For the fourth consecutive year we’ve gathered 32 of our favorite NFL Draft writers, podcasters and analysts for our annual 32-person, first-round mock draft.
We’ve linked you to the Twitter page of each selector, so feel free to let them know what you think about their pick, or leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Highlighted players have 2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles so be sure to check those out as we break down the players as both NFL Draft prospects and how they’ll factor into dynasty league rookie drafts.
Here it is… your favorite mock draft of every offseason!
Lawrence is the easy pick at No. 1 overall. The Jaguars can’t wait on a quarterback whose development will take time – they’ve waited too long to find their franchise passer. Lawrence is as pro ready as they come and his steady leadership will be crucial in the Jaguars’ new era under the Urban Meyer regime
Wilson wouldn’t be who I’d take, but he is going to be the pick. Currently listed at -2000 to be the second-overall pick, Wilson possesses playmaking ability the Jets sorely need. His greatest strength is his arm talent; he has the ability to flick his wrist and the ball can go anywhere on the field. His deep ball will match up well with Denzel Mims and Corey Davis, but his desire to bail on the pocket and handle pressure will require a serious offensive line upgrade
Lance is the youngest of all draftable quarterbacks and has run a similar system to the 49ers for North Dakota State. He has the strongest arm and is the most dangerous mobile QB in this draft. Add to the fact that he never turns the ball over and called all of his own protections and audibles at the line of scrimmage. Lance and the 49ers could run the NFC West for over a decade with Kyle Shanahan at the helm
The Falcons have been linked to Trey Lance, with new general manager Terry Fontenot rumored to be interested in him. With Lance off the board, the Falcons could land the top non-quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft class. That would be Penei Sewell, who would provide the Falcons with two upgrades on the offensive line. Sewell would be stationed at tackle, while Kaleb McGary could move inside to provide better guard play
With Penei Sewell off the board, it puts a damper on the “protect Joe Burrow at all costs” initiative. So let’s add a weapon. Chase is very familiar with Burrow during his time at LSU. He is a dynamic pass catcher who can add plenty of fuel to the fire along with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. A ton of analysts love Rashawn Slater and some would argue for him in this spot, but No. 5 is a bit too rich. It’s a deep offensive line class with plenty of starting options to choose from in round two and beyond
Miami clearly moved back up to No. 6 to land a playmaker without worrying about which of the top three or four would still be on the board. Pitts is a rare prospect who can play tight end and receiver. Miami can still get a third receiver later on to compliment a now-loaded unit
I highly doubt Fields falls this far in the draft, but with the Lions going into a rebuild, I’m pretty sure they’d be a potential trade partner for a team looking to trade into the top 10 for a quarterback. Since we’re not doing trades in this mock, I’ve put a spin on it where it makes sense for the Lions to select Fields at No. 7. Sure the Lions traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff and the team will build around Goff for the time being, but even if the Lions decide to move on from Goff after just one year, his dead cap hit in ’22 is just $10 million. Moving on from Goff after one year may be the route to go if they take Fields as the former Ohio State signal caller and D’Andre Swift would be a dynamic duo for years to come. If the Lions can also cash in on one of the options in this year’s deep receiver class outside of the first round, they’d have a solid offensive core with Fields at the forefront
Slater is a freak athlete and very well might be the 1B to Sewell’s 1A (hell, he’s the top-ranked OL for some out there). Grabbing a top offensive lineman in the draft is something I’ve wanted Carolina to do for YEARS, and I think 2021 is finally that year. Trading for Sam Darnold has opened up a world of opportunity for Carolina at No. 8 and I’m very excited to see how it shakes out at the end of April
In the scenario as it is currently laid out, I’d say the Broncos go Parsons or a cornerback. We’ll go with Parsons here over Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn, IF (and it’s a big if) we’re sold on his off-field
With Mac Jones still on the board, perhaps the Cowboys could have tried to move back a few picks (to No. 15 in exchange for New England’s pick?) and still get one of the top-two corners in the draft. Either way, there’s a strong chance that Dallas will use this pick to upgrade a pass defense that allowed a passing touchdown every 15.09 pass attempts faced (second-most in the NFL) last season and lost Chidobe Awuzie in free agency this offseason. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Surtain has an NFL pedigree (father was a three-time Pro Bowl CB and his high school coach) with outstanding size (6-2, 208), length and ball skills that new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will covet
