10 Bold Predictions for the 2021 NFL Draft

The day we have all been looking forward to has finally arrived. If you have been following us over at Loaded Box we were doing both dynasty and NFL mock drafts since the regular season ended. Yeah, we are that into it…

The moment of truth starts at 8:00pm (EST) and is projected to be over around 11:30pm (EST). All those mock drafts you have seen are finalized and if someone gets 20% of the picks right, that’s considered a “great” mock.

Sit back, sip your coffee (or beer), minimize your Microsoft Teams call and prepare yourself for my NFL Draft Day 1 bold predictions!

Bold Prediction #1: Justin Fields goes #3 overall

Say what you want to say. I don’t see Fields falling as most are currently predicting. Do you really believe in Trey Lance who only played one game last season? Or Mac Jones who didn’t look so great at his pro day? Fields is the pick if Shanahan wants to stay employed.

Bold Prediction #2: Kyle Pitts will not be picked at #4 by Atlanta

Sure he’s a “generational talent” but to take a tight end this high? Only the Lions spend top-10 draft capital on tight ends (Ebron ‘14; Hockenson ‘19). Vernon Davis was the last tight end taken this high (6th pick in 2004) and it took him four years to return value on the pick. Smart teams will pass this early in the draft.

Bold Prediction #3: Five quarterbacks will go in the top 9

Once the first three picks have been made, the draft will have officially started and I’m predicting a couple of top-10 trades will take place. New England or Washington will be trading up and Denver will be the team that takes the fifth quarterback. Yes, I have Denver still drafting a quarterback at No. 9 even with the trade for Teddy Bridgewater.

Bold Prediction #4: Kyle Pitts falls

Jerry Jones does what he does best and takes the best player available at pick 10. That player is Kyle Pitts and the Dallas offense is now pure fire!

Bold Prediction #5: There will be five trades Thursday night

There were four trades last year during night one and why not set the over at five and let’s hope for more!

Bold Prediction #6: Jaylen Waddle will be the first receiver taken

It would have been a dream come true for the Bengals to pair Chase with Burrow, but I’m predicting they go with Sewell. The Lions ended up with Chase at No. 7 because the Dolphins pulled the trigger at No. 6 on Jaylen Waddle.

Bold Prediction #7: A defensive players won’t be drafted till pick #12

Since 1967, the latest the first defensive player was selected was in 1999 when Champ Bailey was selected 7th overall. This beats the trend including defensive lineman who fell out of the top 10 in 2012 when Dontari Poe was selected 11th overall by Kansas City. History will be made in 2021 at pick 12 this year.

Bold Prediction #8: Six quarterbacks are drafted

I already told you that five quarterbacks will be selected within the first nine picks. So who else sneaks into the first round? Well, the photo above gives it away, it’s Kyle Trask.

Bold Prediction #9: Travis Etienne is the first running back drafted

The majority of mocks I’ve seen have Najee Harris going as the first running back at No. 24 to Pittsburgh. As much as I would love to see that, don’t be surprised if the Bills move up and snag Etienne to help out the team’s mediocre running game and keep Josh Allen from getting injured at the goal line with his new three-down back.

Bold Prediction #10: If you drink, you will be drunk by pick No. 11

That’s right. You want to have a little more fun during the draft? Look no further than Ben’s annual drinking game! This is the NFL Draft with a fun and loaded twist. See how far you can go and post your photos on Twitter and tag Loaded Box

Ryan Miner is a featured blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook

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