Welcome to the third and final NFL Mock Draft of the 2021 season here at 985TheSportsHub.com. Scroll down to see who we have going at each and every pick of the first round.
In this final installment, we decided to go nuts and have the Patriots trade up for a quarterback. Though such a move seems unlikely for the Patriots, in this case we had Bill Belichick’s guy fall to his range. It’s our mock draft and we can do what we want, dammit. Fans will either be thrilled or furious at who the Patriots take, as is tradition in the draft. But at the end of the day, we’re all guessing.
So, we decided to guess what it would look like if the Patriots surprised everyone and actually traded up for a QB. If it does happen, this seems to be a more likely scenario than moving all the way from 15 to 4.
Lawrence is a generational talent, and one of the best quarterback prospects to enter the draft in the last decade. The questions on his end are few, if any. It’s the Jaguars franchise that faces the real pressure here. Can a team that has been a perennial punchline since its inception make the most of this rare opportunity? -Alex Barth
No last-minute swerve from the Jets. It's been Wilson all along after the former BYU product rocketed up draft boards. He has the upside of a high-end playmaker at the quarterback position ... but so did Sam Darnold. At least they didn't have to trade up for this one. - Matt Dolloff
Now here's a swerve. The Mac Jones rumors got so strong that we decided to exercise some heavy skepticism. It turns out that Kyle Shanahan wants to develop Fields for a year behind Jimmy Garoppolo - effectively closing the book on a possible trade back to the Patriots. And they're apparently not concerned about that epilepsy thing. - MD
In some ways, the fourth pick may be the best spot in this entire draft right now. The Falcons find themselves halfway between giving it one last go with Matt Ryan, or beginning a rebuild. Sitting at four, they can proceed with either plan - they’ll have a shot at one of the top five quarterbacks, or a chance to select the best non-QB in the draft. In this scenario, they make the best pick for a win-now mentality by grabbing Pitts, who may be the best overall player in this class. -AB
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before - the Bengals just made a massive investment at the quarterback position, and have a fantastic chance to protect their investment (who is coming off of a torn ACL). Taking a receiver like Ja’Marr Chase or Devonta Smith certainly may be tantalizing here, but that guy isn’t going to be of much help if Joe Burrow doesn’t have any time to throw, or is hurt. It’s a very deep receiver draft, they can get an NFL-ready pass catcher with their next pick. -AB
Brian Flores publicly said he wasn't concerned about DeVonta Smith's weight (166 pounds at the most recent medical combine measurements). But ultimately he opts for Chase (6 feet, 207 pounds), whose ceiling is that of an All-Pro big-play receiver with his explosiveness, hands, and ball-tracking ability. - MD
For years, the Detroit Lions have built their offense around big, physical, overpowering wide receivers. What do they have to show for it? Just four winning seasons since drafting Calvin Johnson in 2007. They need a pass catcher, but the new regime decides to break the organization’s traditional mold and add a fast, slippery, dynamic route runner in Smith. -AB
The run on receivers continues. Carolina decides to wait on drafting another quarterback in the wake of trading for Sam Darnold, and get a speedy new receiver to add to their mix. Waddle has a chance to make an immediate impact, especially in a Panthers lineup that just lost Curtis Samuel to free agency. - MD
This one's tough for the Patriots, who tried to jump the Broncos to get Lance but balked at the price (we're making that up, for the purposes of this made-up draft). Denver gets their guy for the future. We'll see if they have the patience to let Lance develop before throwing him out there, like the Patriots would. - MD
The Patriots trade their second-round pick, compensatory fifth, and sixth in exchange for the Cowboys' third-rounder, for the privilege of moving up from 15 to 10. But who's the guy?! - MD
A curious move for the Pats, who don't appear to be jumping teams that are looking to draft a quarterback. The Cowboys certainly aren't. The possible logic, here: the Giants, Eagles, and Vikings shouldn't be totally ruled out for a QB, while the Chargers are the only team that appears to have a young franchise QB locked in. At the same time, the Cowboys have orchestrated a bidding war that also includes the Washington Football Team and Pittsburgh Steelers, so if the Pats really want Jones, they're pretty much left with no choice but to trade with Dallas.
