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2021 NFL Mock Draft: San Francisco 49ers Snag Mac Jones at No. 3, Shaking Things Up

Ryan Phillips
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama / Alika Jenner/Getty Images
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The 2021 NFL Draft is little more than two weeks away and all attention has turned to lining up prospects as teams jockey for position to select them. With that in mind, here's our latest NFL mock draft. (One note, this is a no-trades mock).

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

A few months into the process, this is still the obvious pick. Get the Sharpie out. Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback prospect I’ve ever scouted and has been projected as the top pick in the 2021 draft since he stepped on campus at Clemson. All he’s done in the meantime is lead the Tigers to the College Football Playoff three times, reaching two national title games and winning one. He’s built for this, at a shade under 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, with a cannon for an arm, good mobility and accuracy. The Jacksonville Jaguars badly need to turn the page under center and Urban Meyer's NFL experiment gets a huge jump start with Lawrence at quarterback.

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

After trading Sam Darnold it's clear the Jets are going with a quarterback here and Zach Wilson is the second best signal-caller in the draft. Wilson entered 2020 as a potential first-round pick and has only seen his stock rise since. The 6-foot-2 QB led BYU to an 11-1 record while completing 73.5 percent of his passes for 3,692 yards with 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. He averaged an absurd 11.0 yards per attempt. A tough kid with a big, accurate arm, Wilson can extend plays in or out of the pocket. His film gave me flashbacks to a young Aaron Rodgers. He answers any doubts about his arm with an excellent Pro Day performance.

3. San Francisco 49ers (via MIA/HOU): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The scuttlebutt is that the 49ers made this move to land Mac Jones. It might be a smokescreen, but we'll go with it for now. Jones has good size at nearly 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, possesses a solid arm, and is incredibly accurate. On film, his ball placement is consistently excellent no matter where on the field he's throwing it. He’s smart, composed, has a natural feel for the position and can read defenses extremely well. He’s not going to “wow” you physically, but he’s a really good quarterback. He proved that this year as he led Alabama to a national title while throwing for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns against four interceptions, with a ridiculous completion percentage of 77.4. His Pro Day wasn't great, but a lot of scouts like him.

Kyle Pitts
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The Falcons are in prime position for a trade down, but in this mock I’m not considering that. While they have a desperate need for help off the edge, I’m banking that they’ll want to blow out the offense to try and get more from Matt Ryan in his final few years. Kyle Pitts is a 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end and is a problem for defenses given his size, speed and ability to make plays down the field. He also ran a blistering 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day. Pitts has excellent hands and should be a threat on every down in the red zone.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The Bengals have to protect Joe Burrow at all costs and, while they have other needs, they must take Penei Sewell here. Sewell is the top tackle in this draft, and while his stock has taken a hit over the last few months, it's mostly due to a lack of tape after sitting out the 2020 season. He gave up only one sack in his college career and won the Outland Trophy as college football’s best lineman in 2019. At 6-foot-4 and 331 pounds, he’s a massive left tackle, with power in the run game and enough agility and size to dominate in pass protection. He's the best tackle in this class and has been for nearly two years.

6. Miami Dolphins (via PHI): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

By trading out of the third spot, the Dolphins committed to Tua Tagovailoa for at least another year. Now they need to surround him with talent. Ja’Marr Chase, the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner, decided to sit out the 2020 season after setting SEC records in receiving yards (1,780) and touchdowns (20) during a national championship campaign as a sophomore. At 6-feet and 201 pounds, he has good size and athleticism. With excellent hands, route-running skills and elite speed, he’s in a close race with DeVonta Smith as the top receiver in the class. That said, Chase has more upside as a more explosive athlete. He tested off-the-charts at his Pro Day with a 41-inch vertical and a 4.38 40.

7. Detroit Lions: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

With Kenny Golladay gone, the Lions need to find a weapon for Jared Goff. They do that here, filling a need for a No. 1 receiver. DeVonta Smith is an incredibly polished wideout who started his time at Alabama strictly as a deep threat. He has incredible hands and the ability to turn short passes into big plays. Undersized at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, he plays much larger than his measurements. He didn't perform at Alabama's Pro Day other than running a few routes for Mac Jones, but he showed what he could do on the field in 2020, winning the Heisman Trophy and racking up 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.

