NFL Mock Draft 2021: First round shrouded in mystery after No. 2 pick

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The Jacksonville Jaguars will be first on the clock Thursday night at the NFL Draft and all signs point to the team selecting Trevor Lawrence.

The former Clemson star will have a lot riding on him to turn the franchise around and he will likely get to do it under the guidance of first-year NFL head coach Urban Meyer. But Lawrence to the Jaguars doesn’t appear to be the only lock of the first round.

The New York Jets are seemingly set to select quarterback Zach Wilson from BYU with the No. 2 pick of the draft. The Jets traded their former quarterback of the future — Sam Darnold — to the Carolina Panthers earlier this month as the Jets started to circle around Wilson for the second pick.

FILE – Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence arrives before the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against LSU in New Orleans, in this Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, file photo. Lawrence is a likely top pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The Jaguars are going with the no-brainer pick first – Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson. Lawrence drew the attention of the NFL world during his national championship run a few years ago with the Tigers. He led Clemson to two consecutive titles. He had 3,153 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns. There are no real doubts that Lawrence will be anywhere else come Thursday night.

2. JETS: ZACH WILSON, QB (BYU)

FILE – BYU quarterback Zach Wilson warms up before participating in the school’s pro day football workout for NFL scouts in Provo, Utah, in this Friday, March 26, 2021, file photo. Wilson is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The Jets will be rebuilding their system around Zach Wilson under new head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. General Manager Joe Douglas and the new coaching staff were impressed with Wilson on his Pro Day in March and believe he will mesh well with the team’s new offensive style.

3. 49ERS: JUSTIN FIELDS, QB (OHIO STATE)

FILE -= Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields watches during the second half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. Fields is a likely first-round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland.(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

The 49ers traded their future to the Miami Dolphins  — swapping draft positions this year and giving up two first-rounders in 2022 and 2023 — to get their franchise quarterback. Fields will fit right into Kyle Shanahan’s offense and will be put into a position to succeed right away. With wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and All-Pro tight end George Kittle at his disposal, Fields will flourish. Still, there is no clear-cut indicator just who the 49ers will select Thursday night.

4. FALCONS: KYLE PITTS, TE (FLORIDA)

FILE – Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) breaks free from a Missouri defender as he runs a pass pattern during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Gainesville, Fla., in this Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, file photo. Pitts is a possible first round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Kyle Pitts shoots up the Fox News Mock Draft. The Falcons will need another weapon in case the team does find a trade suitor for Julio Jones come June. Pitts had 100 catches in 29 career games at Florida along with 1,492 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.

5. BENGALS: JA’MARR CHASE, WR (LSU)

File-This March 31, 2021, file photo shows LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase catching during a drill at an NFL Pro Day at LSU in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

The Bengals are reuniting former LSU teammates and 2020 national champions Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase with the No. 5 overall pick. Despite having Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, Cincinnati lacks a consistent option down the field for Burrow — a hole easily filled by Chase. 

6. DOLPHINS: PENEI SWELL, OL (OREGON)

FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2019, file photo, Oregon’s Penei Sewell poses with Outland Trophy for being the nation’s best interior lineman, in Atlanta. Sewell is a likely first-round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland.(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Sewell is the best offensive lineman in the draft. The former Oregon standout will be tasked with protecting second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He was an All-American and the 2019 winner of Outland Trophy, awarded to the best college football interior lineman.

7. LIONS: DEVONTA SMITH, WR (ALABAMA)

FILE – Alabama’s DeVonta Smith speaks with the media after an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in this Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, file photo. DeVonta Smith is expected to be a first round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner will be catching passes from Jared Goff in 2021. Smith, a first-team All-American, led all of college football with 117 receptions, 1,856 receiving yards and 23 receiving touchdowns. Even though his 6-foot, 170-pound frame isn’t an ideal size for an NFL receiver, his route-running, sure hands and ability to make plays make Smith a no-brainer at No. 7.

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8. PANTHERS: JAYLEN WADDLE, WR (ALABAMA)

FILE – In this Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 file photo, Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) carries the ball in for a touchdown after a reception in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

Waddle was the best receiver at Alabama before he got hurt and Smith broke out. Darnold will have a shiny new target to throw to this season. In 2020, he totaled 28 receptions for 591 yards and four touchdowns in six games. 

