Mock draft: Eagles ignore QB, make big choice on a weapon


There are few certainties about the 2021 NFL Draft outside of the No. 1 overall pick.The QB field is strong, and there has been more QB movement this offseason than any in recent memory, which means we could see a run on the most important position in football at the top of this year's Draft.Get ready for chaos, and a lot of offensive players being taken in the Top 10.

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NBC Sports' Chris Simms caused a stir when he ranked Zach Wilson ahead of Lawrence, but I still think the Clemson QB is too good to pass up. You don't get No. 1 overall picks very often, and Lawrence feels like a sure thing.




Draft analysts all over the place love Wilson's combination of athleticism and arm strength, and in the end the Jets can't help themselves. Sam Darnold takes an L and Wilson becomes the face of the Jets' franchise after their Deshaun Watson pursuit goes for naught.




Tua Tagovailoa's first season in Miami was underwhelming, but part of his struggles might've been thanks to a lackluster supporting cast. Adding an immediate WR1 in Chase should help Tagovailoa - or help the Dolphins realize they need a different answer at QB.



Matt Ryan can still sling the ball, but at 35 years old the Exton native is on the downslope of his career, and the Falcons - with new head coach Arthur Smith in tow - need a QB of the future. With the right situation, Fields can be that guy.


The 2020 season was tentatively promising for the Bengals, who liked what they saw from QB of the future Joe Burrow, along with rookie wideout Tee Higgins and fellow young wideouts Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate. Now the Bengals need to protect Burrow so he can play all 16 games in 2021, and Sewell is far and away the best OL prospect in this year's draft.










The Eagles are reportedly being directed by owner Jeffrey Lurie to build around Jalen Hurts as the team's starting quarterback in 2021, so Howie Roseman sits at No. 6 and gets to choose between two potential monster weapons: the tight end Pitts or Alabama's Heisman-winning wide receiver Devonta Smith. This is a huge call, and Roseman decides to go with the red-hot commodity in Pitts, continuing to chase that Patriots-style two TE dominance while also hoping Pitts' upside allows him to become a hybrid TE/WR who breaks games open every single week with his size (6-6, 240) and natural athletic ability.









Afer the Jared Goff trade, the Lions are looking to create a competitive offensive despite possibly losing Kenny Golladay in free agency. Detroit brings in Devonta Smith to make up for the loss, and now have a not-bad core of Goff-Smith-D'Andre Swift at QB/WR/RB.








Jones has been rising the ranks lately as draft analysts dive into film, with some determining that the Alabama QB wasn't just a product of playing in a bulletproof system surrounded by NFL-caliber weapons. The Panthers make a move to try and find their QB of the future.







The run on QBs continues! It's a Draft we'll never forget. John Elway goes for the biggest swing of all, taking a largely unknown entity in Lance with sky-high upside thanks to his combination of mobility, athleticism, and big-play ability. We'll see.






A nightmare scenario for Eagles fans, Dallas gets to take arguably the best corner in the Draft in Surtain, who had four interceptions and 24 pass deflections in his three years with the Crimson Tide. Dallas needs to improve its defense, and this is a good first step.





The Giants are going full steam ahead in their attempts to build a formidable offense around Saquon Barkley, so they give Daniel Jones a new weapon in Jaylen Waddle, an insanely talented WR who missed the 2020 season but is otherwise considered just as dangerous as Devonta Smith and Ja'Marr Chase.




Farley also has a claim to the "best CB in the draft" mantle, with six interceptions and 19 pass deflections across 23 games as a starter with Virginia Tech. With Richard Sherman likely playing elsewhere in 2021, the Niners bolster their secondary.



Justin Herbert had an unexpectedly fantastic rookie year in Los Angeles, and now the Chargers need to protect their investment. Slater (6-5, 315 pounds) is a force and received comparisons to the likes of Joe Staley and Trent Williams last week. Good company.


The Yannick Ngakoue era didn't last a single season, and the Vikings generated the fifth-fewest sacks per game (1.4) in the entire league in 2020. Rousseau had a ridiculous 15.5 in 13 games in 2019, the last time he played. The kid could be a revelation in Minnesota.















The last time the Patriots won a Super Bowl, it was their defense and not their offense that secured the W. Bill Belichick jumps at a chance to add Paye, an explosive athlete who can get after the quarterback in bunches (16.5 sacks in his last 16 games with Michigan).














