2021 NFL Mock Draft: Who will your favorite team draft in round 1?

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INDIANAPOLIS — With April comes the NFL Draft and all the speculation that surrounds it.

By the end of the month, not only will life-long NFL dreams be realized, but teams will make decisions that will impact the trajectory of the franchise for years to come. It’s a high-stakes, high-drama affair that drew more than 15.6 millions viewers last year during the first night alone.

In this mock draft, FOX59’s Joe Hopkins attempts to predict who each team will draft by weighing team needs and team-building philosophy against the best player available. 

In this Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 file photo, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against Ohio State during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

1 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson

NFL Comparison – Andrew Luck

Lawrence has been a projected first-overall pick since his freshman year and is the most highly-regarded quarterback to come out since Andrew Luck in 2012. Jacksonville hopes to finally land a franchise quarterback with this can’t-miss prospect.

Other Considerations – Zach Wilson (QB), Justin Fields (QB), Trey Lance (QB)

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

2 – New York Jets: Zach Wilson – QB – BYU

NFL Comparison – Aaron Rodgers

R-E-L-A-X as Rodgers would say. Wilson’s pro comparison is a reflection of body type and play style, not so much a prediction of career success. With that said, New York moves on from Sam Darnold for a quarterback with Rodgers-like tools.

Other Considerations – Justin Fields (QB), Trey Lance (QB), Penei Sewell (OT)

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance scrambles against Central Arkansas in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

3 – San Fransisco 49ers: Trey Lance – QB – North Dakota State

NFL Comparison – Dak Prescott

San Fran’s vault from the 12th to the 3rd pick screams quarterback. Lance is as physically gifted as any QB in this draft, but is still in development with just 318 collegiate pass attempts. The 49ers are in a position to groom Lance with Jimmy Garoppolo still in place as the starter.

Other Considerations – Justin Fields (QB), Mack Jones (QB), Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to pass during the first quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

4 – Atlanta Falcons: Justin Fields – QB – Ohio State

NFL Comparison – Robert Griffin III

Quarterbacks go one, two, three, four as Atlanta selects their heir apparent to the aging Matt Ryan. Fields can adjust to the pro game while he sits behind the veteran, that is if his talent doesn’t get him on the field sooner than expected.

Other Considerations – Kyle Pitts (TE), Mack Jones (QB), Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) scores a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Kentucky in Gainesville, Fla., in this Nov. 28, 2020, file photo. (Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via AP, File)

5 – Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Pitts – TE – Florida

NFL Comparison – Darren Waller

Pitts appears to be the next cheat-code tight end in the mold of a Travis Kelce or Darren Waller. The Bengals provide Joe Burrow a freakish talent who some consider to be the second best player in the draft.

Other Considerations – Ja’Marr Chase (WR), Penei Sewell (OT), Rashawn Slater (OT)

Ja’Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers scores a touchdown as A.J. Terrell #8 of the Clemson Tigers defends in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

6 – Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase – WR – LSU

NFL Comparison – A.J. Brown

The Dolphins surround Tua Tagovailoa with weapons in an effort to help the young quarterback succeed. Chase has all the makings of a dominant, number one receiver who can beat you in just about every way imaginable.

Other Considerations – DeVonta Smith (WR), Penei Sewell (OT), Rashawn Slater (OT)

In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell (58) looks on as Oregon plays Auburn in an NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)

7 – Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell – OT – Oregon

NFL Comparison – Ronnie Stanley

While wide receiver is a glaring need, the Lions want to be a hard-nosed, kneecap-biting team under new coach Dan Campbell. Don’t be surprised if they invest in the trenches, especially after trading for QB Jared Goff, who struggles to create off script.

Other Considerations – Rashawn Slater (OT), DeVonta Smith (WR), Jaylen Waddle (WR)

Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater, participates in the school’s Pro Day football workout for NFL scouts Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

8 – Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Slater – OT – Northwestern

NFL Comparison – Tristan Wirfs

Investing in the offensive line is a smart way to ensure the Sam Darnold trade works out. Despite being slightly undersized, there is a legitimate debate between Slater and Sewell for the draft’s top offensive tackle.

