The 2021 NFL Draft is finally, mercifully, almost here. Everyone being stuck inside all year has launched discourse into a dark but also golden age: there are so many more bad takes, but occasionally some good ones too. All this back and forth is exactly why we haven’t written a mock draft yet this year. (Also, we are lazy and writing mock drafts is time consuming.) Instead, we have locked ourselves in separate, discourse-less bunkers, crafting our objectively correct opinions about every prospect in this year’s draft. Which leads us here. 7 rounds, 259 selections, only 7 trades because we gave up in the fourth round. Welcome to hell.
A few notes before we get to the picks. We both drafted for 16 teams and rigged it so that we had as close to the same number of total picks as possible. Alex started with an extra pick since there’s an odd number. We also rigged it so that we could both draft for our favorite teams, which could be any of our respective 16, depending on how you feel about the outcome of the draft. Even though we both “controlled” half the league, every pick was made more or less collaboratively, except the especially bad ones, which were all the result of one of us going rouge.
The list of teams we controlled and will accordingly be analyzing the picks for is below.
Alex’s Teams (@alexkatson)
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams
Josh’s Teams (@JoshBerg0611)
New York Jets
New York Giants
Las Vegas Raiders
Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints
Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs
1.1 Jacksonville Jaguars (Alex): Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Urban Meyer stopped going to pro days halfway through February. The Jaguars gave Lawrence the playbook already. Fans donated upwards of $11,000 to buy stuff from Lawrence’s wedding registry, donated a bunch of it to charity in his name, then Lawrence said he’d repay them by donating $20,000 to Jacksonville area charities. (Side note: why does a toaster need a touch screen?) Individually, perhaps these are not meaningful events to you. But also, Lawrence has been labeled football’s second coming since high school. It’s long been a foregone conclusion that he’d be the first pick of this draft, regardless of team.
1.2 New York Jets (Josh): Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Zach Wilson is nearly a lock here. The Jets sent Sam Darnold to Carolina and Zach Wilson has been all the talk for New York at number two. Although he is not my next best available QB, he will be the pick here at number two barring any new information. As long as Joe Douglas commits to surrounding him with talent and building up this roster around him, Wilson has a great chance to succeed. If he fails to do so, this could be Sam Darnold all over again.
1.3 San Francisco 49ers via Hou through mia (alex): Trey Lance, QB, North dakota State
The 49ers are reportedly down to Lance or Mac Jones, which is personally an indication that discourse is at an all-time low point and we need a hard cultural reset. (To be clear, Jones is a fine prospect. Just not at #3 overall, in my opinion.) Regardless, the Falcons reportedly have interest in Lance (and also sniffed around Fields a bit), so San Francisco’s choice to move up to #3 weeks before the draft screams that they’re looking at Fargo, North Dakota. Lance is an intriguing scheme fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which does a good job of getting receivers into space.
Remember that Shanahan is on record saying he wants someone who can do things “better than 98% of the people on this planet”. That doesn’t read as Mac Jones. Yes, McCorkle reportedly already has the pre-snap recognition skills of an NFL veteran, but reports are that Lance has interviewed nearly as well. Until I see San Francisco turn in the card with someone else’s name on it, I’m chalking this up as Trey Lance.
1.4 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Falcons are the first pick where you really have to dust the cobwebs off your brain and evaluate a litany of options. Picks 1 and 2 have essentially already been made and we know San Francisco is going QB at 3. But here at 4, new GM Terry Fontenot could: 1) make a splash and take a playmaker like Kyle Pitts, 2) trade down and accumulate assets for an impending rebuild, or 3) draft a quarterback of the future.
Personally, I think it makes the most sense to go for option 3. Yes, the Falcons just restructured Matt Ryan, theoretically tying him to the team until 2023. However, Atlanta can still get out of that contract next offseason if they designate Ryan a post-June 1 cut, which would lower his cap hit from 40 million to just under 25 million (assuming they can’t trade him, which they probably could). 25 million might sound like a lot, but also remember the cap is set to explode in the wake of new TV deals signed this offseason. The offseason after that, they can dump Ryan post-June 1 for 15 million dead cap.
Fields is also far better, in my opinion, than any of the quarterbacks you’d be able to get in 2022. That could change the calculus for Atlanta also, as good organizations generally don’t pick in the top 5 very often. Since you’re already there, why not take a swing on the future of your team?
1.5 Cincinnati Bengals (josh): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Conventional wisdom would suggest that this pick should easily be an offensive lineman. Both Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater would make a ton of sense here to help try and keep Joe Burrow upright. However, all signs are pointing towards reuniting Joe Burrow with his former college teammate: Ja’Marr Chase. Cincinnati is probably thinking the signing of veteran tackle Riley Reiff will help fix some of their protection issues, and although this may be true, Reiff’s contract is essentially a one year deal with the second year being a voidable year. You have to protect Burrow past this year. Regardless, adding Chase to a receiving corps of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd creates a very nice trio of weapons for Burrow to spread the ball around to, assuming he actually is given time to throw this season.
1.6 Miami Dolphins via PHI (Alex): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
We did this draft before the rumors that Miami wants to move down again came out, which I think makes it more likely that their eventual first pick is a receiver. Without the benefit of hindsight, however, I think it’s at least interesting to consider the Dolphins’ offensive line. Currently, from left to right, the starters figure to be Austin Jackson, Ereck Flowers, Matt Skura, Jesse Davis, and Robert Hunt. Jackson and Hunt are both 2020 draft picks, but have the flexibility to move to the right side and kick inside, respectively. Davis is fine, but not great, and will be on the wrong side of 30 this season. Flowers has performed well at guard, but he comes with a high price tag that the Dolphins can easily get out of next offseason.
Chris Grier hasn’t been afraid to go the BPA route before, considering he took Noah Igbinoghene at the end of the first last year with Byron Jones and Xavien Howard on the roster. Sewell is, for my money, by far the best player the Dolphins could get at 6. He’s also been training at right tackle, suggesting that both he and Jackson could switch sides if needed. It’d make for a bit of musical chairs, sure, but if they get it right, they could have one of the best lines in the league.
1.7 Detroit Lions (Josh): DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Lions are one of the hardest teams to mock draft for. And come draft day I expect them to trade down from this pick. They have a lot of needs and a brand-new coaching staff and front office with not very many draft picks. However, with no ideal trade spot right here, the Lions are sticking and picking. One of the most glaring needs for Detroit is at the wide receiver spot. They lost their two best pass-catchers from last season in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency this off-season, and new QB Jared Goff will need some help on the outside. DeVonta Smith might not be the biggest build for Dan Campbell’s “biting kneecaps” mentality, but there is no doubt that he is an excellent football player. He is coming off an historic receiving season, and although there are concerns about his size, in my opinion they are a little overblown. Smith can play and he can help give Goff a dynamic playmaker on the outside in an offense that lacks on badly right now.
1.8 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Kyle Pitts, TE, FLorida
Do the Panthers need a tight end? Probably not; I don’t think very many teams need a tight end the same way you need a quarterback or an offensive tackle. But the depth chart in Carolina is a bit uninspiring at the position: Dan Arnold, Ian Thomas, Colin Thompson, Giovanni Ricci. They sound like computer generated players, except for the one that sounds like an Italian computer generated player.
