2021 NFL Mock Draft
[Note: You can find the full 2021 NFL mock draft from EDSFootball.com owner Kevin Hanson on SI.com.]
One of the early headlines for the 2020 NFL draft was the concept that the Miami Dolphins would #tankfortua. It worked. Brilliantly, I might add, with Chris Grier's Dolphins team able to win five games and get their guy fifth overall without having to give up any additional draft capital.
Now it's Trevor Lawrence's turn.
While Tua Tagovailoa might have challenged Joe Burrow for the No. 1 spot had health and durability not been an issue, there is a decent chance that the top two picks in 2021 will both be quarterbacks.
Before getting into my first 2021 mock draft, one thing to explain is how the draft order was determined. We inverted Vegas Insider's Super Bowl odds and slotted teams by conference based on how the NFL draft takes playoff finish into account. In other words, I don't hate your team -- Vegas does (if you don't like where they are slotted in this mock).
With that said, here's a way-too-early look at how the first round in 2021 could play out:
Early odds put the Jags in the pole position in their bid to #tankfortrevor. If picking first in 2021, a front office and coaching staff reset is almost guaranteed in Duval County. Lawrence, who will finally be draft-eligible in 2021, has been the presumed top pick since his freshman campaign. He's led Clemson to a national championship, back-to-back title game appearances with only one loss (25-1) and has all of the traits—size, arm strength, accuracy, mobility, etc.—that teams covet in a franchise-changing quarterback.
2. Washington: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Would Washington consider Justin Fields here? They should. If they are picking this high again next year, it's possible that Dwayne Haskins didn't take a big enough step forward in his second season. A Lawrence-Fields start to the 2021 draft seems the most-likely scenario a year out, so Washington could turn this pick into plenty of draft capital to a team trading up for Fields. For now, they add a dominant left tackle prospect who can take over for Trent Williams.
3. Cincinnati Bengals: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)
Only five teams recorded fewer sacks than the Bengals' 31 in 2019 and Carlos Dunlap will be entering the final year of his contract in 2021. Rousseau had a breakout season as a redshirt freshman with 15.5 sacks, second nationally to only Chase Young (16.5), and 19.5 tackles for loss.
DeVante Parker had the unusual fifth-year breakout and Preston Williams was a highly productive UDFA before his season-ending injury. With Chase, the Dolphins give Tua Tagovailoa a true No. 1 receiver. Named by several corners in the 2020 draft as the best receiver they faced, Chase finished his Biletnikoff-winning campaign with 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Of his 84 receptions, a nation-leading 24 of them went for 20-plus yards.
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