Josh Norris’ Final 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Apr 29th 2021

Josh Norris


1. Jaguars — QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence is in a tier of his own in this class, and enters a situation surrounded by D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault and James Robinson. Not bad!

2. Jets — QB Zach Wilson, BYU

It will be fascinating to watch a QB who played behind a dominant OL that created throwing highways during his final season line up and face Bill Belichick, Brian Flores and Sean McDermott six times per year.

3. 49ers — QB Trey Lance NDSU

This is the pivot point for all mock drafts. The closer we get, the less likely I think Mac Jones is the selection. Kyle Shanahan asked Trey Lance to work with John Beck, a friend, after the Bison already worked with Quincy Avery… how often does that happen? When has a decision maker had such a heavy hand in a prospect’s pre-draft process? Justin Fields also worked with Beck pre-draft.

I simply can’t wrap my head around trading two future firsts, plus a third-round pick, to draft “more of the same.” Now is the time to get a quarterback who elevates the ceiling when the plan of the play is figured out. In the end, though, only Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch know the answer. So any “league source” not named Shanahan or Lynch likely has the same level of knowledge that we do.

4. Falcons — TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

Massive decision for the Falcons here that shapes their franchise for the next five or so years. Do you take the young quarterback while in the Top 5, a position you never want to be in again, or create possibly the best WR-WR-TE pairing in the NFL? There are numerous teams with Kyle Pitts as the №1 player on their board.

5. Bengals — WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

Cincy will have one of the top two players on their board reach this selection. That is a tremendous spot to be in. On our podcast, Bengals legend Joe Goodberry seemed comfortable saying Chase would be selected over Penei Sewell — as the Riley Reiff signing likely indicates the team is comfortable with both tackle spots.

6. Dolphins — WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Kyle Pitts dropping to this slot would be Miami’s dream. Even if Chase is on the board, I could see the Dolphins prioritizing Waddle. Why? Will Fuller and DeVante Parker threaten the outside, with Waddle and Mike Gesicki operating over the middle of the field. Moving back from №3, to №12, then back up to №6 is a clear indication Chris Grier wants to exit this draft with one of the top three pass catchers for Tua.

7. Lions — T Penei Sewell, Oregon

This pick is either the Lions own selection, or a possible Chargers move (ahead of Carolina) if the price drops.

8. Panthers — CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

Sewell will be the selection if still on the board. Then a possible trade out. And if that fails or the value does not match, Horn fits. He’s an alpha, physically gifted corner who asked for the best of the best in the SEC. Look for Rashawn Slater or Caleb Farley in a possible trade down.

9. Broncos — OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

Quarterback was checked off on the to-do list, and now it is time to build the ideal situation to succeed on offense by investing in the OL. Jaycee Horn is another possibility.

10. Cowboys — CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

It feels like there are four players under consideration for the Cowboys: Surtain, Jaycee Horn, Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater.

11. Giants — LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

It’s very tempting to give Dave Gettleman his top pass rusher, but instead this fills an obvious need with a defensive playmaker over the middle of the field.

12. Eagles — WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

Worst case scenario for the Eagle? With Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn likely topping the list. Smith might create a schism between the coaching staff and analytics side — which is nothing new.

13. Chargers — T Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

Again, the Chargers could move up if the Lions drop their asking price. If not, Darrisaw makes sense as the next option to protect the left side.

14. Vikings — EDGE Jaelen Phillips, Miami

Mike Zimmer’s love for Jaelen Phillips has created more and more buzz on the mock draft streets.

15. Patriots — QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

If Justin Fields makes it beyond №3 and №8, I have absolutely no clue where he will land. This would be such a great fit. Look up any comment that Bill Belichick said about Deshaun Watson and Cam Newton (before he signed). Bill appreciates pocket passers with plus athleticism.

16. Cardinals — LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

This is another player to team connection that is picking up steam. Steve Keim seems to have plenty of confidence in his linebacker evaluations. Is there an outside shot to take Elijah Moore here?

17. Raiders — OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

This addition would allow the Raiders to move Denzelle Good to tackle. AVT is widely beloved.

18. Dolphins — RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

Jaylen Waddle and Travis Etienne, along with Will Fuller this offseason. That is some real juice. Najee Harris is absolutely a possibility, but Etienne offers that extra gear to his game.

19. Washington — LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney have a long history of athletic linebackers being difference makers on that side of the ball.

20. Bears — QB Mac Jones, Alabama

Ryan Pace has been here before.

21. Colts — EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

A trade out into the later part of the first round for a tackle prospect makes plenty of sense, maybe with the Saints who want to move up for Caleb Farley. Instead, giving the Colts pass rushing help is another common thought.

22. Titans — WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss

Buzz continues to build for Elijah Moore, higher and higher. The Titans once had Jonnu Smith and prioritized Adam Humphries in free agency. Moore could eat in that area of the field.

23. Jets — EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington

There’s a tier of pass rushers here, and each team likely ranks them differently. Let’s go with Tryon, who boasts a very similar athletic profile to Robert Quinn, without the same kind of edge bend. We know Robert Saleh values defensive line depth and talent.

24. Steelers — RB Najee Harris, Alabama

The Steelers beat seems certain Harris will be the pick if on the board. He’s solid, but it simply does not make sense if the Steelers repeat their style from 2020… with arguably a worse offensive line.

25. Jaguars — LB/S Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

JOK could go much, much earlier. His versatility to play multiple alignments likely is coveted across the NFL.

26. Browns — CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern

Despite spending on defensive back, this still feels like a need. And it also starts a corner run.

27. Ravens — EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State

Baltimore’s secondary remains one of the best in the league. But a team with a proud pass rushing history has been yearning for a primary outside threat. Oweh is an unreal athlete, which gives him an instant advantage in 1 on 1 situations.

28. Saints — CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

The link between Farley and the Saints seems to be strong — to the point of a possible trade up. And we know the Saints are not afraid of being aggressive when acquiring target players.

29. Packers — CB Eric Stokes, Georgia

Find a corner that can play with Jaire Alexander.

30. Bills — CB Asante Samuel Jr., FSU

Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are entering contract years. I am incredibly tempted to connect a pass rusher here for that reason. Instead, let’s go with the corner with great ball skills.

31. Ravens — C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

There are a number of tackles who fit this area of the draft — Eichenberg, Brady Christensen, Alex Leatherwood. We all know the Ravens traded Orlando Brown, but an argument can be made that Center is the easiest area to upgrade.

32. Bucs — DT Christian Barmore, Alabama

Need to fit Barmore in round one, and eventually replacing Ndamukong Suh makes sense.