Carolina also could use a threat over the middle given the loss of Curtis Samuel. That need is amplified with new QB Sam Darnold in town, considering the leading receiver for the Jets in 2019 and 2020 was slot weapon Jamison Crowder. Directly comparing Pitts to Samuel and Crowder is like comparing apples to sheet metal, but he would give a MOF presence to open things up for the offense in year two of the Matt Rhule/Joe Brady era.
Projected trade: CHI trades 1.20, 3.83, 2022 2nd, and Nick Foles to DEN for 1.9
1.9 Chicago Bears via DEN (Josh): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Chaos is fun right? Insert our first trade into the mock. It is no secret that Denver has been all over the QB market this off-season. With rumors swirling that they were in on Matthew Stafford and they have attended all the major quarterbacks pro days in this draft class, while doing extra homework on Justin Fields and Trey Lance. Unfortunately for Denver, no quarterbacks inside the top 4 are available. So expect Denver to be looking for a trade partner to move down. The two teams that seem to make sense for a trade up for Mac Jones are New England and Chicago, but Chicago owns something that New England does not that could intrigue Denver a little more. A veteran QB that could push Drew Lock. This is a win-win trade for both teams, Chicago gets off the Nick Foles contract a year early, and Denver gets a veteran QB to push Drew Lock this season. In terms of the trade up for Mac Jones, I never viewed Andy Dalton as the long-term answer for the Bears, and now they can use him as a bridge QB for Jones who I don’t think is nearly as pro ready as some people want to believe. Would I take Jones inside the top 10? No. But I think it is pretty clear that he will be taken inside the top 10-12 picks.
1.10 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
In this situation, Dallas is precluded from trading up to do something silly like draft Kyle Pitts because Jerry Jones thinks a football team only consists of an offense. With an exorbitant salary cap bill on the offensive side of the ball, Dallas has to cut corners on the defensive end by drafting players and signing every ex-Falcon as soon as they hit free agency. Lucky for them, every single defensive player is still on the board in this scenario.
Surtain has been penned in for the Cowboys for what feels like months at this point, so I see no sense in deviating from that now. He’s got the length and press man ability to stick with bigger receivers like say, new division rival Kenny Golladay, but he’s also fluid enough to cover someone like Terry McLaurin. His ball skills are good enough that he’ll generate turnovers at a decent clip once he adjusts to the NFL game, too. With a Bama corner duo of Surtain and Trevon Diggs, Dallas might be on their way to having at least a palatable defense.
1.11 New York Giants (Josh): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
I know Dave Gettleman will want to go with an offensive or defensive lineman because he loves his big men in the trenches, but Waddle is way to good of a playmaker to pass up on. This is the make or break it year for Daniel Jones, if he is good then he’s the guy you can build around long-term, but if he struggles again the Giants have got to be looking elsewhere. Surrounding Jones with the most talent possible creates the highest possibility for him to succeed. Signing Kenny Golladay was a step in that direction, but it should not sway them away from taking a dynamic playmaker in Jaylen Waddle. He can be used in a variety of ways and if he hadn’t gotten hurt this season, I think more people would be on the WR1 train alongside me this year. Bringing in Waddle will add to a stacked WR corps with Slayton, Shepard and the aforementioned Golladay, as well as a returning Saquon Barkley. No more excuses for Daniel Jones.
1.12 Philadelphia Eagles via SF through MIA (Alex): Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Having successfully played themselves out of one of the top 3 receivers, the Eagles instead pivot to corner, where they currently have Darius Slay and a couple Old Navy mannequins on the roster. Again, this draft occurred before the rumors that the Eagles want to trade back up into the top 10 broke, which also makes me think the Eagles know they might’ve played themselves here.
Horn might be my favorite player in the draft. He seems to carry himself with the kind of attitude every #1 lockdown corner in the NFL has, and it’s backed up on tape. He’s a long, ballhawking corner, a lot like Surtain, that should stick as a team’s outside corner for years to come.
1.13 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Protecting Justin Herbert’s blindside should be the only thing on Tom Telesco’s mind this draft. The Chargers have done well to upgrade the offensive line already this offseason, adding Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, and Oday Aboushi on the interior. With a healthy Bryan Bulaga on the right side, the only glaring hole is at left tackle.
It’s been widely reported that some NFL teams have Slater higher than Penei Sewell, so perhaps it’s highway robbery that he’s still available at 13. Then again, CeeDee Lamb wasn’t supposed to be available at 17th overall in 2020. Derwin James wasn’t supposed to be available at 17th overall in 2018, either. Regardless, I have no qualms about Slater being able to stick at tackle, but the Chargers have an out to move him inside if it doesn’t work out, since Aboushi is on a one-year contract.
1.14 Minnesota Vikings (Josh): Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Mike Zimmer just coached his worst defensive unit of his entire coaching career last year. The Vikings defensive was awful. With the additions of Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson and the return of Danielle Hunter and Michael Pierce, there is no doubt that this defensive unit will be better than last year. I have been on team “draft offensive line in round one” for the entire draft process for Minnesota. Grabbing a guy like Samuel Cosmi, Alijah Vera-Tucker or trading down and taking Dillon Radunz are all options that if I was the GM, I would explore. However, everything I have heard has been defense in round one and then using their thousands of third and fourth round picks to jump back into the second round for offensive line needs. Whether that holds true or not come Thursday, we will find out. Kwity Paye is a fine player and he will fit well on the Vikings defense. Do I think taking him at pick 14 is a reach? Yes. But, in a predictive mock sometimes reaches happen. There is no way that Mike Zimmer doesn’t come out of this draft with a handful of defensive pieces he can play with and move around.
1.15 New England Patriots (alex): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
There’s no doubt that Parsons is a talented player, but the maturity issues are what will drive him down the board, perhaps even past this pick and on into the 20s. Predicting what New England will actually do come draft day is near impossible also, but they’ve taken risks on characters before with the confidence that their culture can afford to absorb them. Think Aaron Hernandez, who had numerous off-the-field concerns coming out of Florida in 2010. Antonio Brown has been a Patriot, as has Josh Gordon. For better or worse, New England has shown a willingness to bet on talent. With someone like Parsons, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think the Patriots would take another swing.
1.16 Arizona Cardinals (Josh): Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
I think this could’ve been Caleb Farley all day long if he hadn’t been battling injuries throughout the process, but with those injuries I expect him to fall down the board a little bit. I know the rumors swirling around right now is Arizona wants to trade up for a wide receiver like Waddle or Smith, but the Cardinals currently only have three starting caliber corners on their roster (and one of which they cut and brought back for the veterans minimum). Not exactly an ideal situation. Newsome is one of Draft Twitter’s favorite prospects in this draft and has benefitted the most from Farley’s injuries. He has soared up board and could very well be a top 20 pick, like he is here. Newsome can step in and be a day one boundary corner starter for Arizona, in a division where the Rams, Niners and Seahawks all have lethal receiving groups, this move is a no-brainer.
1.17 Las Vegas Raiders (josh): Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
I don’t think anybody has a clue what the Raiders are doing this off-season. I don’t even think the Raiders know what they are doing this off-season. Nevertheless, it was my job to try and predict what they were going to do with this pick. When the Raiders made the move to cut Maurice Hurst and Arden Key, Alex and I both immediately knew the direction we wanted to go with this pick. Mayock and Gruden have had a pretty consistent way of drafting over the last few years. Highly productive players from top division one schools. Christian Barmore fits that description fairly well, especially after his explosive second half of the season with the Crimson Tide. The Raiders have a massive need now at 3-tech and Barmore fills that role pretty well.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (alex): Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Creed Humphrey would’ve been a first round pick last year and he should be a first round pick this year, in my opinion. Whether or not he’s going to be is a bit of a question mark. This is where predictive mocks start to get tricky, as my bias about a player is always going to come into play a little bit, especially because I actually have no idea what 99% of these picks are going to be. Nobody outside of actual team personnel does, if we’re being honest with ourselves.
