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FOX43 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Check out our picks here

The 2021 NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 29 in Cleveland. Our FOX43 Sports team got in on the mock draft action. Check out their picks below!

CLEVELAND — The 2021 NFL Draft is right around the corner.

This time of year, mock drafts of what will occur on Thursday, April 29 in Cleveland, Ohio are aplenty.

Our FOX43 Sports team has cooked up their own mock draft.

Here's where we think these draft eligible phenoms will land in the first round:

Alex's Pick:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Lawrence going number one overall is about as certain as Jacksonville having at least one home game in London.  The Clemson gunslinger has been considered NFL ready by most 'experts' since his freshman year.

Urban Meyer has been watching college football as an analyst for most of Lawrence's college career so he knows what he's getting for his first season in Duval.  Jacksonville has needed a franchise quarterback since Mark Brunell left town in 2003. 

Cale's Pick:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Lawrence was the projected first overall pick in this draft about three years ago at this time. Since then, he has done nothing but live up to the hype, including being the first true freshman quarterback to start for a national champion since 1985.

To me, Lawrence looks like a version of Peyton Manning that can run. 90 touchdowns through the air with nearly 1,000 yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns in his college career certainly back that up. The Jaguars could do a lot worse.

Alex's Pick:

2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Sam Darnold turned an epic Rose Bowl performance against Penn State into a nice paycheck after the Jets drafted him third overall in 2018.  After three seasons, New York traded him to Carolina earlier this month.  

Maybe it's the headband or maybe it's his fiery play, but Wilson's confidence, personality, and attitude seems to fit what the Jets need in a leader.  (Ask a certain Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania native.)  Wilson's pro day certainly solidified his stock as a top five pick in this year's QB-rich draft, so much so that the New York Post is already running articles on him.  There's no question about his arm talent, but the big question will be whether or not he can do it against elite talent as BYU did not face any power five teams during the 2020 season.

Cale's Pick:

2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

I honestly believe if Deshaun Watson wouldn't be facing legal troubles, the Jets would've anted up in a move for the Houston Texans quarterback. However, with a murky outlook at best, the Jets are going to be forced to take the next best option: a quarterback through the draft.

While I'm not totally sold on Wilson, he is the overwhelming favorite to be chosen with the second pick from experts around the league. Now, the team will face a decision on Sam Darnold: do they trade the young signal caller or give him a final chance as starter?

Alex's Pick:

3. San Francisco 49ers (trade w/ Dolphins) - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The 49ers paid a hefty price to move up to the third overall pick.  San Fran head coach Kyle Shanahan has been spotted at the pro days for Mac Brown and Justin Field.  

If we're going based off of talent, I think most would lean towards Fields, but Jones seems to be the better fit for Shanahan's system.  I know Jones was surrounded by unbelievable skill position talent, but he still completed 77.4% of his passes in an SEC schedule.

Cale's Pick:

3. San Francisco 49ers (trade w/ Dolphins)  - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Talk about draft stock rising.

After leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to a National Championship, Jones stock has been one of the fastest rising in the draft. He can remind you of Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady: he doesn't have imposing stature or off-the-charts physical ability, but he can do all the little things right and has surprised me with his ability.

Jones would be a solid fit for the offense Kyle Shanahan likes to run in San Francisco.

Alex's Pick:

4. Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

If there's a trade in the first five picks, it'll likely be here.  New Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith arrives in the ATL after a stint with the Titans from 2011-2020.  For a majority of his time in Nashville (2013-2018) the position he coached was the tight ends.  

Kyle Pitts is considered by most to be a sure bet.  The Philly native had a stellar 40 time (4.44), a 33.5-inch vertical, and is 6'6.  The Falcons could draft their next QB or a defensive back, but I think for the first time since 1972, a tight end will be drafted in the first five picks.

Cale's Pick:

4. Atlanta Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

This is my first big surprise of my mock draft.

Many have the Falcons taking a quarterback with this pick as the heir to aging veteran Matt Ryan.

However, Ryan is under contract for two more seasons after 2021, and the Falcons would incur a $40 million dead cap charge if they wanted to move on from him in 2022. To me, that means you're locked in with Ryan for two more seasons: why not give him the weapons to win?

Adding Pitts to a Falcons' offense that also features receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley along with tight end Hayden Hurst would give Atlanta arguably the most dangerous passing attack in the NFL.