9. BRONCOS: JAYCEE HORN, CB (SOUTH CAROLINA)

FILE – South Carolina defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) celebrates his second interception during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Columbia, S.C., in this Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, file photo. Horn is a possible pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

As far as cornerbacks go, Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain II are at the top of the list. The Broncos will go with Horn in this mock draft. At 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Horn is a physical player. He recorded a 4.39, 40-yard dash and a 41-1/2-inch vertical leap. 

10. COWBOYS: PATRICK SURTAIN II, CB (ALABAMA)

FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2021, file photo, Alabama defensive back Patrick Surtain II (2) defends against Notre Dame during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)

The Cowboys ranked toward the bottom of the league in defense in 2020. While an offensive weapon is still on the board, Patrick Surtain II would add depth to the secondary. For Dallas to have maximum success, the team needs to address the defensive side of the football.

11. GIANTS: MICAH PARSONS, LB (PENN STATE)

Parsons was selected to The Associated Press preseason All-America first-team, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. Parsons and Oregon tackle Penei Sewell are among 11 players selected who are not slated to play this fall. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger, File)

With three of the top wide receivers off the board, the Giants will look to add some help on defense. Micah Parsons will be a key player for any defense he goes to. He opted out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. As a sophomore at Penn State, Parsons finished with a team-high 109 tackles to go along with five sacks, five pass breakups and four forced fumbles. He was a first-team All-American in 13 games played in 2019.

12. EAGLES: RASHAWN SLATER, OL (NORTHWESTERN)

Slater will be the big man protecting Jalen Hurts this coming season. At 6-foot-4, 304 pounds, Slater will likely transition in as a starter. Philadelphia will need a lot of help on the offensive front and it will start at rebuilding their offensive line.

13. CHARGERS: CHRISTIAN DARRISHAW, OL (VIRGINIA TECH)

The Chargers will slide in and take Christian Darrishaw to add some protection for Justin Herbert. It is one position Los Angeles could really use the help in.

14. VIKINGS: KWITY PAYE, DL (MICHIGAN)

With some of the top offensive linemen being taken off the board, the Vikings will go with Kwity Paye from Michigan. As a junior in 2019, Paye was a member of the All-Big Ten second-team after he piled up 50 tackles with 6.5 sacks in 12 games. This past season, Paye was recognized as a team captain, and he was an honorable mention after playing in just four games. He had 16 tackles, four tackles for a loss and two sacks.

15. PATRIOTS: MAC JONES, QB (ALABAMA)

FILE – Alabama quarterback Mac Jones passes against Ohio State during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans, in this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, file photo. Jones is a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft, April 29-May 1, 2021, in Cleveland.(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

A national champion at Alabama, Jones, is the next quarterback to star for the Patriots. During his stellar 2020 season leading the Crimson Tide, Jones set an FBS record with a 77.4 completion percentage. He also led the nation with a school record 4,500 passing yards, and he threw for 41 touchdowns. Jones was recognized as a first-team All-American and he won the Davey O’Brien Award as the country’s top quarterback.

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16. CARDINALS: CALEB FARLEY, CB (VIRGINIA TECH)

FILE – Virginia Tech defensive back Caleb Farley (3) returns an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, in this Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, file photo. Among the possibilities, if the Cleveland Browns stay at No. 26 in the draft, is Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

The Cardinals have a need to fill at cornerback after losing Patrick Peterson to the Vikings in free agency. Caleb Farley is right there with Surtain and Horn when it comes to defensive back rankings. Farley had a microdiscectomy procedure causing his stock to slip a little bit. But Arizona makes sense here.

17. RAIDERS: JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH, LB (NOTRE DAME)

The Raiders could really select anybody at this point. Owusu-Koramoah would be a steal at No. 17. He was a first-team All-American as well as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. In 12 starts in 2020, Owusu-Koramoah had 62 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks, one interception and three passes defended.

18. DOLPHINS: NAJEE HARRIS, RB (ALABAMA)

FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 file photo, Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Florida during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

The Dolphins could reach here and go with dynamic running back Najee Harris. Honored with the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the country’s top running back, Harris piled up 1,466 yards on 251 carries with 26 rushing touchdowns. He also hauled in 43 receptions for 425 yards and four scores as a receiving option. Harris set Alabama career records with 57 total scores, 3,843 rushing yards and 46 rushing touchdowns.

19. WASHINGTON: JAMIN DAVIS, LB (KENTUCKY)

Davis is a newcomer in the mock draft. The former Kentucky standout had 102 tackles, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions last season. Washington will keep adding to their loaded defense and Davis can sure pack a punch.

