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Higgins’ Final 2021 NFL Mock Draft

It’s almost that time. The day every hard-core NFL fan has been waiting for since Tom Brady and Co. won the Super Bowl. The NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow night from Cleveland.

There are a few certainties as we loom closer to the big day. Trevor Lawrence is going to Jacksonville, that much is clear. All signs point to Zach Wilson becoming the new quarterback for the Jets. After that, the draft this year is shaping up to be an epic three days of shocks and surprises.

Myself, along with fellow writers Shep and Matt Samilow, have come together to release ReRack’s final edition of our mock draft series.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (Shep)– Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – This one has been locked in since Jacksonville “earned” the first pick. The next fifteen years in Jacksonville will certainly be fun to watch

New York Jets (Higgins)– Zach Wilson, QB, BYU – I belong in the Justin Fields fan club. However, I am still hopeful and excited for the future with Wilson leading the charge in Gotham.

San Francisco 49ers (Shep)– Mac Jones, QB, Alabama – All of the reports out of San Francisco are that Jones is the preferred choice for head coach Kyle Shannahan. I expect that to be the selection come draft day.

Atlanta Falcons (Higgins)– Trey Lance. QB, North Dakota State – Whether its Atlanta or somebody else making this selection, I foresee Lance going here at pick four. Lance can come in and learn from Matt Ryan for a year before taking over the reigns in 2022.

Cincinnati Bengals (Samilow)– Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon- Jammar Chase or Kyle Pitts are intriguing options here at five for Cincinnati, but it is time to start protecting Joe Burrow. They do that here with the selection of Sewell.

Miami Dolphins (Shep)– Kyle Pitts, TE/WR, Florida – It would be very shocking if Pitts fell down to six. If he does, Miami shouldn’t hesitate to make him Tua’s new top target for the future.

Detroit Lions (Higgins)– Jamarr Chase, WR, LSU – Detroit has no top receivers in their arsenal for newly acquired quarterback Jared Goff. Chase is the best receiver in this draft class. This needs to be the selection if he is available.

Carolina Panthers (Samilow)– Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern – Sam Darnold is now in the fold with two one thousand yard receivers and perhaps the best running back in football in Christian McCaffrey. The priority should be to now protect him with a prospect who is arguably better than Sewell.

Denver Broncos (Shep)– Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State – Denver hasn’t had a real answer at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after 2015. Even after trading for Teddy Bridgewater Wednesday afternoon, they attempt to finally fix this problem with Fields, who may be gone much earlier than nine.

Dallas Cowboys (Higgins)– Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama – Even with all the rumors of a possible trade up for Kyle Pitts, Dallas still needs help on their defense, specifically in the secondary. Surtain has established himself as the clear number one corner in this draft, and perhaps the best on the whole defensive side of the ball this year.

New York Giants (Samilow)– Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama – Smith alongside newly signed Kenny Golladay, with Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepherd, Evan Engram, and a healthy Saquon could be a nightmare for the rest of the league. It’s all on the shoulders of Danny Dimes now.

Philadelphia Eagles (Shep)– Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama – Waddle at 12 would be a no-brainer for Philly. He has been compared to Tyreek Hill, and would absolutely help out new starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Los Angeles Chargers (Higgins)– Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech – The Chargers top priority has to be protecting Justin Herbert. Darrisaw will plug right in at left tackle and he, along with newly signed center Cory Linsley, give the Chargers a formidable line.

Minnesota Vikings (Samilow)– Jaelen Phillips, Edge, Miami- Phillips has been one of this years draft risers over the better part of the last two months. The former number one overall high school recruit is a similar type player to former Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen, and Phillips would be an ideal replacement.

New England Patriots (Shep)– Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State – Parsons is the type of versatile defensive player that would be a dream for Bill Belicheck to use in his system. He’s arguably the top linebacker in this draft and extremely athletic.

Arizona Cardinals (Higgins)– Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina – Arizona continues to add to the restructuring of their defense with the selection of Horn. He is a solid replacement for the recently departed Patrick Peterson, and would help Arizona become as strong on defense as they are on offense.

Las Vegas Raiders (Samilow)– Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State – Vegas practically decimated their entire offensive line this offseason, with Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown all finding new homes. They start their line rebuild here with Jenkins.

Miami Dolphins (Shep)– Greggory Rousseau, DE, Miami – Even though he has been falling in many mock drafts, I have Rousseau staying in Miami at 18 with the Dolphins. They need edge help and Rousseau has as much potential as anyone.

Washington Football Team (Higgins)– Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC – It would be shocking to see Vera-Tucker fall this far in the draft for me personally. He was way too productive in college to go outside the top-15. That being said, Washington should race their card up to the stand if he is still available at 19.

Chicago Bears (Samilow)– Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech – Farley has been falling throughout this draft process due to two offseason back surgeries. However, Chicago needs cornerback help and Farley is still ultra-talented.

Indianapolis Colts (Shep)– Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama – Anthony Castanzo is recently retired. Leatherwood is as solid as they come. He would be a plug and play left tackle for Indy in 2021.

Tennessee Titans (Higgins)– Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi – Moore is one of my favorite players in the entire class. He has been rising as of late, and he would be a great complement to AJ Brown in the Tennessee receiving corps.

New York Jets (Higgins)– Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern – At pick 23, GM Joe Douglas is almost certainly targeting somebody playing a priority position. Newsome would be the number one corner in New York right now.

Pittsburgh Steelers (Samilow)– Najee Harris, RB, Alabama – Pittsburgh has been very clear that they want to improve the run game going into next season. With James Connor departing for the desert this offseason, Harris becomes the new number one back in the Steel City.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Shep)– Christian Baramore, DT, Alabama – Jacksonville has beefed up their interior line presence this offseason, but Baramore would be the most talented of the newly acquired players. He could go much higher if character concerns don’t bother other teams.

Cleveland Browns (Higgins)– Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky – At 6’4″ and over 230 pounds, Davis is a superb athlete with the ability to go sideline to sideline. Cleveland is in desperate need of a talent infusion in their linebacking corps, and Davis would satisfy that need.

Baltimore Ravens (Samilow)– Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota – Bateman is perhaps the most pro-ready receiver in this class. Baltimore shouldn’t hesitate to add him to help Lamar Jackson.

New Orleans Saints (Shep)– Jeremiah Owes-Kemorah, LB, Notre Dame – Another team that needs linebacking help, Owusu-Kemorah comes in as the raining Butkus award winner. He could start Day 1 next to Demario Davis.

Green Bay Packers (Higgins)– Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia – Stokes ran a blistering 4.25 40 yard dash at his pro day this offseason. He was solid throughout his college career and would really help tighten up Green Bay’s secondary.

Buffalo Bills (Samilow)– Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa – Even after retaining Matt Milano in free agency, Collins could still be the play here for Buffalo. He is talented and versatile, and Sean McDermott would love to have him in his defense.

Baltimore Ravens (Shep)– Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State – Baltimore needs edge rush help after Matt Judon left in free agency. Oweh has been rising ever since his pro day, where he ran a 4.34 40. He certainly has the potential to be great for Baltimore.

32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Higgins)– Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan – Personally, I don’t see Paye falling this far in the draft. If he does, Tampa Bay will absolutely select him. He fits their defensive scheme almost too perfectly, and can contribute for them now or down the road.

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