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Alex Simpson’s Midseason 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Now that we’re halfway through the NFL regular season, team needs are starting to be apparent and the draft order is starting to take shape. This makes it perfect time for my midseason NFL mock draft.

The Pac-12 kicks off this weekend so this will also be the first weekend with all five major conferences in action. We’ve seen some quick risers so far and I’m sure we’ll continue to see more.

Now that we’re halfway through the season, I’ll be using the standings as the draft order instead of ESPN’s Football Power Index or our own Power Rankings.

1. NYJ: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence is all Joe Douglas needs to have his pick at a long list of deserving head coaches. The most coveted quarterback in nearly a decade goes to the Big Apple. If anybody can save the Jets, it’s Lawrence.

Midseason NFL mock draft

Photo Credit: AP Photos/David J. Phillip

2. NYG: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Fields has started off his 2020 campaign with a bang. He rolled through Nebraska and Penn State with ease. At this point, Fields is still the consensus number-two quarterback, but he’s doing everything he can to stake a serious claim to be the first overall pick.

3. JAX: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The Jaguars were hoping Fields would slide to them, and can’t justify picking Trey Lance here. One thing you can do is lock up the next most important position in football and protect Gardner Minshew (or another quarterback…spoiler alert) long enough to make plays.

4. MIA (via HOU): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The Dolphins are making the most out of their rebuild and are capitalizing on the Texans’ misfortunes with this pick that is currently in the top five. Parsons has played mainly as an off-ball linebacker at Penn State but offers a lot of versatility as a pass rusher off the edge as well. Brian Flores can make the most of his talent.

5. DAL: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Assuming Dallas either signs or tags Dak Prescott, they pass on Trey Lance and grab a potential shutdown corner. The Cowboys’ defense has been historically bad and they really need to improve on the back-end if they want to compete in 2021.

6. ATL: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Atlanta will be bringing in a new general manager and head coach this off-season. The new regime will likely be in the market for a young QB to sit and learn under Matt Ryan for a season or two. The contract makes it almost impossible to get rid of Ryan until 2022 and Lance could use some time on the bench to transition from the FCS level of competition.

7. WAS: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Outside of Terry McLaurin, this receiving corps has been one of the worst in their league. Steven Sims has been on injured reserve and the other receivers are unproven. For this team to start succeeding on offense, they have to add another weapon on the perimeter.

8. LAC: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Assuming everything comes back positive on Waddle’s ankle, he has top-ten pick potential. He is one of the fastest and most explosive players in college football and can do everything else very well also. The Chargers have found their franchise quarterback and can give him a third weapon to try and keep up with Kansas City in the AFC West.

Photo Credit: University of Alabama athletics

9. NE: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

The Patriots have really been missing that do-it-all tight end since Rob Gronkowski retired from the team nearly two years ago. Enter Pat Freiermuth…aka “Baby Gronk”. The Penn State star is the most complete tight end in this class and fits the New England mold.

10. MIN: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Yannick Ngakoue’s tenure in Minnesota was short-lived, as the Vikings cashed out before the trade deadline. They’re in a tricky cap situation, so adding talent via free agency isn’t exactly an option. Gregory Rousseau is still new to the position but he’s a quarterback’s worst nightmare coming off the edge. The ceiling with this young man is incredibly high.

11. CIN: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley has the potential to be a shutdown, Pro-Bowl caliber player in the secondary. He brings elite ball skills and man coverage ability to the table, which is shocking due to his inexperience at the position. At 6’2 and with his athleticism, he’s everything you want when you’re looking to lock down opposing number-one receivers.

12. CAR: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Kyle Pitts is the ultimate matchup nightmare. He’s been dominant so far in 2020 but my favorite performance of his was against LSU in 2019. He showed out against Derek Stingley Jr., displaying his route-running skills. Some teams may not see Pitts as a first-round talent due to his blocking deficiencies but that won’t matter if you know how to use him.

13. DET: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are getting older and Kenny Golladay is set to become a free agent after this season. Moore is a good route runner who can hit the home run from anywhere and strong as an ox. Before his first game as a true freshman, the 185-pound receiver squatted 600 pounds. Injury concerns are the only thing holding Moore back from top-ten potential.

14. DEN: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

If not for an ACL injury before the 2019 season, Moses would likely already be making an impact in the NFL. Denver being able to snag him here is a great value. He could make Vic Fangio’s defense even better than it already is.

15. SF: Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State

The 49ers offensive line has taken a step back this season. Wyatt Davis is arguably the best interior offensive lineman in this draft that can step in and fill one of the guard spots.

16. MIA: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa’s favorite target in college appeared to be DeVonta Smith, so I’m sure he’d be thrilled to be reunited with his former receiver. Smith is as sure-handed as anyone in this class and has been lights-out in 2020.

17. LV: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Kwity Paye has seen his stock rise into the first round, despite his team only playing two games so far. He absolutely took over the 4th quarter against Minnesota and his motor is as good as they get.

