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2021 First-Round NFL Mock Draft 3.0 Based Only Off NFL Draft Odds

Matt McEwan

by Matt McEwan in NFL Football

Apr 29, 2021 · 10:34 AM PDT

Justin Fields throwing
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields warms up before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
  • The 2021 NFL Draft gets underway tonight (Thursday, April 29) at 8pm ET
  • NFL Draft odds and props have been rapidly changing this past week with plenty of rumors swirling
  • See our updated first-round NFL Mock Draft based entirely off betting odds

We are now less than seven hours from the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft opening up, and the speculation is really heating up! If you’re after more opinion and speculation, this is not the place for you, though. In my mock drafts, I strictly go by what the NFL Draft odds available at various sportsbooks say.

These props include, but are not limited to: (1) player draft position over/unders, (2) odds to be taken with picks 1-5, (3) odds to be taken in the top 5/10/32, (4) odds to be first player taken at each playing position, (5) odds on the playing position of each team’s first pick, and (6) first round totals for playing positions, schools, and conferences.

Before you dive into 3.0, you can take a look back to my NFL Mock Draft 1.0 and 2.0. But I summarize the major changes below as well.

2021 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Pick Team Player Position
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB
3 San Francisco 49ers Mac Jones QB
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR
6 Denver Broncos* Trey Lance QB
7 New England Patriots* Justin Fields QB
8 Carolina Panthers Penei Sewell OT
9 Miami Dolphins* Jaylen Waddle WR
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB
11 Los Angeles Chargers* Rashawn Slater OT
12 Philadelphia Eagles Jaycee Horn CB
13 New York Giants* DeVonta Smith WR
14 Minnesota Vikings Alijah Vera-Tucker OL
15 Detroit Lions* Micah Parsons ILB
16 Indianapolis Colts* Christian Darrisaw OT
17 Las Vegas Raiders Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah ILB
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye DL
19 Washington Football Team Zaven Collins ILB
20 New York Jets* Jaelan Phillips DL
21 Arizona Cardinals* Greg Newsome II CB
22 New Orleans Saints* Christian Barmore DL
23 Chicago Bears* Teven Jenkins OT
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB
25 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevon Moehrig-Woodard S
26 Cleveland Browns Jamin Davis ILB
27 Baltimore Ravens Rashod Bateman WR
28 Tennessee Titans* Elijah Moore WR
29 Atlanta Falcons* Azeez Ojulari OLB
30 Buffalo Bills Caleb Farley CB
31 Baltimore Ravens Jayson Oweh DL
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gregory Rousseau DL

*Denotes a projected trade.

Let me make this extremely clear: I do not believe all these trades will happen. However, this was a very difficult puzzle to put together while following what all the odds say. You can also read that as, “there’s value to be had betting the NFL Draft!!”

Let me break down each trade, though.

Projected NFL Draft Trades

  1. Broncos Move Up for Lance – In spite of trading for Teddy Bridgewater yesterday, the Broncos odds to take a quarterback are still +250, though they’re favored to take an offensive lineman at +200 odds. The problem here is that if Denver doesn’t make the move up for a QB, then Washington or Chicago would have to make a huge move up the board for both Trey Lance and Justin Fields to go under their draft position lines, which the odds favor for both. Lance’s is set at 6.5, while Fields is holding at 7.5.
  2. Patriots Make a Big Move for Fields – For the record, I am one of the people who still thinks Justin Fields is going third overall to the Niners. But the odds heavily favor Mac Jones coming off the board there. As mentioned above, I needed to facilitate another trade to satisfy the -129 odds of Fields being taken in the top seven picks. Even though New England is reportedly having discussions with San Francisco for Jimmy Garoppolo, I can’t see Chicago or Washington paying to move up this far, and the odds favor the Pats taking a quarterback with their first-round pick.
  3. Chargers Come Up for Slater – The Chargers are heavily favored to take an offensive lineman with their first pick, and with so many quarterbacks still favored to go in the top ten, Rashawn Slater has to fall a bit, but can’t fall too far. This trade fulfills a couple props, as the Giants do get a wide receiver, and DeVonta Smith’s draft position (11.5) goes over, which the odds favor.
  4. Colts Trade Up for Darrisaw – The Colts and Bears are favored to take an offensive lineman with their first picks, and an o-lineman is listed as the co-favorite to be Washington’s first pick as well. However, those three teams hold picks 19-21, while Christian Darrisaw’s over/under is set at 15.5. Arizona as also heavily favored to take a corner with their first pick, but after Jaycee Horn comes off the board, Greg Newsome II is the corner with the next lowest over/under at 24.5.
  5. Bears Move Back and Get Jenkins – To avoid Jaelan Phillips sliding too far from his 19.5 draft position over/under, I needed to bring the Jets up a few spots. This trade also allows Teven Jenkins to be taken much closer to his over/under, which is set at 24.5 with the under favored at -134.
  6. Saints and Titans Swap Firsts – Tennessee has some flexibility in their first pick, with both wide receiver and corner having short odds. With the no more wide receivers or corners (once Greg Newsome II is taken one pick before them) hovering around this pick, it makes a lot of sense for the Titans to move back a handful of spots.
  7. Falcons Come Back Up Into First for Ojulari – due to no teams picking between 25-30 being favored to take a linebacker with their first pick, Azeez Ojulari fell a little past his 25.5 over/under. But Atlanta is in desperate need of some pass-rushing help, and it’s not too big of a jump to get from 35 to 29. This also allows Green Bay to still take a wide receiver with their first pick, while not shoehorning another pass-catcher into the first round who isn’t currently favored to be there.

You’ll find the major differences between the last mock and current below.

Major Changes from Mock Draft 2.0

  • Zaven Collins moves from 29 to 19 – In my last mock, I had Collins going 29th to the Packers, but his draft position over/under has lowered to 25.5 with the under favored at -117. Washington is favored to take either an offensive lineman or linebacker with their first pick, and I also needed to get Jamin Davis off the board in the first round.
  • Teven Jenkins falls from 19 to 23 – this isn’t a big drop, but Jenkins’ over/under is 24.5 with the under favored at -134. In order to satisfy many other props, we had to bump him down a few spots.
  • Najee Harris rises to 24 – I had the Steelers trading back to 28 to take Harris in my 2.0 mock, but the Bama running back has now seen his over/under lower to 24.5, right in line with Pittsburgh’s pick.
  • Jamin Davis falls from 20 to 26 – Just like above, I had the Browns taking Jamin Davis in my last mock, but they were moving up to 20 to do so. With Davis’ over/under falling to 26.5 now, Cleveland can stay put and still get their guy.
  • Caleb Farley continues to fall – in my first mock Farley was going 16 to the Cardinals. But his over/under has steadily fallen over the last few weeks due to concerns over his back injury. In the last one I did, he came off the board at 22 to the Titans, but has now seen his over/under land at 27.5.
  • Elijah Moore, Jayson Oweh move into the first round – Elijah Moore went from plus odds to be picked in the first round to now a heavy favorite at -335 odds. His over/under is set at 26.5 with the over favored at -125. I originally had Oweh going in the first round in my 1.0, but his odds faded when putting together 2.0. He’s now back to -155 odds to be taken in the first round and would be a nice fit in Baltimore.
  • Kadarius Toney and Asante Samuel Jr fall out of first round – last week, Toney was the wide receiver going late in the first round, according to the odds. But his over/under has grown to 33.5, and even though the under is favored at -150, there are too many other players with better odds than him to go in the first round. Asante Samuel Jr has also seen his draft position over/under fade, landing at 35.5.
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