We are a little under 3 weeks to the draft. With this 1st mock, I want to take the time to make the picks that I would want rather than the picks I think JD will make. Next week will be a blend of who I think JD will take and who I think is a good fit. In the final week, I am going to go into full prediction mode for what I think the 2021 draft will look like. The first two mocks won’t have any trades in them. Here we go!
Round 1 (Pick 2)
QB, Justin Fields, Ohio State
When it comes to the top 4 or 5 quarterbacks this year, I don’t think you can really make a wrong decision. You have your extremely well rounded quarterbacks and then you have your quarterbacks with extreme upside. It’s really just a matter of preference. I think both Fields and Wilson will have very good careers based on where they are now in their development as well as their upside. I just have Fields’ upside being slightly higher. What he brings to the running game would open up an element to our offense that I would be hesitant to open up with Wilson. I am not saying we couldn’t use Wilson in more of a running role, we could. I am just a little more cautious in thinking he can handle that role with long-term sustainability. Again, this is what I would do, not what I think JD would.
Round 1 (Pick 23)
CB, Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
As of right now our CB room is pretty barren. The only guy I even have a little confidence in with starting is Hall. It is my hope that Joe signs someone to add to this group outside of the draft. If we don’t, it just cements our need for a starting caliber cornerback. Farley would be my CB 1 if it wasn’t for the injury concerns with his back. While this pushes him out of my CB 1 conversation, it doesn’t push him out of the round 1 conversation. Farley is just too rare of an athlete. I don’t need a pro day either to know what he capable of athletically. At every level of the field his speed, size and burst is abundant.
Round 2 (Pick 34)
C, Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Our number 1 priority going into the offseason was and still is solidifying the interior of the OL. In free agency we did little to nothing to improve this unit. It seems like it will all come down to the draft. It didn’t seem like JD wanted chase free agent center prospects. I think Joe has a lot of faith in Connor McGovern and spending big on another free agent center would have looked bad. Creed on the other hand give Douglas an out. Creed would reset the rookie contract at the position, and we would be set at center for 10+ years. I think having a center grow with a QB is a special thing. If anyone can know CMG off his perch and kick him to RG, it is Creed.
Round 3 (Pick 66)
IOL, Kendrick Green, Illinois
Taking Creed will be a great help to this OL unit, but we can’t stop there. We still need one more talented linemen to compete for the LG spot. Enter Kendrick Green. His name has been catching fire lately, so I might not be able to mock him this far down for too much longer. David wrote about him recently. We need linemen who are athletic and strong. Green fits the bill to a T. On top of that, he has that bully mentality that I think JD loves. I would have him compete right away with GVR for a starting spot.
Round 3 (Pick 87)
LB, Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
I have anointed Robert Saleh the LBer king maker. This position is his bread and butter. Everywhere he goes, he takes LBers and make them some of the best in the league. There is no one I trust more to take a lump of LBer clay and mold them into a perennial Pro Bowl participant. Chazz has all the physical tools to be exactly what we need at WILL LBer.
Round 4 (Pick 108)
WR, Chatarius Atwell, Louisville
For once, our wide receiver depth chart actually looks pretty good. We are a solid 4 WR deep group. Past this year though, things get a little more foggy. In this very deep WR pool, it would be a sin to not dip our toes. Atwell was a dynamic WR for Louisville who can be used in a few different ways. On special teams he can be both a return man and a gunner. On offense, he projects as a slot. He may only be 5’9”, but he plays much bigger. It shows up in his blocking and contested catches. Once the ball is in his hands, look out. It is likely we will be losing both Crowder and Cole after this year, so let’s start growing their replacement.
Round 5 (Pick 147):
RB/WR, Demetric Felton, UCLA
Atwell is a nice weapon to mold into the Crowder role for the future, but we shouldn’t stop there. Let’s accumulate more fire power at the skill position. I always wanted a James White type back. Felton will allow our offense to do a lot of fun things. He can line up at HB, or for fun, send him wide. He is comfortable wherever you put him. I think he ends up being a better runner than people give him credit for.
Round 5 (Pick 155)
EDGE/LBer, Chris Rumph, Duke
I can comfortably say that we have one of the best front 4 units in the league. EDGE is for once in our lives, not a need. It feels very good to say that. If we are to draft EDGE, I want a little utility. I want a guy who can rush the EDGE, but also a guy who can be a SAM LBer on rush downs. It’s hard for me to not salivate when I think of 3rd downs and we have Lawson, Rankins, Williams and JFM rushing the passer. If you add in a Rumph blitzing on a green dog blitz... Good luck keeping your QB upright.
TE, Miller Forristal, Alabama
The one skill position I am not very confident in right now is tight end. Herndon has been so up in the air, that I have no idea what to expect from him. Griffin and Kroft aren’t great options either. I think Wesco ends up moving to FB. We can use some new blood to mix into the group. Like many Alabama TEs, Forristal comes from a long line of TEs asked to do it all. He shows + athleticism as a receiver and is an efficient blocker as well. He could find a home in our system.
Round 6 (Pick 227)
CB, Shemar Jean-Charles, App State
Did I mention how empty our cornerback cupboard is? Just grabbing 1 CB won’t be enough. We need more bodies. Shemar Jean-Charles is a CB I started to like very early on in my draft coverage for this year. He can play inside and out. His quick twitch closing ability allows him to be very aggressive at the catch point. Just when you think your guys is open, there is Jean-Charles closing the gap and making a play on the ball.