Did you notice we didn’t talk about Matt Skura when discussing the Sewell pick? That’s because we’re doing it now. Skura tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL in Week 12 of 2019, then came back and played poorly for the Ravens in 2020, including a number of bad snaps. Miami signed him to a one-year deal this offseason, presumably gambling that with more time since the injury, Skura will improve. If he doesn’t, however, Miami will need a replacement. Best to have insurance before you need it rather than scramble to find a solution, in my opinion.
1.19 Washington Football Team (Josh): Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Washington Football Team was full of amazing storylines last season. Anything from Alex Smith coming back after a near career-ending injury, to Taylor Heinicke playing well in a playoff game that was a lot closer than many expected. Point is, Ron Rivera is sending this team in the right direction, and although they still don’t have a long term answer at quarterback yet, they are ready to compete for a playoff spot again right now. Washington has a massive hole along their offensive line right now at the left tackle spot, after sending Trent Williams away to the 49ers last off-season. Darrisaw can slide in easily day one and be the left tackle of the future for Washington, protecting the blindside for whoever they decide to trot out at QB for the next few years.
1.20 Denver Broncos via CHI (Josh): Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
After trading down with Chicago, Denver gets a steal here in JOK. Owusu-Koramoah is one of the most unique and versatile players in this draft class. Imagining what Vic Fangio could do with him on defense is very exciting to think about. JOK can line at WILL, but he can also play in the slot, or as a box safety. He can really do it all. He has great range and athleticism, and is an immediate high-impact playmaker. Combining him with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller will instantly create one of the best linebacking corps in the entire league. I personally have Owusu-Koramoah as a top ten player on my board, but will likely fall further due to positional value, but with Denver being able to trade down from 9 and snag him is a great haul here in round one.
1.21 Indianapolis Colts (Alex): Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
This is another pick I’ve had penciled in for a while. With the retirement of Anthony Castonzo, Indianapolis has a gigantic hole at left tackle on an otherwise absolutely killer offensive line. A February report suggested the Colts may be looking at kicking Quenton Nelson outside, but this year’s tackle class is far superior to the interior class. That makes me think the Colts evaluate their options and go tackle at 21 (assuming they stay at this pick).
Cosmi is an absolute freak athlete, with a 4.84 40 at 6’ 6” and 314 lbs. In fact, he’s the second most athletic tackle ever, according to Kent Lee Platte’s RAS metric. First place is Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown, also in this year’s class. His technique is sloppy at best and disastrous at worst, but with Nelson at left guard, some of his mistakes will get mopped up as he grows into an NFL caliber tackle.
1.22 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Remember how I mentioned Caleb Farley a minute ago? His fall stops now. Tennessee made some interesting moves in the secondary this off-season by letting go of both Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson. This leaves a massive void in the secondary, even after the signing of Janoris Jenkins the depth behind him and Kristian Fulton is not great. If Farley did not have a shaky medical history, he would be a top ten pick in this draft. Even with the injuries he is still a top 12 player on my big board. He is that talented of a cover corner. He is someone that we could be looking at as an absolute steal later in the season if he manages to stay healthy for the duration of a regular season. Janoris Jenkins, Kristian Fulton and Caleb Farley is a very respectable and solid cornerback group for Tennessee, after losing two starters this off-season as salary cap casualties.
1.23 New York Jets via SEA (Josh): Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
The Jets secured their new franchise QB at number two, and now it is their job to build around him. Mekhi Becton was a monster at left tackle and projects to be a franchise blind-side protector. Now it is time to turn to the other side of the line and insert Teven Jenkins. Jenkins has the majority of his college experience at right tackle and would be a great compliment to Becton on the other side. If the Jets want this QB to workout better than the previous one did they have to protect him and surround him with weapons. They brought in Corey Davis to pair alongside Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder, now they have to keep Wilson upright. Becton and Jenkins instantly become one of the best young tackle duos in the league.
1.24 Pittsburgh Steelers (Josh): Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
This pick I have had in sharpie for the longest time. Everything you hear from the Pittsburgh side of things is surrounded by the run game. They want to improve their own run game, and want to help stop the opponents run game. James Conner is gone, and the rest of the current names in the backfield are not anything to celebrate about. Najee Harris is coming off a monster season and just screams “Pittsburgh Steeler” to me. He will add a power run dynamic that the Steelers have been lacking since Le’Veon Bell, and he can still make plays in the receiving game as well. Najee is the only running back worth taking in round one in my opinion, and the Steelers seem like the perfect fit to have that happen.
1.25 Jacksonville Jaguars via LAR (Alex): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC
Two popular Jags targets (Trevon Moehrig and Pat Freiermuth) are still on the board here at 25, but if I’m Jacksonville, I don’t see anyone between here and 33 as huge threats to take either of those players. With four picks in the top 50, I think they’re bound to take an offensive lineman at some point, so why not grab a falling Vera-Tucker?
As for why, let’s look at the depth chart. From left to right: Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Brandon Linder, AJ Cann, Jawaan Taylor. Robinson is on the franchise tag, which I believe was because Jacksonville didn’t like how sparse (and expensive!) the free agent tackle market was looking. Better to have Robinson, who is a solid player, protect Trevor Lawrence rather than strike out and have him running for his life. Norwell hasn’t played to the level of the 5 year, $66.5 million contract Jacksonville gave him in 2018 and can be released next offseason for just $3 million dead cap. It’d save the Jaguars $13 million.
This brings us back to Vera-Tucker, who I have graded as a guard but is being drafted as a tackle in this situation. He gives the Jaguars the flexibility to let Robinson hit free agency or to shed Norwell’s $16 million cap hit while also having a quality backup option should a lineman or two go down in 2021.
1.26 Cleveland Browns (Alex): Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
This pick is stolen directly from the brain of Cory Kinnan, who is a great follow for many reasons, but especially if you like the Browns and/or quarterback charts. Cleveland has just 3 receivers under contract beyond 2021: Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones flashed in his rookie year and should continue to develop. Beckham is coming off of a torn ACL, while Landry can be released next offseason to save the Browns $15 million.
Bateman’s 2020 tape was a marked decline from 2019, but remember that he had a nasty battle with COVID in June and Minnesota was installing a new offense with very little preparation time coming into 2020. Hopefully with another year between him and his illness and in a well-prepared offense, he returns to form. If he does, he’d be a home run pick for Cleveland. Plus, in this scenario, they snatch him away from the division rival Ravens, who badly need receiver help.
1.27 Baltimore Ravens (Josh): Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Azeez is one of my favorite players in this draft class. I think he brings a lot more versatility and offers a lot more athleticism than people tend to give him credit for. Baltimore is also currently at a crossroads with their pass rush as they lost both Yannick Ngakoue and Matthew Judon in free agency. Azeez best projects as an off ball linebacker in a 4-3, but Baltimore runs a lot of hybrid front looks, where I can see Ojulari thriving in. Baltimore likes to move a lot of people around and highlight their versatility, which is why I really like the fit here as Azeez can be used as an off-ball linebacker, or as a pass rush specialist in multi-front schemes. Ojulari is an instant upgrade over both Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser, who currently occupy the RUSH and SAM roles in Baltimore respectively. Azeez can be a part of a rotational group in Baltimore that hopes to get their pass rush back intact after losing some key contributors in the offseason.
