Charles Davis 2021 NFL mock draft 1.0: Falcons pick Justin Fields to succeed Matt Ryan

As teams enter the final stages of their prep for the 2021 NFL Draft, here's my first look at how Round 1 could play out on April 29.

Pick
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
Clemson · QB

New head coach Urban Meyer implements his vision for the team with the top QB in the draft. 

Pick
2
New York Jets
New York Jets
Zach Wilson
BYU · QB

Accurate, mobile and competitive, Wilson is the Jets' new leader.

Pick
3
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Mac Jones
Alabama · QB

The Alabama signal-caller is the Niners' choice over the other top QBs remaining, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance.

Pick
4
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
Justin Fields
Ohio State · QB

I know there's plenty of talk about the possibility of this young man sliding in the draft, but the Falcons make Fields their franchise QB of the future in this scenario.

Pick
5
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell
Oregon · OT

There are some enticing options here for the Bengals, but they select Sewell to keep QB Joe Burrow safe as their new Anthony Muñoz.

Pick
6
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Kyle Pitts
Florida · TE

The Dolphins could decide to select a WR here, but Pitts might be the best overall player in the draft.

Pick
7
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
Ja'Marr Chase
LSU · WR

After the Lions' receiving corps was depleted in free agency, new QB Jared Goff gets the best WR in the draft as his new go-to target.

Pick
8
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
Rashawn Slater
Northwestern · OT

You might hear chatter about Carolina taking a QB here even after the Sam Darnold acquisition, but I foresee the Panthers fortifying their offensive line with this pick.

Pick
9
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
Micah Parsons
Penn State · LB

There are many options for the Broncos to consider here, including drafting QB Trey Lance, but they opt for the best LB on the board.

Pick
10
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
Patrick Surtain II
Alabama · CB

Defense should be the focus for the Cowboys, and they take the most pro-ready CB here.

Pick
11
New York Giants
New York Giants
Jaylen Waddle
Alabama · WR

A strong case can be made for snagging an edge rusher here, but adding another talented playmaker for QB Daniel Jones makes sense, too.

Pick
12
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
DeVonta Smith
Alabama · WR

The early run on WRs concludes with Smith. While the Eagles could use a CB to pair with Darius Slay, they also need reliability on the perimeter for their offense.

Pick
13
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
Jaycee Horn
South Carolina · CB

Look around the AFC West ... The Chiefs still have track stars the Chargers will need to cover. The Raiders got a lot faster at WR last year, as did the Broncos. The O-line will be addressed starting in Round 2, but the Bolts get the help they need at CB first.

Pick
14
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Jaelan Phillips
Miami · Edge

Phillips is the best edge rusher in the draft, in my humble opinion. He reminds me a bit of current Vikings DE Danielle Hunter.

Pick
15
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Trey Lance
North Dakota State · QB

With Cam Newton signed to another one-year deal, his doppelgänger, in many ways, gets to learn behind him for a season. I see a lot of Josh Allen in Lance's game.

Pick
16
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
Alijah Vera-Tucker
USC · OG

Vera-Tucker can play inside or at tackle. He'll provide extra protection for young QB Kyler Murray.

Pick
17
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Notre Dame · LB

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley values versatile players who are fast and will hit. JOK certainly fits the bill.

Pick
18
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Kwity Paye
Michigan · Edge

Strong, quick and relentless, Paye fits the culture head coach Brian Flores has created in short order with the Dolphins.

Pick
19
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
Christian Darrisaw
Virginia Tech · OT

Exactly what the doctor ordered for Washington. The addition of Darrisaw allows Morgan Moses to stay at right tackle.

Pick
20
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
Gregory Rousseau
Miami · Edge

The towering pass rusher didn't quite perform up to expectations at his pro day, but his play speed is evident and his upside extensive.

Pick
21
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
Teven Jenkins
Oklahoma State · OT

Retired stalwart LT Anthony Castonzo is replaced by Jenkins, who brings a nasty disposition to the NFL.

Pick
22
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
Caleb Farley
Virginia Tech · CB

Farley is my favorite CB prospect in the draft, but he falls to Tennessee following his recent back surgery.

Pick
23
New York Jets
New York Jets
Zaven Collins
Tulsa · LB

Powerful and fast, Collins was a playmaking machine at Tulsa. Ideal qualities for new head coach Robert Saleh's aggressive approach to defense.

Pick
24
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris
Alabama · RB

There's a screaming need for O-line help, and that will be addressed later. It's hard to pass on Harris, a physical runner with exceptional pass-catching skills.

Pick
25
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevon Moehrig
TCU · S

The Jaguars select a savvy back-end defender who can play high, drop down in the box and cover in the slot. He was well-coached in pro techniques by TCU's Gary Patterson.

Pick
26
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
Azeez Ojulari
Georgia · Edge

Ojulari is a forceful, determined pass rusher who can wreak havoc. The Browns recently signed Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal, but Ojulari can be the long-term tag team partner for DE Myles Garrett.

Pick
27
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Jayson Oweh
Penn State · Edge

The Ravens lost some firepower off the edge in free Agency (Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue), but this exceptional athlete can use his speed and explosiveness to make big plays in Baltimore's defense.

Pick
28
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints

Adding a complement for Michael Thomas is in order, and the Saints stay in state to find one. Marshall offers size, speed, versatility and determination to carve his own niche from the LSU WR tree.

Pick
29
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Greg Newsome II
Northwestern · CB

The Packers brought back CB Kevin King on a one-year deal, and they continue to invest at the position with their first-round pick. This fluid athlete could fill the spot opposite budding star Jaire Alexander on a consistent basis.

Pick
30
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
Joe Tryon
Washington · Edge

Tryon is long and physical. His preparation leading up to the draft has been exceptional, too. He will serve as a good running mate to Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison.

Pick
31
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
Liam Eichenberg
Notre Dame · OT

Eichenberg played left tackle at Notre Dame, but he projects best on the right side in the pros and would fill a major need for Kansas City.

Pick
32
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jamin Davis
Kentucky · LB

The Bucs already have two Pro Bowl-caliber off-ball linebackers, and now they add another exceptional athlete at the position. Davis can learn from -- and eventually take over for -- Lavonte David.

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