The Cavalier’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft Predictions

April 29, 2021

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, it is time to attempt to predict how the picks will fall on Thursday night. Here are my predictions: 


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson 


This is essentially a no-brainer. The Jaguars will go down as the worst organization in sports history if they somehow mess up this pick. Lawrence teams up with Urban Meyer to create a QB-head coach duo to compete for the AFC South. 


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


Wilson is ranked as the second-best quarterback on most scouting reports, so it makes sense to see him go right after Lawrence. The Jets get their replacement for Darnold even after failing to get the first pick. 


3. San Francisco 49ers (via Miami Dolphins): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama 


Although I do not agree with this pick, I think this is what Kyle Shanahan will do here. Jones will have the opportunity to sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a year, and then have the chance to take the reigns as San Francisco’s next quarterback. 


4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida 


While I considered the Falcons trading down to a team that wants to draft a quarterback,  I decided to have them keep the fourth pick and select Kyle Pitts, who will be a Day 1 starter and an immediate spark to the Falcons offense. 


5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon 


The Bengals could select Ja’Marr Chase here and create a deadly receiving core, but they choose to beef up the offensive line by taking the highest-ranked lineman in the draft Penei Sewell. Sewell opted out of the 2020 but retained his high draft stock. 


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


Receiver remains the primary need for the Dolphins, and they are able to draft the best one in this class. Chase’s 2019 campaign caught the attention of many NFL scouts before opting out of the 2020 Season. 


7. New England Patriots (via Mock Trade with Detroit Lions): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State 

The Patriots jump up eight spots to select their quarterback of the future in Justin Fields. New England sends No. 15 to Detroit along with some other picks in order to select him here at 7. 


8. Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern 


With the Panthers trading for Sam Darnold, they now need to fill the void at tackle, and select the best one available. Darnold will need time to develop into a franchise quarterback in Charlotte, and this pick enables him to do so. 


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


Lance falls right into the lap of the Broncos, who are looking for a quarterback as the Drew Lock experiment has not turned out too well. The Broncos will look to trade up to select him, but do not have to in this scenario. 


10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama 


Dallas has to ensure the secondary in this draft, as the Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in the NFL defending the pass. They are able to select the best cornerback in the draft to help slow down heavy passing offenses. 


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


The Giants need to surround Daniel Jones with more weapons in this draft, and are able to pair free agent signing Kenny Golladay with Jaylen Waddle to create a scary receiving duo for years to come. 


12. Philadelphia Eagles (via San Francisco 49ers): DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama 


With Chase and Waddle off the board, the Eagles take the best receiver available in DeVonta Smith. It is not very often that you get to select the reigning Heisman Trophy winner outside of the top 10, but the Eagles get to do it here. 


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


With both the top tackles off the board, the Chargers take the best offensive lineman available here in Darrisaw. He is a great pass blocker who should certainly help the Chargers offensive line for day one. 


14. Minnesota Vikings: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, Southern California 


The Vikings need to ensure their pass protection in this draft, as it ranked one of the worst in the NFL this past season. Vera-Tucker gives their line versatility as he can play both guard and tackle. 


15. Detroit Lions: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State 


The Lions are declared the overall winner of this draft, picking up extra draft capital and still drafting the best linebacker in the class. Parsons will be the anchor of the Detroit defense for years to come. 


16. Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina 


  The Cardinals add to their secondary by selecting Jaycee Horn, my second ranked corner in this class. This is a great value pick for Arizona as Horn is a top ten prospect on many draft boards. 


17. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Baremore, DT, Alabama 


Baremore is easily the best interior defensive lineman in this draft, and the Raiders are able to snag him here at 17. The Raiders run defense and pass rush could use some serious work. 


18. Miami Dolphins: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan 


With the Dolphins already taking their playmaker in Ja’Marr Chase, they improve their pass rush with their second pick by selecting Paye at 18. Paye is a versatile edge rusher who fits on any team. 


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


Washington further improves their front seven by selecting Owusu-Koramoah, a coverage linebacker who is very agile. His speed and tackling ability will certainly help Washington’s pass defense this season. 


20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota 


The Bears franchise-tagged WR Allen Robinson this offseason, keeping him in the Windy City for at least one more year. Chicago needs a secondary pass catcher, and Bateman falls right to them.


21. Indianapolis Colts: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern 


The Colts do not have an apparent positional need, so they elect to take the best player available here in Greg Newsome. Newsome can play both the outside and the slot and will be an instant help to the Colts secondary. 


22. Buffalo Bills (via Mock Trade with Tennessee Titans): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson 


The Bills trade up to add another pass-catching weapon here in Clemson Running Back Travis Etienne. He will prove to be a huge part of the star-studded Buffalo offensive this upcoming season out of the backfield. 


23. New York Jets: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami 


The Jets have many glaring needs, with one being their pass rush. New York elects to take the best edge rusher on the board in Jaelan Phillips, whose draft stock has gone down since the end of the college season. 


24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama


Pittsburgh’s rushing offense ranked among the league’s worst last year. With the release of James Conner, the Steelers are able to select Najee Harris out of Alabama. Harris is a power back with lots of potential. 


25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State 


The Jaguars need to protect Trevor Lawrece, so they take the best offensive tackle available in Jenkins. 


26. Cleveland Browns: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky 


Linebacker is an apparent need for the Browns, and they select up and coming prospect Jamin Davis. Davis is a question mark among scouts and his stock has swung tremendously over the past few weeks. 


27. Baltimore Ravens: Azeez Olujari, EDGE, Georgia 

With Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue out of Baltimore, the Ravens need to reestablish their pass rush and select the best edge rusher on the board in Olujari. 


28. New Orleans Saints: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech 


The Saints had to let many players go due to their cap issues, and now secondary is a glaring need. New Orleans selects Farley, who falls very far in this scenario. 


29. Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi 


A secondary receiver to play beside Davante Adams seems to be the missing piece for the Packers’ last shot at another championship with Aaron Rodgers. They select Moore who should prove to be enough to take attention away from Adams. 


30. Tennessee Titans (via Mock Trade with Buffalo Bills): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama


The Titans move down and pick some extra draft capital to select Leatherwood, who should help create some holes for Derrick Henry in the running game. 


31. Baltimore Ravens: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas


The Ravens replace recently traded tackle Orlando Brown with Cosmi, who should be able to instant fill in for him at tackle. 


32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama 


The Buccaneers obviously have no void needing to be filled by a rookie, so they get some offensive line depth by selecting Landon Dickerson out of Alabama. Dickerson missed last season with a torn ACL which allowed him to fall this far. 


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