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Emergency Round 1 Mock Draft
San Francisco 49ers trade up to No. 3 overall; what changes in Round 1?
While standing on the field at the BYU Pro Day, San Francisco 49ers’ general manager John Lynch pulled off a major trade to move from No. 12 overall in the 2021 first round all the way to No. 3 overall with the Miami Dolphins.
In doing so, the 49ers traded No. 12 overall, a 2021 third-round compensatory selection, a 2022 1st-rounder and a 2023 1st-rounder to move up nine spots. A quarterback will be the pick.
But which one?
1. Jacksonville Jaguars — QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Urban Meyer didn’t even bother attending the BYU pro day. Lawrence is the pick.
2. New York Jets — QB Zach Wilson, BYU
The overwhelming intel gathered at Wilson’s workout on Friday was that he will be the No. 2 overall pick in this draft; whether it’s the Jets using the pick or trading it. The fact that the Eagles tried to trade to No. 3 overall and that the San Francisco 49ers ultimately did shows us that the No. 2 pick is not for sale and is likely to be Wilson.
3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami) — QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
The 49ers didn’t trade three first-rounders for a tackle. The best quarterback on the board will be the pick. And while a Mac Jones selection wouldn’t shock me—he’s a good fit in this offense—the intel right now is that Lance is the favorite in San Francisco.
4. Atlanta Falcons — QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Four quarterbacks off the board in the first four selections has never happened before. But we’ve never seen a class like this one. The Falcons don’t have an immediate need, but this allows Fields to sit and clean up some mechanical issues under Matt Ryan.
5. Cincinnati Bengals — TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
The move to sign Riley Reiff signaled to me and many in the NFL that Pitts could be the pick here. Helping quarterback Joe Burrow isn’t just about improving the offensive line, but also giving him more weapons.
6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia) — WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
The Dolphins moved back from No. 3 overall and then traded up to No. 6. This allows them to collect another future first-rounder while staying in position to add the best receiver in the draft class. Chase, Will Fuller and DeVante Parker is a nice trio.
7. Detroit Lions — WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
The Lions can go any number of directions in Round 1 but the wide receiver corps was decimated through free agency. Smith isn’t the biggest but he’s silky smooth and has elite hands.
8. Carolina Panthers — QB Mac Jones, Alabama
This is too high for Mac Jones, but the Panthers’ inability to trade up (so far) means they’ll be waiting for a quarterback. Jones is highly accurate and very intelligent—he can be a good NFL starting quarterback if put in the right system. Joe Brady is the type of coordinator who can dial-up a good plan around him.
9. Denver Broncos — LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
A free agency class dedicated to the secondary plus an offensive line the team has invested in heavily points to a pick at another area in Round 1. Micah Parsons is an elite athlete at linebacker with a lot of positional versatility.
10. Dallas Cowboys — OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Patrick Surtain II would be a dream fit at cornerback, but the unexpected fall of Penei Sewell is too good to pass up for Dallas. He’s a future replacement for Tyron Smith and could play guard in 2021 if needed.
11. New York Giants — CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
A slight fall for Surtain, who I have ranked as the top cornerback in this class, but he lands with a defensive scheme that’s tailor-made for his talents.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami via San Francisco) — OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
The Eagles moved all over the board to get here and land a star offensive lineman who can play both tackle and both guard spots. Slater could play guard in 2021 and have an All-Pro career there, but he has the tools to start right away at tackle too.
13. Los Angeles Chargers — OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
The Chargers were so close to landing one of the top two tackles, but Darrisaw isn’t a bad option either. He’s athletic, has great size, and is only getting better as a young player.
14. Minnesota Vikings — OT Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
Does Alijah Vera-Tucker play guard or tackle in the NFL? It depends on where the Vikings ultimately land with 2020 second-rounder Ezra Cleveland. If Cleveland moves to tackle, Vera-Tucker can take his spot at right guard. If the Vikings like AVT at tackle, Cleveland can stay at guard.
15. New England Patriots — CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
Stephon Gilmore might not be long for New England, so the Patriots grab his replacement in a big, physical, fast cornerback. Horn dominated his pro day workout and has the NFL buzzing about his potential. He will be a top 15 selection.
