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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Dolphins select QB Justin Fields with Pick No. 3, 49ers send Pick No. 12 to Miami for QB Tua Tagovailoa

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We are now down to the “elite eight” in the 2020-21 NFL playoffs, which means that three-quarters of the  2021 NFL Draft order is set in stone. And what better way to celebrate a successful Super Wild Card Weekend than to drop a new 2021 NFL mock draft.

This particular mock doesn’t project what I think teams will do; it rather represents what I would do if I were in charge of making the picks for all 32 NFL teams. The order is based on the current projections for the divisional round and beyond.

There’s a lot of attention on this year’s quarterback class, as there is a good amount of supply but far more demand. From the Jaguars at the No. 1 overall pick to teams with a declining passer like the Pittsburgh Steelers, well over a third of the league could take a quarterback in the first round if those signal-callers are there for the choosing.

Without further ado, here is how the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft would look like if I were making the picks for all 32 NFL teams.

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1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: QB TREVOR LAWRENCE, CLEMSON

There’s only one scenario where the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn’t take Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, and that is if they trade it to Houston for quarterback Deshaun Watson. Otherwise, this decision is as much a no-brainer as they will ever get.

Lawrence has everything you could want in a franchise quarterback. The Clemson star is the only quarterback in the PFF College era to earn a 90.0-plus grade as a true freshman, sophomore and as a junior.

2. NEW YORK JETS: QB ZACH WILSON, BYU

Easy schedule be ****ed, Wilson lit up his opposition in the same manner Joe Burrowand LSU did in 2019. The BYU quarterback recorded an elite passing grade above 90.0 in eight of his 12 games played this season, with his lowest-graded game sitting at 75.4.

Wilson’s arm talent is truly special, and he can make off-platform throws look easy. No quarterback threw an accurate ball on a higher rate of their 20-plus-yard passes this season (73%).

Even though they missed out on Lawrence, Jets fans should be ecstatic about Wilson. He’s the real deal.

3. MIAMI DOLPHINS (VIA HOU😞 QB JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE

It's not that I don't have faith in Tua Tagovailoabecoming a great franchise quarterback; I just think that Justin Fields has a better chance of becoming one.

First off, Fields is a better prospect than Tua was coming out. And considering that Tua still has a lot to prove after this season, this should be an easy choice.

Fields did have a couple of hiccups this season against the coverage rotations of Indiana and Northwestern, but he bounced back in a big way in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. The Ohio State Buckeye got his revenge on the Clemson Tigers and put together one of the best CFP performances we have ever recorded. Fields caught Clemson off-guard several times with tempo and came away with a 94.6 passing grade. He was deadly accurate in that contest and has been throughout the entire season. In fact, Fields leads all FBS quarterbacks in the percentage of accurate passes thrown beyond the line of scrimmage (73.4%) by eight percentage points.

The Buckeyes' offensive scheme is favorable, and it has benefitted from top-tier route-runners opening up a lot of throws, but Fields has still shown exceptional decision-making and accuracy. And let’s not forget how much of a threat he is in the run game.

4. ATLANTA FALCONS: WR JA’MARR CHASE, LSU

This is about the worst possible scenario for the Falcons, who are dangerously close to entering quarterback purgatory with Matt Ryan running out of time.

There is a chance that the Dolphins go Wilson or Fields at No. 3, but if they don’t, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a scenario where Atlanta sends the fourth pick and some change to Miami in exchange for the third. But if the first three quarterbacks are snapped up within the first three picks, the Falcons should take Ja’Marr Chase.

The former LSU receiver opted out of the 2020 season but was dominant alongside Burrow and Justin Jefferson in 2019. Chase still ranks second among all college wide receivers over the last two seasons in total explosive receptions of 15-plus yards against single coverage despite not even playing this year. He was that good.

Chase’s physicality and release package are NFL-ready, and those two strengths equated to massive success against press coverage. Since 2019, Chase ranks first in total receiving yards against press coverage, with 1,048. Again, he did not play a down this season.

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They run the risk of losing any credibility they have built up by posting fantasy land BS like this

Definitely Sewell if it played out like this.

The biggest problem about this is it encourages bad decisions.  The thinking is you "have to" get your QB this season because next season the QB class is "bad."  There are multiple ways to get QBs.  T

Ouch. I've constantly reiterated that I don't think we can really go wrong in this draft, i.e take a QB at #4, don't take a QB at #4, take one of the elite talents (Surtain, Parsons, Sewell) at #4 or trade down and accumulate more picks. That said this would be a mistake... I'm not even sure Chase is the best WR in the class. He's certainly not worth the #4 pick.

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Uhh...yeah...