So, moving essentially from the second round to the third round, while throwing in a couple of late-round lottery tickets, was a worthwhile price to ensure that Bill Belichick got his guy. If they do it, they'd do it this way rather than move any higher. Scouts have consistently raved about Jones' accuracy and intelligence, which could make him a viable starter in the Patriots' system as soon as late in his rookie year. - MD
One of the top hits so far on the Felger and Mazz Big Board. The Giants miss out on all the top QBs, so they go for who they feel is the best defensive player available. The son of former NFL cornerback Patrick Surtain has a chance to be just as good as his dad, if not better. He should be the Giants' No. 1 corner sooner rather than later. - MD
Philadelphia’s linebacker depth is virtually non-existent, which isn’t a great sign for a team that struggled mightily against the run last year. They need help in the middle of their defense, and getting Parsons at 12 would be an absolute steal. -AB
Once again, it’s on the Chargers to protect Justin Herbert to make sure he can continue his development uninterrupted. Where things do get interesting is the choice between Darrisaw and Rashawn Slater. Both players are tremendous prospects, but Darrisaw is a slightly higher upside option while Slater is more NFL ready (although the margins for both are thin). In it for the long haul, the Chargers go with the Va Tech product. -AB
The Vikings opt to protect their quarterback with the selection of Slater, a well-rounded and NFL-ready tackle with All-Pro potential. If the Patriots stayed at 15, losing out on Slater may have hurt. - MD
The Cowboys should be a turnaround story in 2021, especially with Dak Prescott back under center. In general, players returning from injuries will solve a lot of Dallas’ problems, but not in the secondary. The team needs to find a legitimate No. 1 outside cornerback, and Jaycee Horn projects to fit the bill. -AB
Injury concerns cause Farley to slide down the board a little, but he's every bit as talented as Surtain II and Horn. The Cardinals could use an impact player at cornerback for the future, after Patrick Peterson left for the Vikings via free agency. If Farley can stay on the field, he should deliver that impact. - MD
Traditionally, the Raiders love players who test well in physical drills at the combine and pro days. Paye finished his pro day with an elite RAS score, which should grab Vegas’ attention. After releasing Arden Key and Maurice Hurst Jr. last week, the team needs to retool on the defensive line, and Paye would be a strong start. -AB
In our last mock draft, we had the Dolphins taking Miami’s Gregory Rousseau. This time around, they grab the Hurricanes’ opposite defensive end in Phillips. The pre-draft discussion between these two players has been a fun one, with Rousseau presenting the more immediate option while Phillips comes with plenty of potential. -AB
Washington’s defensive line is one of, if not the best unit in the league. It’s time for the team to start adding at the second and third levels to give them some support. That makes Owusu-Koramoah - or JOK for short - the perfect option, since he can play both linebacker and safety. -AB
The USC product played left tackle in 2020, but his size and length (6-foot-4, 32-inch arms) would make him more of a guard prospect for a lot of teams. The Patriots might throw him at tackle, anyway, but the Bears bring him in to play guard initially. Versatility is always good. - MD
With Malik Hooker recovering from a torn Achilles and still a free agent, the Colts need to address their safety position and need to do so in a big way. Even with the 21st pick in the draft, they have a real shot to land the top safety in this year’s class. It would be a perfect example of when drafting for need and drafting the best player available overlap. -AB
Davis is one of the draft's more intriguing prospects. He's a little slight for an inside linebacker (234 pounds), but at 6-foot-3 he's still big and athletic. And he's a fit for the modern type of inside linebacker who can move quickly all around the field and play in coverage. The Titans need more playmakers in their front-seven, so they decide to take the plunge with Davis. - MD
With even more draft capital at their disposal after the Orlando Brown trade, Baltimore gives up picks 27 and 104 (compensatory third) to move up to 23. But who are they targeting? It turns out to be a move to bolster Lamar Jackson's weapons... - MD
Baltimore gets their slot guy for Lamar Jackson. Toney should become a big-play inside receiver within a couple of seasons, provided Jackson shows further improvement throwing the ball. He should make for a fine complement for Hollywood Brown and the Ravens' tight ends. - MD
The Steelers have been rumored to be in on a top running back prospect in the draft, and there's no better choice in the class of 2021 than Harris. He has bell-cow potential and should fit well in the Steelers' scheme. - MD
First order of business after making Trevor Lawrence official: protect his blind side. There have been whispers of concerns about "football character" with Jenkins, which could make him slip down the board. But he has a chance to be a great value for Jacksonville if those concerns turn out to be overblown. - MD
Odell Beckham’s future with the Browns seems to constantly be called into question, and David Njoku on the last year of his contract. Cleveland needs a big-body, jump ball wide receiver to complement Jarvis Landry in the slot, and they’d fill that need by drafting the 6-foot-2 Bateman. -AB
The Jets just need talent. Anyway, anywhere they can get it, they need talent. They grab the best player available at 27. If they can manage him right, Collins could turn into a key player for New York, who is currently in a division with three quarterbacks (two who are young) who like to run around and extend plays with their legs. His ability to play sideline-to-sideline will help keep QBs like Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa in check. -AB
New Orleans don’t have a strong cornerback room to begin with, and their lone star - Marshon Lattimore - is in the final year of his rookie contract. The cap-strapped Saints need corner help in both the short and long term, and find that help late in Round 1 by drafting Newsome. -AB
Green Bay could have used another dynamic receiver to complement Davante Adams for a couple of years now. No more forcing Aaron Rodgers to make it work with the Marquez Valdes-Scantlings of the world. Moore should make for a very nice complement for Adams as an inside target. - MD
It’s rare to see a team that reached the conference championship return as much of its roster as the Bills will in 2021. That being said, they could still use some help up front defensively, especially on the edge. Ojulari fills a need. -AB
The Ravens' center play was sub-par last season to begin with, but then they lost their starter Matt Skura to the Dolphins in free agency. Dickerson is viewed as a fringe first-round pick due to his injury history, but with two first round picks the Ravens can afford to take this risk, especially given the enormous upside. -AB
The rich get richer. As if Tom Brady didn't have enough toys to play with, he gets another big-bodied receiver to group with who he's already got. Chris Godwin is on the franchise tag in 2021, though, and could be gone in a year. So it's not a bad idea for Tampa Bay to shore up the position, in the event that Brady decides he wants to play until he's 50. - MD
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