2021 NFL Mock Draft: 49ers, Washington Football Team, teams to watch

North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) /
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Mississippi WR Elijah Moore. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Mississippi WR Elijah Moore. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2021 NFL mock draft: Picks 21-24

21. Indianapolis Colts: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami. The Colts are going to go with either a pass rusher or an offensive tackle here, in all likelihood. Because of an early run on tackles, the players that fit this range are largely gone, so the Colts will go with an edge player.

Jaelan Phillips may be the most talented pass rusher in this year’s class, but his history of concussions and brief retirement may scare some off. But the Colts may look at his upper-tier production at Miami and think they got a steal at 21.

22. Tennessee Titans: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss. After losing Corey Davis in free agency, the Titans replaced him with Josh Reynolds. They still need a third receiving weapon to pair with Ryan Tannehill and Elijah Moore has been getting some buzz as the potential No. 4 receiver in this draft class.

Moore had 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns as a receiver last year in just eight games for Ole Miss. He’s a very productive player and while his 5-foot-9 frame may limit him to the slot, he could be an explosive playmaking threat. The Titans had success with another Ole Miss receiver in A.J. Brown so they could be willing to add his former teammate to the fold.

Of course, Brown has played some in the slot, so the Titans may prefer some other pass-catching options here like Kadarius Toney or Rashod Bateman if they’d prefer a bigger receiver.

23. New York Jets: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State. Yes, I have Parsons falling to 23. Is that likely? Maybe not. But the character and maturity concerns surrounding him are significant and could cause him to slide more than people expect. We’ve seen linebackers with off-the-field issues fall in the first round recently, as Reuben Foster went from being a potential top-10 pick to going 31st overall in Round 1.

Parsons is more athletic than Foster and doesn’t have the same injury concerns that he did, so that could allow him to still go within the top 20. He was a productive force in 2019 at Penn State when he last played a full season so the team that gets him could acquire a steal if all pans out in the locker room.

Joe Douglas loves drafting big, strong, fast players. Parsons would fit the bill. This would just about demonstrate his floor, as the Jets, armed with two picks, can afford to take a chance on Parsons here.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Najee Harris, Alabama. This is going to be one of the most popular mock draft picks on Day 1. Harris is a bruising running back with a history of being productive at Alabama. He improved as a receiver during his last two seasons and should be a true three-down threat at the NFL level.

The Steelers could barely run the ball last year and while they could use some offensive line help in this year’s draft, they may wait until the second round to add a tackle or center to bolster their unit. If they don’t want Harris and prefer a guy like Trey Sermon, they could go with a tackle like Teven Jenkins here.