We are less than two weeks away from my three-day Christmas! With pro days in the books and rumors swirling at a rapid rate, it is time to take a look at where things stand with a new mock draft.
So far, the longest my 2021 mocks have gone is three rounds. Today, I am expanding it to four rounds while still projecting trades. My final mock draft will be an entire seven-round mock draft, which will come out at some point during the week of the draft.
After some confusion with the selection for the Steelers in mock 3.0, let me reiterate that these mocks are not based on what I would do, but rather what I could see happening if the board fell the way it did before the Steelers were up to pick. In this mock, the scenario is somewhat different, primarily because we are beginning to hear rumors about what teams may be doing not only in round one, but on day two as well.
Conversation on my projections for any team is always encouraged. If you have thoughts on anything from this mock, be sure to share it in the comment section below.
But without further adieu, let's get to the mock!
1. Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence — QB — Clemson
I wish I had insider information to spill about the Jaguars planning on shocking the world and taking Justin Fields here, but I don’t. So let’s move on.
2. Jets- Zach Wilson — QB — BYU
After trading Sam Darnold, the Jets have pushed the reset button once again. All indications point to Zach Wilson being the pick, and there is no reason to believe that they will do anything different than that. Wilson has some durability concerns, but he has the talent to become one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
3. 49ers- Mac Jones — QB — Alabama
I still think Trey Lance makes a lot of sense here, but I will play along with the rumors for now. If Kyle Shanahan is looking for the next Matt Ryan to run his system, Jones may be his guy. I assumed that when they moved up to three, they would be taking a guy who could allow Shanahan to expand his playbook, but it seems like they may be satisfied with Jones. He is not as talented as the other quarterbacks, but he has a high IQ and displays good accuracy.
4. **PROJECTED TRADE** (Falcons get picks 15, 46, 120, and a 2022 1st round pick)
Patriots- Justin Fields — QB — Ohio State
New England addressed most of its immediate needs in free agency, which is why I think they can afford to give up whatever draft capital is necessary to secure one of the top quarterbacks. If Mac Jones is not taken at three, I could see him as a fit for New England, but I have also heard rumors that New England likes Justin Fields. He is not the typical Belichick pick, but after seeing the success of Mahomes, Watson, and Allen in the AFC, he may feel the need to add a dynamic quarterback as well.
5. Bengals- Kyle Pitts — TE — Florida
I feel as if Penei Sewell is the best player for the Bengals to target at pick five, and if they were to look anywhere other than offensive line, Ja’Marr Chase would be the logical option. However, if the NFL truly thinks that Pitts is a once-in-a-generation type of weapon, he may come off the board before any of the wide receivers. This pick may not be the most logical fit for Cincinnati, but it seems as if NFL teams would consider him to be the best player available.
6. Dolphins- DeVonta Smith — WR — Alabama
Chase may have higher upside than Smith, but the Dolphins do not seem interested in taking a player who opted out at the top of the draft. Plus, Smith already has a chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa. I am aware of Smith’s comments about Mac Jones being better than Tua, but I doubt that those comments are really going to stop Miami from taking him if they see him as the best player available.
7. Lions- Ja’Marr Chase — WR — LSU
I could see the Lions trying to trade back, but if they are stuck at seven, receiver is definitely in play. Chase opted out of the 2020 season, but he was absolutely dominant in 2019. While the Lions added Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in free agency, the position still needs to be addressed early.
8. Panthers- Penei Sewell — OT — Oregon
Sewell is still my #1 prospect in this draft, and I do not understand why his stock seems to be slipping. If Cincinnati does not take him at five, the Panthers should be considered the frontrunner to land the stud tackle. Carolina has Taylor Moton on the right side, but Greg Little has not played as well as I thought he would on the left side. Adding Sewell immediately gives Sam Darnold a better offensive line than he ever had in New York.
9. Broncos- Trey Lance — QB — North Dakota State
I like Drew Lock and would not move on from him, but the new GM may want to choose his own guy. They could be in play to trade up, but after Carolina traded for Sam Darnold, it seems reasonable to believe that one of the top five quarterbacks could drop into Denver’s lap. Lance will need a year or two to sit on the bench and develop, but the talent is undeniable.
10. Cowboys- Patrick Surtain II — CB — Alabama
Dallas is another team that could be in the market to trade down, but with the top five quarterbacks off the board, I do not see any team being willing to trade with them. The Cowboys have needs all over the place, but corner is probably the most pressing need. Surtain tested better than expected at his pro day and has cemented his status as a top 15 pick.