16. Arizona Cardinals — WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
This might be a surprise slip for Waddle, but remember last year when CeeDee Lamb slipped? Waddle’s injury could push him down the board, where the Cardinals would love to put him in the slot with DeAndre Hopkins and AJ Green on the edges of the formation.
17. Las Vegas Raiders — S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Defending the middle of the field is still a huge need in Las Vegas. The versatile Moehrig is excellent in coverage and can play slot cornerback if needed but makes his home as a centerfielding safety.
18. Miami Dolphins — LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky
The best player in the draft that not enough people are talking about. Davis has Darius Leonard-like talents and three-down ability. The Dolphins have remade their linebacker room and Davis could be the anchor of it.
19. Washington Football Team — WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
You’d love to see a quarterback here, but none are available. A nice secondary option is Florida’s YAC-god Kadarius Toney. He might not possess elite straight-line speed but his agility and vision will set him up for early NFL success.
20. Chicago Bears — CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
You’d love to see a quarterback here, but none are available. A nice secondary option is cornerback Caleb Farley as a replacement for Kyle Fuller. Farley has slipped some as of late due to a minor back procedure, but his injury history could affect his draft positioning. My intel says he’s still a top 25 pick.
21. Indianapolis Colts — EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Chris Ballard didn’t spend big in free agency, choosing to make the trade for Carson Wentz his biggest move. Finding a speedy edge-rusher who can create pressure and chaos is a huge need. Ojulari’s first step is the best in the class.
22. Tennessee Titans — EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
A monster of a power rusher with the speed to frustrate offensive tackles, Phillips is a top-tier tools rusher. There are some injury questions in his background, but the word from teams is that those are checking out just fine.
23. New York Jets — CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
Zach Wilson at No. 2 and Greg Newsome at No. 23 shores up two huge holes on the Jets’ roster. General manager Joe Douglas is good at his job and knows that people are as important as players. Newsome is a leader and a player coaches loved at Northwestern.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers — EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas
A big pro day workout by Ossai reminded NFL teams that he’s a special talent with a big upside. The Steelers need to replace Bud Dupree and Ossai’s all-around game as a run-stuffer and pass-rusher are ideal to fill that role.
25. Jacksonville (from LA Rams) — S/LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Versatility is the game for Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. He can line up anywhere from strong safety to stack linebacker and has the power, speed, instincts and leadership to be an immediate asset in all three phases.
26. Cleveland Browns — LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
The Browns have a shockingly low amount of team needs to address in the NFL draft. That means general manager Andrew Berry can truly go “best player available” while keeping an eye on future needs. Zaven Collins is a defensive weapon with pass-rushing skills and pass-coverage ability.
27. Baltimore Ravens — DL Christian Barmore, Alabama
While not a Day 1 need, the Ravens draft for future needs better than anyone in the NFL. Barmore is just hitting his stride as a defensive lineman and had a breakout 2020 season. Eyeing a future replacement for Calais Campbell, Barmore fits this scheme beautifully.
28. New Orleans Saints — CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
It’s unrealistic to think a quarterback falls this far. The Saints instead can look to address the secondary. Tyson Campbell is a long cornerback with elite speed and agility. He’s a man coverage specialist with Day 1 starting talent.
29. Green Bay Packers — WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
The streak is broken! The Packers select a wide receiver in the first round and get a burner in Elijah Moore. He’s one of the draft’s best yards-after-catch receivers and has the ability to contribute immediately from the slot and on special teams.
30. Buffalo Bills — RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
The run game in Buffalo has to get better and the speed and vision of Travis Etienne addresses that immediately. There would be some consideration here for a cornerback or linebacker, but Etienne’s ability to break big plays and dominate as a chunk-yard specialist would open up the Bills’ offense.
31. Kansas City Chiefs — OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
This could be a slight reach for Cosmi, but his athletic profile and ability in the run game are perfect for the Kansas City Chiefs. He does need to improve his upper-body strength, but that can be handled. After missing on a few free agents, the Chiefs must go all-in on left tackles in the draft.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State
When you run in the 4.3s as a defensive end, you’re going Round 1. There will be questions about Oweh’s lack of production in the Big Ten but his athletic potential is too good to pass up for the Buccaneers.