The 2021 NFL Draft is a shade over one week away, and Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are back for their annual dueling NFL mock draft. The two ESPN draft analysts alternated picks over three rounds to provide us with the first 105 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft.
We get another look at the quarterback run that will happen in the first half of the first round, this time with all five of the first round QBs going in the top nine picks. We see Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars, Zach Wilson to the Jets, Justin Fields to the 49ers, Mac Jones to the Patriots after a move up to No. 7, and then Trey Lance to the Broncos at No. 9.
We can go on and on about the quarterbacks, but we’ll use this space to talk about the No. 4 pick. The Falcons hold that pick and in some ways, that’s where the draft really gets interesting. We know the Jaguars are taking Lawrence, and by all accounts Wilson is headed to the Meadowlands. We don’t know the 49ers specific pick, but we are 99 percent sure it will be a quarterback.
After that, the Falcons would appear to hold the proverbial keys to the kingdom. It comes down to what they think of their quarterback situation. We know Matt Ryan will be around at least another year, but how soon will Atlanta look to transition to a younger QB? In the dueling mock, McShay has the Falcons picking Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. He is a do-everything option who will likely spend as much or more time split out wide as he will in-line.
The Falcons could draft a quarterback, draft an offensive skill position playmaker, draft offensive tackle Penei Sewell, or move down to add some picks. The first three picks of the draft could easily come off the board in the first few moments each team is on the clock. However, the Falcons are likely to use all or most of their 10 minutes to try and deal the pick. If they hold onto it, I suspect they go with a non-QB skill position player, but your guess is as good as mine.