The Gridiron Scholar’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft

By John Laub
John Laub



  The Gridiron Scholar’s


        2021 NFL Mock Draft 4.0




For the sixth year, I am thrilled to publish my Mock Draft on 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


Pick Team Pos. Player School
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


Pick Team Pos. Player School
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


Pick Team Pos. Player School
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)


Best Remaining

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