Draft week is almost upon us and Ash Till (@tillsa9909s) – co-host of the Chargers Podcast on the First and Ten Network – brings you his first mock draft of 2021. Here are his top 50 picks.
1. Jags – Select TREVOR LAWRENCE QB CLEMSON.
Meyer Starts his helm with the guy he took the job for.
2. Jets – Select ZACH WILSON QB BYU.
This seems more certain as we count down the days.
3. 49ers – Select JUSTIN FIELDS QB OHIO STATE
After the big boy trade with Miami the 49ers are now in play for a new QB. There’s huge talk its Mac Jones but are you really moving up to 3 to take a player with only 17 starts and limited athletic upside? Shanahan lost 2 Superbowls with Qbs that cant break from the pocket and make things happen. So why Jones? for me the pick should be Fields, a very similar conversation was had about Watson when he came out so don’t talk yourself out of a proven and talented winner and over think what Justin Fields is.
4. Falcons – Select KYLE PITTS TE FLORIDA
The Falcons are being touted to make it 4 qbs from 4. There is a strong possibility that’s the case, as you have to ask yourself when will Falcons be picking this high again? My issue with that is simple. Pitts is a unicorn and you don’t pass on riding one.
5. Bengals – Select RASHAWN SLATER TACKLE NORTHWESTERN
Ja’marr Chase is awfully tempting to team up with Burrow here. But none of this offense works without a good Oline and Burrow getting hurt proved it. I believe Sewell is the best tackle in the class but the Chase Young tape has put Slater in this position and I have a gut feeling we see Slater go before Sewell as the Bengals prioritize tackle at 5.
6. Dolphins – Select JA’MARR CHASE WR LSU
This pick is either a playmaker or protection for Tua at 6 and logic says the only position they could bank on being there after the trade down from 3 is WR and that leads me to believe the pick is Ja’marr Chase, who is one of the best WR prospects I’ve ever seen and probably the best I’ve scouted since Julio Jones. No pressure.
7. Chargers – Select PENEI SEWELL T OREGON.
(TRADE!!! CHARGERS TRADE PICK 13 and 159 and 2022 2nd for PICK 7.)
If the Chargers stick and pick at 13 the tier drop from Sewell is a big one and they may have to take a corner like Horn over a franchise tackle because of it. I really think the cost is worth the reward and Telesco makes the big splash to get Herbert’s LT from college to follow him to LA. Dream scenario for the Franchise as a whole.
8. Panthers – Select PATRICK SURTAIN CB ALABAMA.
With Matt Rhule trading for Sam Darnold this now becomes do they take a tackle or corner at 8. With the big 2 Left tackles gone Patrick Surtain makes a tone of sense and after throwing all their picks at defence last year they find the missing piece in Surtain.
9. Broncos – Select MAC JONES QB ALABAMA
I nearly put Parsons here at 9, a player that could make that defence special, but they choose to make this a competition at QB instead. Lock has struggled to get this offence consistently going so the addition of the safe and savy Mac Jones is to good to pass on.
10. Cowboys – Select JAYCEE HORN CB SOUTH CAROLINA.
Jaycee Horn is my cornerback one and has all the swag you want as your lockdown corner. The Cowboys get exactly what they’ve been missing since Byron Jones departure.
11. Giants – SELECT MICAH PARSONS LB PENN STATE.
A strange year now becomes stranger with the Giants selecting a linebacker in the first round. But this is no ordinary linebacker, Parsons is one of the top 5 players in the draft for me and his freakish traits will be too good for Gettleman to pass on.
12. Bears – SELECT TREY LANCE QB NORTH DAKOTA STATE.
(TRADE!!! BEARS TRADE PICK 20 and 52 and 221 for PICKS 12 and 150.)
