2021 NFL mock draft: Justin Fields heads to Jaguars

Justin Fields, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Justin Fields, Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies
Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. Cornerback. Caleb Farley. 17. player. Scouting Report. Virginia Tech. 45

General manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos have invested heavily in their offense over the last two years, building around what they hope will be the team’s next great franchise quarterback.

With the quarterback and offensive weapons in place, the attention should go to the defense, primarily. In particular, outside of veteran AJ Bouye and Bryce Callahan, the team is very thin at the cornerback position entering 2021, and both are scheduled to become free agents after the 2021 season.

So, targeting the top cornerback on the board is a great objective for Denver, and it just so happens that the second best coverage man in the draft, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, drops all the way to 17 in this mock.

Pro Football Focus actually argued that a quarterback’s passer rating in 2019 was better off throwing in the dirt than throwing at Farley.  He is long and smooth in coverage at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds. That size will allow him to man up and press even the toughest of NFL wide receivers, such as AFC West foe Keenan Allen.

Defensive End. Carlos Basham. 18. player. Pick Analysis. Wake Forest. 123. Scouting Report

With Tyrone Crawford set to be a free agent after the 2020 season, and no real clue as to what Aldon Smith might give them, the Cowboys could be staring at a defense end depth chart of DeMarcus Lawrence and no other proven entities.

With all the money (outside of Lawrence) invested on the offensive side of the ball, the way the team sustains its’ competitiveness is by drafting talented defensive weapons regularly to keep the defense as cost effective as possible.

Enter Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound redshirt senior enters the 2020 season as a preseason Second-Team All-American. He finished his 2019 campaign with 11 sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes defensed for the Demon Deacons.

With Lawrence solidified on one side, adding Basham to the other gives the Cowboys a extremely talented pass rush for years to come.