NFL Mock Draft 2021: This is what occurs once we let Madden simulate the picks


It is nearly time for the 2021 NFL Draft, which implies the floodgates for NFL mock drafts are about to open.

Specialists will break down crew wants, watch movie of the highest faculty prospects and predict (to the most effective of their skill) the place gamers will get drafted. We will be doing none of that on this mock draft. Right here, we’ll set every part up in order that the digital GMs and coaches in “Madden 21” will likely be making the picks for us.

We have up to date the rosters to mirror free company strikes and imported a custom-made draft class to symbolize the 2021 gamers (we clarify all of that under). We even have the order set for the primary spherical. Due to how difficult that is to arrange, we solely simulated the primary two rounds of the NFL Draft. Your complete draft would not be correct anyway due to compensatory picks that are not included in Madden.

First, we’ll go over how this course of labored. It concerned a number of setup since there isn’t any official 2021 NFL Draft class in Madden 21 but, and rosters stop formally updating on the finish of the Tremendous Bowl. For those who aren’t within the setup of the draft then you possibly can click on right here to easily get to the outcomes.

MORE NFL DRAFT: SN’s newest 2021 mock draft | Prime 100 huge board

How the Madden NFL Mock Draft works

Madden 21

NFL Draft prospects

Madden makes use of auto-generated draft courses in franchise mode and does not have an precise draft class of the 2021 gamers. However Madden does enable customers to create their very own draft class, and add them into the neighborhood recordsdata the place others can obtain. That is what we did on this experiment.

We used the TFGDraft2021 file created by Marcus Whitman. Not solely does he know find out how to create a draft class, however he is additionally an NFL Draft analyst. So his NFL Draft evaluation performs a giant position within the rankings of the rookies for this class.

Correct rosters

Madden rosters stop updating on the finish of the Tremendous Bowl, which implies all the huge free company strikes aren’t up to date. So the massive Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff commerce did not occur, Jadeveon Clowney continues to be on the Titans and Bears QB1 Andy Dalton continues to be a Cowboy.

However because of the identical neighborhood recordsdata part, I used to be in a position to obtain an up to date roster with all the free company strikes. The rosters have been up to date by means of Wednesday, April 14, so if any huge strikes occurred after this then it was missed within the simulation.

Nonetheless, it is not simply as straightforward as downloading an up to date roster. As a result of the Madden offseason begins after the draft, I needed to simulate the 2020 season to get to the 2021 draft. This implies a number of gamers ended up changing into free brokers in 2021, so I needed to undergo and re-sign all of them to verify they did not depart in free company. This can be a very tedious activity, so I solely stored gamers 65 total and better on every crew to hurry up the method, so a couple of bottom-tier gamers have been misplaced.

There was additionally a small matter of retirements. Some lively gamers determined to name it quits within the digital world whereas their real-world counterpart continued on. To counter this, I simply edited a low total participant to mirror the gamers who retired by altering their stats. Enjoyable truth: one of many gamers who retired in-game was Julian Edelman, and he retired a day earlier than this experiment occurred in actual life. 

Draft order

To get the draft order to mirror this 12 months’s draft, I first went by means of the 2020 season and compelled wins to duplicate the precise end result. This is not excellent as there are a selection of tiebreakers that do not come out the identical, nevertheless it at the very least creates a baseline that form of resembles what the order appears like.

For all the inaccurate groups, whether or not by means of a improper tiebreaker or as a result of the choose was traded, I merely made trades with groups till the order was correct (once more this simulation was accomplished on April 14 so any trades after that day aren’t mirrored). To make this potential, I needed to make this an offline franchise and create a personality for all 32 groups so I may handle them individually. This additionally helps to get rid of any random signings or releases.

I did this for the primary two rounds of the NFL Draft, and the outcomes might be considered under.

2021 NFL Mock Draft: Madden simulation

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

We’re off to a great begin. The Jaguars do what’s anticipated within the real-life draft and take Trevor Lawrence off the board first total.

(Madden 21)

2. New York Jets

After updating the roster to ship Sam Darnold to the Panthers, it was clear that quarterback was an enormous want for the Jets. Their beginning quarterback pre-draft is James Morgan. And with Wilson being the No. 2 prospect total, it is smart that he goes to the Jets, which can be an anticipated real-life choose.

3. San Francisco 49ers

This is the place issues begin to go a bit awry. The 49ers made an enormous pre-draft commerce as a way to transfer as much as No. 3 and so they’re totally anticipated to take a quarterback. That might both be Ohio State’s Justin Fields or Alabama’s Mac Jones. However as a result of the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo (75 total) on the roster, the digital GM does not see QB as a place of want. So as an alternative they go together with the highest non-QB possibility accessible on the massive board. This would possibly not occur in actual life, nevertheless it is smart throughout the context of the sport.