After trading down from 6 the Eagles do it again and turn this into a rebuild. The Bears and Nagy seem to be on their last legs so why not gamble the farm and move up to take Lance. They really do have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
13. Lions – SELECT DeVONTA SMITH WR ALABAMA
After the trade down with the Chargers the Lions still manage to grab arguably their biggest need. In rebuild mode after dealing Stafford they could go with Fields at 7 if he falls and it wouldn’t surprise me with the links to Chris Spielman but instead It’s Smith after the trade down. Goff is a timing thrower that relies on wide receivers who can run routes above all else and Smith is as pure as they come.
14. Ravens – SELECT JAYLEN WADDLE WR ALABAMA.
(TRADE!!! RAVENS TRADE ORLANDO BROWN JR and PICK 27 For PICKS 14 and 90)
I thought I’d have fun here and project a trade rumour that’s been going on a while.
Brown wants to play LT elsewhere and the Vikings have a glaring need. This trade makes a tone of sense for both sides. For Baltimore, Waddle is dynamite and adding him to Jackson, Brown, Dobbins would make for an offence similar to a 4 by 100 relay team. Watch out if your linebackers and corners cant run sub 4.5.
15. Patriots – SELECT ZAVEN COLLINS LB TULSA
One of my favourite players in this draft and a match made in heaven. Patriots don’t ever have the same board as everyone else and some could say this is high for Collins. I really don’t think it is. Hugely versatile, one of the best cover linebackers I’ve scouted and at 260 he offers that rush potential. Makes more sense than you think.
16. Cardinals – SELECT CALEB FARLEY CB VIRGINIA TECH
With Patrick Peterson parting ways the clear need is corner and If it weren’t for the back concerns Farley wouldn’t even be here, Keim doesn’t care tho and turns that card in.
17. Raiders – SELECT JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH S NOTRE DAME
The modern day hybrid that can play Linebacker and Safety. He has great instincts and speed to play the positions, similar to Jeremy Chinn at Carolina, a home run pick.
18. Dolphins – SELECT KWITY PAYE DE MICHIGAN
The rankings across the edge prospects is all over the place and will come down to fit. Paye offers exactly what that Miami D became renowned for last year and that is effort. Watch the tape, his motor is undeniable.
19. Washington – SELECT CHRISTIAN DARRISAW T VIRGINIA TECH
With no QB available they continue to add to the trenches. They’ve taken Dline in the first round of the last 4 drafts and that’s gotten them one of the best in the league. They now switch to making the Oline just as stout and Darrisaw can do just that.
20. Eagles – SELECT ALIJAH VERA-TUCKER G USC
Eagles struggled with injuries to the offensive line last year and it showed they needed depth and Versatile lineman. Vera Tucker offers reliability and versatility and with Hurts now the guy at QB you have to give him as much help as you can to see what you have.
21. Colts – SELECT TEVEN JENKINS T OKLAHOMA STATE.
With the trade for Wentz and the Castonzo retirement, they prioritize that tackle spot to give Wentz all the help in they can to succeed under his old coach.
22. Browns – SELECT JAELAN PHILLIPS EDGE MIAMI
(TRADE!!! BROWNS TRADE PICKS 26 and 110 for PICKS 22 and 232
The Titans trade down to make up value for last years first round flop. The Browns are the partners and see Phillips as the clear edge 1 available. His pro day showcased the former 5 stars worth, and moving up to partner with Garrett long term is worth cost. Pressure is king in the AFC North and the Browns need more than Myles and Clowney.
23. Jets – SELECT GREG NEWSOME CB NORTHWESTERN
After getting there QB in Wilson they should just go best player available and that screams the sticky corner from Northwestern for me. Huge need, best player, moving on.
24. Steelers – SELECT LANDON DICKERSON C ALABAMA
The Steelers can go in a number of ways here. Replace Dupree, take a tackle, the holes at corner and RB, but arguably the biggest hole is that left by Pouncey. None of this offence works without that anchor for Ben. Dickerson fits the need, system and culture.
