Jacksonville gets the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck to start this draft. He took Clemson to the College Football Playoff in all three seasons after leading Clemson to a National Championship as a true freshman. Joe Burrow and Justin Fields are the only quarterbacks to beat a Clemson team led by Trevor Lawrence.
Here is a film cut of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence VS Wake Forest. Lawrence dominated the first half in this road win over Wake Forest.
Zach Wilson dominated with BYU in 2020. Honestly, he did enough to fool some people into thinking he's the top quarterback in this draft. Wilson to New York went from a New Years Day draft rumor to a formality after the Jets traded Sam Darnold to Carolina.
Here is a film cut of BYU quarterback Zach Wilson VS Boise State. Zach dominated this game.
San Francisco gave up three first round picks in the next three NFL Drafts to move from 12 to 3. San Francisco attended both of Mac Jones Pro Days where he struggled after scouting him and Zach Wilson heavily during the regular season. Kyle Shanahan and Justin Fields seemed to have lots of rapport when they saw each other on Thursday when Fields threw in front of NFL scouts for a second time.
Jimmy Garoppolo is going to enter 2021 as the presumed starter. Justin Fields is the one quarterback left on the board that could push Jimmy Garoppolo for playing time as a rookie.
Here is a film cut of Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields VS Penn State. Justin Fields picked apart Penn State pretty easily. Micah Parsons didn't play in this game despite Penn State having some talented players on the defensive side of the ball.
Kyle Pitts isn't getting past Atlanta. The Florida tight end interviewed with Atlanta four times. I don't see Atlanta moving this pick to a quarterback needy team unless that team gives Atlanta four first round picks. We've seen teams give up three first round picks, but not four first round picks. That's what I think it's going to cost to get Atlanta to move out of 4.
Everything Chris Ransom reported about Penei Sewell and Ja'Maar Chase being the top two options for the Bengals at 5 is true. I'm hearing the same stuff too, but I'm still keeping Sewell on Cincinnati at 5 despite the fact that Chris changed his pick to Chase. Did anyone else see that scar on Burrow's leg when the Bengals unveiled their new uniforms last week?
Re-uniting Burrow and Chase would be sweet. However, the only way to keep Joe Burrow healthy is to draft a left tackle. Riley Reiff said he was switching to right tackle. Drafting Sewell and moving Jonah Williams inside to left guard allows the Cincinnati Bengals to upgrade at both left tackle and left guard fixing the left side of their offensive line.
Miami drafts this years Heisman Trophy winner to re-unite with last years first round pick quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. If Miami is only looking at players that played in 2020 and does not want a player who opted out due to Covid-19, that leaves DeVonta Smith and Kyle Pitts as the only viable options by process of elimination. Miami has Mike Gesicki despite conducting multiple interviews with Pitts which is why I believe DeVonta Smith will be the pick since he can be a number one target for Tua Tagovailoa right away in Miami allowing DeVante Parker to move over to a number two receiver role that suits him better with Will Fuller complimenting both Smith and Parker in the slot.
Detroit lost Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola to Free Agency in 2021. Ja'Maar Chase is the best player on the board. Devonta Smith and Ja'Maar Chase are the only receivers in this draft that can come in and make an immediate impact doing what Kenny Golladay did the last few years.
Jared Goff needs weapons. Getting him one of the two Billetnikoff Award winners in this draft makes the most sense. Miami took Smith at 6, so Detroit gets Chase at 7.
Carolina gets a left tackle for Sam Darnold. Carolina now has Rashawn Slater at left tackle and Taylor Moton at right tackle as bookends for quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Christian McCaffrey.
Denver could take Trey Lance at 9. With Drew Lock training with Peyton Manning, something tells me they pass on a quarterback at 9. Trading out of this spot or taking one of the cornerbacks is Denver's best play at 9.
Caleb Farley may be the best cover corner in this draft, but his previous back injury does concern me. Patrick Surtain II was a champion at American Heritage High School in Florida as well as a champion at Alabama. He's also the best run stuffer, tackler, and blocker among the cornerbacks in this years draft. He's got A+ grade for man coverage and A grade press coverage. You can debate whether his zone coverage is a B grade or a C grade, but he's also the most durable cornerback in this draft as well as a champion at both the High School and NCAA level which should translate into more winning in the NFL.
