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Tabeek's 2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Georgia native comes home to Falcons, five QBs go in top 10

Falcons land athletic quarterback who can extend plays with his legs and is accurate on the move


The NFL landscape continues to change on a daily basis as all but two teams – the Bucs and the Chiefs – are in full offseason mode.

Philip Rivers has called it a career, Drew Brees is expected to, Matthew Stafford wants to play elsewhere, and Aaron Rodgers isn't sure what's in his future. And that was just this past week.


While the Falcons finally have their new general manager and head coach in place, those two men – and their staffs – are busy evaluating the roster and preparing to make some big decisions. Who stays? Who goes? And come April, what will the three teams ahead of them in the draft do?

Whatever the Falcons do, it sounds like there's a very good chance they'll take the best available player, regardless of position. Will it be a quarterback? If so, which one(s) will be on the board? Will they go defense and pick Micah Parsons, like I have them doing in my first mock draft?

Decisions, decisions … and it's so much fun to think about.

So, without further ado, here is mock draft 3.0 with the updated draft order (see order explanation at the bottom of the page). Let me know how you feel about the pick here. Enjoy.

QB Trevor Lawrence

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars, with a new coaching staff in place, need a quarterback and have to get this right. It should be an easy choice: former Clemson star Trevor Lawrence, who is considered to be one of the best prospects to come out in the last five years. He checks all of the boxes.

  • Current picks (round): 1 (1), 25 (1), 33 (2), 45 (2), 65 (3), 97 (4), 121 (4), 129 (5), 154 (5), 193 (7), 214 (7)
QB Zach Wilson

New York Jets: The Jets have plenty of picks and could do a number of things here, including trade for a quarterback, trade down or stay put. I'm going with the latter, and they take a prospect who is soaring up draft boards: quarterback Zach Wilson. He is athletic, can make all of the throws and is extremely accurate.

  • Current picks (round): 2 (1), 23 (1), 34 (2), 66 (3), 87 (3), 98 (4), 130 (5), 138 (5), 162 (6), 215 (7)
WR Ja'Marr Chase

Miami Dolphins (via HOU): I'm not buying into all of this talk of trading Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins know they must surround their young QB with some weapons and protect him better. I think they'll try to do both this in draft. First, they take the best pass catcher in this class, former LSU star Ja'Marr Chase.

  • Current picks (round): 3 (1), 18 (1), 36 (2), 50 (2), 82 (3), 114 (4), 183 (6)
QB Justin Fields
Ohio State

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons are in a good position here. They have a quarterback they can win now with in Matt Ryan and sitting at No. 4, they could select their quarterback of the future. Also worth noting is that a number of teams could be (and are) in the market for quarterbacks. Chew on that. No one in Atlanta expects to be picking this high anytime soon and they'll pull the trigger on a QB here, taking Kennesaw, Ga., native Justin Fields, who has starred at Ohio State the last two years. The 6-foot-3 Fields passed for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns, and three interceptions in 2019. He also added 484 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Fifty-one touchdowns. While the 2020 season was an up-and-down year for Fields, the Big Ten Player of the Year's ceiling is high and he would benefit learning from a player like Ryan. There's no question that Arthur Smith would play to his strengths down the road, too.

  • Current picks (round): 4 (1), 35 (2), 68 (3), 99 (44), 132 (5), 163 (6)
OL Rashawn Slater

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals could use some weapons for Joe Burrow but it's more important to keep him upright and protected. They saw firsthand what life is like without their new franchise quarterback. I'm really high on Oregon's Penei Sewell, but I'm reading (and hearing) more and more good things about Rashawn Slater out of Northwestern. He figures to be very high on a number of teams' draft boards and I think Cincinnati will pounce on him.

  • Current picks (round): 5 (1), 38 (2), 69 (3), 102 (4), 133 (5), 166 (6), 197 (7), 199 (7)
OL Penei Sewell

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles need a number of parts, and they're also in the process of putting together a new coaching staff (who will be charged to continue Carson Wentz's development). Regardless if it is Wentz or Jalen Hurts behind center, the Eagles must address that offensive line. With Oregon's Penei Sewell on the board in this scenario, it's an easy choice for the decision-makers in Philly. Can't make plays downfield if you're on your back, right?

  • Current picks (round): 6 (1), 37 (2), 70 (3), 134 (5), 140 (5), 165 (6), 198 (7)
QB Trey Lance
North Dakota State

Detroit Lions: No Matthew Stafford in Detroit? Who saw this coming a month or so ago? Anything is possible in the NFL, and Stafford's request to change addresses is reportedly being granted. Regardless of where he ends up, the Lions – and an entirely new regime – will need a new centerpiece for the franchise. Enter Trey Lance, who some draft experts think has more of a ceiling than most quarterbacks in this draft class. I'll say this much about him, even though there's a small body of work while at North Dakota State, it's an impressive one.