25. Jaguars – SELECT JALEN MAYFIELD OL MICHIGAN
I’m not overly sold on Mayfield, but what I’m hearing is size and tackle/guard flexibility is gonna help his stock. The Jags have to address both spots with pending contracts and with teams behind them waiting to address Oline, the time is now to take their guy.
26. Titans – SELECT ALEX LEATHERWOOD OL ALABAMA
After the trade down the Titans go back to the position they missed on last year, when taking a project in Wilson. The Titans value size and power for their ground and pound offence and Leatherwood is as nasty as they come in this draft. Leatherwood, although he has his faults, is experienced, with great character and comes from that strong Alabama programme. Titans have to play it safe, so take a plug and play RT or at worst an all pro guard.
27. Vikings – SELECT GREGORY ROUSSEAU EDGE MIAMI
The Vikings after trading with the Ravens for new left tackle Orlando Brown now address edge at 27. Once a top 10 lock has had a hard time to recoup his stock after his 2020 opt out and its the Vikings that stop the slide. This could all be rumours about his fall from grace similar to that of Andrew Thomas last year, who was in the end the first tackle taken, but there’s a lot of smoke for no fire. Zimmer loves big bodies on his D line and non come much bigger than Rousseau.
28. Saints – SELECT TREVON MOEHRIG S TCU
The Saints could very well trade up or down as they always surprise come draft day, but they cant pass on talent when they fall in their lap. They need to get some insurance in case they cant get an extension with Williams done, and Jenkins cant play forever so Moehrig makes a tone of sense for me.
29. Jets – SELECT TRAVIS ETTIENE RB CLEMSON
(TRADE!!! JETS TRADE PICKS 34 and 107 FOR PICK 29.)
The Jets make it 3 picks in the 1st round and grab the explosive back from Clemson. They jump up ahead of Buffalo in case they have an eye on their running back. Ettiene is a perfect fit for Saleh coming over from the 49ers who love the big play backs with speed.
30. Bills – SELECT AZEEZ OJALARI EDGE GEORGIA
Bills have very few holes on their roster and can afford to trade down, but for me Ojalari is an absolute home run of a pick at 30 and they can’t pass on the talent.
31. Chiefs – SELECT SAMUEL COSMI T TEXAS
After the superbowl display it’s clear as day that Mahomes protection is the priority. After the release of Fisher and Schwartz its even more clear they take a franchise lineman at 31 with the answer being the huge and feisty kid from Texas.
32. Buccaneers – SELECT JAYSON OWEH EDGE PENN STATE
The Buccaneers kept the band together, so where we thought there could be holes, there aren’t any. They could go Oline or another weapon for Brady, but with the Bucs having JPP and Gholston out of contract next year the smart money could be on edge. After that Pro day I’m not sure Oweh makes it to day 2. Oweh offers disruption and speed but with 0 sacks last year, it’s going to make teams pause and ask why?, but watch the tape and see the havoc he causes. Sky’s the limit for this guy.
33. Jaguars – SELECT WYATT DAVIS G OHIO STATE
Round 2 starts with Meyer going back to Ohio state to grab an interior beast. Taking your franchise QB at 1 and following it up with 2 solid Offensive line starters to protect that prized asset is not a bad way to play this for Jacksonville, especially with long term questions contract wise around their current linemen.
34. Packers – SELECT ELIJAH MOORE WR OLE MISS
Packers wasted picks in round 1 and 2 last year for me, but not this year. Helping Rodgers stay upright could be the priority but with no standout and after the trade down, they go instead for that wide receiver we’ve been mocking there since 2016.
35. Broncos – SELECT JAMIN DAVIS LB KENTUCKY
(TRADE!!! BRONCOS TRADE PICKS 40 and 114 for 50 and 187)
The Kentucky lads go back to back. Watching the tape on Davis reminds me of Kenneth Murray who the Chargers moved up for last year into round 1. The Broncos see the need trade up above Philly and Miami the prioritize getting Davis who is for me the clear LB left before the drop off to tier 2.
