NFL Mock Draft 2021: Breaking Down Best Fits for Ja'Marr Chase, Top Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) carries the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. No. 1 LSU won 58-37. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)
Thomas Graning/Associated Press

Ja'Marr Chase could be reunited with Joe Burrow in Cincinnati through the 2021 NFL draft.

Chase was the main beneficiary of Burrow's record-setting season at LSU, as he led the Tigers in receiving on the way to earning the Biletnikoff Award. 

The LSU wideout will face some challenges in his junior year to remain atop the list of a deep wide receiver class, including working with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator. 

Chase could be selected high next April alongside Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who are widely viewed as potential top-three selections. 


2021 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. Washington Redskins: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU 

4. Carolina Panthers: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

5. New York Giants: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

6. Miami Dolphins: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

7. Detroit Lions: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

8. New York Jets: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

9. Las Vegas Raiders: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

10. Los Angeles Chargers: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

11. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

12. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

13. Atlanta Falcons: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State 

14. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Walker Little, OT, Stanford

15. Cleveland Browns: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

17. Chicago Bears: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State 

18. Minnesota Vikings: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

19. Indianapolis Colts: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

20. Tennessee Titans: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

21. New England Patriots: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

22. Seattle Seahawks: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

24. Green Bay Packers: Xavier Thomas, DE, Clemson

25. Buffalo Bills: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

27. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia

28. Dallas Cowboys: Jay Tufele, DT, USC 

29. New Orleans Saints: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

30. Baltimore Ravens: Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee

31. San Francisco 49ers: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Caden Sterns, S, Texas 


Best Fits for Top Prospects

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU 

John Bazemore/Associated Press

Chase's 1,780-yard sophomore season set high expectations for 2020.

He may not reach that total again because of a variety of factors, but he could still make an impact in every game in the most competitive conference in college football.

Chase should receive plenty of targets from Myles Brennan, who is slated to take over for Burrow.

The prior connection with Burrow and Cincinnati's potential need for an A.J. Green replacement could lead the Bengals to choose him. 

Green is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, and the Bengals could opt to surround Burrow with a young receiver corps he can develop with. 

Green will be 33 next summer, and instead of investing a large sum in the back end of his career, the Bengals could land the top receiver in the draft class. 

If that occurs, the Bengals would combine Chase with 2020 second-round pick Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd in an offensive system that is suited for aerial success. 

If Cincinnati passes on Chase, the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants may be among the teams interested in him as they try to surround their young signal-callers with additional talent.


Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Lawrence's draft destination has already been discussed at length. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins are the most likely landing spots for the Clemson junior entering the 2020 season. 

Lawrence is expected to come into the NFL with a third straight 3,000-yard season. He has 6,945 passing yards, 66 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in two seasons.

Jacksonville handed its offensive reigns to Gardner Minshew II after trading Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears 

Minshew impressed in spurts of the 2019 season, but he needs to show improvement to prove he can be the team's long-term solution.

Minshew's fate could also be tied to head coach Doug Marrone, who enters 2020 in a difficult position after barely surviving last season. 

If the Jaguars remain in the AFC South basement, they could overhaul their offense with a new coach potentially in charge. 

Dwayne Haskins faces questions in Washington as well, as Ron Rivera takes over in his first year as head coach.

If Haskins does not make strides in 2020 under a new coaching staff, the Redskins could turn away from him and land the top quarterback prospect.

If the Jaguars and Redskins both have high draft picks, they could be ideal destinations for different reasons. 

In Washington, Lawrence would get to work with an established head coach, while in Jacksonville, he may be able to start fresh with a new man in charge.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com