11. Giants- Azeez Ojulari — EDGE — Georgia
I was tempted to mock Kwity Paye here once again, but under Joe Judge, I expect the Giants to become a more versatile defense. Ojulari is not huge, but he has terrific quickness and bend around the edge. He would give the Giants an excellent pass rushing option in their 3-4 looks.
12. Eagles- Jaylen Waddle — WR — Alabama
Many people think that the Eagles took themselves out of position for one of the top receivers, but if five quarterbacks go in the top ten, I expect one of the top receivers to fall outside the top ten. Micah Parsons would be difficult to pass on, but you could argue that Jaylen Waddle is the best prospect in this class. Philadelphia would have one of the speediest groups of receivers in the league.
13. Chargers- Rashawn Slater — OL — Northwestern
If Jaylen Waddle happened to fall this far, he could be in play, but in this scenario, I have them addressing their biggest need. Slater can play anywhere on the line, but I think he will settle in at tackle in the NFL. Length will be an issue for some, but he was excellent against strong competition in 2019, specifically against Chase Young.
14. Vikings- Alijah Vera-Tucker — OL — USC
The Vikings have multiple holes on the offensive line, but I expect Ezra Cleveland to replace Riley Reiff at left tackle. Their situation at guard, however, is not a good one. Vera-Tucker played tackle for the Trojans in 2020, but his best play was at guard, which is where I think he will play in the NFL.
15. Falcons- Kwity Paye — DE — Michigan
Atlanta’s defense has been awful for several years now, and it starts up front. They need someone who can set the edge in the run game while also adding some pass rushing ability. Paye is not going to be a 15 sack guy each year, but he is an elite run defender, and he has the athletic talent to grow as a pass rusher.
16. Cardinals- Jaycee Horn — CB — South Carolina
Arizona added Malcolm Butler on a one-year deal, but they still need help at the position. Horn was an excellent man press corner in college, and he tested quite well at his pro day. Ball skills are still developing, but we may be looking at him as the best corner from this draft five years from now.
17. Raiders- Micah Parsons — ILB — Penn State
I am not sure that Parsons will fall this far on draft night, but if the Broncos grab a quarterback and the Eagles grab a receiver, he could drop a bit. I have Parsons as my highest rated defensive player in this draft, and the Raiders need lots of help at linebacker. This is a no-brainer for Vegas if he falls to them.
18. Dolphins- Najee Harris — RB — Alabama
If Azeez Ojulari falls, he could be in play here, but in this scenario, I expect Miami to grab a running back. Harris may not be the fastest back, but he is the most complete running back in this class and would give Tua yet another familiar face to work with.
19. Washington- Christian Darrisaw — OT — Virginia Tech
I have heard that Washington is really high on Trey Lance, but I am not sure if they love him enough to move into the top ten to grab him. Darrisaw would be the highest graded tackle in most drafts, but the depth could cause him to slide. Saadiq Charles has some left tackle upside, but I still expect Washington to address it early.
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Bears get picks 22, 126 and 215)
20. Titans- Teven Jenkins — OT — Oklahoma State
Tennessee attempted to fill Jack Conklin’s shoes with Isaiah Wilson last season, and that experiment has ended in a disaster. Perhaps they will try again with another mauler at tackle. Jenkins is already 23 and still needs a lot of development as a pass protector, but if he can stay at right tackle and not be forced to play on the left side, he can make an impact as early as year one.
21. Colts- Jaelan Phillips — EDGE — Miami
The Colts traded last year’s first round pick for DeForest Buckner, but they still need help at defensive end. Phillips has some medical red flags, but he is an athletic freak who has as much upside as any edge rusher in the class.
22. Bears- Elijah Moore — WR — Ole Miss
If Chicago cannot get a quarterback, they will need to find somebody who can contribute right away. The Bears are shopping Anthony Miller and will need more depth at receiver. Moore is extremely quick in the open field and would make a scary pairing with Darnell Mooney for years to come.
23. Jets- Travis Etienne — RB — Clemson
The Jets have La’Mical Perine and a couple other bodies, but they do not have a true workhorse back on the roster. Etienne did not have an excellent season as a rusher in 2020, but he improved as a receiver, which was an area of concern for teams a year ago.
