2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
BY KEVIN HANSON (@EDSFootball)
Updated: Friday, January 15th
NFL Mock Draft - Round 1 (continued)
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Daviyon Nixon, IDL, Iowa
Although a bit undersized as a linebacker, Uwusu-Koramoah is a defensive playmaker that would offer Brian Flores and Josh Boyer plenty of versatility. An explosive athlete with outstanding coverage range, Uwusu-Koramoah has led the Irish in tackles for loss in back-to-back seasons with 24.5 TFL total to go along with five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, an interception and seven sacks over that span.
Darrisaw, a three-year starter, has continued to improve each season. His athleticism and length will allow him to handle NFL-caliber edge rushers and he's been dominant as a run blocker as well.
Speaking about his options in free agency, receiver Allen Robinson recently said that "everything is pretty much on the table." Although he's not the most explosive receiver in this year's draft class, Bateman is a polished and productive receiver that would provide a boost to the passing attack, especially if the team is unable to re-sign ARob.
While the Colts have one of the NFL's best offensive lines, long-time starting left tackle Anthony Costanzo has recently announced his retirement, which creates a big hole on the line. While Cosmi has experience at both right tackle (2018) and left tackle (2019 and 2020), the athletic tackle prospect can slide in to the vacancy created by Costanzo's departure.
Only the Bengals (17) and Jaguars (18) recorded fewer sacks this season than the Titans (19). Only a redshirt sophomore, Ojulari is an ascending prospect with a chance to go (potentially much) higher than this. Leading the team with 9.5 sacks in 10 games, the 20-year-old edge rusher has three sacks and two forced fumbles in the team's bowl game against the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Whether or not the Jets draft a quarterback near the top of the draft, adding more weapons for whomever is under center is needed. The Jets receivers struggled to stay healthy in 2020, Breshad Perriman is a potential free agent and only the Ravens had a worse passing attack. An outstanding route-runner, Olave exceeded the 100-yard mark in five of his seven games this season and finished 2020 with 50 catches for 729 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Steelers ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards per game (84.4) and while they rank bottom five in rush attempts (373), they also rank last in the league in yards per carry (3.6). Meanwhile James Conner, who is in the final year of his deal, has struggled to stay on the field.
As a two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Etienne surprised many by returning to school in 2020, but he would offer the Steelers a three-down home run threat that has improved as a receiver over the past two seasons.
The Jaguars have allowed opposing offenses to complete 69.4% of their pass attempts, average 8.1 yards per pass attempt and 6.4% TD%, all three of which ranked bottom three in the NFL last season. Horn, son of former Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn, excels in press-man coverage due to his size, physical playing style and a competitive demeanor.
The recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award, the versatile Tulsa defender (6-4, 260) can rush the passer or drop in coverage. Collins had four sacks and four interceptions, which includes two returned for scores, in eight games this season.
One of the team strengths for the Bucs is their ability to get after the quarterback (47 sacks, third in NFL). That said, Shaquil Barrett (eight sacks) is playing this season on the franchise tag and the 32-year-old Jason Pierre-Paul (team-high 9.5 sacks) will enter the final year of his contract in 2021.
Taking an indirect path from being the No. 3 recruit in the 2017 ESPN 300 to a potential first-round pick, Phillips had eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss over 10 games in his first season for the Hurricanes.
Given his elite rushing ability at the position, Lamar Jackson has a rare skill set as a dual-threat quarterback. That said, the Ravens ranked first in the NFL in rushing (191.9 YPG) and last in the NFL in passing (171.2 YPG). One way to improve the passing offense's production is to give Jackson another weapon. With Justin Jefferson off to the NFL (in 2020) and Ja'Marr Chase opting out to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, it was Marshall's turn to shine (before opting out). Marshall (6-4, 200) had 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games this season.
The Saints will have a number of financial decisions to make in the upcoming offseason as no team is projected to be more over the cap than the Saints. Not only could Janoris Jenkins be a cap casualty, but Marshon Lattimore will play under the team's fifth-year option and he seeks a massive contract extension. Over the Cap recently analyzed moves that the team could make to manipulate its cap, which included releasing Jenkins and trading Lattimore. The former five-star recruit has elite prototypical traits (size, length and athleticism) and could develop behind Lattimore and Jenkins if OTC's suggested cap moves don't materialize.
Once again, Josh Allen made tremendous year-over-year strides. In his third season, the strong-armed quarterback shattered career highs across the board -- 69.2% completion rate, 6.5% TD%, 1.7% INT%, 7.9 Y/A and 107.2 passer rating. While he built instant chemistry with Stefon Diggs (career-best 127 catches and 1,535 yards) in their first season together, several of the team's offensive linemen -- guards Jon Feliciano and Brian Winters and right tackle Daryl Williams -- are scheduled to become free agents in 2021. Davis is my top-ranked guard prospect.
Could this be the year that the Packers invest in a first-round receiver? Perhaps, but it wouldn't surprise me if they went with an disruptive interior defender like Barmore. The redshirt sophomore had 9.5 tackles for loss including eight sacks and three forced fumbles in 2020 and played his best football down the stretch. Six of Barmore's sacks came in the final six games of the season.
Moved from left guard (2019) to left tackle to fill the vacancy created by Austin Jackson's NFL departure in 2020, Vera-Tucker offers some positional versatility but will shift back inside at the next level. Three of Kansas City's top six linemen in terms of snaps played in 2020 will be free agents in 2021.
Alijah Vera-Tucker has allowed a QB pressure on less than 2% of pass-blocking snaps at USC pic.twitter.com/cInSkOCc4K— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 28, 2020
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