Friday, March 26, 2021

Post-Free Agency Cincinnati Bengals NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Cincinnati Bengals from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Bengals:

EDSFootball - Donahue (3/23)

5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

Due to Chase opting out of the 2020 season and combining that with the Heisman winning season from DeVonta Smith, it's easy to forget the type of player Chase was as a true sophomore at LSU in 2019. He won the Biletnikoff Award as the best WR in college football while putting up 84 catches for 1,720 yards and 20 TDs and that was all with an older Justin Jefferson on the team. And who was throwing him the ball that year? None other than Joe Burrow, who I'm sure would be thrilled to be reunited with his former LSU teammate. - Brooks (3/23)

5. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

Upgrading the offensive line is a top priority, with Joe Burrow looking like a potential star in the making.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/23)

5. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The run on quarterbacks took a proposed trade with New England off the board that would have netted the Bengals the 15th and 46th picks, plus a first-round selection next season. Instead, the Bengals go for the biggest, baddest Joe Burrow protector they can find. After signing Riley Reiff on Friday, the Bengals have flexibility with this pick and aren't tied to Sewell, so there's a real consideration for Ja'Marr Chase here. Yet, the idea of slotting Sewell in as the starting guard of today and tackle of tomorrow with Jonah Williams and Reiff as bookends makes for a serious move in fixing the glaring issue keeping Burrow from taking this team to the next level. -- Paul Dehner, Jr.

ESPN - Kiper (3/22)

5. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

All along, I've thought it was going to be an offensive tackle here, but if Pitts and wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase are on the board, can the Bengals really pass them up? Joe Burrow has to get more playmakers around him. I think Pitts is just too good, and he would instantly upgrade this offense. He is one of the most talented tight ends I've ever graded, and there are people in the NFL who think he could be the second-best prospect in this class. With a deep offensive line class, Cincinnati could likely find a starting tackle or guard at the top of Round 2.

CBS Sports - Wilson (3/22)

5. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Cincy addressed a bunch of defensive needs during the first week of free agency, but perhaps more importantly it signed offensive tackle Riley Reiff, who was a huge need. The Bengals could still target the offensive line here, but this week we have them taking the most explosive wideout/returner in this class.

PFF - Renner (3/22)

8. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Bengals are going with the kitchen-sink approach to fixing the offensive line, and this is one pick that will certainly stick. Slater has five-position versatility and is as NFL-ready as they come.

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Previous update: Cincinnati Bengals Mock Draft Roundup 6.0

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Post-Free Agency San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the San Francisco 49ers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the San Francisco 49ers, check out our 2021 San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the 49ers:

EDSFootball - Donahue (3/23)

12. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Farley doesn't have to wait long to hear his name called as the Niners also have a need at corner. At 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds, he has almost the same measurables and attributes as Surtain, which is why it is pretty much splitting hairs between the two. Many expect the Niners to be aggressive at the draft and try to move up to grab one of the top quarterbacks, but if they aren't able to do that, they at least are in a spot to take a top-tier CB. - Brooks (3/23)

12. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

The likely departure of Richard Sherman could prompt John Lynch to prioritize finding a premier cover corner over draft weekend.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/23)

12. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

With tackle Rashawn Slater and quarterback Mac Jones still on the board, this seemed like a good spot for the 49ers to trade back and perhaps take Paye later in the round. There were no takers in this exercise, however. After the 49ers signed Samson Ebukam in free agency, the need for a speed rusher -- like Azeez Ojulari -- is lessened. Paye is a bigger, stronger prospect who can rush from inside on obvious passing downs. He also could fill in if Nick Bosa (knee) is not quite 100 percent early in the season. -- Matt Barrows

ESPN - Kiper (3/22)

12. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

I'm still not sold on Jimmy Garoppolo as coach Kyle Shanahan's top quarterback going forward, but do the 49ers want to give up the draft capital to trade up to get one of the top four guys? This is a team already without its own third-round pick because of the trade to acquire Trent Williams last year. (It does have a third-round compensatory pick, however.) My feeling is that San Francisco could instead stay put in Round 1 and address its biggest hole with one of the top cornerbacks. Farley is one of the best pure cover corners in this class. Here's a "wow" stat, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information: In 2019 (remember, he opted out of the 2020 season) Farley allowed a completion percentage of 24.4% when he was the targeted defender in coverage, which ranked No. 1 in the FBS. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Farley is having surgery on his back Tuesday, but as of now, I don't think the injury will affect his draft stock.

