Mock drafting is an incredibly fickle art form. The Butterfly Effect of one single team's decision makes that horrible Ashton Kutcher movie from the early 2000s look tame. At least that's what it felt like on Friday when not even an hour after I had finished my entire mock draft early for once, the entire 2021 draft blew up with two consecutive trades that left my mock in shambles right down to the end.
San Francisco's decision to move from 12 to the third overall pick and then Miami's decision to trade that 12th pick to the Eagles to move up to No. 6 completely changed the trajectory of picks for the overwhelming majority. That's what I get for trying to be responsible. Rest assured, that won't happen again.
Miraculously, it actually didn't change my pick for the Buccaneers. And my pick didn't change from Scott Smith's in version 5.0. Consistency and continuity are key. That's clearly an organization-wide thought process after a free agency that has now seen the Bucs keep the 2020 Super Bowl-winning roster largely intact. Comforting, isn't it?
Read on for my full and re-worked Mock Draft 6.0
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
This is just fact at this point.
2. New York Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
So is this.
3. San Francisco 49ers (via Miami): QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
This, however, could go either way. San Francisco didn't blow up my mock draft for no reason – they want a quarterback. But which quarterback will be interesting. For whatever reason, I don't think it's Justin Fields, though.
4. TRADE ALERT – Denver Broncos (via Atlanta): QB Justin Fields
Denver takes that as a sign that they need to get their rear in gear if they want a quarterback so they make the trade with Atlanta to move up five spots. It costs them their second-round pick this year and next year, along with swapping first rounders this year because if we learned anything from the three-team San Francisco-Miami-Eagles trade, people will always overpay for quarterbacks.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Now the draft can start. The Bengals essentially have the first pick of the draft here and tackle is their biggest need. This is a no brainer.
6. Miami Dolphins (via Philadelphia): WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU
The move back up means the Dolphins are still serious about getting a surefire impact player for this year's roster and I think they go with a receiver to further help quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. They could take fellow Crimson Tider Jaylen Waddle here but maybe Tua's a little hurt Waddle chose Mac Jones over him when asked to pick between his two former quarterbacks. I'm mostly kidding. Chase has just climbed up draft boards left and right and I think a lot of people see him as WR1 in this draft.
7. Detroit Lions: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
Miami's missed opportunity at reuniting Bama players is the Lions' gain, who do pick up Waddle in order to give new quarterback Jared Goff (still weird) some more options.
8. Carolina Panthers: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Another Alabama player off the board as the Panthers are rewarded for staying pat and still get a quarterback. It means all five of the main quarterback prospects in this year's draft go in the top eight picks. I know quarterbacks always rise, but this year could be historic.
9. Atlanta Falcons (via Denver): TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
It works out for another of the Bucs' division rivals as the Falcons get one of the best offensive prospects in the draft, period. I'm not thrilled he'll be in the division because he may single-handedly increase Matt Ryan's longevity.
10. Dallas Cowboys: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
This remains unchanged from my previous mock because I think the Cowboys see with only one tackle off the board, they have their pick of the litter here. Slater is as good a tackle prospect as any and no, I'm not biased at all. *coughs* Go Cats.
11. New York Giants: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Despite announcing he was having offseason surgery and would therefore miss Virginia Tech's workouts, what Farley has put on tape is more than enough to still make him the first corner taken in this draft.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami): CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Well, clearly the Eagles aren't taking a quarterback after trading back with the Dolphins and making their first pick now at the 12 spot instead of their original sixth. Another huge need is corner and I don't think they want to take any chances after seeing the Giants still taking Farley so they grab Surtain to add another Alabama player to the top 15.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Who the top edge rusher is in this year's class is still up for debate but Ojulari, with his aggressive, attacking pass rushing ability, is definitely one of the top contenders.
14. Minnesota Vikings: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
The Vikings spent the better part of 2020 trying to figure out their offensive line and still don't have all the answers. They hope Cosmi is one of them.
15. New England Patriots: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Parsons impressed at Penn State's pro day, running a blistering 4.39 40-yard dash at 6-3, 246 pounds. No, 40-yard dash times aren't the end-all, be-all indicator of success by any means, but any player that can move that fast at that size is special. Bill Belichick is smiling internally on this pick.
16. Arizona Cardinals: G Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
The Cardinals need to bolster the interior of the offensive line and Vera-Tucker is likely the top guard prospect in this year's draft. Hopefully he can help quarterback Kyler Murray not get sacked so much. A year after taking the most sacks in the league in 2019, Murray still took 27 in 2020.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: OT Christian Darrisaw
Slowly but surely this offensive line/tackle run is starting and the Raiders get in on it to help protect Carr.
18. Miami Dolphins: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
The Dolphins aren't done in this draft and turn their attention to the defense by getting another top edge rusher out of Michigan.
19. Washington Football Team: OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
Hey, you're going to need an offensive line for whoever ends up being under center, right?
20. Chicago Bears: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
The Bears are out of the draft quarterback market with their signing of Andy Dalton, which isn't as bad as most Bears fans probably feel like it is. Getting him more (willing) weapons will help.
21. Indianapolis Colts: CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern
There is a sneaky cornerback run in this first round and the Colts recognize that. Newsome has been climbing draft boards since Northwestern's pro day and I think the Colts are smart and see his value. Not me being slightly biased toward a player from my alma mater, again.
22. Tennessee Titans: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
The Titans need help all along their secondary and the rangy Jim Thorpe award winner could be an instant upgrade for Tennessee's defense.
23. New York Jets (via Seattle): CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
What'd I just say about corners? The Jets grab Horn before anyone else can and address the other side of the ball after getting their quarterback of the future not named Sam Darnold.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Harris's flight back to Alabama was canceled due to weather so he drove nine hours to be there for the Crimson Tide pro day. Oh, but he wasn't working out. He's proved what he needs to. He just wanted to be there to support his teammates and that's a guy anyone wants on their team. Oh, and at 6-2, 230 pounds, he's pretty darn good on the field, too.
25. TRADE ALERT – Kansas City Chiefs (via Jacksonville): OT Jaylen Mayfield, Michigan
Kansas City starts to panic after seeing many of the top offensive tackle prospects taken off the board. They didn't make any significant moves in free agency after letting both Mitch Schwartz and Eric Fisher go so they have to get some sort of replacement in the draft. They'd do well to move up even higher than this but they don't exactly have the capital to make huge moves.
26. Cleveland Browns: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
This guy opposite Myles Garrett is really not something any offense wants to see.
27. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Two Miami edge rushing products go back to back. Rousseau is a bigger and perhaps more versatile defender who can play inside or outside on the line. He's well rested too after opting out and spending the last year training for the league.
28. New Orleans Saints: WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
There's going to be a quarterback battle in New Orleans, apparently, so the Saints upgrade the options around both Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.
29. Green Bay Packers: LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
The Packers could use a receiver too, because, Green Bay. But they're too far down the line and instead get one of the draft's top linebackers.
30. Buffalo Bills: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia
The Bills are pretty well set up across the board but could use another corner and see enough value in Stokes at this point of the draft.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Chiefs): WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
Jacksonville moves down because they've already had two picks in this draft but want to stock pile more later-round picks. They get a couple from the Chiefs and are still able to get another weapon for Trevor Lawrence.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Travis Etienne
I swear I'm not doing this on purpose. Truth be told, I purposely didn't even look at Scott's mock before I did this but hey, I guess great minds think alike …and the fact that the draft's best pass-catching back happened to be sitting there was entirely too good an opportunity for the Bucs.