Jimmy Jardine’s 1st Round Mock Draft 1.0
Written two weeks prior to the draft, I have done a full 32 pick first round mock based on what I feel are each NFL team’s most pressing need, but also what they may end up doing as the board comes into focus at each pick. This is obviously subject to change somewhat, but I believe this mock to be fairly solid based on my research. Let's dive in!
1) Jacksonville Jaguars
Top needs: QB, OT, TE
No surprise here, Jags will be taking Trevor Lawrence to go under center for 2021. No brainer. Generational talent.. A TRUE generational talent. Yes, yes.. I know, “generational” is a term thrown around every year, but in the TLaw case, it is fair nomenclature.
2) New York Jets
Top needs: QB, IOL, CB
Not a surprise here that I have the Jets taking a QB at 2, even though there is debate on who that should be. I say Zach Wilson checks all the boxes to be an elite franchise QB and a day one starter.
3) San Francisco 49ers
Top needs: CB, OL, QB
QB could actually be considered a secondary need for the Niners, if Jimmy G was actually able to stay healthy. A sight yet to be seen. I have the Niners reading the board and taking Mac Jones at QB. You don’t deal out all that draft capital to take a Corner or a WR. Jones is pro ready and arguably the most finished product at QB in this draft class. Perfect fit for Shanahan.
4) New England Patriots
Top needs: QB, CB, OT
Yes, you read that right. I am betting that Bill Belichick will continue on his uncharacteristic offseason here in 2021 by trading up big to find the Pats next franchise QB. That QB is Justin Fields. Fields would find the best possible landing spot in New England behind Cam Newton, and based on Fields’ skill set, Newton is the perfect QB to learn from despite his recent struggles since his MVP season in 2015.
5) Cincinnati Bengals
Top needs: OT, Edge, CB
If I am Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals don’t draft Penei Sewell at OT, I would probably just retire. The Bengals need to protect their sophomore QB much better than they did in 2020. The best OT in the last decade is falling into their lap at 5.. They need to not screw this up.
6) Miami Dolphins
Top needs: Edge, C, RB
Miami would love to have a Creed Humphrey to line up at Center for them in 2021, however, with Kyle Pitts, the consensus best player in this draft, sitting there at 6, the Dolphins can’t pass up that talent. They go BPA and take Pitts and they will probably already have the draft card filled out.
7) Detroit Lions
Top needs: WR, DT, CB
As with the Miami Dolphins, the Detroit Lions likely will have the draft card already filled out and be taking Ja’Marr Chase at WR. They lost Golladay so they are desperate for an outside presence. Chase fills that role. I also would not be surprised if the Lions double dip at WR in the 2nd round as well.
8) Carolina Panthers
Top needs: OT, DT, CB
Although the Panthers have O line needs, I don’t see them passing up on Jaylen Waddle at WR but only because they are sitting at 8. If they were 10-15, I would have them taking the next best OT like Slater or Darrisaw. But at 8, with the elite WR weapons there and only DJ Moore and Robby Anderson on the outside, WR is the play here.
9) Denver Broncos
Top needs: QB, OT, LB
The Broncos have questions at QB that need resolved and Trey Lance is that answer. Bring some competition to Drew Lock’s life and see who comes out on top. I think Lance needs to sit behind a vet, but if he can prove to be the better answer in Denver, then more power to him.
10) Dallas Cowboys
Top needs: CB, OT, DT
The smart play here would be to take a Rashawn Slater who is still on the board in my mock and protect Dak Prescott after that near career ending injury, however, we all know who Jerry Jones is and that is take the name. The legacy. For that reason, I have Dem Boyz taking Patrick Surtain II at corner. Fortunately, corner is also their biggest need so Jones won’t look too foolish taking Surtain at 10.
11) New York Giants
Top Needs: WR, Edge, CB
Devonta Smith will fall right into the G-Men’s lap at 11. While they do need an edge, WR is the play with the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner still on the board. The move makes sense and they need another weapon for Danny Dimes.
12) Philadelphia Eagles
Top needs: CB, WR, Edge
The Eagles triple dipped in the WR market in 2020 by drafting Jalen Reagor, John Hightower and Quez Watkins and while the production from the three amounted to only 48 receptions, 669 receiving yards and 2 TD’s, the need here is corner. Ranked 14th in passing defense and giving up 237 passing yards per game, I believe Philly will look to solidify that defensive secondary by selecting Caleb Farley at Corner. It is a risk with Farley having recently had his second back surgery, but he seems to be good to go. Still an elite first round talent if he can stay healthy.
13) Los Angeles Chargers
Top needs: OT, CB, S
One would think that the Chargers would be all in on Rashawn Slater, but after the 2nd of three of the elite corners have gone, it forces the Chargers to take the last top corner in Jaycee Horn. O line is deep this year, Corner is not. Plain and simple.
14) Minnesota Vikings
Top needs: OG, S, Edge
With the need at guard looming, I have the Vikings taking the best guard in the draft, Alijia Vera-Tucker. Day one starter and just a perfect plug and play guard.
15) Atlanta Falcons
Top needs: CB, S, Edge
After trading back with the Patriots for what would have to have been a haul, the Falcons are surprised to see Kwity Paye still on the board. This is the top 4-3 down defensive end in the draft in my opinion, and Atlanta can shore up that edge rush with this kid.
