NFL Draft 2021: Updated 1st-Round Mock Predictions Following Jamal Adams Trade

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2020

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against LSU during the second half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

While we're still roughly nine months away from the 2021 NFL draft, it's safe to say that the Seattle Seahawks' recent trade for safety Jamal Adams is going to shake things up a bit.

The deal takes Seattle out of the first round and gives the New York Jets a pair of first-round selections—with another extra first-rounder looming in 2022.

New York also has an extra third-round pick in the 2021 draft, which could provide ammunition for a trade up in the first round.

"Obviously, we received an offer that was too difficult to pass up," Jets general manager Joe Douglas said, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. "We decided to move forward with that decision."

Exactly how the deal shakes up the 2021 draft could depend on how New York views quarterback Sam Darnold after his third pro season.

The USC product has shown flashes of greatness but hasn't been the consistent franchise-caliber quarterback the Jets have been missing. If the Jets and Darnold flounder in 2020, New York could consider packaging its new draft capital and moving up for a quarterback like Clemson's Trevor Lawrence.

For now, though, we'll assume that the Jets decide to stick it out with Darnold for the foreseeable future and examine what Round 1 might look like in the wake of the Adams deal.

Our draft order is based on the latest Super Bowl odds from Caesars Palace in reverse order, with coin flips used to break ties.


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): Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

4. Miami Dolphins (100-1): Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami

5. New York Jets (100-1): Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

6. Cincinnati Bengals (100-1): Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

7. Arizona Cardinals (60-1): Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas 

8. Detroit Lions (60-1): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

9. Atlanta Falcons (60-1): Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

10. Miami Dolphins [from Houston] (55-1): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

11. Denver Broncos (50-1): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

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

13. New York Giants (50-1): Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

14. Los Angeles Chargers (45-1): Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

15. Cleveland Browns (35-1): Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU

16. Las Vegas Raiders (30-1): Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

17. Tennessee Titans (30-1): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

18. Jacksonville Jaguars [from Rams] (30-1): Walker Little, OT, Stanford

19. Minnesota Vikings (28-1): Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

20. Indianapolis Colts (25-1): JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

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

22. Buffalo Bills (25-1): Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

23. New England Patriots (20-1): LaBryan Ray, DL, Alabama

24. Philadelphia Eagles (20-1): Jay Tufele, DT, USC

25. Green Bay Packers (16-1): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

26. Dallas Cowboys (13-1): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

27. New Orleans Saints (13-1): Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia

28. New York Jets (from Seattle) (12-1): Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State

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

30. San Francisco 49ers (15-2): Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

31. Baltimore Ravens (7-1): Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

32. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1): Elijah Molden, CB, Washington


1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

If the Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in football next season, they're almost certain to take a signal-caller.

Now, there's a good chance that by the time we get to April, Lawrence is no longer the top quarterback on many draft boards. Ohio State's Justin Fields took a big jump in the draft picture this past season, and North Dakota State's Trey Lance has an intriguing combination of physical tools, passing prowess and proven production.

NFL Media analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah recently had some lofty praise for the Bison star:

"When I evaluate quarterbacks, I try to narrow my focus to these five key areas: poise, accuracy, decision-making, play-making ability and toughness. After studying the aforementioned three games, I can confidently state that Lance is off the charts in all five areas. ...He does a wonderful job staying in the moment and executing. I didn't expect to see such a polished player at this stage of his development."

At this stage in the draft process, though, Lawrence remains the prospect to overtake. This is relevant for the Jets because, as previously mentioned, they could consider moving up if Darnold flops in 2020.

The two first-round picks and the extra third-rounder they received for Adams would go a long way toward getting them from the top five to No. 1.


5. New York Jets: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Danny Karnik/Associated Press

If New York decides to stick with Darnold, then it's going to make a lot of sense to work on his supporting cast in the 2021 draft. Getting him an elite receiver prospect like LSU's Ja'Marr Chase would be an excellent first step.

The 20-year-old, who racked up 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, has the potential to be a difference-maker right out of the gate.

"The best wide receiver in college football (last year) wasn't in the draft,” Jeremiah said on the Move the Sticks podcast (h/t Kevin Flaherty of 247Sports). "Because it was Ja'Marr Chase. When I went back and watched every single target from this past year, he's better than anybody in last year's draft."

If Chase goes before the Jets are on the board, a pass-rusher such as Miami's Gregory Rousseau or a cornerback like Alabama's Patrick Surtain II would make a ton of sense.

This pick could also shift if rookie second-round pick Denzel Mims shows the potential to be New York's No. 1 receiver as a rookie this season.


28. New York Jets (from Seattle): Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State

There are a number of directions in which the Jets could go with Seattle's pick, but continuing to build around Darnold would be logical. Continuing to build the offensive line—New York added center Connor McGovern and rookie tackle Mekhi Becton this offseason—would be wise.

Here, the Jets look to Ohio State interior lineman Wyatt Davis. Bolstering the interior of the offensive line would both help Darnold in pass protection and help boost what was a lackluster rushing attack in 2019—New York averaged just 3.3 yards per carry as a team. The more efficiently the Jets can run the ball, the less pressure will be on the quarterback's throwing shoulder.

Like Chase, Davis has the potential to make an immediate impact.

"He is an efficient puller and quickly gains leverage with his body position," The Athletic's Dane Brugler wrote. "But what allows Davis to gain the upper hand is his awareness and ability to quickly process everything going on around him."

Davis could be an early Pro Bowler at the next level. While many Jets fans may rather have Adams on the roster, it's important to remember that the Ohio State star would only be a piece of the total trade haul.


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