Alex's Pick:

5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Joe Burrow was sacked 32 times in an injury shortened season in 2020.

This year's NFL Draft is deep at some positions.  Sewell is the best blindside blocking talent.  It's incredibly difficult to go this route with Ja'Marr Chase still on the board, and going offensive linemen in the first round is never considered the sexy pick, but Sewell is a need for Cincy, especially when you look at the defenses in their division.

Cale's Pick:

5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

It's all about protecting quarterback Joe Burrow.

Adding Sewell to their offensive line with free agent signing Riley Reiff gives the Bengals bookend tackles to protect their young franchise quarterback. Sewell is viewed as a plug-and-play option by many talent evaluators, and could be a Day One starter in Cincinnati.

Alex's Pick:

6. Miami Dolphins (trade w/ 49ers)  - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

I swear, after this, Cale and I go our separate ways.  Ja'Marr Chase is the wide out that everyone is salivating over in this year's draft class.  Tua Tagovailoa can't have enough weapons.  Former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki was huge for Miami last season and Chase will only add to the Dolphins ability to stretch the field.

Cale's Pick:

6. Miami Dolphins (trade w/ 49ers) - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Despite moving down in the draft, Miami should be able to get the player they really wanted in Chase.

He is my top receiver in this star studded class, and will pair well with second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, giving the Dolphins a true top option in the passing game.

Alex's Pick:

7. Detroit Lions - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Detroit just traded for QB Jared Goff so he's going to need someone to throw to this season.  Kenny Golladay left town this offseason and Detroit's current wide receiver depth chart isn't exactly anything to write home about.  When you think of all the amazing talent that Alabama has had at wide receiver, it's Smith leaving the Crimson Tide with the most receiving yards and touchdown receptions in conference history.  Even Detroit can pick out that Heisman resume.

Cale's Pick:

(TRADE: Cowboys trade 10th overall, 99th overall, 139th overall, 3rd round pick in 2022 to Lions for 7th overall)

7. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama 

I think the Cowboys will look to jump ahead of the Broncos to secure the cornerback they desire.

Surtain II is definitely among the top two defensive backs available with Caleb Farley, looking like he can be an instant starter in the NFL.

With a need in the secondary, I don't think Dallas making this jump while they have extra picks in hand is out of the question.

Alex's Pick:

8. Carolina Panthers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Coach Matt Rhule landed QB Sam Darnold by sending some future picks to the Jets.  If the Panthers were watching, they'll want to learn form New York's errors.  Darnold played behind bad offensive lines, rebuilt offensive lines, and banged up offensive lines.

Slater opted out of the 2020 season for the Wildcats in preparation of the 2021 NFL Draft.  Rhule can land a tackle that could be a key piece for the Panthers for years to come.

Cale's Pick:

8. Carolina Panthers - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

After acquiring former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold in a trade, the Panthers look like they are set at that position.

To give Darnold a real chance at success, you'd need to replace receiver Curtis Samuel, who was lost to the Washington Football Team in Free Agency.

Enter Waddle and Darnold has a potential top option and game breaker in his arsenal, along with running back Christian McCaffrey. 

Alex's Pick:

9. Denver Broncos - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

If you told the Broncos several months ago that they could land Justin Fields at nine, they might not have believed you.  Denver needs linemen on both sides of the ball, linebackers, and the list goes on and on, but Fields would be an upgrade over Drew Lock.  

Fields' dual-threat ability would help the Broncos take a step forward in an AFC West that's led by an offensively-charged Chiefs, an on-the-rise Chargers, and then there's the Raiders.

Cale's Pick:

9. Denver Broncos - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Farley is an excellent consolation prize for the Broncos, after I project them being leap-frogged by the Cowboys.

While he sat out 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Farley is still considered to be among the top defensive backs in this class, and is believed to be able to make an instant impact in the pros.

Denver will hope to have its top cornerback for the foreseeable future with Farley.

Alex's Pick:

10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Dallas needs to put the 'D' back in Big 'D.'  There's a part of me that wants to go with Harrisburg's own Micah Parsons.  His last big game came in AT&T Stadium during Penn State's win over Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.  Sean Lee's eventual replacement could be another Nittany Lion.  Parson's dad is a lifetime Cowboys fan.  There are so many headlines that would work here.  

But...the Cowboys need a cornerback to play opposite of Trevon Diggs.  Surtain has an NFL pedigree, was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and has good size.