Other Considerations – Micah Parsons (LB), Patrick Surtain II (CB), Jaycee Horn (CB)

Micah Parsons #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts after making a tackle Kevin Marks #5 of the Buffalo Bulls during the second half at Beaver Stadium on September 07, 2019 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

9 – Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State

NFL Comparison – Bobby Wagner

With the top four quarterbacks already off the board, the Broncos opt for a top-notch linebacker prospect in hopes of regaining defensive dominance. Parsons brings an elite combination of size, athleticism and versatility to the middle of Denver’s defense.

Other Considerations – Kwity Paye (EDGE), Greg Rousseau (EDGE), Patrick Surtain II (CB)

Alabama defensive back Patrick Surtain II (2) defends against Notre Dame during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

10 – Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II – CB – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Xavier Rhodes

Defense was an issue last year for the Cowboys, who gave up the fifth most points in the league (29.6 PPG). Surtain II fills a need and teams up with Trevon Diggs to give Dallas an exciting, young duo in the secondary.

Other Considerations – Jaycee Horn (CB), Kwity Paye (EDGE), Greg Rousseau (EDGE)

In this Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye (19) sacks Rutgers quarterback Artur Sitkowski (8) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

11 – New York Giants: Kwity Paye – EDGE – Michigan

NFL Comparison – Melvin Ingram

The Kenny Golladay signing frees New York up to use their first pick on a pass rusher, a move more in line with general manager Dave Gettleman’s team-building philosophy. While he’s yet to put it all together, Paye is an explosive athlete with the tools to develop into a double-digit sack artist.

Other Considerations – Greg Rousseau (EDGE), DeVonta Smith (WR), Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL)

DeVonta Smith #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes for a 42 yard touchdown during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

12 – Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith – WR – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Stefon Diggs

Despite trading down, the Eagles still land a top-tier prospect thanks to the run on quarterbacks. Don’t let Smith’s slender frame fool you. The Heisman Trophy winner is a nightmare to cover with elite route running ability, hands and play speed.

Other Considerations – Jaylen Waddle (WR), Jaycee Horn (CB), Greg Rousseau (EDGE)

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) carries the ball against Auburn during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

13 – Los Angeles Chargers: Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Tyreek Hill

Though the top left tackle prospects are off the board, Los Angeles continues to upgrade Justin Herbert’s supporting cast. Waddle moves at a different pace than everyone else on the field, and his otherworldly speed will bring an additional element to the Chargers’ offense.

Other Considerations – Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL), Jaycee Horn (CB), Christian Darrisaw (OT)

In this Sept. 21, 2019, file photo, Miami defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau (15) celebrates a turnover and wears the turnover chain during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Central Michigan, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

14 – Minnesota Vikings: Gregory Rousseau – DE – Miami

NFL Comparison – Jason Pierre-Paul

Whether to pair with Danielle Hunter or replace the disgruntled star, the Vikings are in need of a pass rusher after finishing in the bottom five in sacks (23). Despite his lack of experience at the position, Rousseau used his length and range to rack up 15.5 sacks in 2019 before opting out in 2020.

Other Considerations – Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL), Jaelan Phillips (DE), Christian Darrisaw (OT)

Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

15 – New England Patriots: Mac Jones – QB – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Matt Ryan

New England’s quarterback of the future falls right into their lap. Jones isn’t wowing anyone with his physical ability, but the Patriots are betting on his accuracy, anticipation and intangibles, the same skills that made Tom Brady so successful.

Other Considerations – Jaycee Horn (CB), Jaelan Phillips (DE), Travis Etienne (RB)

South Carolina defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) plays against Vanderbilt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

16 – Arizona Cardinals: Jaycee Horn – CB – South Carolina

NFL Comparison – Marshon Lattimore

Need and value align for the Cardinals as they select the physically gifted Gamecock. Horn is a tremendous athlete with excellent size, ball-skills and a physical playstyle.

