Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
BY BRENDAN DONAHUE (@donnycasino)
Updated: Sunday, April 11th
So last week, I added some betting lines (via DraftKings) and will do that again this week and continue to do so going forward.
Part of having an accurate mock draft is being able to read the tea leaves and one way of doing that is to "follow the money."
After the Sam Darnold trade, we do have some rather large line movements that I will note below. If you want to see what I think a team needs or more description of a particular player, you can find those aspects addressed in the previous iterations.
Note: Previous iterations of this mock draft can be viewed here:
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 4.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
Listed at -10,000, the biggest lock on the board.
MORE: This is the first No. 1 pick in Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Draft History
Here's where we saw a huge move in odds after the Sam Darnold trade since it all but ensured that the Jets will be staying put and taking a QB at No. 2. Wilson saw his odds move from - 500 to -2,000 and will be the pick at No. 2.
Another rather large line movement as the talk grows louder around Jones being the guy Shanahan wants at No. 3. Just a week ago, he was still basically a coin flip with Justin Fields and Trey Lance, but Jones is now the clear favorite at -305.
If you think Fields or Lance are still in play here, then you are getting great value at Fields +250 and Lance +400. But I am going with Jones as I don't see the need for the 49ers to play coy with whom they are selecting here since they aren't going to trade out of this slot.
Another sign that Fields or Lance don't believe that they are the pick here at the moment is that they both have now scheduled another pro day, which wouldn't make sense if they were already told they were the 49ers guy.
I've said every week that I believe a QB is going at pick No. 4, but now I only believe that if Atlanta trades out of this spot. The fact that they are open to trade it tells me they aren't sold on a QB here, so instead they take the best player available on many boards in Kyle Pitts. Pitts is +150 to be the first non-QB selected and is -125 under 5.5 draft position.
For the first time, I am keeping my pick to the Bengals the same in consecutive weeks. Sewell is the co-favorite with PItts at +150 to be the first non-QB drafted, which has improved from last week when he was +200 and Pitts was +125.
As I said last week with Miami trading back up to No. 6 this early in the draft process, they must be confident that one of the guys they would have taken at No. 3 will be there at No. 6. I don't think they can be very confident that Penei Sewell will be there so they must have been thinking of an offensive skill player to give Tua Tagovailoa another weapon to build around. Chase is -400 to be the first WR selected, which I actually think still presents value. That suggests an 80% probability, but if you listen to the reports, there isn't a team out there that doesn't have him as WR1 on their draft board so it seems the odds are much closer to 100%.
Projected trade: The first trade of all my mocks! The Patriots have arguably been the most aggressive team this offseason so they continue to push all their chips into the middle and grab their next franchise QB in Justin Fields. Fields has a draft position over/under set at 4.5 as Atlanta is an obvious spot for a team to trade up to take him. With Carolina acquiring Sam Darnold, teams may not have as much competition nor feel the need to move up that high so if Atlanta stays at 4, Fields over 4.5 -130 seems like a safe bet.
I'm not sure what it says about the QBs in this draft outside of the top two that the Panthers had an obvious need there and decided instead to go with Sam Darnold, but I think it's safe to say they will no longer be drafting one here. Instead, they give their new QB some better protection on the offensive line with Slater, who some scouts have as the best tackle available in the draft ahead of Sewell. Slater is currently +315 to be the first offensive lineman selected so that could present some value depending on which team(s) have him first. As they say, it only takes one.
Denver now finds themselves in a better spot where they don't necessarily have to trade up to get one of the top 5 QBs and I expect them to take whichever one falls to them and in this case, it's Trey Lance. Denver is currently listed as the favorite to draft Lance at +300 and his over/under is 6.5 with the over at -112.
The streak continues as Surtain is the only other player in the top 10 outside of Lawrence and Wilson that I've had in the same spot every mock as this pick makes too much sense when you factor in talent, need and fit. Surtain is the co-favorite with Micah Parsons to be the first defensive player taken at +150, but his odds to be the first CB drafted have gone from -305 to -250 in the past week.
With the top two offensive tackles off the board, the Giants instead give Daniel Jones another weapon. Smith has a draft position over/under at 11.5 with the under at -121, which suggests this is exactly the range he is expected to go.
In this scenario, the Eagles no longer have their pick between former teammates of Jalen Hurts, but are still able to get one of them here after trading back from No. 6. And just like his former teammate DeVonta Smith, Waddle has an over/under set at 11.5 but his under is +101.
Darrisaw is listed as the third favorite to be the first offensive lineman selected this year, which is the good news for him. The bad news is that he is +3300 so I wouldn't say it's very likely, but he should still hear his name called in the top half of the draft.
Paye is the favorite to be the first defensive lineman selected at -110 and fills an obvious need for the Vikings.
Projected trade: After trading out of the top 10 to pick up additional draft capital, the Lions are still able to acquire who many consider to be a top-10 talent in Parsons. As noted before, he is a co-favorite to be the first defensive player taken at +150, but I could see him slipping a bit because of character concerns. So I would be looking at his draft position over/under of 11.5 and lean the over at -112.
Horn has seen his odds drop from +300 to +200 in the last week to be the first CB selected as he is certainly in the conversation earlier in the draft and the Cardinals will consider themselves lucky for him to still be available here.
Continue to 2021 NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Picks 17-32
Also, check out Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock DraftMock Draft Databases:
- 2022 NFL Mock Draft
- 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- 2021 NBA Mock Draft
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- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)