16) Arizona Cardinals
Top needs: CB, WR, RB
I really thought about putting Travis Etienne here, but the Cards are seriously depleted at corner. I like Greg Newsome II to Arizona to help with that CB room.
17) Las Vegas Raiders
Top needs: DT, LB, S
The Raiders need a playmaker backing up the D line. I don’t see a defensive tackle being the pick this early, so much like the Cardinals taking versatile LB Isaiah Simmons in 2020, I see the Raiders making a similar move for Micah Parsons. He can play any LB spot so no matter where they put him, he can eat. Good pick here despite other team needs.
18) Miami Dolphins
Top needs: Edge, C, RB
The fins address their top need at the Edge position at pick 18 by taking OLB Azeez Ojulari. Perfect for a 3-4 hybrid style defense so a scheme fit in Miami. One of the top edge rushers in the country at Georgia.
19) Washington Football Team
Top needs: LB, S, TE
I like Gregory Rousseau OLB to the Washington Football Team. Will be a great compliment to Chase Young on the opposite side and is versatile enough to fill needs where needs arise in the LB positions.
20) Chicago Bears
Top needs: QB, CB, WR
The Bears really didn’t have the draft capital ammo to make any big moves for their top need at QB. Fortunately, my QB5 is still available and I have the Chicago Bears taking Kellen Mond at 20. He can sit behind Dalton and be the future that the Bears have desperately needed for years. Since before the 2017 debacle.
21) Indianapolis Colts
Top needs: OT, Edge WR
This is where I see the 2nd best tackle going. Rashawn Slater will be taken by Indy at 21. Fills a direct top need and is a day one starter.
22) Tennessee Titans
Top needs: WR, CB, OT
With the loss of Corey Davis, the Titans will need to strengthen up that passing game for Tannehill. I like Rashod Bateman here. Will do nicely across from AJ Brown and bring another threat to keep defenses honest against Derrick Henry.
23) NY Jets
Top needs: IOL, CB, LB
As a Jets fan, I have analyzed this pick ad nauseum. I absolutely love Creed Humphrey here. My opinion he is the best center prospect in the last decade and is a Nick Mangold 2.0. Creed is a day one leader and a can’t miss pick for the Jets.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers
Top needs: C, RB, Edge
I see the Steelers mad that Humphrey went one pick before them, and the fact is, the second best C in this draft is Landon Dickerson, but with the injuries, I see him sliding out of the first round. The Steelers go with their next need and take Najee Harris at RB.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars
Top needs: WR, S, TE
I know, I know.. OT is not on here, but tackle is a secondary need for the Jags. I have Christian Darrisaw heading to Jacksonville to protect golden boy Trevor Lawrence. Jax will likely feel comfortable with Chark Jones Jr. and Shenault sharing reps with TLaw under center, way more than they were with Minshew.
26) Cleveland Browns
Top needs: WR, DE, DT
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoa is a great fit for the Browns scheme. Versatile Linebacker, can play Sam or Will and is a solid edge rusher. Add to Myles Garrett and the Cleveland offense’s job is that much easier.
27) Baltimore Ravens
Top needs: Edge, OT, IOL
This is a deep O line class so I like Zaven Collins to Baltimore at 27. As above with Koramoa, Collins is a versatile day one starter who can be on the edge or in the Mike spot. Equally effective. I liken him to Isaiah Simmons from 2020.
28) New Orleans Saints
Top needs: CB, WR, DT
Marshon Lattimore having potential legal issues heading into 2021 pushes the CB need to the top of the list. I love Aaron Robinson out of UCF. Great speed, great footwork. And New Orleans needs to hit first on the second tier CB’s in this draft before round 2 otherwise most will be gone.
29) Green Bay Packers
Top needs: CB, DT, OT
I am playing the long odds here and betting the Packers break with nearly 2 decades of tradition of neglecting offensive weapons for Rodgers in round 1. The Pack break that cycle and select Kadarius Toney at WR. I think it is a great play and one some may not see coming.
30) Buffalo Bills
Top needs: TE, RB, CB
Tight End may be the top need for the Bills, but there is TE value later. But the #2 need is a running back and the Bills are in a position to make a real push to the Super Bowl in 2021 so I see them adding Travis Etienne at RB. First round RB is a move you make when you are a piece away, and the Bills are truly a piece away.
31) Kansas City Chiefs
Top needs: OL, Edge, LB
The Chiefs suffered greatly with a lack of tackles in the Super Bowl. I see them going after Walker Little out of Stanford. 6’7” 320 and solid. Good movement, strong at the point of attack. Chiefs need tackles.
32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Top needs: Edge, OT, RB
Edge is important and if you can draft a starter on the cheap to line up opposite Shaq Barrett, you do it. Carlos Basham is a perfect fit and will eat because of Barrett taking up attention. Again, O line is deep so I see the Bucs addressing that later, but Basham at 32 is a solid pick.
Well there you have it! A full 32 pick mock draft that I have about 300 hours of research into. Hope you enjoyed, and we are so close to the real draft that I can’t stand it!!
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