Ben the Pen's NFL 2021 First-Round Mock Draft 1.0

NFL Mock Draft 1.0

As somebody who has covered the NFL in various forms in terms of print, magazines, blogs, etc., it's time to start releasing NFL Mock Drafts. We're less than two weeks away from something sports fans and bettors have been clamoring to watch and that's the NFL Draft, whether it's Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay battling it out on ESPN or the crew. Take a look at my first Mock Draft with comments about each player. This is not who I think should go, but who each team will end up picking.

Round 1

1)Jacksonville Jaguars - QB Trevor Lawrence, LSU, 6-6, 215.

Comments: This is a no-brainer. You could say the same thing last season about Joe Burrow, but Lawrence is a better prospect. He was great right from the start. Has the size, arm strength, accuracy and athleticism to be special. He's a legit franchise QB. You know you have few flaws when the media jumps on him for not being in love with football.

2)New York Jets - QB Zach Wilson, BYU, 6-3, 210

Comments: The Jets got rid of Sam Darnold and they hope they don't have another one. Wilson wasn't even considered a top 2 quarterback, until he showed off in workouts. He can adlib with the best of them, which is why some people compare him to Johnny Manziel, along with being from a wealthy family. But he's bigger than Johnny "Football" and is more accurate.

3)San Francisco 49ers (from Mia through Hou) - QB Mac Jones, Alabama, 6-3, 215

Comments: Jones is not the third-best player or third-best QB in third-best QB in this draft. But he should fit San Francisco's system. Kyle Shanahan made Jimmy Garroppolo into a competent NFL QB when he was healthy and worked with Matt Ryan in Atlanta when he was OC. He's a pocket passer with little athleticism and not a big arm, but going to San Francisco is a plus. He fits the system well. They have an elite left tackle in Trent Williams and they focus on the run.

4)Atlanta Falcons - TE Kyle Pitts, Florida, 6-6, 240

Comments: Atlanta could go quarterback here, considering Ryan will be 36 when the season starts. But Pitts is too good to pass up. You're talking about one of the best tight end prospects in years. The speed and size make him a freak and a problem for safeties or linebackers to cover. Sure, he could use more size to become a better blocker. That will come.

5)Cincinnati Bengals - OT Penei Sewell, Oregon, 6-6, 330

Comments: If the Bengals had a better offensive line, Joe Burrow would not have suffered a torn ACL. Sewell is the complete package at tackle and will be the Bengals' best since Anthony Munoz. Now if Pitts is here, they still need to take Sewell.

6)Miami Dolphins (from Philly) - WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU, 6-0, 208

Comments: Is Tua the guy? That's still a big question mark and maybe they take a quarterback later in the draft. But Chase is the top receiving prospect. There are no real question marks. He can play any position, whether in the slot or at the X. He gives Tua a playmaker that he desperately needs.

7)Detroit Lions - QB Justin Fields, Ohio State, 6-3, 228

Comments: A lot of people expect several teams to try and trade up to get Fields. But if you're Detroit and Matthew Stafford is now gone to the LA Rams, Fields is the guy. He has all the tools in terms of size, arm strength and athletic ability. He has a higher ceiling than Wilson, but a couple of bad games placed him third or even fourth, which will be a mistake in the long run.

8)Carolina Panthers - OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern, 6-3, 305

Comments: The Panthers need protection for their new quarterback, Sam Darnold. They will need a lot more, but Slater is a good pick here. The lack of height and length is a concern, though he could end being a guard. Has excellent footwork and is a very good athlete.

9)Denver Broncos - LB Micah Parsons, Penn State, 6-3, 244

Comments: If John Elway is not running the show anymore, do the Broncos nab Trey Lance? Or do they stick with Drew Lock. Parsons is the best linebacker in the draft. He's big, athletic and can line up at several different positions. Some off-the-field issues could see him fall.

10)Dallas Cowboys - CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama, 6-2, 203

Comments: Surtain has the size that teams love and his father played in the league. Very strong in press coverage. Good in run support. May have issues against smaller receivers, but he won't line up against them for the most part.

11)New York Giants - WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama, 6-0, 166

Comments: The Giants are winners whether they take Smith or Jaylen Waddle. Smith was the best offensive player in football last season. He had a ridiculous 23 touchdowns last season and took over as the top target when Waddle was hurt. His slight build is the only concern, because nobody runs better routes. In some ways, he's Jerry Jeudy, but with more burst.

12)Philadelphia Eagles - WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama, 5-10, 182

Comments: Another draft pick and another receiver for the Eagles. Last season, they took Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins and Brandon Aiyuk. Waddle is a stud who missed most of last season due to an ankle injury. But he's a big-play threat, who can make people miss and can fly. This is a no-brainer if he's available.

13)Los Angeles Chargers - OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC, 6-4, 310

Comments: Vera-Tucker doesn't have great size for a left tackle, but he was great at guard and tackle for the Trojans. Has quick feet and blocks well at the second level. Chargers need some help up front to protect Justin Herbert.

14)Minnesota Vikings - DE Jaelan Phillips, Miami-Fl., 6-5, 260

Comments: Phillips is an athletic pass rusher and is a bit of a high-risk/high-reward pick due to medical issues. Mike Zimmer doesn't mind adding another pass rusher for the future and the present.

