Leo’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0
With the NFL season wrapped up, we are officially smack dab in the middle of the NFL Mock Draft Season. I’m confident there will be draft day trades as teams start to show their hands as to what direction they’ll take on draft day. I have added a few potential trades I see occurring either during or just before the draft. Be sure to let us know what takes you agree and disagree with @ToTheHizzy on Twitter.
1) Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
The Jacksonville Jaguars offense this season ranked 25th in passing, and with the dismissal of GM David Caldwell, the Jaguars’ primary order of business will be securing a franchise quarterback. With two first-round picks, they should be able to ensure starting-caliber quality at positions of need.
Trevor Lawrence is QB1 of this 2021 NFL Draft class; ever since the moment, he exploded onto the college football scene led Clemson to a National Championship as a true freshman. With arm strength, accuracy, and surprising mobility for a 6’6″, 220-pound quarterback, Trevor Lawrence has all the traits to succeed in the NFL.
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson BYU
The Jets have a lot of options here, but I think the decision ultimately comes down to Wilson versus Sam Darnold. With a new head coach, they will decide to start fresh at quarterback.
The Jets desperately need to upgrade at QB! Zach Wilson has had a fantastic 2020 campaign and could end up being the No. 2 QB taken when it’s all said and done. I think Wilson is their guy if they’re not sticking with Darnold. Darnold has a lot of potential in this league but Wilson seems to be the real deal.
3) Atlanta Falcons(VIA MIA): QB Justin Fields Ohio State
Fields would drastically lessen the odds of the Falcons entering quarterback purgatory. In his two years starting for the Buckeyes, Fields earned PFF grades of 91.5 and 93.5, both of which ranked in the top five in the entire FBS. Fields is exceptionally accurate, takes excellent care of the football, and has unparalleled wheels for the position. He may not come in right away and light up the league as a rookie; if Atlanta were to have a change of heart and decide to trade Matt Ryan. However, the talent is there for him to be a franchise quarterback.
4) Miami Dolphins(VIA ATL): Devonte Smith WR ALA
I have no qualms with Miami opting to take Smith over Chase here. This is primarily because of the comfortability factor with the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner reuniting with his former college quarterback, at just 175 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from having the best season we have ever recorded the position.
He is fresh off shattering the record for the highest single-season receiving grade by a wide receiver with a 95.6 mark. Smith has it all, from his releases to his ball skills to his route-running to his after-the-catch ability, and he has been virtually impossible to cover in 2020. Ignore the number on the weight scale and look at how talented of a player he is. Smith is the real deal.
5) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
I have some strong disagreements about taking Penei Sewell with the fifth overall pick no matter what. It’s not because I don’t think that Penei Sewell will succeed at the next level, but instead because I believe that Chase’s ceiling is HIGH!
The former LSU receiver opted out of the 2020 season but was dominant alongside Burrow and Justin Jefferson in 2019. Chase and Burrow teamed up for more deep catches (24) and touchdowns (14) than any other QB-WR connection in the PFF College era in their championship run in 2019
6) Philadelphia Eagles: Micah Parsons LB Penn State
The defense was brutal across the board in 2020, and adding Parsons — the best off-ball linebacker prospect since Luke Kuechly — would undoubtedly help the team get that side of the ball out of the liability tier. Parsons opted out of the 2020 season and didn’t play a down all year, but he was the highest-graded player at the position (91.6) the year prior.
He shined in nearly every facet with a 94.8 run-defense grade, 26 pressures on 94 rushes, and just six missed tackles on 111 attempts. The only knock is the subpar ball production (four pass breakups in two years). Still, the combination of power, explosiveness, and overall athleticism for human size, along with the standout tackling, blitzing prowess, and instinctual play, makes him a rare prospect.
7) Detroit Lions: Peni Sewell T Oregon
First things first, the chances of Sewell falling this far are slim. Sewell recorded a 95.8 PFF grade in 2019, which still stands as the highest-graded season by a Power 5 tackle since 2014. At 6-foot-6, 325-pounds, it’s quite impressive watching Sewell move in space — the overall athleticism is off the charts. He earned a 95.7 grade as a run-blocker in 2019 and was also nearly perfect in pass protection, allowing just seven pressures on 491 snaps.
8) Carolina Panthers: Kyle Pitts TE Florida
Tight End is an area of considerable need for the Panthers. Greg Olsen parted ways with the organization during the free agency period last year and has subsequently retired. To say Ian Thomas failed to secure the No. 1 role long-term would be something of an understatement.
Carolina is left with no other alternative than to explore different options this offseason. Kyle Pitts speed, athleticism, and pure talent, it’s no question if he’s here Carolina Grabs him.
9) Denver Broncos: Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
Lance is a high-risk but high-reward prospect to commence that rebuild with. Simply put, Lance’s physical tools are bananas. He’s got a rocket for an arm and has elite athleticism that adds a lot of value to the ground game. But at the same time, he is glaringly inaccurate.
Lance played in just one game this year, as COVID-19 caused the FCS to postpone its season. In that showcase game, we saw the same traits from 2019: incredible mobility but glaring inaccuracy. He carried the ball 15 times (13 designed, two scrambles) and put up six explosive runs of 10-plus yards, forcing nine broken tackles along the way. However, just 28.6% of Lance’s passes were deemed accurate in the outing.
10) Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain CB Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys NEED HELP ON DEFENSE(CB,SS,FS,DE). Last year snatching Trevon Diggs in the second round helped a little, but… with the 8th pick, the Cowboys will draft Surtain. He combines prototypical size, good ball skills, and an ability to create turnovers in various ways to rank as THE best cornerbacks in the class.