2021 NFL mock draft: Crazy trades spark historic run on QBs, more big surprises(3)

21. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings
Sep 7, 2019; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies running back Keshawn King 935) celebrates his first touch down with Christian Darrisaw (77) in the first period against the Old Dominion Monarchs at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Castonzo’s retirement creates an obvious need at left tackle. Thankfully, the Colts aren’t reaching here for a three-year starter at the position in Darrisaw. Numerous players went down in front of Carson Wentz when he was with the Eagles, and his play suffered drastically because of it. If there’s any concern about a rookie manning left tackle, it helps that a perennial All-Pro in Quenton Nelson is right there next to him at left guard. Darrisaw will more than hold his own by Week 1, though. – Matt Fitzgerald

22. Tennessee Titans: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft
Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys offensive lineman Teven Jenkins (73) blocks Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Moro Ojomo (98) during the fourth quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Texas won 41-34. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

We know what happened the last time Tennessee drafted a right tackle with its first-round pick. Unlike Isaiah Wilson, there aren’t off-field concerns with Jenkins. He is a bully on the right side, someone who loves pushing around opponents and thrives as a run blocker. This team’s offensive identity is Derrick Henry and Jenkins can make him even more dominant. – Matt Johnson

23. New York Jets: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft
Sep 21, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (15) celebrates by wearing the turnover chain after recovering a fumble in the first quarter of a football game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

New Jets head coach Robert Saleh had a phenomenal front four in San Francisco as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. He proved in 2020 that he could put together a top-flight defense even as injuries struck, but Saleh helped the Niners to a Super Bowl appearance when his front was at full strength. If the Jets can put together a lineup of Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins, Quinnen Williams and Rousseau, that’d be quite a terrifying quartet for opponents to go against. — Matt Fitzgerald

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

2021 NFL mock draft: Pittsburgh Steelers: 2021 NFL Draft
Sep 12, 2020; Austin, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns offensive lineman Samuel Cosmi (52) prepares to block Texas El Paso Miners defensive lineman Praise Amaewhule (23) in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers need to find a quarterback for the future and they must protect him. There isn’t a signal-caller worth taking with the top-five options off the board, so focus shifts to the offensive line. Cosmi isn’t as polished as some hoped, but it’s difficult to find 6-foot-7 tackles with this level of athleticism. He needs plenty of work, largely with his technique, but great coaching can turn him into a pillar at left tackle for a decade. – Matt Johnson

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars
Aug 31, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Jayson Oweh (28) reacts following a sack during the first quarter against the Idaho Vandals at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

For a team that went 1-15 last year, the offensive line set to protect Lawrence isn’t as bad as you’d assume, especially at the non-tackle positions. Yes, first-round picks have been used on players like Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, yet Oweh’s freakish speed and physical tools are just too good to pass up here. The Jaguars have the 33rd, 45th and 65th picks to fill out other pure needs. Go with the talent here in Oweh, and he could end up hitting in a huge way under Urban Meyer’s guidance. — Matt Fitzgerald

26. Cleveland Browns: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft
Oct 10, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws to running back Travis Etienne (9) against Miami Hurricanes defensive line Jaelan Phillips (15) during the first quarte at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

There’s an element of risk with Jaelan Phillips. A former No. 1 overall recruit, concussions seemed to derail his football career. There are also some off-field risks with the talented edge rusher. But he showed he can stay healthy in 2020 and his snaps coming off the edge were impressive. Teaming him up with Myles Garrett, providing a complementary edge to the All-Pro pass-rusher, could be the missing piece to make the Browns a Super Bowl contender. – Matt Johnson

27. Baltimore Ravens: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

2021 NFL mock draft: Baltimore Ravens
Nov 2, 2019; Stillwater, OK, USA; TCU Horned Frogs safety Trevon Moehrig (7) turns to run after an interception during the fourth quarter of the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated TCU 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

There might be more pressing needs here like receiver or offensive line to help support Lamar Jackson, but right now, Baltimore is slated to continue rolling with two former sixth-round picks at the starting safety spots. Moehrig is a talent upgrade at that spot and has the ball production to line up at nickel cornerback. This would free up Marlon Humphrey to play more on the outside in the future and make way for long-tenured veteran Jimmy Smith’s inevitable departure. — Matt Fitzgerald

28. New Orleans Saints: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft
Nov 14, 2020; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Northwestern Wildcats defensive back Greg Newsome II (2) breaks up the pass to Purdue Boilermakers tight end Payne Durham (87) in the game at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Newsome isn’t getting the level of attention his peers have, but he is an outstanding player in his own right. Just consider, per Pro Football Focus, that he allowed only 93 receiving yards in a six-game stretch last season. Even more impressive, opposing quarterbacks had a 0.0 passer ratings when throwing his way on third or fourth down. Imagine that corner opposite Marshon Lattimore. – Matt Johnson

29. Green Bay Packers: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers
Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane linebacker Zaven Collins (23) signals before the play during the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, what a steal this would be if Collins is there for Green Bay. He’s a 260-pound beast of a defender who’s almost unblockable when he blitzes up the middle, yet he has the speed and finesse to get around the edge with a surprising array of pass-rushing moves. Between those skills, his uncanny coverage ability and nose for the football versus the run, Collins is exactly the type of front seven difference-maker the Packers defense needs to take that next step toward a Super Bowl. — Matt Fitzgerald

30. Buffalo Bills: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

2021 NFL mock draft: 2021 NFL Draft
Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Eric Stokes (27) returns an interception against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Stokes is another 2021 NFL Draft prospect who elevated his stock thanks to his Pro Day performance. Cornerbacks standing at 6-foot-1 already catch the interest and that is taken to a new level when they run a 4.3 40-yard dash. Stokes is an outstanding athlete with instincts that will come along very nicely. As the No. 2 cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White, he could thrive in Buffalo’s defense. – Matt Johnson

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