24. Steelers- Samuel Cosmi — OT — Texas
In any other draft, Cosmi would be a top 15 pick, but because there is good depth at tackle, the fact that he is not a finished product could slide him down the board. Cosmi played both right and left tackle in college, but his best fit in the NFL will be on the left side, either at tackle or guard. He could afford to put on a few pounds, but he is fluid out of his stance, has excellent mobility, and has shown flashes of power in the run the run game. If he can lower his pad level in the run game and show more consistency in pass protection, he has all-pro potential at left tackle.
25. Jaguars- Caleb Farley — CB — Virginia Tech
Jacksonville needs help in the secondary, and Farley could be the steal of the draft at this point. I thought about giving them Trevon Moehrig here, but the value of Farley is too good to pass up. He has durability concerns, but he can succeed in almost any defensive scheme. Tackling needs work, but thy sky is the limit with this guy.
26. Browns- Christian Barmore — DT — Alabama
Once Barmore was able to carve out a major role in Alabama’s defense, he became one of the better defensive linemen in college football. He isn’t a finisher at this point, but he gets good penetration and would help soften the blow of losing Lary Ogunjobi and Sheldon Richardson.
27. Ravens- Zaven Collins — LB — Tulsa
I see Collins best suited as a 4-3 SAM linebacker or a 3-4 BUCK linebacker, but he has the skill set to fill Baltimore’s need at edge. He was not usually assigned to rush the passer in college, but I think he is capable of doing more in that department in the NFL. This may not be his ideal fit, but unless the Ravens are as high on Joseph Ossai as I am, they will likely consider Collins a better edge rusher than any of the true edge rushers still on the board.
28. Saints- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — ILB — Notre Dame
The Saints could take Kyle Trask here if they like him that much, but they could use some depth at all three levels of the defense. Owusu-Koramoah is a versatile linebacker who can cover, play the run, and blitz all at fairly high levels. Adding weight would only help him play stronger against the run, but he does not have a gigantic frame to put very much more on. If he can overcome his size issues, he will be a special playmaker in the league for years to come.
29. Packers- Greg Newsome II — CB — Northwestern
Green Bay needs help along the offensive line and could use a receiver to complement Davante Adams, but there is a hole opposite Jaire Alexander at cornerback. Newsome is still somewhat raw, but he has the size and speed that teams love in an outside corner. He was inconsistent in zone coverage at Northwestern, but he is solid in man coverage and has the skill set to develop into a more complete cornerback.
30. Bills- Javonte Williams — RB — North Carolina
If Williams falls past Buffalo, he could slide as far as the late 2nd round simply based on team needs in round two, but with the top edge defenders and cornerbacks off the board, Williams is the pick. His pro day numbers were not excellent, but the tape does not lie. The guy is an explosive and complete running back who would significantly improve Buffalo’s running game.
31. Chiefs- Dillon Radunz — OT — North Dakota State
This is a slight reach, but after losing both Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, Kansas City has to address the offensive line early and often. Radunz may not have a high ceiling, but Patrick Mahomes needs some protection immediately, and Radunz can step in and make Mahomes’ life a little easier.
32. Buccaneers- Davis Mills — QB — Stanford
I started mentioning Mills’ name a couple months ago and said that this guy could shock some people and sneak into the first round. This time around, I actually have enough faith that he will to put him in round one of my mock. He only started eleven games in college, but he has a great arm, solid downfield accuracy, and much better mobility than people give him credit for. Keep your eye on this kid, because he has a chance to be really good.
