Justin Prokop’s 2021 Mock Draft

Another Mock Draft has arrived ladies and gentlemen.

This time it is in the form from another one of my good friends; Justin Prokop.

These are his explanations so I’ll let him tell his tale of what he thinks might happen in the 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

1.) JAX: QB Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence has been the top prospect for 2 years now. Need I say more?

2.) NYJ: QB Zach Wilson

Sam Darnold has been traded which leaves either Mike White or James Morgan as the starting QB. Don’t know who they are? Neither do I which is why the Jets are taking Zach Wilson with their first pick. Wilson is going to be thrown into the fire but is coming off a monster season throwing for almost 3,700 yards and 33 touchdowns with 3 ints. Let’s hope the Jets can do more for Wilson than they did for Darnold. Although they will likely have a top 5 pick next year also.

3.) SF: QB Justin Fields

This is a tough one because Trey Lance and Justin Fields are very close. Lance is a bit of a wild card, so I think Fields is the option that Kyle Shanahan  goes with. He’s more proven than Lance with three years of high quality play over Lance’s one. Fields will learn behind Jimmy G until he gets hurt or ends up benched for poor play

4.) ATL: OT Penei Sewell

Arthur Smith was a top head coach candidate because of his revival of Ryan Tannehill and I think the Falcons front office gives him one year to bring Matt Ryan back to his MVP form. What better way to help an older, immobile QB than the best tackle in the draft. It’s also worth noting that Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, has said the O-line needs to improve.

5.) CIN: OT/G Rashawn Slater

I think the Bengals trade back a couple spots to pick Slater, but we aren’t doing trades. However I think Bengals end up with Rashawn Slater, the big right tackle out of Northwestern. Bengals number one priority is to protect Joe Burrow who was running for his life all year before he went down with an ACL tear. With the addition of Riley Reiff in free agency, the Bengals can start Slater at Guard before moving him to Tackle.

6.) MIA: WR Ja’Marr Chase

In order to see if Tua is really Miami’s guy they need to give him some help, so they get him the best receiver in this deep WR class. Last time we saw Chase play in 2019 he went off for almost 1800 receiving yards and 20 TDs. He’s got all the intangibles to go with his astonishing 4.38 40, 41” vertical, and 11’ 0” broad jump. Now the Dolphins have a stacked receiving corps with Will Fuller V, DeVante Parker, and Chase.

7.) DET: WR DeVonta Smith

Detroit is in full rebuild mode now, but they just saw their top 2 receivers go in free agency. They have to give Jared Goff someone to throw to so now he will have the Heisman winner in Smith.

8.) CAR: TE Kyle Pitts

Pitts is probably the best TE prospect since Vernon Davis who was drafted 6th overall in 2006 and one of the top overall prospects of this draft. Carolina has had a big hole at TE and now will have an instant starter there who will be able to help CMC in the run game and Carolina’s new QB Sam Darnold in the pass game.

9.) DEN: CB Patrick Surtain II

This was tough because I also think they could take Micah Parsons with this pick. However being in the AFC West you’ll need the best corners in the league if you want any shot, also Kyle Fuller is only on a one year deal and I think Ronald Darby is average at best.

10.) DAL: CB Caleb Farley

The Cowboys biggest need is their secondary. Rookie Trevon Diggs was probably their best corner and he went down in mid season. They also just lost their other starting corner Awuzie. Farley can be an instant starter in the league.

11.) NYG: DE Kwity Paye

Giants defense surprised many last year with the emergence of James Bradberry and Leonard Williams having a monster year. But the only player with over 4 sacks was Williams. Paye has extreme physical prowess and lined up next to Williams he might be able to inflict some PAYEn to opposing QBs.

12.) PHI: LB Micah Parsons

Philly fans will go crazy that they didn’t go with WR Jaylen Waddle but this draft is very deep at WR and Philly arguably has a bigger hole at LB. Plus there is no way they can pass on a prospect like Micah Parsons who wracked up over 190 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 6 FF and 5 PDs in 2 years at Penn State.

13.) LAC: OL Alijah Vera-Tucker

The Chargers are doing all they can to protect their young star QB Justin Herbert with the additions of center Corey Linsley and tackle Matt Feiler. With Bryan Bulaga holding up the tackle position opposite Feiler they still need an upgrade at Guard which is where Vera-Tucker comes in.

14.) MIN: OT Christian Darrisaw

The Vikings were a surprise for me as I thought they would be much better than they were. The good news with underperforming is you get to pick high enough in the draft to get a great prospect like Darrisaw. Darrisaw is massive at 6’5” 314 lbs and will be bright spot in a poor offensive line. Kirk Cousins is only good when he is in a clean pocket and excels when the run game is good which both will improve when Darrisaw is put in there

15.) NE: QB Trey Lance

Patriots luck out and get their QB of the future in Lance . Lance is very raw (as with most rookie quaterbacks) in terms of being able to read opposing NFL defenses. I believe the Patriots will let Lance learn for a while behind Cam Newton, who has similar skill sets and will be a great mentor, for this year but next year the team will be all his

16.) ARI: CB Jaycee Horn

Cardinals have a huge need at CB. Malcolm Butler was a good signing to replace Patrick Peterson who went to the Vikings, but they need someone to play opposite him. Jaycee Horn has the size, length, and physicality to press opposing receivers and disrupt the pass.