8. Carolina Panthers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

With Sam Darnold locked in as QB1, the Panthers desperately need to find help for a beleaguered secondary. Patrick Surtain II is still on the board and he’s the best shutdown corner the draft has to offer. Surtain has excellent size at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds and ran a 4.46 40 at his Pro Day with a 39-inch vertical. He can run with receivers and has the size and strength to push them off their desired routes. An instinctual defender, he can make plays on the ball, though he never racked up a ton of interceptions. That's mostly because opposing quarterbacks refused to throw at his side of the field.

9. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Drew Lock is not the future in Denver, so they take the opportunity to grab Trey Lance at this spot. Lance has all the tools to develop into a really good quarterback, but he sat out most of 2020 and will be making the jump from North Dakota State, so he’ll need to be surrounded by talent and developed properly. If he is, he could be fantastic. Lance checks a lot of the boxes with great size -- he was a hair under 6-foot-4 and 224 pounds at his Pro Day -- a really good, accurate arm, poise in the pocket, mobility (he ran for 1,100 yards in 2019) and he doesn’t make mistakes with the ball (no interceptions in 2019). Development will ultimately determine what he becomes, but there’s a lot to like here.

10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Jerry Jones may want Kyle Pitts, but fixing a bad secondary is the priority here. Landing Jaycee Horn will replace Byron Jones who bolted for Miami last offseason. Horn was another 2020 opt-out who had nothing to prove by playing. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound corner has excellent strength, good recognition skills and is a willing tackler. He ran a 4.39 40 and broke out a 41.5-inch vertical at his Pro Day while doing 19 bench press reps. Horn is a physical corner who should give a boost to a Cowboys secondary that needs one.

Jaylen Waddle
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11. New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Giants added Kenny Golladay this offseason, but if they want to give Daniel Jones every chance to succeed, they need more playmakers. Jaylen Waddle is undersized at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, but man can he make plays. If his ankle injury is fully healed, Waddle is a game-breaker who can turn short plays into highlight-reel touchdowns. An explosive return man, his moves, vision and speed make him a big-play threat every time he touches the ball. He'll need some polish, but you can't teach the kind of speed and elusiveness Waddle possesses.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA/SF): Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State

The Eagles badly need an upgrade at linebacker and, based on pure talent, Micah Parsons should be a top five pick. Opting out in 2020 may have also led some teams to forget just how good he is, but a quick tape study will remind them. Parsons is an explosive athlete at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds. How explosive is he? He ran a 4.39 40 at his Pro Day at that size, which is absurd. Parsons racked up 109 tackles in 2019 with 14 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles in 2019. He’s good in coverage, has long arms and is an excellent tackler. He can blitz and get to the quarterback, has the strength to hold up against the run and should give Philly an elite linebacker from Day 1.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT/G, Northwestern

The Chargers have boasted terrible offensive lines for the better part of a decade, so it’s time to change that and protect Justin Herbert. They miss out on Sewell with this pick, but add the draft’s most versatile lineman. Slater played left and right tackle during his career, and could play all three interior spots. He opted out of the 2020 season, but it hasn’t hurt his stock. He’s a beast, with excellent technique in all phases. He’ll likely play inside in the NFL, at either guard or center. But at 6-foot-4, 304 pounds, he can do it all.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Vikings must find a left tackle in this draft, so they'll grab the best on the board here. Christian Darrisaw could wind up being among the most solid players from this class. Darrisaw is a tank at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, and has plenty of experience, starting 35 games at left tackle in his career. He’s really good in pass protection, allowing only three sacks in the past two seasons, while also being solid as a run blocker. He’ll need some polishing but he looks like a long-term solution for the Vikings on the blind side.

Justin Fields
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

15. New England Patriots: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The Patriots need a quarterback for the future and Bill Belichick gets his guy to build with here. Justin Fields had an incredible career at Ohio State, accounting for 78 touchdowns in 22 starts while going 20-2 as a starter. He has a strong, accurate arm and the mobility to extend plays. He does need some polish, and he struggled against some of the better defenses he faced (Indiana and Alabama), but there is a lot to like here. He's been dropping on some draft boards, but he had an incredible Pro Day showing, including a 4.44 40-yard dash. Someone will likely trade up to get him ahead of this. Maybe it will be Belichick & Co.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Cardinals addressed a need off the edge by landing J.J. Watt, now they need help in the secondary after Patrick Peterson signed with the Vikings. Arizona fixes that here by adding Farley, who is the second-best pure cover guy in this draft class. Another opt-out from the 2020 season, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound corner has a great combination of size and speed, with excellent ball skills. He’s a heady player who uses his instincts to read routes and break on balls. He had 12 passes broken up in 2019. He missed his Pro Day due to a back procedure, but should be fine heading into his rookie season.

