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Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 8.0

BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Thursday, April 15th

Kevin Hanson's mock drafts have been among the most accurate:
FantasyPros
- 2020: #14 of 210 mock drafts
- 2019: #6 of 138 mocks
- 2018: #5 of 137 mocks
The Huddle Report
- #4 in 5-year accuracy (2016-2020)
- Mock Draft Champion in 2015

As noted in a previous iteration of my 2021 NFL Mock Draft, it's been five years (2016) since quarterbacks -- Jared Goff and Carson Wentz -- were selected with the first two picks of a draft.

In fact, a QB-QB start has happened in only 13.7% (seven) of the past 51 drafts (since 1970).

Even less common than the QB-QB start, there have been only four drafts (7.84%) with no defensive players selected inside the top five picks over that same span.

The last draft without a top-five defender was 2012 when the Dallas Cowboys selected LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick.

Since 1970, here are the four drafts without a top-five defensive player:

YearPickProspect
20126Morris Claiborne
20056Adam "Pacman" Jones
19997Champ Bailey
19956Kevin Carter

Based on this mock draft, it's possible that we get two firsts since 1970:

  1. Four quarterbacks selected with the first four picks
  2. No defensive player selected in the first nine picks

NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Since stepping onto Clemson's campus as the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2018 recruiting cycle, Lawrence has been the presumptive top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite all of the losing in Duval County over the past 10-15 years, this marks the first time in franchise history that the Jags own the rights to the top pick in the draft.

While nobody is a perfect prospect, Lawrence checks all of the boxes with elite arm talent, mobility and leadership. The Urban Meyer era begins with the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck and a treasure trove of draft capital -- nine picks in the first five rounds (top 170).

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

Although Sam Darnold didn't show that he was the franchise quarterback the team hoped he'd develop into when they selected him with the No. 3 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, he also wasn't put in a position to succeed given the poor coaching and supporting cast. By trading him to the Panthers, the team resets and is absolutely flush with draft picks over the next two years to put the next quarterback in a position to flourish. In the 2021 and 2022 drafts combined, the Jets have 10 picks in the first three rounds -- four first-rounders, three second-rounders and three third-rounders.

Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, former NFL quarterback and current analyst Chris Simms said, "I'm blown away by Zach Wilson, Dan. You know I look at it, and look at, and say this is an Aaron Rodgers, a Patrick Mahomes, Brett Favre-ish type guy." On top of lofty comparisons to HOF/MVP-caliber quarterbacks, Simms actually ranks Wilson ahead of Lawrence, but the BYU product's meteoric rise up draft boards this draft cycle has been similar to that of Joe Burrow in last year's draft.

If Lawrence weren't in this draft class, Wilson would be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick.

MORE: New York Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

3. San Francisco 49ers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

As much fun as it might be to think about a dual-threat talent, such as Ohio State's Justin Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance, operate inside a Kyle Shanahan offense, all signs point to the 49ers making Mac Jones the pick.

Jones may not be a "statue," but he lacks the mobility and arm strength that the rest of the top quarterback prospects possess. That said, Jones makes quick reads and throws with outstanding accuracy and touch. Taking the reigns from Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth pick in 2020, Jones really hit the ground running in 2020 as he completed 77.4% of his pass attempts and threw for 4,500 yards (11.2 Y/A), 41 touchdowns and four interceptions last season.

Continue reading Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

BY BRENDAN DONAHUE (@donnycasino)
Updated: Sunday, April 11th

So last week, I added some betting lines (via DraftKings) and will do that again this week and continue to do so going forward.

Part of having an accurate mock draft is being able to read the tea leaves and one way of doing that is to "follow the money."

After the Sam Darnold trade, we do have some rather large line movements that I will note below. If you want to see what I think a team needs or more description of a particular player, you can find those aspects addressed in the previous iterations.

Note: Previous iterations of this mock draft can be viewed here:

NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Listed at -10,000, the biggest lock on the board.

MORE: This is the first No. 1 pick in Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Draft History

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

Here's where we saw a huge move in odds after the Sam Darnold trade since it all but ensured that the Jets will be staying put and taking a QB at No. 2. Wilson saw his odds move from - 500 to -2,000 and will be the pick at No. 2.

MORE: New York Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

3. San Francisco 49ers - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Another rather large line movement as the talk grows louder around Jones being the guy Shanahan wants at No. 3. Just a week ago, he was still basically a coin flip with Justin Fields and Trey Lance, but Jones is now the clear favorite at -305.

If you think Fields or Lance are still in play here, then you are getting great value at Fields +250 and Lance +400. But I am going with Jones as I don't see the need for the 49ers to play coy with whom they are selecting here since they aren't going to trade out of this slot.

Another sign that Fields or Lance don't believe that they are the pick here at the moment is that they both have now scheduled another pro day, which wouldn't make sense if they were already told they were the 49ers guy.

Continue reading Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Continue reading Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Top 10 Picks

We are more than two years away for the 2023 NFL Draft, which will be held in Kansas City, MO.

While we have posted a 2021 NFL Mock Draft and 2022 NFL Mock Draft, we've decided to take a way-too-early look at how the top of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out.

