Just For Kicks: 2021 Mock Draft

May 4 -- The NFL Draft just ended and popular opinion is that it is much too early for 2017 mock drafts, but yet, we're all crazy and want to see them anyway. So in the spirit of craziness, we do our best to predict what will happen in 2021, when current high school juniors and seniors are eligible...

Some disclaimers:

- This isn't that serious. This is mostly for fun and while we did our best to project where some players will sign and which two and three-stars will be the next Carson Wentz, those are complete shots in the dark, so realize this piece is done for entertainment purposes.

- The guesses on where kids will go, in the case of 2018 kids, are two years out, so they are not all picks we're confident on, but they're our best guesses at this point.

 - We realize that many of the 2017 kids will leave early and truly, this draft will be full of 2018 kids, but for the sake of the piece, we only put in a few 2018 kids.

*Denotes a school the player is not yet committed to:

1. NEW YORK JETS - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Tennessee*
11 of the last 15 top overall selections in the draft have been quarterbacks. Of those 11, only three played out their eligibility, so odds are high this will be an underclassman quarterback and Lawrence is the best of the bunch right now. The Jets drafted Christian Hackenberg this year, a selection many consider a boom or bust, so projecting four years ahead, we should know by then if they'll need another quarterback or not.

2. DETROIT LIONS - Foster Sarell, OT, Stanford*
Stanford has done a good job of putting players in the NFL, but notably offensive linemen like David DeCastro, Andrus Peat and this year, Josh Garnett, who all went in the 1st Round. Sarell, currently our No. 1 tackle in the country, has not yet committed, but they are one of his top choices. Offensive tackles are usually drafted pretty high, so we'll put him in here at No. 2 to the Lions.

3. CLEVELAND BROWNS - Austin Jackson, OT, USC*
Usually, more than one offensive tackle goes in the top ten, and Jackson, lean, athletic young man right now, with just the kind of body type to fill out into a great college player and high draft choice. He has a lot of schools recruiting him now and doesn't have any leanings, but his family ties to the Trojans.

4. ST. LOUIS RAMS - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (BRO Editor's Note: UCLA*)
Running back had not been going as high of late, but then Todd Gurley went in the top ten last year and Ezekiel Elliott went exactly in this spot this year. Harris is the nation's top overall prospect on Scout and a thoroughbred with size and speed.

Najee Harris (left) and Darnay Holmes

5. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Stanford Samuels III, CB, Florida State*
Samuels is the top cornerback prospect in the country and has the size that colleges and NFL teams covet. His father played in college and briefly in the NFL, plus he's from the state of Florida, a place that produces more 1st Round picks than anyone else and a lot of high defensive back picks. Four 1st Round DBs from Florida (Vernon Hargreaves, Karl Joseph, Keanu Neal and Artie Burns) were chosen in the 2016 draft.

Moses is described as a fast, quick-twitch prospect who could play on Sundays on either side of the ball. He is listed as an athlete on Scout, but here, we'll project him to linebacker, where his ability to run to the ball and play in space makes him a valuable asset.

7. CHICAGO BEARS - Micah Parsons, DE, Penn State
Parsons is one of the early top prospects in the 2018 class, with explosiveness off the edge and pass rush ability that could make this projection a reality one day. The Bears have chosen a player from the Big Ten in each of the last four drafts, and they've always been an organization built on defense.

8. DENVER BRONCOS - Dylan McCaffrey, QB, Michigan
It makes too much sense. John Elway tabs the son of his former target Ed McCaffrey to be the leader of his team after McCaffrey is done playing for Jim Harbaugh.

9. BUFFALO BILLS - Tyreke Johnson, CB, Alabama*
For a cold-weather team, the Bills sure love the South. Their recent 1st Round picks have come from Clemson, Florida State, South Carolina and Alabama, and they keep it going here with Johnson who is likely to commit to a Southern school and has great size and athleticism.

10. NEW YORK GIANTS - DeAngelo Gibbs, S, Tennessee*
Gibbs is one of the finest overall athletes in the country and could play multiple positions at the next level. We'll project him as a defensive back and to the Tennessee Volunteers. The Giants went DB at 10th overall this year (Eli Apple) and we see history repeating in a couple years.

11. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Joseph Lewis, WR, USC*
Lewis tops the wide receiver rankings right now and has a big body and a lot of tools. He's wide-open in his recruitment, but if he chooses the home-state Trojans, they've done well with putting receivers in the pros recently with Nelson Agholor, Robert Woods, Marquise Lee and Juju Smith still to come.

12. HOUSTON TEXANS - Calvin Ashley, OT, Auburn
Ashley has tremendous upside and could end up as a top prospect in a few years with his size, length and athleticism. He isn't ranked quite as high as a recruit right now because of his rawness, but after a couple years of college, he certainly has the tools to be a high-end draft prospect. 

13. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Marvin Wilson, DT, LSU*
Wilson hasn't chosen LSU yet, but they are one of his primary contenders. The Buccaneers have gone with defensive linemen high before, including fan-favorite Booger MacFarland, who also came from LSU.

