Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith teamed up to form one of the most dominant quarterback-wide receiver duos in NCAA history. Now, both are expected to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Locked On podcast network has teamed up with Audacy for an ultimate mock draft series, in which the local podcast hosts provide the pick they think their team will make come draft night.
Today, our experts will react to selections 12-17. Michael Irvin and Brian Baldinger are among the experts participating today.
As a reminder, here's how the first 11 picks panned out:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
2. New York Jets – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
3. San Francisco 49ers – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
4. Atlanta Falcons – TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
5. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
6. Miami Dolphins – WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama
7. Detroit Lions – OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
8. Carolina Panthers – QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
9. Denver Broncos – CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina
10. Dallas Cowboys - CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
11. New York Giants – OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
12. Philadelphia Eagles - WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Expert analysis, Michael Irvin:
Wow, how lucky are the Philadelphia Eagles to be able to get DeVonta Smith right here? They let DeSean Jackson go because of injuries and old age. And they get a younger, maybe faster DeSean Jackson.
This kid will work great with Jalen Hurts, because as Hurts develops, what DeVonta Smith gives him the opportunity to do is to throw some short passes with his ability to take them a long way. So you can work the short game with this type of receiver and still get big plays. So the numbers for the quarterback will absolutely look better than they really are.
13. Los Angeles Chargers - Alijah Vera-Tucker
Expert analysis, Ross Tucker:
Boy, the more I watched Alijah Vera-Tucker, the offensive lineman out of USC, the more I liked him.
First of all, I don't think we're related, but the fact that he has Tucker in his last name, I'll take it. We might be related somehow, so I love that.
I also love this guy's game. He played a number of positions at SC...played them all well...showed he could play on the right side...showed he could play on the left side...showed he could play inside at guard...and then bumped out this year and was an absolute stud at left tackle for the Trojans. So the way that I look at it, I think he can play tackle, and I think every team should give them a chance to play tackle. But if it doesn't work out, there's a lot of guys who have moved inside and been very successful - Joel Bitonio, Brandon Scherff, Zack Martin. Alijah Vera-Tucker has the skillset and the body type to be in that mold.
14. Minnesota Vikings - DE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Expert analysis, Isaiah Hole:
Mike Zimmer has said since the end of last season that it was the worst defense that he ever coached with the Vikings last year. [They had] all kinds of injuries...Danielle Hunter opted out...they traded Everson Griffin...Yannick Ngakoue didn't work out. They need edge rushers, so it should be the No. 1 priority - Kwity Paye would fit perfectly with what they're doing.
I mean maybe Danielle Hunter comes back, is happy with his contract and plays at a high level. D.J. Wonnum from South Carolina, who they drafted last year, showed flashes last year of being able to come off the edge. But they need someone else who can come off the edge.
Paye has got a lot of tools that you really like. He's got good size - 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. He moves well. He's played in a real system there in Michigan where he really show you his hands, his strength, his ability to disengage from blocks. I don't think he's a great pass rusher yet. He doesn't really bend really well enough, but he does get off of blocks...he does play hard...he does make a lot of plays on the other side of the field. You're gonna get good effort. I think if Kwity Paye is coached really well and given time...maybe not his first year...but I think he has the chance to be a very good edge rusher in this league.
15. New England Patriots: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Expert analysis, Andy Gresh:
Well Mac Jones was the right choice for the Patriots because when you look at the offense he played in, it's Nick Saban. We know Nick Saban and Bill Belichick have known each other going all the way back to their time in the early 90s in Cleveland.
And this is one where I trust the intel of Bill Belichick. We had Lane Kiffin, the coach of Ole Miss, come out a couple days ago and say 'Hey, not everybody calls to get intel on these players, but Bill Belichick is one of those guys. And you know that him and Saban are hanging out and fishing and stuff like that, so if anyone is going to have the intel on what a Patriots quarterback would profile to be, it would be Bill Belichick in snagging Mac Jones.
That said, we have not erased the legend of Tom Brady, and that's one of the things that Mac Jones really has to fight against. Everybody is going to be comparing him to Brady out of the chute and it's probably going to be pretty unfair.
16. Arizona Cardinals - CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Expert analysis, Eliot Shorr-Parks:
I do believe that the offseason procedure that Caleb Farley had is a big concern. Now look, I understand that it was called a minor procedure, but four months of rehab to come back from it is concerning.
I can also say from first-hand experience here in Philadelphia, I saw what happened the last time that a cornerback as talented as Caleb Farley had an offseason injury that impacted his timeline for the NFL. Sidney Jones here with the Eagles suffered an achilles injury during his pro day, he ended up missing his entire rookie season. He fell to the second round, it was viewed as a good value pick, but unfortunately, for a guy as talented as Sidney Jones was, that injury just proved ultimately to be too much to overcome.
Now, this is a different injury and we obviously hope that Caleb Farley can stay healthy, but when you combine that back injury with the torn ACL that he suffered prior in college, I think there's just too much of an injury concern to justify taking him as high as No. 16. I do believe that it's a concern moving forward.
17. Las Vegas Raiders - OL Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech
Expert analysis, Paul Ihander:
A three-year starter at left tackle in the ACC, Darrisaw provides any lucky NFL team who drafts him with a true mix of agility, athleticism and durability. He's pretty much seen it all, and can pretty much do it all as a blindside protector serving up consistency as a wall against a pass rush, but also leading the way as a run blocker.
The Raiders underwent an offensive line overhaul in the offseason, with the most pressing need remaining after free agency sitting at right tackle. Now, with the Raiders, Darrisaw would Sharpie in to start there right away, as opposed to the left tackle position that he played in college.
He'd be an immediate upgrade at the spot, with the Raiders looking to erase the memory of inconsistency on the right side of the line last season. He'd be a solid piece to grow alongside durable left tackle Kolton Miller.