2021 NFL mock draft: 5 quarterbacks land in the top 15 picks
By Tommy Jaggi
NFL mock draft: Picks 16-20
The Cardinals have work to do on the defensive side of the ball – even after signing J.J. Watt – but quarterback Kyler Murray was too often running for his life last season. Though Alijah Vera-Tucker likely will make the switch inside to guard in the NFL, he could still be a very solid player here. The Cardinals just need to hit on this pick and Vera-Tucker has the potential to be the best interior offensive lineman in this draft class.
Though the 2021 NFL Draft is relatively weak when it comes to interior defenders, Christian Barmore is certainly deserving of a first-round selection. Though his production wasn’t terrific, he routinely flashed with his burst and pass-rush ability. For being just 20 years old and a man of his size (6’5”, 310 lbs), Barmore was quite impressive. He has a chance to be a Chris Jones-level player if he continues to progress at the rate he has been. However, stopping the run could be a bit of an issue early in his career.
Everyone and their mother has mocked a wide receiver to the Miami Dolphins this offseason. However, I have them going with Sewell with the third pick and the top-three receivers are off the board at this point. With the 18th pick, I think Miami could add help to the middle of their defense with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. J.O.K. looks more like a strong safety than a true linebacker, but he has incredible closing speed and his coverage skills are off the charts. He could immediately provide a boost to an already solid defensive unit.
Outside of Terry McLaurin, Washington did not have a lot of receiving options to work with last season. Rashod Bateman would make a ton of sense with this pick. Though Washington misses out on the top three receivers in this class, Bateman is the exact type of player they need: a guy who can run a variety of routes and do all of the dirty work over the middle of the field. Drafting Bateman could allow McLaurin to move back to his role as a deep threat who can take the top off the defense.
There haven’t been a lot of mocks that have included Jalen Mayfield going in the first round, and I’m not exactly sure why. Though his technique needs work, the Michigan product is already a dominating run blocker and one of the most physical offensive lineman entering the draft. Mayfield is a very young player and former 4-star recruit. While he played right tackle last season, his short arms will likely require him to make the move inside at the next level. Still, he could be a violent road-grading guard and he has Pro Bowl upside if he can clean up his technique.