33. Jaguars- Kadarius Toney — WR — Florida
34. Jets- Jayson Oweh — EDGE — Penn State
35. Falcons- Trevon Moehrig — S — TCU
36. Dolphins- Jamin Davis — ILB — Kentucky
37. Eagles- Eric Stokes — CB — Georgia
38. Bengals- Alex Leatherwood — OT — Alabama
39. Panthers- Aaron Robinson — CB —UCF
40. Broncos- Jalen Mayfield — OT — Michigan
41. Lions- Richie Grant — S — UCF
42. Giants- Rondale Moore — WR — Purdue
43. 49ers- Daviyon Nixon — DT — Iowa
44. Cowboys- Milton Williams — DL — Louisiana
45. Jaguars- Hunter Long — TE — Boston College
46. Falcons (projected from Patriots)- Tyson Campbell — CB — Georgia
47. Chargers- Asante Samuel, Jr. — CB — Florida State
48. Raiders- Creed Humphrey — C — Oklahoma
49. Cardinals- TuTu Atwell — WR — Louisville
50. Dolphins- Spencer Brown — OT — Northern Iowa
51. Washington- Kellen Mond — QB — Texas A&M
52. Bears- Liam Eichenberg — OT — Notre Dame
53. Titans- Rashod Bateman — WR — Minnesota
54. Colts- Brady Christiansen — OT — BYU
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Steelers get picks 68, 108, and 182)
55. Falcons- Landon Dickerson — C — Alabama
56. Seahawks- Jackson Carman — OT — Clemson
57. Rams- Ronnie Perkins — EDGE — Oklahoma
58. Ravens- Terrace Marshall — WR — LSU
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Browns get picks 73, 113, and a 2022 5th)
59. Panthers- Pat Freiermuth — TE — Penn State
60. Saints- Kyle Trask — QB — Florida
61. Bills- Carlos Basham, Jr. — DE — Wake Forest
62. Packers- Dyami Brown — WR — North Carolina
63. Chiefs- Anthony Schwartz — WR — Auburn
64. Buccaneers- Levi Onwuzurike — DL — Washington
65. Jaguars- Walker Little — OT — Stanford
66. Jets- Kelvin Joseph — CB — Kentucky
67. Texans- Joseph Ossai — EDGE — Texas
68. Steelers- Quinn Meinerz — G/C — Wisconsin-Whitewater
If the Steelers get a chance to move back and gain additional picks, they should consider doing so. The drop-off from Humphrey and Dickerson to Quinn Meinerz and Trey Hill is not as huge as many fans think. Meinerz was pretty much an unknown until the Senior Bowl, but he definitely got the attention of scouts in Mobile. He played guard until his last year of college, but I personally see him being a center in the NFL. He may not be ready day one, but if Ben is comfortable with B.J. Finney snapping the ball to him at the beginning of the season, this pick makes all the sense in the world. If tackle is not addressed in round two, Spencer Brown could be in play in round two.
69. Bengals- Patrick Jones II — EDGE — Pittsburgh
70. Eagles- Nick Bolton — ILB — Missouri
71. Broncos- Cameron McGrone — ILB — Michigan
72. Lions- Baron Browning — ILB — Ohio State
73. Browns- Jabril Cox — ILB — LSU
74. Washington- Dylan Moses — ILB — Alabama
75. Cowboys- Jevon Holland — S — Oregon
76. Giants- Wyatt Davis — G — Ohio State
77. Chargers- Trey Sermon — RB — Oklahoma
78. Vikings- Alim McNeill — DT — North Carolina State
79. Raiders- Tylan Wallace — WR — Oklahoma State
80. Raiders- James Hudson — OT — Cincinnati
81. Dolphins- Quincy Roche — EDGE — Miami
82. Washington- Nico Collins — WR — Michigan
83. Bears- Robert Rochell — CB — Central Arkansas
84. Eagles- Josh Myers — C — Ohio State
85. Titans- Tommy Tremble — TE — Notre Dame
86. Jets- Amon-Ra St. Brown — WR — USC
87. Steelers- Pete Werner — ILB — Ohio State
The Steelers have brought back Vince Williams, but I doubt that it is a long-term deal. I like Robert Spillane, but the Steelers have seemed to show interest in just about every linebacker ranked inside the top 150 players in this class. Werner is a smart football player who plays the run at a very high level, but not many people expected him to test as well as he did. At Ohio State’s pro day, Werner recorded a 4.58 40, a 39.5 inch vertical jump, and a 6.95 in the 3-cone drill. He would also provide the length that the Steelers lack at the position. Williams and Spillane can hold the fort down this season, but Werner brings more upside in the long-term.
88. Rams- Trey Smith — G — Tennessee
89. Browns- Shaun Wade — CB — Ohio State
90. Vikings- Divine Diablo — S — Virginia Tech
91. Browns- Joe Tryon — EDGE — Washington
92. Packers- Trey Hill — C/G — Georgia
93. Bills- Paulson Adebo — CB — Stanford
94. Chiefs- Nashon Wright — CB — Oregon State
95. Buccaneers- Rhomandre Stevenson — RB — Oklahoma
96. Patriots- Amari Rodgers — RB/WR — Clemson
97. Chargers- Tommy Togai — DL — Ohio State
98. Saints- Elijah Molden — CB — Washington
99. Cowboys- Josh Ball — OT — Marshall
100. Titans- Ifeatu Melifonwu — CB — Syracuse
101. Lions- Olijah Griffin — CB — USC
102. 49ers- Trill Williams — CB — Syracuse
103. Rams- Brevin Jordan — TE — Miami
104. Ravens- Ben Cleveland — G — Georgia
105. Saints- Seth Williams — WR — Auburn
106. Jaguars- James Wiggins — S — Cincinnati
107. Jets- D’Ante Smith — OT — East Carolina
108. Steelers (projected from Falcons)- Elijah Mitchell — RB — Louisiana
This is a guy who I find really intriguing. Many of the great running backs in the NFL get better as the game goes on, and that is what you see from Mitchell on tape. He slimmed down to just over 200 pounds when preparing for his pro day, but he played between 215 and 220, and that is what I expect him to play at in the NFL. He has good burst through the hole, and he does an excellent job of breaking tackles in the open field. Plus, Kevin Dotson should be able to give the Steelers some insight on this guy considering that he blocked for him in 2019. Not very many people are talking about this guy, but he is the most underrated running back in this class. You can check out my offensive sleepers article with a breakdown of Mitchell here.
