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2021 NFL Mock Draft: A New NFC East Rises and the Patriots Find Their Quarterback

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With the 2021 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, fan bases of every franchise are filled with hope as their team looks to bolster their roster with fresh, new talent from the college football world. Every team except the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, and Seattle Seahawks have a first-round pick, while the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets have two selections in the top 32 draft slots. I’ll be executing picks 11-21 of my 2021 NFL Mock Draft for you here today, starting with the New York Giants and ending with the Indianapolis Colts.

In this mock draft, I’ll be taking the place of every general manager in the league and throw out their ideologies about how to build a team with them! I’ll evaluate the talent on the roster right now, make a selection based on the depth of the roster and the caliber of player available, and do my best to pair talent with tutelage to make the team more competitive than it is right now.

That being said, not every pick will be a big position of need or a position of need at all! I’m going to make every football team better with the player that presents himself available at that point in the 2021 NFL Draft. So no, there will be no trades in this exercise! Some picks will be harder than others, and I will notate if I think the team could trade the pick, but a pick will be made regardless. I’ll be breaking this down into three segments as we countdown to draft day on April 29th in Cleveland Ohio! I’m excited to dig into the middle of the first round! Let’s continue our 2021 NFL Mock Draft!

Picks 1-10 can be seen here!

Mark’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Selections 11-21

1.11 | New York Giants | Rashawn Slater | T | Northwestern

While Jaylen Waddle is sitting there, it does no use to have weapons when you can’t get the ball to them. I’m taking Rashawn Slater here because I see him as the better version of Alijah Vera-Tucker. With the ability to dominate at 4 positions on the offensive line, he presents a solid upgrade to the protection for Daniel Jones. Some project him as a starting left tackle, and some say he will be the best guard in the draft. We could use either position if we’re going to keep the many pass-rushers of the NFC East at bay.

1.12 | Philadelphia Eagles | Jaylen Waddle | WR | Alabama

Well, we figured out our quarterback issue, so now it’s time to get our guy Jalen Hurts some weapons in this 2021 NFL mock draft. Jaylen Waddle fits the description of “weapon” in almost every sense of the word. Fast, outstanding route-running, pedigree, and well-coached, Waddle will make an incredible impact on the Philadelphia Eagles, along with having rapport from previously playing with Hurts at Alabama. Pairing him with Jalen Reagor out wide with our duo of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at the tight end positions almost forces a mismatch on every play.

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 01: Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide stretches out for a 49-yard reception in the second quarter of the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Camping World Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

1.13 | Los Angeles Chargers | Jaycee Horn | CB | South Carolina

Possible Trade Pick | Potential Suitors: WASH, CHI

The Washington Football Team and the Chicago Bears are both salivating to move up to this spot above Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots to grab their QB of the future, Trey Lance. Most who fill out a 2021 NFL Mock Draft will usually have Horn off the board here. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this trade won’t happen in this scenario. Should this play out as I’ve described in my previous article, this very well could be the first trade that happens on selection night.

This is a pretty tricky pick to make. My top two tackle prospects went off the board, and I feel like Jaycee Horn is too good a player to pass up. A roster spot that’s sorely needed would be filled, along with our overall defense getting an upgrade to the secondary. They will be able to pick up a tackle in the second round or trade back up into the later first-round to get their guy. Michael Davis, I believe, is a rising young star at the position and his name will earn the respect it deserves in these upcoming seasons. If Derwin James can stay healthy this season, the Chargers secondary will be second to none in the league.

1.14 | Minnesota Vikings | Christian Darrisaw | T | Virginia Tech

I could care less if this guy should be taken at 17 or 27, I need a tackle in this draft. If I want to utilize the offensive firepower we have, I’m taking Christian Darrisaw at Pick No. 14. I currently have one left tackle on my roster and this selection would immediately improve our run blocking scheme for Dalvin Cook, in addition to protection for Kirk Cousins. Mike Zimmer needs his offense to carry some of the weight after his defense took a step backward last year. That will definitely be addressed in the second round.