The Giants have a few needs to fill early in the 2021 NFL Draft. They focus on the EDGE position, a critical element of their defensive attack, and select the highlight-athletic Ojulari. He should make a quick impact by causing chaos in opposing backfields. Look for the Giants to take advantage of the depth of the wide receiver class and target a big-bodied wideout like Terrace Marshall with the 42nd-overall selection
There isn’t a world where the Eagles pass on the Heisman Trophy winner – at a huge position of need, no less – and that works out well for them. Howie Roseman overthought it when he took Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson last year. He should try not to do that this year and just take an excellent player in Smith at No. 12 overall
In my latest personal mock draft I have the Chargers moving up to No. 7 to land Kyle Pitts, but since we’re not including trades in this 32-person mock, I’m going to go the route of adding protection up front for Justin Herbert. With Sewell and Slater off the board, Darrisaw appears likely to be the third offensive lineman selected in this year’s draft, and who could blame the Chargers as they look to protect the merchandise (Herbert) for the next decade plus. Adding Jaycee Horn at No. 13 was tempting, but Darrisaw is the pick
The Vikings have been notorious for struggling to protect their quarterback for the past few years. They have other holes to fill, such as cornerback, safety, defensive tackle and linebacker depth. Still, with the lack of overall depth of talent on the current offensive line, it’s the highest priority for the Vikings to draft a player such as Vera-Tucker. He can play tackle or guard in the NFL. It’s best that he starts at tackle in the NFL, and if he struggles in that aspect, he can be kicked inside to guard and be a vital asset for many years
The Patriots added to their receiver room with the acquisitions of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency, but that doesn’t sway them from addressing the position in the draft. They need an explosive playmaker and Alabama’s Waddle fits that mold to a tee. He is the best slot receiver in the class and offers dimensions as a returner on special teams like nobody else
I could absolutely see the Cardinals either taking the top running back or trading back here to get more picks and still get the running back they like. However, that is not an option in this draft. The Cardinals long-term needs come at cornerback after losing Patrick Peterson. The addition of Malcolm Butler is a short-term fix. Horn has gone against some of the top wide receivers in college football and that should help him make an immediate impact in the NFL
Owusu-Koramoah is the perfect sideline-to-sideline linebacker for a Gus Bradley defense. JOK is an incredible do-it-all linebacker that can pass rush when needed, tackle and cover. Linebacker isn’t the Raiders’ biggest need, but JOK is the best player left on the board
There are a number of edge defenders that could be selected in this spot, but for Miami, I think Paye is an ideal fit in Brian Flores’ defense. His ability to play all over the line — hand in the dirt or in a two-point stance; inside or outside — will be put to good use by Flores as a chess piece in his defense
If the draft board fell this way for the WFT, they would be doing cartwheels up to the podium. While Jones may not be the most popular prospect at quarterback, he is easily better than what’s left and you can’t bank on WFT finishing in an opportune position to land a potential franchise QB next season. Jones set the record for the highest single-season college QBR, completion percentage, and was in charge of the best offensive in college football in 2020. Ryan Fitzpatrick likely starts week one, but we know it’s just a matter of time until Jones sees the field
The Chicago Bears have four glaring needs that they will hope to address in this draft: QB, OT, CB and WR. I don’t think any of the top-five quarterbacks fall to them at No. 20, and with it being a very deep offensive-line class, I would feel comfortable waiting until the second round to fill that position. So when I found myself on the clock with both Caleb Farley and Newsome available for the Bears I had a decision to make. Do I take the former CB2 and risk the potential injury concerns? Or do I take the healthy one from Northwestern? I decided to play it safe and take Newsome knowing that I could plug him at the starting corner spot opposite of last year’s second-round pick, Jaylon Johnson. The Bears will need to replace the departed Kyle Fuller, and by grabbing one of the top-four CB’s in this year’s draft, they feel great entering the second round
