Capology Department’s Nightmare mock draft 2021. What are the worst possible scenarios for each team’s fans? Some picks more farfetched than others but all include players widely considered 1st or 2nd round picks.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
Urban Meyer came out of retirement to coach the generational talent in Trevor Lawrence (Justin Fields). The Ohio State connection trumps the draft grades by all between these two players. This would be the biggest shocker in NFL draft history and would leave many upset fans who bought Lawrence items off his wedding registry. I don’t believe Pottery Barn will accept this excuse as to why your card should be refunded…
2. Philadelphia Eagles– QB Zach Wilson (BYU) *Trade w/ NYJ*
Hospitals should be put on alert because this would certainly cause a spike in heart related incidents in the Philadelphia area. The Eagles take the 12th pick and two first round picks in 2022 (their own and Miami’s) to go get their QB of the future. The Jalen Hurts pick was all for nothing and another year of QB drama here we come. Better yet, they actually bypass on Trevor Lawrence to take the QB with shoulder issues and who’s career highlights include a win over Coastal Carolina. They completely ignore for now the fact that their offensive line is decrepit, they have no secondary, and two practice squad receivers to go along with what may be a bust of a 1st round pick from 2020.
3. San Francisco 49ers – TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
What could be better than Kyle Pitts and George Kittle? How about a QB to throw them the ball? Although some fans would certainly rejoice that the pick wasn’t Mac Jones; that is until the season starts and Jimmy G throws 3 picks in week 1 and then gets hurt. The 49ers offense would have Kittle, Pitts, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk but the signal callers battling out for starts would be Nate Sudfeld and Josh Rosen.
4. Atlanta Falcons – QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
Although many fans would applaud this and declare the Falcons the winners of the draft, they’d be forgetting about the restructuring of Matt Ryan’s contract. You’d have Trevor Lawrence on a rookie deal and would still be paying Matt Ryan through 2023. Cutting Matt Ryan would leave the Falcons with over $65M in dead cap this year, $40M in 2022, and $15M in 2023 as per Over the Cap. This would be the greatest value pick to go along with the greatest front office debacle.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – WR DeVonta Smith (Alabama)
The Bengals by pass on taking the best offensive tackle in the draft in Penei Sewell even though your rookie QB last year tore his ACL because you couldn’t protect him. Even worse, you choose a 166 pound receiver over the best receiver in this class in Jamarr Chase who played with Joe Burrow at LSU. Although it’s strange that picking the receiver who won the Heisman last year would be considered a head scratcher, it certainly would be in this case.
6. Miami Dolphins – LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)
I do believe that this is a significant possibility for Miami to do (discussed in our mock draft 2.0) and I think it would be a wise choice, but with Jamarr Chase on the board many fans will be outraged. They also pass up on Jaylen Waddle here and do not try add the two top receivers to help Tua out in his 2nd year. Flores is a New England guy and that system loves big, athletic linebackers.
7. Detroit Lions – CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
For a team with every need, why would the best corner in the draft be a bad choice? Their receivers currently are Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman…do I need to say more? You take Chase or Waddle and be thankful that you have either of those. A corner, even the best in the draft, does not significantly improve this defense who still has no real pass rush or any other substantially talented groups.
8. Carolina Panthers – DE Kwity Paye (Michigan)
You can take one of the best receivers in the draft to give to your new QB Sam Darnold and instead you take an edge rusher. Paye is a talented player who could help the Panthers, but they spent every pick on defense last year. Don’t do what the Jets did and give Darnold decent, but not fantastic weapons.
9. Denver Broncos – WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)
In a year where QBs abound in the top 10 or 15 picks, Denver suddenly no longer has an interest in trying out a new QB? Instead their solution is to keep throwing talented pass catchers at Drew Locke until he magically turns into the QB they need. Like the Bears with tight ends last year, the Broncos will stockpile 8 pass catchers and hope that Locke turns into Mahomes. Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Tim Patrick, and now Jaylen Waddle. Receivers make the QB right??
10. Dallas Cowboys – WR Jamarr Chase (LSU)
The Cowboys go all in on trying to become the first offense to average 50 points a game…and the first defense to average 55 points a game. But don’t worry, Dan Quinn will turn everything around. Yes, Dan Quinn who led the Falcons to some of the biggest defensive collapses the league has ever seen. Besides the Patriots comeback in the Super Bowl, look at the game against the very same Cowboys last season before he was fired. Also, look at how the Falcons defense actually improved AFTER Quinn was fired. He brings with him Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal, two talented but oft-injured players. But don’t worry, when you’re scoring a ton and allowing opponents to score just as quick, Dak can throw the ball 60 times to Cooper, Lamb, Gallup, and Chase and still give Zeke his 20 carries.
11. Chicago Bears – LT Penei Sewell (Oregon) *Trade w/ NYG*
The Bears trade up! Schefter breaks the news on ESPN. Bears fans speculate how long they’ll let Trey Lance sit behind Andy Dalton before they give him the keys to the car. Roger Goodell walks to the podium and announces that the Bears select left tackle Penei Sewell. I don’t know what city would pay more in overtime for first responders, Chicago or Philadelphia? Only the Bears could draft the best left tackle in the draft and still incite rage in their fan base. Worst yet, they sacrifice next year’s 1s round pick to do it. Gotta protect Andy Dalton right?