1.28 New Orleans Saints (josh): Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Saints are always a difficult team to predict in mock drafts, so in this scenario I went with the best player available. The Saints defense was not very good last season, and their linebacker corps is completely decimated with losses of the like of Kwon Alexander and Alex Anzalone in the offseason. Zaven Collins offers as an excellent compliment to Demario Davis. Collins has freakish athleticism for his size and offers a variety of ways he can be used in the run and pass game.
1.29 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
I know Packer fans, and Aaron Rodgers, want an outside weapon to complement Davante Adams here, but with what Green Bay has consistently proven to not value wide receivers early in drafts. Luckily for them, it is a deep group this year, so waiting until the mid-later rounds to address the need is not a bad play. Green Bay is another very hard team to figure out this draft process because there are so many directions they can go. I opted for Jamin Davis here because Green Bay lacks athleticism in the middle of their defense, and Davis’ name has been receiving a lot of late first round buzz lately among the community. However, I would not be surprised to see this be a corner or offensive lineman come Thursday night.
1.30 Buffalo Bills (alex): Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Buffalo has gone on record saying their first round pick is going to be a long term move, not a short term one. To me, that screams edge rusher. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are 32 and 33, respectively, and Hughes only has one year left on his current contract. Yes, the Bills already took AJ Epenesa in the second round last year, but Phillips is a mega-talented player who’s only on the board at 30 because of some concerns over his history of concussions. For the short term, Buffalo can rotate Phillips in to give veterans a bit of rest and protect the rookie’s head for a year. For the long term, a duo of Phillips and Epenesa could grow into one of the more fearsome in the NFL.
1.31 Baltimore Ravens via KC (Josh): Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Don’t you love when a blockbuster trade shakes up the draft order right after you finished making all the picks for it? Yeah… me too. Regardless, Baltimore now holds this pick after sending away unhappy offensive lineman Orlando Brown to Kansas City. Picking up number 31 could allow Baltimore to get real aggressive in the draft to package both late first rounders to move up and get one of the elite receivers in this draft class, but ultimately I have them deciding to get Orlando Brown’s replacement here with Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg will go higher than most people believe in this draft simply because of his ability to play right away at tackle. Baltimore can replace Brown right away without missing a beat along the offensive line and gains some significant draft capital in the process.
1.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Tampa could pick pretty much anyone and I wouldn’t be overly surprised. Such is the luxury of being the Super Bowl champions and retaining most of your team. Running back has been a popular option for months, but bringing Leonard Fournette back and signing Giovani Bernard makes that a rather crowded room. Instead, let’s turn to the edge rushers, where Tampa is in a rather similar situation to Buffalo at 30. Jason Pierre-Paul is 32 with only 1 year left on his contract, so you’d imagine the Bucs have to at least begin to think about a long-term replacement.
Ossai is a traitsy pass-rusher who tested out of the gym and has plenty of room to grow. Texas had him pingpong between multiple positions up until 2020, when he settled into his role as a pure pass rusher. With at least a year to learn from JPP and Shaq Barrett opposite him, Ossai could blossom into a premier player as he polishes his game. Don’t be surprised if this pick is Penn State’s Jayson Oweh, perhaps an ever rawer pass rusher with the same set of intriguing athletic tools.
2.33 Jacksonville Jaguars (Alex): Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The NFL hates safeties. I don’t really know why, because in my opinion safeties are one of the more important positions on the defensive side of the ball. A premier talent like Derwin James slipped to 17, while solid players like Tre Boston get frozen out of the free agency market until the summer every year. So, even though I think Moehrig is the best safety available this year, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he slipped to the second round.
Jacksonville would be ecstatic in that scenario, considering they desperately need a true center fielder on the back end of their secondary. That huge need is what makes him an option at 25 as well. He’s not stellar in run support, but new acquisition Rayshawn Jenkins is more than capable, which gives Moehrig the room to play his best role as the cleanup man deep down the field.
2.34 New York Jets (Josh): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
I will be the first to admit that I did not like watching Gregory Rousseau’s tape at all, but there is no doubting the incredible athletic gifts and raw potential that he does have. I have pinpointed the Jets as the ideal spot for him, whether that is at 23 or here at 34, the majority of the draft process for a few reasons. The Jets have a major need at pass rusher. Even after the signing of Carl Lawson, they still need somebody to help get to the quarterback. Rousseau needs some time to refine his technique and learn some nuances of the position. The Jets are in no position to compete for a playoff spot this season, so that allows Rousseau to be integrated into the defense and take some time to develop.
2.35 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
Surprised to not see Travis Etienne? I don’t blame you, but this pick comes down to a schematic fit in my opinion. Williams has the bruising qualities new coach Arthur Smith is used to from Derrick Henry in Tennessee, while Etienne is a bit more of a finesse runner. That’s not to say Williams is Derrick Henry; nobody is. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him head to Atlanta, especially given their recent release of Ito Smith, which leaves the cabinet a bit barren. Free agent Mike Davis is a nice addition and fits the style well, but he’s not really a primary back in the NFL. Williams has all the tools to be one. With a new backfield of Lance and Williams, Atlanta would have a very appealing foundation for the rebuild that is likely coming soon.
2.36 Miami Dolphins via HOU (Alex): Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Elijah Moore is exactly what the Dolphins offense is missing. With two contested catch artists on the outside in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams, Miami needs an effective weapon over the middle. It’s an especially important complement to Tua Tagovailoa, who at times looked hesitant to push the ball down the field as a rookie. The Dolphins sort of addressed this by signing Will Fuller, but I don’t think you can trust him to stay healthy for a full year. He’s also only on a one year contract, so having a long-term insurance plan in case he doesn’t perform to expectations is never a bad plan.
2.37 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
The Eagles WR room is still bad, in case you forgot. Jalen Reagor struggled through injuries his rookie year, JJ Arcega-Whiteside is….not improving, Travis Fulgham and Greg Ward are fun stories but probably not core players, etc. etc. Philadelphia invested a fair bit in the position this time last year, with Reagor, Quez Watkins, and John Hightower, but Marshall would add a new dimension to this offense. His best utilization is probably as a Z, but he’s more than capable of plugging in as a true #1 receiver at X, too. He’d probably have to do the latter in Philly, but having anybody with versatility that the Eagles could move around will help Jalen Hurts.
2.38 Cincinnati Bengals (Josh): Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
The Bengals had their fun at pick five by reuniting Joe Burrow with his former teammate Ja’Marr Chase, now it is time to make sure that Joe Burrow doesn’t lose his leg on the football field by keeping him upright. Reiff and Williams are solid bookend tackles but the interior needs some work. Reiff is also on a one-year contract, which is why Dillon Radunz. Radunz, I think, offers some flexibility at guard, at least in the short-term while Reiff is still there. I think Radunz is somebody that we could see sneak into the backend of round one, but he falls to Cincinnati here early round two.
