2021 NFL mock draft: Special Eagle Eye edition

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Reuben Frank, Dave Zangaro, Barrett Brooks and Ray Didinger got together for a first-round NFL mock draft.

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With Danny Pommells hosting a special edition of the Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank, Dave Zangaro, Barrett Brooks and Ray Didinger went through all 32 first-round picks.

The order was chosen at random and repeated throughout the draft. No trades were allowed. Listen to the entire podcast here.

2/33

“I think it’s the worst-kept secret in all of football. It’s been for several months now. Sometimes people put out a lot of disinformation to try to throw people off the scent but not this time. I think the Jacksonville Jaguars really are all-in on Trevor Lawrence.”

- Ray Didinger

3/33

“If Trevor Lawrence at 1 is the worst-kept secret, then this is the second-worst-kept secret. I think it’s pretty clear. The Jets, once they traded Sam Darnold, were going quarterback. And all indications are this is Zach Wilson from BYU.”

- Dave Zangaro

4/33

“In my evaluation, watching film, Justin Fields from Ohio State is probably the third-best quarterback if not the second-best quarterback in this draft. But since (John) Lynch did say he likes Jones, the quarterback from Alabama, I just gotta go by what he says. But I’m going to say Fields is the second-best quarterback.”

- Barrett Brooks

5/33

“This is the most interesting pick in the draft to me, what the Falcons will do at No. 4 because they could take a quarterback. And Trey Lance, it makes sense. You take him and Matt Ryan’s still under contract. … It would give Trey Lance an opportunity to learn and grow and he hasn’t played that much football. If you’re the Falcons and you don’t want a quarterback, you trade that pick. Or you do what I’m gonna do and I’m just gonna take Kyle Pitts there.

- Reuben Frank

6/33

“I think (Joe) Burrow is a real good talent. I think he’s a kid who could have a great career in the NFL, but you gotta protect him. And we saw that when Cincinnati came in to play the Eagles last year.”

- Ray Didinger

7/33

“This was one of the picks where I didn’t have to think too much. I let Ray pick his guy at 5 and whichever one he didn’t pick, I’m taking. If you’re an Eagles fan and you’re watching this, it’s going to hurt a little bit because I’m taking Ja’Marr Chase at No. 6. He’s, to me, clearly the best receiver in this class.”

- Dave Zangaro

8/33

“They just made the huge trade, they got Jared Goff, and he’s going to need somebody to throw to. … They have to go with a receiver. If you look at the three receivers everybody talks about are the two kids from Alabama, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, and with Chase being off the board, you have to go with one of those guys. And I just think with the speed that Waddle has, you gotta go with that.”

- Barrett Brooks

9/33

“To me it comes down to you have his teammate (Smith) still there, but I think we’re ready for the run on cornerbacks here because they do have some functional receivers. … I think Patrick Surtain II here at No. 8. I’m gonna start the run on corners.” 

- Reuben Frank

10/33

“I kind of thought if Surtain was there, that would be an easy pick for (Vic) Fangio and you snatched him right out from under me there, Roob. I’m just gonna go off on my own here and say if I’m the Broncos, I’m surprised Justin Fields is still there. I’m gonna take Justin Fields here. I don’t think they’re settled at quarterback at all. They shouldn’t be.”

- Ray Didinger

11/33

“You have Rashawn Slater still on the board. That would fit. They need some more depth there, Tyron Smith is getting older. But I’m going back to corner. I’m taking Jaycee Horn from South Carolina. I think he’s a good player. He’s the second-best corner in this draft. … I don’t think he’s quite as pro ready as Surtain but I think he can be very good, very soon.”

- Dave Zangaro

12/33

“I like Micah Parsons from Penn State but I don’t think the Giants go in that direction. I think they’re going to want some pass rush and they’re going to go with a unique kid out of Miami, I think they’re gonna go with Jaelan Phillips. Now this kid, he’s rough, we’re talking about his ceiling is so high that you can’t help but invest in a guy like him.” 

- Barrett Brooks

13/33

“To me, the pick that makes the most sense here is Caleb Farley. This is a team that drafted Sidney Jones off an injury, a cornerback, four years ago. And Howie’s talked about drafting healthy guys. DeVonta Smith is there, it’s gotta be tempting for Howie. But I just think if the medical are OK on Caleb Farley, who was considered by a lot of people to be the top corner, before he had the back issue and Horn and Surtain kind of bypassed him. The Eagles are desperate at cornerback. They haven’t drafted one in the first round since Lito Sheppard since 2002. … I just think you can get better value in the draft going corner in the first round and receiver in the second round.” 

- Reuben Frank

14/33

“They really don’t have a guard that, to me, is an NFL quality guard. I know you don’t normally draft guards this high. But I think one of the safest picks in this draft is Alijah Vera-Tucker from Southern Cal. I think he’s really good and he’s a plug-and-play kind of guy.”

- Ray Didinger

15/33

“They can go a couple different ways here. They need some pass rush. They could go with a defensive end here and that would be a fine pick. But I think it’s a beautiful thing when the best player available lines up with the need and that’s what happens here. I’m going with Rashawn Slater from Northwestern. … I’m kind of surprised Slater is here right now. I thought that’s where Ray was going to go with the 13th pick; I’m glad he didn’t. It made my decision easier.”

- Dave Zangaro

16/33

“(Bill Belichick) gets a gift in his lap and Trey Lance from North Dakota State, arguably a top three quarterback in this draft, he falls down to him. That’s exactly what he needed to run any offense he wanted.”