12. New York Jets – QB Mac Jones (Alabama) *Trade w/ PHI*
Taking a first round QB has ever been so boring. Sure, they get a ton of picks in return, but the NY media will tear up Mac Jones before he even hugs Goodell and holds up the Jets jersey on stage. Jets fans will be praying for some kind of clerical error in the paperwork for the Sam Darnold trade. Did he already pass his physical?
13. Los Angeles Chargers – CB Jaycee Horn
The Chargers get a great press corner who would greatly help out this defense. So what’s the issue? It doesn’t help out second year QB Justin Herbert at all. They lost Hunter Henry to New England in free agency, Keenan Allen is another year older, and the offensive line is still not as strong as you would like. Surround him with as much talent as possible. He needs a legitimate number 2 receiver since that was essentially filled by tight end Hunter Henry. If it’s not a pass catcher, then go with a lineman to sure up his protection.
14. Minnesota Vikings – CB Caleb Farley
Other teams so far have certainly had worse picks, but Minnesota needs pass rush. Yannick Ngakoue didn’t pan out and Danielle Hunter supposedly is unhappy with his situation. They signed Patrick Peterson and Xavier Woods in free agency to help the secondary. They need to get after the opposing QB and passing up on pass rush here would be a mistake. Farley is talented, but also has a ton of red flags due to injury.
15. Green Bay Packers – QB Trey Lance (Trade w/ NE)
This is a dagger to the heart for both fan bases and Twitter would explode. New England fans have their QB of the future actually fall to them and Bill Belichick trades back to near the end of the 1st round. On top of that Green Bay trades all the way up and makes many fans believe its to land an upgrade on offense for Rodgers. Is it the falling Rashawn Slater or maybe a receiver like Rashod Bateman or Terrace Marshall Jr? Nope, its to add to the QB factory (Howie Roseman would be jealous). Might as well have two QBs, who need to sit and learn from Rodgers before you evict him from Lambeau next offseason. This would declare full out war between the Packers and Rodgers, who might retire on the spot to host Jeopardy.
16. Arizona Cardinals – WR Tutu Atwell
Let’s ignore the needs at corner and adding depth to pass rusher because Chandler Jones is another year older and coming off of an injury and JJ Watt has had several injuries. Instead the Cardinals take a 5-9 and 155 pound receiver. All of the backlash regarding DeVonta Smith and his weight seems like no big deal compared to how small Atwell is. Sure he’d fit in the slot with Green and Hopkins on the outside, but slot receivers can be found in the 2nd round (probably including Atwell). It’s a reach and also not the biggest need for Arizona.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – WR Anthony Schwartz (Auburn)
Anthony Schwartz was tied for 1st with the fastest 40-yard dash at 4.28 seconds with Tutu Atwell. Gruden either drafts the fastest receiver or the biggest offensive lineman (that will have to wait for round 2). Schwartz is compared to Henry Ruggs III from last year’s draft, who Gruden took ahead of other talented pass catchers. Since Atwell is already off the board, he’ll have to settle for Schwartz.
18. Miami Dolphins – LT Rashawn Slater
Even in the worst-case scenario, Miami has still compiled a really solid draft. They got Parsons at 6 and now the second-best tackle in the draft at 18; however, they still didn’t get a receiver to help out Tua. This draft could very likely look horrendous a year from now if Tua looks like he did last season and DeVonta Parker and Will Fuller both move on to different teams. Even for this season not taking a wide receiver is a big risk as Will Fuller is coming off a PED suspension (2 games in 2021) and has a lengthy history of injury. Next year they may not have a top pick and the QB and receiver classes are not nearly as deep as this year’s. They traded their own first in 2022 to the Eagles (who traded it to NYJ in this mock) and they hold the 1st round pick from the 49ers.
19. Washington Football Team – DE Jaelan Phillips
With needs at QB, linebacker, and corner, Washington instead chooses Jaelan Phillips. He’s a great player and would make the front 4 otherworldly, but you’re spending your 1st round pick on what is already the strength of your team. With Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, and Jonathan Allen, they need to add talent to the next levels of their defense. They may be letting Ryan Kerrigan walk, but depth can be added late in thie draft, not with the 19th overall pick.
20. New York Giants – WR Elijah Moore (Trade w/ CHI)
Dave Gettleman finally did it, he actually traded back! And not to be out-done by Dallas he decides to also add a receiver they don’t really need. This isn’t all that farfetched as they may very well end up taking a Waddle or Smith if available at 11, but they have too many other glaring needs to add a pass catcher to a unit that already includes Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shephard, Darius Slayton, Even Engram, and John Ross. They spent big here in free agency, it makes no sense to spend big here in the draft too. They need offensive and defensive line help.
