Brian Lamb’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

It’s finally here! My first 2021 NFL Mock Draft of the season.  We’re only a few months removed from the 2020 NFL Draft, so it’s still a bit early to truly know how this is going to play out.  However, let’s have a little fun with this one.  This is a one round mock draft with teams drafting based on need.

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AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

If a quarterback-needy team ends up with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, then we can go ahead and write this one in permanent marker.  Trevor Lawrence is, without a doubt, the class of the field heading into the college football season.  A lot can happen between now and then, but I can’t envision many scenarios where he isn’t the top player selected.

 

AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

2. Washington Redskins

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Assuming that Washington is sold on Dwayne Haskins as their franchise quarterback, it only makes sense to protect him.  Penei Sewell is as good of an offensive tackle prospect as I’ve seen since Lane Johnson in 2013.  Ron Rivera will have his hands full as he looks to revamp the Redskins roster, but drafting a talented prospect like Sewell will make his job much easier.  It’ll also keep his quarterback upright and healthy, while also having more time to make downfield reads from the pocket.

 

JASON GETZ – USA TODAY SPORTS

3. Cincinnati Bengals

Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, while also releasing Andy Dalton, essentially handing the reins over to Burrow.  Jonah Williams suffered a shoulder injury in 2019, ending his rookie season.  The Bengals are a young team with needs across the board, but selecting an offensive tackle to ensure that Burrow remains protected isn’t a bad plan.

 

Tim Sanger/Gobison.com

4. Carolina Panthers

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $68M contract this offseason to replace Cam Newton.  However, Bridgewater has seen limited time on-field following his ACL injury in Minnesota.  With Matt Rhule and Joe Brady overhauling the offense for the Panthers, let’s go ahead and give them an explosive dual-threat prospect at the quarterback position.  I don’t know if Lance is ready to start in the NFL on day one, but he should be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

 

Al Diaz/Miami Herald

5. New York Giants

Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (Fla.)

After breaking down his film for our summer scouting series, I’m expecting big things from Gregory Rousseau this season.  With Rousseau and Quincy Roche both rushing the passer for the Hurricanes, you’ve got to assume that Rousseau will have another productive season.  If that’s the case, he’s certainly deserving of the top five hype.

 

Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV

6. Miami Dolphins

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Miami has DeVante Parker signed through the 2023 season, but I believe that they need to add at least one offensive weapon for QB Tua Tagovailoa.  Ja’Marr Chase is an excellent receiver that excels at high pointing the ball and catching in traffic.  Not only will this alleviate the pressure off Parker, but it will also go a long way in opening up their offense.

 

Photo: Jesse Johnson, Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

7. Detroit Lions

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Lions need a linebacker that looks to punish the ballcarrier, thrives at bringing down players in the open field, and can hold his own as pass rusher.

In other words, the Detroit Lions need Micah Parsons.

 

Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

8. New York Jets

Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

Short of the quarterback position, the Jets should look at upgrading every position on both sides of the ball, including head coach.  Shaun Wade is a really talented prospect at cornerback that’s worthy of a top ten pick here.

The 2020 season will be a good indication as to where the Jets are headed.  If their offense can find consistency and solid production, then New York could look to address their needs on the defensive side of the ball.  However, if Adam Gase is indeed the wrong coach for the Jets and the front office makes a change, it’s game on, boys.

 

Image Via elevenwarriors.com

9. Las Vegas Raiders

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

We keep doing this every year, but at some point the Las Vegas Raiders have to pull the plug on the Derek Carr experiment.  If they do, Justin Fields could be the answer for them.  I’m still not sold on his ability to make consistent throws downfield, nor am I Solon his ability to make three or four reads the NFL level.  However, I do believe that he has the skillset and abilities to deserve a look.

 

(Image Via The Osceola/photo by Ross Obley)

10. Los Angeles Chargers

Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State

With a rebuild on their hands, let’s give the Chargers some help on the interior defensive line.  Marvin Wilson is an impressive prospect that imposes his will on opposing players in the trenches.  I’d like to see him play with more aggression, but he’s the type of player that the Chargers will be able to build around.