2.39 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
Joseph is more of a projection than most corners in this draft. Yes, Newsome and Farley have injury histories, but Joseph has only played 20 career games without ever missing time due to injury. That’s 9 games at LSU in 2018, a year off in 2019 due to transfer rules, then 11 at Kentucky in 2020, where he came into his own. That sort of inexperience makes me hesitant to say Joseph will be a quality player from day one, as his lack of consistent recognition might get him abused until he gets more reps.
Carolina brought in AJ Bouye this offseason to pair with Donte Jackson, who has been good but not great during his young career. Bouye theoretically gives Carolina a chance to bring Joseph along a bit more slowly, rather than throwing him into the fire right away against the quality receivers of the NFC South. In three years, Joseph could look like the steal of the draft, or he could be someone getting ready to pack his bags and move cities after his rookie contract is up.
2.40 Denver Broncos (Josh): Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
I cannot think of a player who is more of a raw projection in this draft than Jayson Oweh. Drawing comparisons to Danielle Hunter (which I find a little ridiculous), he is an absolute freak of nature athletically, but lacked college production to pair with his crazy traits. This is why I like the fit here in Denver, as who better to learn from than Von Miller? Miller cannot play forever and coming off of a season ending ankle injury last season, looking towards the future and finding his replacement is something Denver should strongly consider doing at some point in this draft. Taking Oweh will allow him to be a part of a rotation with Miller and Bradley Chubb allowing Denver to keep their pass rushers fresh, and hopefully healthy for the duration of the season.
2.41 Detroit Lions (Josh): Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
The Lions linebackers are not good. Come to think of it, I can’t even tell you the last time that the Lions had some solid linebacker play. DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch back in 2013? It’s been awhile. Detroit has taken many swings on prospects such as Jarrad Davis and Jahlani Tavai in recent years, but to no success. Jabril Cox is one of the better, if not the best, coverage linebacker in the draft. Cox can play both in the middle and on the outside, although I do project him as a better fit as a outside backer in the long term. The Lions just need to add good football players to a very weak roster and Jabril Cox is exactly that.
2.42 New York Giants (Josh): Landon Dickerson, IOL, ALabama
Remember that part earlier in this draft when I said it is a make it or break it year for Daniel Jones? You kind of have to protect him in order for him to play well. Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart I both think can play as starting caliber tackles in this league, but the interior of this offensive line needs significant work. Will Hernandez has underperformed, and I don’t have faith in any of the other various pieces to protect Jones either. Landon Dickerson has had some serious injuries occur over the last few seasons, including a torn ACL in the SEC Championship game in December. However, Dickerson (once fully healthy) will provide much needed flexability along the Giants offensive line with the ability to play either guard or tackle. Adding him with Thomas, Peart and hopefully a rebound year from Hernandez, the Giants hopefully can have some stability along the offensive line that they have lacked for the last few seasons.
Projected trade: MIN trades 3.78, 4.119, and 5.157 to SF for 2.43 and 7.230
2.43 Minnesota Vikings via SF (Josh): Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State
I alluded to this move earlier in the mock draft, but I fully expect Minnesota to package a combination of their 9 picks in the latter portion of this draft to make a move back into round two if they don’t move up in the first round for Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater. In this scenario, Minnesota stayed at 14 and went defense so now they attack the offensive line. The theory here is San Francisco is looking to make up some picks they lost for trading up to select a QB at three, so they take the haul of mid rounders from Minnesota to move back. Wyatt Davis has been a name on Vikings fans radars for the last two years, and has been one of the most consistent lineman of the last few years in college football. Much like Dickerson, he would be taken a lot higher if he wasn’t coming off an injury, that lingered all season long and one that ultimately knocked him out of the National Championship Game. Davis does project at right guard, which allow the Vikings to move Ezra Cleveland to the left tackle spot that he was destined to take over when he was drafted in the second round last season. Minnesota is filling two voids on the offensive line with one selection here, and hopefully they can now keep Kirk Cousins away from pressure this season.
2.44 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Levi Onwuzurike, IDL, Washington
Onwuzurike is one of those players that the NFL seems to be far higher on than the plebeians are, so it’s likely that he won’t be here by 44. If he is, though, Dallas should sprint the card to the podium. The Washington lineman is a Texas high school product, so the connection is there. He’s a disruptive presence on the interior, something Dallas has been missing for a few years, but he’s also a stout run defender. The pair of Onwuzurike and Neville Gallimore gives the Cowboys two flexible interior linemen who can stop the run and get upfield to the quarterback. We’ve heard that opt out players might fall a bit due to a lack of recent tape, so perhaps this is in the cards, but Dallas might find themselves needing to trade up to make this pick.
2.45 Jacksonville Jaguars via MIN (Alex): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Well, look at that! Jacksonville gets Trevor Lawrence, an offensive lineman of the future, and their two rumored targets in the back half of the first round. Having four top 50 picks will do that, I guess. In any case, Freiermuth fills in the only hole really left on Jacksonville’s offense, where the starting TEs are currently slated to be James O’Shaughnessy and Chris Manhertz. O’Shaughnessy is a fine player, but not really a TE1, while Manhertz is essentially a sixth lineman. With Freiermuth in the fold, Lawrence would have DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, and the Penn State product to throw to. That’s probably one of the better supporting casts for a rookie QB, to be honest.
2.46 New England Patriots (Alex): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
It wouldn’t be a Patriots draft without scooping up more offensive linemen, would it? Generally, Patriots second rounders are bad corners, but with Leatherwood still on the board, I think the urge for linemen will win out. New England doesn’t really need an immediate upgrade, per se, but Leatherwood can play four spots on the line. That gives the Patriots flexibility to use him as a sixth lineman or injury replacement his rookie year. Beyond that, Trent Brown is a free agent next year, possibly opening a spot at RT, especially given New England’s propensity to accumulate compensatory picks.
2.47 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Much has been made of the Chargers’ needs along the offensive line, and I wouldn’t hate it if they went OL with both their first two picks. However, corner has always been this team’s second biggest need, even before the release of Casey Hayward. Michael Davis played very well in 2020, earning himself an extension to continue as Los Angeles’ CB2. Chris Harris stays in the slot, where he performed well last year even as he reaches what presumes to be the twilight of his career. What they’re missing is a CB1, especially given Brandon Staley’s history on the other side of town with Jalen Ramsey. Stokes is far from that mold at this stage, but he has the potential to get there eventually if he cleans up his technique. In the meantime, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Chargers implement a bit more match-zone coverage, given that new defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill comes from Denver, where head coach Vic Fangio uses match-zone in spades.
2.48 Las Vegas Raiders (Josh): Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
Versatility. Athleticism. Big time school. All of these are words that Mike Mayock looks for when selecting players in the draft. All of these words also describe Ohio State linebacker Baron Browning. Browning is a prospect that is kind of hard to figure out where he is going to play in the NFL, but he possesses all the necessary attributes to be used in a few different areas on the defense. Talking with other people in the community some people see him as a designated pass rusher, others view him filling a SAM type role, and some believe he can play in the middle as a MIKE. What everybody can agree on is he is an athletic freak. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, having athletic playmakers all over the defense is a must.
2.49 Arizona Cardinals (Josh): Travis Etienne, RB, CLemson
I can hear the comments now “What about James Conner?” Well? What about him? Taking James Conner should not deter the Arizona Cardinals from trying to find an electric playmaker in the backfield. Especially a team that is in a very competitive division, and that is in win-now mode. I personally feel that Etienne is not only a great compliment to James Conner, but also a really fun fit in this offense. Etienne is a fast back, that has one of the quickest first steps I have ever evaluated. Kliff Kingsbury loves his playmakers and has no issues loading up on offense. Etienne gives him another weapon for Kyler Murray.
