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Update: Mel Kipers 2021 Mock Draft 1.0 - DeVonte Smith


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2. DeVonte Smith, WR, Bama

23.Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina 

 


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2. New York Jets

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

 

This is where the intrigue in the draft begins. Will the Jets stick with quarterback Sam Darnold for another year, or will they take either Zach Wilson or Justin Fields? (Or maybe even trade for Deshaun Watson?) The good news for general manager Joe Douglas and new coach Robert Saleh is that they have three months to figure it out. This is a huge decision, and Douglas and Saleh have to be 100% sure that Wilson or Fields is an upgrade over Darnold. My feeling right now is that yes, Darnold's stats are ugly, but he's only 23 and he has had no offensive talent around him for three years. Do the Jets really want to move on from him and watch him thrive elsewhere? That's why they could give him a one-year audition under Saleh, pick the Heisman Trophy winner at No. 2, and give Darnold one more shot to put all of his talent together. Smith is the true No. 1 target that Darnold hasn't had.


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3. Miami Dolphins (from HOU)

Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Tua Tagovailoa was just OK in nine starts as a rookie, but he needs some help. I like DeVante Parker, but he's not a No. 1 wide receiver. Chase can be. Because Chase opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I think some people are forgetting how good he was in 2019, when he averaged 21.2 yards per catch and had 20 touchdowns for the national champs. Just watch Chase's athleticism and concentration on this catch. Tagovailoa won't average 6.3 yards per attempt with the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner on the field.


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4. Atlanta Falcons

Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

It's time for the Falcons to think long term on offense under new general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith. Quarterback Matt Ryan turns 36 this summer. Wide receiver Julio Jones will be 32 next month. Center Alex Mack is 35 and a free agent. They can build around Wilson, who had a phenomenal season for the Cougars, throwing 33 touchdown passes and only three picks, and give him at least a year to learn from Ryan and adjust to the NFL. I thought about Justin Fields here, too, but I'm giving a slight edge to Wilson for now. If Atlanta doesn't go with a quarterback, I'd expect a defender to be the target.


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5. Cincinnati Bengals

Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

This is all about protecting quarterback Joe Burrow, who will spend the offseason recovering from the torn left ACL and MCL he suffered in November. Burrow started 10 games, but it was clear that he wasn't comfortable behind a mediocre offensive line. The Bengals can take a step toward improvement by picking Sewell, an opt-out who was the 2019 Outland Trophy winner. He's the clear top offensive tackle in this class. Sewell could stay at left tackle while 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams either moves to the right side or guard. I have compared Sewell to Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, and Cincinnati should be thrilled to get another foundational player.


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6. Philadelphia Eagles

Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Eagles had a disastrous 4-11-1 season, with quarterback Carson Wentz regressing and getting benched for rookie second-rounder Jalen Hurts. And yes, Wentz, was not very good, but his receivers didn't exactly give him much help. They got only 20 total catches from veterans Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson due to injuries, and 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside barely got on the field. So even though Philadelphia drafted Jalen Reagor in Round 1 a year ago, I still see this as a hole in the offense. Waddle, one of the fastest prospects in this draft, could be the go-to target in new coach Nick Sirianni's offense. He was one of college football's most electric receivers over the past three seasons, even if he was overshadowed at times by teammates Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith. His ceiling is as a No. 1 pass-catcher at the next level.


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7. Detroit Lions

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Things change quickly in the NFL. Before the news on Saturday that the Lions were going to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason, I would have said that they should keep Stafford and try to help him with a wide receiver in this draft. Alabama's Jaylen Waddle would have fit here. But instead it appears that new general manager Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell will go all-in on a rebuild, and so Fields could be the face of it. He had an up-and-down season, but we saw the flashes of his talent, particularly in his six-touchdown performance against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Fields has superstar potential, but he'll need help around him. Detroit will need to figure out what it's doing with free-agent wideouts Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. and make sure Fields has a chance to succeed in Year 1.

 

Ohio State's Justin Fields and BYU's Zach Wilson could both be top-10 picks. ESPN Illustration car.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=true

8. Carolina Panthers

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

If you're surprised that I'm thinking quarterback here, don't be. Teddy Bridgewater could be the starter again for the Panthers in 2021, but his contract shows they're not committed to him long term. Coach Matt Rhule could go after an intriguing signal-caller in Lance, who played only one game last season. With only 17 career starts -- none against an FBS opponent -- he is going to be a wild card in this draft. His 2019 season was just so, so impressive, though, and I think a team could fall in love with him in this range. If Carolina decides against drafting a quarterback in Round 1, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts would be another option.


