National Football League

NFL mock draft: 'The Herd' predicts the first 16 picks

April 27

The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft starts Thursday, which means time is running out for pundits and prognosticators to put out their mock drafts.

Until the first pick is made, however, there's ample room for discussion, as was the case Monday on "The Herd."

In the episode, Colin Cowherd employed the assistance of FOX Sports NFL Reporter Peter Schrager in filling out a mock draft.

As Cowherd said, Schrager is "an information guy," rather than a scout. Using Schrager's sources, their hope was to predict how the draft will play out.

"We're going to do this draft based on what we think is going to happen," Cowherd said. "... We think this is what it's going to look like Thursday by the end of the night."

Here's how their draft shook out:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Trevor LawrenceClemson

Schrager's thoughts: "The card has been in since the Jets beat the Rams in L.A. back in December. ... The perfect prospect, no doubt about it."

2. New York Jets: QB Zach WilsonBYU

Cowherd's thoughts: "Not what I would do. I think his size worries me. ... But I think the Jets, again, this card's been in a while ⁠— last two months ⁠— will take Zach Wilson."

3. San Francisco 49ers: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

Schrager's thoughts: "Niners fans, don't come at me. I know it's not the popular pick. I know everyone's cringing at this one, but a lot of GMs ⁠— not just the ones I speak to in the top 10 ⁠— say this guy is a no-brainer for San Francisco."

4. Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle PittsFlorida

Cowherd's thoughts: "I think they go with the best pure talent in the draft, Kyle Pitts. This head coach [Arthur Smith] has worked with tight ends before. It's his specialty. I think [Pitts is] an instant 75-catch, six-touchdown player."

5: Cincinnati Bengals: WR Ja'Marr ChaseLSU

Schrager's thoughts: "The coach is Zac Taylor. He's an offensive mind. You can get [offensive] tackles in the second round. I'm going with Ja'Marr Chase out of LSU, pairing him with Joe Burrow when they had a ridiculous, 1,800-yard, 20-touchdown season the last time they played together."

6. Miami Dolphins: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Cowherd's thoughts: "I'm gonna guess here. By the aggressiveness that they went up in the draft, they take Jaylen Waddle. ... They'll know by Thanksgiving on Tua [Tagovailoa]. If you can't win with this group, if we can't score, we got the wrong quarterback."

7. Detroit Lions: OT Penei SewellOregon

Schrager's thoughts: "It's not a home-run pick. I don't think it's anything Detroit fans are going to go bonkers with. ... I guess Penei Sewell's the pick, but I'm not doing flips over this if I'm a Lions fan."

8. Carolina Panthers: OT Rashawn SlaterNorthwestern

Cowherd's thoughts: "Their O-line is OK. It's really not good [at] left tackle. ... You get this left tackle, then you can go back to the defensive side of the football and fix that secondary."

9. Denver Broncos: QB Trey LanceNorth Dakota State

Schrager's thoughts: "I'm going to go with the big gamble, and I think they'd be happy with it."

10. Dallas Cowboys: CB Jaycee HornSouth Carolina

Cowherd's thoughts: "Kyle Pitts is off the board, so Jerry [Jones] is not happy. I'm going to go Jaycee Horn, hyper-aggressive corner. ... He is a playmaker. He's physical. He defends the run, played in the best conference. Not on the best roster, so he was more valuable to his team."

11. New York Giants: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama

Schrager's thoughts: "I'm gonna go with the Alabama corner. ... They take him over DeVonta Smith, which would be a shocker in a lot of circles up here in New York."

12. Philadelphia Eagles: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

Cowherd's thoughts: "Listen, like Tua, they gotta make sure Jalen Hurts is gonna work. They've gotta give him playmakers. You've got to find out if this guy can play."

13. Los Angeles Chargers: OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

Schrager's thoughts: "They've got to protect Justin Herbert. They did a good job already in getting the center, Corey Linsley. They picked up another guy at guard from the Steelers. I think that they go with Vera-Tucker out of USC, and they'd be happy with that pick at 13."

14. Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami (Fla.)

Cowherd's thoughts: "Mike Zimmer needs a pass rush in a division with Aaron Rodgers twice a year. Go look at their schedule, who they play, some veteran quarterbacks."

15. New England Patriots: QB Justin FieldsOhio State

Schrager's thoughts: "It's unbelievable if it works out this way. Justin Fields is the next Patriots quarterback, and they don't have to give up next year's first-round pick. Justin Fields! Justin Fields! Justin Fields! Celebrate in Foxborough."

16. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Kwity PayeMichigan

Cowherd's thoughts: "I think J.J. Watt's old, Chandler Jones. In that division, with [Matthew] Stafford, I've got to face Russell Wilson. ... I want an abundance of pass-rushers."

Check out the full breakdown of Cowherd's and Schrager's picks in the video below:

Peter Schrager joins Colin Cowherd to participate in a 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Hear where Kyle Pitts, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Mac Jones, and Davonta Smith land within the first 16 picks.

For more up-to-date news on all things "The Herd," click here to register for alerts on the FOX Sports app!


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