on the 2019 LSU team departed for the NFL, Chase remained with the team, but chose to opt out before the season began. Still, Chase remains a top talent at the receiver position.
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Justin Herbert assumed the starting quarterback role after a team doctor collapsed Tyrod Taylor’s lung. As we saw in their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Herbert is capable of pushing the ball downfield for huge yardage.
Samuel Cosmi is a powerful offensive tackle that anchors in pass protection. By drafting Cosmi here, they’ll give Herbert more time to make reads downfield. Additionally, Cosmi holds his own as a run blocker, too.
8. Miami Dolphins
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
While it’s only October, the Miami Dolphins have two top ten picks in this NFL Mock Draft if the season were to end today. At some point this season, I expect the Dolphins to put Tua Tagovailoa, their first round pick in 2019, at quarterback.
I really am sold on the direction that the franchise is headed. I think they are finally starting to put together franchise pieces that they can build around long-term. Additionally, I think they have the right head coach in place in Brian Flores.
Jaylen Waddle rivals the speed of a former teammate of his, Henry Ruggs III. Waddle excels at yardage after the catch and would be a familiar target of Tagovailoa’s.
9. Detroit Lions
Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State
Quite frankly, I have no idea what the Lions will do here. They need a new voice in the locker room as it is evident that Matt Patricia isn’t getting the job done. Marvin Wilson is a talented defensive tackle that would bring toughness to the Lions. Additionally, he should be able to garner some double-teams, which should open the pass rush for Detroit.
If the Lions are somehow able to turn things around this season, and end up with a mid-round draft pick, they could look at a running back.
10. Denver Broncos
Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Denver Broncos have been destroyed by injuries this season. However, it’s sort of a blessing for them. If Drew Lock is able to return this week or next, that’ll provide Denver with a solid look at the young quarterback. If he continues to impress, John Elway and the Broncos front office could commit to him long-term.
As strong as the Broncos appear to be on offense, the opposite side of the ball appears to be drastically different. As mentioned above, the injury bug has hit the franchise hard. Due to this, it’s shown a lack depth defensively. Shaun Wade is a huge upgrade at cornerback, and if the Broncos choose to, could play him situationally until he fully develops.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
After parting with Tom Coughlin, who’s tenure as VP of Football Operations didn’t go as planned, the Jaguars front office has some rebuilding to do. They’ve lost talented players defensively in Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue.
Gregory Rousseau is, in my opinion, the class of the field in terms of pass rush. He opted out this season, which was a bit of a let down, but is a raw talent. I was hoping to see some development this season at the collegiate level, but I still remain impressed with his abilities.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
The Minnesota Vikings are stuck with quarterback Kirk Cousins, at least until the end of next season. In my opinion, their best shot at a serious push towards the playoffs would be to shore up the offensive line. By doing so, they’ll give Cousins more time to breakdown the defense and make accurate throws.
Wyatt Davis is my top interior offensive lineman in this class. He’s a versatile prospect that should dominate defenses when the Big Ten kicks off it’s season later this month. I know that a guard isn’t the sexy pick at 12th overall, but I think it’s a solid move long-term. To go a step further, I think it’s the most impactful move that the Vikings can make in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
Protect Joe Burrow.
That should be Cincinnati’s top priority this offseason. Daniel Faalele’s game film really popped for me. He’s a talented offensive tackle that will, at the very least, be an immediate upgrade for the Bengals. If they want to go another route, which I don’t think they should, tight end is an option. Florida’s Kyle Pitts has looked spectacular this season and could provide a vertical threat for Burrow.
14. Carolina Panthers
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater appears to have turned a corner for Carolina as he had a much improved game against the Arizona Cardinals. Bridgewater signed a three-year, $63 million dollar contract to come to Carolina, although they do have a potential out following next season.
Trey Lance is a talented dual-threat at the quarterback position. If Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady fall in love with him, they could potentially draft him as the quarterback of the future. In a division that’s full of aging quarterbacks, getting the jumpstart on development is a wise decision.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
I don’t know if Kyler Murray is going to be a high-caliber quarterback in the NFL long-term. However, I do know that they must find ways to make him successful. As defenses get more tape on Murray, they’ll likely try to keep him in the pocket more often. By beefing up the offensive line now, it’ll help them down the road as they make a push for the division.
16. Las Vegas Raiders
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The Raiders need a linebacker since trading Khalil Mack two years ago. Dylan Moses is coming off of a knee injury that kept him out for the 2019 season, but he appears back to form.
Las Vegas GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden love their Clemson prospects, but instead, let’s give them a linebacker that is capable of shutting down those prospects this season. They have more pressing needs that they could fill in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition, but this just feels like a move that they’d make.
17. New England Patriots
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Mocking a tight end to the New England Patriots always seems like a lazy decision to me, and yet, I feel like I do it every year. However, I do feel like it’s different here.
Through two games at Florida this season, Pitts has established himself as threat in the passing game. I don’t know where his career will end up in ten years, but I do know that he’s just as talented, if not more so, than Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez were at this point in their development.
18. San Francisco 49ers
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The decision to draft a cornerback, such as Patrick Surtain II, wouldn’t necessarily be about competing for wins on a weekly basis. It would be more about competing in the playoffs and stopping the Kansas City Chiefs, or at least attempting to.
San Francisco has three corners that they could choose from in this mock draft (Patrick Surtain II, Asante Samuel Jr., and Tyson Campbell), all of which would be very viable options.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
As I’ve said before in previous mock drafts, I do believe that wide receiver still remains a priority for Philadelphia, despite drafting Jalen Reagor with their first pick last year. However, for the Eagles to remain in these games, and compete in a weak NFC East, the smart decision is in the secondary. I like what Nasirildeen will bring to the NFL and believe that his abilities should translate rather well.
