2021 NFL first-round mock draft: Quarterback surprises

2021 NFL Draft prospect Zach Wilson #1 of the BYU Cougars (Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Zach Wilson #1 of the BYU Cougars (Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /
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2021 nfl draft, mac jones
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 11: 2021 NFL draft prospect Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide  (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

2021 NFL Draft: 17th-18th picks

EDGE. Texas. Joseph Ossai. 17. Scouting Report. player. 28. College Stats

After a season that saw little to no pass-rush from their defensive line and top draft selection Clelin Ferrell, the Las Vegas Raiders need to find a solution to their woes in order to put together a sustainable defensive unit.

Thankfully though, the 2021 NFL draft may not have the strongest edge class in recent memory but places a number of viable prospects within the Raiders draft range.

An athletic multi-purpose outside linebacker in the Texas Longhorns’ defense, Joseph Ossai is a raw pass-rusher with an athletic six-foot-four frame.

Still learning the position, Ossai was utilized not only as a pass-rusher but also as an effective linebacker off of the line of scrimmage. Used as a swiss-army knife in the Las Vegas front-seven, Ossai could develop into the pass-rusher Gruden so desperately needs across from Maxx Crosby.

Following a relatively successful run under now-retired quarterback Phillip Rivers, the Indianapolis Colts will be hungry to make sure they get their quarterback for the future in the 2021 NFL draft.

Swapping first-round selections and throwing in an additional third-round pick as compensation, the Colts move up to the Miami Dolphins’ original draft position to get their guy and further fill the Dolphins’ war chest of selections in the 2021 NFL draft.

Alabama. Scouting Report. College Stats. 18. player. 46. QB. Mac Jones

Potentially the most refined of the quarterbacks following Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL draft, Mac Jones led a record-breaking Alabama offense to a national championship with his pocket-passer playstyle and control of the offense. By displaying his football intellect throughout the course of the collegiate postseason, Jones has seen a sharp rise in his draft stock.

With these intangible qualities established and paired with impressive arm talent to reach any part of the field, Jones is a perfect candidate to fill the void left by the veteran signal-caller.

Alongside Lawrence, Jones is one of the few quarterbacks coming out of the 2021 NFL draft who is certain to be ready for the starting job from day one, able to capitalize on a young elite defense with a shortening championship window.