 

Image Via elevenwarriors.com

11. Denver Broncos

Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State

Denver has done a lot to invest in their offense as they build around Drew Lock.  Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Lloyd Cushenberry III are all prospects that should be nice contributions for the Broncos.  By selecting a prospect such as Wyatt Davis here, they’ll be able to shore up the offensive line and give Drew Lock ample time to run through his progressions and make throws downfield.

 

Image Via 247sports.com

12. Arizona Cardinals

Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (Fla.)

Arizona has the pieces on defense to make some noise in the competitive NFC West.  With that being said, adding an additional edge rusher to take pressure off of Zach Allen and Isaiah Simmons, will also go a long ways in lessening the load on the secondary, too.

 

(Image Via NBC Sports/Getty Images)

13. Atlanta Falcons

Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The Falcons could very well use this pick to find an eventual successor to Matt Ryan, but rather, let’s implement the same strategy that the Saints used in the 2020 NFL Draft.  By addressing the offensive line, they’ll add some much needed talent and depth, while also giving Matt Ryan a few more opportunities to get it done for the Falcons.

 

Image Via 247Sports.com

14. Miami Dolphins (Via Houston Texans)

Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

With two picks in the first round yet again for the Dolphins, I’m going to mock them my top safety in the 2021 NFL draft class thus far.  Head coach Brian Flores performed well given the talent that he had on the team last season, so let’s see what he can do with upgraded talent in the secondary.

 

(KEN RUINARD/THE ANDERSON INDEPENDENT MAIL)

15. Cleveland Browns

Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

Offensive line isn’t a pressing need for the Browns, but by addressing the position now, it’ll give them the flexibility down the road to focus on other areas.

It’s an unconventional method, but it’s one that could set the Browns up for long-term success.

 

ROSS OBLEY/FSU ATHLETICS

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via Los Angeles Rams)

Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

I’ll make this one quite simple.  The Jaguars have been a disaster lately, both on and off the field.  Upgrading talent across board, offensively and defensively, is going to be a priority for them for years to come.

 

Image Via Mgoblue.com

17. Chicago Bears

Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

I don’t believe that the Bears are in a position to draft a quarterback here at 17, so rather, I’m going to pair Khalil Mack with a talented pass rusher.  Doing so should free up Mack to be an even greater presence behind the line of scrimmage.

 

(Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr)

18. Minnesota Vikings

Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

Minnesota has quietly built a very solid defensive roster.  However, they’re missing an above average talent on the interior defensive line.  Alabama always seems to develop really strong defensive prospects, so look for Barmore to put up some solid numbers.

 

Image Via 247Sports.com

19. Indianapolis Colts

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

For the Colts to compete in the AFC South, they’ll have to add depth in the secondary.  Surtain II is a nice complementary piece that should fit well into Indianapolis’ system.

 

Image Via rolltide.com

20. Tennessee Titans

Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

I had Dylan Moses pegged as a late-first prospect heading into the 2020 NFL Draft process, before he announced that he would return to Alabama following an ACL injury.  Heading into this season, I believe that he can improve upon his draft stock, but let’s not go too crazy here. He’s a late-first at this point in the 2021 NFL Draft process for this mock.

 

Photo Credits: Jaylynn Nash LLC

21. New England Patriots

Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia

This is going to sound crazy, but let me explain.

Tom Brady is in Tampa Bay now and the Patriots now have to rely on a combination of Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham.  I don’t have Jamie Newman listed as a first round prospect, but things can certainly change.  New England can develop Newman at their own pace and start him when he’s ready.

In short, it’s a win-win for both parties.

 

Image Via NBC Sports/Getty Images

22. Seattle Seahawks

Walker Little, OT, Stanford

Duane Brown has been very consistent at left tackle for the Seahawks, but upgrading the rest of the offensive line would be a smart move for the future of the franchise.