  • Current picks (round): 7 (1), 41 (2), 72 (3), 103 (4), 137 (5)
QB Mac Jones

Carolina Panthers: All it takes is one team to fall in love with a prospect, especially at quarterback. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just look back at previous drafts, like when the Giants selected Daniel Jones out of Duke with the No. 6 pick in 2019. The Panthers know Teddy Bridgewater isn't their long-term answer at QB and I think they could take Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones here. Jones was ridiculously productive at Alabama under Steve Sarkisian. In Carolina under offensive coordinator Joe Brady (remember what he did for Joe Burrow?), I think Jones could continue flourish in time.

  • Current picks (round): 8 (1), 39 (2), 73 (3), 104 (4), 135 (5), 169 (6)
CB Caleb Farley
Virginia Tech

Denver Broncos: The Broncos – who could make a run at a quarterback – know they must address the back end of their defense. The two best corners in this class are Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech and Alabama's Patrick Surtain II. I'm going with Farley here, who has great size, is instinctive and once played receiver.

  • Current picks (round): 9 (1), 40 (2), 71 (3), 105 (4), 136 (5), 167 (6), 201 (7), 203 (7), 218 (7)
LB/EDGE Micah Parsons
Penn State

Dallas Cowboys: With the Patrick Surtain II still on the board, the Cowboys could easily take the Alabama corner and pair him with former teammate Trevon Diggs to shore up the secondary. But, in case you've forgotten, the Cowboys struggled mightily against the run last year, too. I think they'll take the best available player here – who happens to be the best all-around defender – and select linebacker/edge rusher Micah Parsons. He's a game-changing defender who can rush the passer, stuff the run and is effective in pass coverage.

  • Current picks (round): 10 (1), 44 (2), 75 (3), 106 (4), 168 (6), 202 (7)
WR DeVonta Smith

New York Giants: Daniel Jones needs some help in a bad way. The Giants are expected to get Saquon Barkley back for 2021, but they need some weapons on the outside who can stretch the field and make some plays. Who better to do that than Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who is somehow still on the board in this scenario? While Big Blue could go defense here, too, Smith makes a ton of sense. 

  • Current picks (round): 11 (1), 42 (2), 76 (3), 107 (4), 172 (6), 177 (6)
CB Patrick Surtain II

San Francisco 49ers: I could see the 49ers definitely making an effort to move up and land one of the top quarterbacks in this class. But if they stay put and things unfold where Patrick Surtain II falls to them, this pick is a no-brainer. Remember, they are heading into an offseason with no cornerbacks under contract. Surtain, who some consider the best in this class, would immediately upgrade the back end of that defense.

  • Current picks (round): 12 (1), 43 (2), 108 (4), 139 (5), 156 (5), 170 (6), 194 (7), 204 (7)
TE Kyle Pitts

Los Angeles Chargers: For the second week in a row, Kyle Pitts is sitting there at 13 – and the Chargers could use some help there. Even better news in LA these days is that Justin Herbert looks like the real deal and they've found their franchise quarterback. Now they need to surround him with more talent. Pitts looks like he could be a game-changer with his size, speed and freakish receiving skills.

  • Current picks (round): 13 (1), 47 (2), 78 (3), 109 (4), 143 (5), 174 (6), 181 (6), 205 (7)
DE Gregory Rousseau

Minnesota Vikings: I've had the Vikings addressing the offensive line in my first two mock drafts – both times taking Northwestern's Rashawn Slater. But with Slater off the board quickly in this scenario, I think the Vikes will pivot to the other side of the ball and take Gregory Rousseau out of Miami. He's a bit raw but also a freakish talent, and could be a very good pro. Rousseau tallied 15.5 sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019 in Coral Gables.

  • Current picks (round): 14 (1), 79 (3), 91 (3), 110 (4), 116 (4), 125 (4), 141 (5), 155 (5), 175 (6), 206 (7)
DE Kwity Paye

New England Patriots: Here's another team that has questions at key positions, including quarterback. It doesn't appear that Cam Newton will be back in Foxborough in 2021. Even if he is, Newton doesn't appear to be the long-term answer there. Will they trade for or sign a veteran QB? That would make sense. Regardless, the Pats must also address the pass rush and I think they'll take Michigan's Kwity Paye, one of the best edge rushers in this class, here.

