Om’s 2021 NFL Draft Predictions

The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland this year on Thursday, April 29th. Let's see how accurate Om's predictions are.

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The 2021 NFL Draft will be held in Cleveland this year on Thursday, April 29th. Let’s see how accurate Om’s predictions are.

Introduction from Mrs. Shattuck, Editor of The DiRectoryRectory eighth-grader, Om B., is a budding sportswriter! Om has been writing sports articles for an online sports blog for quite some time; we are so proud of his success that we naturally wanted to showcase his professional articles in The DiRectory. This is the first of Om’s articles that we are posting in our school newspaper, and it is being published just-in-time, as the NFL Draft for 2021 is just days away. We know you’ll enjoy reading Om’s NFL Draft predictions, but I need to inform you that, due to copyright issues, we were not able to include several photos of the players Om has chosen as his top 32 draft picks. These photos definitely would have enhanced Om’s article, but, as a student newspaper, we realize that we need to abide by copyright laws. We thank our readers and Om for your understanding of this decision… We will be publishing more sports articles by Om very soon, so stay tuned!

Om’s 2021 NFL Draft Predictions

The NFL Draft is coming up this week (Thursday, April 29th), so I decided to get into the mock draft action. Here is what I think the first round could look like.

Pick 1 – Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB – Clemson

Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (TigerNet.com/flickr.com)

Come on. Do I need to explain this? Lawrence is the best QB to come out of college since Andrew Luck. “Tank for Trevor” worked, Duval.

NFL Comparison – Andrew Luck

Pick 2 – Jets – Zack Wilson, QB – BYU

The Jets are high on Wilson’s ability to make plays like another Wilson (Russell). He has a big arm, mobility, and the perfect mentality to play in the NFL. If the Jets don’t mess his career up, then he could become the best QB in the league.

NFL Comparison – Patrick Mahomes

Pick 3 – 49ers – Trey Lance, QB – NDSU

The Kyle Shanahan system is an easy system for a QB. Lance has raw playmaking abilities and would fit in well with the rest of the team. The Niners are a QB away from the Super Bowl, and all Lance would have to do is be a quality game manager and make plays when need be.

NFL Comparison – Russell Wilson

Pick 4 – Panthers – Justin Fields, QB – Ohio State

*Trade* Panthers receive: Pick 4 – Falcons receive: Picks 8, 73, 193, 226, and CAR 2022 1st, 4th, and 7th.

A rare in-division trade. The Falcons don’t need a QB yet, as Matt Ryan is still a high-end signal-caller, and there is no Chase Young-type defender in the draft, so Fields isn’t an option. The Panthers, on the other hand, want him, as he is a master at creating game-breaking plays. They are wasting Robby Anderson and DJ Moore. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t a savior. Fields brings intrigue and a good arm to the NFL level. The presence of Christian McCaffrey aids his development, as well.

NFL Comparison – Deshaun Watson

Pick 5 – Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT – Oregon

Joe Burrow’s season ended in the pocket. So why not draft the best tackle in the draft to give him more protection? Sewell opted out of 2020, but before that, he was able to keep Justin Herbert clean. Bengals’ fans love this pick.

NFL Comparison – Mitchell Schwartz

Pick 6 – Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, WR – LSU

Trade back and get the best WR in the class! Sign me up, says Brian Flores! Chase is better than Justin Jefferson, last season’s best rookie wideout. Tua gets a much-needed number-one guy.

NFL Comparison – Stefon Diggs

Pick 7 – Lions – Devonta Smith, WR – Alabama

Losing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency diminishes the number of weapons for Jared Goff. Enter the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner. Smith can do it all and will instantly become the top dog for Detroit.

NFL Comparison – Davante Adams

Pick 8 – Patriots – Jaylen Waddle, WR – Alabama

*Trade* Patriots receive: Pick 8 – Falcons receive: Picks 15, 120, 177, 242, and NE 2022 1st.

The Patriots miss out on a QB. But if the QB has nobody to throw to, how will he succeed? I know that they added Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne, but the final two aren’t go-to-guys. Waddle is arguably better than Devonta Smith and can burn the top off of defenses. Cam Newton is smiling right now.

