Last update: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.
Next update: Occasionally. Follow me @walterfootball
The order of this 2021 NFL Mock Draft is based on my NFL Power Rankings
, adjusting for playoff seeding in the 19-32 range.
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Go to 2022 NFL Mock Draft | Go to 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie Campbell
*** 2021 NFL MOCK DRAFT updated Oct. 21. This mock draft will be updated occasionally. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
There's no question that the Jets would select Trevor Lawrence if they landed and kept the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Sam Darnold once had promise, but the truth is that he has regressed over the years. He looked lost in the opener versus the Bills, and then he threw two pick-sixes at Indianapolis. I blame Adam Gase, but Darnold is at fault as well. I imagine the Jets would treat Darnold like Josh Rosen, trading him for a second-round selection and then taking a new quarterback first overall. It worked for Arizona.
Lawrence is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has it all, and that includes size (6-6, 215), a big arm, accuracy and mobility.
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Washington Redskins: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Like the Jets, the Redskins would try their luck with another quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Justin Fields, like Dwayne Haskins, is from Ohio State, but he's a far better prospect.
Fields made the egregious mistake of committing to a program with a talented, young quarterback in Jake Fromm, so he was blocked from starting. Fields, however, was able to transfer to Ohio State, where he dominated in his first season.
Pick change; previously Sam Cosmi, OT
New York Giants: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
I like Darius Slayton, but he's better served as a No. 2 receiver. The Giants' offense would be so much more explosive with a dynamic threat like Ja'Marr Chase.
Chase caught 17 passes in his freshman year, then took a huge step forward in 2019, displaying the ability of a top-10 prospect.
Atlanta Falcons: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
The Falcons have needed to improve their pass rush for years. They've tried to fix it via Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley, and yet it has remained a problem. It's time to finally find a solution.
Gregory Rousseau logged double-digit sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He was compared to Calais Campbell entering Miami.
Pick change; previously Justin Fields, QB
Jacksonville Jaguars: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Jaguars ruined their franchise by beating the Colts in Week 1. That victory will set them back years, as they lost out on Trevor Lawrence. I'm not sure who their quarterback will be for the long term, but they can at least find a franchise left tackle for him.
Penei Sewell was so good as a sophomore, he received a second-place Heisman vote.
Pick change; previously Carlos Basham, DE/DT
Minnesota Vikings: Carlos Basham, DE/DT, Wake Forest
The Vikings have needed a starting defensive tackle next to Linval Joseph for quite some time. Now, they need a starter next to Michael Pierce, or perhaps a replacement for Pierce if he balloons up to 380 pounds during his opt-out.
Carlos Basham always stuffed the run well, but his pass rush improved tremendously from 2018 to 2019.
Pick change; previously Christian Barmore, DE/DT
Miami Dolphins: Christian Barmore, DE/DT, Alabama
The Dolphins need to improve their pass rush in order to make their two talented cornerbacks extra potent. Ideally, they'd find a better edge rusher, but they could also stand to find a dominant threat in the interior.
Christian Barmore has nice length, quickness and athleticism.
Pick change; previously Gregory Rousseau, DE
Los Angeles Chargers: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Chargers did a good job of upgrading their offensive line this offseason by adding Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga. They still need a left tackle to replace Russell Okung.
Sam Cosmi is very athletic, but is considered raw at the moment. He appears to have added strength in 2020.
Pick change; previously Penei Sewell, OT
Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Eagles had no answer for Chase Claypool in a loss to the Steelers. They have one talented cornerback in Darius Slay, but nothing else at the position.
Son of former Dolphins star cornerback Patrick Surtain Sr., Surtain II was tested early by teams, yet was able to punish opponents for doing so. The 6-foot-2 cornerback projects as a top-15 pick in the future.
Cincinnati Bengals: Alex Leatherwood, OT/G, Alabama
Joe Burrow is doing so well considering that he doesn't have much time to throw. The Bengals need to fill the numerous holes they have on the offensive line.
Alex Leatherwood, a former five-star recruit, has excellent strength to be a stellar run blocker and the athleticism to block elite edge rushers.
Pick change; previously Jalen Mayfield, OT
Detroit Lions: Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
The Lions need to address every position on defense, and this includes safety to replace Quandree Diggs.
Paris Ford was all over the field last season, and he stood out on film to several scouts.
Pick change; previously Andre Cisco, S
New England Patriots: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Patriots have the worst receiving corps in the NFL. The only viable player they have at the position is Julian Edelman, who will be 35 next offseason.
Jaylen Waddle looks to be the next great Alabama receiver to enter the NFL. He's one of the quickest players in college football.
Denver Broncos: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Broncos have needed cornerback help ever since parting ways with Chris Harris and Aqib Talib.
Shaun Wade has a ton of upside and was able to produce well in the slot in 2019. He's expected to move outside this year.
Pick change; previously Alex Leatherwood, OT/G
Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
The Dolphins need to bolster their linebacking corps, as it would be the weak point of their defense if the pass rush is addressed.
Looking like the next great linebacker to come out of Penn State, Micah Parsons was very productive. That was not a surprise, as Parsons was a highly athletic five-star recruit.
Carolina Panthers: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Ian Thomas hasn't quite lived up to his potential, so the Panthers could be looking for a new tight end to replace Greg Olsen.
Kyle Pitts is a matchup nightmare, as he's too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties.
San Francisco 49ers: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Richard Sherman doesn't have much time left, so the 49ers will need to find a new No. 1 cornerback for the future.
Paulson Adebo has great size, coverage skills and play-making ability. He struggled a bit in 2019, but could rebound next year.
Pick change; previously Shaun Wade, CB
Go to 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
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2021 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 21
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