  • Current picks (round): 15 (1), 46 (2), 111 (4), 142 (5), 171 (6), 173 (6), 207 (7)
WR Jaylen Waddle

Arizona Cardinals: I think the Cardinals might be tempted to go defense here, but if Jaylen Waddle falls this far, there's no way they'll pass on him and give Kyler Murray another weapon on the outside who can stretch the field. Waddle got hurt in 2020, but is expected to make a full recovery during the offseason. He actually played a few snaps in the national title game.

  • Current picks (round): 16 (1), 49 (2), 80 (3), 144 (5), 208 (7)
LB/EDGE Zaven Collins

Las Vegas Raiders: The Raiders were exposed on defense in 2020 (we saw it firsthand during Atlanta's one-sided win over Las Vegas) and must improve a unit that was third worst in points allowed per game (29.9 per game). Taking Zaven Collins here should help. He won the Bronko Nagurksi for the best defensive player in college football and was also a runner up for the Butkus Award.

  • Current picks (round): 17 (1), 48 (2), 81 (3), 112 (4), 146 (5), 179 (6), 212 (7)
OL Alijah Vera-Tucker

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins added an outside weapon with their first pick and at No. 18, they will look to bolster the offensive line for Tua Tagovailoa. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a competent and nimble blocker who can play both guard and tackle.

  • Current picks (round): 3 (1), 18 (1), 36 (2), 50 (2), 82 (3), 114 (4), 183 (6)
WR Kadarius Toney

Washington Football Team: Washington could go in a number of directions here, but there's no denying that it could use some juice on the outside to give that offense a jolt. Enter Kadarius Toney, who has been described as an "electrifying" receiver. He has kick returning skills, too.

  • Current picks (round): 19 (1), 51 (2), 74 (3), 83 (3), 115 (4), 147 (5), 209 (7), 211 (7)
OL Wyatt Davis
Ohio State

Chicago Bears: Once again, Wyatt Davis is still on the board here at 20. The Bears offense has a lot of question marks heading into the offseason, including at quarterback and a need for more playmakers. They also need to get better up front and Davis, a standout at Ohio State, is tough as nails, smart, powerful and agile. He could solidify that front for years to come.

  • Current picks (round): 20 (1), 52 (2), 84 (3), 148 (5), 180 (6), 196 (7)
EDGE Jayson Oweh
Penn State

Indianapolis Colts: What will the Colts do at quarterback now that Philip Rivers has called it a career? That remains to be seen. For now, I'm going defense with this pick – because the Colts must address it. Jayson Oweh is considered to be an excellent athlete with high upside – he had seven sacks during his Penn State career.

  • Current picks (round): 21 (1), 54 (2), 85 (3), 118 (4), 149 (5), 182 (6), 213 (7)
DE Jaelan Phillips

Tennessee Titans: The Titans have a lot of things going for them right now, but … the defense needs some edge rushers after finishing the regular season ranked last in sack percentage (2.9 percent) and third-to-last in pressure rate (20.5 percent). Jaelan Phillips, who transferred to Miami from UCLA, has a non-stop motor and played well for the 'Canes. That's Mike Vrabel's kind of guy.

  • Current picks (round): 22 (1), 53 (2), 86 (3), 117 (4), 150 (5), 161 (6), 192 (6)
CB Tyson Campbell

New York Jets (via SEA): The Jets have lots of picks and lots of needs. Should they hold onto two both first-rounders, I can see them addressing the defense with the second pick here at 23. Georgia's Tyson Campbell could fit in nicely and upgrade that secondary for new coach Robert Saleh. Campbell has decent size (he is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and many draft experts think his best football is still in front of him.

  • Current picks (round): 2 (1), 23 (1), 34 (2), 66 (3), 87 (3), 98 (4), 130 (5), 138 (5), 162 (6), 215 (7)
RB Javonte Williams
North Carolina

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have their starting left tackle, top running back, leading receiver and No. 2 pass rusher ticketed for the open market in 2021. With the best running backs still available, I can see the Steelers addressing the run game. They could go with Najee Harris, a bruising back from Alabama who reminds some of Derrick Henry in size, or North Carolina's Javonte Williams, who has a nice mixture of size and speed. I'm going with the latter here because of Williams's upside. He improved every season in Chapel Hill, including rushing for 1,140 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2020. He also had 305 yards receiving on 25 catches.

  • Current picks (round): 24 (1), 55 (2), 88 (3), 119 (4), 191 (6), 210 (7), 219 (7)
CB Jaycee Horn
South Carolina

Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): The Jaguars are another team with two first-rounders. They selected C.J. Henderson in the first round a year ago andI think they take another corner here – Jaycee Horn – to help solidify that secondary. Horn was one of the best corners in the SEC and typically lined up across from team's top receivers.