2.50 Miami Dolphins (Alex): Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
Werner is a Draft Twitter favorite who’s beginning to get buzz as a surprise first rounder. While that’s a bit rich for my blood, I love Werner as a versatile piece who can play any linebacker spot without much drop-off in his performance. He’s even been flexed to safety in Ohio State, which isn’t a role he’s going to play in the NFL, but does show the fluidity he plays the game with. That’s the type of player Miami has seemed to love since bringing in Brian Flores, who runs the same multiple, hybrid defense the Patriots use. With a whopping 7 linebackers set to hit free agency after 2021, including starter Jerome Baker, Werner can carve out a role as a sub package SAM before heaping more on his plate as an every-down player.
2.51 Washington Football Team (josh): Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
I’m going to be one hundred percent honest here. This pick was made strictly because the thought of it happening is a lot of fun. Combining Kadarius Toney with a wide receiver duo of Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel would become one of the most fun and dynamic wide receiver groups in the entire league. Toney is a player who some have put in the round one discussion, but with the depth at receiver in this class I don’t see him going that high. Toney’s versatility and speed will be valued by a lot of NFL teams in this draft as the NFL tries to copy the success of the Kansas City Chiefs.
2.52 Chicago Bears (Josh): Daviyon Nixon, IDL, Iowa
There have been rumors all offseason of Akiem Hicks no longer being on the Chicago Bears this season whether that is via trade or eventual release. Even if the Bears keep Hicks, he is going to be 32 and finding an eventual replacement on the interior could be a priority. Nixon projects best to me as a 3-tech, who can really push the line of scrimmage. However according to Bob McGinn of The Athletic, there are some character red flags with Nixon. Multiple teams have reportedly removed him completely off their boards, and other teams have lowered him substantially because of those concerns. Definitely something to monitor come this weekend.
2.53 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The loss of Corey Davis to the Jets really put a hole at the WR2 spot in Tennessee. AJ Brown is terrific, but he can’t catch everything himself. Tennessee did bring in Josh Reynolds via free agency, but the depth chart outside of those two is scary to look at. Rondale Moore is a phenomenal playmaker that can be used in a multitude of ways. I, for one, know I am way higher on Moore than most evaluators, and I think this is a steal. He can be used in a multitude of ways including on special teams. Something to watch is going to be where he ends up, as some teams will have concerns about his height and also the injury history which could cause him to fall down the board come draft night but he is easily a top 40 player for me.
2.54 Indianapolis Colts (Alex): Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
Last time the Colts took an incredibly athletic pass rusher, they ended up with Ben Banogu, who hasn’t gotten consistent snaps. Turner is even more athletic according to RAS – 9.74 to 9.70 – but don’t be alarmed, Colts fans. The Houston edge rusher is a far better player coming out than Banogu was, so you’re not looking at another 2-3 year project here. EDGE has been a need in Indianapolis for what feels like a decade, ever since Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis left town. With Turner, Indy might finally get back to having a defensive line to fear.
2.55 Pittsburgh Steelers (JOsh): ELijah Molden, CB, Washington
When looking at the Steelers depth chart there is a gaping hole in the secondary at cornerback. As much as I love Minkah Fitzpatrick and how versatile of a playmaker he is, he cannot play every position in the secondary at the same time. Joe Haden is aging and the rest of the names currently on their roster are uninspiring. Elijah Molden is a versatile piece that projects as a shutdown nickel in the NFL. Some want to move him to safety, and I think he can perform fine there, but his value to me is as a top tier nickel corner in this class. He has an incredibly high level football IQ, and it shows with his rare instincts for the football. His ability to read QBs and lure them into making ill-advised throws was extremely impressive. Getting a player of Molden’s caliber and instant ability to start week one as a secondary player is a luxury here.
2.56 Seattle Seahawks (Alex): Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
I think Seattle trades down in every situation except one come draft time. After all, they only have 3 picks in the whole draft, with more than 3 holes to plug if they want to get a leg up on fellow contenders in the NFC. Plus, it’s the Seahawks! Trading down is their thing!
That one situation is if Ifeatu Melifonwu is on the board. He screams Seahawks corner: 6’2” and a half, 205 lbs, 32” arms with a 4.48 40. He’s tall, long, physical, athletic, a great fit for a zone team. There’s a few corners like that available in this draft (Benjamin St-Juste and Jason Pinnock come to mind), but none better than Melifonwu.
In my opinion, there’s no way Melifonwu should even make it this far. But NFL teams are cautious when given context, and Melifonwu’s brother Obi was a freak athlete who didn’t pan out as a pro. Perhaps that (unfairly) drives Ifeatu down the board, but I think Seattle would gladly stop his slide if given the chance.
2.57 Los Angeles Rams (Alex): Quinn Meinerz, IOL, Wisconsin-Whitewater
With Austin Blythe on his way to Kansas City, the Rams need a long-term replacement at center. With Landon Dickerson off the board earlier this round, it’s not particularly likely that either one of Meinerz or Josh Myers make it to the Rams’ next pick at 88. With not much ammo to trade up, the options settle at trading back or taking Meinerz now.
Meinerz has done more than enough to warrant consideration this high, so taking him now seems like the better option. He manhandled D3 competition at Wisconsin-Whitewater, held his own at the Senior Bowl, and tested as the second-most athletic center of all time. (First was Creed Humphrey, who went earlier.) He’s also the rare small school prospect who should be ready to play from day one. For a Rams team without many pressing needs, a plug and play starter at center might be all they need to get over the hump in the NFC.
2.58 Kansas City Chiefs via BAL (Josh): Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
Two months ago I would’ve projected the Chiefs to have taken an offensive lineman with every single pick in the draft. Fast-forward to now and they’ve acquired three former pro bowlers, and have a total of four brand-new veteran starters along the offensive line. They turned one of the worst units in the league to arguably one of the best offensive line units in the league. I believe Kansas City should look into adding a piece or two in the secondary to try and get production on a more consistent basis. This corner back class is one of the deepest positions in the draft this year. I currently have 11 inside my top 100. This is a very talented group. Asante Samuel is one of the smoothest corners in this class, especially in man coverage. He has incredibly fluid hips and quick feet that give receivers issues coming off the line of scrimmage. He is undersized at 5’10 for a boundary corner, but his technique and his ability to read a receiver is impressive. He played mostly man coverage at Florida State, so taking time to learn the rotating Tampa 2 looks that Kansas City likes to use will be a learning curve for him, but with his instincts and technical skill set I do not see that as a problem.
2.59 Cleveland Browns (Alex): Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
Linebacker? Never heard of it. Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley are fine additions; Clowney probably a solidly good one. That said, they’re both on one year deals, and Clowney figures to be playing a bit more on the interior this year. Thinking about the future, EDGE is still a bit of a need opposite Myles Garrett.
Perkins figures to be a pass rush specialist early in his career, given his developing discipline in the run game. It pairs nicely with Clowney in particular, who’s a bit more of a run stopper that doesn’t necessarily produce gaudy sack numbers. Let Perkins get some run defense lessons from the former #1 overall pick and he could turn into a complete (and very good!) NFL starter.
