2021 NFL mock draft: Panthers trade up, Steelers land help on offense

Zach Wilson #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Zach Wilson #1 of the Brigham Young Cougars. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Pitts #84 of the Florida Gators (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Picks 9-16

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

Farley is the best corner in the draft. The Broncos have many needs to fill and could even go with a surprise at quarterback but corner was a glaring need for the team after releasing A.J. Bouye.

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

The Cowboys need help desperately in their secondary and Surtain is a solid prospect at corner. The offense will return to form if or when Dak Prescott returns but the defense gets much-needed help here.

11. New York Giants: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Giants are another wildcard team as it is uncertain what they want. They could also look at quarterback as Daniel Jones seems to be a bust but it is more likely they give him one last shot. Getting him help and sparking the offense with a playmaker like Waddle should help.

12. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

This is somewhat of a “shocker” pick as the team is still paying Jimmy Garoppolo big bucks. The former starter has struggled recently with his play and injury problems. He has been rumored on the trade block so do not be surprised if they take one of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft if one falls to them.

13. Los Angeles Chargers: Christain Derishaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Justin Herbert is their future as he set records for the NFL as a rookie. He has all the tools to be a franchise-level player. He needs protection from his line and Derishaw is one of the best tackles in this class. Derishaw has been picked to the Steelers in mock drafts but he doesn’t fall enough here.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan 

The Vikings wanted to get a pass-rusher after trading for Yannick Ngakoue before trading him again. Paye is one of the best coming out of college and a good get here for the Vikings.

15. New England Patriots: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

Owusu is one of the most athletic players for his position. His speed and hybrid ability to the lineup as a linebacker and safety is truly a unique option. Bill Belichick will love this versatility as they look to retool this team as their dynasty days are over.

16. Arizona Cardinals: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Pitts is another name that would be high on the Steelers draft board. He is a big target in the passing game and one that slipped in this mock draft. He will likely go higher but the Cardinals get a great weapon for their sensational quarterback, Kyler Murray.