Sports

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Bears, 49ers and Panthers make their moves up the board for quarterbacks

Clemson

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Put it on the board.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 228 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

3rd

We’re not convinced the Jets are going to stay put at No. 2 and if they don’t, several teams could be interested in moving up for a QB. Zach Wilson is our QB2 but that doesn’t mean he’s QB2 for the 32 NFL teams. And for the Panthers, we feel like Justin Fields would be a perfect fit, especially if the team was willing to let him sit on the bench for the first month or two of the 2022 season instead of throwing him out there.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 208 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

This is becoming a popular pick for us, primarily because the team has said publicly that it’s committed to Tua Tagovailoa. That could change, of course, but even after adding Will Fuller in free agency, Chase is too good to pass up here.

Florida

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

Are the Falcons going to stick with Matt Ryan for 2021 (and possibly 2022), because if so they’ll need to continue to build around him, not to mention fix a floundering defense. Working from the premise that Ryan remains (there’s a $24.9 million dead cap hit if he’s a post-June 1 cut) and Atlanta adds arguably the best pass catcher in this class to the roster.

Alabama

• Jr

• 5’10”

/ 182 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Cincy addressed a bunch of defensive needs during the first week of free agency, but perhaps more importantly it signed offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who was a huge need. The Bengals could still target the offensive line here, but this week we have them taking the most explosive wideout/returner in this class.

BYU

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 210 lbs

This is the first time in a long time we’ve had Zach Willson falling out of the No. 2 pick, but he doesn’t stay on the board long; the 49ers trade up from No. 12 to get Wilson, who had an outstanding 2020 campaign and improved his draft stock from second-tier draft prospect to top-10 pick.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 175 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Is Jared Goff the long-term answer? Almost certainly not. In fact, Detroit could still choose to take a QB here, but for now we have them targeting the best WR in college last season, Smith, who will add depth on the roster with both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones signing elsewhere in free agency.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 214 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

5th

Well, well, well. The Jets trade down six spots and still get a quarterback — along with an extra ’21 third-rounder and a ’22 first-rounder. Not bad, especially since Jones, in our mind, is the quarterback most ready to play right away after only Trevor Lawerence.

Virginia Tech

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 207 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Broncos cut A.J. Bouye and signed Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller (though Fuller’s deal is just for one year). And while Bryce Callahan was a bright spot in the secondary in 2020, he, along with four other CBs, will have his contract expire next spring. Farley, who opted out for 2020, is our CB1.

Oregon

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 330 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Cowboys need to fix their defense but it will be hard to pass up on Sewell, who we’ve routinely had going in the top 5 each week. Dallas also has needs along the offensive line, and with a healthy Dak Prescott set to return, Sewell would be a great pick here.

Penn State

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 244 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Giants have needs along the offensive line but they did sign TE Kyle Rudolph and WR Kenny Golladay, positions which were also on the to-do list. Meanwhile, the defense could use some upgrades too. Micah Parsons opted out of the 2020 season but he’s the No. 1 LB in this class.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 203 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Eagles have been mostly quiet in free agency but they did land safety Anthony Harris, though only on a one-year deal. Surtain may not seem like an immediate need for Philly, but other than Darius Slay, who is signed through 2025, no other CB has a contract beyond next season.


Trey Lance


QB

NFL Draft

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 226 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

What, you thought Andy Dalton was the long-term answer? In reality, it very well may be, but the best way for GM Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy to insure they’re employed a year from now is to make a move for a QB. Lance checks every box as a “modern-day NFL quarterback,” he just needs experience. And if all it costs Chicago to move up is an additional second-rounder, they have to do it.

Northwestern

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 305 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Vikings have needs along the interior offensive line and Slater, who was dominant at left tackle during the 2019 season — and he played right tackle the two seasons before that — has the versatility to line up anywhere. In fact, his future may be inside at guard or even center.

USC

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 315 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

4th

It feels like the Patriots filled every last one of their needs in free agency so we have them bolstering their offensive line with Vera-Tucker, who is one of the most versatile O-linemen in this class; he can play guard or tackle at a high level, providing New England with versatility across the unit.

South Carolina

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

5th

Patrick Peterson is gone and Dre Kirkpatrick and Johnathan Joseph remain free agents, and Horn is a physical, athletic playmaking cornerback who would add depth at the position.