The Cards may have to look quarterback before 2021, but if they're still in the market for one by then, Corral, a polished kid, may be on the board. There is typically at least one west coast quarterback high in the draft each year.

15. BALTIMORE RAVENS - Devon Hunter, S, Clemson
The Ravens love defense and Hunter is a big, athletic kid who is listed as an athlete, but could be a whale of a safety with his skill set.

16. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Zamir White, RB, Georgia*
White is the top running back in the country in the 2018 class right now and his size and speed gives him a great chance to play beyond college.

17. MIAMI DOLPHINS - Leighton Alley, QB, Southern Miss*
What do Paxton Lynch and Blake Bortles have in common? Big quarterbacks from Florida who were lightly recruited and went in the 1st Round. If that pattern holds true, could Alley, who currently only has three offers, end up being the surprise at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds?

18. ATLANTA FALCONS - A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Playing multiple sports and playing them well is usually a good indicator of being a high draft choice and Epenesa is a very good basketball player and thrower in track and field as well as a disruptive defensive end on the field. Already committed to Iowa, he's a player Hawkeye fans are very excited about.

19. TENNESSEE TITANS - Josh Myers, OT, Ohio State
The Titans seem to love the Big Ten and in particular, offensive linemen from the conference as their bookends will be Taylor Lewan (Michigan) and Jack Conklin (Michigan State) this year. Myers is the top rated offensive lineman going to the conference in the 2017 class and we know the Buckeyes know a thing or two about putting players in the pros.

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Justin Mascoll, OLB/DE, Georgia*
The state of Georgia has produced many 1st Round picks over the years and the Steelers have taken two as rush backers lately, Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree. Mascoll could grow into a full time DE, but right now, has the leanness and edge rushing skill to possibly be a stand-up guy and sometimes rushes from a two-point in high school.

21. OAKLAND RAIDERS - Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Florida*
Here's the thing, I really don't know where he's going to go. It could be Michigan or Michigan State or Ohio State or Tennessee or the Gators or even somebody else. Here's what I do know though - the nickname "Freak" is appropriate for him and we know Al Davis loves deep threats.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Jarques McClellion, CB, Michigan State*
Michigan State turned 2-star Darqueze Dennard and 3-star Trae Waynes into 1st Round picks. We think they lead for McClellion, who has a 6'1 frame and length and could be the next Spartan to go from lightly known recruit to NFL pick.

Holmes is a fantastic athlete who is still open in his recruitment, but our Brandon Huffman thinks the Bruins have an edge. In the last six years, UCLA has put nine players in the 1st two rounds of the draft, and should they land Holmes, he has the talent to keep it going.

24. DALLAS COWBOYS - Jeffrey Okudah, S, Ohio State*
The Buckeyes could be stealing Okudah out of Texas, but then we see him going back home to the Cowboys, who just took a Buckeye this year in Ezekiel Elliott. 

25. GREEN BAY PACKERS - Baron Browning, ILB, TCU*
Our Midlands analysts feel Browning has a ton of NFL upside and while he hasn't committed there yet, the Horned Frogs are one of his top choices and they have put 17 players into the pros since 2011.

26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Nick Petit-Frere, OT, Florida*
This is a projection, but Petit-Frere, a 2018 prospect, has a great frame with long arms and is a great athlete. The Jaguars keep him in Florida, his home-state.

27. CINCINNATI BENGALS - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson*
Higgins hasn't chosen Clemson yet, but if he does, that's a place that seems to produce a lot of wide receivers. He's a tall, fast kid who be another A.J. Green for the Bengals. A.J. will have been in the league for ten years by this point.

28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Tyrell Shavers, WR, Texas A&M*
The Aggies have put a lot of players into the pros of late as well, and if they get Shavers, they get a 6-foot-6 wide receiver with sub-4.4 speed. The Patriots would be looking to add a weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo, who I'm assuming will be their quarterback by then.

29. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - Kedrick James, TE, Baylor
Here's an interesting fact: Baylor has put more players in the pros since 2011 than Texas or Texas A&M. James is not their highest ranked commit, but this is the area of the draft when tight ends start to go.

30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Blaise Andries, OT, Minnesota
The Midwest always sneaks some linemen into end of the 1st Round. Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, Laken Tomlinson, Ryan Kelly, etc., etc. The Gophers have had eight players drafted in three years and their two highest choices, Maxx Williams and Ra'Shede Hageman were both home-grown in-state kids, so we'll project Andries to go be a Gopher then stay at home and be a Viking.

31. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Tedarrell Slaton, OG, Miami (Fla.)*
Slaton is one of the top prospects in the country, but being an inside guy, he's not likely to go as high as some of the tackles. The Colts just drafted an interior lineman in Ryan Kelly, and Slaton has the size and strength to play at the next level.

32. CAROLINA PANTHERS - Wyatt Davis, OG, Alabama*
I could see Cam Newton going to another Super Bowl or two, but by this point in his career, he may not want to run around as much as he does now, so the Panthers grab an offensive line prospect to help his longevity. Davis is a five-star and one of the top ranked guards in the country. Guards typically don't go as high, which is why he's here. He has not yet chosen Alabama, but they are a threat to steal him from the West Coast.


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