Kyle Yates’ Mock Draft 6.0
The 2021 NFL Draft is shaping up to be absolutely must-watch tv. After a chaotic off-season already where we’ve seen players like Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford moved, the action is seemingly only just beginning.
The San Francisco 49ers made waves just one day after my Mock Draft 5.0 was released as they sprung all the way up to No. 3 overall to select their QB of the future, which turned everything in the NFL Draft community on its head. Additionally, right after I began writing up this mock draft, the New York Jets traded away Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. Thus signifying that they’re intent on picking a QB at No. 2 overall.
On top of all of that, there’s a heated debate right now surrounding Mac Jones and where exactly he is going to go on day one. After being viewed as a consensus day 2 pick early on in the process, Jones has seen his stock skyrocket and is now in discussion for the No. 3 overall selection.
There are storylines galore for this 2021 NFL Draft and it’s going to be extremely entertaining to watch. (Make sure that you join us over on our Youtube channel for our NFL Draft livestream coverage!) Let’s find out how all of these storylines could play out in my Mock Draft 6.0! Three rounds coming at you right now.
(All trade values were calculated using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine)
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB – Clemson)
This pick has been locked in for months now. Lawrence will be in Jacksonville in less than a month.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB – BYU)
It’s certainly not as locked in as Lawrence landing in Jacksonville, but all signs are pointing to Wilson being the new QB for the New York Jets.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance (QB – North Dakota State)
The 49ers made a huge move to go from No. 12 overall to No. 3 to select the long-term QB for this franchise. Having Jimmy Garoppolo in town still allows Lance to sit behind the veteran QB until he’s ready to start. With all the receiving weapons already in town, plus Lance’s athleticism and mobility, this offense should be one of the toughest in the league to stop sooner than later.
4. Denver Broncos – Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
(Trade: Falcons receive No. 9 overall, No. 71 overall, a 2022 1st, and a 2022 2nd for No. 4 overall)
The Broncos did extremely well in free agency at plugging some major holes, which leaves only one glaring weakness on their roster. Unfortunately, it’s the most important position on the field. Drew Lock hasn’t developed the way that Denver had hoped he would and they absolutely need a top-tier QB to compete in this division with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Fields has been a lightning rod in the NFL Draft community recently, but there’s no denying his talent on the football field. With Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, KJ Hamler, etc. all in place already, Fields would take this offense over the top. Meanwhile, the Falcons move out of a premium spot and accumulate some valuable draft capital to aid in their rebuild.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell (OT – Oregon)
The big debate right now is between Sewell and Ja’Marr Chase for the Bengals at No. 5. While reuniting Chase with Joe Burrow would be amazing, it doesn’t quite matter much if Burrow is constantly being knocked on his rear end. There’s also no way of knowing what OTs will be left on the board at their second-round pick, which means taking Sewell here is the clear selection. He’s coming off a dominant Pro Day performance and he’s still growing into his own. Sewell has the potential to be Burrow’s blindside protector for the next decade.
6. Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase (WR – LSU)
The Dolphins traded out of No. 3 overall and then promptly traded right back up to No. 6 overall to make sure that they can get their choice of receiving weapons. Kyle Pitts absolutely could be the choice here, but Chase makes a bit more sense given their needs analysis. A receiving corps of DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Chase, and Mike Gesicki is a clear upgrade over what the Dolphins had in 2020. The Dolphins are sending a clear message that they’re committed to making it work with Tua Tagovailoa.
7. Detroit Lions – Micah Parsons (LB – Penn State)
The Lions are entering a long-term rebuild as they try to rectify what Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia did to this roster. Jahlani Tavai is the starting MLB on this roster, which isn’t the long-term answer. Adding Parsons, who is coming off of a truly dominant Pro Day performance, allows them to bring talent into the building and simply go best player available.