4. Atlanta Falcons

This transfer stunned me contemplating the Falcons have already got Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the roster. You’d assume the digital GM would acknowledge that and go a special route. As an alternative, they simply take the most effective non-QB accessible on the massive board. It isn’t fully out of the query, however this looks as if an unlikely real-life choose.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Since many mock drafts have quarterbacks going throughout the first 4 picks, the Bengals debate has nearly at all times been Sewell or Chase. Defend Joe Burrow, or give him a well-recognized huge receiver? Nicely, with each gone, the choice is a bit simpler and the Bengals go together with star tight finish Kyle Pitts. This can be a reasonable choose even when Sewell and Chase are each accessible. Pitts is a good expertise, and the Bengals may use one other receiving menace to assist out Burrow.

6. Miami Dolphins

  • DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

This can be a very reasonable choose for Miami contemplating Tua Tagovailoa can be linked along with his former Alabama teammate. Many mock drafts have the Dolphins taking a large receiver on this state of affairs, so if Chase is already gone then it is smart to go together with the Heisman-winning Smith. 

7. Detroit Lions

  • Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

One other reasonable choose. Parsons was listed as an “best” choice for Detroit by draft analyst Chad Reuter. Detroit may additionally use a receiver, however with Chase and Smith off the board it is smart on this state of affairs to go together with Parsons. One other draft choose that might really occur in actual life.

8. Carolina Panthers

  • Rashawn Slater, LT, Northwestern

The Panthers have each Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater on their roster, so regardless of some hypothesis of Carolina going quarterback, it makes full sense for the online game model of the crew to not go QB right here. And Slater is a really reasonable selection for Carolina at 8. He is even included in some mock drafts to be chosen right here. Strengthening your offensive line is probably not an attractive choose, nevertheless it’s not a nasty thought.

9. Denver Broncos

  • Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

Once more, not an unrealistic choose for Denver, though a quarterback would make extra sense right here. Rousseau is a participant who’s been tied to Denver considerably in pre-draft talks. ESPN’s Broncos beat author Jeff Legwold listed Rousseau as a participant the Broncos “might be taking a look at” at 9. I would not anticipate this choose to occur, nevertheless it’s definitely a loopy choice.

10. Dallas Cowboys

  • Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

Surtain is a participant who’s been tied to the Cowboys at 10 for some time now. Actually, he is who Sporting Information’ Vinnie Iyer has going to Dallas in his mock draft. He is the overwhelming favourite to land right here within the consensus mock draft (by way of the Mock Draft Database) at 41%. So good job, digital Jerry Jones.

(Madden 21)

11. New York Giants

  • Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Regardless of the Giants making a giant splash in free company with the signing of WR Kenny Golladay, it seems they are not accomplished including to their receiving corps. Once more, although, this can be a choose that has an opportunity at really taking place. Actually, ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Waddle projected to go the Giants at 11. Exterior of 1 pattern (which you’ll have observed by now) this mock draft hasn’t been horrible.

12. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

Most mock drafts have the Eagles deciding on a large receiver right here. However for the reason that huge names are gone, Horn is the subsequent logical selection. And he isn’t a random one. The Mock Draft Database has Horn because the No. 3 hottest selection (11%) to Philly behind Waddle and Smith. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Christian Darrisaw, LT, Virginia Tech

Not a loopy choice. Darrisaw is projected to go inside concerning the 10-20 vary and it is smart for the Chargers to attempt to defend their star quarterback in Justin Herbert. Darrisaw can be listed in a number of mock drafts to land with the Chargers at 13. One other reasonable choice.

14. Minnesota Vikings

  • Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC

Vera-Tucker is the third-most well-liked selection within the Mock Draft Database to land with the Vikings, showing in 11.3% of mock drafts. Whereas Mel Kiper did not have Vera-Tucker going to Minnesota, he did choose an offensive lineman saying, “it is a obtrusive gap on this roster.”

15. New England Patriots

  • Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Now that we have reached the near-midway level of the draft it is time to handle the elephant within the room. Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones are all nonetheless accessible. And spoiler alert, they will not find yourself getting drafted in any respect within the first spherical. This makes some sense for the reason that groups close to the underside of the draft do not want a quarterback, however once I was going by means of the simulation I believed for positive the Patriots would take Fields, who by the way in which was the third total prospect on the massive board. I do not actually have an evidence for this. 