NFL Comparison – Tyreek Hill

Pick 9 – Broncos – Patrick Surtain II, CB – Alabama

The Broncos secondary is old and needs fresh blood. Surtain is the best cover guy in the draft. Pairing him up with ball hawk safety Justin Simmons is what every Denver fan wants.

Pick 10 – Cowboys – Rashawn Slater, OT – Northwestern

The Cowboys’ line is old and needs a Tyron Smith replacement fast. Slater is the best tackle in the draft, outside of Sewell. Letting him sit one season, and then unleashing him in year two is what Dallas should do.

NFL Comparison – Stephon Gilmore

Pick 11 – Giants – Kyle Pitts, TE – Florida

New York doesn’t need another TE, but the NFL has never seen a guy like Pitts. He’s as big as Gronk, hands like Kittle, and as fast as a wide receiver. The Giants are building up a great offense, with Saquon, Kenny Golladay, and now Pitts.

NFL Comparison – There is none. He’s just that special.

Pick 12 – Eagles – Jaycee Horn, CB – South Carolina

Darius Slay needs help behind him. Horn is a perfect match with the Eagles. He doesn’t have to be the top cover man and can learn from Slay, who is a versatile DB. In 2-3 years, the two could be the next most-feared duo.

NFL Comparison – Byron Jones

Pick 13 – Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, OT – Va. Tech

This pick is all about protecting Herbert. While Justin would love to have his former teammate, Sewell, protecting him, Darrisaw isn’t a slouch. He is 6’5” 313 lbs, which makes him a beautiful blindside protector. He can learn from veteran Byran Bulaga, and the two can anchor the line.

NFL Comparison – David Bakhtiari

Pick 14 – Vikings – Micah Parsons, LB – Penn State

While a cornerback is in play here, Parsons is the mold for the next linebacker in the NFL. He can play on the edge, and in coverage. He can stop runs. He can pick passes, and force fumbles. Parenting him up with Eric Kendricks is every defensive coordinator’s dream.

NFL Comparison – Devin White

Pick 15 – Falcons – Azeez Ojuleri, EDGE – Georgia

Atlanta needs help on the edge really badly. The Takk Mckinley experiment went south, and now they are looking for some help. Ojuleri is arguably the best pass-rusher in the class, and can innately help. He is violent, can plug runs, and get to the passer, the way an EDGE rusher has to these days.

NFL Comparison – Jadeveon Clowney

Pick 16 – Cardinals – Greg Newsome II, CB – Northwestern

With Caleb Farley rehabbing from back surgery, and Arizona needing help here fast, they go with the Northwestern Pro-Day darling Newsome. His draft stock has been rising, due to a great Pro-Day. He can deliver some help in a rebuild secondary.

NFL Comparison – JC Jackson

Pick 17 – Raiders – Christian Barmore, DT – Alabama

Yep, another Alabama prospect. Las Vegas’ defense is horrible, and they need help on the interior of the defensive line. Why not draft the best guy at that position? Barmore is a monster, to say the least. He wreaks havoc and would fit well with Maxx Crosby on the defensive line.

NFL Comparison – Jonathan Allen

Pick 18 – Dolphins – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG – USC

Tua needs more protection, as the Isaiah Wilson trade didn’t work at all. Vera-Tucker has the unique ability to play at both guards and center, occasionally. The Fins’ line is coming to form.

NFL Comparison – Joe Thuney

Pick 19 – Washington Football Team (WFT) – Mac Jones, QB – Alabama

With the signing of Curtis Samuel, WR is no longer in play here. The WFT is a quarterback away from success, so why not draft the best one available? He can learn behind Ryan Fitzmagic and could become a solid starter.

NFL Comparison – Ryan Tannehill

Pick 20 – Bears – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB – Notre Dame

The Bears could go so many ways with this pick. Trade, CB, WR, O-line, etc. But JOK is like Parsons and is very versatile. With Roquan Smith already on board, the linebackers for Chigaco could start challenging the Bucs for best MLB’s.

