As the 2021 NFL draft approaches, football analysts are busy putting together their mock drafts, predictions, trades, and analyzing the best destination for the most prolific college players. Below are some quick hits for what to expect in the draft, in addition to some long shot / hopeful predictions.
- The first pick in the 2021 NFL draft is the only thing we can be certain of. Urban Meyer and the Jaguars will draft Trevor Lawrence, the most complete QB to come out of college since Andrew Luck.
- The WR position is talented and deep, with 7 Wide Receivers projected to be drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.
- Kyle Pitts has been shooting up mock draft boards for a while and should be a top 8 pick, but could go as early as 4. Kyle Pitts averaged 7.3 yards after the catch per reception last season at Florida, and his 83 3/8 inch wingspan is the largest of any WR/TE in the past 20 years.
- Five Quarterbacks will likely be drafted in the first round, but the exact order of 2-5 is anybody’s guess. We may see as few as 1 RB drafted in the first round (Najee Harris). How far could Travis Etienne fall?
Najee Harris to the Cardinals: Najee Harris is being undervalued in most mock drafts but will provide an immediate and impactful boost to any running game. If he were to fall to the Cardinals at pick 16, we’d be in for a lot of fun in 2021. Najee Harris teaming up with Kyler Murray, Deandre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and AJ Green would be pure entertainment. Keep in mind, no only is Harris a dynamic runner, but he’s also an extremely talented pass catcher, giving Murray and the already explosive Cardinals offense another way to attack teams.
Ja’Marr Chase Teams up with Joe Burrow: Our favorite long shot is seeing Ja’Marr Chase get drafted by the Bengals with the 5th overall pick. Most football analysts would agree that the offensive line for the Bengals needs to be improved. Remember, Joe Burrow was sacked a total of 32 times in 10 games, including 8 times vs the Eagles on Sept 27! Keeping Burrow healthy should be a major priority of the Bengals in the 2021 NFL draft. But how fun would it be to see Joe Burrow throw to Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins for the next decade?! Teams don’t often get a chance to draft a dominant WR1, and the Bengals shouldn’t pass if they get a chance. The way-too-early bold prediction from Kyle Bombardier at 360 Fantasy Football Draft Boards (fantasyfootballdraftboard.net) is that Ja’Marr Chase will finish as the 2021 NFL ROY and a top 5 fantasy WR.
Patriots Trade Up for Justin Fields: Another long shot would be for the Patriots trade up and grab Justin Fields. The range of outcomes for Justin Fields is quite significant. Todd McShay has Fields ranked as the 5th best QB (Source: ESPN), while others have Fields projected as the 2nd overall pick to the Jets (Source: PFF). With Cam Newton signing a 1-year contract, the Patriots are likely looking for a long-term solution in the 2021 NFL Draft. Justin Fields under center for a Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick offense would be something else.
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