CBS Sports - Wilson (3/22)

6. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

This is the first time in a long time we've had Zach Willson falling out of the No. 2 pick, but he doesn't stay on the board long; the 49ers trade up from No. 12 to get Wilson, who had an outstanding 2020 campaign and improved his draft stock from second-tier draft prospect to top-10 pick.

PFF - Renner (3/22)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

The 49ers give up a future first and some change to get their guy. The pick not only represents a possible upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo, but it also clears $23.6 million in cap space from Jimmy G's contract that the 49ers could use after the Trent Williams deal.

Previous update: San Francisco 49ers Mock Draft Roundup 6.0

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Monday, March 15, 2021

CeeDee Lamb 2021 Fantasy Football Profile

Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, few mock drafts, if any, projected the Dallas Cowboys would select Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.

There were two reasons for this:

  1. Few mocks expected him to still be on the board when the Cowboys picked (17th overall)
  2. Wide receiver ranked low amongst the team's priorities of needs

In fact, the Cowboys had a pair of young 1,100-yard receivers -- Amari Cooper (1,189) and Michael Gallup (1,107) -- in 2019. That said, Randall Cobb (828) and tight end Jason Witten (529) both departed in free agency last offseason.

Providing the Cowboys with an upgrade over Cobb, no rookie receiver produced more from the slot than Lamb.

Minnesota's Justin Jefferson had a historic rookie season (88/1400/7) and other rookies like Cincinnati's Tee Higgins and Pittsburgh's Chase Claypool made significant impacts. That said, Jefferson was the only rookie to finish with more receiving yards than Lamb (935).

Lamb scored the 25th-most fantasy points among WRs (half-PPR scoring) as he finished with 74 catches for 935 yards and five touchdowns. If it weren't for the season-ending injury to quarterback Dak Prescott, however, Lamb's numbers would have likely been much better.

In the five games in which Prescott played, Lamb had a minimum of 59 yards every week, both of his 100-yard games and was fantasy's WR11. Teammate Amari Cooper was the WR12 during that same span.

RankReceiverRec.Rec. YardsRec. TDFantasy Points
1Adam Thielen29364690
2D.K. Metcalf22496588.6
3Calvin Ridley29485487.6
4DeAndre Hopkins45528287.3
5Tyreek Hill22364482.3
6Stefon Diggs36509280.9
7Robby Anderson36489175.2
8Tyler Lockett30342473.2
9Odell Beckham Jr.21294371.82
10Allen Robinson35421271.5
11CeeDee Lamb29433271.1
12Amari Cooper39424169.7
WR fantasy scoring from Weeks 1-5.

If we extrapolated Lamb's five-game production to begin the season, he was on a 16-game pace of 92.8/1385.6/6.4. Of course, even if Prescott weren't injured, there's no guarantee that he would have maintained his torrid pace to start the year.

The point, however, is that those numbers would have been eerily close to Jefferson's rookie numbers (88/1400/7). With Prescott, Lamb's numbers over the first five weeks were better than Jefferson's (19/371/1) during the same span.

While there was a noticeable split between his numbers with and without Prescott, Lamb's Week 6-17 numbers weren't terrible -- 45/502/3 (WR31) -- especially considering he was a rookie receiver with an atypical offseason.

Given how unusual last offseason was, Lamb (and other rookies) should benefit plenty from what will likely be a more normal July-August in 2021. If Prescott is able to stay healthy, Lamb could be poised for a massive season.

While Lamb may have been the 1(b) to Cooper's 1(a) last season, it wouldn't surprise me if the uber-talented second-year receiver emerges as the team's top producer. As I wrote in my final big board on SI last year, "Lamb has exceptional ball skills with a special ability to contort his body and adjust to the ball in the air."

Exhibit A from Lamb's rookie season:

CeeDee Lamb Fantasy Football ADP

Based on scoring format, here are the current Fantasy Football ADPs for CeeDee Lamb:

Scoring FormatCurrent ADP
Non-PPR Fantasy ADP5.03 (WR21)
Half-PPR Fantasy Football ADP4.09 (WR17)
PPR Fantasy Football ADP5.01 (WR20)

Below is a chart of CeeDee Lamb' half-PPR ADP over the past month:

CeeDee Lamb Average Draft Position

[Source: ADP from Fantasy Football Calculator.]

Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)

Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed in 2020 by their opponents this season, here are the ranks for CeeDee Lamb and the Cowboys wide receivers rank in 2021 strength of schedule:

Scoring FormatFull Season Rank
Non-PPR Fantasy WR SOS19th
Half-PPR Fantasy WR SOS17th
PPR Fantasy WR SOS18th

Note: The Fantasy SOS noted above are based on a 17-game schedule, which the NFL is expected to implement in 2021.