8. Carolina Panthers – Kyle Pitts (TE – Florida)
The Panthers have now traded for Sam Darnold, which means that they’re out of the QB sweepstakes in the 2021 NFL Draft. Darnold now goes from Adam Gase and the Jets’ lackluster receiving room to Joe Brady, Matt Rhule and a stacked receiving corps. Adding in Pitts simply takes it over the top. With DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Pitts, and Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield, Darnold’s going to have everything he needs to succeed.
9. New England Patriots – Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)
(Trade: Falcons receive No. 15 overall, No. 96 overall, No. 122 overall, and a 2022 2nd for No. 9 overall)
New England is reloading this roster as quickly as they can and they’ve obviously been very active in free agency. Jones is the complete opposite of Cam Newton, but the Patriots need to have a contingency plan in place in case Newton struggles again in 2021. The Patriots are rumored to be in the hunt for a QB in the draft and they get one without sending away another future first rounder. Meanwhile, Atlanta decides that trading down again is the right call as they set themselves up well for the future.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain (CB – Alabama)
Dallas needs to find CB help at some point in this draft and Surtain still being on the board is too good for them to pass up. Surtain’s smooth in coverage and put together very solid numbers at his Pro Day. He’ll help form a solid secondary after reuniting with Trevon Diggs.
11. New York Giants – Jaelen Phillips (EDGE – Miami)
The Giants did a fantastic job of shoring up some weak spots on their roster throughout free agency, but EDGE is still a clear need. Phillips is widely considered the best EDGE player in this class and he’s absolutely worthy of being selected within the top-15. His medical history is a question mark, but that’s something we won’t have clarity on in the media unless something leaks.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Jaylen Waddle (WR – Alabama)
The Eagles moved down from No. 6 overall, picked up a 1st round pick in 2022, and still got to add an impact player at No. 12. The Eagles have a huge need at WR and Jalen Hurts is going to need playmakers around him in order to be successful. Waddle’s a threat to take one to the house every time he touches the ball and he’ll compliment Jalen Reagor nicely.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater (OT – Northwestern)
Los Angeles has done a really nice job of rebuilding this offensive line in front of Justin Herbert this off-season and landing Slater at this point of the draft is outstanding value.
14. Arizona Cardinals – Jaycee Horn (CB – South Carolina)
(Trade: Vikings receive No. 16 overall and a 2022 3rd for No. 14 overall)
With Patrick Peterson heading to Minnesota, the Vikings don’t have a clear need for CB and the Cardinals obviously do. Arizona moves up in front of the Falcons at 15 to grab a CB prospect who has seen his stock skyrocket since his pro day and it’s quite possible that he goes even higher than this on draft night.
15. Atlanta Falcons – Najee Harris (RB – Alabama)
After moving down twice, the Falcons are ready to pull the trigger and select the perfect fit for their new offense. Arthur Smith is coming over from Tennessee and he’s going to need a player who can carry a significant workload for this offense to open everything else up. This might be viewed as a bit early for a RB like Harris, but when you consider how essential he is to the success of this team, selecting him here makes all the sense in the world.
16. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker (OT – USC)
Minnesota moved down knowing full well that the player they wanted would most likely still be on the board. The Vikings’ plan for LT is still unclear, but Vera-Tucker gives them much desired versatility. He can start out at LT if they want or if they want to move Ezra Cleveland out to LT, they can kick Vera-Tucker inside where he has All-Pro potential. This is a slam dunk pick.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Teven Jenkins (OT – Oklahoma State)
There might not be more of a team/player fit in this entire draft than Jenkins and the Las Vegas Raiders. Jenkins plays with a mean streak and he embodies everything that Jon Gruden wants from his offensive lineman. The Raiders need help on the offensive line and selecting Jenkins is a great start.
18. Miami Dolphins – Kwity Paye (EDGE – Michigan)
Miami needs help on the EDGE and Paye should fit exactly what they’re looking for at the position. He’s a dominant player against the run and still has room to grow as a pass-rusher. Michigan moved him all over the formation, which actually may have been to his detriment, so letting him set up shop on the EDGE should be good for his long-term development.