Cale's Pick:

10. Detroit Lions - (trade w/ Cowboys) - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

After moving back and acquiring a few more picks to continue their rebuild, the Lions find themselves in perfect position take a quarterback.

The team acquired Jared Goff in a trade for Matthew Stafford earlier this offseason, but does anyone really view him as the quarterback of the future?

It would be the perfect situation for Lance, as he would be able to sit and learn behind Goff for a season, pending injury.

Lance's athletic ability would bring a dynamic that hasn't been seen in a Lions' quarterback possibly ever.

Alex's Pick:

11. New York Giants - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The former Harrisburg Cougar comes off the board at No. 11.  Joe Judge has needed any kind of rush for his defense.  Linebacker isn't an immediate need for the Giants, but Parsons still being available at 11 is a steal.  The LBU product has a amazing reflexes and is drawing comparisons to Tampa Bay's Devin White.

The Penn State linebacker skipped the 2020 season because of the uncertainty surrounding whether or not the Nittany Lions would play.  The Giants defensive line coach is Sean Spencer, who spent six seasons at Penn State, was one of Parsons' PSU coaches and the two remain close.  The 717-native would benefit from learning from Judge, Spencer, as well as fellow Nittany Lions Saquon Barkley, Austin Johnson, and Cam Brown.  

Cale's Pick:

(TRADE: Patriots trade 15th overall, 120th overall, 3rd round pick in 2022 to Giants for 11th overall)

11. New England Patriots - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

At 11, there is no obvious pick for the Giants the way my mock has played out. So, why not trade back and accumulate a few picks when a team like the Patriots comes calling right after Trey Lance is scooped up off the board.

Fields is, in my opinion, a prospect that could be a better version of current Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.

Like Lawrence, Fields has been projected to be a top pick in this draft for several years. I believe he will show himself to be one of the top picks in this class, and landing in a spot like New England would be a great spot for him to grow.

Alex's Pick:

12. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

I'll admit, I came close to going with Trey Lance just to see what feedback I'd get from Eagles fans for picking a North Dakota State quarterback, but to borrow a page from that Bernie Sanders meme, "I am once again asking" you to draft a wide receiver.

Jalen Hurts and Waddle were a part of the same Alabama team in 2018 so there's some team chemistry built up there already.  Waddle's speed will help Philly stretch the field, but he only played six games this past season after dislocating his ankle.  The good news is that the wide out's recovery is going as expected.

Cale's Pick:

12. Philadelphia Eagles - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Somehow, some way, I have the Heisman winner dropping to the Eagles.

The team has committed to quarterback Jalen Hurts, at least for this season, and is in the need of a top weapon at wide receiver.

Smith opposite of Jalen Reagor certainly gives the Eagles a ton of speed on offense.

Alex's Pick:

13. Los Angeles Chargers - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

After Justin Hebert's rookie season, protecting him is clearly a priority for the Chargers.  They signed Lampeter-Strasburg grad Matt Feiler away from the Steelers and added center Corey Linsley, but they still have holes on the line.  

Darrisaw was great tackle for the Hokies last season, but could also make the shift to guard if needed.  

Cale's Pick:

13. Los Angeles Chargers - Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

The Chargers will be looking for that pass rush option on the opposite side of Joey Bosa.

Longtime rusher Melvin Ingram is still a free agent, so plugging Rousseau in could be a way to replace him long term.

Alex's Pick:

14. Minnesota Vikings - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

I kind of think it's a bit of a stretch here as Mike Zimmer was probably sick at the sight of his defense a season ago, but the Vikings really need help on the left side of their line.  

Vera-Tucker is another one of those lineman who can give you snaps at tackle or guard.

Cale's Pick:

14. Minnesota Vikings - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Vikings lost tackle Riley Reiff in free agency, and seemingly always have holes on the offensive line.

Nabbing Slater at 14 gives the Vikings one of the best offensive line prospects in the draft, and someone with the ability to play at tackle or guard.

Alex's Pick:

15. New England Patriots - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Cam Newton has already resigned for another year with the Pats so picking Lance here will give him time to learn under Newton for at least a season.  

Belichick needs a wide out, but the Patriots rarely draft a WR in the first round.  N'Keal Harry was the last one, three seasons ago, and that hasn't panned out.

Lance has all the tools to be successful in the NFL, has plenty of upside, but is still considered 'raw' by most scouts and coaches. 