CeeDee Lamb Full-Season Projections

Here are our full-season projections for Lamb:


- Dallas Cowboys 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

Bottom line

Relative value: Fairly Valued

Based on Lamb's talent and the potency of the team's offense, the arrow is clearly pointing up for Lamb. Similar to what D.K. Metcalf did in his second season, it's certainly within the range of potential outcomes for Lamb to make a massive leap into the top tier of wide receivers in 2021. Some of that upside is already baked into his current ADP, but I have a feeling that Lamb is going to be one of those players that I continue to bump up in my projections and rankings throughout the offseason.

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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Dallas Cowboys 2021 Fantasy Football Projections

Our 2021 Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team. All of our initial 2021 projections will be posted by the end of May, if not sooner.

Below you will find our 2021 fantasy football projections for the Dallas Cowboys.

Note: These projections are based on a 17-game NFL schedule, which is expected in 2021.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams


Dak Prescott635.1431.95239.629.2111.4356.5276.94.66359.21
Garrett Gilbert26.516169.60.930.612.27.20.0110.06

Dak Prescott: Playing on the franchise tag in 2020, Prescott was dominant before his season was cut short by a compound ankle fracture. In Weeks 2 to 4, Prescott threw for a minimum (yes, minimum) of 450 yards in all three games with a total of 11 touchdowns (eight passing and three rushing). During that stretch, he performed as the weekly QB1, QB4 and QB1, respectively. With a talented trio of wide receivers, Prescott has tremendous upside if he can stay healthy.

MORE: Dak Prescott 2021 Fantasy Football Profile


Ezekiel Elliott280.11218.49.157.1419.22.5261.91
Tony Pollard85.3392.42.7330.2243.41.5104.06
Rico Dowdle7.827.30.020002.85

Ezekiel Elliott: The offense went off the tracks when Dak Prescott sustained his season-ending injury and the offensive line injuries further impacted Elliott's production. From Weeks 6 to 17, Zeke finished as a top-12 fantasy running only twice in 10 games after doing so three times in the team's first five games. While Tony Pollard may have earned more touches in 2021, Elliott should rank near the top of the league in workload and production. In fact, only three backs had more than six games last season with at least 20 touches -- Derrick Henry (14), Dalvin Cook (11) and Elliott (11).

Tony Pollard: Despite playing fewer than 50% of the team's offensive snaps every week except for the game Ezekiel Elliott missed (Week 15, 90%), Pollard had at least eight touches in 10 of the team's final 12 games. Excluding his one start, Pollard averaged 9.0 touches per game over his final 11 games in which he appeared in fewer than half of the team's offensive snaps. Assuming good health for Dak Prescott and the offensive line, 8-10 weekly touches in this offense could lead to stand-alone flex value for Pollard on a weekly basis.


Amari Cooper96.31284.
CeeDee Lamb86.21217.16.55.535.80.01207.45
Michael Gallup64.91014.26.2000171.07
Cedrick Wilson17.9243.

Amari Cooper: Cooper finished 2020 with a career-high 92 receptions for 1,114 yards and five touchdowns. It was his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and fifth of his career. In 41 games as a member of the Cowboys, Cooper has averaged 73.9 yards per game, which is equivalent to an 1,182-yard 16-game pace.

CeeDee Lamb: With a healthy Dak Prescott, Lamb began his NFL career with two 100-yard games and a minimum of 59 yards in each of his first five games. During that five-game span, Lamb scored the 11th-most fantasy points (Amari Cooper was 12th) and only five other receivers had more receiving yards (433). Based on his skill set, Lamb should eventually emerge as the 1(a) for the Cowboys to Cooper's 1(b) ... potentially as early as 2021.

Michael Gallup: It was a down year (59/843/5) for Gallup, who averaged 26.4 fewer yards per game than he did in 2019. Of course, the offense as a whole struggled without Dak Prescott and Gallup had 50-plus yards in four of five games with Prescott and in only three-of-11 games without him.


Blake Jarwin50.45682.800098.8
Dalton Schultz43.7405.72.400076.82
Sean McKeon1.113.50.10002.5

Blake Jarwin: With the Cowboys moving on from Jason Witten before the start of the 2020 season, Jarwin was expected to see a big jump in target share and production, but he unfortunately tore his ACL in Week 1. As a part-time player in 2018 and 2019, Jarwin had a total of 77 catches for 672 yards and six touchdowns.

