Daniel Jeremiah 2021 NFL mock draft 2.0: Saints select Drew Brees' heir apparent

With the Reese's Senior Bowl, a blockbuster QB trade and even one high-profile pro day in the books since my first mock draft of the year was published, here's my updated forecast for Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft:

Pick
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence
Clemson · QB · Junior

Trevor Lawrence's pro day performance should cement his status as the best player in the draft. This is a no-brainer decision for the Jaguars.

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

The Jets have a lot of options here, but I think the decision ultimately comes down to Wilson versus Sam Darnold. With a new head coach, they decide to start fresh at quarterback.

Pick
3
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Ja'Marr Chase
LSU · WR · Junior

I flirted with giving the Dolphins one of the top offensive linemen here, but they are desperate for difference-making speed and playmaking ability on the outside.

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

I have Trey Lance ranked ahead of Fields in my top 50, but Fields' athleticism could lead Atlanta to pursue a homecoming for the Georgia native.

Pick
5
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell
Oregon · OT · Junior

Kyle Pitts is an attractive option, but the Bengals need to make protecting Joe Burrow the priority.

Pick
6
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
Kyle Pitts
Florida · TE · Junior

I don't envision Zach Ertz being on the Eagles' roster for the 2021 season. However, Philadelphia still ensures its QB1 -- whomever that ends up being -- has an outstanding duo at tight end in Pitts and Dallas Goedert.

Pick
7
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
Micah Parsons
Penn State · LB · Junior

The Super Bowl showed us what speed and athleticism at the second level can do for a defense. Parsons brings those tools to Detroit.

Pick
8
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
Trey Lance
North Dakota State · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Sitting behind Teddy Bridgewater for a season before taking over as QB1 in Year 2 could be the perfect situation for Lance.

Pick
9
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
Caleb Farley
Virginia Tech · CB · Junior (RS)

The Broncos recently released CB A.J. Bouye, so there's a glaring need at the position. Farley is the best cornerback in the draft.


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

I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys looked at an offensive or defensive lineman with this pick, but Surtain would be a welcome addition to the Dallas secondary.

Pick
11
New York Giants
New York Giants
Gregory Rousseau
Miami · EDGE · Sophomore (RS)

I know GM Dave Gettleman has let it be known that he wants to add playmakers on offense. At the end of the day, though, he's not able to pass up the big, athletic edge rusher.

Pick
12
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Rashawn Slater
Northwestern · OT · Senior

We'll see what happens with Trent Williams in free agency, but even if the Niners are able to re-sign him, Slater could easily slide inside to guard.

Pick
13
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
Jaylen Waddle
Alabama · WR · Junior

If the Chargers can address some of their offensive line needs in free agency, it would free them up to take a dynamic player to plug into their offense. They are already loaded with playmakers, but they don't have a wide receiver with pure speed like Waddle.

Pick
14
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
DeVonta Smith
Alabama · WR · Senior

The Vikings have holes to fill on defense, but they could give Kirk Cousins a heck of a trio by adding Smith to a receiving corps that already includes Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.


Pick
15
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Jaycee Horn
South Carolina · CB · Junior

There's been a lot of scuttlebutt about the Patriots potentially trading Stephon Gilmore, whose contract expires after the 2021 season. In this scenario, New England looks to his alma mater to find the player who'll replace him.

Pick
16
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
Alijah Vera-Tucker
USC · OG · Junior (RS)

Vera-Tucker has played tackle and guard, but I envision him sliding inside for the Cardinals. I'm sure USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell would give his fellow former Texas Tech quarterback, Kliff Kingsbury, a glowing recommendation.

Pick
17
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
Kwity Paye
Michigan · EDGE · Senior

Paye would give the Raiders some much-needed speed and athleticism up front. I've heard he's going to put on a show at his pro day.

Pick
18
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Najee Harris
Alabama · RB · Senior

After taking Chase at No. 3, the Dolphins double down on playmakers, reuniting Harris with former Alabama teammate Tua Tagovailoa. This would give Miami the makings of a dynamic, young offense.

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

Washington is going to address the quarterback position one way or another. I'm guessing the Football Team goes with a veteran addition to free them up to upgrade the offensive line with this pick.

Pick
20
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
Kadarius Toney
Florida · WR · Senior

The Bears are going to need more offensive playmakers whether pending free agent Allen Robinson is re-signed or not.

Pick
21
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
Greg Newsome II
Northwestern · CB · Junior

Free agency could create a void at the position for Indy, and teams are very high on Newsome, a height-weight-speed corner.

Pick
22
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
Jaelan Phillips
Miami · EDGE · Junior (RS)

The Titans are desperate for pass-rush help. Phillips is the most naturally gifted edge rusher in the draft.

Pick
23
New York Jets
New York Jets
Ronnie Perkins
Oklahoma · EDGE · Junior

Perkins is a very productive edge rusher who plays with physicality and tremendous effort.

Pick
24
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Jalen Mayfield
Michigan · OT · Sophomore (RS)

The Steelers will be restructuring the offensive line this offseason with center Maurkice Pouncey retiring and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva potentially departing in free agency.

Pick
25
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Notre Dame · LB · Junior (RS)

Urban Meyer has put an emphasis on speed everywhere he's been. Owusu-Koramoah brings exactly that to the Jacksonville defense.

Pick
26
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
Joe Tryon
Washington · EDGE · Junior (RS)

Tryon opted out of the 2020 season, but he had really strong 2019 tape. Cleveland adds the former Washington pass rusher to complement Myles Garrett.

Pick
27
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Trevon Moehrig
TCU · S · Junior

The Ravens have other needs to address, but the reason they're so successful is because they draft the best player available. In this case, Moehrig fits the bill. He joins an extremely talented secondary.

Pick
28
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
Mac Jones
Alabama · QB · Junior (RS)

If the Saints do re-sign Jameis Winston, Jones would provide an additional option as they try to replace Drew Brees, who's expected to retire. Jones is a fit as an accurate thrower and good decision-maker.

Pick
29
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Teven Jenkins
Oklahoma State · OT · Senior (RS)

We saw how much of a toll injuries took on the Packers' offensive line in the postseason. Jenkins can play tackle or slide inside if they need him to.

Pick
30
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
Azeez Ojulari
Georgia · EDGE · Sophomore (RS)

The Bills' pass rush must be addressed this offseason. I view Buffalo as the best fit for free agent J.J. Watt, but Ojulari would provide some juice off the edge if the team is still looking for help at the position when the draft gets underway.

Pick
31
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
Landon Dickerson
Alabama · C · Senior (RS)

Dickerson, who's recovering from an ACL tear, comes with durability concerns, but the Chiefs are in position to make this type of bet on the best interior O-lineman in the draft.

Pick
32
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nick Bolton
Missouri · LB · Junior

There are three good options at linebacker between Bolton, Tulsa's Zaven Collins and LSU's Jabril Cox. If the Bucs lose Lavonte David in free agency, I think Bolton would be a great replacement.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter.

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