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9. Denver Broncos

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Is pass-rusher Von Miller going to return to the Broncos? What about free-agent safety Justin Simmons? This defense could look very different in Year 3 under Vic Fangio. I thought about a cornerback here, but I see linebacker as the bigger position to upgrade, and Parsons could play inside or outside. I see him more as an inside linebacker for a 3-4 defense, but his versatility would be a fit for any type of defense. Parsons, who opted out of the 2020 season, was a force at Penn State in 2019, with 109 tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles. He has some upside as a pass-rusher.


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10. Dallas Cowboys

Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern

Heading into the 2020 season, the Cowboys' offensive line looked solid on paper, and that was after center Travis Frederick retired in March. But then injuries hit: Right tackle La'el Collins missed every game, left tackle Tyron Smith played just two and guard Zack Martin missed six. And what you saw was a poor Cowboys offense, even before quarterback Dak Prescott was lost for the season due to his ankle injury. That's why I think Slater fits in Dallas, where he could play either tackle spot or move inside to guard. Todd McShay thinks Slater could excel at center, too. He was another prospect who opted out, but he didn't allow a single sack playing left tackle in 2019. This is a spot to watch for Surtain as well because Chidobe Awuzie could leave in free agency.


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11. New York Giants

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

 

 


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12. San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

 


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13. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

 


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14. Minnesota Vikings

Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC

 


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15. New England Patriots

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

 

 

play

 

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16. Arizona Cardinals

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

 


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17. Las Vegas Raiders

Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami (FL)

 


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18. Miami Dolphins

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

 


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19. Washington Football Team

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida


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20. Chicago Bears

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

 


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21. Indianapolis Colts

Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

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22. Tennessee Titans

Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)

 


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23. New York Jets (from SEA)

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

 


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24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Zaven Collins, OLB/DE, Tulsa

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25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)

Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

 


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26. Cleveland Browns

Aaron Robinson, DB, UCF

 


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27. Baltimore Ravens

Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

 


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28. New Orleans Saints

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

 


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29. Green Bay Packers

Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

 

 

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30. Buffalo Bills

Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

 


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31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joe Tryon, DE, Washington

 

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32. Kansas City Chiefs

Azeez Ojulari, OLB/DE, Georgia

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I would be absolutely stunned if the Jets stayed at #2 they picked a WR.

Kiper needs to find a dementia specialist.

@LAD_Brooklyn Appreciate you posting the whole thing. As for the mock itself, if we couldn't trade down, and this was the board, I'd prefer: Penei Sewell @ 2 Terrace Marshall

46 minutes ago, LAD_Brooklyn said:

2. New York Jets

DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

 

This is where the intrigue in the draft begins. Will the Jets stick with quarterback Sam Darnold for another year, or will they take either Zach Wilson or Justin Fields? (Or maybe even trade for Deshaun Watson?) The good news for general manager Joe Douglas and new coach Robert Saleh is that they have three months to figure it out. This is a huge decision, and Douglas and Saleh have to be 100% sure that Wilson or Fields is an upgrade over Darnold. My feeling right now is that yes, Darnold's stats are ugly, but he's only 23 and he has had no offensive talent around him for three years. Do the Jets really want to move on from him and watch him thrive elsewhere? That's why they could give him a one-year audition under Saleh, pick the Heisman Trophy winner at No. 2, and give Darnold one more shot to put all of his talent together. Smith is the true No. 1 target that Darnold hasn't had.

I'm not sure Smith fits the model of a Shanahan type receiver. He is not a physical dude. 

 

46 minutes ago, LAD_Brooklyn said:

23. New York Jets (from SEA)

Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

I'm ok with this pick but I don't see JD staying at #2 if we make a move for a Qb like Mullens in FA. 

Sam, Morgan & Mullens have open competition, #2 pick is traded and we end up drafting Parsons or Surtain in the 7-12 range.

 

And by the way.... Najee Harris on Buffalo scares the sh*t out of me!!

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26 minutes ago, Skeet Ulrich said:

I would be absolutely stunned if the Jets stayed at #2 they picked a WR.

yeah but kiper doesn't project trades, so what he's saying is that the jets won't go qb there.   but if they don't they're trading out, so the question becomes how far back are they trading and which wr are they taking?  b/c i think we'd be pretty pissed off if the jets traded back and took a defensive player

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Regarding the WR at #2...

How much do you all differentiate between the value of Smith, Chase and Waddle?  Would trading back to, say 7 or 8 and taking Chase or Waddle but getting another 2nd this year and 1st next year be better than taking Smith?  When I ask it out loud it sounds obvious to me.

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17 minutes ago, nycdan said:

Regarding the WR at #2...

