Is there a draft in here?
This is 2021. Of course there is. In fact, there is a draft everywhere.
Everyone has an NFL mock draft now. Just ask your next Uber driver or Target cashier if they’ve got a mock draft. They absolutely do, and don’t be surprised when they tell you that when they’re bagging up your toilet paper and oat milk.
See, everyone’s got a mock draft. But, truthfully, there are people — experts, if you will — who know a little bit more about the NFL draft, the ins and outs, needs of teams and knowledge of prospects than your average barstool GM.
This year, there are a number of intriguing storylines heading into the first round: How many QBs will go in the first round? How many in the top 10? How many Alabama players will be selected?
Here’s what some of the experts are saying about this year’s first round:
Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)
Iyer’s latest mock draft was released on April 5.
— Iyer has ‘Bama DT Christian Barmore going mid-first to the Raiders at No. 17. Barmore seems to be a puzzling prospect, with some slotting him into the late first to second.
— Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley, not Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II, is the first cornerback off the board at No. 10 to the Cowboys.
— Gregory Rousseau, not ‘Canes teammate Jaelan Phillips, is the first EDGE player off the board, going to Arizona at 16.
Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)
Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on March 23, well before the 49ers and Eagles trades that have upended the top of the draft.
— Kiper had the Jets taking a QB before the Sam Darnold trade. Zach Wilson seems to be the consensus No. 2 pick off the board now. When you’ve got Kiper, you’ve got America.
— The Lions could go any number of directions, but Kiper has Detroit selecting wide receiver DeVonta Smith with the No. 7 pick, giving quarterback Jared Goff a No. 1 target this upcoming season. Detroit let wideouts Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones walk in free agency.
— Liam Eichenberg is a bit of a surprise going this high (No. 31 to the Chiefs), but Kansas City certainly needs the offensive line help.
Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)
McShay’s latest mock draft was released on April 1, but was updated to include the Sam Darnold trade and what it could mean for the rest of the NFL draft.
— John Elway and Denver finally have a long-term solution at the QB position, as McShay has Trey Lance going to the Broncos at No. 9. Elway has been searching for the next great QB after Peyton Manning for years.
— Najee Harris — who recently told McShay “kiss my ass” — ends up with the Steelerd at No. 24, alleviating pressure on the Steelers offense, which suffered on the ground last year.
— Everyone’s worst nightmare confirmed: Bill Belichick gets his hands on a future franchise quarterback, with the Patriots trading up to 11 to grab a falling Justin Fields.
Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)
DJ’s latest mock draft was released on April 6.
— Jared who? Jeremiah has the Lions selecting Ohio State passer with the No. 7 overall pick. Detroit, of course, traded Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff (and more) this offseason. The Goff Era in the Motor City might be over before it even begins.
— After letting All-Pro center Corey Linsley walk in free agency, the Packers reinforce the offensive line with Landon Dickerson at No. 29. Another year
— Five is the magic number, as in five first-round QBs. Jeremiah takes it a step further: five quarterbacks will be selected in the top 10, the first time that will have happened in NFL Draft history.
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