20. BEARS: TREY LANCE, QB (NORTH DAKOTA STATE)

Lance was considered to be a top 10 pick but could drop if he’s not selected in the starting run on quarterbacks. The Bears aren’t going to last long with Andy Dalton as their starter and Lance could provide just the jolt the team needs at the position.

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21. COLTS: JAELAN PHILLIPS, DE (MIAMI)

Indianapolis is in need of a dynamic pass rusher and Jaelan Phillips can be their guy. He totaled 12.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in three seasons. Phillips and Darius Leonard would make a very scary tandem in the AFC South.

22. TITANS: TERRACE MARSHALL, WR (LSU)

The Titans need another weapon to pair with A.J. Brown. Corey Davis went to the Jets in the offseason so taking a top-flight receiver would make sense. Terrace Marshall going No. 22 would be ideal. Marshall played in seven games for LSU in 2020. He had 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns.

23. JETS: RASHOD BATEMAN, WR (MINNESOTA)

The Jets could add another offensive punch with Wilson now under center and Rashod Bateman could be their guy. Bateman was a terrific wideout at Minnesota. Bateman rejoined the team in the middle of the 2020 season. He had 36 catches for 472 yards and two touchdowns.

24. STEELERS: TRAVIS ETIENNE, RB (CLEMSON)

FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 file photo, Clemson running back Travis Etienne (9) runs for a touchdown during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)

The Steelers are a bit of a mystery at No. 24. Because Harris is off the board already and James Conner is with a new team, Pittsburgh can go for Travis Etienne here. Etienne recorded 4,952 rushing yards and 70 rushing touchdowns in four seasons at Clemson.

25. JAGUARS: TREVON MOEHRIG, S (TCU)

Moehrig can help the Jaguars defense a bit here. He had seven interceptions in 33 games for TCU over three years. Remember, Jacksonville only had one win last season. The team was 31st in points and yards allowed.

26. BROWNS: CHRISTIAN BARMORE, DT (ALABAMA)

The Browns need an interior defensive lineman and Christian Barmore can be the guy. He had 37 tackles and eight sacks for Alabama in 2020.

27. RAVENS: ALIJAH VERA-TUCKER, OL (USC)

Baltimore cut Orlando Brown earlier this month so adding another offensive lineman would make sense here and Alijah Vera-Tucker played both guard and left tackle in college.

28. SAINTS: KADARIUS TONEY, WR (FLORIDA)

The 5-foot-11, 189-pound Toney offers playmaking ability that is in a world of its own. In 2020, he led Florida with 70 receptions for 984 yards and he scored 10 touchdowns, which was tied for seventh-most in all of college football. Toney also had 19 carries for 161 yards and one score on the ground, and as a returner, he averaged 22.1 yards on kickoffs and 12.6 yards on punts. He scored one touchdown as a punt returner. 

29. PACKERS: RONDALE MOORE, WR (PURDUE)

The Packers finally add an offensive weapon for Aaron Rodgers to throw to with Rondale Moore. The former Purdue standout had a solid career. He had 178 catches for 1,915 yards and 14 touchdowns. He only played in three games in 2020 after reversing his decision not to play over coronavirus concerns.

30. BILLS: TEVEN JENKINS, OL (OKLAHOMA STATE)

Teven Jenkins would be the guy for Buffalo at No. 30. He was First-Team All-Big 12 in 2020 and will be tasked with protecting Josh Allen this season and beyond.

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31. RAVENS: GREGORY ROUSSEAU, DE (MIAMI)

Sep 21, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (15) celebrates wearing the turnover chain during the first quarter of a football game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Ravens will add Rousseau despite him not playing in 2020 because of coronavirus concerns. As a sophomore in 2019, Rousseau had 15.5 sacks — which was second in the nation behind Ohio State’s Chase Young. He also had 54 total tackles and two forced fumbles. Rousseau, who started in seven of 13 games, was a first-team All-ACC selection and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. The jury is still out on Rousseau, but his 6-foot-7, 266-pound frame should be a handful for opposing offensive linemen.

32. BUCCANEERS: LANDON DICKERSON, C (ALABAMA)

Who do the Buccaneers really need? Tampa Bay is bringing their entire team back after their march to a Super Bowl. To sure up the offensive line, the Buccaneers will go with Alabama center Landon Dickerson. He won the Rimington Trophy and Jacobs Blocking in 2020 and was a unanimous All-American.

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