Photo Credit: University of Michigan athletics

18. CHI: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

My highest-rated receiver coming into the season has gotten off to a slow start along with the rest of his team. Bateman may be the most well-rounded receiver in the draft and will pair well with Allen Robinson. The Bears have to improve on offense and Bateman could become their first first-round pick since Roquan Smith in 2018.

19. PHI: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

The Eagles offensive line has been decimated with injuries. The Eagles brought Jason Peters back but he’s clearly lost a step and the entire line is aging as a whole. Cosmi is an athletic tackle with the traits to develop into a long-term replacement on the left side for Philadelphia.

20. CLE: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Owusu-Koramoah is a very versatile player for Brian Kelly’s defense. He has the athleticism of a safety and plays like a linebacker. Being able to cover has become essential for the modern-day linebacker and Cleveland lands one here.

21. JAX (via LAR): Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Nobody has seen their stock rise more than Brigham Young quarterback, Zach Wilson. He has the arm talent, he’s been incredibly accurate, and he’s athletic. He hasn’t faced tough competition yet and the drastic improvement does make you think hard. With that being said, he can continue to rise if he keeps it up.

22. IND: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

The Colts’ defense has been very impressive this season but could still generate a more consistent pass rush. Basham has been dominant in the ACC and has a wide array of pass rush moves to help him win at the point of attack.

23. ARI: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

One of the best defensive performances of this season so far has been Jaycee Horn against Auburn. He shut down Seth Williams all game, recording two interceptions and a handful of pass breakups. He plays the game with aggression and would be a nice replacement for the aging Patrick Peterson.

Photo Credit: AP Photos/Sean Rayford

24. BAL: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The Baltimore Ravens have made a living on taking the best player available rather than drafting based on need. Team needs are always changing and drafting this way plays a large part in their constant success. Creed Humphrey can come in and start at center from day one and have an impact for the next decade.

25. GB: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

The transition from the slot to playing outside corner has been bumpy for Shaun Wade. At worst, though, he can start as a nickel, which is absolutely vital in today’s high-volume passing attacks.

26. TEN: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

Barmore is a player I was higher on than most during the summer. He’s been slightly hindered by an injury and low snap counts. You can see the ability to rush the passer from the interior, which can be hard to find. I’m still projecting him to take that leap as a three-down impact player who would fit in well next to Jeffery Simmons.

27. NO: Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU

The Saints are running out of time to win a second Super Bowl with Drew Brees. With Michael Thomas out, we’ve been able to see some deficiencies at receiver in New Orleans. Regardless of who is under center in 2021, you need to add a weapon. Terrace Marshall has played lights out in a down year for LSU and he provides that ability to stretch the field and keep defenses honest.

28. BUF: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Hutchinson has been a dominant force alongside teammate Kwity Paye. He is versatile enough to play in a multitude of schemes and he fits the personality of Bills Mafia. Hutchinson and Ed Oliver paired together should bring out the best in both.

29. TB: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Here comes the run on offensive tackles. Donovan Smith has not been good at left tackle since he signed a three-year, $41 million deal in 2019. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, they can release him before the 2021 season without taking on any dead cap. Alex Leatherwood is a better player and provides the Bucs with an opportunity to create more cap space.

30. KC: Rashawn Slater, OT/G, Northwestern

Nobody played better against Chase Young than Rashawn Slater. He’s athletic enough to play tackle but could be a very good guard as well if he ends up on the interior. When you have the best player in football, you do everything you can to protect him. That makes this an easy choice for Kansas City.

31. NYJ (via SEA): Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The Jets are bad. Fortunately, owning another team’s first-round pick helps. Gang Green has generated very little pressure on the quarterback and is in dire need of a player like Jayson Oweh. He’s a twitched up guy that can get to the quarterback before the tackle ever has a chance.

32. PIT: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Another big riser has been Christian Darrisaw. He has been instrumental to Khalil Herbert leading the NCAA in rushing. What has surprised me the most has been the progression. He’s gone from a developmental guy to a potential first-round pick. The Steelers need to get younger along their offensive line and do just that with this selection.

Second Round

  1. NYJ: Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
  2. NYG: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
  3. JAX: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
  4. MIA (via HOU): Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
  5. DAL: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
  6. ATL: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
  7. WAS: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
  8. LAC: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
  9. NE: Tyler Shelvin, IDL, LSU
  10. JAX (via MIN): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  11. CIN: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
  12. CAR: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
  13. DET: Jay Tufele, IDL, USC
  14. DEN: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
  15. SF: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
  16. MIA: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  17. LV: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
  18. CHI: Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State
  19. PHI: Trevon Moehrig-Woodard, S, TCU
  20. CLE: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
  21. LAR: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
  22. IND: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
  23. ARI: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
  24. BAL: Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pitt
  25. GB: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
  26. TEN: Hamilcar Rashed Jr., EDGE, Oregon St
  27. NO: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
  28. BUF: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
  29. TB: Azeez Oljuari, EDGE, Georgia
  30. KC: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
  31. SEA: Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia
  32. PIT: Paris Ford, S, Pitt

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