Georgia

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Raiders’ defense was a mess and they have to get better at getting after the quarterback. They did sign Yannick Ngakoue, but there’s no harm in doubling down on an edge rusher here too. Ojulari had a standout season for the Bulldogs and while he hasn’t drawn the national attention of Kwity Paye or Jaelan Phillips, he’s a legit terror off the edge.

Clemson

• Sr

• 5’10”

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Dolphins filled a lot of their needs in free agency, adding 11 players, including RB Malcolm Brown. Still, running back remains a need and Etienne, who had a great pro day earlier this month, is almost as dangerous as a receiver as he is as a runner.

Virginia Tech

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 314 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Even after signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Football Team obviously needs a long-term answer at QB, but after winning the division and making the playoffs they’ll likely have to trade up to get one. For now they’re staying put upgrading the O-line with one one the most athletic linemen in this class.

Michigan

• Sr

• 6’4″

/ 272 lbs

The Chargers addressed their offensive line early in free agency, and also added a short-term solution at tight end with Jared Cook. So it would make some sense to address the pass-rush position here, especially after trading down and still finding Kwity Paye on the board.

Miami (FL)

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 266 lbs

Projected Team

Indianapolis

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

2nd

DeForest Buckner and Justin Houston were No. 1 and No. 2 in sacks for Indy last season. Buckner is a defensive tackle and Houston, an edge rusher, is a free agent. While offensive tackle is on the to-do list, Jaelan Phillips, who is coming off a big campaign for the U, makes a lot of sense here too.

Northwestern

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

69th

POSITION RNK

4th

The Titans cut cornerbacks Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler and signed edge rusher Bud Dupree. And while they could certainly target another edge rusher here, Newsome is one of the best cornerbacks in this class who has the physicality to match up against NFL wide receivers.

Miami (FL)

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 265 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

36th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Rousseau opted out in 2020 and in the process saw his draft stock fall with the emergence of Ojulari, Paye and his Miami teammate Phillips. Still, Rousseau is a high-upside prospect who hasn’t played the position long but will continue to improve with experience and coaching.

Texas

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 309 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

56th

POSITION RNK

11th

JuJu Smith-Schuster re-upped with the Steelers, which means WR isn’t an immediate need, but with Matt Feiler signing with the Chargers, O-line remains a priority. Cosmi is incredibly athletic for his size and he can play either tackle position.

Alabama

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

34th

POSITION RNK

4th

Barmore was our DT1 coming into the season, took a while to get going, and then saved his best football for the final month of the season. He was absolutely dominant in ‘Bama’s run to the championship.

Tulsa

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 260 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

4th

For the 2020 season Collins had four sacks, four interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and two forced fumbles. At 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he looks more like a defensive end but moves with the fluidity of the modern day inside linebackers that have become so prevalent around the league.

Florida

• Sr

• 6’0″

/ 193 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

5th

We love this pick. Ideally, the Ravens would land a taller wideout to complement Hollywood Brown, but Toney plays much, much bigger than this 5-foot-11 frame. He’s a playmaker from anywhere on the field and would give Baltimore a legit weapon at the position.

Florida State

• Jr

• 5’10”

/ 184 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

4th

Samuel may only be listed at 5-foot-10, but he doesn’t play like it. He compares his game to the similarly sized Jaire Alexander, and for us he’s a younger, more physical Janoris Jenkins, who was released last week.

Purdue

• Soph

• 5’9″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

4th

It’s hard to imagine the Packers drafting a wideout, but Moore would be electric in Green Bay. The issues aren’t with his playmaking abilities, which border on the unreal, but his durability and experience; he played in just seven games his last two seasons in college.

Georgia

• Soph

• 6’2″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Tre White is one of the best CBs in the NFL but there’s not much depth behind him. Taron Johnson is coming off a good season, but has just one year left on his current deal and Campbell would add a long, physical playmaker to a secondary that improved over the course of the 2020 season

Oklahoma State

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 320 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

5th

The Chiefs cut both their offensive tackles after the season, and while they signed guards Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, and tackle Mike Remmers, Jenkins has a chance to be really good. He can play on the right or left, and more importantly, can contribute right away.

Alabama

• Sr

• 6’2″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Bucs don’t *need* a running back, but Harris had such an impressive 2020 season for Alabama and he would be a big upgrade from Leonard Fournette. We can only imagine how Bruce Arians would find ways to use him in Tampa Bay.

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