I have been tasked by EVP of the Barstool's NFL Draft Org, Big Cat with putting together a ‘Way Too Early 2021 NFL Mock Draft’. After taking a jilted stance initially, I’ve decided to go back to basics and just let my work on the Draft take care of itself. I’m not a nasty person and in the past few days, I’ve let a minor addiction to breaking news lead me down a negative path. But luckily, I control my own path and I’m choosing to re-spawn like I just got shot in a video game. You could even argue that after Caleb’s latest piece, I’ve already died an internet death.
But it’s cool, what happened happened. I figure, I don’t really care what my title is as long as I get to talk NFL Draft. Hell, there are even a ton of awesome Juniors.
Ken Griffey Jr., Junior Mints,
Junior Seau, Kellen Winsl…nevermind. Anyway, I’m happy to be here talking Football! So let’s plow through one more piece of Draft content to finish strong cap this year’s coverage. Spoiler – I did NOT give the Bucs the 32nd pick, although I really wanted to.
1) Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
He’s been tabbed ‘the guy’ since his freshman year when he won a national title. Even though we saw a similar story with Tua Tagovailoa this year with his stock sliding down to the #2 QB drafted, that was mainly due to injury. Lawrence is a pretty good bet to be the top QB selected, whoever is picking. Based on their retool, I like Jacksonville to win that spot.
2) Carolina Panthers – QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
The Panthers added Teddy Bridgewater in a somewhat surprising move as they’re not fully committed to the tank, but they’ll be bad. Matt Rhule typically starts slow and his first NFL stop should be no exception. Fields has solid size at 6’3” 223 lbs. and threw for 41 TDs to just 3 INTs in his first season in Columbus.
3) Cincinnati Bengals – OT Penei Sewell (Oregon)
The Bengals had a rough Offensive Line last year, although 2019 1st rounder OT Jonah Williams missed the entire year after shoulder surgery. The Bengals may try Williams at Tackle, but he’s got a frame better suited for a Guard, so the Bengals will try and protect their new franchise QB with their next top selection. Sewell is a mammoth prospect at 6’5” 325 lbs. and did a nice job giving Justin Herbert clean pockets to throw from.
4) Detroit Lions – EDGE Gregory Russeau (Miami)
If the Lions finish with a top 10 pick, you’d have to think there would be a regime change. Matthew Stafford can still sling it, so I’d be surprised if they went QB, but Rousseau will likely be too tempting to pass up. At 6'6" 253 lbs., he was a converted Wide Receiver and Safety and is already putting up big numbers (19.5 TFLs & 15.5 sacks last season) in Coral Gables.
5) New York Giants – WR Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
The Giants have a hole at #1 WR and Darius Slayton is a nice piece, but not the guy. Ja’Marr Chase can certainly give Danny Dimes a legit #1.
6) Washington Redskins – CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
The Redskins have five 1st rounders on their defensive line, but it’s time to start building the secondary up outside of Landon Collins.
7) New York Jets – OT Walker Little (Stanford)
Jets GM Joe Douglas was an Offensive Lineman himself and definitely believes in building through the trenches. They took massive OT Mekhi Becton out of Louisville this year, but now they'll solidify both Tackle spots with Little out of Stanford.
8) Arizona Cardinals – CB Shaun Wade (Ohio State)
The Cardinals need to start grooming replacements for CB Patrick Peterson who was on the trade block this past season. They can use this top 10 pick to take the CB out of Ohio State, which churned out two first rounders in 2020.
9) Miami Dolphins – OT Samuel Cosmi (Texas)
The Fins took Austin Jackson out of USC, but with Tua under center, they need to invest premim picks in protecting him. Cosmi makes sense with this pick.
10) Atlanta Falcons – LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)
The Falcons have a stud LB in Deion Jones, but he’s also dealt with some injuries. Pairing Parsons with him could solidify their Linebackers room and give them a little insurance is Jones gets hurt again.
11) Los Angeles Chargers – EDGE Xavier Thomas (Clemson)
The Chargers already have Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram but are always looking to build in the trenches. Ingram has been rumored to be moved, but I think keeping all three would make the most sense to keep all three guys fresh.
12) Las Vegas Raiders – OT Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame)
The Kolton Miller experiment hasn’t worked out great and Mayock dips into his connections in South Bend to get some good intel on Eichenberg who will pair better opposite Trent Brown.
13) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – OT Alex Leatherwood (Alabama)
The Jags will need to invest in some more talent to protect their new Franchise Quarterback and take Leatherwood who likely would have been a 1st rounder had he come out in 2020.
