AFA2021 Mock Draft

By Scott W

Here we go!

Las Vegas - The Plague pick up the best player in the draft, selecting Rookie of the Year, Defensive End Chase Young. With some good young players already in place at linebacker and in the secondary, Vegas adds another key building block to their defence at pass rusher. They still have some holes to address on the defensive line, but this is a great step to improving a defence that allowed opponents to rack up 491 points last year. I am going on record and predicting that Las Vegas will not be picking first overall again next year.

Carbon - The Monoxide hoped Vegas would make a mistake and let Young slip to them here. One of their few needs is a pass rusher so with a balanced team already in place, Carbon selects defensive end Trey Hendrickson. Hendrickson exploded onto the scene in his fourth year, recording 13 sacks. At only 26 years old, he joins a defence with some solid players already in place but who allowed a league high 571 points against last year. If they can address their issues on the interior of the offensive line in later rounds, The Monoxide could be competing for a playoff spot this year.

San Diego - The Sun consider taking Tom Bradyís successor here but after a Super Bowl winning season, believe he has just enough to help lead them out of the cellar. San Diego addresses their biggest need instead, selecting outside linebacker Hasson Reddick. Our second 26-year-old who just figured it out and recorded 12 sacks last year. Perhaps being cut by the Knights after their AFA Championship lit a fire. Reddick joins Joey Bosa and J.J. Watt to terrorize quarterbacks after a disappointing 4-14 season last year.

Krakow - The Kielbasa are thrilled to watch the run-on defensive players and have a tough choice deciding between their quarterback of the future or stud wide receiver to partner with Tyler Lockett. With the first of their two first round picks, Krakow decides to give Jared Goff another year under centre and select wide receiver Justin Jefferson. With 1,400 receiving yards Jefferson will be a major spark in reviving their offense. Will it be enough in the toughest division in the AFA, or will they be hoping to be in the race for Trevor Lawrence in next year's draft?

Spokane - With Anthony Costanzoís retirement the Sabercats need to find a long-term replacement to help protect the face of the franchise, Kyler Murray. Tackle Tristan Wirfs, with his 9 run, 9 pass and 10+ durability rating is the perfect fit to help stabilize the offensive line. If he can give Spokane the same 10-year career they got from Costanzo, the Sabercats will have made a great pick. Should the Kielbasa decide to take a quarterback at 4 though, watch for Spokane to grab Jefferson here and address their need at tackle in the second round. Murray, Ezekiel Elliot, Allen Robinson, Darren Waller, and Jefferson would be a nasty offence to try to stop. It would be a shocking turnaround from being the worst offence in the league last year.

Albuquerque - This would be the dream scenario for the Rattlesnakes, who desperately need to find a replacement for Jimmy G. The Snakes hope Justin Herbertís freshman season was no fluke and he was indeed the best quarterback coming out of college. Many had him ranked third, but with a 10+ durability rating and significantly better stats than both Burrows and Tagovailoa, he is the better pick here. The Offensive Rookie of the Year title is the bonus that pushes him over the top. Hopefully, this settles what has been a major problem in Albuquerque for the past few years.

Kansas City - With Larry Warford sitting out the season and none of their several 2019 draft selections at guard working out, the Beast desperately need to find an upgrade. Sixth rounder Mike Onwenu was a surprise to have such a great season and offers some flexibility with his ability to play both guard and tackle. He joins center Ryan Kelly and tackle Brian OíNeil as good young pieces to a line that has been rebuilding forever. With their young defence finally starting to bloom, Kansas City looks ready to challenge for a playoff spot.

Chicago - The Caravan are loaded with talent and depth and were a surprise to miss the playoffs last year. They wisely choose to upgrade at guard and select our third 26-year-old, Wyatt Teller. Teller will open huge lanes for Aaron Jones to run through and give superstar Patrick Mahomes a little extra time to find one of his five top tier receivers. It would be no surprise to see the Caravan challenging for a championship this year.

Indianapolis - The Cobras were close to knocking off the number one seed and eventual AFA Bowl Champion Roughriders in a shootout in the first round of the playoffs last year. They decide to upgrade their secondary here and select cornerback Darious Williams. After being disrespected with a CB4 rating in 2019 (despite his 2 interceptions), Williams had an exceptional 2020. The undrafted free agent obviously benefits from playing opposite Jalen Ramsey so is somewhat of a risk to sustain his high rating. The Cobras decide to play for the present though after being so close last year.

Alaska - As the Grizzlies transition from Drew Brees to Josh Allen, they need to find him a potential number one receiver. CeeDee Lamb is the best available option and is a definite upgrade from Devante Parker and Golden Tate. Alaska has needs at tackle and along the defensive line but hope they can address them in later rounds to keep them competitive this year.

Arizona - Disappointed to see Lamb come off the board, the Tombstone briefly consider Tee Higgins to improve their mediocre receiver group. They decide instead to take the less sexy pick to help protect Deshaun Watson and find openings for the devastating running duo of Derrick Henry and David Montgomery. Damien Lewis gives them some flexibility with his ability to play multiple positions and is an immediate and much needed upgrade for them at guard.

New York - The Knights have a lot of pieces already in place but are still shocked from last year's 3-point playoff performance. Loosing star running back Saquon Barkley to injury adds more pressure to a team only one year removed from a Championship. Running back Jonathan Taylor fills a major need and gives the Knights a possible trading option in Barkley. We havenít seen much activity yet from the trade happy front office in New York this year.

San Antonio - Injuries to quarterback Dak Prescott and tight end George Kittle present a significant challenge for the Vikings to repeat their semi-final performance from last year. Running back, guard, defensive tackle, and corner back all need to be addressed at some point as well. San Antonio decide to take first overall pick, quarter back Joe Burrow to help lead them into the future. It looks like this could be a rebuilding year for the Vikings.

Krakow - With their second pick of round one, the Kielbasa again consider replacing Jared Goff with Tua Tagovailoa. They believe Goff may find new life in Detroit and his above average performance last year gives them some time. Instead, they decide to address their biggest weakness and upgrade the offensive line with guard Austin Corbitt. The former second round pick had a rough start in Cleveland but seems to have found his rhythm with his trade to the Rams. Corbitt adds fresh, young legs to an otherwise aging and mediocre line.

Cleveland - Closing out the first round with back-to-back picks, Cleveland looks to defend their division title by adding some offensive playmakers. First, they select wide receiver Tee Higgins to replace injured and aging OBJ. Higgins will partner with Robert Woods to give Matt Ryan a solid receiving duo in the passing game.

Cleveland - The Force also need to find a replacement for injured running back Christian McCaffrey. Whether itís only temporary or a long-term compliment, they have no chance of holding off New York or Indy without a ground game. While there are a lot of good options, Cleveland cannot risk missing out on one of the top backs. They decide to take J.K. Dobbins with his 6.0-yard average and 9 touchdowns.

With no picks in the first round, Hollywood and defending champions Pittsburgh wait patiently for their turn late in round two. Both have some needs but are two of the more well-rounded teams in the league. I expect they will be in the mix again at the end of this season. Good luck to everyone in the draft this year. Whether youíre rebuilding or looking for that last piece to challenge for the championship, hopefully everyone has a great draft.