Cale's Pick:

15. New York Giants (trade w/ Patriots) - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

A lot of people won't understand why I have Parsons falling so far, and maybe I will be incorrect, but the NFL just doesn't value linebacker the way it used to.

Parsons could be a perennial All-Pro, but the way I have this draft shaking out, I think the Giants will be able to snag him at the midway point.

Alex's Pick:

16. Arizona Cardinals - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Arizona's longest tenured defensive leader, Patrick Peterson, went to Minnesota in free agency.  While the Cardinals have signed Malcolm Butler, they still need to strengthen their cornerbacks. 

Farley opted out of the 2020 season and the Virginia Tech corner is recovering from back surgery last month, but has the potential to be a shutdown cornerback for the Cardinals.

Cale's Pick:

(TRADE: Dolphins trade 18th overall, 156th overall, and 5th round pick in 2022 to Cardinals for 16th overall)

16. Miami Dolphins - Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU 

I have the Dolphins trading up over the Raiders to secure Moehrig for their secondary.

Moehrig has ball skills, and could shortly be one of the top options at safety for Miami, who hasn't seen a first round safety since Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers after only a little over a season in South Beach.

Alex's Pick:

17. Las Vegas Raiders - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The Raiders went 8-8 in their first season in Las Vegas.  New Oxford grad Erik Harris is heading to Atlanta so the silver and black have some gaps in their secondary.  

Horn, the son of former Saints receiver Joe Horn, will be getting a cell phone call of his own in the first round.  The Raiders have to be growing tired of addressing this part of the field.  They've drafted 20 players who play in the secondary over the last five years, but still haven't ranked higher than 26th in the league.

Horn dabbled in both man and zone coverage in his time with the Gamecocks so he should be ready for whatever Las Vegas throws at him.

Cale's Pick:

17. Las Vegas Raiders - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

After seeing Moehrig go to the Dolphins with the pick before, I have the Raiders going with Owusu-Koramoah in the hopes that he can play a hybrid linebacker/safety role at the next level.

The Raiders are hurting in multiple areas, but adding a player with this versatility would be a great boos to their defense.

Alex's Pick:

18. Miami Dolphins - Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan

After going with a wide out earlier in the first round, the Dolphins have a chance to add some more defensive pressure up front.  Miami loved to bring the blitz in 2020, but need help on the edge.

Paye had 29 pressures in his time at Michigan and while it didn't always lead to a sack for him, it helped the Wolverines make defensive plays.  His football I.Q. is considered elite by his college coaches.

Cale's Pick:

18. Arizona Cardinals (trade w/ Dolphins) - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

After losing a franchise legend in cornerback Patrick Peterson, it only makes sense to replace him with another first rounder at the position.

The Cardinals traded back in my mock, and are still able to land Horn, whose father, Joe Horn, played receiver in the NFL for over a decade.

Horn would have the opportunity for ample playing time right away in Arizona.

Alex's Pick:

19. Washington Football Team - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

Coming off an NFC East championship in 2020, Washington signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and brought back Taylor Heinicke so it seems like the football team has patched up their quarterback position for 2021.  Losing Trent Williams a season certainly hurt and Jenkins is considered by many to be one of, if no the best, run blocker in this year's draft class.

Jenkins can be a starter in a Week 1 for Washington.

Cale's Pick:

19. Washington Football Team - Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech 

The Football Team went out and added some offensive weapons in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and receiver Curtis Samuel.

Adding Darrisaw at tackle should only help Washington continue to build its offense.

Alex's Pick:

20. Chicago Bears - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

The Mitchell Trubisky Era (if you want to call it that) is over in Chicago as the QB signed with Buffalo this offseason.  Manheim Central's Matt Nagy brought in Andy Dalton and named him the starter.  By now, most NFL teams are onto the 'Throw the ball to Allen Robinson'-offense.  The hot seat is getting hotter for Nagy so bringing in Toney will help the Bears stretch the field and give Dalton a receiving threat to go to over the middle.

Cale's Pick:

20. Chicago Bears - Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan

The Bears are another team that went out and brought in a quarterback (Andy Dalton) and I project them going out and grabbing an offensive lineman.

Chicago will have to keep Dalton upright to have any chance of that offense moving the ball.