The Cardinals aren't hurting for pass-rushing, especially after adding J.J. Watt, but the oft-injured Watt and Chandler Jones are both 31 years old. Arizona needs to think about who will be playing defense during Kyler Murray's second deal, and Phillips (8.0 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss) was a menace in 2020.













Turns out, it's hard to replace a player like Khalil Mack. Who knew? Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock pounce on Parsons at 17, getting a fast and physical linebacker who is able to rush the passer and cover tight ends in open space. He can be a legit difference maker.












The Dolphins' chaotic defense was a strength in 2020, but the back end of the unit was quietly iffy. Eric Rowe (remember him, Eagles fans?) and Bobby McCain don't exactly inspire confidence. Moehrig, the most promising safety in this class, had seven INTs in 33 games with TCU and has the size (6-2, 202 pounds) to lay a nice hit on a pass-catcher.











Washington doesn't exactly have an answer at quarterback, but whomever is throwing the ball in 2021 needs to be protected. The Football Team allowed the fifth-most sacks per game last year (3.1) because... they don't have much OL talent. Darrisaw fixes that immediately.










The Bears weren't as bad as WFT in terms of sacks allowed (they ranked 16th at 2.2 allowed per game) but they had a bit of a revolving door along the line. Vera-Tucker brings much-needed stability and immediate plug-and-play ability on the interior.









The Colts' defense had a great 2020, and Indy should want to double down on that strength to help Carson Wentz (remember him, Eagles fans?) not feel the pressure. Barmore had a very solid 2020 with the Tide, racking up 8.0 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.








Tennessee's pash rush was anemic last year (fourth-worst at 1.4 per game) and you can bet Mike Vrabel wants that fixed in 2021. Enter Ojulari, the perfect blend of athleticism and downhill pass rushing who tallied 15.0 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss over his last 21 games with Georgia.







The post-Le'Veon Bell era has proven tough for the Jets' RB room. La'Mical Perine is just okay as a spell back, and Frank Gore is old. Joe Douglas goes out and gets Harris as his running back of the future to pair with Wilson, totally revamping the Jets' offense at two crucial positions.






With JuJu Smith-Schuster likely gone next season, the Steelers do what they do best: they snag a wide receiver and turn him into a superstar. Toney's numbers (70 catches, 984 yards, 10 TDs) don't jump out, but his zip on the field and big playmaking ability certainly do.





The Jags could use a strong third linebacker alongside Myles Jack and Joe Schobert. Collins fits that bill. Collins had a knack at Tulsa for blowing plays up - 25 tackles for loss in 32 games - and in 2020 he showed his impressive ability to disrupt the pass game with 4 INTs in eight games.




The Browns struck out on pairing J.J. Watt with Myles Garrett on their defensive line, so they turn to the Draft and snag Basham, who was a headache for opposing ACC squads his last three seasons with Wake Forest, racking up 35.5 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in his last 31 games as a Demon Deacon.



Calais Campbell turns 35 this year and has one year left on his deal, and Yannick Ngakoue is a free agent, so the Ravens look to add some cost-controlled youth on the D-line in Oweh, a high-ceiling prospect whose blazing-fast 4.3X 40-yard dash at his Pro Day has scouts salivating.


Demario Davis is very good. The rest of the Saints' linebackers either aren't good, or - in the case of Kwon Alexander - might be free agency/cap casualties. Owusu-Koramoah is a great coverage linebacker who also racked up 24.5 tackles for loss in 25 games with the Irish. He can do it all.






Kevin King is a free agent, which means the Packers probably want to shore up the corner position opposite Jaire Alexander. Horn is an extremely high-ceiling CB with speed, size, and talent despite modest interception numbers across 30 games with the Gamecocks.





The Bills ranked middle-of-the-league in sacks per game last season with 2.3, and would like to get home more often. Enter Tryon, a 6-foot-5 edge rusher who can probably play either linebacker or defensive end. He had 8.0 sacks in 13 games in his last season with Washington.




Dickerson's injury issues might scare some teams, but the Chiefs need to restock along their offensive line after releasing Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Andy Reid likes depth along the trenches, and Dickerson has serious potential if he stays healthy during his pro career.



When you're the Super Bowl champ, you can afford to double down. The Bucs won Super Bowl 55 in large part because of their exquisite defensive performance, and here they add Nixon who was highly productive (5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, 1 INT, 1 FF) in just eight games in 2020.

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