Four-round 2021 NFL mock draft 1.0: Patriots pick QB in Round 3

Deals or no deals? This is the question teams in need of a young quarterback are facing heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.

From 2016 to 2018, eight teams traded up to draft a quarterback in the top 12: Bills (Josh Allen), Jets (Sam Darnold), Rams (Jared Goff), Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes), Cardinals (Josh Rosen), Bears (Mitchell Trubisky), Texans (Deshaun Watson) and Eagles (Carson Wentz).

However, in the past two drafts, there were only two trades of any kind made in the top half of the first round and neither of them were for quarterbacks (LB Devin Bush, Steelers, 10th overall selection in 2019; OT Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers, 13th overall selection in 2020).

This decline in early deals could be the start of a long-time trend because teams seem reluctant to give up three or four premium picks for a prospect. It's also possible that the non-playoff teams typically interested in moving upward were waiting to see whether their current quarterback would develop -- or maybe they just weren't interested in giving up major draft capital for Justin Herbert, Daniel Jones, and/or Tua Tagovailoa.

Then again, it wouldn't be shocking to see the no-trade trend end this year, as there is a long list of quarterback-needy teams and plenty to like about the available QBs. For this four-round projection, however, I play out the scenario that mirrors the 2019 and 2020 drafts. The Jets, Falcons and Panthers land future signal-callers in the top eight selections while staying put, but there are five trades in this mock, including one for a quarterback in the middle of the first round.

The free-agent compensatory picks listed in this exercise are based on my colleague Lance Zierlein's projections from last April. The official list will be made available by the league in the weeks to come. Four additional picks were added to the end of the third round for franchises losing minority employees to head coach or general manager positions throughout the league.

The Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade between the Lions and Rams, which included L.A. sending a 2021 third-round pick to Detroit, is factored into this mock. The deal moving Carson Wentz from Philadelphia to Indianapolis for a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 selection is also included. The trades won't become official before the start of the new league year (March 17).

Pick
65
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
Shaun Wade
Ohio State · CB · Junior (RS)
Pick
66
New York Jets
New York Jets
Tylan Wallace
Oklahoma State · WR · Senior


Pick
67
Houston Texans
Houston Texans
Landon Dickerson
Alabama · C · Senior (RS)
Pick
68
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
Patrick Jones II
Pittsburgh · Edge · Senior (RS)



Pick
69
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
Trey Smith
Tennessee · G · Senior


Pick
70
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
Kyle Trask
Florida · QB · Senior (RS)



Pick
71
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
Jackson Carman
Clemson · OT · Senior (RS)


Pick
72
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
Amari Rodgers
Clemson · WR · Senior



Pick
73
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
Trey Sermon
Ohio State · RB · Senior



Pick
74
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
Eric Stokes
Georgia · CB · Junior


Pick
75
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
James Hudson
Cincinnati · OT · Junior (RS)


Pick
76
New York Giants
New York Giants
Michael Carter
North Carolina · RB · Senior


Pick
77
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
Josh Myers
Ohio State · C · Junior (RS)



Pick
78
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Richie Grant
UCF · S · Senior (RS)
Pick
79
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
Larry Rountree III
Missouri · RB · Senior



Pick
80
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
Hamsah Nasirildeen
Florida State · S · Senior



Pick
81
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
Joseph Ossai
Texas · Edge · Junior



Pick
82
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
Brevin Jordan
Miami · TE · Junior
Pick
83
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
JaCoby Stevens
LSU · S · Senior
Pick
84
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Smith
UAB · Edge · Junior (RS)


Pick
85
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
Nico Collins
Michigan · WR · Senior



Pick
86
New York Jets
New York Jets
Aaron Banks
Notre Dame · G · Senior
Pick
87
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Drew Dalman
Stanford · C · Junior (RS)



Pick
88
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
Pete Werner
Ohio State · LB · Senior
Pick
89
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
D'Wayne Eskridge
Western Michigan · WR · Senior (RS)
Pick
90
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Tyler Shelvin
LSU · DT · Junior (RS)
Pick
91
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
Cameron Sample
Tulane · DT · Senior


Pick
92
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Milton Williams
Louisiana Tech · DT · Junior (RS)



Pick
93
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
Quinn Meinerz
Wisconsin-Whitewater · G · Junior (RS)


Pick
94
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
Kenneth Gainwell
Memphis · RB · Sophomore (RS)



Pick
95
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Daelin Hayes
Notre Dame · Edge · Senior (RS)


Pick
96
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
Tre' McKitty
Georgia · TE · Senior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
97
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
Rondale Moore
Purdue · WR · Junior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
98
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Davis Mills
Stanford · QB · Junior (RS)

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
99
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
Kelvin Joseph
Kentucky · CB · Sophomore (RS)

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION


Pick
100
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
Bobby Brown III
Texas A&M · DT · Junior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
101
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
Dylan Moses
Alabama · LB · Senior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
102
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
Benjamin St-Juste
Minnesota · CB · Junior (RS)

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION

Pick
103
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Walker Little
Stanford · OT · Senior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION FOR ROBERT SALEH HIRE

Pick
104
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
Dan Moore Jr.
Texas A&M · OT · Senior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION FOR BRAD HOLMES HIRE

Pick
105
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
Elerson Smith
Northern Iowa · Edge · Senior (RS)

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION FOR DAVID CULLEY HIRE

Pick
106
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 12-4-0
Tommy Tremble
Notre Dame · TE · Junior

PROJECTED COMPENSATORY SELECTION FOR TERRY FONTENOT HIRE

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter.

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