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, jaylen waddle
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 11: 2021 NFL draft prospect Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Alabama Crimson Tide  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

2021 NFL Draft: 15th-16th picks

In their continued efforts to create a new core to their offense, the Detroit Lions make the widely expected move of trading Matthew Stafford to the New England Patriots for their first-round selection in the 2021 NFL draft as well as future compensation (in this case, a 2022 second-round selection).

With New England’s need for a win-now quarterback and little left at the position on the draft board, expending their top draft capital on a proven veteran makes more than enough sense to justify the move.

15. player. Scouting Report. WR. Alabama. Jaylen Waddle. 50. College Stats

Losing most of their top receivers to free agency this offseason and likely unable to bring them back due to a falling salary cap, the Detroit Lions will look to bring in a wide receiver that can pair well with newfound franchise quarterback Justin Fields and make the game easier for him.

Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle is far and away the best option to fill such a role, excelling in his ability to create yardage from scratch and make a five-yard crossing route into a 20+ yard chunk gain. Combine this explosiveness with effective route-running, and Fields may have his favorite year-one target to develop chemistry with.

CB. South Carolina. Scouting Report. College Stats. 16. player. 32. Jaycee Horn

With the end of an era in the departure of cornerback Patrick Peterson, the Arizona Cardinals find themselves with a significant void in their secondary. Needing to find a complement to safety Budda Baker, Arizona can hope to find their next shutdown corner in a man-corner-filled 2021 NFL draft class.

Out of South Carolina, Jaycee Horn is definitely the lengthiest of the cornerbacks entering the NFL this year and puts his measurables to good use. At six-foot-one, Horn has exceptionally long arms that stay stuck to the receiver helping him stick with them through their breaks, feeling the route through their hips.

Along with his long galloping strides which enable him to keep pace with downfield threats, Horn is a unique athlete which can supplement the loss of a key defensive cog.