FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

NBC SPORTS ANALYST CHRIS SIMMS & INSIDER PETER KING PROVIDE FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFTS & ANALYSIS AHEAD OF 2021 NFL DRAFT

I love Zach Wilson, the talent that he brings. It’s (Aaron) Rodgers, it’s (Patrick) Mahomes-ish. It’s the most talented thrower in the draft.” – Simms on projecting QB Zach Wilson at No. 2 to New York Jets

 “Hearing it’s a two-horse race with Trey Lance…I’ll be fascinated – we all will – if Jones is the pick. And I can see it happening.” – King on projecting Alabama QB Mac Jones at No. 3 to 49ers in his mock

NBC Sports’ 2021 NFL Draft Coverage Continues This Week on Across NBC Sports Platforms

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2021 – With the NFL Draft two days away, beginning this Thursday, April 29, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms and Peter King have unveiled their first-round mock drafts, and offer their takes on team needs and top prospects across NBC Sports platforms.

Click here to listen to Simms’ full breakdown on the Simms Unbuttoned podcast and click here for King’s “Football Morning in America” mock draft column and the Peter King Podcast.

NBC Sports’ 2021 NFL Draft coverage continues this week and is hosted on NBCSports.com, NBC Sports’ YouTube channel, and social media platforms. NBC Sports EDGE continues to gear up for the 2021 NFL Draft with extensive prospect notes, sleepers, rankings and Draft previews.

Peacock’s free, exclusive NBC Sports channel has weekday sports talk programming from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET, which includes extensive NFL coverage from PFT Live featuring Mike Florio and  Simms live at 7 a.m. ET, followed by The Dan Patrick Show at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Peacock Original Brother From Another, with Michael Holley and Michael Smith, at 3 p.m. ET, and PFT PM at 5 p.m.

Following are Simms’ and King’s first round mock drafts:

SIMMS’ 2021 FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFT

1) Jacksonville: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence 17) Las Vegas: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
2) NY Jets: BYU QB Zach Wilson 18) Miami: Michigan edge Kwity Paye
3) San Francisco: Alabama QB Mac Jones 19) *Carolina: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
4) Atlanta: Florida TE Kyle Pitts 20) Chicago: Northwestern T Rashawn Slater
5) Cincinnati: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase 21) Indianapolis: Miami edge Jaelan Phillips
6) Miami: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith 22) Tennessee: Oklahoma State T Teven Jenkins
7) Detroit: Oregon T Penei Sewell 23) NY Jets: Washington edge Joe Tryon
8) *WFT: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance 24) Pittsburgh: Alabama C-G Landon Dickerson
9) Denver: Penn State LB Micah Parsons 25) Jacksonville: Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike
10) Dallas: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II 26) Cleveland: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins
11) **New England: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle 27) Baltimore: Georgia edge Azeez Ojulari
12) Philadelphia: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn 28) New Orleans: Georgia CB Tyson Campbell
13) LA Chargers: Virginia Tech T Christian Darrisaw 29) Green Bay: Florida WR Kadarius Toney
14) Minnesota: USC G-T Alijah Vera-Tucker 30) Buffalo: Miami edge Gregory Rosseau
15) **NY Giants: Penn State edge Jayson Oweh 31) Baltimore: Alabama T Alex Leatherwood
16) Arizona: Alabama DT Christian Barmore 32) Tampa Bay: Ohio State QB Justin Fields
* Trade between Carolina and Washington  
** Trade between New England and NY Giants  
   

 

KING’S 2021 FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFT

1) Jacksonville: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence 17) Las Vegas: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley
2) NY Jets: BYU QB Zach Wilson 18) Miami: Miami edge Jaelan Phillips
3) San Francisco: Alabama QB Mac Jones 19) WFT: Virginia Tech T Christian Darrisaw
4) Atlanta: Florida TE Kyle Pitts 20) Chicago: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman
5) Cincinnati: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase 21) *Cleveland: Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
6) Miami: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle 22) **Baltimore: Michigan edge Kwity Paye
7) Detroit: Oregon T Penei Sewell 23) NY Jets: Miami edge Gregory Rousseau
8) Carolina: Ohio State QB Justin Fields 24) Pittsburgh: Alabama RB Najee Harris
9) Denver: North Dakota State QB Trey Lance 25) Jacksonville: Penn State edge Jayson Oweh
10) Dallas: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II 26) *Indianapolis: Texas T Samuel Cosmi
11) NY Giants: Penn State LB Micah Parsons 27) **Tennessee: Mississippi WR Elijah Moore
12) Philadelphia: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn 28) New Orleans: Georgia CB Tyson Campbell
13) LA Chargers: Northwestern T Rashawn Slater 29) Green Bay: Kentucky LB Jamin Davis
14) Minnesota: USC G-T Alijah Vera-Tucker 30) Buffalo: Clemson RB Travis Etienne
15) New England: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith 31) Baltimore: Alabama C-G Landon Dickerson
16) Arizona: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II 32) Tampa Bay: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
* Trade between Cleveland and Indianapolis  
** Trade between Baltimore and Tennessee  

 

Following are highlights of Simms’ and King’s mock draft analysis:

Quarterbacks

Simms on Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars at No. 1: “He’s worthy of the No. 1 pick. He’s got big-time star potential…There’s just too many good throws, ability to make every throw, the size, the athleticism…He seems unflappable. I love this pick for Jacksonville.”