15)New England Patriots - LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa, 6-4, 260

Comments: Again, I'm making picks based on that team picking in that spot. Many feel New England will trade up or out of this pick. Collins can play inside or out. He can cover or rush the passer. He played at more of a mid-major level, but that doesn't matter. If he slips, that's a mistake.

16)Arizona Cardinals - CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina, 6-1, 205

Comments: Horn is a press corner with good size and can run. With Patrick Peterson gone to the Vikings, the Cards desperately need some help at corner. The son of Joe Horn is tough against the run and a physical corner that could be a number one.

17)Las Vegas Raiders - LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky, 6-4, 234

Comments: Davis has been moving up draft boards and he has the perfect last name for this franchise. Has good length and is a three-down player. Will need to get bigger to add to his long frame.

18)Miami Dolphins - OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State, 6-6, 320

Comments: Jenkins is a talented right tackle, who started three years in the Big 12. Not athletic enough to play the left side, he has the mean streak to play the right side. This would allow Robert Hunt to move inside and play guard.

19)Washington Football Team - OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech, 6-5, 315

Comments: Washington needs a lot on offense, including quarterback. But adding an offensive lineman makes sense here. He was one of the best tackles in the draft and will allow them to let Morgan Moses stay at right tackle. Three-year starter with the Hokies who is best as a run blocker.

20)Chicago Bears - QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State, 6-3, 225

Comments: The Bears desperately need a starter and with Andy Dalton already named starter, they can redshirt Lance, who played just one game in the fall last season with the Bison. His upside is tremendous and he threw just one pick in 19 games. Very athletic with a big arm, but needs more seasoning due to the fact he played against FCS teams.

21)Indianapolis Colts - DE/DT Kwitty Paye, Michigan, 6-3, 275

Comments: Paye started just one year, but he's athletic and can play different positions on the line. He's powerful and fast, though his production didn't match that.

22)Tennessee Titans - LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, 6-1, 220

Comments: He's scary fast and should be a great special teams play right away. He's another guy that can play all over the field, from inside to outside to safety.

23)New York Jets - DE/OLB Gregory Rousseau, Miami-Fl, 6-7, 265

Comments: Rousseau gives the Jets another talented edge rusher. He had 15.5 sacks the last time he played in 2019. Has tremendous length and quick hands. Plays a little too high at times.

24)Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech, 6-2, 207

Comments: If Farley drops here, this is a typical Steelers' pick. They usually draft wisely, because they know they won't be adding a lot of free agents. They certainly need a young quarterback as well, but they will likely take on in the next round. Farley is a big corner with great upside. He's a physical tackler and very smooth.

25)Jacksonville Jaguars - DE/DT Christian Barmore, Alabama, 6-4, 310

Comments: Barmore is a 3/4 defensive end, who could replace Calais Campbell, who moved on to Baltimore last season. Barmore has the length and quickness to be very good and was very productive at Alabama.

26)Cleveland Browns - Edge Azeez Ojulari, Georgia, 6-3, 240

Comments: Sure, the Browns picked up Jadeveon Clowney, but this was a pick for the future. It never hurts to take a Georgia linebacker, though he could use a redshirt season to get bigger.

27)Baltimore Ravens - DE/OLB Jayson Oweh, Penn State, 6-5, 260

Comments: Few teams need Edge rushers more than the Ravens, who lost Matthew Judon in free agency. Oweh has very good upside, though had no sacks last season in seven games. He was in the backfield often. He's a bit on the raw side and may not be able to play all three downs right away.

28)New Orleans Saints - S Trevon Moehrig, TCU, 6-1, 210

Comments: Moehrig could go higher, but he's likely to be the only safety picked in the first round. He's a pure free safety, who is smart with good range. Tackling is an issue. Malcolm Jenkins is getting up there in age. This pick makes sense.

29)Green Bay Packers - WR Rashad Bateman, Minnesota, 6-2, 215

Comments: Bateman is a strong receiver who can create separation. He's not a burner, but finds a way to get open. The Packers owe Aaron Rodgers after last year's draft. They should take another receiver or quality tight end in the later rounds.

30)Buffalo Bills - WR Rondale Moore, Purdue, 5-9, 180

Comments: Moore is the closest thing to Steve Smith. He may be short, but he's very strong. The biggest worry could be hamstring issues. When healthy, he's electric as shown in 2018 when he caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 TDs. He's also a stud return man (just like Smith was). John Brown is getting up there in age and is injury-prone.

31)Baltimore Ravens (from KC) - C/G Landon Dickerson, Alabama, 6-5, 325

Comments: Ravens traded away OT Orlando Brown to Kansas City to get this pick. They now need a right tackle, though they are expected to sign veteran free agent OT Alejandro Villanueva from Pittsburgh. They also need a center and Dicksonson fits the bill. Dickson is a powerful player, who isn't a finesse player. He'll fit the Ravens perfectly and will be their best center since Ryan Jensen left for Tampa Bay.

32)Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State, 5-10, 184

Comments: Samuel can start out as a nickel and cover the slot. But he can also play outside as he's a physical corner with great smarts and good range.

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW