Local teams get pass catchers in Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft (Opinion)
'Tis the season for the mock draft and Mel Kiper Jr.'s second for 2021 includes three trades. The first includes the New York Jets, who swap picks with Atlanta and select Florida tight end, Kyle Pitts.
Kiper says in his mock, "The Falcons make a deal to get their quarterback. My comp for the deal is the Bears’ trading up for Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. To move up one spot and get the No. 2 pick, Chicago gave up pick Nos. 3, 67, 111 and a third-rounder the following year."
"So for Atlanta to move up two spots," Kiper continued, "it’s going to have to send the Jets the No. 4 pick, likely its second-round picks this year and more picks. That’s a lot to give up, sure, but there is going to be competition. The Jets should take the best deal on the table, and this one means they only drop two spots and pick up prime assets after that."
Kiper has the Falcons then selecting BYU quarterback Zack Wilson.
Kiper goes on to say;
"So the Jets move down, add priority picks and end up with one of the best players in this class. I still believe they’re better off giving Sam Darnold another year and improving the talent around their quarterback. The 23-year-old is too talented to give up on. Darnold has never had a pass-catcher like Pitts, either. The 6-foot-6 Pitts can line out wide and in the slot, and I’d target him like a No. 1 wide receiver. As I mentioned on the First Draft podcast, he is going to end up as my highest-graded tight end ever. He’s also extremely young — he was born in 2000 and will be 20 when he plays in Week 1. By the way, since the common draft era began in 1967, there has never been a tight end go this high. Pitts could be the first."
With the 6th pick in the 2021 NFL draft, Kiper has the Eagles selecting LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
Here's what he has to say about this selection;
"Drafting Chase here will allow a better evaluation of Hurts in 2021. He’s a true No. 1 wideout with a high ceiling. After opting out of the 2020 season, Chase will get a chance to work out for teams at LSU’s pro day on March 31, and there’s a chance he could wow scouts and coaches there and end up as the No. 1 receiver in this class.”
Kiper says drafting Chase would allow quarterback Jaylen Hurts a chance to develop.
"My feeling is that he has earned a chance to start in Week 1 next season and try to be Philly’s long-term answer, even though he completed just 52% of his passes last season. The Eagles have major salary-cap issues, and this is not going to be a one-year rebuild for new coach Nick Sirianni. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re picking in the top 10 next year as well.”
Finally at number 11, Kiper has the New York Giants selecting Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, saying;
"Can the Giants get Daniel Jones a No. 1 receiver? He has had Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and tight end Evan Engram as his top targets the past two seasons, and they’ve struggled with inconsistency and staying on the field. Now is the time to get a full evaluation of Jones. If they don’t wade into the free-agent waters, Waddle is the best option at No. 11. He is the top deep threat in this class and is electric with the ball in his hands."
As a Giants fan, I would be happy with either receiver but would prefer Pitts. With free agency coming up March 17, things could change and they probably will.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.