Dalton Schultz: Taking on a much larger-than-expected role given Jarwin's ACL tear, Schultz had 63 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns. The former Stanford Cardinal finished the year as fantasy's TE12 (half-PPR) and was a little better in full PPR formats (TE10) and a little worse in non-PPR formats (TE15).

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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pre-Free Agency Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Jacksonville Jaguars Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Jacksonville Jaguars from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Jaguars:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

New mock, same pick for the Jaguars. Of course, this pick won't change between now and April 29th.

As noted in our 2021 NFL Mock Draft, 3.0, this marks the first time in franchise history that the Jags own the rights to the first overall pick and it couldn't have come at a better time. While no quarterback or prospect is a "sure thing," Lawrence is a generational talent that is arguably the best quarterback prospect to enter the league since Andrew Luck.

25. Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

My top-ranked interior defensive lineman, the redshirt sophomore had 9.5 tackles for loss including eight sacks and three forced fumbles in 2020 and played his best football down the stretch. Six of Barmore's sacks came in the final six games of the season and Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari was the only SEC defender to record more sacks in 2020.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

I might start beginning my mock drafts with the second pick, because Lawrence heading down to Jacksonville to become new coach Urban Meyer's franchise QB is about as close to a lock as you can have in early March. The Jaguars' quarterback room has ranked among the league's worst in Total QBR over the past three seasons, finishing no higher than 26th over that time. But Lawrence has elite traits in just about every area of his game.

Michael DiRocco on his fit with the Jaguars: Lawrence would start out of the gate even if the Jaguars do sign Alex Smith, which seems to be the trendy rumor considering his time with Meyer at Utah. Play the kid and start the rebuild.

25. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

At No. 1 overall, the Jaguars landed the top quarterback in the class. Now they get the top safety with their second first-rounder. Moehrig had six interceptions over his last two collegiate seasons and is a strong tackler. If not safety, defensive tackle -- maybe Washington's Levi Onwuzurike or Alabama's Christian Barmore -- would be a position to watch.

Michael DiRocco on his fit with the Jaguars: Jarrod Wilson has started 28 games at free safety over the past two seasons and has been a steady player, but the Jaguars need playmakers in the secondary. Plus, Josh Jones is a pending free agent. Moehrig might not be a starter immediately, but it would be a surprise if he didn't finish the season as one.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

The draft starts at pick No. 2. The Urban Meyer era begins with Lawrence at No. 1 overall.

25. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

Home-run selection for the Jaguars, as Darrisaw has serious franchise left tackle skills.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

If it wasn't obvious the Jaguars intended to take Lawrence before, it certainly was last week when new Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer spent the entirety of Lawrence's pro day workout within hair-flip distance of the quarterback who has been projected to be the No. 1 pick in this draft since he played for Cartersville (Ga.) High.

This is a franchise that has been in search of a franchise QB since Mark Brunell's departure 17 years ago. Blaine Gabbert (2010) and Blake Bortles (2014) couldn't measure up. The free-agent signing of Super Bowl LII hero Nick Foles was a flop. No QB is a sure thing, but Lawrence is the closest thing to it. -- Andy Staples

25. Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

The Jaguars will be thrilled if this is how the actual draft turns out. They need interior defensive line help, and even though they have abundant cap space, free-agent options on the inside of the line are limited and expensive. Barmore might be the only first-round-quality interior lineman in this draft, so they would happily scoop him up with this pick they received from the Rams in the Jalen Ramsey trade. If Barmore plays the way he played at the end of the 2020 season, he could provide valuable push up the middle, which would only make Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson more effective rushers on the outside. -- Andy Staples

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Lawrence is the best player in the 2021 class, and he has that high floor/high ceiling combination every team wants at every position, but especially at quarterback. Over three seasons with the Tigers, Lawrence completed 758 of 1,138 passes for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a passer rating of 164.3. He increased his completion percentage, his yards per attempt, and his adjusted yards per attempt in each of those three seasons, and there really isn't anything that confounds him. When under pressure in 2020, he completed 28 of 69 passes for 449 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. Lawrence also ran 68 times last season for 208 yards and eight touchdowns, so there should be no question about his effective mobility. The future is now in Jacksonville, and its name is Trevor Lawrence.

25. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

There's absolutely no question about Parsons' value on the field -- based on that alone, I'd address him as a top-10 talent in this class. But serious off-field issues, including a fight involving Parsons and defensive back Isaiah Humphries that Penn State head coach James Franklin allegedly told Humphries not to report to police, will -- or at least should -- raise the hackles of NFL teams. Humphries sued the school in 2020. There are also allegations of sexual assault related to hazing that must be considered when evaluating the entire Micah Parsons picture.

Well the Jaguars need help on a formerly great defense that Tom Coughlin blew apart over the last few years with his “get off my lawn” approach, and to say the least, Urban Meyer has always been... lenient when considering off-field issues.

So, with all that said, Parsons is a great defensive player who could add a ton to any defense as an off-ball linebacker, as a slot defender, and as a blitzer on or near the defensive line. At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, he hits like a 260-pound linebacker and moves like a 220-pound safety. There isn't an NFL team that couldn't use his skill set; this process will be far more about culture fit and how Parsons explains himself. The football stuff all checks out at an exceedingly high level. - Casserly (2/25)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

No surprise here. Urban Meyer strikes gold with franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence to start the rebuild.

25. Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

The Jags couldn't stop the run last season, so this pick is dedicated to shoring up that weakness. I also won't be surprised if they choose to sign another defensive tackle in free agency. - Meinke (2/25)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

I've seen a couple folks say they think Zach Wilson is QB1, proving once again that if you look long enough, and want it badly enough, you can find literally anything on the Internet.

25. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Trevor Lawrence is going to need all the help he can get, and Bateman is some pretty good help. He was one of the best route runners in the country before opting out of the 2020 season. He got open, caught contested footballs, was a deep threat and even broke tackles with the ball in his hands.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Urban Meyer isn't taking someone else here, especially another quarterback. The rebuild will get a boost with three other picks in the top 50. The Heisman runner-up is a good start and a much better building block than Blake Bortles or Blaine Gabbert. Lawrence underwent surgery on his left shoulder last week in California. He expressed on social media he was “Excited for rehab” after the procedure and will likely be ready for training camp.

25. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

Cam Robinson is a free agent and Cosmi is likely an upgrade anyways. You can't develop a young quarterback if you don't have a decent offensive line. It's science. Cosmi dominated in 26 games at right tackle as a sophomore. He did the same at left tackle this season.

Previous update: Jacksonville Jaguars Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

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Pre-Free Agency Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Pittsburgh Steelers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the Pittsburgh Steelers, check out our 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Steelers:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

24. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Steelers ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards per game (84.4) and while they ranked bottom five in rush attempts (373), they also ranked last in the league in yards per carry (3.6). Meanwhile James Conner has struggled to stay on the field and almost certainly won't be back in Pittsburgh next season. The all-time career rushing leader in Alabama history, the do-it-all back rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns and added 43 receptions for 425 yards and four more scores last season.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

24. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Ben Roethlisberger is now under contract for 2021, and he has plenty of weapons. But with James Conner heading toward free agency, the run game could use a punch. Harris is that and more, showcasing speed, size, decisiveness and ball security as a rusher, as well as upside as a receiver and pass-protector. Pittsburgh's offense fell off a good deal in the second half last season, and the top back still on the roster is Benny Snell Jr., who managed just 3.3 yards per carry last year. Harris averaged 6.0 over four seasons at Alabama, and his 26 rushing touchdowns in 2020 led college football.

Brooke Pryor on his fit with the Steelers: For a team that started 11-0, the Steelers have a laundry list of needs in the 2021 draft, and running back is in the top tier of that wish list. Harris would be an instant starter on a team likely to part with Conner in free agency. The Steelers badly need to rejuvenate the run game and actually stick with it this season. Adding Harris is the first step.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

24. Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

Basham instantly stands in for Bud Dupree -- if he lands on another team in free agency -- and can give the Steelers some depth inside because of his large frame.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

24. Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

The Steelers have neglected the offensive line for nearly a decade, and it has finally caught up with them with the worst running game in the league last year. A near-total rebuild is in order up front. It has already started with the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey and the likely departure of Alejandro Villanueva as well as new offensive line coaches being hired. The remake will continue with Mayfield -- which would mark the Steelers' first selection of a tackle in the first round since the colossal bust of Jamain Stephens in 1996. Mayfield will have an opportunity to play immediately at left tackle because he fits the criteria for what the Steelers look for in a first-rounder -- Power 5 school (Michigan), underclassman (redshirt sophomore), young (won't turn 21 until the end of May) and experienced (started 15 of 18 games). The Steelers haven't taken a non-Power 5 player in the first round since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. -- Mark Kaboly

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

24. Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC

The Steelers aren't just dealing with Ben Roethlisberger's future and the financial ramifications thereof right now -- they also must address an offensive line that will look very different in 2021, due to center Maurkice Pouncey's retirement and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva's impending free agency. Pittsburgh's dire cap situation probably leaves Villanueva as the odd man out, so it's time for reinforcements. Factor in the team's uncertain prospects at left guard (Matt Feiler was decent in that role last season), and the need becomes even more pressing.

Vera-Tucker played right and left guard for the Trojans in 2018 and 2019, and was a revelation in 2020 when he kicked out to left tackle. Outside of a very unfortunate series of reps against Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux in his collegiate finale (two sacks and six total pressures allowed), Vera-Tucker shows the kind of inexpensive functional versatility the Steelers could really use right about now.

What stands out on first view about Vera-Tucker is that he's extremely aggressive and exact with his hands -- while many blockers even at the NFL level refuse to create a boundary with their hands, he's got that on lock. Many project Vera-Tucker at guard at the next level, but I think that in a power-based offense with a lot of quick passing (hellooo, Pittsburgh), he could be an asset outside if he gets his footwork and kick-slide together. In any event, he's plug-and-play in a lot of ways. - Casserly (2/25)

24. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Even though the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger are planning to continue their partnership, I don't see the veteran playing much longer. In a stunning turn of events, Fields slides all the way to No. 24 (obviously, it won't be a surprise if he goes much earlier than this) and Pittsburgh pounces at the chance to land a talented successor for Big Ben. Sitting behind a future Hall of Famer for a year is a prime spot for the Ohio State prospect. - Meinke (2/25)

24. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Steelers ran the ball worse than every other team in the league last season. They just miss out on RB1, but this guy is pretty good too. Etienne averaged 7.2 yards per carry for his career. Like I said, pretty good.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

24. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Steelers are facing difficult decisions at almost every major position after this season, but it was clear they were a one-dimensional offense down the stretch. Harris has evolved into an all-around threat. Of course, he's a powerful runner with his size (6-foot-2, 230 pounds), but he's also developed into a great receiver out of the backfield and he's very capable in pass-protection.

Previous update: Pittsburgh Steelers Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

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Pre-Free Agency New Orleans Saints 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our New Orleans Saints Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New Orleans Saints from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Saints:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

28. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

No team is more over the cap than the Saints, per Over the Cap. Even so, the Saints are "expected to prioritize" impending free agent safety Marcus Williams, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, as "they want to keep him -- within financial reason." Especially if they can't afford to re-sign Williams, Moehrig makes sense here. The top safety prospect in this year's draft class, Moehrig offers positional versatility and has intercepted six passes over the past two seasons combined.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

28. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

I considered Missouri's Nick Bolton here to fill the inside linebacker role, but the edge rush could also use some support. The Saints did have 45 sacks last year, but age concerns and free-agency exposure might flip this unit sooner rather than later. Tryon opted out in 2020, but he's versatile and quick on the edge. He had 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2019.

Mike Triplett on his fit with the Saints: The Saints are expected to lose starting defensive end Trey Hendrickson in free agency, but edge rusher is an issue even if they find a way to keep him. Cameron Jordan turns 32 in July, and Marcus Davenport hasn't quite broken out yet.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

28. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Alabama quarterback. Eventually, he'll be able to operate Sean Payton's system very well.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

28. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Saints witnessed first-hand how well the Buccaneers fared with two stellar linebackers in Devin White and Lavonte David. New Orleans currently only employs one -- Demario Davis. The Athletic's Dane Brugler described the 6-3, 259-pound Collins as possessing the size of a defensive end with the athleticism of a safety offering every-down ability. New Orleans drafted Zack Baun in the third round last year with the hopes he'd become a middle linebacker. There's no indication Baun can handle the transition yet after being more of an edge rusher at Wisconsin. The Saints could easily take the best player available regardless of position. At No. 28, this might be the best of both worlds. -- Larry Holder

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

28. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Just as interceptions aren't always a reliable performance barometer for defensive backs, sacks rarely tell the whole story when it comes to edge-rushers. So when we mention that Oweh didn't have a single sack in his 2020 season, you may think he had a down year from his five-sack season in 2019. But he did have 20 total pressures and 21 run stops in just 347 snaps in 2020, and the tape shows a lot more than the stat sheet does.

If you want to know what Oweh's opponents thought of him, ask Ohio State, who double-teamed him more often than not, and tended to regret it in the run game when they didn't. Oweh didn't have a single pressure of any kind in that game, but again, the tape showed an impact player in the ways the Buckeyes made him a focal point.

