Open your eyes; it’s draft day
Sports Obsessive’s first NFL rookie mock draft has just been completed. l will breakdown why I drafted these 10 players in the spots they are headed. In the coming days, I will follow up with part two. This will showcase picks 11-20, followed by part three in a couple of weeks, which will feature picks 21-32.
When I was a kid ( around 10 years old), I loved the last Saturday in April. I would wake up early, creep downstairs, and turn on my favorite show. It was not cartoons. It was weird for a little kid to wake up early on a Saturday in April, turn on the sports network instead of cartoons. I would wait anxiously for Boomer, Mel, and whomever else was on the show to deliver me the goods. I’m not talking about Duck Tales here; I’m talking about draft day.
Since that time, draft day has been a holiday for me. In college I would stay up all night (beer may have been involved) and discuss everything draft day with my buddies. After college, I worked retail and would take every last weekend in April to watch the draft. That was a sin in the 1990’s retail scene. Even though the draft wasn’t that big of a deal, I loved it anyhow. I loved the intersection of college and NFL football. I also loved tracking who went where and putting my opinion on wax about the picks. I loved everything about it.
The Draft is Coming!
The 2021 NFL draft starts on Thursday, April 29th, and ends Saturday, May 1st. Back in the day, this was a two-day affair. There was nothing better for my friends and I than throwing keg parties on the first day of the NFL draft and sleeping through the entirety of the 2nd. The first round of the draft would start early, go late, and get through 3 rounds. We used to bet on which conference the next player would be drafted to, starting in the 2nd round. Oh, the Good Ole Days…
This mock will show what teams SHOULD do to continue building toward the ultimate goal of winning a Brady Trophy. That’s right, I’ve gone ahead and renamed the Lombardi trophy. It’s just a matter of time until it happens anyway, so I might as well get the ball rolling. It’s time to put all the aforementioned factors together and join me in the mock draft breakdown.
Buckle up Kids; the draft is about to begin!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock in Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson
Urban Meyer goes back home to Gainesville, where Florida U is located and gets the best prospect I’ve seen since Andrew Luck. What else can we say about Trevor Lawrence? He is 6’6, 220 pounds, has a rocket arm, and can really move. Trevor is going to be outstanding. There are zero concerns here. Lawerence is not only a good kid, he’s a leader. Oh, and he’s headed to Nowheresville, USA. Why the hell does Jacksonville even have a team? I’d rather Austin have Texas’s third team than Jacksonville have Florida’s third team. It’s a weird city to have an NFL franchise. The Jags landing Trevor Lawrence will be comparable to when the Memphis Grizzlies landed J.A. Morant. Neither team was as popular as they are becoming now.
Bright Future Under Center
I see Meyer and Lawrence in an AFC championship showdown with Patrick Mahomes in 2022, yes, that fast. The kid is that good. The Jags have offensive talent. Now the defense needs to step up. They need to be at least middle of the road versus opposing offenses instead of the putrid, roadside garbage they rolled out last year. Remember Sacksonville? That wasn’t that long ago. Tre Law is the truth, he is the next great NFL QB and he will be a fixture in North Florida for the next decade and a half. Congrats Jags!
2. New York Jets are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State
Mike LaFleur takes over as the offensive guru in New York and Joe Douglass will need to decide if he is moving on from Sam Darnold or not. I love the Robert Saleh pick for head coach. Bringing along his buddy Mike LaFleur from San Fran should make the Jets a competitive team within the next 3 years. I believe the Jets are going to move on from Sam Darnold. It’s time. Say what you want about the instability of a mediocre franchise, but cream rises to the top and Darnold just isn’t going to work out in New York.