19. Washington Football Team – Christian Darrisaw (OT – Virginia Tech)
After signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, the need for QB in Washington isn’t pressing enough for them to massively reach for one at this point of the draft. Instead, they select their LT of the future in Darrisaw out of Virginia Tech. It might take a little bit for Darrisaw to truly reach his ceiling, but the athletic profile is there for him to be a cornerstone piece of this line for a long time.
20. Chicago Bears – Samuel Cosmi (OT – Texas)
With Kyle Fuller being released, Chicago could absolutely look at CB here. However, there’s a more pressing need at OL. If Andy Dalton is indeed going to be the starting QB in 2021, having a stout OL in front of him is going to be key to the success of the offense. Cosmi’s a rock-solid LT prospect that absolutely dominated at the recent Texas Pro Day. The Bears will have to do some juggling to figure out who will play where on the line, but that’s a good problem to have.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Liam Eichenberg (OT – Notre Dame)
Indianapolis lost Anthony Castonzo this off-season to retirement and they’re going to need a long-term answer to protect Carson Wentz. Eichenberg might not have ceiling of Darrisaw or Cosmi, but he’s ready to contribute from day one. The offensive line is the strength of this team and drafting Eichenberg keeps it a strength.
22. Tennessee Titans – Rashod Bateman (WR – Minnesota)
AJ Brown, Josh Reynolds, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are the projected starting WRs for Tennessee in 2021. That’s not going to cut in today’s NFL and the Titans need to invest a significant pick to bolster that WR room. Fortunately for them, the perfect fit is waiting for them here at No. 22 overall. Bateman’s a smooth route-runner that would step right in to the vacated Corey Davis role in this offense and thrive.
23. New York Jets – Caleb Farley (CB – Virginia Tech)
Farley’s experienced a drop due to his back injury, but the Jets are more than happy to take advantage of the fall. Robert Saleh demands a lot out of his corners in this scheme and getting a top-tier player like Farley at a discount is too good to pass up. There’s some risk involved, but it’s worth it at this point of the draft.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devonta Smith (WR – Alabama)
(Trade: Steelers receive picks No. 32 overall and No. 95 overall for No. 24 overall)
The Bucs are in win-now mode with Tom Brady and they have yet to re-sign Antonio Brown at the time of writing. This team is set up well across the board with so many starters returning, so they can afford to move up and send away a 3rd rounder to fill one of their only remaining holes on this roster. Smith is a supremely talented player that has no business being on the board at this point of the draft, but due to other team needs and fits, he’s still available. Smith would step in and take over the AB role and provide this team with a rock-solid receiving corps for years to come. Meanwhile, the Steelers assessed the board and weren’t comfortable with reaching for any of their positions of need at this point.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB – Notre Dame)
It’s quite possible that Owusu-Koramoah goes much earlier than this on draft night, but there’s a bit of a mystery as to where exactly he’s going to align on a defense. Is he big enough for a WLB? Or is he going to be viewed as a true box-safety? Regardless, he’s a top-10 talent in this class and he brings plenty of speed to the table, which Urban Meyer is going to love. The Jaguars have done a pretty solid job of retooling this defense heading into 2021 and Owusu-Koramoah gives them much needed leadership.
26. Cleveland Browns – Jayson Oweh (EDGE – Penn State)
Oweh’s about as raw of a prospect at the EDGE position as you’re going to find, but they simply don’t make human beings like him very often. Oweh is coming off of an absurd Pro Day performance where he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at 257 pounds. He also leaped 40 inches in the vertical jump and soared 134 inches in the broad jump. These are 96th and 100th percentile numbers respectively at the position. It might take a couple of years for Oweh to put it all together, but if he can figure it out, him and Myles Garrett off the edges are going to be impossible to defend.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Azeez Ojulari (EDGE – Georgia)
The Ravens are currently heading into 2021 with Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser as their starting EDGEs. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough to threaten defenses and keep this defense competing at a high level. Ojulari’s a speedster off the edge that still has some developing to do, but he’s got the athletic profile to get there. In year one – at the very least – he can keep OTs on their heels around the outside and open things up for the interior players on this defensive line.