Alex's Pick:

21. Indianapolis Colts - Azeez Ojulari, DL, Georgia

Ojulari was a force in the SEC when it comes to pass-rush.  The Colts have tried to address it before but it hasn't yielded the results they're hoping for yet.  Ojulari had 9.5 sacks as a sophomore, so while his size (6'2, 249 pounds) might leave something to be desired by NFL coaches and scouts, he still finds a way to get to the quarterback.

Cale's Pick:

21. Indianapolis Colts - Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami

The Colts didn't have a ton of money to spend on defense this offseason after adding quarterback Carson Wentz via trade.

However, the team has a solid core, and could use a pass rusher to take that defense to the next level. Enter Phillips, who I have ranked as the best available at this point.

Alex's Pick:

22. Tennessee Titans - Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

Coach Vrabel thought he addressed their right tackle with last year's draft but Isaiah Wilson only played four snaps all season.

With the best running back in the NFL right now, who's in his prime, locking up that whole in the Titans o-line is key.  While Mayfield might feel like a reach in the first, he can only improve after 15 starts for the Wolverines.

Cale's Pick:

22. Tennessee Titans - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

The Titans lost former first round receiver Corey Davis in free agency.

While running back Derrick Henry is still the king on offense, quarterback Ryan Tannehill needs weapons to toss the ball downfield too.

Enter Toney, who scored 10 touchdowns in his senior season at Florida.

Alex's Pick:

23. New York Jets - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

The Jets started to address their secondary in last year's draft, which included Bishop McDevitt grad Bryce Hall, who proved to be a steal in the 5th round.  

Newsome is a great coverage corner.  Big Ten teams tested him 34 times last season.  Ten were broken up, one was intercepted, and 12 were caught by the receiver.  Double moves rarely work on him, but in the rare case they do, he recovers quickly.

Cale's Pick:

23. New York Jets - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Etienne is one of my favorite players of the first round, and could've been a first round pick a season ago.

He totaled nearly 5,000 yards on the ground and had over 1,100 yards through the air with 78 total touchdowns at Clemson.

Etienne is the complete package and has dynamic breakaway speed. He would add an element to a Jets offense that has been lacking for a long time.

Alex's Pick:

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

If there was a better value for the Black and Gold here at offensive line, it would make sense, but with James Conner heading to Arizona the Steelers will be in search of a running back.

Ben Roethlisberger returns with Matt Canada as offensive coordinator.  That should open up the Steelers offense more, which is why I like Etienne here.  Big Ben hasn't really had a receiving weapon out of the back field since Le'Veon Bell left the Steel City.  Etienne can obviously tote the rock, but the route running, and speed makes him ideal for something that the Steelers have been missing. 

Cale's Pick:

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Steelers running game wasn't consistent with back James Conner last season.

With Conner approaching free agency and a team in flux, adding a young weapon like Harris could provide very useful to the offense not only next season, but down the road as well.

Harris may not have the breakaway ability of Etienne, but he is a dynamic playmaker both on the ground and through the air. He would be a perfect fit for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the short passing and screen game.

Alex's Pick:

25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

The Jags shopping list extends far beyond a quarterback.  Now that they have Lawrence, get him a safety net.  Freiermuth has been highly coveted by NFL scouts and coaches since he stepped on campus in Happy Valley.  He's called 'Baby Gronk.'  What QB wouldn't want that?  

Freiermuth has been limited since injuring his shoulder against Ohio State.  The surgery kept him from fully participating in Penn State's Pro Day.  Still, you can't coach his size and athleticism.  His abilities to rack up yards after the catch and pass block makes him a natural fit for an offense trying to establish an identity with a rookie quarterback. 

Cale's Pick:

25. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan 

I have Paye falling a little bit more than some just due to size. An undersized pass rusher like Paye fits better in certain schemes, like the 4-3 defense they run in Jacksonville.

Paye could fit in as a rotational rusher from Day One.

Alex's Pick:

26. Cleveland Browns - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The Notre Dame linebacker is a perfect fit for anyone looking for that hybrid LB.  Owusu-Koramoah can stop the run and drop back into coverage.  

Cleveland has certainly solidified their defensive line, but this pick would give them better support at the next level.

Cale's Pick:

26. Cleveland Browns - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Browns lost linebacker Olivier Vernon in free agency, and reportedly have had interest in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Collins has the ability to do a little bit of everything at linebacker, and could be a good fit for what the Browns are looking to do on defense.