Simms on Zach Wilson to the Jets at No. 2: “I love Zach Wilson, the talent that he brings. It’s (Aaron) Rodgers, it’s (Patrick) Mahomes-ish. It’s the most talented thrower in the draft, it’s the most explosive arm in the draft…He can make throws that nobody else in this draft can make….To me, just the perfect fit for what the Jets want to do on the offensive side of the ball.”

King on Mac Jones to the 49ers at No. 3: “Hearing it’s a two-horse race with Trey Lance…(Kyle) Shanahan and (John) Lynch won’t care what order the draftniks have the quarterbacks, or any position. Shanahan believes Jones is the accurate coach-on-the-field type he craves…I’ll be fascinated – we all will – if Jones is the pick. And I can see it happening.”

Simms on moving Trey Lance ahead of Justin Fields in his final QB rankings: “As I went through the process more and more, Fields just scares me. I’m rooting for the person, I hope he proves me wrong, but there are just issues about him throwing the football that I don’t know if they can be fixed and they make me worry.”

Simms on Fields to the Buccaneers at No. 32: “The Bucs have everything. There’s no need on their football team…I could see this happening, and if he’s there they’re going to take him because they’re going to go, ‘Great, this is perfect for you. Learn from Tom Brady. Get some of the polish.’ Brady will be able to teach him some of the mechanical stuff and then Brady wants to retire, great we have our guy.”

King on Fields to the Panthers at No. 8: “I’m not sure at all they’d use the pick here on Fields, because they’re truly optimistic about Sam Darnold. But owner David Tepper has made no secret that finding a franchise quarterback has to be job one, two, three and four for the team. Fields falling to them makes sense – even if it would crush the new incumbent QB.”

King on Lance to the Broncos at No. 9: “So many people are in love with Lance the prospect and it’s easy to see why…The one thing to keep in mind with Denver: (George) Paton’s not going to go nuts for a quarterback…However, Paton also understands he may not be in a power position to get the next quarterback like the one he would have if this scenario plays out.”

Simms on having WFT trade up to No. 8 to select Lance: “I just feel like Washington’s a team that has a lot of things on their roster that are really good…I don’t know for sure if it’s Washington, but I’m going to say that they’re one of the teams here to make a play.”

Offense

King on Kyle Pitts to the Falcons at No. 4: “Golden spot of the draft. I like how thorough new GM Terry Fontenot has been about the pick and about his entire roster through this process…What I think Atlanta would love, even at the expense of losing out on all of those possibilities, is a trade-down. It’s certainly possible, but I’m leaning against the reality of it…I think it’s more likely Fontenot sits and picks a great player.”

King on Ja’Marr Chase to the Bengals at No. 5: “For a long time, I’ve thought – even railed about it in this space – that the Bengals should just sit here and pick the best tackle in the draft, Penei Sewell. And if they do, good for them. But this exercise is trying to project what I think they will do, not should do…So they used a high two on (Tee) Higgins last year. It’s not going to prevent them from putting another great receiver prospect in stripes again.”

Simms on DeVonta Smith to the Dolphins at No. 6: “It’s like 1a and 1b with (Ja’Marr) Chase and DeVonta Smith. These are stars, studs, and DeVonta Smith really is the best route runner in the draft…and can flat our fly. When you take all that stuff into account, it’s hard to pass him up. He’s a game-breaker.”

King on Smith to the Patriots at No. 15: “So many options for New England on draft weekend, and you know most of them. You know the option I just don’t see? Bill Belichick trading a gold mine to move up eight or 11 spots to get the quarterback of the future…I can’t see Belichick loving Lance or Fields enough to do that.”

King on Najee Harris to the Steelers at No. 24: “(Harris) doesn’t shy from contact, runs between the tackles fluidly, and is the kind of bellcow back the Steelers have been seeking since Le’Veon Bell left. I’m not a big fan of running backs in the first round, and if the Steelers go tackle here, that’s fine. But spending big on a big need would be smart, which is why I like Harris here.”

Simms on Kadarius Toney to the Packers at No. 29: “‘What is, I would like some talent?’ That’s what (Aaron Rodgers) is saying…Too explosive to pass up. He’s a freak of nature, Kadarius Toney. They need somebody that can make big plays for them other than Rodgers making perfect passes and doing that.”

Defense

Simms on Micah Parsons to the Broncos at No. 9: “The Broncos are a team that’s not far off…I’m going with what I said last week that they’re going to stay with Drew Lock, they’re going to look to get a Teddy Bridgewater or a Jimmy Garoppolo off a trade…(Linebacker) to me is the biggest need on their football team. When I look at their team, there is not one spot where they have a bigger need.”

King on Patrick Surtain II to the Cowboys at No. 10: “I am not signing on to the Jerry Jones’-moving-up-for-Kyle-Pitts storyline…I doubt Jones this year will trade next year’s one, or a passel of picks, to move up to number four to be able to take the talented Florida tight end.”

Simms on Jaycee Horn to the Eagles at No. 12: “I’m going to go with the chalk pick because where there’s smoke, there’s fire…They like big corners, that’s what they want to do. They want a guy that can jam at the line of scrimmage and then get back.”

Simms on Zaven Collins to the Browns at No. 26: “I look at the Browns and I had a tough time with them here…This might be out of the mold of what they really want, but middle linebacker is so important to this scheme…They’ve got to have that athletic guy…(Collins) the athlete is too special. That’s where I keep coming back to it.”

–NBC SPORTS–