ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has been doing mock drafts longer than I’ve been alive, but his most contemporary first-spherical projections for the 2021 NFL draft agree with a wrinkle he’s by no methodology frail before: Trades.
Certain, Kiper’s most contemporary mock delivers blockbuster trades early and on the total, starting with the Atlanta Falcons buying and selling up from No. 4 to No. 2 to snatch their quarterback of replacement, which Kiper projects to be BYU’s Zach Wilson.
The following monumental walk comes at No. 7 total, where Kiper has the San Francisco 49ers buying and selling up from No. 12 total for Ohio Enlighten quarterback Justin Fields. Then at No. 9 total, Kiper projects one other walk up the board for a quarterback, with the Recent England Patriots leaping up from No. 15 for North Dakota Enlighten’s Trey Lance.
Those strikes are all piquant, but they aren’t the one monumental surprises in Kiper’s top 10.
At No. 8 total, Kiper has the Carolina Panthers taking Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, earlier than Lance. Kiper additionally has the Miami Dolphins opting for Alabama huge receiver DeVonta Smith at No. 3 total, over LSU’s Ja’Marr Shuffle. And after buying and selling encourage with the Falcons, Kiper sends Florida tight pause Kyle Pitts to the Recent York Jets in space of conception to be one of many final quarterbacks.
One pattern that Kiper’s mock illustrates is the prospective for a top 10 that doesn’t encompass a defensive player. The principle one in this projection comes off the board good at that No. 10 total space, as Kiper sends Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II to the Dalals Cowboys.
To set up out Kiper’s stout first-spherical mock at ESPN.com, click on right here.