Charley Casserly 2021 NFL mock draft 3.0: Patriots snag Trey Lance to apprentice under Cam Newton

Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft is just hours away, and I still think five teams bring home their quarterbacks of the future Thursday night. Let's jump right in!

Want to create your own mock for the 2021 NFL Draft? Check out PFF's draft simulator to play out countless scenarios for every team spanning all seven rounds.

Pick
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
Clemson · QB

Lawrence has been the pick for months. The Jags aren't changing their mind about this one.

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

The Jets begin the Robert Saleh era by selecting a quarterback whose rating is higher than what I had for Sam Darnold before the 2018 draft. Wilson will fit nicely into this new offense.

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

Kyle Shanahan goes with his gut and takes the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft to put in the center of his offense.

Pick
4
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Pitts
Florida · TE

The trade offers still aren't good enough for Atlanta to pass on Pitts, arguably the best player in this draft class. This is a huge weapon for Matt Ryan -- who I believe is still a playoff-caliber QB -- and his already-explosive offense.

Pick
5
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell
Oregon · OT

The Bengals debate between protecting Joe Burrow and adding a game-changing weapon in Ja'Marr Chase, but ultimately go with Sewell in an effort to keep the second-year QB upright. 

Pick
6
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Ja'Marr Chase
LSU · WR

The Dolphins add a big-time playmaker to help further the development of second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Pick
7
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
DeVonta Smith
Alabama · WR

The Lions need to upgrade their receiving corps. What better way to do that than by drafting a guy who's been labeled a mix of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley?

Pick
8
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
Rashawn Slater
Northwestern · OT

After trading away Teddy Bridgewater on the eve of the draft, the Panthers go get their QB1 Sam Darnold a left tackle. I do think they could also trade back and still get Slater.

Pick
9
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
Justin Fields
Ohio State · QB

With Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater already on the roster, the Broncos add another player to the QB room. They are determined to get the position fixed.

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

Dallas snags one of the best defensive players in the draft to pair with Trevon Diggs, giving new DC Dan Quinn two good, young cornerbacks.

Pick
11
New York Giants
New York Giants
Kwity Paye
Michigan · Edge

Big Blue desperately needs an outside pass rusher, and it's a close call between Paye and Jaelan Phillips.

Pick
12
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
Jaycee Horn
South Carolina · CB

The Eagles fill a longtime need by nabbing a top CB prospect. They can add a receiving weapon on Day 2 or 3.

Pick
13
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
Alijah Vera-Tucker
USC · OL

The Bolts continue to rebuild the O-line to protect reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert.

Pick
14
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Teven Jenkins
Oklahoma State · OT

The offensive line has been a problem area for quite some time. Jenkins immediately helps improve the unit.

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

There are a lot of options for New England when it comes to the quarterback position, and I don't think it stops with Cam Newton. Do they trade for Jimmy G? Do they draft a guy early? In this case, they snag a QB with a lot of upside.

Pick
16
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
Jaylen Waddle
Alabama · WR

Kyler Murray gets a Tyreek Hill-esque deep threat to help stretch the field.

Pick
17
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
Caleb Farley
Virginia Tech · CB

Farley was the top cornerback in this class prior to his recent back surgery. Even though he won't be in Cleveland to bro hug Roger Goodell, one of the most complete defensive players in the draft goes to Las Vegas at No. 17.

Pick
18
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Jaelan Phillips
Miami · Edge

Some feel Phillips has the most potential of any pass rusher in this class. He proves to be the apple of the Dolphins' eye here.

Pick
19
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
Micah Parsons
Penn State · LB

The best defensive player in the draft joins the league's second-ranked defense from 2020. Yep, that'll work.

Pick
20
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
Kadarius Toney
Florida · WR

With a lot of the same skills Minnesota's Justin Jefferson possesses, Toney gives the Chicago offense a speed receiver to help stretch the field.

Pick
21
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
Christian Darrisaw
Virginia Tech · OT

This pick solidifies the void left at the LT position by Anthony Castonzo's retirement. Many have Darrisaw as the draft's second-best left tackle.

Pick
22
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
Gregory Rousseau
Miami · Edge

The Titans take the best pass rusher available to help boost an area that caused them a lot of problems last season.

Pick
23
New York Jets
New York Jets
Greg Newsome II
Northwestern · CB

Robert Saleh gets a versatile cornerback who's very good in zone and press coverage.

Pick
24
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Najee Harris
Alabama · RB

A big priority for Pittsburgh is improving a poor run game, and the Steelers accomplish that goal by selecting the best running back in this class.

Pick
25
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevon Moehrig
TCU · S

Moehrig comes in as an aggressive safety against the run with good coverage skills who'll be an immediate contributor to the Jags' defense.

Pick
26
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Notre Dame · LB

Cleveland has brought in a lot of defensive help this offseason, and that continues on Day 1 of the draft, as the Browns add another piece that can help on nickel packages right away.

Pick
27
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Joe Tryon
Washington · Edge

The Ravens need help at pass rusher, wide receiver and along the O-line. With their first of two first-round picks -- thanks to the Orlando Brown trade -- they take Tryon, who has the size and speed Baltimore desires off the edge.

Pick
28
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
Asante Samuel Jr.
Florida State · CB

I'm sticking with Samuel here. With Janoris Jenkins out the door, the rookie plugs right in opposite Marshon Lattimore.

Pick
29
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Zaven Collins
Tulsa · LB

Brian Gutekunst jumps at the opportunity to fill a big hole in the middle of Green Bay's defense, before going to work on finding a weapon for Aaron Rodgers in Day 2.

Pick
30
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
Travis Etienne
Clemson · RB

Looking for more speed in the backfield, the Bills take the dynamic home run hitter out of Clemson.

Pick
31
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Liam Eichenberg
Notre Dame · OT

Eichenberg helps fill a huge void left by Orlando Brown's departure because he can slide right in at RT.

Pick
32
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Christian Barmore
Alabama · DT

What do you do for the team that has retained everyone and their dog? Tampa brings in another good defensive lineman. You can never have enough help up front.

Follow Charley Casserly on Twitter.

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