Mel Kiper delivers a surprising No. 2 decide within the newest 2021 NFL mock draft

Okay, so it is arduous to say that the selection is “surprising” in a mock draft from January, however this can be the closest.

The newest 2021 NFL mock draw from ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the predictable choice of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at number one total to Jacksonville Jaguars, however issues get wild within the subsequent place.

Kiper has New York Jets not solely passing on the remainder of this 12 months’s quarterback class, however spending the general alternative on Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith.

This is Kiper rationalization of the election:

That is the place the intrigues of the draft start. Will the Jets persist with the quarterback Sam Darnold for one more 12 months, or are they taking Zach Wilson or Justin Fields? (Or perhaps even store for Deshaun Watson?) The excellent news for supervisor Joe Douglas and new coach Robert Saleh is that they’ve three months to determine it out. It is a big resolution, and Douglas and Saleh have to be 100% secure that Wilson or Fields is an improve over Darnold.

My feeling proper now could be that sure, Darnold’s stats are ugly, however he is solely 23 and he is not had any offensive expertise round for 3 years. Do the Jets actually need to transfer on from him and see him thrive elsewhere? That is why they might give him a one-year audition below Saleh, decide the No. 2 Heisman Trophy winner and provides Darnold one other shot to place all his expertise collectively. Smith is the true objective 1 that Darnold has not had.

The most important concern with this projection just isn’t essentially the choice to stay with Darnold and convey the remainder of this 12 months’s quarterback class, however relatively the selection of Smith, who just isn’t even the No. 1 consensus participant on his place on this proposal.

Regardless of his unbelievable marketing campaign in 2020, one which ended with Smith changing into the primary large receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard, many imagine LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is the higher NFL prospect within the place. There isn’t a denying his unbelievable output and the areas of his talent set during which he excels, however considerations about Smith’s slim body and sustainability on the subsequent stage would make him a considerably dangerous alternative at No. 2 total.

Chase lands with the Miami Dolphins in subsequent place in Kiper’s mock, adopted by BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (No. 4 total, Atlanta Falcons) and Oregon offensive deal with Penei Sewell (No. 5 total, Cincinnati Bengals).

Two extra quarterbacks be part of Lawrence because the top-10 decide within the Kipers projection, with Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota’s Trey Lance coming off the board with back-to-back picks and touchdown with the Detroit Lions in seventh place total and Carolina Panthers at No. 8 total.

To take a look at Kiper’s full first screening on ESPN.com, click on right here.

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