CLEVELAND — With Super Bowl 55 in the books, the 2020 NFL season is officially over. With that, all attention in the football world turns toward the offseason.
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What follows is our latest project mock draft projection for the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, which will take place in Cleveland from April 29-May 1.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Dating back to his arrival at Clemson in 2018, Trevor Lawrence has been the presumed No. 1 pick of the 2021 NFL Draft and there's no reason to think that's changed. Urban Meyer will begin his NFL coaching career with one of the top quarterback prospects since perhaps Andrew Luck in 2012.
2. New York Jets - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
While Sam Darnold hasn't been a total bust, the reality remains that the Jets have wasted the first three years of his career and find themselves in no man's land regarding the future of his contract. In any other year, Justin Fields would be a strong candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.
3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
If Tua Tagovailoa is going to have a chance in Miami, he's going to need better playmakers. While a couple of his former Alabama teammates might be tempting, LSU's Ja'Marr Chase remains the best wide receiver in this class.
4. Atlanta Falcons - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
With Matthew Stafford out of Detroit, Matt Ryan might be the next veteran quarterback to part ways with his current team. Using the No. 4 pick to pair Zach Wilson with new head coach Arthur Smith could accelerate that process.
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
If Penei Sewell drops to five, Cincinnati shouldn't wait long to turn its card in. After the beating Joe Burrow took as a rookie, the Bengals need a franchise offensive tackle in the worst way.
6. Philadelphia Eagles - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
In desperate need of a wide receiver, the Eagles may be forced to choose between Alabama teammates in DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Ultimately, Smith's production during his Heisman Trophy-winning season may be too appealing to pass up.
7. Detroit Lions - Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Seventh might seem high for a linebacker, but Micah Parsons is defined more by his playmaking than his position. Given the realities of Jared Goff's contract, the Lions will likely wait to find their quarterback of the future.
8. Carolina Panthers - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Last offseason, the Panthers made a habit of filling their roster with high upside athletic players. Florida's Kyle Pitts doesn't only match that mold, but also fills a hole on Carolina's roster.
9. Denver Broncos - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Entering the 2021 offseason, the Broncos have a glaring need at cornerback. Here, they grab the draft's best in Alabama's Patrick Surtain II.
10. Dallas Cowboys - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Dallas' defense was a pass funnel last season. Prior to opting out of the 2020 season, Caleb Farley was considered arguably the top cornerback in the draft.
11. New York Giants - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
While Smith starred in Tuscaloosa this past season, Waddle might be the better pro prospect. The wide receiver-needy Giants shouldn't wait long to get their pick in if speedy, versatile, pass-catcher is still on the board.
12. San Francisco 49ers - Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
With Trent Williams set to hit free agency, the 49ers have an immediate need on their offensive line. And even if San Francisco opts to re-sign the 32-year-old, Rashawn Slater has the versatility to play multiple positions at the next level.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
In desperate need of long-term protection for Justin Herbert, the Chargers look to their own backyard to grab one of the draft's most versatile offensive linemen in Alijah Vera-Tucker.
14. Minnesota Vikings - Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (Fla.)
After the failed Yannick Ngakoue experiment, the Vikings find themselves in need of pass rush help. Prior to opting out of the 2020 season, Miami's Gregory Rousseau was building buzz as a potential top-five pick.
15. New England Patriots - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
A lot of mock drafts project the Patriots to take a quarterback, but I think they'll go the veteran route again. If that's the case, it would make sense for New England to replenish its receiving corps with one of the most dynamic pass-catchers in the class.
16. Arizona Cardinals - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
With Patrick Peterson and Dre Fitzpatrick set to hit free agency, the Cardinals have a glaring hole at cornerback. Jaycee Horn has all the makings of a riser in the draft process.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
There have been recent rumblings regarding the Raiders' willingness to move on from Derek Carr. Whether Jon Gruden keeps his franchise's all-time leading passer or lets him go, he could also draft his successor in North Dakota State's Trey Lance.
18. Miami Dolphins - Jalean Phillips, Edge, Miami (Fla.)
After using the Texans' first-round pick on offense, Miami looks to its backyard to use its own pick on defense. A former 5-star prospect, Jalean Phillips is the type of versatile pass-rusher who could thrive under Brian Flores.
19. Washington Football Team - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Following the failed Dwayne Haskins experiment, Washington is once again in need of a quarterback of the future. Coming off a national championship season at Alabama, Mac Jones could either start right away or spend his rookie season learning behind a veteran.
20. Chicago Bears - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
With Germain Ifedi set to hit free agency, the Bears have an immediate need at right tackle and potential long-term need at left tackle. Christian Darrisaw has the skill-set to start -- and play at a high level -- right away.
21. Indianapolis Colts - Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
With T.Y. Hilton on the decline and Parris Campbell often injured, the Colts' wide receiving corps is in need of a boost. The speedy Rondale Moore -- who played at nearby Purdue -- would pair nicely with a big target like Michael Pittman Jr.
22. Tennessee Titans - Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
Tennessee ranked 29th in the league in sacks in 2020. Even if the Titans prioritize their pass-rush in free agency, it couldn't hurt to add a high upside prospect like Michigan's Kwity Paye to the mix.
23. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
As one might expect, the Jets have holes all over their roster. On the defensive side of the ball, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could help eliminate a couple of them while adding flexibility to Robert Saleh's scheme.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
For as much attention as Ben Roethlisberger received during the Steelers' second half decline, the team's rushing attack also faltered. The addition of Najee Harris could reinvigorate a Pittsburgh run game that ranked last in the NFL in yards per rush attempt in 2020.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) - Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Meyer is fond of saying that a quarterback is a product of the players around him. Terrace Marshall Jr. would give Lawrence the type of skilled, big-bodied target that Meyer often coveted on the college recruiting trail.
26. Cleveland Browns - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Defensive end and cornerback stand out as the Browns' most ovious needs, but with Larry Ogunjobi set to hit free agency and Sheldon Richardson in the final year of his contract, you can also add defensive tackle to that list. Arguably the best player at the position in this year's draft, Christian Barmore checks plenty of the boxes the Browns' analytically-driven front office covets in its prospects.
27. Baltimore Ravens - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Too much of the Ravens' passing attack last season was focused on just two players (Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews). Minnesota's Rashod Bateman would give Baltimore a viable third option.
28. New Orleans Saints - Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Jared Cook is set to hit free agency and the Saints need viable pass-catchers not named Michael Thomas. Pat "Baby Gronk" Freiermuth would be a nice piece to help ease New Orleans into the post-Drew Brees era.
29. Green Bay Packers - Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
Outside of Jaire Alexander, the Packers have very little they can rely on at the cornerback spot. The son of a former four-time Pro Bowl selection, Asante Samuel Jr. would fill an immediate need in Green Bay.
30. Buffalo Bills - Zaven Collins, LB/Edge, Tulsa
Matt Milano is set to hit free agency. Even if the Bills re-sign him, the versatile Zaven Collins would give Sean McDermott a new chess piece to play with.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
As you might have noticed in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs need offensive line help -- and that was true before the injuries they suffered this season. Ohio State's Wyatt Davis is the best guard in the draft and could provide an instant boost.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Carlos Basham Jr., DL, Wake Forest
The defending Super Bowl champions could stand to get younger in their front-seven. Carlos Basham Jr. has the size and skill to play multiple positions on the defensive line and should be ready to contibute immediately to Tampa Bay's title defense.