20. New Orleans Saints
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
I’m not sure if Drew Brees will return for another season, although I do believe that he could and still play at an acceptable level. However, what I am saying is that their next quarterback isn’t currently on the roster.
If Brees does return for another season, perhaps his final one in the NFL, he could mentor Trask for the year. As is the case with Kyle Pitts, Trask has looked much improved from last season for the Florida gators. He’s reading defenses much quicker and delivering throws with increased accuracy. My honest opinion is that this decision would be a smooth transition on offense for head coach Sean Payton.
21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
With the top four quarterbacks off the board, let’s have Tampa Bay reload on defense. In my opinion, you can never have too many pass rushers. Better yet, Hutchinson is a top edge prospect in this draft class.
22. Cleveland Browns
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
It appears as though Cleveland found a head coach in Kevan Stefanski. The offense looks much improved under Stefanski, which allows the front office to focus elsewhere here.
Jabril Cox is a fun prospect to track. He was a three-year starter at linebacker for North Dakota State. For the Bisons, Cox looked the part against lesser talent. This season, Cox has transferred to LSU where he still looks impressive. I like the idea of plugging him into the defense as an inside linebacker.
23. Indianapolis Colts
Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
With three first-round graded wide receivers still on the board, I do think it’s possible that we see GM Chris Ballard look to upgrade the receiver position. However, the defense needs some attention, too.
Despite what we’ve seen from Florida State defensively this season, they have playmakers. Asante Samuel, Jr. is a good corner that will be able to start on day one. With the AFC South rebuilding, it would be a heads up decision to grab a cornerback now to prepare long-term.
24. Baltimore Ravens
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Baltimore Ravens have flirted with the idea of bringing in Antonio Brown. If they are indeed looking for an additional receiver, they could look here in the 2021 NFL Draft, with three top receivers on the board here in our October mock draft.
DeVonta Smith, Rondale Moore, and rushed Bateman would all be viable options for the Ravens. However, Smith has the longest track record of success at the collegiate level.
25. Chicago Bears
Jaylen Twyman, IDL, Pittsburgh
The Chicago Bears need to find a quarterback, but are out of position to do so with how our 2021 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition has played out. Rather, let’s have the Bears draft a talented interior defensive lineman. Twyman opted out of the 2020 season to focus on the 2021 NFL Draft process, so we won’t have 2020 film on him. Nonetheless, he’s still a first round prospect here.
26. Jacksonville Rams (Via Los Angeles Rams)
Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Heading into this mock draft, I had planned on finding the Jaguars a franchise quarterback to build around. However, with their first pick, at 11th overall, I felt like I couldn’t pass on Gregory Rousseau.
Here towards the end of the first round, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a pick from the Los Angeles Rams. I don’t have them finding replacement for Jalen Ramsey with this pick, but rather, preparing for a franchise QB. Alex Leatherwood is a solid offensive lineman, though I do believe that he might need a bit of time to fit into the left tackle position.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Pittsburgh will need to address their quarterback position at some point. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t getting any younger and may only have a season or two left. If a quarterback prospect, such as Florida’s Kyle Trask or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance fall, I anticipate the Steelers jumping on that.
As for what they might do here in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition, the franchise could use help in the secondary. With Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and Joe Burrow in the division, the Steelers must improve their secondary to compete long-term.
28. Tennessee Titans
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Tennessee has an explosive offense already, but let’s make them better. Pat Freiermuth, or ‘Baby Gronk’ is a vertical tight end that will give quarterback Ryan Tannehill a weapon in the middle of the field. With Derrick Henry in the backfield, and A.J. Brown and Corey Davis on the outside at receiver, this offense will be nearly unstoppable.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
During his freshman season at Purdue, Rondale Moore looked incredible, finishing with 114 receptions for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. Throughout his sophomore season, Moore dealt with lingering hamstring issues, only appearing in four games for the Boilermakers. Moore has opted back in for the 2020 season after the Big Ten announced a plan to return to play.
Kansas City plugging in an explosive wide receiver into their offense would be insane, I know. However, they need to find a true primary receiver at some point. In that case, Rondale Moore is unquestionably capable of doing so.
30. New York Jets (Via Seattle Seahawks)
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
In this 2021 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition, we had the Jets drafting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the third overall pick. Coming back here towards the end of the round, in a pick that they received from the Seahawks, I have them drafting an offensive weapon for Fields.
Last season, while scouting Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson, Rashod Bateman really popped on film. This season, look for him to have a breakout season. However, if the Jets want to go in a different route, they could look at shoring up inconsistencies on the offensive line.
31. Green Bay Packers
Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Following the 2020 NFL Draft, I would’ve told you that I didn’t see anyway in which the Green Bay Packers could look at any other position than wide receiver in the first round. With that being said, Aaron Rodgers has been able to put the Packers in a position to battle for a top playoff spot.
Instead of drafting a wide receiver, I think they could address the linebacker position. Chazz Surratt is a raw talent at the linebacker position, having converted from the quarterback position prior to last season at North Carolina. Despite being raw, Surratt is playing better than most seasoned linebackers.
32. Buffalo Bills
Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are playing some fantastic football right now. This pick is a bit difficult to try and project at this point in time, but let’s give it our best shot.
I’m a Dillon Radunz guy, but I think that a year or two on the interior offensive line might do some good for his development. The Bills need some depth in that area, but then can look to move him outside in a year or two.