Is there a draft in here?
This is 2021. Of course there is. In fact, there is a draft everywhere.
Everyone has an NFL mock draft now. Just ask your next Uber driver or Target cashier if they’ve got a mock draft. They absolutely do, and don’t be surprised when they tell you that when they’re bagging up your toilet paper and oat milk.
See, everyone’s got a mock draft. But, truthfully, there are people — experts, if you will — who know a little bit more about the NFL draft, the ins and outs, needs of teams and knowledge of prospects than your average barstool GM.
This year, there are a number of intriguing storylines heading into the first round: How many QBs will go in the first round? How many in the top 10? How many Alabama players will be selected?
Here’s what some of the experts are saying about the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft:
Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)
Iyer’s latest mock draft was released on April 26:
— A little bit of a slide for Justin Fields, but not too far down: Fields lands at No. 9 to the Denver Broncos, who will have to find a suitor for Drew Lock.
— The Giants add to their hog mollies, selecting Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern with the No. 11 pick. The Giants took Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall selection in 2020.
— Justin Herbert gets a new toy with Heisman winner DeVonta Smith falling to No. 13 overall.
You can read SN’s full seven-round mock draft here.
Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)
Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on April 13 and features trades:
— Of course, all eyes on the QBs, and Kiper has the Patriots trading up to secure a falling Justin Fields at No. 10 — the NFL’s worst nightmare.
— The Detroit Lions could go in any direction, but in this mock they take Ja’Marr Chase as the first WR off the board.
— The Packers finally get Aaron Rodgers the receiver he so desperately wanted, grabbing Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman at No. 29.
Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)
McShay’s latest mock draft was released on April 1, but was updated to include the Sam Darnold trade and what it could mean for the rest of the NFL draft.
— John Elway and Denver finally have a long-term solution at the QB position, as McShay has Trey Lance going to the Broncos at No. 9. Elway has been searching for the next great QB after Peyton Manning for years.
— Najee Harris — who recently told McShay “kiss my ass” — ends up with the Steelers at No. 24, alleviating pressure on the Steelers offense, which suffered on the ground last year.
— Everyone’s worst nightmare confirmed: Bill Belichick gets his hands on a future franchise quarterback, with the Patriots trading up to 11 to grab a falling Justin Fields.
Todd McShay and Mel Kiper combined mock draft
McShay and Kiper combined for a mock draft on April 20 (days before the blockbuster Chiefs-Ravens trade), with the analysts alternating picks. Kiper kicks it off with the first pick:
— High, high praise here for Jamin Davis, who goes all the way to Washington at No. 19. Davis is a polarizing prospect, with some expecting him to be a Day 2 pick.
— Trevon Moehrig gets some love here, with Kiper selecting the safety to go the Raiders at No. 17. He’s the only first-round safety in this draft.
— The Patriots get their man: This mock features the Pats trading up to No. 7 overall to select Alabama QB Mac Jones.
Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)
DJ’s latest mock draft was released on April 6.
— Jared who? Jeremiah has the Lions selecting Ohio State passer Justin Fields with the No. 7 overall pick. Detroit, of course, traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff (and more) this offseason. The Goff Era in the Motor City might be over before it even begins.
— After letting All-Pro center Corey Linsley walk in free agency, the Packers reinforce the offensive line with ‘Bama lineman Landon Dickerson at No. 29.
— Five is the magic number, as in five first-round QBs. Jeremiah takes it a step further: Five quarterbacks will be selected in the top 10, the first time that will have happened in NFL Draft history.
Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)
Peter King, who actually had the most accurate mock of the 2020 NFL Draft, released his mock draft on April 26:
— While many think there are four first-round cornerback prospects, King believes there are five, with the Saints selecting Georgia’s Tyson Campbell with the No. 28 overall pick. Campbell joins Patrick Surtain II, Greg Newsome II, Caleb Farley and Jaycee Horn as first-round DBs.
— A pair of first-round trades here: The Browns trade up to No. 21 to select Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, leaving the Colts to select Sam Cosmi at No. 26. Also, the Ravens use one of their two first-rounders to move up to No. 22 to select Kwity Paye out of Michigan, and the Titans select wideout Elijah Moore at 27.
— Another year of no help for Aaron Rodgers: King has the Packers selecting linebacker Jamin Davis at No. 29, opting not to go wideout.
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