Fields of Dreams
In comes Justin Fields. I like Fields, a lot. He reminds me of a thicker DeShaun Watson and given time to develop I can see Fields being a star. However, he is going to need time and help. I think he is a perfect fit for the J-E-T-S because he is poised. The quarterback position is often so much more than just talent. Of course the dudes need to be talented, but as Todd Bowles said about Tom Brady, “The person in football far outweighs the player..and it’s a great, great player..” Justin Fields is an alpha, a dawg, and he will handle the bright lights of the big city and bring calm to the position. This dude can play and I can’t imagine the Jets passing on yet another talented QB as they did with Watson in 2017.
3. Miami Dolphins (From Houston) are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon
The prospect of pairing Tua with his former college star in Devonta Smith may prove to be too intriguing for the Dolphins to pass up. I don’t see it happening though, because they need more help up front than out wide. Sewell is an elite Orlando Pace type of talent that can lock down the left side of the o-line for years to come in Miami. It doesn’t matter who the QB is. After watching the Super Bowl, it is clear that no matter who is throwing (or catching), if your quarterback is being harassed, you can’t win meaningful football games.
Penei for your Thoughts?
Smith and Ja’Mar Chase are excellent prospects, and the Dolphins still need playmakers. That being said, I believe the GM group is smart enough to understand they can still land elite playmakers with the 18th, 36th, or 50th pick. The Dolphins will be a team to reckon with in the AFC East. If they get this draft right, they could end up winning the East and doing some damage in the playoffs for years to come.
4. Atlanta Falcons are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU
I don’t believe the Falcons are as bad as their 2020 record indicated. That being said, I believe drafting a quarterback here is a wise choice. They should draft Zach Wilson and let him study under the great Matt Ryan for a year. This would set the Falcons up nicely at the most important position in football for at least the next 12 years. Wilson showed signs of greatness in college, but there are maturity concerns that the Falcons hope their veteran signal-caller could help with. Zach Wilson is the perfect prospect to draft, develop, coach, and install into the Falcons offense next year.
5. Cincinnati Bengals are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Kyle Pitts, Tight End, University of Florida
The Bengals are building something special in chili city. They have their QB of the future in Joe Burrow and I see nothing but greatness coming from that kid. Cincinnati already has Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon for playmakers. Adding the best tight end prospect since Vernon Davis would give the AFC North fits for years to come.
Plethora of Weaponry
The Bengals could also draft offensive line help, but with Sewell off the board, I think the tantalizing skillset of Kyle Pitts, who could be a top-five tight end right now is too much to pass on. In today’s NFL, you have to score points. Burrow, Higgins, Boyd, and Pitts would be as dangerous of an offense as you could find in the NFL.
6. Philadelphia Eagles are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Patrick Surtain, Cornerback, Alabama
The Eagles were a mess last year. Carson Wentz has all but harpooned what should have been a good team for many years. With Doug Pederson’s firing, I believe a new day has come to Philly and they need to improve on their atrocious secondary.
Eagles Good on Defense??
Philidelphia’s division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, will not let their young stud QB, Dak Prescott, go anywhere. With that in mind, If you are going to compete with the Cowboys, who surely have the best quarterback in the division, you need someone to slow down the juggernaut trio of Prescott, Cooper, and Lamb.
Enter Patrick Surtain, the defensive answer the Eagles are looking for. With a 6’2, 210 force in the secondary, he will certainly fill the Eagles defensive backfield gap. Surtain is all but certain (see what I did there) of being a solid NFL player. Alabama breeds NFL secondary players. He will come in as a well-coached fit for Philly. He is a modern zone-based corner and is the kind of help that will allow Jalen Hurts and company to win games 27-24.
The Eagles have many needs. A wide receiver could also come off the board here with either Devonta Smith or Ja’mar Chase still available, but I think the Eagles land the best corner in the draft. They will hope he can clean up the leaky mess their current secondary has created.
7. Detroit Lions are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU
If I were an NFL GM, I would definitely draft Ja’marr Chase over DeVonta Smith. Not that Smith isn’t great, because he is, but the anatomy of a stud NFL wide receiver just doesn’t include many guys of Smith’s stature. This lack of size scares me off of him being a truly elite NFL wide receiver.
