2021 NFL Mock Draft: Quarterbacks will be on demand
By Brian Emory
16. Arizona Cardinals: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
After a big time offseason, the Cardinals are heading into 2021 with the mentality that it will be a “playoffs or bust” season. The Cardinals still have some holes at the cornerback position. This could be slightly high for Newsome II, maybe they look to trade down a few slots and pick him up a bit later. He’s undoubtedly a first round prospect though, featuring ideal size and technique.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Since Jon Gruden took the reins of this franchise, Oakland has been one of the more difficult teams to project in the draft, and that includes this 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Gruden certainly looks for a certain brand of player, and it is very difficult to figure out who fits the bill for him. The Raiders need some young talent at offensive tackle, so they can capitalize on this deep class by taking a promising young player like Teven Jenkins at this juncture.
18. Miami Dolphins: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
If the board happened to fall this way, the Dolphins would have an early bid for the league’s best draft. This would be an incredible night one haul. After landing Kyle Pitts sixth, Miami doubles down on weapons for Tua by stopping Devonta Smith’s fall here. This duo would give Miami one of the most exciting stables of pass-catchers in the league.
19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Don’t be too surprised if Washington went all in on a young quarterback. At 37 years old, Ryan Fitzpatrick is very much a short-term solution for a Washington team that believes they are a quarterback away from legitimate contention. If the price is too expensive, Washington could hang tight and select the best player available. Ron Rivera is a defensive-minded coach at heart, and his best teams in Carolina were defined by strong linebacker play.
20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Similar to Washington, it feels like the Bears’ ceiling has a hard cap until they find a long-term solution at quarterback. I wouldn’t totally be blown away if the Bears moved up for a quarterback on draft night, but I don’t expect it. The Bears seem comfortable with rolling with Andy Dalton in 2021, so adding another weapon would certainly make sense. I have Bateman ranked as the fourth best receiver in this draft.