The 2021 NFL Draft is six weeks away, and mock draft season is picking up steam. More and more mocks are moving into the two round variety, including those of the most notable of prognosticators.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper posted his latest NFL mock draft on Tuesday morning, and he put together two rounds with two trades. Kiper has traditionally not included trades in most of his mock drafts, but has taken a stab at it this year. It seems like he feels obligated more than anything else, because we can all but guarantee there will be more than two trades in the first two days. He has the Dolphins moving up from No. 6 to No. 4 and the Patriots moving up from No. 15 to No. 10.
The Dolphins move is particularly interesting given all the movement we’ve seen from them. They sat at No. 3 but moved down to No. 12 in a deal with the 49ers. Then, they quickly followed that up with a move up to No. 6 in a deal with the Eagles. Now, Kiper has them moving up to No. 4 in a deal with the Falcons. However, while the Patriots deal is to grab Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, the Dolphins is to grab Florida’s versatile tight end Kyle Pitts.
You didn’t see this one coming, did you? All along we’ve talked about the Dolphins adding weapons for Tua Tagovailoa, and Pitts is the ultimate weapon in this class. Why couldn’t they take him? This gives Miami four really good pass-catchers around Tagovailoa in Pitts, Will Fuller V, DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. Pitts and Gesicki are versatile enough to play inline or out wide. They’re matchup nightmares for defenses. Another thing to note: Several teams have Pitts at No. 2 overall on their boards. Miami also gets to keep its pick at No. 18 to get help on defense.
The draft really seems to start with the Falcons. We know the Jaguars will draft Trevor Lawrence with the first pick, and it appears the Jets will select Zach Wilson with the second pick. We don’t know which quarterback the 49ers want, but it would be a shocker if they didn’t pick a quarterback with the third pick.
Then we get to the Falcons. Matt Ryan is the guy for now, but it’s unclear what their long-term plan is. They could draft their QB of the future or find a skill position player (or offensive lineman) to beef up the offense. A trade down seems the most likely possibility, but it seems like trading to a QB-needy team is more likely than trading to someone who wants Pitts or any other non-QB.
Kiper has the Falcons still grabbing QB Trey Lance with the No. 6 pick and then Fields going to the Patriots at No. 10. Would the Falcons get cute like that in hopes the Bengals don’t deal down with their pick at No. 5? Atlanta could pick up some valuable draft assets even with just a move down two spots, but they risk losing out on their QB if that is in fact their plan.