This is the one of one 2021 Fode Mock Lock. That’s right folks, no need to even tune in tomorrow as these will be the picks. Let’s get down to it!
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, BYU QB
The Jets should be thanking San Fran for keeping pick three so interesting, because this one should not be as clear-cut as it’s become. Wilson is a one-year wonder that wasn’t *that* wondrous in a bizarre season. He played behind an elite O-line, had good weapons, and faced very poor competition relative to the rest of this class. He’s a good athlete but certainly not a game-changing one, and while his arm is fantastic, I think teams have fallen in love with the Mahomes-type upside while ignoring that the Jets are not the Chiefs in any way, shape, or form. I like Wilson, but taking him at two with little resistance is baffling to me.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, NDSU QB
I’ll believe it’s Jones when I see it. I would take Fields here but by the word of every reputable outlet it’s between Jones and Lance. Lance is green, but he’s smart, young, athletic as hell, and superior as a prospect to Jones in almost every way.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, Florida TE
I would take a QB here, but Pitts is the best player in this draft and I think they’ll have a hard time trading back. I will say, the Falcons cap issues and interest in trading Julio Jones suggest they may be closer to embracing a rebuild than we think. They could also be trying to get something for an aging player before he falls off a cliff, and who knows if they even like Fields or Jones. I’m sticking with Pitts, with a QB very possible but a trade-out difficult to project.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR
The Bengals are obsessed with keeping Burrow happy, and they’ve invested fairly heavily in the OL (by their standards) the last few years. I would take Sewell, but everything points to Chase here so I’m rolling with it.
6. Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR
The Dolphins value speed at the WR position, they’re (apparently) all-in on Tua, and they overpaid to stay at six for a reason. The Dolphins love to smokescreen, but I’m buying the interest here. I would take Slater and plug him into whatever empty OL spot I have, and apparently Miami is higher on him than Sewell.
7. TRADE! Los Angeles Chargers: Ra’Shawn Slater, Northwestern OL
Sewell is obviously very possible in this case, but I’ve read that they prefer Slater and it makes sense why. His versatility and nimble nature will be coveted by a team looking for someone to block for Herbert and Austin Ekeler. They also have more than one need on that O-line, which I feel confident they’ll value with Slater.
8. Carolina Panthers: Penei Sewell, Oregon OT
Panthers could trade back or take a CB(Horn) here, but when a guy this good falls to you I believe you should run to the podium and not overthink it. The Panthers have a need at OT, and while some think they could take Fields, I think people underestimate how much NFL teams want to appear competent. I get the idea that you should load up on QBs, but the Darnold trade would be fairly horrendous if they took a QB at eight, and it would be even worse if Darnold won the job over a top-ten selected rookie.
9. TRADE! Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB
Surtain is a dream fit for the Eagles, a corner that can start day one in a zone scheme. Last year, the Eagles totally ignored the WR position prior to the draft then proceeded to acquire four over the course of the weekend, including first-rounder Jalen Reagor. They’ve been similarly dormant at the cornerback position this year despite their starters being the aging Darius Slay and the struggling Avonte Maddox, so I’m going to believe what they’re telling us. Dallas is almost certainly going CB with the next pick, so it would behoove the Eagles to get their guy.
10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, South Carolina CB
Dallas shrugs and takes 1B on their CB board in Horn, a physical man corner that fits what they’re looking to do next season. Horn and Trevon Diggs make a solid young corner combo, with Dallas needing to be at least respectable on that end to complement their stellar offense.
11. New York Giants: Devonta Smith, Alabama WR
I know they’ve invested fairly heavily in this group, but Giants GM Dave Gettleman needs Daniel Jones to succeed to keep his job. The Giants haven’t really held the same scouting standards of other teams, so the size doesn’t concern me as much as some others. This is far from a bad pick but it’s certainly not a spot of need.
12. TRADE! New England Patriots: Justin Fields, Ohio St. QB
The rare double trade-back for Denver nets them a pair of day two picks, while the Pats get their man for the future. I can’t see New England moving into the top-ten, but three spots is an easy move to make for a team with extra picks. Fields is my second-ranked QB in this class, and filling in behind fellow Georgian Cam Newton with the greatest coach in football history should set him up well for success.
13. Detroit Lions: Micah Parsons, Penn St. LB
A player they would’ve taken at seven falls in their lap at thirteen. I think Parsons could fall even further if Devonta Smith slips, but Dan Campbell will love Parsons for a myriad of reasons, and with the trade-out they really can afford a luxury pick if they feel Parsons can be a tone-setter on defense.
14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, VT OT
I’m a huge fan of Darrisaw, as I generally think production in college leads to production in the pros. He’s not a freak athlete, but he’s reliable as hell and someone you won’t need to replace for a decade if all goes well. This is my favorite player-team fit in this draft to this point.
15. Denver Broncos: Azeez Ojulari, UGA EDGE
The defense this team runs and what Ojulari brings to the table make this a perfect fit in my eyes. An elite athlete with explosiveness and solid production in a great conference, I expect Ojulari to go in the teens and I think he’ll be a great player for Vic Fangio on day one. Denver does outstanding work here picking up extra capital while landing a star EDGE.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Greg Newsome, Northwestern CB
There’s very little to dislike about Newsome, and with a gaping hole at the corner spot I think they’ll fight off the urge to trade up for a WR and take the best fit. Corners should fly off the board this year and Newsome at sixteen will represent a slight reach at a key position.
