Nason’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: 2 Weeks In

We are two weeks into the NFL season and, from a covid standpoint, so far so good. The best part of having football back for me is now we can start to see what major needs teams should look to address in next year’s draft, and more importantly, what teams will be looking for a new quarterback. Let’s face it, that’s the most fun part of draft season, seeing where the guys labeled as franchise quarterbacks like Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Touchdown Jesus himself Trevor Lawrence will end up.

In a year where the top guys have either opted out, had their season’s cancelled, or are just playing less of a schedule, it’s a very difficult year to evaluate prospects. With that being said, here’s my first crack at it this year. With a draft order that is sure to change significantly over the next few weeks, check out my 1st round mock draft through Week 2!

Top Takeaways

  1. The Darnold era is over in New York

It pains me to write this, as I am a huge Sam Darnold fan and I still believe he has the talent to be successful in this league, but he isn’t getting it done in New York, and when the opportunity to draft a generational talent like Trevor Lawrence comes along, you don’t pass it up. Jets GM Joe Douglas will be looking to bring in a new head coach to replace Adam Gase (yes, he will be fired) and a major draw will be the ability to start things over with Lawrence, plus having a franchise left tackle in Mekhi Becton already there. Hopefully Darnold can find a new opportunity to start with a more talented team looking to replace an older quarterback (New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh come to mind).

  • This is a great year to need offensive tackles

The reason that a lot of NFL teams struggle is lack of offensive line talent. Young quarterbacks and pocket passers need time to make their reads and throw, and with the growing number of pass rush threats around the league, having a strong tackle is a must. This draft is rich on the offensive line, especially tackle, where I have 6 guys going in the 1st round currently, along with 3 interior linemen. Now this could change, especially with medicals for guys like Walker Little, but overall, this is a deep and talented class where you can still get a starting caliber player on day 2.

  • This receiver class could top last year’s

Last year’s wide receiver class was historically deep, but this year may top that with the depth of overall pass catchers. Chase, Waddle, Bateman, Smith and Moore lead the pack at wideout, but with 3 strong tight ends in 1st round conversation in Freiermuth, Pitts, and Miami’s Brevin Jordan. Offensively this is going to be a fun class to watch not only from a draft standpoint, but for the 2021 fantasy football season as well.

Image: (Sam Hodde/Associated Press)

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