2.60 New Orleans Saints (Josh): Alim McNeill, IDL, North Carolina State
The Saints have a massive gaping hole at nose tackle along their defensive line. There are also very few true 1-techniques in this draft class that I believe can have immediate impact on the defense and can start right away. One of those guys that can is Alim McNeill. A former high school linebacker underwent a position change at NC State becoming a defensive tackle. Although not a great pass rusher, McNeill comes in as an early down run stuffer with a great first step off the snap. Although new to the position, McNeill is no project player. Some refinement in pass rush moves and he can become a long term starter at nose tackle.
2.61 Buffalo Bills (Alex): Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
The play at slot corner struggled enough in Buffalo this year that people were writing articles about upgrading the position at the trade deadline in October. Buffalo then declined to make a move at the deadline or in free agency, so I’m pretty comfortable saying this is still a need for them. While the Bills lose out on Elijah Molden in this scenario, Robinson is a more than adequate consolation prize.
A former Alabama commit, Robinson found his calling as a slot corner at UCF, where he performed well in both man and zone. He’s also perfectly capable in run support, a major plus for Buffalo considering they run nickel as their base defense. The Bills are another team a piece or two away from truly giving the AFC a run for their money, and adding defensive firepower to stop the likes of Kansas City is a must.
2.62 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Aaron. You’re welcome. As much as I would love to give them a backup running back, a fullback or even a punter, I decided to go in a different direction. There is no way this actually happens because Green Bay doesn’t believe in giving their QB weapons, but after years of pleading and needing a number two receiver opposite of Davante Adams number 12 gets what he asks for. Brown is one of my personal favorite prospects in this draft class and I am higher on him than most. I chose Brown here over some of the other receivers available because of his versatility. He can line up in the slot or outside, and possess incredible vertical speed. Green Bay had many big play opportunities missed because their receivers were unable to catch the ball, having Brown as a number two option will help fix that issue.
2.63 Kansas City Chiefs (Josh): Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The weakest part of the Kansas City roster is their linebacker unit. They selected Willie Gay last season in the second round, but he was primarily utilized only when the Chiefs were in their base personnel groupings. Assuming he takes the jump into the starting lineup after the Damien Wilson departure is expected. However, looking at the rest of this group there are a lot of unknowns. The NFL Draft community as a whole is very split on Nick Bolton. Some really love him, and some like myself are a lot lower on him. I think Bolton is a fine player that can eventually be a starting MIKE in this league. Kansas City has the luxury of attacking some plug and play needs in this draft due to a loaded roster, and Bolton can plug and play at linebacker if he was asked to do so.
2.64 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Jay Tufele, IDL, USC
After addressing the future on the edge in round one, Tampa shifts to the future of the interior, where Ndamukong Suh (34) and William Gholston (29) are set to become free agents in 2022. With Vita Vea at nose tackle, the Bucs need an heir apparent at 3-tech, which is where Tufele comes in. There’s a few times where his instincts in the run game don’t look to be all the way there yet, which is fine when you have Vea to clean up your mess. As a pass rusher, he’s violent and explosive, sending guards reeling. It’s a typical reloading pick to insure against a Suh decline or possible departure in free agency, and it gives the Bucs a ridiculously stacked defensive line in the short term as well.
3.65 Jacksonville Jaguars (Alex): Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Dynamic receiving back to pair with James Robinson and add more options for Trevor Lawrence.
3.66 New York Jets (Josh): Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee
Protect your young QB. Pretty simple game. Smith is a mauler and the Jets have massive holes at both guard spots.
3.67 Houston Texans (Alex): Richie Grant, S, UCF
Welcome to the draft Houston! Grant is a plug and play safety who could slip because of positional value (see: Moehrig, Trevon) and age (he turns 24 in November).
3.68 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
Versatile safety coming off a torn ACL who can help offset the losses in Atlanta’s secondary this offseason.
3.69 Cincinnati Bengals (Josh): Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake FOrest
Bengals lost Carl Lawson and lack of depth at pass rush is concerning. Getting Basham allows for a three man rotation up front.
3.70 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Potential Zach Ertz replacement who’s stout as a run blocker and produced in spades as a receiver at Boston College.
3.71 Denver Broncos (Josh): Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Developmental right tackle option that could replace Ja’Waun James after this season if he cleans up some technical deficiencies.
3.72 Detroit Lions (Josh): Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
The Lions secondary is bad. Like really bad. Holland instantly becomes their starting free safety with nickel flexibility week one.
3.73 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Someone is going to bet on Little’s athletic upside even though he hasn’t played in almost two years. Carolina can afford to give him time to develop.
3.74 Washington Football Team via SF (Josh): Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Washington’s linebackers need some help. McGrone is one of “my guys” this year, and could step into the starting MIKE role week one.
3.75 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB
Developmental edge rusher who can play standing up or with a hand in the dirt thanks to a 6’6” frame.
Projected Trade: SF trades 3.102, 4.119, and 5.155 to NYG for 3.76
3.76 San Francisco 49ers via NYG (Alex): Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State
San Francisco trades up to grab a center of the future to develop behind or next to Alex Mack. Myers can also play guard, similar to how Atlanta used Matt Hennessy next to Mack in 2020.
3.77 Los Angeles Chargers: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
A victim of the opt-out tax in this scenario, Tryon has gotten first round buzz in recent months. Los Angeles needs a rotational edge rusher after the departure of Melvin Ingram to pair with the emerging Uchenna Nwosu opposite Joey Bosa.
3.78 San Francisco 49ers via MIN (Alex): Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Speedster corner with the tools to play press man coverage, although results varied while at Georgia. Ideally could rotate in and learn from Jason Verrett during his rookie year.
3.79 Las Vegas Raiders via ARI (Josh): Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
A player I expect to go a lot higher come draft night, but Vegas needs help along the O-Line after losing the majority of their starters this offseason.
3.80 Las Vegas Raiders (Josh): Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU
Jonathan Abram has been underwhelming, and Karl Joseph is on a one year deal. Safety is a problem for the Raiders. Washington is a versatile playmaker that projects as a starting free safety in the NFL.
3.81 Miami Dolphins (Alex): Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed were fine in 2020, but Gainwell would give Miami a new dimension on offense. More than capable as a receiver, giving Tua a reliable bailout option out of the backfield.
3.82 Washington Football Team (Josh): Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC
Landon Collins’ contract has a potential out after this year, and he has been underwhelming since arriving in Washington. Hufanga is a potential replacement.
3.83 Denver Broncos via CHI (Josh): Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
Developmental QB with traits if Drew Lock doesn’t work out? Sure? Mond is going to go higher than people think. In this scenario he doesn’t have to be thrown into fire anytime soon.
3.84 Philadelphia Eagles via IND (Alex): Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Play Collins at X and Terrace Marshall Jr. at Z. Jalen Reagor in the slot with Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, and Quez Watkins rotating in. All of a sudden that room seems not as bad.
3.85 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
One of my favorite fits in the draft. Losing Jonnu Smith hurts and Tremble can slide in and fill that void.
3.86 New York Jets via SEA (Josh): Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Production from the tight end spot has been a rarity from the Jets since the days of Dustin Keller. Time to change that. Surround your young QB with talent.
3.87 Pittsburgh Steelers (Josh): Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pitt
With Bud Dupree departing, Alex Highsmith will take the starting spot. Weaver steps in as the third rotational pass rusher.