17. Las Vegas Raiders: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

The Raiders badly need to find help for the entire secondary and failed to address it in free agency. Trevon Moehrig is the draft's best safety and he's a relentless ballhawk at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He won the Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back in 2020 and had seven interceptions and 28 pass breakups in 34 career games. He tested well at his Pro Day, turning in a 4.5-second 40, with a 33-inch vertical. At his size, that's plenty athletic for the NFL.

18. Miami Dolphins: Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

With Chase already selected, the Dolphins move to address their other biggest need by getting help off the edge. Gregory Rousseau is another player who opted out in 2020 but, again, it hasn’t hurt his stock. He had 15.5 sacks in 2019 and 19.5 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-7 and 266 pounds (with room to grow) he’s a beast off the edge and has enough athleticism to be scheme-versatile. He ran a 4.68 40 at his Pro Day, flashed a 30-inch vertical jump and put up 21 bench press reps. He’s strong, will get stronger and already flashes excellent power and upfield burst. He possesses tremendous upside.

Jeremiah Owusu-koramoah
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Washington gets an immediate upgrade at linebacker with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who could fit into a number of spots. Owusu-Koramoah is incredibly quick and can diagnose plays in an instant. At 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds, he’s a bit undersized but doesn’t play like it. He's also crazy athletic. Owusu-Koramoah ran a 20-yard shuttle of 4.15 seconds at his Pro Day, which would have been the second-fastest among linebackers at the 2019 combine. His three-cone drill of 6.81 seconds would have been the fastest and his 36.5-inch vertical would have been among the top 10. The 2020 Butkus Award winner and first team All-American is fast, excellent in coverage and can get to the quarterback on blitzes.

20. Chicago Bears: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/OG, USC

I've got offensive line as Chicago's biggest need outside of quarterback, and they aren't getting a signal-caller here. At 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds, Vera-Tucker is big, strong and athletic. He’s also versatile, having played both guard and tackle during his career. A first team All-Pac-12 pick in 2020 he also won the Morris Trophy given to the conference’s best lineman. At his Pro Day he flashed a 32-inch vertical and threw up 36 reps on the bench press, showing the kind of athleticism and power he needed to.

21. Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

The Colts need help off the edge, with Denico Autry gone and Justin Houston still a free agent. Kwity Paye would be a big help. At 6-foot-2 and 261 pounds, he has the size and explosive ability to make an impact early. He impressed at his Pro Day, racing to a 4.54 40-yard dash -- which is freakishly fast for a player his size -- and throwing up 36 bench press reps. Paye improved a lot in 2020 and showed the ability to convert speed to power and get to offensive linemen before they could push him off his rush routes. He's a hard worker who garners rave reviews and should be great in the locker room.

22. Tennessee Titans: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

With Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith gone, the Titans desperately need to find another receiver for Ryan Tannehill. They get a game-breaker here with Florida’s Kadarius Toney. Toney flew at his Pro Day, clocking a 4.39 40-yard dash and he measured in at 5-foot-11 and 189 pounds at the Senior Bowl. Every time he touches the ball, Toney is a threat to take it to the house. While he’s a little undersized as a slot guy, he’s so fast that he creates great separation and is explosive in the open field. He’s a decent route runner and could be used in a variety of ways at the next level.

23. New York Jets (via SEA): Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia

The Jets got their quarterback at No. 2, now it’s time to help the defense. New York has to be able to find a way to get to the quarterback, so they add an edge rusher here. Azeez Ojulari is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2 and 249 pounds, but the redshirt sophomore has plenty of room to grow. At his Pro Day he ran a 4.60 40, while putting up 28 bench press reps. He’s strong for his size and plays with a relentless motor. That showed in 2020 when he racked up 8.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He improved as the season went along, capping it off with a three-sack performance in the Peach Bowl. Ojulari had 38 at quarterback pressures in 2019 and 37 in 2020, he can be a menace off the edge.