109. Texans- Kendrick Green — C/G — Illinois
110. Browns- Deonte Brown — G — Alabama
**PROJECTED TRADE** (Bengals get pick 121 and a 2022 5th)
111. Raiders- Jamie Newman — QB — Wake Forest
112. Lions- Robert Hainsey — OL — Notre Dame
113. Browns (projected from Panthers)- Josh Imatorbhebhe — WR — Illinois
114. Broncos- Kenneth Gainwell — RB — Memphis
115. Cowboys- Ar’Darius Washington — S — TCU
116. Giants- Osa Odighizua — DL — UCLA
117. 49ers- Aaron Banks — G — Notre Dame
118. Chargers- Hamsah Nasirildeen — S — Florida State
119. Vikings- Daelan Hayes — EDGE — Notre Dame
120. Falcons (projected from Patriots)- Chazz Surratt — ILB — North Carolina
121. Bengals- Michael Carter — RB — North Carolina
122. Patriots- Ambry Thomas — CB — Michigan
123. Eagles- Dan Moore, Jr. — OT — Texas A&M
124. Washington- Talanoa Hufanga — S — USC
125. Vikings- Jay Tufele — DT — USC
126. Bears- Chris Rumph III — EDGE — Duke
127. Colts- Israel Mukuamu — CB — South Carolina
128. Steelers- Malcolm Koonce — EDGE — Buffalo
The Steelers have literally no depth at outside linebacker. There are a couple free agents that could make sense, but I expect the Steelers to take at least one edge rusher before the draft is finished. We know how the Steelers love drafting players from the MAC, and Koonce is a nice fit in a 3-4 system. He isn’t extremely long, but he has a strong lower body, which helps him set the edge in the run game. He just needs to learn to use his build better and become more consistent. As a pass rusher, he averaged over one sack per game in his final two seasons at Buffalo. The part of his game that needs the most work is dropping into coverage, as he did not do too much of it in college. However, if he can be had in the late fourth round, he is a nice value pick.
129. Seahawks- Bobby Brown III — DT — Texas A&M
130. Jaguars- Jordan Smith — EDGE — UAB
131. Ravens- Sadarius Hutcherson — G — South Carolina
132. Browns- Darren Hall — CB — San Diego State
133. Saints- Hamilcar Rashed — EDGE — Oregon State
134. Vikings- Shakur Brown — CB — Michigan State
135. Packers- Tyler Shelvin — DT — LSU
136. Chiefs- Drake Jackson — C — Kentucky
137. Buccaneers- Cade Johnson — WR — South Dakota State
138. Cowboys- Tre McKitty — TE — Ole Miss
139. Patriots- Ernest Jones — ILB — South Carolina
140. Steelers- Kary Vincent, Jr. — CB — LSU
I gave the Steelers Vincent in round three of my second mock draft, but because of the surprisingly good depth at cornerback, his stock has taken a slight dip. He is fast and fluid in coverage, but he does not have the best awareness. He is also not a stout run defender. However, his talent outshines many of his deficiencies, and all of the issues in his game are teachable. He is best suited in man coverage, which is why I was hesitant about mocking him to us, but if the Steelers wait to address the cornerback position until now, this is the best they are going to find.
141. Rams- Stone Forsythe — OT — Florida
142. Packers- Patrick Johnson — EDGE — Tulane
143. Vikings- Tony Fields II — ILB — West Virginia
144. Chiefs- Rashad Weaver — EDGE — Pittsburgh
What are your thoughts on this mock? Do you think that this is fairly realistic? What do you think of the Steelers picks? If you are a fan of another team, what do you think of your team’s selections? Be sure to light up the comment section with your thoughts on this and all things NFL Draft!