2021 NFL Mock Draft: First-round projections after trades, free agency

(Photo by Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo by Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports) /
4 of 16
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Ohio State. 7. 47. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. QB . Justin Fields. player

Detroit will think long and hard about drafting Justin Fields, but when the 2021 NFL draft rolls around and Fields is the last elite quarterback left, the phones will start ringing. Denver would definitely be interested, plus now a number of others such as New England, Chicago, Minnesota, and Washington could all use long-term answers.

New England, sensing that Fields won’t get past the Broncos, makes a move up to secure its quarterback of the future. It will likely take a second-round pick, plus the 15th overall as well as one or two mid-round selections, but this is too good an opportunity to pass up.

Oregon. Penei Sewell. 8 . Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. LT. player. 87

Now that Carolina has Darnold at quarterback and no other options left, the Panthers get one of the best prospects in the draft in Sewell, a guy that really should go in the top five.

He’s got all the tools to be an elite left tackle for a long time in the NFL and even if the Panthers don’t end up solving their quarterback issues in the 2021 NFL draft, with the trade for Darnold, they will at least add a really nice piece up front for whoever the QB ends up being long term.