  • Current picks (round): 1 (1), 25 (1), 33 (2), 45 (2), 65 (3), 97 (4), 121 (4), 129 (5), 154 (5), 193 (7), 214 (7)
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
Notre Dame

Cleveland Browns: The Browns have had all sorts of issues on defense at times this season and it should be a major area of focus heading into the offseason. Like Micah Parsons, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is listed as a linebacker he can be utilized in a number of different ways (even at safety).

  • Current picks (round): 26 (1), 59 (2), 90 (3), 92 (3), 101 (4), 123 (4), 153 (5), 187 (6), 222 (7)
OL Christian Darrisaw
Virginia Tech

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are another team that needs to address the pass rush but they could face some losses on offense in the offseason. The 6-foot-5, 315- pound Christian Darrisaw has an ideal frame to go along with long arms, quick feet and strong hands. He's one of the best prospects when it comes to squaring up and getting in position (or re-positioning) to handle pass rushers.

  • Current picks (round): 27 (1), 58 (2), 122 (4), 152 (5), 186 (6)
DL Christian Barmore

New Orleans Saints: I can see the Saints addressing their defensive line here and with Christian Barmore on the board, it's an easy choice. Barmore is disruptive, excels as a pass rusher, has ideal length and foot speed. In short, he knows how to get to the quarterback.

  • Current picks (round): 28 (1), 60 (2), 124 (4)
WR Rashod Bateman

Green Bay Packers: Do the Packers have an Aaron Rodgers problem? I'm not sure, but there's certainly enough drama unfolding to at least think there's something going on. One thing I do know is that Rodgers could use some more weapons on the outside (have we heard that one before?), so how could they pass on getting him some? Rashod Bateman is big, fast and one of the best receiver prospects in this class. He had an extremely productive career at Minnesota.

  • Current picks (round): 29 (1), 62 (2), 93 (3), 126 (4), 157 (5), 190 (6), 221 (7)
CB Asante Samuel Jr.
Florida State

Buffalo Bills: Cornerback could be a position of need for the Bills, despite getting better throughout the season. Asante Samuel Jr. is a 5-foot-10 corner who is fast, twitchy, has good instincts and a high ceiling. At Florida State he broke up 29 passes and made four interceptions in three seasons.

  • Current picks (round): 30 (1), 61 (2), 94 (3), 145 (5), 158 (5), 189 (6), 200 (7)
RB Najee Harris

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They Bucs will have a number of players hitting free agency once the seasons is over, but for now they're focused on winning another Lombardi Trophy. Running back may not be a glaring need for Tampa, but Najee Harris is too good to pass up here and would fit into the Bucs' offense nicely. The bruising back from Alabama reminds some of Derrick Henry. What separates Harris from so many bigger backs is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

  • Current picks (round): 31 (1), 63 (2), 95 (3), 127 (4), 159 (5), 216 (7), 223 (7)
OT Jalen Mayfield

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs haven't spent a first- or second-round pick on an offensive lineman since 2015 and tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are a year away from having their deals expire. Jalen Mayfield possess ideal size, length, mobility and power – plus he can play tackle or guard. He's also a finisher in the run game.

  • Current picks (round): 32 (1), 64 (2), 96 (3), 128 (4), 160 (5), 224 (7)

Teams without a first-round pick

As it stands right now, three teams do not have a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They are the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks. Their team needs, actual draft picks (and rounds) are listed below:

Houston Texans
Needs: WR, CB, DE

Current picks (round): 67 (3), 100 (4), 113 (4), 131 (5), 164 (6), 178 (6), 188 (6), 195 (7)

Los Angeles Rams
Needs: OL, DE, LB

Current picks (round): 57 (2), 89 (3), 185 (6), 217 (7)

Seattle Seahawks
Needs: OL, CB, DE

Current picks (round): 56 (2), 120 (4), 151 (5), 184 (6)

2021 NFL Draft order

  • A note on the draft order: The non-playoff teams are picks 1-18 (the team with the worst record, Jacksonville, picks first overall). The rest will be determined as the playoffs unfold. Teams that will be eliminated in the wild-card round get picks 19-24. Teams that will be eliminated in the divisional round get picks 25-28. The two teams eliminated in the AFC and NFC title games get picks 29 and 30. The Super Bowl loser will pick at 31 and the winner picks last. The current order is based on records, strength of schedule and seeding (via Tankathon).

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here belong to Matthew Tabeek and and do not represent the opinions of the Atlanta Falcons' front office staff, coaches and executives unless it is noted otherwise.

Kyle Pitts catch


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