Chase to Replace Kenny G
Ja’Marr Chase on the other hand, is a true force to be reckoned with. He is 6’1 and about 210 pounds, where Smith is about 6’0 and 180 pounds; big difference. Sitting out the past year hurt many fans’ memories of just how dominant Ja’Marr was at LSU in 2019. As great as Justin Jefferson is now, Chase was the number 1 for the LSU offense in 2019.
The poor Lions once again find themselves in a precarious spot. They should look to help their defensive line or look for more secondary help to shore up their last place scoring defense. That is what I would do if I were the new GM, but the Lions are gonna Lion. With both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones headed out of town, taking a stud wide receiver will be too tantalizing for the new regime to pass up in the seventh spot.
8. Carolina Panthers are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State
Trey Lance very well could have been a top 15 pick last year if he were eligible for the draft. He wasn’t and then a pandemic hit. Unfortunately for Lance, he wasn’t able to fully show his skill set because his college chose to forgo the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. In year three, Trey only played one game. The tragedy here is that he was expected to do too much and did not perform. Lance has all the tools to be a great NFL quarterback. I don’t know if he will live up to his potential. What I do know is that a 6’3, 224 lbs, mobile QB is exactly what NFL teams are looking for.
Joe Brady and Matt Rhule certainly scoured the market for available quarterbacks prior to the end of the season but did not find a viable solution. As a result, the Panthers will be pleased to draft Trey with the number eight pick of the 2021 NFL draft.
9. Denver Broncos are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Greg Rousseau, Edge, University of Miami
Rousseau is a beast. The last we saw of him he recorded 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss (TFL). He is 6’5, 260 lbs, and best of all, he is just learning the position. Rousseau is raw, and with this pick, he lands in the perfect spot (for at least a year), gaining the tutelage of defensive professor Vic Fangio and crew.
Miller Time will be no more
The future is spotty with Von Miller. Who knows what’s going on with the federal investigation he is now under? Even if Miller is completely exonerated, he will turn 32 in March, is entering the last year of his contract, and was lost for a whole year following a gruesome ankle injury. Miller could be a prime candidate to trade. If Denver does trade him, then drafting Rousseau could add an impact disrupter to Denvers’ defense. Vic will draft him with the goal to harass Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in interdivisional battles.
If You Can’t Join em, Sack em
The Broncos, like many middling to bad teams, need a quarterback. I don’t do mock trades, but if I did, I would be trading up at least one spot if not more to land either Fields, Wilson, or Lance. However, in this scenario, the four top signal-callers are already off the board. At this point, I think Vic Fangio and crew will decide to give Drew Lock one more year under centre and go with the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Mr. Greg. Rousseau.
10. Dallas Cowboys are on the Clock in the Sports Obsessive First NFL Rookie Mock Draft
Caleb Farley, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
Farley is in the same mold as Patrick Surtain. Both are 6’2, 210 lbs physical cornerbacks. With Surtain going to the city of brotherly love, Farley is the Cowboys’ new Corner. Caleb Farley is a playmaker and a ball hawk. With 6 career picks he is a long, fast athlete looking to make plays on the ball.
Caleb Could be Cowboys Top Corner
The Cowboys defense was pathetic last year, giving up almost 30 points per game which ranked 28th in the league. They need help in the secondary and Farley is the type of player that can play man and follow top receivers all game. He could also drop back into zone coverage schemes and use his ball-hawking skills to make plays. Either way, I believe Dallas needs to address their woeful secondary. Doing this will balance out the offensive firepower they have on the other side of the ball. Farley will help avoid the big play in big D and I think this is their 2021 selection.
Sports Obsessive First NFL Mock Draft
That will do it for the first section of Sports Obsessive’s maiden mock draft. Look for sections two and three in the coming weeks. As always, share your thoughts and opinions at any time. Hit me up on Twitter @highonsports28 or leave a comment. Draft Day Baby!
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