17.) LV: WR Jaylen Waddle

How in the world does Jaylen Waddle fall all the way to 17?! Vegas hops on the opportunity to get the last of the “big 3” of this WR class. Vegas still doesn’t have a number one receiver which Waddle has the skill set to quickly turn into one. Mike Mayock is also known for his love of drafting fast/quick receivers

18.) MIA: RB Najee Harris

Miami run game has been horrendous the last few years. Harris and Travis Ettiene are the best RBs in this draft but Najee is a bigger body to be able to truck someone but also has the moves to make people miss. He also is underrated when catching the ball out of the backfield.

19.) WFT: QB Mac Jones

There was a lot of talk that Mac Jones would go number 3 overall but teams just couldn’t pass up the athleticism and higher potential of Trey Lance and Justin Fields, so the Football Team ends up with their QB of the future. Jones will have a great teacher under Ryan Fitzpatrick who may end up starting the whole season.

20.) CHI: OL Teven Jenkins

Chicago’s line seemed to improve in the latter half of the season last year, but they still have a lot of room for improvement. If they are really having Andy Dalton as their QB this year they will need to get the run game going and have stellar protection. Jenkins will be able to help in both areas. He also has experience playing both Guard and Tackle and can stand his ground against the best of power rushers.

21.) IND:  OLB Jaelan Phillips

Colts did not retain Justin Houston leaving a big hole on the edge. Phillips is a playmaker against both the run and pass, racking up 8 sacks and 15.5 TFL in 2020,  and with his length and power will give opposing tackles a run for their money.

22.) TEN: WR Rashod Bateman

After losing Corey Davis to the Jets, the Titans find themselves without a number 2 WR. They did sign Josh Reynolds from the Rams but he has only started 24 of a possible 64 games as a number 3 receiver. Bateman is able to play on the outside or from the slot and had a staggering 20.3 yards per catch in 2019. He can be an instant impact player

23.) NYJ: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

The Jets are the toughest to predict because they have holes throughout the entire roster, so they go with the best prospect available with JO-K. He’s an extremely versatile off the ball linebacker who can rush the passer while also dropping to coverage. New York will need someone next to CJ Mosely, if he remains with the team.

24.) PIT: RB Travis Etienne

The Steelers running game was horrific last season finishing dead last. They let James Conner walk in free agency and only added Kalen Ballage who may not even make the team. Although a lot of the problems with the run game was attributed to the OL, I don’t think they have anyone on the team or available in free agency to be their bell cow back. Etienne may be able to bring back the running game they had when they had Le’veon Bell because of his explosiveness and ability to catch the ball.

25.) JAX: S Trevon Moehrig

As much as I want to go with offensive line here, I don’t think they should reach here. They have their second round pick only 8 spots down where they can probably grab from the next tier of lineman. Instead they go with the best safety in the draft to go along with their free agent signing of Rayshawn Jenkins.

26.) CLE: LB Jamin Davis

It pains me to say this as a Steeler fan, but the Browns don’t have too many holes in their team (when healthy), but their one big hole is at LB. Enter Davis who’s stock has quickly risen recently who most recently played in 2019 with 96 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 1 sack. He’s extremely versatile and can play any LB spot in Cleveland’s 4-3 defense.

27.) BAL: WR Terrace Marshall Jr

Baltimore was trying to get a top receiver in free agency but lost out on both Juju Smith-Schuster and Ty Hilton. However both ultimately stayed in their respective city. So the Ravens end up with Terrace Marshall Jr. He is a perfect fit for the Ravens because he’s a bigger receiver who can run multiple different routes. That will give Hollywood brown to stick to what he does best and take the top off and short passes for YAC.

28.) NO: WR Kadarius Toney

Saints need a WR outside of Michael Thomas. Tre’Quan Smith still hasn’t lived up to what they wanted when they took him 91st overall in 2018. He still has one more year on his rookie deal to prove himself, but Saints are still in need of another receiver. Toney has the speed to get those short passes or jet sweeps for YAC yards or take the top off while Michael Thomas runs his mid level slants.

29.) GB: LB Zaven Collins

If the Packers want to make it past the NFC championship they need to be better on defense, especially against the run (or let their cb get beat for 40 yards with 8 seconds left in the half). With their biggest hole being in middle linebacker enter Collins who will make an immediate impact. He had a fantastic year in 2020 with 53 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks and 4 ints in 8 games.

30.) BUF: DE Gregory Rousseau

The Bills Defense took a step back in 2020 after being one of the best in 2019. Luckily with the emergence of Josh Allen and the acquisition of Stefon Diggs the offense was able to carry them while the defense did just enough to get them to the AFC Championship. The best way to improve a defense is to get a stud pass rusher like Rousseau who had 15.5 sacks in 2019 before opting out in 2020. He has the size at 6’7” to overpower opposing offensive lineman.

31.) KC: OT Liam Eichenberg

The Chiefs lost both of their longtime starters at Tackle and we saw how Mahomes had to run for his life in the Superbowl without them. The team’s number one concern every year should be making sure Mahomes is well protected because when he is, no matter who else is on the team, the Chiefs will have a shot at winning. A big positive with Eichenberg is that he started all 38 games from since he took over the starting spot his RS sophomore year.

32.) TB: CB Greg Newsome II

TB really has no holes in their team. They just won the Superbowl and have all 22 starters still on the team and signed Tom Brady’s second favorite receiving position the pass catching RB Giovani Bernard. I think the position that would need the most help is their DB who are all young players still finding their form. Newsome was dominant in 2020 and had a very impressive Pro-day. The other position I could see them taking is DT with Christian Barmore to eventually take Suh’s place.

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