The 2021 NFL draft is less than a week away as teams begin to finalize draft boards and hone in on prospects. The lead-up to this year’s event is unprecedented; opt-outs and season cancellations hindered scouting efforts, and the loss of the NFL Scouting Combine leaves just pro day evaluations. Lack of game film and measurables present a unique challenge for teams performing due diligence on prospects.
Resultantly, predicting the first round picks for each team is a bit esoteric. I surveyed several recent mock drafts to identify positional trends and researched team needs accordingly to create something close to realistic result. Each pick will assess team needs and the best prospects available, but not all are necessarily the right picks. Much like the actual NFL draft.