Other Considerations – Caleb Farley (CB), Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL), Jaelan Phillips (DE)

Southern California guard Alijah Vera-Tucker (75) goes participates in the school’s pro day football workout for NFL scouts Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

17 – Las Vegas Raiders: Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL – USC

NFL Comparison – Zack Martin

Once a strength, the offensive line has become a concern after the Raiders cut ties with three starters this offseason. Vera-Tucker is one of the cleaner prospects in this draft and excelled at both guard and tackle at Southern California.

Other Considerations – Jaelan Phillips (DE), Christian Darrisaw (OT), Caleb Farley (CB)

Georgia defensive back Azeez Ojulari (13) against Arkansas during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

18 – Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari – EDGE – Georgia

NFL Comparison – Yannick Ngakoue

A Dolphin hasn’t recorded double-digit sacks since Cameron Wake met the milestone in 2017. Ojulari, who is Pro Football Focus’ highest graded pass rusher in the draft, brings some much-needed juice off the edge.

Other Considerations – Jaelan Phillips (DE), Najee Harris (RB), Christian Darrisaw (OT)

Christian Darrisaw smiles after completing a set of offensive line drills during Virginia Tech Pro Day in Blacksburg, Va., Friday, March 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Gentry)

19 – Washington Football Team: Christian Darrisaw – OT – Virginia Tech

NFL Comparison – Eric Fisher

The impact of Trent Williams’ departure was felt in Washington last season as the offensive line surrendered 50 sacks, tied for second most in the league. Darrisaw was as reliable as they come for the Hokies in 2020, and his length, power and awareness should translate well to the next level.

Other Considerations – Caleb Farley (CB), Tevin Jenkins (OT), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)

Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies intercepts a pass from Dee Wiggins #8 of the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

20 – Chicago Bears: Caleb Farley – CB – Virginia Tech

NFL Comparison – Jimmy Smith

Farley was arguably the draft’s top cornerback prospect before back surgery caused him to miss his pro day. Still, Farley is expected to be ready for training camp, and the Bears could have a steal on their hands as they aim to replace Kyle Fuller with another gifted Virginia Tech corner.

Other Considerations – Tevin Jenkins (OT), Elijah Moore (WR), Jaelan Phillips (DE)

Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins (73) during an NCAA college football game against Texas in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

21 – Indianapolis Colts: Teven Jenkins – OT – Oklahoma State

NFL Comparison – Orlando Brown

Anthony Castonzo’s retirement left a canyon-sized void at left tackle that cannot be filled with low-level veteran signings. Jenkins is a bulldozer of a lineman whose nasty demeanor would fit the identity of an offensive line highlighted by Quenton Nelson.

Other Considerations – Liam Eichenberg (OT), Jaelan Phillips (DE), Jayson Oweh (DE)

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Elijah Moore #8 of the Mississippi Rebels looks for a place to run in the second half of a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

22 – Tennessee Titans: Elijah Moore – WR – Ole Miss

NFL Comparison – Tyler Lockett

Tennessee needs to restock their weapons cabinet after WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith found new homes in free agency. Moore is a dynamic playmaker who can beat you deep, underneath and even out of the backfield.

Other Considerations – Rashod Bateman (WR), Greg Newsome II (CB), Kadarius Toney (WR)

Jaelan Phillips of Miami celebrates a defensive stop during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)

23 – New York Jets: Jaelan Phillips – DE – Miami

NFL Comparison – Montez Sweat

One could argue Phillips is the best edge rusher in the class based on his 2020 production and pro day performance, but an injury history that prompted him to temporarily medically retire after the 2018 season will give teams pause. The Jets take a chance on Phillips as they work to remake their pass rush.

Other Considerations – Travis Etienne (RB), Najee Harris (RB), Jayson Oweh (DE)

Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) runs against Notre Dame during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

24 – Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris – RB – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Matt Forte

A recommitment to the run is needed in Pittsburgh after their pass-heavy attack lost steam down the stretch in 2020. Harris’ size, vision and pass-catching ability may remind some of a former Steelers back who had quite a run with the Black and Gold.