21. Indianapolis Colts – QB Kyle Trask
Welcome to Indianapolis Carson Wentz! Wentz got exactly what he wanted when he fled Philadelphia and found safety in Indianapolis. However just like the girl in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” who escaped and found safety from the gas station attendant who turned out to be Leatherface’s brother, Wentz will be returned back to the nightmare he just escaped. Leatherface in his case is a competent back-up QB. First it was Foles, then Hurts, and now the third installment in the horror franchise will be Kyle Trask.
22. Tennessee Titans – DE Gregory Rousseau
The Titans need pass catchers after having lost Cory Davis and Jonnu Smith. Although their pass rush was atrocious last season, they addressed that need by spending big money on Bud Dupree. In order to keep teams from stacking ten in the box to stop or at least slow down Derrick Henry, they need to make teams pay with chunk plays off of play-action. In a draft full of receivers, the Titans need more than one and they should start here.
23. New York Jets – CB Greg Newsome
Although they’re getting a great value pick here, it would be a nightmare for fans and the New York Media. Expecting Zach Wilson and possibly a flashy new running back here, instead they end up with Mac Jones (yawn) and another boring name in this draft, Greg Newsome. With a draft chock full of corners with former NFL fathers like Patrick Surtain II and Asante Samuel Jr, they end up with no such connections with Greg Newsome. It’s tougher and more boring writing for the New York media, so instead they’ll turn to covering fan outrage.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Najee Harris
In a similar scenario to the Broncos throwing receivers at Locke to make him a more competent QB, the Steelers will spend a top draft pick on a running back hoping that it helps their offensive line. They couldn’t run or pass the ball mainly because of their horrible line down the stretch and now with the retirement of Pouncey and the loss of Villanueva, this should be a simple pick, take an offensive lineman!
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – C Landon Dickerson
The Jags take who the Steelers probably should have the pick before. Although it seems like a solid pick to line up a young center and a young QB to allow them to grow and learn together, let’s not forget why they’re in the position to draft Trevor Lawrence with the 1st overall pick. Their defense was horrendous and they need substantial help here. Passing up on Trevon Moehrig, Zaven Collins, Asante Samuel Jr, Christian Baramore or a host of other players here would be a missed opportunity. Use the 25th pick and the 33rd pick to add two 1st round talents to your defense.
26. Cleveland Browns – S Trevon Moehrig
After bringing in John Johnson III, spending the 26th pick in the draft on safety would be a missed opportunity. They signed Jadeveon Clowney to pair up with Myles Garrett, but it cost them Sheldon Richardson on the interior of their defensive line. Christian Baramore is available here, take him!
27. Baltimore Ravens – RB Travis Etienne
What do the Ravens not need on offense? A running back and a quarterback. So naturally they decide that they need to replace Mark Ingram and reinstall the 3-back rotation with JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Fans will react like Leonardo DiCaprio in “Wolf of Wall Street” when he found out that a Benihana restaurant was at the heart of the FBI unraveling his scheme. But they will try to convince themselves that they’ll take receiver or a left tackle with the newly acquired 30th pick from the Chiefs in the Orlando Brown trade.
28. New Orleans Saints – G Elijah Vera-Tucker
Another team that appears to be doing the responsible thing by taking an offensive lineman; however, they have a multitude of needs elsewhere. They don’t have a number 2 receiver, a tight end, or a legitimate edge rusher behind Cam Jordan. Marshon Lattimore was also arrested this offseason which makes their need at corner potentially even greater. Vera-Tucker is by no means a horrible pick here, but tough to argue that offensive guard is the way to go for them at pick 28.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Davis Mills (Trade w/ NE)
As Brady is laughing about what the Packers did to Aaron Rodgers yet again, the Bucs trade up with his old team and take a QB. Belichick helps to get a little revenge on Brady and before Twitter can calm down after the Packers pick at 15 and the Colts pick at 21, they have a new storyline to go crazy about. The Mills-Brady saga would be mostly for the 2022 season because Mills did not have many starts at Stanford. However, if Brady struggles at any point next season, let the chaos begin!
30. Buffalo Bills – RB Javonte Williams
Similar to the Ravens, what do the Bills not need? They already drafted two running backs the past few years and what issues exist with their offense, a running back is not really the solution. Williams is a talented player, but not one that Buffalo needs.
31. Baltimore Ravens – LB Zaven Collins
A really good player, but not one that Baltimore needs. Like the Dolphins, the Ravens here got a really talented player but not one who can help their QB. They need pass catchers and an offensive lineman. I know that they could replace Orlando Brown by signing Villanueva, but its not the same talent-wise. They traded their 2nd round pick to the Chiefs so this is their only chance to get the right in the first 64 picks. Get a pass catcher or two and help Lamar Jackson develop into a better passing QB because the team needs it.
32. New England Patriots– LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Trade w/ GB, TB)
Back in his comfortable spot picking at 32 in our mock draft, Bill Belicheck can now draft a player who is a disappointment to all fans. How about an under-sized linebacker? Although it goes against the grain of the usual big, lumbering linebackers like Dont’a Hightower that New England usually goes with, it would prove one thing in Belichick’s mind…”Who says he can’t change in this post-Tom Brady era?”