The Saints could lose Trey Hendrickson in free agency, and though Oweh's football experience is relatively limited -- he didn't start playing the game until his junior year of high school, though he received scholarship offers from Ohio State and Michigan before deciding on the Nittany Lions -- he shows all the natural attributes to be a plus-level pass-rusher in the NFL. - Casserly (2/25)

28. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

Assuming the Saints lose Trey Hendrickson in free agency, they replace the 2020 breakout pass rusher with Penn State's Oweh. - Meinke (2/25)

28. Levi Onwuzurike, IDL, Washington

With defensive players like Trey Hendrickson, Marcus Williams, Sheldon Rankins and Alex Anzalone potentially hitting the market in a couple weeks, New Orleans needs help on that side of the ball. Onwuzurike is the top 3-tech in the draft and could replace Rankins immediately.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

28. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

The verdict is still out on if Drew Brees' successor is currently on the roster with Taysom Hill showing his upside against Atlanta, but regressing against Denver and losing to Philadelphia. Jameis Winston is also a possibility, but Jones fits Sean Payton's system perfectly. He certainly benefitted from a great supporting cast in Tuscaloosa, but he's an accurate, decisive passer who finished third in the Heisman Trophy race and earned positive reviews for his week of practices at the Senior Bowl.

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Pre-Free Agency New York Jets 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New York Jets from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

For a more inclusive lists of mock drafts for the New York Jets, check out our 2021 New York Jets Mock Draft Database.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Jets:

EDSFootball - Hanson (3/5)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Given the holes up and down their roster, the Jets could go in a number of different directions here.

Even though Sam Darnold won't turn 24 until June and wasn't put in a position to succeed, he has struggled with durability and hasn't yet shown that he's the long-term answer. Wilson has enjoyed a pre-draft rise similar to that of Joe Burrow last year. Although not the biggest quarterback in this draft class, Wilson uses his athleticism to make and extend plays and is especially accurate throwing downfield.

23. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

Bateman played only five games in an abbreviated 2020 season, but he had 60 catches for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019. The polished and productive receiver ran a sub-4.4 forty (per Bateman himself). While times at training facilities and/or Pro Days are less reliable from a comparison standpoint, the (much) faster-than-expected time only boosts his draft stock.

ESPN - McShay (3/4)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The logic here stands from my last mock draft: I expect Wilson to be the No. 2 overall pick, whether or not it is the Jets making it. Projecting this pick isn't necessarily suggesting they should or will move on from Sam Darnold, but if they do, Wilson is the obvious next move. If they don't, watch for a QB-needy team to trade up to take him here. Wilson is creative and can extend plays, he can hit the deep ball and his toughness in the pocket stands out.

Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: If it is the Jets taking Wilson, that would mean the end for Darnold, who would be traded -- and perhaps before the Jets are even on the clock. I think New York would look to acquire a "bridge" quarterback to ease the transition for Wilson, but it also needs to find some playmakers to put around him.

23. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The Jets landed a quarterback at No. 2, so let's pivot to defense here. They need someone who can get home on the QB besides Quinnen Williams, who led the team with seven sacks in 2020. Ojulari is a pass-rush specialist of sorts, showing good speed, bend and first-step quickness. As for the lack of playmakers on offense to support Wilson, keep an eye on free agency this month and then Day 2 at the draft, where numerous high-end receivers and running backs will be available.

Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: The Jets haven't had an explosive edge rusher in 15 years. The question with Ojulari is scheme fit, and at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, he could be a tweener for the Jets' new 4-3 front.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (3/3)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Barring a trade for Deshaun Watson, or an amazingly well-kept secret that they love another quarterback, Wilson will land with the Jets.

23. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

If Moore can stay healthy, he can be a tremendous weapon for Wilson right away.

The Athletic - Beat Writers (3/1)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Things were so, so much easier for the Jets when it looked like they would go winless and land Lawrence. Now? Oh boy. General manager Joe Douglas must decide if Wilson or Ohio State's Justin Fields‘ upside is greater than that of incumbent Sam Darnold. The Jets genuinely like Darnold. They believe his play will improve with better coaching and a stronger supporting cast. But Darnold was the worst-rated passer in the NFL last year. Better doesn't necessarily mean good. Through three years he hasn't shown ability to make those around him better. His mechanics are a mess. His technique is bad. He's turnover-prone and reads a defense like I'd read Mandarin.

It's time to move on.