For our 2021 (and 2022) mock draft(s), we know which prospects have declared early (or decided to return for another season). For the pool of players for our early top-10 mock draft for 2023, we've limited our pool of prospects to only players that will become draft-eligible beginning in 2023.

The draft order used is based on the inverse order of NFL wins over the past decade.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

As noted in our 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars own the rights to their first-ever No. 1 overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. More than likely, the Jags won't be picking first again in 2023 given their treasure trove of draft picks and ability to spend in free agency.

Nonetheless, they have the first pick based on our criteria for determining the draft order and get a disruptive edge rusher in Anderson. Among SEC defenders, only Georgia's Azeez Ojulari and former teammate Christian Barmore had more sacks in 2020 than Anderson had as a true freshman. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (17) had fewer sacks than the Jaguars (18) in 2020.

2. Cleveland Browns: Bryan Bresee, IDL, Clemson

The No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports Composite (2020), Bresee enjoyed immediate success for the Tigers. The ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC performer finished his true freshman season with 6.5 tackles for loss including four sacks and 33 tackles. With a rare combination of first-step explosiveness for a man his size, Bresee has the versatility to line up at various alignments along the defensive line.

3. New York Jets: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy stepped onto the Clemson campus with NFL-ready size and athleticism. As a true freshman, Murphy led the Tigers in tackles for loss (12.5) and forced fumbles (three), had four sacks and was as good as it gets against the run.

Continue reading our way-too-early Top-10 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Kevin Hanson's Way-Too-Early 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Updated: Thursday, February 18th

As difficult as it is to project how the NFL Draft will play out two months from now, it's (obviously) even more difficult when trying to project one year and two months from now.

Not only will two free-agency periods impact team needs, so will the actual 2021 NFL Draft.

For the purposes of this mock draft, we took into consideration the player projected in the first round of our latest 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

To project draft order, I used recent Super Bowl 56 odds.

1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

If the Texans are picking first overall in 2022, that likely means that they met Deshaun Watson's trade demands. Trading away a franchise player like Watson would be a tough pill for Texans' fans to swallow, but Howell has elevated the play of those around him and has been one of the best deep passers in college since his freshman season.

2. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The top-ranked recruit on the ESPN 300 in 2019, Thibodeaux burst onto the scene with 12.0 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss over 21 games in his first two seasons.

Current Oregon (and former Texas A&M) DC Tim DeRuyter recently compared Thibodeaux's explosiveness to one of his former pupils (Von Miller). DeRuyter said that Kayvon is "probably the first person that I've seen in a while who has that explosiveness off the edge like Von" [Miller].

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Neal has starting experience at both left guard (2019) and right tackle (2020), but it's possible he moves to the other side to replace Alex Leatherwood at left tackle in 2021. Regardless of how the Jaguars fill the void created by left tackle Cam Robinson's impending free agency, Neal would help upgrade the offensive line no matter where he lines up.

+ Continue reading our 2022 NFL Mock Draft

2021 NFL Draft Big Board

Our 2021 NFL Draft Big Board ranks the top-150 draft-eligible prospects for this year's NFL draft.

RankProspectPos.SchoolYearHgtWgt
1Trevor LawrenceQBClemsonJR6-6220
2Penei SewellOTOregonJR6-6330
3Ja'Marr ChaseWRLSUJR6-1200
4Zach WilsonQBBYUJR6-3210
5Kyle PittsTEFloridaJR6-6239
6Justin FieldsQBOhio StateJR6-3228
7Jaylen WaddleWRAlabamaJR5-10182
8Rashawn SlaterOTNorthwesternSR6-4315
9DeVonta SmithWRAlabamaSR6-1175
10Micah ParsonsLBPenn StateJR6-3244
2021 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 150 Prospects

For our top 10 per position, check out our 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings

Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Arizona Cardinals from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Cardinals:

EDSFootball - Hanson (4/1)

16. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

With Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Johnathan Joseph no longer on the roster, the Cardinals have signed Malcolm Butler and (cut and then) re-signed Robert Alford to one-year deals. In other words, cornerback remains one of the team's bigger needs heading into the draft.

Especially given the Stephon Gilmore rumors that have circulated in Foxboro, it wouldn't surprise me if Horn went off the board a pick earlier than this. (And interestingly enough, the 49ers trade up to No. 3 allows the Cards to get their man as he likely would have been their non-QB pick if they stayed at No. 12.)

The son of former Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee excels in press-man coverage due to his size, physical playing style and competitive demeanor. He helped his case with a strong performance at South Carolina's Pro Day -- 4.39 forty, 41.5" vertical and 11'1" broad jump.

ESPN - McShay (4/1)

18. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Patrick Peterson is off to Minnesota, both starting outside corners -- Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford -- signed one-year deals and Byron Murphy Jr. is mainly a nickelback. Farley had a back procedure at the end of March, and though it isn't expected to impact his training camp availability, it's a concern. Still, he is the best cover corner in the class and fits what the Cardinals are looking for on the outside.

Baltimore Sun - Doon (3/31)

16. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Cardinals will be happy to take whichever cornerback ends up falling to No. 16 after losing Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick from what was a mediocre secondary in 2020. Farley has some injury concerns after another back surgery but was one of the nation's top corners in 2019.

Keep reading our Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Roundup

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