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The grades are in.

For all the leaks, speculation and rumors leading up to the NFL Draft every year, we’re reminded annually how inexact a science mock drafts are. Best guesses, best estimations, but still imperfect — very much so.

MORE NFL DRAFT: SN’s latest 2021 mock draft | Top 100 big board

Like throwing a Mentos breath mint in a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, these experiments usually go awry. And that’s fine. This is the season for experiments, speculation and smokescreens, after all. It’s all in good fun.

So how exactly did the first round work out for some of the best mock guys in the biz?

Below are the first-round projections from final mock drafts submitted before the 2021 draft. Bolded players are correct picks, and analysts get half credit for correct player and correct team but wrong spot. Half points for correct player in correct spot but wrong team.

Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)

Iyer’s latest mock draft was released on Draft day, April 29:

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemson
2New York JetsZach WilsonQBBYU
3San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU)Mac JonesQBAlabama
4Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFlorida
5Cincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWRLSU
6Miami Dolphins (from PHI)Jaylen WaddleWRAlabama
7Detroit LionsPenei SewellOTOregon
8Carolina PanthersPatrick Surtain IICBAlabama
9Denver BroncosTrey LanceQBNorth Dakota State
10Dallas CowboysJaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
11New York GiantsRashawn SlaterOTNorthwestern
12Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers)DeVonta SmithWRAlabama
13Los Angeles ChargersAlijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC
14Minnesota VikingsJaelan PhillipsEDGEMiami
15New England PatriotsJustin FieldsQBOhio State
16Arizona CardinalsGreg Newsome IICBNorthwestern
17Las Vegas RaidersMicah ParsonsLBPenn State
18Miami DolphinsKwity PayeEDGEMichigan
19Washington Football TeamChristian DarrisawOTVirginia Tech
20Chicago BearsTeven JenkinsOTOklahoma State
21Indianapolis ColtsGregory RousseauEDGEMiami
22Tennessee TitansElijah MooreWROle Miss
23New York Jets (from SEA)Azeez OjulariEDGEGeorgia
24Pittsburgh SteelersNajee HarrisRBAlabama
25Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
26Cleveland BrownsChristian BarmoreDTAlabama
27Baltimore RavensKadarius ToneyWRFlorida
28New Orleans SaintsCaleb FarleyCBVirginia Tech
29Green Bay PackersZaven CollinsLBTulsa
30Buffalo BillsJayson OwehEDGEPenn State
31Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs)Trevon MoehrigSTCU
32Tampa Bay BuccaneersLevi OnwuzurikeDTWashington

Picks correct: 7.5/32

Noteworthy:

As with all mock drafts outside the top 10, it was a sure crapshoot in the back half. Several first-round talents are still available on Day 2: Owusu-Koramoah, Barmore, Moehrig, Onwuzurike, Jenkins among Day 2 targets for teams.

You can read SN’s full seven-round mock draft here.

Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on April 29 and features trades:

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemson
2New York JetsZach WilsonQBBYU
3San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU)Mac JonesQBOhio State
4Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFlorida
5Cincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWRLSU
6Miami Dolphins (via PHI)DeVonta SmithWRAlabama
7New England Patriots (mock trade with DET)Trey LanceQBNorth Dakota State
8Carolina PanthersPenei SewellOTOregon
9Denver BroncosJustin FieldsQBOhio State
10Dallas CowboysPatrick Surtain IICBAlabama
11New York GiantsJaylen WaddleWRAlabama
12Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from SF)Jaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
13Los Angeles ChargersRashawn SlaterOLNorthwestern
14Minnesota VikingsChristian DarrisawOTVirginia Tech
15Detroit Lions (mock trade with NE)Micah ParsonsLBPenn State
16New York Jets (mock trade with ARI)Alijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC
17Las Vegas RaidersJeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
18Miami DolphinsKwity PayeDEMichigan
19Washington Football TeamTrevon MoehrigSTCU
20Chicago BearsElijah MooreWROle Miss
21Indianapolis ColtsJaelan PhillipsDEMiami
22Tennessee TitansGreg Newsome IICBNorthwestern
23Arizona Cardinals (mock trade with NYJ)Najee HarrisRBAlabama
24Pittsburgh SteelersTravis EtienneRBClemson
25Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)Kadarius ToneyWRFlorida
26Cleveland BrownsJamin DavisLBKentucky
27Baltimore RavensZaven CollinsLBTulsa
28New Orleans SaintsCaleb FarleyCBVirginia Tech
29Green Bay PackersRashod BatemanWRMinnesota
30Buffalo BillsTyson CampbellCBGeorgia
31Los Angeles Chargers (via mock trade with BAL)Asante Samuel Jr.CBFlorida State
32Tampa Bay BuccaneersChristian BarmoreDTAlabama