NFL Comparison – Devin Bush

Pick 21 – Colts – Rashod Bateman, WR – Minnesota

Parris Campbell is a bust. T.Y. Hilton is old. Carson Wentz would benefit from the drafting of Bateman, as it would give him another young weapon alongside Michael Pittman, Jr., and running backs Johnathan Taylor, Marlon Mack, and Nyheim Hines.

NFL Comparison – AJ Brown

Pick 22 – Titans – Caleb Farley, CB – Va. Tech

If Tennessee is getting the pre-back injury Farley, then this is a huge steal. Farley is arguably the best CB in the draft. He would help the Titans leaky secondary in an instant. (He does have to get healthy first.)

NFL Comparison – Xaiven Howard

Pick 23 – Jets – Travis Etienne, RB – Clemson

Travis Etienne, Clemson (commons.wikimedia.org)

Etienne is a dazzling playmaker with the ball in his hands. Najee Harris is an option here, but Travis is just more of a two-way threat. Etienne in the backfield gives New York the ability to finally run the ball well.

NFL Comparison – Alvin Kamara

Pick 24 – Steelers – Najee Harris, RB – Alabama

When you think of Steelers’ running backs you think Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Le’Veon Bell. All are big, strong, powerful runners, with Bell being able to catch the ball well. Harris is all three combined. He can carry the Steelers’ offense and make them look good. (They are average.)

NFL Comparison – Derrick Henry, with better hands

Pick 25 – Jaguars – Kwity Paye, EDGE – Michigan

The Jags do have Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, but Paye is a darn good player as well. They can shift Allen inside, and recreate the sack in Sacksonville.

NFL Comparison – Chase Winovich

Pick 26 – Browns – Jamin Davis, LB – Kentucky

The Browns can go a number of ways here, but with some weakness at middle linebacker, they solve it right here. Davis doesn’t have to be a star, just a good solid player, who can help the team win ballgames.

NFL Comparison – Rashaan Evans

Pick 27 – Ravens – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE – Miami

Losing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakuoe hurt big time. Rousseau, despite only playing one full season of college ball, is the perfect guy for them. He won’t get double-teamed and will be able to rush the passer and help stop runs on the outside.

NFL Comparison – A less explosive Chase Young

Pick 28 – Saints – Terrace Marshall, WR – LSU

The Saints have been trying to find a Robin for their Batman, Michael Thomas. Marshall is the perfect guy for the job. He was behind Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson during LSU’s title run and was still able to get 671 receiving yards.

NFL Comparison – DK Metcalf

Pick 29 – Packers – Kadarius Toney, WR – Florida

Like New Orleans, Green Bay has been trying to find a sidekick for their superhero, Davante Adams. Toney fits the bill for this job, as he was Kyle Trask’s second option at Florida, behind Kyle Pitts. Toney can spread the field and burn the top off of defenses, exactly what Aaron Rodgers wants.

NFL Comparison – A faster Keenan Allen

Pick 30 – Bills – Joseph Ossai, EDGE – Texas

Buffalo could go with a WR here to address “no depth” behind Stefon Diggs, but their EDGE rushers are getting up there age-wise, so why not build for the future? Ossai is a great outside rusher who can disrupt the QB from any angle of pursuit.

NFL Comparison – Montez Sweat

Pick 31 – Chiefs – Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB – Syracuse

The offensive line is also a big priority, but the KC secondary was getting roasted like a Thanksgiving turkey in the Super Bowl, so help is needed. L’Jarius Sneed is a good player, but behind him, there isn’t much. Melifonwu is a solid cover guy, capable of playing both zone and man-to-man well. He has the potential to become a traveling cornerback (where a DB follows one single WR the whole game).

NFL Comparison – Malcolm Butler

Pick 32 – Buccaneers – Pat Freiermuth, TE – Penn State

The Bucs are year-to-year with Gronk, and he isn’t the same guy catching the football. OJ Howard is coming off a torn Achilles and will be a free agent after 2021. Cameron Brate is old and overpaid. Freiermuth is a bit of a reach, but he is worth the risk for this team. He is 6’5” 260 lbs, the perfect Tom Brady tight end.

NFL Comparison – Hunter Henry

This is what I think the first round may look like. Thanks for reading!