- Barrett Brooks

17/33

“It’s interesting because corner is their biggest need. Patrick Peterson is gone. They only have one decent corner and he’s a slot corner, Byron Murphy Jr. But with Farley, Horn and Surtain all off the board, you wonder Greg Newsome at that point? Is that too soon for him? I think he’s a very good player but consensus not the first half of the first round type guy. I think when you look at their other needs and you look at DeVonta Smith on the board. Larry Fitzgerald is probably going to retire; whatever he does, he’s not going to be there. They signed A.J. Green but he’s about 32. He hasn’t been the same player the last couple years when he’s been out there. I think it’s the best player available, either Parsons or Smith at this point.” 

- Reuben Frank

18/33

“They’re looking defense. There’s no question if you just look at the tape, Parsons is an impressive player, really impressive player. He has the type of big play impact, game-changing impact that people look for. There are a lot of questions about him off the field. There are. I know Mike Mayock is a big character guy; he pays a lot of attention to that. Some people don’t; Mayock does. I didn’t really expect Parsons would be here right now so that’s what I’m thinking of. I think the value is too good to walk away from.” 

- Ray Didinger

19/33

“I got to pick Ja’Marr Chase at 6 and not I get my chance to pick for them again at 18. They were probably watching Parsons slide down, they were probably keeping an eye on that. I would have gone Parsons there, so Ray got me again. But I like the idea of edge rusher and Azeez Ojulari from Georgia is the next best guy on the board.”

- Dave Zangaro

20/33

“I think they want another receiver to go with the tandem they have with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. They want to be in a position where they can push the ball down the field.” 

- Barrett Brooks

21/33

“I think the Bears gotta go O-line. They gotta go O-tackle. Their O-line was bad last year, they got two very average tackles in Leno and Ifedi. There’s a couple options there. Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech and Teven Jenkins from Oklahoma State are probably at the top of the board for them at this point. I would probably go Darrisaw.” 

- Reuben Frank

22/33

“Indianapolis lost their starting left tackle, Anthony Costanzo, retired at the end of last season. And they made a pretty significant investment in Carson Wentz so you want to make sure you get the tackle position shored up.”

- Ray Didinger

23/33

“The Titans could use some offensive line help but with those two guys off the board. I thought about Christian Barmore from Alabama. That would just make that line dangerous. But I’m not going to go that way. I’m actually going with Greg Newsome from Northwestern. I think this is about the spot for him. He’s kind of gone under the radar a little bit. We always talk about those top three corners, but I think Newsome is the next guy.” 

- Dave Zangaro

24/33

“You’ve got a defensive coach in Robert Saleh and you know Joe Douglas believes in defense also. I’m going to go with a guy that not a lot of people are talking about. But this kid is huge. He’s 255 pounds, like 6-3, 6-4 and he was probably the Defensive Player of the Year this year and that’s Zaven Collins out of Tulsa.”

- Barrett Brooks

25/33

“I don’t see anybody on the O-line at that point that would be a value pick. I think they’re going to go running back. They threw the ball 650-some-odd times last year. You’ve got a 39-year-old quarterback. That’s just not smart. They’ve gotta do something to take some pressure off (Ben) Roethlisberger.” 

- Reuben Frank

26/33

“The first pick was a quarterback and I’m thinking this pick you want someone who can protect the quarterback. I’ve got a couple of offensive tackles I’m looking at. I kind of have to pick one. I’ve got Jaylen Mayfield of Michigan, who I like a lot, and Samuel Cosmi of Texas, who just had another really good pro day and his stock is certainly on the rise.”

- Ray Didinger

27/33

“I really like this pick for them because it’s a fun pick. You don’t normally say that about a linebacker but this guy is fun. I’m going Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah from Notre Dame. He’s just a fun player. And I understand that some people view him as a tweeter but that’s what the league is now. You need linebacker who can run sideline-to-sideline, who can cover. Maybe he is kind of a hybrid type player but I think he would fit really well in that defense and the value lines up.”

- Dave Zangaro

28/33

“This guy has great size, great speed. He’ll just fit into that defense as a guy who can play as a nickel safety inside the box and play deep safety. He’s one of those combination players.” 

- Barrett Brooks

29/33

“I’m really intrigued by Elijah Moore and I think that’s going to be my pick, the wide receiver from Ole Miss. … The Saints could really use some explosiveness. Emmanuel Sanders is gone, Michael Thomas is really their only weapon and he’s been hurt, he was hurt last year. A weapon for whoever the quarterback is.” 

- Reuben Frank

30/33

“One of the free agent losses this year was Corey Linsley, who was their center, and I think they’re going to go center here. If I were them, I would. There are are a couple of really good ones. Landon Dickerson from Alabama is a good player, played center at Alabama but he’s played some guard too. … I think most scouts have him rated the highest, but this is my pick damnit and I’m going to pick the guy I like and I’m going to take Creed Humphrey.” 

- Ray Didinger

31/33

“I know that Travis Etienne is considered to be the next best running back but I’m going with a different one. I’m going with Javonte Williams from North Carolina. I think he just fits what that offense is a little better. I don’t think they’re done at running back.” 

- Dave Zangaro

32/33

“I think they’re going to go offensive tackle. They get a guy who can play guard or tackle at 6-7, 310 pounds. He’s just agile enough to play inside or outside. They said his arms are a little short, which is why they might move him inside, but I think he’s suitable at the outside position.” 

- Barrett Brooks

33/33

“Going into this, when you’re picking for the Super Bowl champs, I figure you’re really going for best player available at 32, but it’s actually a guy who makes sense for them.” 

- Reuben Frank

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