28. New Orleans Saints – Greg Newsome (CB – Northwestern)
New Orleans is absolutely a trade down candidate, but their main position of need has a talented player sitting here on the board. After moving on from Janoris Jenkins this off-season, the Saints need another CB option opposite of Marshon Lattimore. Newsome’s a late-riser in this pre-draft process, but the tape and athletic testing backs up the fact that he should be considered in the first round.
29. Green Bay Packers – Terrace Marshall (WR – LSU)
Green Bay has tried to make it work with taking late swings on guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, etc. but they haven’t been able to rise to the occasion and provide Aaron Rodgers with another reliable receiving option. Marshall fits the profile of what Green Bay looks for at the WR position and he’s coming off of a fantastic Pro Day performance. He certainly still has room to grow and develop, but if he can take the necessary steps forward, he’d finally provide the Packers with the reliable outside receiving option they’ve been looking for for so long.
30. Buffalo Bills – Eric Stokes (CB – Georgia)
The Bills have the offense fairly squared away, which means that they can focus on their defensive needs early on in the draft. Stokes is blazing fast – as evidenced by his 40-yard dash time – and he would be a perfect compliment to Tre White.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Dillon Radunz (OT – North Dakota State)
Kansas City has backed themselves into taking an OT at this spot of the draft. Unfortunately, none of the top OTs fell to them at No. 31, which means that they’ll have to reach a little bit for a massive position of need. Radunz is a solid OT prospect, but he’s more of a Day 2 pick than someone who should be considered in round one. The Chiefs could look to trade back, but they couldn’t find a team to come up in this situation. Instead, they stay put and take the solid OT prospect out of North Dakota State a little bit earlier than anticipated.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers – Javonte Williams (RB – North Carolina)
The Steelers moved down from No. 24 overall in hopes that one of Newsome or Stokes would still be here, but that didn’t exactly pan out the way that they had hoped. Instead, they focus on another key position of need with a top-tier talent. Williams is a bowling ball of a prospect that has the potential to handle a massive workload in the NFL. The Steelers need to get back to running the ball effectively and Williams is the best available option to do just that. OT and CB are still key needs, but thankfully this is a deeper class at both of those positions.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Pat Freiermuth (TE – Penn State)
34. New York Jets – Joe Tryon (EDGE – Washington)
35. Atlanta Falcons – Joseph Ossai (EDGE – Texas)
36. Miami Dolphins – Travis Etienne (RB – Clemson)
37. Philadelphia Eagles – Jamin Davis (LB – Kentucky)
38. Cincinnati Bengals – Dyami Brown (WR – North Carolina)
39. Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Joseph (CB – Kentucky)
40. Denver Broncos – Zaven Collins (LB – Tulsa)
41. Detroit Lions – Christian Barmore (iDL – Alabama)
42. New York Giants – Baron Browning (LB – Ohio State)
43. San Francisco 49ers – Landon Dickerson (iOL – Alabama)
44. Dallas Cowboys – Ronnie Perkins (EDGE – Oklahoma)
45. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brady Christensen (OT – BYU)
46. New England Patriots – Kadarius Toney (WR – Florida)
