The Gridiron Scholar’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft
The Gridiron Scholar’s
2021 NFL Mock Draft 4.0
For the sixth year, I am thrilled to publish my Mock Draft on FootballDiehards.com. Over the past seven months, I have studied the prospects and compiled my big board for all the positions. Before I sat down to make my selections, I reflected on the history of the NFL and the Draft.
As a teenager in the Seventies, I grew up watching two dynamic Dynasties: Dallas and Pittsburgh. The franchises combined for nine Super Bowl appearances, including two against each other (X and XIII) and netted six Lombardi trophies. The organizations stood atop the NFL landscape.
How did the two franchises ascend to the NFL mountain top? Many factors contributed to their Super Bowl victories, and scouting players clearly ranks among the leading causes. Both built rosters with shrewd player evaluations and historical drafts.
Pittsburgh methodically scouted the Historically Black Colleges (HBC), and the Steelers' "super scout" Bill Nunn, a Hall of Fame inductee in 2021, discovered a plethora of future stars: DE L.C. Greenwood (Arkansas AM&N), CB Mel Blount (Southern), WR Frank Lewis (Grambling State), WR John Stallworth (Alabama A&M), DL Dwight White (Texas A&M-Commerce), DL Ernie Holmes (Texas Southern), QB Joe Gilliam (Tennessee State), and SS Donnie Shell (South Carolina State).
In 1972 and 1973, the Steelers qualified for the playoffs in back-to-back campaigns. Afterwards, New York City hosted the Draft in late January of 1974, and the Steelers cemented their future greatness, acquiring the final pieces to its talent-laden roster. The historic Class included five future Hall of Famers: WR Lynn Swann (1), LB Jack Lambert (2), WR John Stallworth (4), C Mike Webster (5) and SS Shell (UDFA)...The rest is NFL history.
A year later, the Cowboys had missed the playoffs after an 8-6 campaign and a third-place finish in the NFC East. In the 1975 Draft, Dallas restocked its roster with 17 selections, and four became future stars: DT Randy White (1), LB Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson (2), LB Bob Breunig (3) and OT Pat Donovan (4).
After the 1975 season, the two teams reached Super Bowl X and played one of the greatest games in history. Three years later, Pittsburgh defeated Dallas for a second time in Super Bowl XIII. During the decade, NFL fans were enthralled by two of the elite franchises in history. I will never forget either Super Bowl, the teams, players and coaches. All are NFL royalty over four decades later.
Someday, I hope to produce a Mock Draft that reaches the summit of our hobby. In the past four years, I am happy with my prognostications; yet, the 40-point barrier remains elusive. I came closest in 2018, and the previous four Mock Draft scores are listed below:
2020: 36 points
2019: 33 points
2018: 38 points
2017: 31 points
Right player & team = 2 points
First round player = 1 point
When making the first-round picks, the selections are based on personal rankings and needs of each team as if I were the general manager. Enjoy!
Draft Trades Recap:
Broncos sends pick No. 9 and No. 71 to Lions for pick No. 7
Washington package picks No. 19, No. 74 and 2020 second round to Vikings for pick No. 14.
Feel free to send me a message on Twitter with any comments @GridironSchol91.
TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars||QB||Trevor Lawrence||Clemson|
|2||New York Jets||QB||Zach Wilson||BYU|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||QB||Trey Lance||NDSU|
|4||Atlanta Falcons||TE||Kyle Pitts||Florida|
|5||Cincinnati Bengals||OT||Penei Sewell||Oregon|
|6||Miami Dolphins||WR||Ja'Marr Chase||LSU|
|7||Denver Broncos||QB||Justin Fields||Ohio State|
|8||Carolina Panthers||OT||Rashawn Slater||Northwestern|
|9||Detroit Lions||WR||Jaylen Waddle||Alabama|
|10||Dallas Cowboys||CB||Jaycee Horn||South Carolina|
WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
|11||New York Giants||WR||DeVonta Smith||Alabama|
|12||Philadelphia Eagles||CB||Patrick Surtain, II||Alabama|
|13||Los Angeles Chargers||OT||Christian Darrisaw||Virginia Tech|
|14||Washington Football||QB||Mac Jones||Alabama|
|15||New England Patriots||DE||Micah Parsons||Penn State|
|16||Arizona Cardinals||CB||Greg Newsome, II||Northwestern|
|17||Las Vegas Raiders||DL||Kwity Paye||Michigan|
|18||Miami Dolphins||DE||Azeez Ojulari||Georgia|
|19||Minnesota Vikings||OL||Alijah Vera-Tucker||USC|
|20||Chicago Bears||OT||Teven Jenkins||Oklahoma St.|
|21||Indianapolis Colts||LB||Zaven Collins||Tulsa|
WR Elijah Moore, Mississippi
|22||Tennessee Titans||WR||Elijah Moore||Mississippi|
|23||New York Jets||Edge||Jaelan Phillips||Miami|
|24||Pittsburgh Steelers||RB||Najee Harris||Alabama|
|25||Jacksonville Jaguars||OT||Liam Eichenberg||Notre Dame|
|26||Cleveland Browns||LB||J. Owusu-Karamoah||Notre Dame|
|27||Baltimore Ravens||WR||Rashod Bateman||Minnesota|
|28||New Orleans Saints||LB||Jamin Davis||Kentucky|
|29||Green Bay Packers||WR||Kadarius Toney||Florida|
|30||Buffalo Bills||RB||Travis Etienne||Clemson|
|31||Baltimore Ravens||DT||Christian Barmore||Alabama|
|32||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||S||Trevon Moehrig||TCU|
Total Points: 37 points (2021 Draft)
OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan
CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
ILB Dylan Moses, Alabama
RB Javonte Williams, UNC
LB Baron Browning, Ohio State
DL Gregory Rousseau, Miami