As for the choose itself, Farley is a participant the Patriots may take into account. Whereas not a preferred selection in line with mock drafts, Patriots beat author Tom Curran stated Farley is an possibility with Stephon Gilmore getting older and J.C. Jackson nonetheless being a restricted free agent.

16. Arizona Cardinals

  • Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia

Not an extremely well-liked choose to land with the Cardinals, however not a complete shock, both. CBS Sports activities’ Josh Edwards has Ojulari touchdown in Arizona along with his mock draft saying, “After dropping Haason Reddick, it simply is smart for Arizona to switch a really productive participant. The crew has gone all in for the upcoming season and Ojulari provides them one other piece that may be dropped into protection or rush the passer.”

17. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

Oddly sufficient, Mayfield is a very fashionable choose to land with the Raiders … simply as a second-round choice. The Raiders definitely need assistance on the deal with place after buying and selling away Trent Brown, so drafting this place is smart. The one factor is Mayfield’s seen extra as a late first-round man or second-round man and never a prime 20 choose. However this definitely would not be the primary time the Raiders reached in a draft.

18. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins went with an offensive playmaker earlier within the first spherical and now go to the defensive aspect of the ball. Paye is a pretty well-liked selection because the Dolphins’ second first-round draft choose, showing in a number of mock drafts (together with Mel Kiper’s).

19. Washington Soccer Crew

  • Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

One other crew that stunned me in passing on a quarterback (particularly since Fields continues to be accessible). Fitzpatrick is older and does not have a brilliant excessive total, and the crew’s backup is a 60 total. As an alternative, Washington goes receiver, which is a bit shocking contemplating they added Curtis Samuel in free company. Samuel and Terry McLaurin make a powerful duo, however the digital GM apparently wished a powerful trio. Whereas I personally do not see this choose taking place, Bateman is projected in a couple of mock drafts to land with Washington.

20. Chicago Bears

  • Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

One other logical choose from the digital GMs. Jenkins is the third-most well-liked selection within the Mock Draft Database to land with the Bears. Even Mel Kiper agrees as Jenkins was his option to land in Chicago saying, “He’d fill the spot created by the discharge of Bobbie Massie.”

21. Indianapolis Colts

Cosmi is the consensus selection to land with the Colts within the Mock Draft Database. Sporting Information’ Vinnie Iyer was amongst them, saying, “The Colts noticed Anthony Castonzo go into retirement and the nice-sized and pedigreed Cosmi is a strong quick substitute possibility.”

22. Tennessee Titans

  • Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

For the primary time shortly we have now a choose that is probably not projected someplace. Eichenberg is extra of a Spherical 2 candidate, per’s Lance Zierlein. Though numerous mock drafts have the Titans deciding on both Jenkins or Cosmi right here, who have been each simply drafted with the 2 picks earlier than this. So it is a bit of a attain, however nothing surprising.

23. New York Jets

  • Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

The Jets bought their quarterback of the longer term earlier within the spherical, and now get some safety for him. Humphrey is not a very well-liked choose, however a report got here out lately that the Jets “assume actually extremely” of him. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

After dropping James Conner in free company, the Steelers are in want of a brand new operating again. Harris is the consensus choose to land with Pittsburgh within the Mock Draft Database with a reasonably excessive 15.9%. Harris makes a number of sense right here as each a place of want, and a proficient participant with the twenty fourth total choice.

(Madden 21)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

After grabbing Trevor Lawrence first total, the Jaguars now flip to the defensive aspect of the ball. This can be a choose that is been stylish in current weeks.’s Daniel Jeremiah had Moehrig going to Jacksonville in his newest mock draft saying, “There are some intriguing choices for the Jaguars with this choose, however Moehrig is simply too clear a participant to move up.”

26. Cleveland Browns

  • Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

The Browns have a strong offense with Baker Mayfield main Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and Austin Hooper. So it is smart they’d go protection right here. Owusu-Koramoah is the second-most well-liked selection within the Mock Draft Database to land at 26 with the Browns.

27. Baltimore Ravens

  • Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest

I might personally anticipate the Ravens to go huge receiver right here, however Basham is not a horrible selection. He was within the mock draft performed by’s Sayre Bedinger. Bedinger stated of the choose, “Basham has the power to play a number of positions on the line of defense and the Ravens nearly at all times appear to prioritize gamers who look extra like defensive ends at that standup linebacker place.”

