National Football League
McIntyre's Mock Draft 9.0: What will Atlanta and Dallas do in the top 10?
National Football League

McIntyre's Mock Draft 9.0: What will Atlanta and Dallas do in the top 10?

Updated Jul. 21, 2021 5:59 p.m. ET

By Jason McIntyre
FOX Sports Betting Analyst

We’re a week away from the draft and it’s about time I feel good about at least 27 of these players landing in the first round.

Having worked on the 2021 NFL Mock Draft consistently since last May, my confidence level over the prospects and team needs is sky-high.

Two things are becoming clear in the stretch run. First, as deep as this receiver draft is, there isn’t a need to reach for one in the top 10 unless his name is Ja’Marr Chase. And secondly, cornerbacks are rising, which shouldn’t surprise anybody in the new pass-first NFL.


Let’s dive into my latest mock draft.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (Previous rank: 1)

2020 season stats: 3,153 passing yards, 24 passing TDs, 69.2 completion percentage

The Jags got him some nice weapons in free agency – Marvin Jones, Carlos Hyde and Phillip Dorsett – and Jacksonville could be a .500 or better team this season. 

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (2)

2020 season stats: 3,692 passing yards, 33 passing TDs, 73.5 completion percentage

The Jets spent wisely in free agency on Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, Tyler Kroft and Tevin Coleman, and they have 10 picks in this draft. Wilson will start Week 1. 

3. San Francisco 49ers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (3)

2020 season stats: 2,100 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 70.2 completion percentage

I went against the masses in Mock 8.0 with Fields over Mac Jones, and the gambling odds in the last week have backed me up, as Fields is the favorite to learn under Jimmy Garoppolo for a season.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (4)

The four most important positions in football: 1) QB. That’s obvious. Spots 2-4 are a tossup between LT (Sewell), edge rusher and cornerback. Sewell is the smart pick, but if they want an impact player, Kyle Pitts would make rookie coach Arthur Smith happiest. Counter: There is no backup QB on the roster.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU (5)

2020 season stats: N/A (opted out of the season)

2019 season stats: 84 receptions, 1,780 receiving yards, 20 receiving TDs

If Sewell is on the board, the Bengals will have a tough decision to make. Chase's connection with Joe Burrow certainly doesn’t hurt his odds of going in this spot regardless.

6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (6)

2020 season stats: 43 receptions, 770 receiving yards, 12 receiving TDs 

No change. Is Pitts the most talented non-QB in the draft? Certainly. But a tight end will never affect winning the way a left tackle does. 

7. Detroit Lions – Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama (9)

2020 season stats: 35 total tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 INT, 1 TD

The Lions sit in a great trade spot, especially if Fields goes third. Surtain and Jeff Okudah in back-to-back drafts sets the defense up for years. For the "take a QB here" crowd: Goff is locked in for two years, so a young QB could wait and learn. Counter: Lions are tied with the Texans for the lowest projected win total, so they likely will be drafting in the top three next year.

8. Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina (12)

2020 season stats: 2 INTs, 6 passes defended, 16 total tackles

Defensive-minded head coach Matt Rhule could help an improving unit with a potential shutdown corner in Horn, who has some comparable measurements (40-inch vertical) to Jalen Ramsey. I believe Rhule’s familiarity with Sam Darnold and the team picking up his fifth-year option removes them from a QB here.

9. Denver Broncos – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (8)

2020 season stats: N/A (one exhibition game played)

2019 season stats: 2,786 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 66.9 completion percentage; 1,100 rushing yards, 6.5 yards per carry, 14 rushing TDs 

Drew Lock deserves more than 18 starts, but if anyone (besides grabbing Teddy Bridgewater) will light a fire under the third-year QB, it’s a promising 20-year-old who didn’t throw an interception in 16 starts in 2019.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan (7)

2020 season stats: 2 sacks, 16 total tackles

If Surtain is off the board, the Cowboys stick with defense and a bookend for DeMarcus Lawrence. Yes, there’s an offensive line need, but new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn loves athletic marvels off the edge, and the Cowboys’ defense is the top priority.

11. New York Giants – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa (27)

2020 season stats: 4 sacks, 54 total tackles, 2 fumbles forced, 1 fumble recovered, 2 passes defended

We had Collins going early dating back to January’s Mock Draft, and the buzz has grown louder to the point he could sneak into the top 15. At 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, he’s a great athlete (35-inch vertical, 4.67 40-yard dash) and played QB in high school. No, the Giants don’t need a receiver here.

12. Philadelphia Eagles – Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern (10)

The Eagles have a wild offseason and suddenly there are needs all over (LB, DB, WR). Injuries on the O-line certainly didn’t help Carson Wentz. You can find a WR anytime, and you can’t take another diminutive WR in the top 25 in back-to-back years.

13. Los Angeles Chargers – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC (13)

No change. The most likely other option here is cornerback, the only other place the Chargers have a big question. 

14. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Darrisaw, OL, Virginia Tech (14)

No change. There’s a need for an edge rusher, but Mike Zimmer’s Vikings also had five free-agent signings, and four were on defense. Keep an eye on a trade down for safety Trevon Moehrig, whom they love.