Picks correct: 5/32

Noteworthy:

Kiper came oh so close to getting the Jets trade up right: He had New York moving up to 16, as opposed to 14, to move up for Alijah Vera-Tucker. Still, a near oh-fer in the second half of the draft means Kiper swung big and missed big on a fair amount of picks.

Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)

McShay’s latest mock draft was released on draft day, April 29:

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemson
2New York JetsZach WilsonQBBYU
3San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU)Trey LanceQBNorth Dakota State
4Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFlorida
5Cincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWRLSU
6Miami Dolphins (from PHI)Jaylen WaddleWRAlabama
7Detroit LionsPenei SewellOTOregon
8Carolina PanthersRashawn SlaterOTNorthwestern
9Denver BroncosJustin FieldsQBOhio State
10Dallas CowboysPatrick Surtain IICBAlabama
11New York GiantsKwity PayeDEMichigan
12Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers)DeVonta SmithWRAlabama
13Los Angeles ChargersAlijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC
14Minnesota VikingsJaelan PhillipsDEMiami
15New England PatriotsMac JonesQBAlabama
16Arizona CardinalsJaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
17Las Vegas RaidersTrevon MoehrigSTCU
18Miami DolphinsJeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
19Washington Football TeamMicah ParsonsLBPenn State
20Chicago BearsChristian DarrisawOTVirginia Tech
21Indianapolis ColtsElijah MooreWROle Miss
22Buffalo Bills (mock trade with TEN)Travis EtienneRBClemson
23New York Jets (from SEA)Greg Newsome IICBNorthwestern
24Pittsburgh SteelersNajee HarrisRBAlabama
25Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)Teven JenkinsOTOklahoma State
26Cleveland BrownsChristian BarmoreDTAlabama
27Baltimore RavensLiam EichenbergOTNotre Dame
28New Orleans SaintsKadarius ToneyWRFloriday
29Green Bay PackersJamin DavisILBKentucky
30Buffalo BillsCaleb FarleyCBVirginia Tech
31Baltimore Ravens (via KC)Rashod BatemanWRMinnesota
32Tampa Bay BuccaneersZaven CollinsOLBTulsa

Picks correct: 8.5/32

Noteworthy:

McShay had a strong start, nailing the first seven picks of the draft before the wheels came off outside the top 10. Along with getting Mac Jones to the Patriots right, Najee Harris was the only other pick McShay nailed after the top 10, a popular selection among many mock drafts.

Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)

DJ’s latest mock draft was released on April 28, draft eve.