He's also the son of former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Patrick Surtain. He's probably the safest cornerback to draft as well as my top ranked defensive player in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Dallas grabs the best player on the board rather than going for need. You could argue cornerback is the Dallas Cowboys biggest need. If you think Christian Darrisaw has a higher ceiling than the cornerbacks outside of Surtain then you take Darrisaw. Dak Prescott got injured because Tyron Smith and La'El Collins both got injured at offensive tackle. Christian Darrisaw gives you your left tackle of the future.
It's worth mentioning that starting left tackle Tyron Smith, the Dallas Cowboys 2011 first round pick is 30-years-old. Tyron turns 31 on December 12, 2021 while Christian Darrisaw is only 21-years-old. A majority of the dead cap in Smith's extension with Dallas will be gone following the 2021 season. That means Darrisaw would be in a perfect position to take over for Smith as the blindside left tackle of the Dallas Cowboys in 2022 if Dallas ignored need and took Darrisaw at 10 because he was the best player on their board.
Philadelphia grabs a cornerback to pair up with Darius Slay at 12 now that the top three receivers are off the board. Jaycee Horn is the best player on my board if we're taking Caleb Farley's injury into consideration here. Horn has elite man coverage, press coverage, and run stuffing skills despite needing to improve in zone coverage. He's also the son of former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn so he can improve his zone coverage by watching film of cornerbacks defending his father. I'm less concerned about his zone coverage than most scouts because his dad was an NFL receiver.
Los Angeles gets the top guard in this draft. Right now Oday Aboushi and Matt Feiler are the starting guards on the Los Angeles Chargers after the team chose to move on from Dan Feeney and Forest Lamp while releasing Trai Turner.
Alijah Vera-Tucker has experience at both left tackle and left guard. He's also got superb athleticism. The Chargers could try him as Justin Herbert's blindside even though he's probably a better fit at guard. I think Alijah Vera-Tucker is an upgrade over Aboushi and Feiler at guard as well as an upgrade at left tackle which is the biggest reason I mocked him to the Los Angeles Chargers at 13.
I think this draft class could have as many as six edge rushers with Pro Bowl upside who can play both 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker on either side at the next level. Only five of those edge rushers cracked my first round. At the same time, this is the rawest edge rusher draft since 2013 when both Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo went in the top 10 which is why there's a chance that some of these edges may not reach their massive ceilings.
Kwity Paye is the best run stuffer in this draft and the best of those four first round edge rushers who can play both 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. While he's not a sack artist on tape, he showed he had the tools to be a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher at Michigan's Pro Day.
Kwity Paye has the body of a 4-3 defensive end while having experience running some plays as both a 3-4 defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker at Michigan. His best scheme fit is 4-3 defensive end and luckily for Paye he goes to a team that runs a 4-3 defense where he compliments Danielle Hunter quite well.
The Minnesota Vikings could also consider left tackle Christian Darrisaw out of Virginia Tech. This class is deeper at offensive tackle than it is at edge rusher. Minnesota also seems to prioritize their defensive line over their offensive line based on historical data since their defensive line is nicknamed the Purple People Eaters.
New England gets one of the top four quarterbacks in this draft without trading down. Trey Lance can succeed in New England.
Trey Lance has good arm strength and accuracy. Lance only needs to improve his progressions. He could only make one read in 2019 despite going the entire year without throwing an interception. He made two reads on some throws in his only game in 2020. Going to New England gives Trey Lance the best chance of playing right away in week 1.
Here is a film cut of North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance VS Central Arkansas. Trey Lance struggled in this game, but delivered when it mattered.
Arizona lost Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick. Bringing in Malcolm Butler only fills one of these voids while Byron Murphy is going to be the nickel cornerback on Arizona moving forward. Greg Newsome II has more momentum than Caleb Farley at this point which is why I actually have Newsome creeping his way into the top half of the 2021 NFL Draft.