47. Los Angeles Chargers – Asante Samuel (CB – Florida State)
48. Las Vegas Raiders – Trevon Moehrig (S – TCU)
49. Arizona Cardinals – Creed Humphrey (iOL – Oklahoma)
50. Miami Dolphins – Nick Bolton (LB – Missouri)
51. Washington Football Team – Jabril Cox (LB – LSU)
52. Chicago Bears – Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – USC)
53. Tennessee Titans – Aaron Robinson (CB – UCF)
54. Indianapolis Colts – D’Wayne Eskridge (WR – Western Michigan)
55. Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Leatherwood (OT – Alabama)
56. New Orleans Saints – Elijah Moore (WR – Ole Miss)
(Trade: Seahawks receive No. 60 overall and a 2022 4th for No. 56 overall)
57. Los Angeles Rams – Jalen Mayfield (OT – Michigan)
58. Baltimore Ravens – Jevon Holland (S – Oregon)
59. Cleveland Browns – Levi Onwuzurike (iDL – Washington)
60. Seattle Seahawks – Gregory Rousseau (EDGE – Miami)
61. Buffalo Bills – Carlos Basham (EDGE – Wake Forest)
62. Green Bay Packers – Tyson Campbell (CB – Georgia)
63. Kansas City Chiefs – Nico Collins (WR – Michigan)
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Daviyon Nixon (iDL – Iowa)
65. Jacksonville Jaguars – Elijah Molden (CB – Washington)
66. New York Jets – Brevin Jordan (TE – Miami)
67. Houston Texans – Rondale Moore (WR – Purdue)
68. Atlanta Falcons – Tommy Tremble (TE – Notre Dame)
69. Cincinnati Bengals – Wyatt Davis (iOL – Ohio State)
70. Philadelphia Eagles – Ifeatu Melifonwu (CB – Syracuse)
71. Atlanta Falcons – Kellen Mond (QB – Texas A&M)
72. Detroit Lions – Amari Rodgers (WR – Clemson)
73. Carolina Panthers – Spencer Brown (OT – Northern Iowa)
74. Washington Football Team – Tylan Wallace (WR – Oklahoma State)
75. Dallas Cowboys – Tommy Togiai (iDL – Ohio State)
76. New York Giants – Quinn Meinerz (iOL – Wisconsin)
77. Los Angeles Chargers – Payton Turner (EDGE – Houston)
78. Minnesota Vikings – Richie Grant (S – UCF)
79. Las Vegas Raiders – Pete Werner (LB – Ohio State)
80. Las Vegas Raiders – Trey Smith (iOL – Tennessee)
81. Miami Dolphins – Josh Myers (iOL – Ohio State)
82. Washington Football Team – Davis Mills (QB – Stanford)
83. Chicago Bears – Paulson Adebo (CB – Stanford)
84. Philadelphia Eagles – Hamsah Nasirildeen (S – Florida State)
85. Tennessee Titans – Jamar Johnson (S – Indiana)
86. New York Jets – Michael Carter (RB – North Carolina)
87. Pittsburgh Steelers – Keith Taylor (CB – Washington)
88. Los Angeles Rams – Ben Cleveland (iOL – Georgia)
89. Cleveland Browns – Cameron McGrone (LB – Michigan)
90. Minnesota Vikings – Jordan Smith (EDGE – UAB)
91. Cleveland Browns – Shaun Wade (CB – Ohio State)
92. Green Bay Packers – Jackson Carman (OT – Clemson)
93. Buffalo Bills – Kenneth Gainwell (RB – Memphis)
94. Kansas City Chiefs – Chazz Surratt (LB – North Carolina)
95. Pittsburgh Steelers – Deonte Brown (iOL – Alabama)
96. Atlanta Falcons – Benjamin St-Juste (CB – Minnesota)
97. Los Angeles Chargers – Tamorrion Terry (WR – Florida State)
98. New Orleans Saints – Janarius Robinson (EDGE – Florida State)
99. Dallas Cowboys – James Hudson (OT – Cincinnati)
100. Tennessee Titans – Hunter Long (TE – Boston College)
101. Detroit Lions – Trill Williams (CB – Syracuse)
102. San Francisco 49ers – Olaijah Griffin (CB – USC)
103. Los Angeles Rams – Dylan Moses (LB – Alabama)
104. Baltimore Ravens – Seth Williams (WR – Auburn)
105. New Orleans Saints – Tyler Shelvin (iDL – LSU)
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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.