How much do you all differentiate between the value of Smith, Chase and Waddle?  Would trading back to, say 7 or 8 and taking Chase or Waddle but getting another 2nd this year and 1st next year be better than taking Smith?  When I ask it out loud it sounds obvious to me.

We'll see how they test out athletically, but seeing as Devonta is 170 lbs, Waddle is in the 185 range and Chase is 200+... I've got to think that puts Chase in a different category. 

All respect for Slim Reaper and what he accomplished this past year, but it's fair to be concerned about how his game translates to the NFL.

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I won’t be surprised by a DE or CB pick in round 1 if the board falls that way.

They’re premium picks and also a need, although Bless  and Hall fit the new system perfectly. 
 

 

I’m puking my guts out at the thought of a 90lb receiver in the top three tho.

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16 minutes ago, RedBeardedSavage said:

@LAD_Brooklyn

Appreciate you posting the whole thing.

As for the mock itself, if we couldn't trade down, and this was the board, I'd prefer:

  • Penei Sewell @ 2
  • Terrace Marshall Jr @ 23

agreed !  😎

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I don’t think he (and many other draft pundits) go as far as to illustrate trade scenarios. Obviously anyone with half a brain knows we’d trade back to someone wanting a QB. Maybe Pitts/Smith/Chase/Oline at 5-8 wherever we land. 

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2 minutes ago, Paradis said:

I don’t think he (and many other draft pundits) go as far as to illustrate trade scenarios. Obviously anyone with half a brain knows we’d trade back to someone wanting a QB. Maybe Pitts/Smith/Chase/Oline at 5-8 wherever we land. 

Casting a pretty big net here aren't we?😎

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When does Kiper start mocking trades?  I can't take this one seriously from him.  Even he knows that if we don't go QB that pick is getting traded.

I could see us trading down with ATL (they'll go QB), CIN (afraid MIA will take Sewel) and Carolina (they'll go QB).

Of course all of this is way to early as so many QBs will change teams in FA this year.

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10 minutes ago, Paradis said:

I don’t think he (and many other draft pundits) go as far as to illustrate trade scenarios. Obviously anyone with half a brain knows we’d trade back to someone wanting a QB. Maybe Pitts/Smith/Chase/Oline at 5-8 wherever we land. 

come to think of it i could see them trading back and taking pitts and thinking he's kittle in the scheme.  but i just don't see them trading back that far, not beyond 5-6.

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8 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

come to think of it i could see them trading back and taking pitts and thinking he's kittle in the scheme.  but i just don't see them trading back that far, not beyond 5-6.

That’s fine. Pitts is the probably the best playmaker in the draft. Imo anyway. Smith and maybe Chase are right there too. 

draft Pitts, steal someone like St Brown or Bateman (someone will slip to rnd3) and sign Curtis Samuel. Grab OU rb Stevenson in the draft as. 
 

you’re looking at:

  • Mims/Crowder/Samuel/Bateman 
  • ty Johnson/Stevenson/breida/perine
  • Pitts (F) and Herndon (y)

If Darnold isn’t throwing up Ws then you fire I’m him into the sun. 

 

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Not happening. He's been doing this for 30 years and has never been offered a front office position in the NFL. John Idzik got to run a team. Mel is an idiot. He's a slightly dumber version of one of us who gets on TV cause ESPN/Disney has a thing for idiots

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4 minutes ago, Paradis said:

That’s fine. Pitts is the probably the best playmaker in the draft. Imo anyway. Smith and maybe Chase are right there too. 

draft Pitts, steal someone like St Brown or Bateman (someone will slip to rnd3) and sign Curtis Samuel. Grab OU rb Stevenson in the draft as. 
 

you’re looking at:

  • Mims/Crowder/Samuel/Bateman 
  • ty Johnson/Stevenson/breida/perine
  • Pitts (F) and Herndon (y)

If Darnold isn’t throwing up Ws then you fire I’m him into the sun. 

 

i could really see this, and i think ultimately, atlanta is a great trading partner b/c it allows the jets to get the non qb they want and still get extra draft capital.  add pitts and samuel, the offense is really revamped quickly.  as for darnold, yeah, i think you'll get better stats and more ws but i think what will happen is that he'll be turned into a glorified game manager where they won't ask him to do too much, aka, won't let him lose the games.  

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2 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

as for darnold, yeah, i think you'll get better stats and more ws but i think what will happen is that he'll be turned into a glorified game manager where they won't ask him to do too much, aka, won't let him lose the games.  

If they keep Darnold they're going to do the same things they do for guys like Goff. Have them make the first read, if it's not there, pass to the outlet or run with the ball.

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