If the great Charles Dickens were still with us today, he would probably write a novel about the NFL draft. (OK, maybe not, but please roll with me here.)
His story would probably revolve around a grumpy old man who reads NFL mock drafts and complains about them.
"Every idiot that goes about writing mock drafts should be boiled in his own pudding," the character might say.
But then one night, three spirits would appear to show the curmudgeon the light. One would be the "Ghost of Things that SHOULD Be", a second the "Ghost of Things that WOULD Be" and finally the "Ghost of Things that COULD Be."
The first spirit would explain that mock drafts are usually not a vision of what the writer believes each team should do. The apparition would explain that these projections are not meant to indicate there is but only one player at each pick that is the correct one for the team to select.
The second specter appears to explain that any prediction, whether attempting to forecast football game results, economic activity or the weather, is modelled on past events. Therefore, mock drafts are attempting to show what would be -- if teams followed patterns from previous years. The kindly presence will then explain that there are always variations between past and future events -- so no mock draft will be 100 percent accurate.
The third ghost will then come to the aged football fan, explaining that mock drafts represent only one of many different scenarios that could unfold on draft weekend given each franchise's player evaluations and short- and long-term needs.
After hearing the guidance of the ghosts, our ill-tempered protagonist sings a new tune, exclaiming that he will "honor mock drafts in my heart, and try to keep them there all offseason! I will know that mock drafts are not what SHOULD or WOULD be, but only what COULD be!"
Please enjoy the following seven-round mock in that vein. Keep in mind that this projection does not benefit from the 11th-hour information that will trickle out leading up to Round 1. It does offer some scenarios as food for thought, and gives a general road map on where players might fall.
Want to create your own mock for the 2021 NFL Draft? Check out PFF’s draft simulator to play out countless scenarios for every team spanning all seven rounds.