 

Putting aside the absolute stupidity of that pick for us, I've said before, if you want one of those top three QBs, you're going to have to trade up. They will be the top 3 guys drafted, whether it's by those three teams or by somebody who pays them to drop down. I still think the Jets could opt to slide down a couple spots and get draft capital, or just take a WR weapon or Sewell for their line. 

Sure he plays LT and they have one, but he's a talent that is hard to overlook. And I don't buy that Chase is the top WR. I think Smith will be the first off the board. 

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4 minutes ago, thanat0s said:

Uhh...yeah...

 

Putting aside the absolute stupidity of that pick for us, I've said before, if you want one of those top three QBs, you're going to have to trade up. They will be the top 3 guys drafted, whether it's by those three teams or by somebody who pays them to drop down. I still think the Jets could opt to slide down a couple spots and get draft capital, or just take a WR weapon or Sewell for their line. 

Sure he plays LT and they have one, but he's a talent that is hard to overlook. And I don't buy that Chase is the top WR. I think Smith will be the first off the board. 

I think Smith over Chase is recency bias

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4 minutes ago, thanat0s said:

Uhh...yeah...

 

Putting aside the absolute stupidity of that pick for us, I've said before, if you want one of those top three QBs, you're going to have to trade up. They will be the top 3 guys drafted, whether it's by those three teams or by somebody who pays them to drop down. I still think the Jets could opt to slide down a couple spots and get draft capital, or just take a WR weapon or Sewell for their line. 

Sure he plays LT and they have one, but he's a talent that is hard to overlook. And I don't buy that Chase is the top WR. I think Smith will be the first off the board. 

Is QBs going 1-3 really a foregone conclusion? There's some question marks with Wilson and Fields in my uneducated opinion. I also find it amusing that both of those teams drafted a QB in the top 5 in the last 3 years. lol

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2 minutes ago, ike barn87987 said:

Just wanted to post this, but I don’t wanna draft a QB this draft.

The biggest problem about this is it encourages bad decisions.  The thinking is you "have to" get your QB this season because next season the QB class is "bad."  There are multiple ways to get QBs.  There are always FAs.  There is always another draft.  You can get a later QB in this draft and groom him.  

But teams want to reach for perceived need instead of drafting talent.

That's not to mention the later QBs could end up being better in this draft, and the early ones better in 2022.  Nobody really knows until they suit up and play.

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3 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

The biggest problem about this is it encourages bad decisions.  The thinking is you "have to" get your QB this season because next season the QB class is "bad."  There are multiple ways to get QBs.  There are always FAs.  There is always another draft.  You can get a later QB in this draft and groom him.  

But teams want to reach for perceived need instead of drafting talent.

That's not to mention the later QBs could end up being better in this draft, and the early ones better in 2022.  Nobody really knows until they suit up and play.

True, and I've said it before, the big sleeper is right up the road in Athens. Daniels would already be on radars if he hadn't had the injury. If his success continues into next year, that's probably your #1 pick. He has all the tools. Just has to create results. 

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2 minutes ago, EZfalcons said:

If we have 4 and top 3 go qb, either trade down or draft sewell!

Easy call.  First, he's the best NFL prospect remaining in the draft at that point.  Second, while neither really fills a hole, our o-line performance is vastly lower than our WR performance, so it is in fact a greater need.  Third, while I like both Smith and Chase, I do think both will be better college players than NFL pros.  They'll be good at the next level, don't get me wrong, but Sewell translates better.

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7 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

The biggest problem about this is it encourages bad decisions.  The thinking is you "have to" get your QB this season because next season the QB class is "bad."  There are multiple ways to get QBs.  There are always FAs.  There is always another draft.  You can get a later QB in this draft and groom him.  

But teams want to reach for perceived need instead of drafting talent.

That's not to mention the later QBs could end up being better in this draft, and the early ones better in 2022.  Nobody really knows until they suit up and play.

I’ve stamped my name on JT Daniels next year for the Falcons.  
 

if we trade down this year, the return package must include 2022 1st round pick. Then use both first round picks to move up for JT Daniels

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Just now, FalconsIn2012 said:

I’ve stamped my name on JT Daniels next year for the Falcons.  
 

if we trade down this year, the return package must include 2022 1st round pick. Then use both first round picks to move up for JT Daniels

I'd be fine with that, especially if Ryan has another underwhelming year (and assuming Daniels does not).

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3 minutes ago, EZfalcons said:

If we have 4 and top 3 go qb, either trade down or draft sewell!

Honestly, if Sewell is there at 4, you won't get any argument from me if we take him. Slide Matthews inside to LG and suddenly our line is looking like one of the best in the NFL, assuming he's all they say. 

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