1.15 | New England Patriots | Trey Lance | QB | NDSU

In our wildest dreams, mostly nightmares, have we imagined the Patriots taking a quarterback in the first round of ANY draft until now. Those dreams are now a reality as Trey Lance falls down from the heavens directly into our laps. We never thought he would be there for us at 15 in the 2021 NFL Draft, but having him sit behind the man many have profile comped him to in Cam Newton would be tremendous.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – AUGUST 31: Quarterback Trey Lance #5 of the North Dakota State Bison passes against the Butler Bulldogs during their game at Target Field on August 31, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

1.16 | Arizona Cardinals | Christian Barmore | DT | Alabama

I know we picked up J.J. Watt to bolster the defensive line, and the way this draft has gone, going back to the well will still fill a hole for use on the defense. What I really need is another tight end to open up the underneath passing game for Kyler Murray, but instead of reaching for Pat Freiermuth, I’ll take Christian Barmore to make our defensive line an undeniable strength. Dealing with the rushing attacks of the Seahawks, 49ers, and Rams demand it.

1.17 | Las Vegas Raiders | Trevon Moehrig | S | TCU

Decisions are tough once you get to the middle of the draft. Usually, you’re just hoping for someone to take a tumble in the draft and becoming the so-called “steal”. Luckily for us, the player we need aligns perfectly with our big board at the 17th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Plugging Trevon Moehrig into our secondary gives us the needed talent to cover the receivers in the division, not to mention the mismatch-nightmare tight ends we play against twice a year. We’re going to need it to stay afloat in the arms race that is the AFC West.

NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 23: Wide receiver Charleston Rambo #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners turns a screen pass into a six yard gain against safety Trevon Moehrig #7 of the TCU Horned Frogs in the first quarter on November 23, 2019 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. OU held on to win 28-24. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

1.18 | Miami Dolphins | Alijah Vera-Tucker | OL | USC

Getting better on both sides of the ball, immediately, has to be the goal of this 2021 NFL mock draft. We took care of the middle of our defense for the next 10 years hopefully. Let’s do the same for the left side of our line. Alijah Vera-Tucker projects as the best natural guard in the draft with the ability, as evidenced last season, to be a top-quality left tackle as well. Versatility is key on the line as injuries usually work their way around the team. Getting another stud added to the front will help Tua Tagovailoa immensely.

1.19 | Washington Football Team | Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | LB | Notre Dame

We couldn’t get a trade done to move on up for the quarterback of the future, so now I’m just going to take it out on my division. Picking Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah gives me a queen in the middle of the chessboard on defense. He’s an outstanding downhill player with the speed and athleticism to cover well down the field. With our front four a juggernaut, taking away even more options on the field is the nightmare scenario I’ve been dreaming of for our opponent’s offenses.

1.20 | Chicago Bears | Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech

We couldn’t hang onto Kyle Fuller, but boy did we nab his replacement! Caleb Farley opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns and was still the consensus top cornerback pick until he had remedial back surgery about one month ago. He wasn’t injured in the off-season and had a herniated disc cleaned up in his back. If anything, I feel like we’re getting a fresh clean player with all the tape and talent in the world to make a difference immediately for our football team.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 05: Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with teammates against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

1.21 | Indianapolis Colts | Kwity Paye DE/OLB Michigan

Possible Trade Pick | Potential Suitors: JAX, BAL, BUF, KC

I can see either the Jaguars or the Kansas City Chiefs trading up to this spot to select tackle Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma. Both could use a tackle in a bad way, one to keep their star upright, while the other needs a place for their new star to stand, and both are obvious left tackle spots for people doing a 2021 NFL Mock Draft. The Baltimore Ravens could have their eye on a wide receiver they really like, be it Rashod Bateman or Terrace Marshall Jr. Lastly, I believe the Buffalo Bills would trade up to get cornerback Greg Newsome II or Asante Samuel Jr. to pair with Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer in the secondary.

Since none of that will happen, I’m selecting Kwity Paye with the 21st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Proven production, well-coached, and with premium competition on tape, he will join DeForest Buckner and Darius Leonard to form a formidable front seven. Getting to the other team’s quarterback is now a priority after we solidified our offense with the acquisition of Carson Wentz. Giving Carson as many opportunities as we can will be our best shot to win the division back from the Tennessee Titans.

Thank you for reading my 2021 NFL Mock Draft! I recently released picks 1-10 which you can view here! I’ll have picks 22-32 coming out just before the draft! I’m always learning, and I hope to learn from you! Be sure to follow us @OTH_Football and @Mark_H_Miller1

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