2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Kyle Pitts stiff arms defender

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) tires to get past Georgia defensive back Lewis Cine (16) after a reception during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Sportsbooks continue updating their 2021 NFL Draft odds and props
  • Kyle Pitts’ stock continues to rise leading up to the NFL Draft, scheduled for Thursday, April 29
  • Check out our latest NFL Mock Draft (2.0) based off nothing but these betting odds

One week from now, the Jacksonville Jaguars will officially make Trevor Lawrence the first-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft (Thursday, April 29). If you think there’s any doubt in this happening, you should be running to the NFL Draft odds at a legal sportsbook in your state.

This isn’t the place where we are doubting the odds, however. Nine days ago, I rounded up all the odds and props for the NFL Draft, and used them to piece together the puzzle that is an NFL Mock Draft. The 1.0 version of the mock draft was accurate then, but the odds have changed significantly.

So here we are again, using the hundreds of props to solve this 32-piece puzzle. The props used include but are not limited to: (1) odds to be selected with picks 1-4, (2) odds to be a top 5/10 pick, (3) player draft position over/unders, (4) odds to be selected in the first round, (5) odds on whether each team will go offense or defense with their first (and sometimes second) pick, (6) odds on exact playing position of each team’s first pick, (7) odds to be the first player drafted at each playing position, and (8) over/unders on number of players drafted at each playing position in the first round.

This is what I’ve come up with:

2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Pick Team Player Position
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB
3 San Francisco 49ers Mac Jones QB
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE
5 Denver Broncos* Justin Fields QB
6 Miami Dolphins Ja’Marr Chase WR
7 New England Patriots* Trey Lance QB
8 Carolina Panthers Penei Sewell OT
9 Cincinnati Bengals* Rashawn Slater OT
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB
11 New York Giants Jaylen Waddle WR
12 Philadelphia Eagles DeVonta Smith WR
13 Arizona Cardinals* Jaycee Horn CB
14 Minnesota Vikings Christian Darrisaw OT
15 Detroit Lions* Micah Parsons LB
16 Los Angeles Chargers* Alijah Vera-Tucker OL
17 Las Vegas Raiders Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye EDGE
19 Washington Football Team Teven Jenkins OT
20 Cleveland Browns* Jamin Davis LB
21 Indianapolis Colts Jaelan Phillips EDGE
22 Tennessee Titans Caleb Farley CB
23 New York Jets Greg Newsome II CB
24 New Orleans Saints* Christian Barmore DL
25 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevon Moehrig-Woodard S
26 Atlanta Falcons* Azeez Ojulari EDGE
27 Baltimore Ravens Rashod Bateman WR
28 Pittsburgh Steelers* Najee Harris RB
29 Green Bay Packers Zaven Collins LB
30 Buffalo Bills Asante Samuel Jr CB
31 Chicago Bears* Kadarius Toney CB
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gregory Rousseau EDGE

*Denotes a projected trade.

Before I get into justifying all of this, keep in mind that I do not think all of these trades will happen. The trades were manufactured to follow as many favored outcomes as possible. The fact that I had to create so many trades means that there’s a lot of ways you can expose some sportsbooks with their NFL Draft odds.