Wilson isn't Lawrence -- no one in this class is -- but there's an awful lot to like about him. He's deadly accurate. He's elusive in the pocket. He's mobile. He has a cannon for a right arm. He's tailor-made for coordinator Mike LaFleur's offense. There are some rumblings of personality red flags -- that's a concern. But Wilson will have opportunities over the next few months to convince Douglas they're overblown. If he can, he's the pick. -- Connor Hughes

23. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The Jets can't make the same mistake they did with Darnold. They need to surround Wilson with talent. Good news: They'll have nearly $90 million in salary-cap space and another three selections in the second and third rounds (which could increase if they trade Darnold) to do that. So while a receiver or offensive lineman might work here, Oweh fills a big need on defense. The Jets haven't had an edge-rushing threat since trading John Abraham ... in 2006. Oweh will join a defensive line that features Quinnen Williams, Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and Jabari Zuniga. -- Connor Hughes

Touchdown Wire - Farrar (2/26)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Sam Darnold deserves the chance to show his athletic potential outside the nightmare that is an Adam Gase offense, but new Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur also deserves the opportunity to get his quarterback and work from there. While I do believe that Darnold could work decently in a LaFleur offense, there are going to be a lot of Kyle Shanahan/Matt LaFleur characteristics in the Jets' new system, and Darnold isn't the first guy who comes to mind when you think about a quarterback who excels in boot-action and the other staples. Wilson, on the other hand, has the perfect profile to bring the most out of that type of scheme. An easy thrower on the move, Wilson also has the demonstrated ability to make consistently accurate second-reaction throws. He was especially devastating when using play-action, completing 89 of 123 passes for 1,548 yards, 20 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

23. Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi

Since we've given the Jets a new quarterback in Zach Wilson, let's give Wilson a new table-setting receiver, as the combination of Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Breshad Perriman didn't quite measure up. (Kudus to the Jets for allowing Robhy Anderson to leave for Carolina, feast on a more expansive route tree, and become a star. Alas). Now that Mike LaFleur has replaced Adam Gase as the shot-caller in Gang Green's offense, you can expect hallmarks of the Kyle Shanahan passing game, as LaFleur was Shanahan's passing game coordinator in 2019 and 2020, and has been working with Shanahan since 2014. So, expect schemed-open receivers, a ton of motion and backfield movement, and the maximization of targets who can move in space.

There are few players in this class more inclined to meet that last qualification than Ole Miss's Elijah Moore.

Eli has a point, to a point, about his near-namesake. Last season, Moore caught a preposterous 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in just eight games. Whether from the slot or outside, he consistently proved to be one of the most elusive and toughest receivers to bring down in the country, as his 5.9 yards after catch per reception and 18 forced missed tackles proved. If Moore were 6-0 and 200 pounds putting up those numbers, that would be one thing -- but at 5-foot-11 and 184 pounds, he just packs a wallop you don't often see from receivers his size, and he does so without sacrificing a bit of his game-breaking ability. - Casserly (2/25)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The Jets ultimately decide to trade Sam Darnold and go with the highly touted rookie.

23. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

There's a chance the Jets fill this need in free agency, but if they don't, Tryon would fit well in Robert Saleh's scheme. - Meinke (2/25)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The more Wilson tape I watch, the more I wish I would have spent my Saturday afternoons watching BYU football. He's far from a finished product, but the kid has a hose, he can run too, and he makes at least a couple plays every game that are kind of ridiculous. I think he's going second in this draft, whether that's to New York or some other team moving up the board for a QB.

23. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

With Zach Wilson joining Sam Darnold at quarterback, the Jets have invested serious capital into the quarterback position. Now they need to go get some guys who can make plays with the ball in their hands, and few guys made more plays last season than this guy.

San Diego Union Tribune (2/24)

2. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Everything I'm seeing indicates the Jets are trying to move Sam Darnold, which means a quarterback will be the pick here, unless they flip the booty gained from Darnold (and a bunch of others) for Watson. This selection would almost certainly be a part of that deal. There's already been “anonymous” reports questioning Wilson's character and leadership. On the flip side, some teams reportedly have Wilson above Lawrence on their draft board. ‘Tis the season. I find his arm talent and improvisational skills equally impressive.

23. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

If past is prologue, once head coach Robert Saleh has his quarterback situation figured out, he'll focus on building a pass rush. Ojulari was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (the nation's top defensive player) with 8.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and 25 quarterback hurries. He's only scratching the surface of his talent.

Previous update: New York Jets Mock Draft Roundup 5.0

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