Other Considerations – Travis Etienne (RB), Landon Dickerson (C), Liam Eichenberg (OT)

Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore (58) celebrates a sack against Western Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

25 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Barmore – DT – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Chris Jones

After finishing in the bottom three in both sacks (18) and rushing yards allowed (153.3 YPG), it doesn’t take a Hall of Fame general manager to realize the Jaguars need help along the defensive line. Not many men his size can move the way Barmore does. He has the tools to develop into a difference maker.

Other Considerations – Trevon Moehrig (S), Landon Dickerson (C), Liam Eichenberg (OT)

Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) defends against Alabama during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

26 – Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB – Notre Dame

NFL Comparison – Telvin Smith

Owusu-Koramoah is the latest new-age, hybrid linebacker that’s trending around the NFL as teams opt to sacrifice size for players who can run and cover. In a division with Lamar Jackson, adding explosive athletes to second level of the defense is a must.

Other Considerations – Jamin Davis (LB), Jayson Oweh (DE), Joe Tryon (DE)

Alabama offensive lineman Landon Dickerson (69) is shown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern Miss in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in this Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, file photo. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

27 – Baltimore Ravens: Landon Dickerson – C – Alabama

NFL Comparison – Frank Ragnow

The center position was an absolute mess last year in Baltimore. Dickerson is a massive, mauling lineman who fits the Ravens’ smash-mouth mentality. His talent sneaks him into the first round despite an ACL tear in December.

Other Considerations – Jayson Oweh (DE), Liam Eichenberg (OT), Jalen Mayfield (OT)

Kadarius Toney #1 of the Florida Gators takes in this reception for a touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half of the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

28 – New Orleans Saints: Kadarius Toney – WR – Florida

NFL Comparison – Percy Harvin

Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill aren’t capable of elevating those around them like Drew Brees was, and thus need more playmakers to lean on. Toney is an elite athlete whose burst, agility and contact balance make him deadly with the ball in his hands.

Other Considerations – Greg Newsome II (CB), Rashod Bateman (WR), Levi Onwuzurike (DT)

Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II, participates in the school’s Pro Day football workout for NFL scouts Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

29 – Green Bay Packers: Greg Newsome II – CB – Northwestern

NFL Comparison – Darius Slay

Green Bay could go in several directions here but opts for a cornerback to pair with Jaire Alexander. As a prospect, Newsome II checks a lot of boxes and has all the tools to be a reliable NFL cover man.

Other Considerations – Jalen Mayfield (OT), Jamin Davis (LB), Rashod Bateman (WR)

Running back Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball on a kickoff return in the second half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

30 – Buffalo Bills: Travis Etienne – RB – Clemson

NFL Comparison – Jamaal Charles

When your roster is as well rounded as Buffalo’s, you can afford to simply take the best player available. The Bills add a difference-maker at running back who has game-changing ability as both a runner and receiver.

Other Considerations – Jayson Oweh (DE), Asante Samuel Jr. (CB), Joe Tryon (DE)

Notre Dame offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg (74) lines up against Alabama during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

31 – Kansas City Chiefs: Liam Eichenberg – OT – Notre Dame

NFL Comparison – Riley Reiff

Cutting your two starting offensive tackles is an interesting way to begin an offseason. Physical limitations may cap Eichenberg’s ceiling, but he was well coached at Notre Dame and should be a solid starter in the pros.

Other Considerations – Sam Cosmi (OT), Jayson Oweh (DE), Joe Tryon (DE)

TCU safety Trevon Moehrig (7) looks on against Texas Tech during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

32 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trevon Moehrig – S – TCU

NFL Comparison – Jessie Bates

The Buccaneers appear to be locked and loaded for another championship run as they return all 22 starters. With no immediate needs, Tampa selects the best player available. Moehrig is a versatile cover safety who pairs with Antoine Winfield Jr. to give the Bucs an exciting, young safety duo.

Other Considerations – Javonte Williams (RB), Jayson Oweh (DE), Joe Tryon (DE)

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