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemson
2New York JetsZach WilsonQBBYU
3San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU)Mac JonesQBAlabama
4Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFlorida
5Cincinnati BengalsPenei SewellOTOregon
6Miami Dolphins (from PHI)Ja’Marr ChaseWRLSU
7Denver Broncos (from DET)Justin FieldsQBOhio State
8Carolina PanthersPatrick Surtain IICBAlabama
9Detroit LionsRashawn SlaterOTNorthwestern
10Dallas CowboysJaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
11New England Patriots (from NYG)Trey LanceQBNorth Dakota State
12Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers)DeVonta SmithWRAlabama
13Los Angeles ChargersJaylen WaddleWRAlabama
14Minnesota VikingsJaelan PhillipsEDGEMiami
15New York Giants (from NE)Micah ParsonsLBPenn State
16Arizona CardinalsZaven CollinsLBTulsa
17Las Vegas RaidersAlijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC
18Miami DolphinsKwity PayeEDGEMiami
19Washington Football TeamJeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
20Chicago BearsGreg Newsome IICBNorthwestern
21Indianapolis ColtsJoe TryonEDGEWashington
22Tennessee TitansElijah MooreWRMississippi
23New York Jets (from SEA)Travis EtienneRBClemson
24Pittsburgh SteelersTeven JenkinsOTOklahoma State
25Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)Christian DarrisawOTVirginia Tech
26Cleveland BrownsJamin DavisLBKentucky
27Baltimore RavensJayson OwehEDGEPenn State
28New Orleans SaintsTyson CampbellCBGeorgia
29Green Bay PackersDillon RadunzOTNorth Dakota State
30Buffalo BillsAsante Samuel Jr.CBFlorida State
31Baltimore Ravens (from KC)Liam EichenbergOTNotre Dame
32Tampa Bay BuccaneersNajee HarrisRBAlabama

Picks correct: 4.5/32

Noteworthy:

Very rough go of it for DJ this year, with three of the first four picks correct, then getting half credit on DeVonta Smith and the Eagles right later on. Jeremiah also got the Zaven Collins-Arizona pairing correct at No. 16, the only mock here to do so.

Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)

Peter King, who actually had the most accurate mock of the 2020 NFL Draft, released his first and final mock draft on April 26:

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Jacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemson
2New York JetsZach WilsonQBBYU
3San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU)Mac JonesQBAlabama
4Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFlorida
5Cincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWRLSU
6Miami Dolphins (from PHI)Jaylen WaddleWRAlabama
7Detroit LionsPenei SewellOTOregon
8Carolina PanthersJustin FieldsQBOhio State
9Denver BroncosTrey LanceQBNorth Dakota State
10Dallas CowboysPatrick Surtain IICBAlabama
11New York GiantsMicah ParsonsLBPenn State
12Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers)Jaycee HornCBSouth Carolina
13Los Angeles ChargersRashawn SlaterTNorthwestern
14Minnesota VikingsAlijah Vera-TuckerOLUSC
15New England PatriotsDeVonta SmithWRAlabama
16Arizona CardinalsGreg Newsome IICBNorthwestern
17Las Vegas RaidersCaleb FarleyCBVirginia Tech
18Miami DolphinsJaelan PhillipsEDGEMiami
19Washington Football TeamChristian DarrisawOTVirginia Tech
20Chicago BearsRashod BatemanWRMinnesota
21Cleveland Browns (from IND)Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLBNotre Dame
22Baltimore Ravens (from TEN)Kwity PayeEDGEMichigan
23New York Jets (from SEA)Gregory RousseauEDGEMiami
24Pittsburgh SteelersNajee HarrisRBAlabama
25Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR)Jayson OwehEDGEPenn State
26Indianapolis Colts (from CLE)Sam CosmiOTTexas
27Tennssee Titans (from BAL)Elijah MooreWRMississippi
28New Orleans SaintsTyson CampbellCBGeorgia
29Green Bay PackersJamin DavisLBKentucky
30Buffalo BillsTravis EtienneRBClemson
31Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs)Landon DickersonOLAlabama
32Tampa Bay BuccaneersChristian BarmoreDTAlabama

Picks correct: 8/32

Noteworthy:

Peter King had the best mock last year of certain collected experts, but came up just a half point shy this year in his mock. Still, not bad for a guy who doesn’t do this full time.





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