2021 NFL Draft: Las Vegas Raiders fill void on offense in full first-round mock
The Jacksonville Jaguars kick us off with a player that has been projected as the number one pick in the draft since his true freshman season at Clemson. Many believed that Lawrence would have been taken first overall after that year if he was able to declare for the draft and the next two seasons would just be a formality.
Lawrence has all of the tools and looks to be the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck was taken first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. Let’s hope the Jaguars do a better job of protecting Lawrence than the Colts did Luck and that he sticks around in the NFL for a lot longer than his AFC South predecessor.
Zach Wilson had himself a legendary final season in college, racking up 3,692 yards passing, 33 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions, and tacked on 254 yards rushing and 10 rushing touchdowns in 12 games. Wilson helped lead the BYU Cougars to an 11-1 record and catapulted his name to the top of the QB prospect leaderboard.
The former Cougar has good size at 6’3″, 210lbs, and is the type of athlete that NFL teams are looking for at the QB position these days. There are concerns about him being a flash in the pan because his production jumped exponentially from 2019 to 2020 but that could also be him taking a big step in his development.
The Jets will be hoping that he works out better than the last QB they took in the top 5, the recently traded Sam Darnold.
The 49ers trade one small school QB in Jimmy Garoppolo for another in Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. Lance is one of the more intriguing QB prospects in recent memory because of how little we have seen of him at the NCAA level.
Lance started 14 games in 2019 and lead the Bison to a 14-0 record on their way to the FCS National Championship. He put up some remarkable numbers with 2,491 yards passing, 28 touchdowns to 0 interceptions, and rushed for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is the consummate dual-threat QB and could do some serious damage in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
The majority of reports have suggested that the 49ers are taking Mac Jones with the 3rd pick but this mock prefers the far more athletic Lance at this spot. We will have to wait and see what happens come draft night!
Atlanta gets their QB of the future in Justin Fields out of Ohio State who just lit up the college stage with an electrifying, albeit brief, 2020 season. Fields’ stock was never higher than after Ohio State’s victory over Clemson in the CFP Semifinal and he has built on that with an incredible pro day performance that saw him run a 4.4 40 yard dash.
Fields is an athletic marvel with the speed of a running back but the accuracy and arm of a top-tier QB. He accounted for nearly 2,500 yards and 27 touchdowns in just 8 games in 2020 and has all the makings of a mobile QB that can still make all of the throws. Atlanta still has Matt Ryan on the hook for a few more seasons but having Fields as their QB of the future presents an excellent transition to the next era of Falcons football.
The Cincinnati Bengals got their QB of the future in 2020 in Joe Burrow but unfortunately for him, they did not put much of an offensive line in front of him. Burrow was sacked 32 times in 10 games and ended up missing the final stretch of the season due to a knee injury that occurred on, you guessed it, a play where he was sacked.
In comes Penei Sewell from Oregon who projects as a day one starter and could either overtake former first-round pick, Jonah Williams, at LT or slide inside to play OG until newly acquired RT Riley Reiff hangs them up. The Bengals have plenty of weapons on offense but they need to protect their former Heisman Trophy winner and keep him healthy for the long haul. Drafting Sewell is another great step towards doing that.