If the first 44 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft were used to make two teams, what would it look like?
Odds are you never asked that question for yourself, but ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay did their best to ask and answer it for you anyways.
In this new mock draft, Kiper and McShay each selected 22 players in alternative fashion to fill out two unique 22-man rosters. Here’s how the top five picks went:
- Trevor Lawrence, QB
- Kyle Pitts, TE
- Ja’Marr Chase, WR
- Devonta Smith, WR
- Penei Sewell, OT
You could make the argument that these are the five best players in the entire draft. And since McShay went first, he ended up with the first quarterback, receiver, and tackle. Poor Kiper!
But Kiper did have the option to take Sewell right after Chase and he chose Devonta Smith. A few picks later, Kiper ended up taking Rashawn Slater as his left tackle.
This is a harmless exercise that only somewhat represents where certain players will go in the draft. Obviously, at least three quarterbacks will go in the top four picks, and the odds of it being four quarterbacks seems to increase every day. That didn’t happen here because only two teams were picking the players. Kiper waited all the way until the last pick to take his quarterback, Justin Fields.
For what it’s worth, here are the 10 offensive linemen that were picked:
- LT Penei Sewell (fifth overall)
- LT Rashawn Slater (eighth overall)
- LG Alijah Vera-Tucker (10th overall)
- RT Christian Darrisaw (20th overall)
- RT Teven Jenkins (23rd overall)
- C Landon Dickerson (24th overall)
- LG Liam Eichenberg (29th overall)
- C Creed Humphrey (35th overall)
- RG Samuel Cosmi (36th overall)
- RG Quinn Meinerz (37th overall)
This could give us an idea of who may be the first linemen to go off the board in the first round and the early second round. If the Bengals end up with any of these 10 players, their o-line would surely improve.