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Projected NFL Draft Trades

  1. Broncos move up to #5 for Fields – As I said in the 1.0 version, I’m not overly confident in the Broncos giving up the picks to make a move this far up the board. However, the odds favor Denver taking a quarterback with their first pick, and Justin Fields is still heavily favored to be a top 5 pick. Fields was even favored to be the third overall pick earlier this week, but Mac Jones has taken over again in those odds. The Falcons, of course, could take him at four, but the odds now favor Kyle Pitts being taken with the fourth overall pick. So to make things work, I had to get Cincinnati out of there, since there’s no way they take a QB with this pick.
  2. Patriots move up for QB of the future – I had this exact trade happening nine days ago, and Trey Lance’s draft position remains at 6.5. The under is favored, but Ja’Marr Chase’s draft position is set at 5.5, so I had to bump Lance down a pick. With the many needs the Lions have right now, it doesn’t make sense for them to take a quarterback with this pick. Detroit would benefit from acquiring more early picks in this draft.
  3. Cardinals and Chargers swap picks – The Chargers are in a great position to draft an offensive lineman at 13, and the odds heavily favor them addressing that need with their first pick. However, Jaycee Horn is expected to come off the board before the best offensive lineman remaining (Christian Darrisaw). This means another trade has to be made, and the Cardinals are the perfect fit. Arizona really needs some help at CB.
  4. Bears move back twice in first round – This is where things got messy. Based off the odds, the Bears are definitely going offense with their first pick, specifically offensive line or wide receiver. However, there aren’t enough offensive lineman favored to go in the first round. Even Teven Jenkins, whose draft position over/under is set at 26.5, is coming off the board earlier than the odds suggest, simply because Washington is heavily favored to address their OL needs.  Also, once we get through the top three receivers (Chase, Smith, and Waddle), Rashod Bateman is the next one up, but his over/under is set at 26.5 with the over listed at -148 odds. So I had to get the Bears out of 20. I have the Browns trading up for Jamin Davis, and then Chicago moving down again, this time to 31 to select Kadarius Toney. In this mock, Atlanta will make two moves to get up to 26, first trading with the Chiefs to get to 31, then with the Bears to get to 26 for some much-needed help on the edge.
  5. Saints and Steelers trade – Although I think it’s a terrible idea, the odds now favor the Steelers taking a running back with their first pick. However, 24 is a little too early for Najee Harris, whose over/under is set at 29.5. The Saints are the one team that sportsbooks don’t really have any beat on what position they’ll address with their first pick. All of wide receiver, corner, and defensive line are co-favorites. Christian Barmore, whose over/under is currently 23.5 with the over set at -130 odds, would provide New Orleans with a nice interior presence on their defensive line.

Again, these trades are not all going to happen. So take a long look at where things got messy in this mock and use that to your advantage at the sportsbooks.

Major Changes from Mock Draft 1.0

  • Jaylen Waddle comes off the board before DeVonta Smith – this one seems a little crazy to me, but the odds now favor Waddle being selected before former teammate and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. It’s a simple swap between the two at 11 and 12, but a swap I did not expect to be making.
  • Alijah Vera-Tucker moves from 24 to 16 – nine days ago, Vera-Tucker’s draft position over/under was listed as high as 24.5. His line has now moved to as low as 15.5 as there are a lot of teams looking for offensive linemen early in the draft.
  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah goes from 29 to 17 – we did not have a draft position over/under for Owusu-Koramoah nine days ago, and odds of him going in the first round were not that favorable. His over/under has now come out at 19.5 with Micah Parsons’ over/under settling in around 13.5. Parsons is heavily favored to be the first linebacker taken, but the Notre Dame product is another highly-coveted playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Farley falls from 16 to 22 – two months ago, Caleb Farley was favored to be the first corner taken in the draft. His stock has continued to fall, though, as his draft position over/under has fallen to 21.5 with the over slightly favored at -114. 
  • Moehrig-Woodard goes from 17 to 25 – nine days ago, the Raiders were favored to take a safety with their first pick, and Trevon Moehrig-Woodard is the only safety expected to come off the board in the first round. Moehrig-Woodard’s draft position over/under has fallen to 26.5 now.
  • Radunz, Eichenberg, Oweh, Marshall Jr, and Tryon all fall out of the first round – in our first mock, we had Radunz going 19th to the Football Team and Eichenberg going 21st to the Colts. At the time, both were heavily favored to take offensive linemen with their first picks, and the total number of offensive linemen taken in the first round was higher. All of Jayson Oweh, Terrace Marshall Jr, and Joe Tryon were coming off the board pretty late in the first edition, but the odds to be taken in the first round being released this week have pushed them all out.
  • Jamin Davis, Christian Barmore, Zaven Collins, Kadarius Toney, and Asante Samuel Jr move into the first round – with five players moving out, we needed five to come into the first round. The five players above have more favorable odds to be taken in the first round than the five from the previous bullet point. Barmore moving in also gets us over 5.5 Alabama players selected in the first round, which is listed at -200 odds right now.
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Matt McEwan