- Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
Let’s dig into my third mock for the 2021 NFL draft, with post-free agency projections for pick Nos. 1-32 of April’s draft. After a flurry of moves last week, this is when we can finally see what teams really need — and which teams filled holes with multiyear free-agent deals.
After I put three trades in my Mock Draft 2.0, I have two more in this edition. One is for a team moving up to take a quarterback, and the other is to get a player who might be a top-five lock in any other year. I think you’ll find them interesting.
With no NFL scouting combine this year, there is still a lot up in the air before Round 1 begins on April 29. Pro days are finishing up soon, and that’s when I’ll set my rankings. There are dozens of intriguing prospects who have yet to work out for teams.
We’ll start with the Jaguars at the top of, course, and end with the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, with some surprises along the way. The Jets have a huge decision looming at No. 2, with only a few more weeks left until we know for sure what they’re planning.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
With four picks in the top 45, new Jaguars coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke can get Lawrence some premier help. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take a wide receiver with one of their second-rounders (Nos. 33 and 45), and there should be stellar options on the board (Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman, Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore or LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr. would be ideal weapons). Offensive line and tight end are other positions to prioritize. But c’mon, this pick is Lawrence all the way. And the Jags have the No. 25 selection to add a high-end talent, as well.
Notable free-agent additions: CB Shaquill Griffin, S Rayshawn Jenkins, DT Roy Robertson-Harris, WR Marvin Jones Jr., TE Chris Manhertz
Notable free-agent losses: WR Keelan Cole, QB Mike Glennon
2. New York Jets
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