15. New England Patriots – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (15)

2020 season stats: 4,500 passing yards, 41 passing TDs, 77.4 completion percentage

No change. The draft cycle has pumped up QBs and WRs, but as we get closer, you’ll see them "slip" in favor of impact edge rushers and cornerbacks.

16. Arizona Cardinals – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (16)

2020 season stats: 28 receptions, 591 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs (played four games before suffering an injury, returned briefly during national championship)

2019 season stats: 33 receptions, 560 receiving yards, 6 receiving TDs

The Cardinals have a glaring need for a CB, but Kliff Kingsbury also needs another receiver despite picking up AJ Green, who turns 33 in July.

17. Las Vegas Raiders – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (NR)

2020 season stats: N/A (opted out of the season)

2019 season stats: 5 sacks, 109 total tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovered, 5 passes defended

The draft process for Parsons has been a roller coaster. He was top 10 for much of it, then started to slide on scuttlebutt, and he was out of the first round in my last mock draft. He’s back in, because Jon Gruden runs the show, and he loves Parsons. 

18. Miami Dolphins – Gregory Rousseau, Edge, Miami (18)

2020 season stats: N/A (opted out of the season)

2019 season stats: 15.5 sacks, 54 total tackles, 2 fumbles forced, 1 fumble recovered

Some will argue that there’s no way Tua doesn’t get one of his Alabama receivers here, but the Dolphins have solid depth at the position. They need someone who will pressure the QB. Enter Rousseau, who sat out last season after being on a trajectory to go in the top five.

19. Washington Football Team – Teven Jenkins, OL, Oklahoma State (17)

As enticing as a WR would be, if one of the top four linemen with LT potential drops here, Washington likely pounces. Jenkins projects a notch below them. The offensive line was fantastic last year, with four players grading out top 20 at their position. The lone exception? LT Geron Christian, who replaced Trent Williams, and only played six games.

20. Chicago Bears – Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State (26)

2020 season stats: 1 pass defended, 38 total tackles

2019 season stats: 5.0 sacks, 2.0 fumbles forced, 21 total tackles

The Bears’ pass rush was heavily dependent on Khalil Mack in 2020, falling to 22nd in pressure rate after finishing eighth in 2019. Oweh provides speed and depth off the edge.

21. Indianapolis Colts – Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami (21)

2020 season stats: 8 sacks, 1 INT, 3 passes defended, 45 total tackles

No change.

22. Tennessee Titans – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (16)

2020 season stats: 117 receptions, 1,856 receiving yards, 23 receiving TDs 

If Smith falls this far, the Titans should celebrate. A trio of AJ Brown, Josh Reynolds and Smith would be an upgrade from last year.

23. New York Jets – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech (23)

2020 season stats: N/A (opted out of the season)

2019 season stats: 4 INTs, 1 TD, 20 total tackles 

No change. As long as the medical checks out, the Jets get perhaps the steal of the first round if Farley – who was my No. 1 CB in the draft before the back surgery – falls this far.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (24)

2020 season stats: 251 rushing attempts, 1,466 rushing yards, 26 rushing TDs, 43 receptions, 425 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs

No change. After ranking last in rushing yards and YPC, the Steelers moved on from their OC and OL coach, and Harris will be the best RB they’ve had since Le’Veon Bell.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Greg Newsome III, CB, Northwestern (31) 

2020 season stats: 4 passes defended, 19 tackles

The Jags added Shaq Griffin in free agency to pair with CJ Henderson, who had a solid rookie year. Newsome can play in the slot and on the outside.

26. Cleveland Browns – Asante Samuel Jr, CB, Florida State (32)

2020 season stats: 3 INT, 6 passes defended, 22 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovered

The Jadeveon Clowney addition gives the Browns a fantastic DL. Samuel has been steadily rising during the draft process and provides depth between Denzel Ward, Troy Hill and Greedy Williams in a young-but-talented secondary.

27. Baltimore Ravens – Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida (20)

2020 season stats: 70 receptions, 984 receiving yards, 10 receiving TDs

The Ravens have to clear the decks to pay Lamar Jackson, so this is a hugely pivotal draft. Toney could eventually replace the underwhelming Marquise Brown, and who knows if free-agent signee Sammy Watkins can stay healthy (14 missed games in the last three seasons).  

28. New Orleans Saints – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU (28)

2020 season stats: 2 INT, 9 passes defended, 30 tackles

No change.

29. Green Bay Packers – Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama (29)

No change.

30. Buffalo Bills – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama (30)

2020 season stats: 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 3 passes defended, 27 total tackles

No change.

31. Baltimore Ravens (via Kansas City Chiefs) – Jalen Mayfield, LT, Michigan

The trade of Orlando Brown will save money to help pay Lamar Jackson. Replacing Brown at right tackle will be more difficult. This pick has to be on the offensive line. Mayfield played right and left tackle for the Wolverines.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (11)

2020 season stats: 1.5 sacks, 55 total tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recovered, 3 passes defended

With Lavonte David turning 31 this year, the Bucs move to find his potential replacement with the versatile Irish linebacker. 

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports gambling analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, "Coming Up Winners," in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.


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