Travis Etienne
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Steelers must find long-term solutions at quarterback and running back, with the top five signal-callers gone, they’ll solve the rushing problem here. Travis Etienne fits exactly what Pittsburgh loves in a running back: versatility. He can run between the tackles or outside and is an improving receiver. He has decent size (5-foot-10, 215 pounds), takes hits well and can even deliver them. He’s tough to tackle, has a nose for the end zone and can make something out of nothing, turning short runs into big plays. Etienne is also a solid athlete, at his Pro Day he ran a 4.40 40 and had a 33.5-inch vertical. James Conner is gone, Etienne will be the perfect replacement.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

The Jaguars already have their quarterback of the future, now they need to go about protecting him. At 6-foot-5 and 317 pounds, Teven Jenkins is a big, physical tackle who could play on either side of the line, or even at guard early in his career. He has played right tackle in college, but his skills translate to the left side as well. At his Pro Day he did 36 reps on the bench and ran a 4.96 40, showing power and decent speed for a man his size. He'll add talent to a line that will need to protect Trevor Lawrence at all costs. With Cam Robinson back on the franchise tag and Jawaan Taylor on the outside, Taylor could play guard before eventually moving out to tackle.

26. Cleveland Browns: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami

The Browns need to find a bookend for Myles Garrett, and they'll get one of the draft's most explosive edge rushers here. Jaelan Phillips is a former top recruit who washed out at UCLA after suffering several injuries. He rejuvenated his career at Miami and might be the best pure pass rusher in this draft. An athletic, 6-foot-5 and 260-pound force off the edge, He impressed at Miami's Pro Day, running a 4.56 40, with a 36-inch vertical and 21 bench press reps. Phillips earned All-America honors this season with eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He’s a stud who is just tapping into his immense potential. Past injuries and associated concerns are the only reason he'll drop this far.

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

In the postseason it became clear the Ravens need to rework their offense and find another weapon for Lamar Jackson. They do that here by landing Marshall, a receiver who stepped up with Ja’Marr Chase sitting out in 2020. Marshall is a big wideout at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and has explosive ability after the catch. Despite season-long quarterback issues at LSU, he hauled in 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns before opting out after seven games. Marshall showed out at LSU's Pro Day, blazing a 4.38 40 and boasting a 39-inch vertical leap. He’ll be a big, rangy target for Jackson to pair with the speedy Hollywood Brown and the always-reliable Mark Andrews.

28. New Orleans Saints: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

The Saints badly need to fix their secondary, and while they could use another receiver, a ton have come off the board already. Newsome has the upside of an elite corner, with excellent length and speed. He plays much bigger than his 6-foot, 192-pound frame and has a knack for timing his breaks to arrive when the ball does. His 4.38 40-yard dash at Northwestern’s Pro Day turned heads. He has a chance to be a shutdown guy in short order.

Elijah Moore, Greg Brooks Jr.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

29. Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

The Packers still need to address the wide receiver position and add more help for Aaron Rodgers. Elijah Moore is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, but he’s remarkably productive. He caught 86 passes in 2020 for 1,193 yards while showing toughness, excellent route-running stills and the burst to run away from defenders. He ran a 4.34-second 40 at his Pro Day, showing speed the Packers don’t currently have on their roster. He’d be a great complement to Davante Adams and Allen Lazard.

30. Buffalo Bills: Zaven Collins, OLB, Tulsa

The Bills could use some help off the edge, and they'll get one of college football's best players to help. Zaven Collins won the Nagurski and Bednarik awards and was a unanimous All-American this season. At nearly 6-foot-5 and 259 pounds, he looks like a straight edge rusher, but I think he can do much more than that. He ran a 4.67 40 at his Pro Day, along with a 35-inch vertical leap that showed just how athletic he is. He's an explosive force off the edge who can also drop in coverage. He's a three-down linebacker with scheme versatility and a ton of upside with the right coaching.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

The Chiefs cut both their starting tackles this offseason and while they loaded up on the interior by bringing in Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, they have to find a franchise left tackle. Mayfield is a big upside play here as, other than Sewell, he might have the highest ceiling at tackle in the draft. At 6-foot-5 and 326 pounds, the redshirt sophomore is big and athletic with room to grow. Used primarily at right tackle at Michigan, he has the ability to play on the left side and that’s likely where he’s headed in the NFL. In film you’ll see a lot leading up to the draft, Mayfield fought Chase Young to a standstill in 2019. That showed just how good he can be.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl and brought everyone back, they can look for value at this point. So they'll take a high-upside pick on the interior of an aging defensive line. Christian Barmore is a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle, and a monster on the interior. An All-American, Barmore had eight sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles during a breakout 2020 campaign. The redshirt sophomore is only getting better and there’s plenty more talent to mine here as he improves technique and fundamentals. He ran the 40 in 4.93 seconds and looked athletic at Alabama's Pro Day. There's a lot to work with here.

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