14) Chicago Bears – QB Jamie Newman (Georgia)
The Bears technically have two Pro Bowl Quarterbacks on their roster, but they don’t have one Franchise Quarterback yet. Newman is a graduate transfer from Wake Forest and has the prototypical size & arm strength to thrive in Georgia’s offense under Kirby Smart.
15) Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) – WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
The Dolphins now have an OT and a speedy WR to help Tua and his development. Waddle can stretch the field and even help in the return game when needed.
16) New England Patriots – DT Marvin Wilson (Florida State)
The Pats will usually do the least sexy move and Defensive Tackle certainly wouldn’t have a ton of people excited, but it’s a smart move
17) Denver Broncos – CB Paulson Adebo (Stanford)
Denver has come a long way from the ‘No Fly Zone’ defense that brought them a title in Super Bowl 50. Adebo has a solid option to help reinvigorate this secondary that needs a jolt.
18) Cleveland Browns – OT/G Trey Smith (Tennessee)
We saw Baker Mayfield in 2018 vs. 2019 when he had more time. GM Andrew Berry will continue to build around Baker and gets him some more protection in Smith. Smith was the top ranked prospect in 2017, but sat out the 2018 season due to blood clots. He has experience at both Guard and Tackle, although after signing Jack Conklin and drafting Jedrick Wills, I'd think Smith would play Guard for Cleveland.
19) Green Bay Packers – EDGE Quincy Roche (Miami)
The Packers continue to ignore the skill positions in the 1st round, but take Miami EDGE rusher Quincy Roche at #19. I wonder if Aaron Rodgers will be on the team to be upset about this one?
20) Indianapolis Colts – WR Justyn Ross (Clemson)
The 6'3" 205 lbs. Receiver has been on the national radar after his Championship Game performance two years ago as a Freshman with 6 catches for 153 yards & 1 TD against Alabama. He'll give either Philip Rivers or Jacob Eason a legit #1 to go with T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr.
21) Philadelphia Eagles – CB Israel Mukuamu (South Carolina)
The Eagles need to get younger and more talented in the secondary and need Mukuamu’s help to deal with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
22) Seattle Seahawks – WR Devonta Smith (Alabama)
The Seahawks already have Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, but why not add another speedster to help open up the running game? Smith will give Russell Wilson more opportunities to show off that deep ball.
23) Tennessee Titans – LB Dylan Moses (Alabama)
Titans GM Jon Robinson is a fan of drafting SEC LBs and Moses will give the Titans defense another guy who can patrol sideline-to-sideline.
24) Buffalo Bills – TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
Dawson Knox had a solid rookie season, but Pitts can provide a bit more pass catching ability and enable the offense to be more versatile.
25) Minnesota Vikings – S Jacoby Stevens (LSU)
The Vikings have Harrison Smith, but Ant Harris just signed his franchise tag. Unless they can get a long-term deal in place there, he’ll likely be a free agent. Stevens is the next great LSU Safety and will slot in nicely next to Smith.
26) Dallas Cowboys – S Richard LeCounte III (Georgia)
Speaking of Safety, the Cowboys have been needing one for awhile and while their flirtation with Earl Thomas and Jamal Adams makes headlines, they pull the trigger on LeCounte as the cheaper option.
27) Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Brock Purdy (Iowa State)
Big Ben is likely in his last season and Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges haven’t shown they’re ready for a starting role. Purdy is an intruiging prospect to keep an eye on out of Iowa State.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)
Etienne is a versatile back that can play all three downs. His pass catching provides a completely other dimension that would help out Tom Brady immediately.
29) New Orleans Saints – DT Jay Tufele (USC)
The Saints have such an outstanding roster, they can really take best player available, but Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata could both be upgraded and Tufele will help beef up their defense in the middle.
30) Kansas City Chiefs – WR Rondale Moore (Purdue)
Moore is a smaller WR at 5'9" 175. but he's got afterburners. Imagine him with Tyreek Hill on opposite sides?!
31) San Francisco 49ers – S Andrew Cisco (Syracuse)
The 49ers have a bunch of Safeties, but could use a younger, cheaper option here. John Lynch takes Cisco who has 12 INTs the past two seasons out of Syracuse and as a Safety himself with an outstanding resume, it’s likely he’ll be able to pick a good one.
32) Baltimore Ravens – C/G Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)
Humphrey is an outstanding interior Lineman for the Sooners and has the versatility to kick over to Guard. He’ll help keep Lamar Jackson upright for years to come.