Although Seattle just signed Carlos Hyde as an unrestricted free agent, they could still address the backfield, too.  If the Seahawks find a running back that wows them, it wouldn’t completely shock me to hear his name called here in the first.

 

(Brian Westerholt/Sports On Film)

23. Philadelphia Eagles

Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

Philadelphia has a solid roster that looks poised to make another deep playoff run, especially if Carson Wentz can remain healthy and on the field.

Upgrading the pass rush and adding a talented edge rusher would allow the Eagles to reload and remain a relevant threat in the NFC East.

 

CEDRIC MASON – TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA MAGAZINE

24. Green Bay Packers

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Considering how upset Aaron Rodgers was with the direction that the front office took in the 2020 NFL Draft, I don’t believe that there is a scenario in which the Packers can’t address the receiver position.  I am a fan of DeVonta Smith, but he does have areas in which he needs to improve.  

Do I think that DeVonta Smith falls to 24? Absolutely not.  So if need be, the Packers could look to move up to draft a skill player.

 

Image Credits: Stanford Athletics

25. Buffalo Bills

Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

I’ve been waiting for Paulson Adebo to make the leap and establish himself as a top secondary prospect in the NFL Draft process.  It may never happen, but I think that this is still a solid position for a team to take a shot on drafting him.

 

Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee

Last season, Tom Brady looked like an average quarterback for the first time in his career, or at least as long as I can remember.  I don’t know how long he’ll be able to continue playing at a high level, but it won’t be forever.  

Trey Smith will add some much needed depth and versatility across the offensive line.  The Buccaneers don’t have a lot of options behind Brady, so they could legitimately target a quarterback here, but they’re out of position to do so in this 2021 NFL mock draft.  Hence, that’s why I’ve opted to add depth in the trenches and give Brady more time to make reads and throws downfield.

 

Image Via hurricansports.com

27. Pittsburgh Steelers

Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (Fla.)

The 2020 NFL Draft was a disappointing one if you were a fan of the tight end position.  This year, the 2021 NFL Draft looks much better for the position.

The Steelers signed Eric Ebron this offseason, although he hasn’t been the most consistent player at the position.  Pittsburgh also has Vance McDonald on the roster, too.

I’m going to send Brevin Jordan, one of the top tight ends in the country, to the Steelers in this 2021 NFL mock draft. This will allow head coach Mike Tomlin to open up the offense, even if Ben Roethlisberger retires after the season.

 

Image Via texassports.com

28. Dallas Cowboys

Caden Sterns, S, Texas

Dallas currently has Xavier Woods and HaHa Clinton-Dix lined up at safety, but both are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2021.  The Cowboys might be able to re-sign one of them, but bringing both back seems highly unlikely.

To remedy the situation, they won’t have to go far.  Caden Sterns was born in Dallas, but grew up just outside of San Antonio.  In my opinion, he’s the best safety available here and would be a fine addition to the roster.

 

Image Via purduesports.com

29. New Orleans Saints

Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

Assuming that the 2020 season will be Drew Brees’ last, the Saints need to surround Taysom Hill with talent at the receiver position.

Rondale Moore is the best available left on my board, although Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle could be a potential target for the Saints in this 2021 NFL mock draft.

 

Image Via 247Sports

30. Baltimore Ravens

Joe Tyron, EDGE, Washington

Pernell McPhee is on a one-year contract for the Ravens.  The franchise was able to bring in Calais Campbell through a trade with Jacksonville, so let’s pair him with a talented edge rusher to replace McPhee.

 

Image Via clemsontigers.com

31. San Francisco 49ers

Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Raheem Mostert had a breakout season in 2019 for the San Francisco 49ers.  With his backup Tevin Coleman set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, let’s give the 49ers a tandem in the backfield to wear down defenses in this NFL mock draft.

 

Image Via 247Sports

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

The Kansas City Chiefs did a really good job of addressing their needs in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Although the Chiefs used a third round pick on Lucas Niang last year, I still think they can afford to address the offensive line, specifically at guard and center.

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