Alex's Pick:

27. Baltimore Ravens - Jaelen Phillips, Miami

If history is any indication, Phillips will have a great career and Steeler fans will be grizzled any time he makes a play against the Black and Gold.

There are a lot of comparisons between Phillips and his Miami teammate Gregory Rousseau.  In 20 games with the Hurricanes, Phillips tallied 12.5 sacks and five pass break ups, which is more than most edge rushers.

Phillips is solid all around and that's what the Ravens always seem to find.

Cale's Pick:

27. Baltimore Ravens -  Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia 

 It's all about the pass rush.

The Ravens lost a few key defenders this offseason, including LB Mark Judon.

Ojulari looks like he could be a perfect replacement for Judon in terms of fit and play style, so it feels like a lock if he's available here.

Alex's Pick:

28. New Orleans Saints - Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

The Saints don't have much in the way of money to spend this offseason and Trey Hendrickson has left the Big Easy for Cincinnati.  That combination seems to be tailor-made for New Orleans to find their weapon off the edge in the draft.

Rousseau can line up anywhere on the defensive front.  While still raw, scouts love his upside and he's undoubtedly one of the best pass rushers in this draft.

Cale's Pick:

28. New Orleans Saints - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama  

After losing Sheldon Rankins to the Jets via free agency, the Saints are going to be looking to plug a hole on their defensive line.

Barmore is one of the best defensive tackles in the draft, and I believe many have underrated him so far. I have him sneaking in the bottom of the first round to New Orleans.

Alex's Pick:

29. Green Bay Packers - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

With Aaron Rodgers future uncertain after this season, why would Green Bay start drafting him a wide receiver in the first round?  

There's a huge hole in the Packers defense.  Collins' stats and attributes certainly stand out, but his on field leadership and holding teammates accountable are what Green Bay needs, especially after looking so lost against Tampa Bay's offense.

Cale's Pick:

29. Green Bay Packers - Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State 

After seeing the Buccaneers pass rush dominate the NFL playoffs last season, the Packers will surely want to add to the team's stable of options.

Oweh is the next best option after I project a few different pass rush options already coming off the board.

Credit: WPMT

Alex's Pick:

30. Buffalo Bills - Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

For years, Asante Samuel Sr. tortured the Bills as a member of the Patriots.  What better way to escape your dad's shadow then play for his old rival?  Samuel Jr. is a cornerback who's not afraid of physicality.  He can bait quarterbacks and is aggressive when it comes to ball skills.

Cale's Pick:

30. Buffalo Bills - Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

It's not the flashy move some may be hoping for from the Bills in the first round, but it could be the solid one.

Adding another force on the interior defensive line could prove beneficial against the division rival New England Patriots, who will likely be a run-heavy offense.

Alex's Pick:

31. Baltimore Ravens - Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama (trade w/ Patriots) 

Orlando Brown is gone.  You have a quarterback in his prime.  Let's not second guess this.  You'd love a physical wide receiver, but there's a big hole on your offensive line and with as run heavy as the Ravens have been, you need to fill that void.  Leatherwood explodes off the snap and, oh yeah, played offensive lineman in the SEC.  Facing those defensive fronts is as close as it gets to being NFL ready. 

Cale's Pick:

31. Baltimore Ravens - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC (trade w/ Patriots) 

Some "draft experts" have Vera-Tucker going higher in the first round -- to me, it's all a preference/choice thing.

Do teams believe he can stick at tackle?

My projection is that the Ravens believe he do and nab him at 31.

Alex's Pick:

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

Susquehanna Township grad and Buccaneers Assistant Defensive Line Coach Lori Locust and the D-Line brought it in 2020.  Their playoff run saw them best a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and one of the elite QBs in the game right now.  Ndamukong Suh returns to the Bucs but he's not getting any younger.

Onwuzurike sat out the 2020 season but has chemistry with another member Buccaneers defensive lineman, Vita Vea, who also played his college ball at Washington.

He can learn from Suh while he develops on a team that doesn't have any glaring needs on its roster.

Cale's Pick:

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -  Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest

The Super Bowl Champions' defense was built on a dominate pass rush. The NFL is a year-to-year business, and the best way to establish some consistency is through the draft.

By snagging Basham Jr. with the final pick of the first round, he will be a player that Tampa could exercise a fifth year option on in the future -- a contractual feature that only applies to players selected in the first round.

You can watch us break down our picks here:

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