17. Oakland Raiders: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame LB
Love the player-team fit, as JOK has elite traits without the off-field baggage of Parsons. He can cover, defend the run, and set the tone for a defense that’s been horrendous for fifteen years. It’s a home run selection if JOK makes it to seventeen.
18. TRADE! Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, Alabama QB
Chicago leaps a potential QB suitor in Washington to get a guy that may represent a lifeline for Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace. Mac has some elite traits, and if he can limit his partying and get in shape, he can be a pro bowl player down the road.
19. Washington: Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC OL
Another A+ player-team fit, as AVT bolsters a decrepit O-line in Washington that just desperation-traded for Ereck Flowers. With an improved line, good weapons, and a gunslinger in Fitzpatrick, Washington could be more than the best team in the worst division in football: they could win a playoff game.
20. Miami Dolphins Javonte Williams, UNC RB
I think Williams has more fans than people think, his ability to make people miss is sorely needed in this offense and I don’t think he lasts until thirty-six. Etienne makes sense here as well, but Miami has so few holes that I think they get their guy.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Jaelen Phillips, Miami DE
Phillips is a top-ten talent in this draft whose medicals have caused him to drop a bit. Teams seem to be fairly comfortable taking him early, and Indy could use a star EDGE to combat the Chiefs and Bills when the games matter. OL and CB are reaches at twenty-one, so Indy takes a pass-rusher or trades out.
22. Tennessee Titans: Kwity Paye, Michigan DE
Paye is one of my favorite players in the draft, a guy who may go far earlier than this if the board falls a certain way. His story is incredible, and despite being a bit undersized, he’s one of the freakiest athletes in the draft at a position where athleticism and quickness are king. I’m rooting for Paye and Tennessee needs to continue bolstering their embarrassing pass rush.
23. New York Jets: Elijah Moore, Ole Miss WR
Zach Wilson is going to need a lifeline weapon to grow with, and signing Corey Davis shouldn’t stop the Jets from investing in playmakers. Moore will step in as a top-tier slot WR for an offense that badly needs to create easy plays, and with Denzel Mims also in the developmental fold, the Jets can lock in a core group of playmakers and let them grow together.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, Alabama RB
I have Harris third among the RBs, and that’s not a slight but more a realization that he’s had one year as an NFL-level back and it was an ideal situation for him. He’s good at everything but not elite in any way, and behind this hideous Steelers OL I can’t say he’ll be super productive in year one. But all signs point to this being the pick, so here we are.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tevin Jenkins, OkSt OL
I’m a huge Jenkins fan, and getting him this late would be robbery for a team that desperately needs to protect Trevor Lawrence. The Jags can grab another weapon in the early second round and roll with a young group that will put up points on day one.
26. Cleveland Browns: Joe Tryon, Washington DE
Tryon has been a borderline fixture in first-round mocks of late, and as an analytics darling I think the Browns decide to fix their defensive woes while adding an elite talent in Tryon. This could also be a trade back, but I would be fairly certain it’s not an LB.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Dillon Radunz, NDSU OT
After the Orlando Brown trade, the Ravens reinvest in the trenches and take the mauling Radunz at twenty-seven. With WR and LB being far deeper than OL in this class, I would expect twenty-seven to be a lineman with thirty-one getting trickier.
28. New Orleans Saints: Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR
Wideout is a sneaky need for the Saints, as they’ll need to get their new QB all the help they can. Everyone seems to love Bateman, who starred in the B1G and should be handed a starting role on day one alongside Michael Thomas.
29. Green Bay Packers: Creed Humphrey, OU OL
I know I just did this exact thing at twenty-eight, but I can’t stress enough how dumb it would be to use a first round pick on a secondary offensive weapon here, especially in a deep wideout class. Replacing Corey Linsley is far more important with a fragile, aging QB at the peak of his telepathic powers with Davante Adams. The Packers have a good, young, underrated group of receivers beyond Adams with Allen Lazard, MVS, and TE Robert Tonyan. Drafting a guy to be the fourth or fifth pass-catcher seems asinine, whereas the Saints have a QB that needs help, a better O-line, and no good pass-catchers beyond Thomas.
30. Buffalo Bills: Travis Etienne, Clemson RB
While I’m generally anti-RB this early I can’t help but feel fine with this pick. It’s a very late first and Etienne is a decorated three-down back that’ll keep Josh Allen off the ground in the regular season. The Bills don’t have a ton of needs, so a luxury pick isn’t so bad in my eyes.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Zaven Collins, Tulsa LB
This would be a slide for Collins, who the Ravens considered four picks earlier. I would bet that they trade out, but without an obvious trade-up partner I think Collins makes a ton of sense as an athletic LB that should be well-coached in Baltimore.
32. Tampa Bay Bucs: Christian Barmore, Alabama DT
Getting pressure on the QB won them a Super Bowl, and I think doubling-down and grabbing a disruptive interior rusher would go a long way toward keeping their current guys fresh without skipping a beat. Barmore is a risk, but his best day is as good as anyone’s in this group.
Just missed: Trevon Moehrig, Jayson Oweh, Caleb Farley, Greg Rousseau, Jamin Davis