28. New Orleans Saints

Though I do not anticipate the Saints to go QB right here in actual life, I believed they may sneak in late and seize certainly one of them contemplating they’re nonetheless accessible on this simulation. As an alternative, they go together with Odighizuwa, who’s a considerably shocking choose right here.’s Lance Zierlein has Odighizuwa as a Third-to-4th spherical draft choose. This is without doubt one of the more bizarre picks we have seen on this simulation, however loopy issues occur within the NFL Draft so who is aware of.

29. Inexperienced Bay Packers

  • Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

A part of me wished the Packers to go QB right here simply to frustrate the digital Aaron Rodgers. As an alternative, they go together with a extra reasonable choose of Wyatt Davis. Though it is not a totally wild choice, it is not one I anticipate Inexperienced Bay to make in actual life. I might anticipate a large receiver right here, probably Rondale Moore or Terrace Marshall Jr.

30. Buffalo Payments

  • Quinn Meinerz, RG, Wisconsin–Whitewater

The Payments get some offensive line assist for Josh Allen, though most NFL Draft analysts do not see this as a place of want for Buffalo. Meinerz was named by CBS Sports activities’ Chris Trapasso as a participant the Payments ought to take into account, however considered him extra as a Third-round choice.

31. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

  • Alex Leatherwood, LT, Alabama

The Chiefs want offensive line assist, and a number of mock drafts have Kansas Metropolis going o-line right here. However there have already been numerous offensive lineman drafted on this simulation, so Leatherwood finally ends up as one of many prime choices accessible right here. Leatherwood is considered extra as a 2nd-round man, however contemplating the insane offensive lineman run, he turns into a 1st-round choose.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

The Tremendous Bowl champs added Antoine Winfield Jr. in final 12 months’s draft, so why not add one other son of a fantastic NFL participant? Samuel is a strong choose right here for the Bucs, though most mock drafts have Tampa Bay going with a defensive lineman with this choose. However Samuel is not a wild choice in any respect.

(Madden 21)

2nd Spherical

(We can’t give detailed recaps of the second spherical, however since a number of huge names did not go within the first spherical we thought it might be fascinating to see how the 2nd spherical turned out)

Crew Identify Pos. Faculty
Jaguars Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State
Jets Jayson Oweh DE Penn State
Falcons Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
Dolphins Travis Etienne RB Clemson
Eagles Jaelen Phillips DE Miami
Bengals Phidarian Mathis DT Alabama
Panthers Dylan Moses MLB Alabama
Broncos Christian Barmore DT Alabama
Lions Terrence Marshall Jr. WR LSU
Giants Nick Bolton MLB Missouri
49ers Landon Dickerson C Alabama
Cowboys Trey Sermon RB Ohio State
Jaguars Kadarius Toney WR Florida
Patriots Andre Cisco FS Syracuse
Chargers Tylan Wallace WR Oklahoma State
Raiders Deonte Brown OG Alabama
Cardinals Rondale Moore WR Purdue
Dolphins Josh Myers C Ohio State
Washington Brevin Jordan TE Miami
Bears Chazz Surratt MLB North Carolina
Titans Javonte Williams RB North Carolina
Colts Trey Smith LG Tennessee
Steelers Walker Little LT Stanford
Seahawks Jevon Holland SS Oregon
Rams Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
Ravens Jackson Carman LT Clemson
Browns Paulson Adebo CB Stanford
Saints Shawn Wade CB Ohio State
Payments Tre Brown CB Oklahoma
Packers Marvin Wilson DT Florida State
Chiefs Ronnie Perkins LOLB Oklahoma
Bucs Seth Williams WR Auburn

Ending ideas

Clearly the primary takeaway right here is that Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones are all accessible on the finish of the primary and second rounds. Even when one of many prime groups shock us by not going QB early on, in actual life there’d most definitely be a commerce by somebody to pick out certainly one of them earlier than they fell up to now. Their slides have been the first cause for doing the second spherical simulation of the draft, and so they did not even go then.

I did not change the remainder of the draft so the picks have been out of order after the second spherical. However on the prime of the third spherical we lastly noticed the quarterbacks begin to go. Justin Fields went to the Broncos within the third spherical, Mac Jones went to the Falcons within the third spherical, Trey Lance went to the Cowboys within the third spherical, Jamie Newman went to the Giants within the third spherical and Kyle Trask went to the Patriots within the third spherical. Just one different QB was drafted — Feleipe Franks to the Seahawks within the fourth spherical.

Exterior of the quarterback concern, although, a number of the alternatives within the first spherical appeared believable. There have been a number of gamers who’ve been hooked up to the groups that they have been drafted to. I believed for essentially the most half the simulation adopted the wants of the groups, outdoors of a handful of alternatives.

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