Brendan Donahue's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 6.0
BY BRENDAN DONAHUE (@donnycasino)
Updated: Thursday, April 22nd
We are in the final countdown -- just a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft!
I have been tracking betting lines and will note any big line movement or if I see some value in a particular player or prop. If you want to see what I think a team needs or more description of a particular player, you can find those aspects addressed in the previous iterations.
Note: Previous iterations of this mock draft can be viewed here:
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 4.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
- Brendan Donahue 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
Still listed at -10,000, still the biggest lock on the board.
Line has moved from -500 to -2,000 last week, to -5,000 this week. Just as the odds imply, it's the second biggest lock of the draft.
As they say, this is where the draft really begins. It certainly has been an interesting couple of weeks -- not only in the media debating who this pick is going to be but also in the betting markets, which has seen Jones a -305 favorite as of my last mock, to Fields as high as a -150 favorite, now back to Jones as a -150 favorite at the time of this writing.
There is a clear divide between scouts and reporters as to who they think this pick should/will be. As a mock drafter, I am trying my best to predict who it will be vs. should be so I am going to still go with Jones here.
Atlanta will most likely be fielding calls for this pick if Jones is indeed the pick at No. 3 so this could and maybe should be a trade down depending on the offers, but if they stay put, the pick is Pitts. Pitts has seen his odds move from +150 to -121 to be the first non-QB selected since my last mock.
And I am flip flopping once again back to Chase this week after reports that the Bengals are targeting Chase and that Joe Burrow has even asked management to do so. Chase is -125 to be drafted in the top five and nobody expects him to go 1-4.
I'm not sure Miami envisioned the draft to play out this way when they made the trade so there are rumors out there that they may actually trade back again. But if they stay, they seem to want a difference-making WR with their first pick over an offensive lineman. Waddle has been drawing Tyreek Hill comparisons and there are few WRs in the league that fit that difference-making description more than Waddle. Wide receiver as the first position selected by Miami is favored at -134 whereas offensive lineman is +400 so there is certainly value there if you think they will take Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater.
Projected trade: I am keeping this trade in place from last week, maybe selfishly as a Pats fan, but Bill Belichick has actually traded UP in the first round four times in the Tom Brady era, all while he didn't have a need at the most important position on the field so the narrative that he never trades up isn't exactly accurate. But more importantly, it just makes a ton of sense for both teams. Detroit has a lot of needs to fill and the Patriots (after a very aggressive offseason) basically have only one and may not be in a position to draft this high again if they return to the type of seasons they envision for themselves. Fields has seen his odds to be drafted by the Patriots move from +700 to +400 since my last mock.
With only one of the top five quarterbacks still on the board here, I am sure Carolina will field calls from a couple teams looking to jump up. But if they don't like the offers, Carolina will feel very content in sitting pat and taking who many view as the best offensive lineman in the draft. Sewell has a draft position of 6.5 over +103 so a better bet would be to take offensive lineman first position selected by Carolina at +120 and that way you are covered whether it's Sewell or Slater.
If Denver really prefers one of the two quarterbacks that are available after the third pick, then they may need to actually move up. Denver to draft a quarterback first is favored at +115 and would most likely be a lock if they do indeed trade up.
The streak of Surtain to the Cowboys continues as there are few better fits in the draft of talent and need. Surtain was the co-favorite with Micah Parsons to be the first defensive player taken at +150 at the time of my last mock but is now the clear-cut favorite at -125.
We got a chance to ask New York Giants legend Carl Banks who he would like to see the Giants draft at No. 11 and one of the players he mentioned was Rashawn Slater, who I had being selected earlier than this in my past few mocks. But the Giants should not let him slide past here even if they are tempted by DeVonta Smith. There is certainly some value in the offensive lineman first position picked by the Giants at +300.
There are rumors out there that the Eagles are looking to trade down again and pick up even more draft capital for the 2022 NFL Draft but with Horn still on the board they stay put and address an obvious need. Horn under 13.5 has moved from -112 to -129 since my last mock, but the Eagles selecting a cornerback with their first pick offers better odds at +175.
I've been consistent with this pick for a while now as I believe the Chargers have to address the offensive line and Darrisaw makes a lot of sense here. I am not the only one that feels that way as DraftKings has the Chargers taking an offensive lineman with their first selection favored at -110. For the 28 teams that they have that prop listed, only four teams have a - money favorite.
One of the other four teams happens to be the Vikings, who have offensive lineman selected with their first pick favored at -110 as well.
Projected trade: As I mentioned earlier, the Lions have a lot of needs to fill so they take a versatile linebacker that on talent alone could've been a top-10 pick. However, since my last mock his over/under has moved from 11.5 to 13.5.
Nobody is questioning the talent of DeVonta Smith but with him weighing in at just 166 pounds, some may question his durability at the next level. There are only 16 WRs that have weighed in at less than 170 pounds at the combine since 2000, so fair or not, there just isn't a very big or successful sample size to draw from.
Continue to 2021 NFL Mock Draft 6.0: Picks 17-32
Also, check out Kevin Hanson's 2021 NFL Mock DraftMock Draft Databases:
- 2022 NFL Mock Draft
- 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- 2021 NBA Mock Draft
- Fantasy Football Rankings
- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)