2021 NFL Mock Draft 2-16-21

trevor lawrence

Welcome to version 2.0 of our 2021 NFL mock draft. For the 202o edition go here. For our final 2020 MLB mock draft go here, the latest NBA mock is linked here and the NHL can be found at this link. Far as we know, we’re the only independently owned, mom and pop shop style website that makes a mock draft for all four major sports. Also, here is the link to a list of 70 of the worst NFL Draft cliches, buzzwords and other pointless word salad.

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Notre Dame Gets Year Probation by NCAA for Recruiting Violations

The NCAA placed Notre Dame football on one year probation today, due to recruiting violations. Two violations (impermissible text messages to a recruit, impermissible meeting with another) were commited by an unidentified and now former assistant coach.

These violations were considered Level II, on the four tiered system, with IV being considered the most severe. Additionally, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was found to have committed a Level III infraction, for his impermissible off-campus contact with a prospect.

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#1 Alabama vs #3 Ohio State: National Title Game Preview, Odds, FYIs

The next college football champion will be crowned Monday night, in Miami, when #1 Alabama and #3 Ohio State square off in the national title game. If this match-up feels familiar, even redundant, it’s because it definitely is.

The Crimson Tide are first in College Football Playoff games played (10) and games won (7). They’re tied with Clemson (2) for most titles won in this format. The Buckeyes are third in CFP games played (5), and they’ve gone 3-2 overall, winning the very first final four in 2014. In other words, this is a matchup of “they’ve been there before.”

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Citrus Bowl Preview: #14 Northwestern Wildcats vs Auburn Tigers

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After the #14 Northwestern Wildcats fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten title game, NU coach Pat Fitzgerald gave this memorable soundbite: “we’re going to look at a couple of plays, and my great friend Bill Curry says “the pain of discipline or the pain of regret, you choose.”

Now comes a Citrus Bowl matchup with a 6-4 Auburn team that is starting over with a new head coach. Will NU be more disciplined in bowl practice for this one? Or will they have regret of an opportunity missed at Camping World Stadium?

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#1 Alabama vs #4 Notre Dame: College Football Playoff Semifinal Preview

Notre Dame, and this applies to the Oklahoma Sooners as well, have become the Washington Generals of the top tier. While that can be taken as a pejorative, hey, at least they’re getting into the top tier, which is more than you can for 125 or so other college football programs.

The ACC title game, which ND lost 34-10 (a late, meaningless touchdown window dressed the final score) means it’s now three times in the BCS/College Football Playoff era that the Fighting Irish have played a postseason game where there was so much more at stake than in your typical bowl game.

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Notre Dame to ACC? Jim Phillips Could be the Guy to Make it Happen

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We’re not saying Notre Dame football will join the ACC on a permanent basis, but if it’s going to happen, then 2021 is the year that the ball could get rolling. Will we ever see Fighting Irish football in a conference? Well, this is the time that the stars are aligning to potentially make that possible.

Jim Phillips completes his stint as Northwestern Athletic Director next year, and he’ll replace the retiring John Swofford as the new Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner. If anybody can get it done, it’s a wheeler-dealer like Phillips. If you saw first hand some of what he’s accomplished at NU, then you can see why he could be the key figure/difference maker in getting the deal done.

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Brian Kelly Approaches Notre Dame Wins Record, Biggest Wins and Losses, Part 3

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly is just now three wins behind Knute Rockne for the most all time by a Fighting Irish mentor. So an ACC title game win tomorrow (game preview at this link), plus two College Football Playoff victories and he would end the 2020 season knotted up with the patriarch of ND Football.

In a case of very strange coincidence, or perhaps just the circle of life, Rockne’s first season in charge was 1918. And as you might have read about online, or seen on the news, 1918 and 2020 have something in common, so how strange it would be if Kelly can tie the mark this season.

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Bret Bielema to Illini: Reasons for Hope, Concern and Ambivalence

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The best way to describe Illinois hiring Bret Bielema as their next football coach is.. well, I don’t dislike it. It’s not a bad decision. It’s not exciting or a home run hire, but you can’t really knock it either. The Lovie Smith hire was unexpected, outside the box and overly hyped up beyond absurdity.

The Lovie experiment failed, so steady and safe was probably the way to go now, even though I would have much preferred Todd Monken. The circumstances and situation made for the perfect time and space for the Monken hire right now.

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Bret Bielema’s wife, Jen Bielema, Inspires QOTY Candidate

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With Illinois hiring Bret Bielema today as their new head football coach, we flash back to November of 2015 in this piece from Nov. 27, 2015, so enjoy.

The wife of Bret Bielema, Jen Bielema, whose maiden name is Jennifer Hielsberg, inspired what is quite possibly the quote of the year this college football season.

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#2 Notre Dame vs #3 Clemson: ACC Title Game Odds, TV Info, Preview

When the #2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet the #3 Clemson Tigers next week, it will be a rematch of both a regular season game and a 2018 College Football Playoff semifinal.

The 2020 ACC title game will kickoff at 4pm EST in Charlotte, and the team that won the previous meeting is actually the underdog here. That is certainly understandable given the circumstances involved.

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Ohio State vs Northwestern: Big Ten Title Game Odds, TV Info, Preview

amos alonzo stagg trophy big ten title

Here we go, the only reason the Big Ten bothered to even stage a season in 2020: trying to get one of their teams into the College Football Playoff. That team is #4 Ohio State of course, a program that rules the conference in the same way that Bayern Munich has dominion over the Bundesliga.

If getting the Buckeyes into the playoff means changing the rules and requirements for the league title game, as a stepping stone to the CFP, well so be it. The rules and regulations were all made up on the fly, and without a ton of legitimacy anyway. The next and final sacrificial lamb for the Buckeyes is #14 Northwestern.

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Brian Kelly Nearing ND Victory Record, List of Biggest Wins, Losses

For #2 Notre Dame the ACC Title Game, against #4 Clemson kicks off Saturday night in Charlotte. The 10-0 (9-0 in ACC play) Fighting Irish handed the Tigers (9-1, 8-1) their only loss of the season back on Nov. 7. Yet the Irish are underdogs here again, almost as substantially an underdog as they were last mont when the two teams clashed in South Bend.

If you’re into sports betting  then you probably know that Clemson are 7.5 point favorites here, with a moneyline of -350. The Irish were 8 point dogs heading into the big upset of the then #1 Tigers. For this game, the moneyline prices them at +260.

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