36. Dolphins – SELECT NAJEE HARRIS RB ALABAMA
Miami cant look a gift horse in the mouth here and get to pair Tua with his running mate.
37. Eagles – SELECT TERRANCE MARSHALL WR LSU
The Eagles take their WR in round 2 after the double trade down in round 1. Marshall really reminds me of last years wideout Tee Higgins, the big bodied X that they need to accompany Reagors speed inside.
38. Bengals – SELECT CHRISTIAN BARMORE DT ALABAMA
Nothing sexy here but outstanding value with the lose of Geno Atkins.
39. Panthers – SELECT QUINN MEINERZ G UW-WHITEWATER
Panthers grab Darnold some protection on the interior and take a senior bowl standout in Meinerz. I full expect with Matt Rhule coaching down at the Mobile he takes one or 2 of the standouts from that weekend and was there a bigger winner than Quinn.
40. Falcons – SELECT JAVONTE WILLIAMS RB NORTH CAROLINA
I’d be shocked if the Falcons don’t come away with a running back pretty high in the NFL draft and if Smith wants to get a Derrick Henry type for the offence, Williams is the guy.
41. Lions – SELECT ASANTE SAMUEL JR CB FLORIDA STATE
The Lions need at corner is nearly as big as wide receiver, so expect both positions to be addressed early. Okudah needs help and getting Samuel jr, the sticky corner from Florida State, can lock down the slot from day 1 allowing Okudah to lockdown the perimeter.
42. Giants – SELECT CREED HUMPHREY C OKLAHOMA
Gettleman does what he always does and prioritizes the trenches early in the draft.
43. Titans – SELECT KELVIN JOSEPH CB KENTUCKY
(TRADE!! TITANS TRADE PICKS 53 and 100 FOR PICK 43)
The 49ers use their second round pick to reclaim some of the debt of the trade up to 3. The Titans in the meantime move up to grab a playmaker in the secondary. Titans cut ties with Adoree Jackson and Butler, they got Fulton last year but it isn’t enough to cover up the issues.
44. Cowboys – SELECT JOE TRYON EDGE WASHINGTON
The Cowboys go back to back on defense and this time with some speed on the edge opposite Lawrence.
45. Rams – SELECT JAVON HOLLAND S OREGON
(TRADE!!! RAMS TRADE PICKS 57 and 88 FOR PICKS 45 AND 145)
The Jags continue to collect picks to build around Lawrence and move down to 57, with the Rams trading up and replacing arguably their biggest lose this offseason in Johnson. Holland plays, deep, nickel and sometimes as a linebacker. A huge get at 45.
46. Patriots – SELECT ELIJAH MOLDEN CB WASHINGTON
The patriots value corner over interior defense here but I expect them taking a DT sometime in the draft. Molden is strictly a nickel for me but the best in the class.
47. Chargers – SELECT RASHOD BATEMAN WR MINNESOTA
After the dream scenario trade up for the Bolts to get Sewell they now get a stud wideout fall in their lap. Corner is the other glaring need and should be addressed but you can’t pass on a talent like Bateman
48. Raiders – SELECT LEVI ONWUZURIKE DT WASHINGTON
The Raiders were 31st on D last year so excuse me for forgetting offence. Levi is a busy defensive tackle and is being talked about as one of the better leaders and communicators in the draft. Raiders need players who roll their sleeves up and the first 2 round picks do just that. Bang on wood if you hear me…
49. Cardinals – SELECT NICK BOLTON LB MISSOURI
The Cardinals grab the top tier 2 linebacker as the pure mike that lets Simmons roam.
50. Dolphins – SELECT RICHIE GRANT S UCF
Dolphins round out this mock with defence again. Grant is a perfect modern day safety and adding him to an already stout corner group could be the final piece for that secondary.