The Colts have a major need at defensive end in this draft. While he may be a bit of a risk due to past injuries, it’s hard to ignore his talent. The most polished pass rusher in this draft class and a truly elite athlete, Phillips is well worth the risk in the back half of the first round for the Colts
While some may be tempted to think wide receiver here to replace the departed Corey Davis, the Titans don’t win because of their passing game. They play defense, they run the football, and they do just enough in the passing game. The Titans’ secondary was 28th last year in passing yards allowed and lost arguably their best CB in Adoree’ Jackson. Farley helps to replace that athleticism and helps to fix one of the major deficiencies on this roster
With so many needs in New York, there is almost any pick the Jets can make here that will (hopefully) help them immediately. Having a shiny new quarterback would make you think he should be surrounded by new weapons. Well, he kinda already is via free agency. The second-most glaring need for the Jets has long been an edge rusher. So, why middle linebacker Jamin Davis? Because he is a freak specimen who is shooting up draft boards based on his versatility and explosive play making. If* C.J. Mosley returns, and if* Jarrad Davis reemerges, then Jamin has fantastic role models to learn the position from, and could provide a boost (in my opinion) from the outside. If either, or neither, Mosley or Jarrad Davis works out, Jamin Davis is an immediate plug and play. Sign me up for all of the helium
Harris would be a nice fit offensively for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are no stranger to taking a running back in the early rounds of the draft, let alone in the first round, as Harris would become the sixth first-round running back selected in team history. Pittsburgh is a WR factory anyway, so with their running back situation being a hot mess, Harris makes sense here
The Jaguars addressed the cornerback group and the defensive line in free agency. Moehrig is my top safety and top player still on the board. With his addition to the defense, the Jaguars will find more consistent play on the back end and more playmaking
With several notable names off the board at defensive positions of interest, this one comes down to best player available and that is far and away Bateman. He’s a very nuanced receiver who understands release, route variances, and how to separate throughout. He’s a nice fit for the 2021 Browns and years beyond
“Real chalk because it makes sense.” – Ryan
I was going to ask for Ryan to provide another couple of sentences as to why Marshall would be a good fit in Baltimore, but I honestly think he may have summed it up in six words. If Marshall is on the board when the Ravens are on the clock, I don’t think anyone will be surprised if it’s a slam-dunk pick
Collins is a tall, strong linebacker that will pair great next to Demario Davis as a day-one starter. Linebacker is a large need for the Saints and Collins mixed into the young and speedy Saints’ defense would be a perfect match
Green Bay needs a long-term right tackle, and drafting Jenkins will allow Billy Turner to fill in for David Bakhtiari at left tackle until he’s (Bakhtiari) healthy, which will allow Turner to kick back inside to guard
78 fricking touchdowns. His nose for the endzone is unmatched by anyone in the class. It’s also an area where running backs Devin Singletary and Zach Moss struggled in 2020. He is the ultimate missing puzzle piece for an already potent Bills’ offense
The entire country watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulverize quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV. The Kansas City offensive line collapsed late in the 2020 season and it could not protect its franchise signal caller in the biggest game of the year. The Chiefs must upgrade the front five, and Mayfield is a plug-and-play starter from the first day of training camp despite limited experience. At 6’5″, 319 lbs, the former Michigan star is a nimble athlete who dominates the line of scrimmage. Mayfield likely needs to start on the right side of the o-line until he eventually slides over to the left side for Kansas City
The Buccaneers are the defending Super Bowl champions and have no glaring need as they return ALL of their starters from a year ago. That gives them the luxury of truly being able to draft whoever they want. In this case it’s Alabama defensive lineman, Christian Barmore. With Ndamukong Suh back for another year, Barmore can spell him for a season and take a more prominent role in year two. For now, he adds depth to one of the deepest rosters in the league
If you plan on doing some drinking during this year’s draft, be sure to check out our 2021 NFL Draft Drinking Game, and definitely check out our 2021 NFL Draft podcast episodes as we’ve recently covered the draft’s top QB’s, RB’s, WR’s and reviewed our latest mock drafts!