NFL Draft 2021: Mock Predictions for Marvin Wilson, Top Defensive Prospects

Elizabeth FinnyFeatured Columnist IJuly 22, 2020

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson (21) fires off the line during an NCAA football game against Boise State on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

There's a lot of sports news to keep up with as we approach the NBA and NHL resumption dates, the start of this year's MLB season and the 2020-21 NFL season looming in the near future. 

So, is it too early to also start talking about the 2021 NFL draft? Never!

Trevor Lawrence, Penei Sewell, Justin Fields and Ja'Marr Chase headline a talented class that could be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as colleges struggle with how to reopen in the fall.

Clemson QB Lawrence is the favorite to go first overall after leading his team to the College Football Playoff, where they ultimately lost to Joe Burrow-led LSU.

However, if the 2019 season taught us anything, it's that the projected No. 1 pick is not a lock by the end of the season. We saw Tua Tagovailoa go from the preseason favorite to the No. 5 pick, while Burrow came out of nowhere to be selected first after winning the national title and the Heisman Trophy. 

With that being said, let's get into the predictions anyway. Here's a mock draft of the first round, with the order taken from Caesars Palace's Super Bowl odds but in reverse order. We'll also take a deeper look into a few of the top defensive prospects in the class.


2021 NFL Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (250-1 odds): Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. Washington (150-1): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

3. Carolina Panthers (125-1): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

4. Miami Dolphins (100-1): Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

5. New York Jets (100-1): Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

6. Cincinnati Bengals (100-1): Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

7. Arizona Cardinals (60-1): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

8. Detroit Lions (60-1): Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

9. Atlanta Falcons (60-1): Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

10. Miami Dolphins [from Houston] (55-1): Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

11. Denver Broncos (50-1): Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

12. Chicago Bears (50-1): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

13. New York Giants (50-1): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

14. Los Angeles Chargers (45-1): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

15. Cleveland Browns (35-1): Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State

16. Tennessee Titans (30-1): Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

17. Las Vegas Raiders (30-1): Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU

18. Jacksonville Jaguars [from Rams] (30-1): Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

19. Minnesota Vikings (28-1): Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

20. Indianapolis Colts (25-1): Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

21. Pittsburgh Steelers (25-1): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

22. Buffalo Bills (25-1): JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

23. New England Patriots (20-1): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

24. Philadelphia Eagles (20-1): Jaylen Twyman, IDL, Pittsburgh

25. Green Bay Packers (16-1): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

26. Dallas Cowboys (13-1): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

27. New Orleans Saints (13-1): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

28. Seattle Seahawks (12-1): Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-1): Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

30. San Francisco 49ers (15-2): Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

31. Baltimore Ravens (7-1): Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida

32. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1): Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech


5. New York Jets (100-1): Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

Gregory Rousseau is pegged to be one of the top defensive talent in next year's draft class if he decides to forgo his redshirt junior season and declare for the draft. 

The Miami defensive end had a monster 2019 season after playing just one game in 2018 before being sidelined with an injury. Rousseau notched 54 total tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and led the team with a whopping 15.5 sacks. He was second only to Chase Young, who led the NCAA with 16.5 sacks.

CFB Stats & Info @CFBStatsInfo

👏The Nation’s Returning Sack Leader👏 Gregory Rousseau (@Greg_R5), #Miami He was only a RS freshman last season, and tormented offenses in the ACC. He finished only behind Ohio St’s Chase Young nationally with 15.5 sacks, and was T-7th in the country with 19.5 tackles for loss https://t.co/JTrQBCJocy

A top-five edge-rusher, Rousseau's athleticism and high level of play make him an attractive candidate for any team looking for a boost on defense. Pro Football Network's Scott Gorman wrote: 

"With his speed and length, Rousseau is never truly 'out' of a play, and he displays a relentless motor when getting after ball-carriers. He can also get into passing lanes and disrupt plays consistently while being nearly unblockable on passing downs."

Since the Hurricanes play an easier non-conference schedule than in years past, Rousseau may be able to hit double-digit sacks once again. Clemson is also absent from Miami's ACC matchups this season, which will help Rousseau boost his stats but could put him at a disadvantage since he'll have faced weaker opponents.

The Jets look like a good fit for Rousseau, especially if they end up drafting behind teams who have a bigger need for offensive talent. A talented edge-rusher could be exactly what New York needs to bring its defense to the next level.


6. Cincinnati Bengals (100-1): Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

Marvin Wilson is neck and neck with Rousseau to be the top defender to go in the 2021 NFL draft. In the 2019 season, he had 44 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and was tied with Cory Durden for the most sacks (5) before missing the final four games of the season with a hand injury.

Florida State's defensive tackle appeared on College Football Live on Tuesday, discussing the voice that student athletes have and the upcoming season for the Seminoles, including why he decided to come back:

"I know that we can win games. I know we can do it on a big scale. Not just [winning] six or seven games. I feel like we are going to have a 10-plus win season, just looking at the guys we have on both sides of the ball and with the great coaching staff that Coach Norvell has put together. I feel like we are going to do great things this year."

Warchant.com @Warchant

More Honors: Marvin Wilson & Hamsah Nasirildeen were named to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List Tuesday, an award given to the top defensive player in the nation. Wilson was also named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, an award presented to the nation's top interior lineman. https://t.co/aLYPyScSqp

Wilson stands at 6'5" and weighs in at over 300 pounds but is still able to effectively and efficiently penetrate the gap and absorb contact. His dominant power, strength and size make him an invaluable asset at the next level that any team would be lucky to have.

If the Bengals pick higher up in the 2021 draft, it would make more sense for them to go after someone like Sewell to protect their new quarterback, Burrow. However, if they're picking outside of the top three, Sewell will be gone. And in that case, an athletic defender with impressive play knowledge is a good pick.


9. Atlanta Falcons (60-1): Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Patrick Surtain II has made news recently for being named to the 2020 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List. He could join the likes of past Crimson Tide winners Antonio Langham and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Alabama Football @AlabamaFTBL

🔒⬇️ PS2 🗒️ » https://t.co/W641eSi2aO #BamaFactor #RollTide https://t.co/kuuCxbZrNp

After five Alabama defenders were drafted in 2020, Surtain will have a much bigger role on the field. In his two-year career, he has notched 79 total tackles, 15 pass defenses, four forced fumbles and three interceptions. 

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah wrote:

"The three things that stand out to me are his size, instincts and ball skills. That's a great foundation to start with when you're trying to build an upper-echelon NFL cornerback."

Surtain's versatility is part of what makes him stand out. Alabama has seen him excel in all areas of the field, whether he's lined up outside near the sidelines, inside against a slot receiver, or is dropping down to help the defensive line in the box.

The potential CB1 was said to have "all the physical gifts teams require in a first-round cornerback" by Pro Football Network's Matthew Valdovinos. It seems safe to assume that Surtain will be a top-10 pick; so if the Falcons pick in the top 10, adding a defensive asset like him should only help.