3.88 Los Angeles Rams (Alex): Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
A group of Troy Reeder, Micah Kiser, and Kenny Young is uninspiring at best. Surratt is still getting used to the position but gave Clemson fits in 2019, boding well for his development.
3.89 Cleveland Browns (Alex): Tommy Togiai, IDL, Ohio State
After the release of Sheldon Richardson, Cleveland could use another option on the interior with Andrew Billings, Jordan Elliott, and Malik Jackson. Togiai will primarily be a 1-tech in the NFL, which fits nicely.
3.90 Minnesota Vikings via BAL (Josh): Brady Christensen, OT, BYU
Potential left tackle starter for Minnesota. Allows Ezra Cleveland to stay at right guard if the Vikings wanted him to do so.
3.91 Cleveland Browns via NO (Alex): Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
Boundary corner who has experience inside, outside, and at safety; versatility that Cleveland will like as they continue to shift to a three safety system. Possible insurance policy on the outside if Greedy Williams doesn’t return from injury as the same player.
3.92 Green Bay Packers (Josh): D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
A three year starter at tackle in college that projects as a guard in the NFL. Smith can plug and play at either guard spot, who likely will fill Elgton Jenkins place as he moves to center to replace the departed Cory Linsley.
3.93 Buffalo Bills (Alex): Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Any time you can add the Egyptian sun god, you probably should. St. Brown could split reps in the slot with All-Pro receiver Cole Beasley or split out wide and provide matchup problems along with Stefon Diggs.
3.94 Baltimore Ravens via KC (Josh): Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
A versatile gadget style player that will allow Baltimore to get creative offensively as they try to surround Lamar with more help.
3.95 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Every quarterback on the Bucs roster is over 30 and Tom Brady (presumably) won’t live forever. Mills has limited tape but sitting him for a year or two might lead to huge dividends.
3.96 New England Patriots (alex): D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
Eskridge gives the Patriots a field-stretcher they’re currently lacking, despite signing 2 receivers this offseason. Whether or not the QB can get the ball to him is a different issue.
3.97 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Kendrick Green, IOL, Illinois
Green has been rising up draft boards for the past few months and can play all three positions on the interior. He gives the Chargers an insurance policy should someone get injured, nearly a given considering this is the Chargers we’re talking about.
3.98 New Orleans Saints (Josh): Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
With a lack of a true number two receiver on the roster, Wallace can at least come in and compete for that spot for whomever they decide to start at QB.
3.99 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Center fielder type safety that adds versatility to a revamped Cowboys secondary. A bit of a roamer in coverage that creates a boom-or-bust play style.
3.100 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Marlon Tuipulotu, IDL, USC
Plug and play starter alongside Jeffrey Simmons on the defensive line. Tennessee struggled to get to the backfield last season so adding bodies along the front should be a priority.
Projected Trade: PHI sends 4.123, 6.189, and 7.240 to DET for 3.101
3.101 Philadelphia Eagles via DET (Alex): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Philly needs linebacker help and the list is getting thin. Here, they bet on Moses returning to the player he was before his torn ACL in 2019. With 4 picks left even after this trade, they can afford to give up a bit of capital to take that risk.
3.102 New York Giants via SF (Josh): Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami
After trading down and going offense heavy earlier in the draft, New York gets a situational front seven player to help their struggling pass rush attack.
Projected Trade: ATL sends 4.108 and 5.182 to LAR for 3.103
3.103 Atlanta Falcons via LAR (Alex): Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia
The Rams need a bit more capital, coming in with only 6 picks. The Falcons need a guard to slide in to the spot vacated by Matt Hennessy moving to center. Cleveland is an absolute mauler who will open up the run game.
3.104 Baltimore Ravens (Josh): Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Lamar’s receivers tend to drop the ball a lot. Taking a few shots at some outside threats, and hoping one of them pan out is not such a bad idea.
3.105 New Orleans Saints (josh): Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa
BPA approach here. Elerson Smith is criminally underrated in this process and gives the Saints some flexibility with their pass rushers.
4.106 Jacksonville Jaguars (Alex): Hamilcar Rashed Jr., EDGE, Oregon State
Rotational edge rusher who can drop into coverage as well. Jacksonville lacks quality depth beyond Josh Allen, K’Lavon Chaisson, and Dawuane Smoot.
4.107 New York Jets (Josh): Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan
The Jets roster as a whole is awful. Their secondary is full of unproven young players. Ambry Thomas can fill nickel role if Brian Poole isn’t resigned.
4.108 Los Angeles Rams via ATL (Alex): Aaron Banks, IOL, Notre Dame
Austin Corbett is a free agent in 2022 and investing in the offensive line is never a bad idea given the amount of injuries that pile up at the position. Banks is a bit scheme specific, which could drop him into Day 3 despite Day 2 talent.
4.109 Houston Texans (Alex): Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Every Stanford player is a massive projection this year. With a rebuild already coming and perhaps turning into an entire teardown pending Deshaun Watson’s legal situation, Houston can afford to give Adebo time to grow on the outside.
4.110 Cleveland Browns via PHI (Alex): Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia
An athletic option at WILL in Cleveland’s defense. Struggles a bit when his instincts fail him, but he’s usually at least around the ball even if he’s not the one making the final stop.
4.111 Cincinnati Bengals (Josh): Jackson Carman, OT/G, Clemson
Don’t let Joe Burrow die. Another lineman that has positional versatility gives Cincinnati many options to fix their mess of an offensive front.
4.112 Detroit Lions (Josh): Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
I know he’s a meme in the community at this point now, but if you play him at nickel, Shaun Wade can shine. Wade also ironically reunites with Jeffrey Okudah in secondary.
4.113 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue
Carolina missed the retired Luke Kuechly dearly in 2020 and nobody is ever going to truly replace him. Barnes has a shot to work his way into that rotation and his special teams value will buy him more time to get there.
4.114 Denver Broncos (Josh): Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State
Melvin Gordon is the clear-cut starter in Denver, but after Lindsay’s departure, a running mate is needed with Denver favoring a RB by committee approach.
4.115 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): James Hudson III, OT, Cincinnati
The definition of developmental tackle, I think Hudson could play on either side. Dallas needs an insurance plan for an aging Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, who’s coming off a nasty hip injury.
4.116 New York Giants (Josh): Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama
Dave Gettleman loves his “hog mollies”. Protecting Daniel Jones still a priority here with the choice of Deonte Brown.
4.117 San Francisco 49ers (Alex): Shi SMith, WR, South Carolina
San Francisco has a type and I don’t see why they’d deviate now. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Smith would present matchup nightmares to opposing defenses, even if none of them present true X receiver ability.
4.118 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Kenny Yeboah, TE, Mississippi
Yeboah is a bit limited, but I think he’s limited in many of the same ways Hunter Henry was. With Henry now in New England, the Chargers and Justin Herbert could use a replacement to pair with the ascending former XFL standout Donald Parham Jr.
4.119 New York Giants via MIN through SF (Josh): Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
See explanation for Deonte Brown, and apply it here to this pick. Same principle.
4.120 New England Patriots (Alex): Bobby Brown III, IDL, Texas A&M
Brown profiles as a developmental 1-tech and doesn’t turn 21 until August. That makes him a nice vessel for coaching for any team, especially New England. With no big names on the line, Brown could emerge as the best interior defender on the team.
4.121 Las Vegas Raiders (Josh): Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
Vegas has cycled through so many corners the last few years, and none of them have produced at a high level. Rochell offers a solid press-man corner who can develop into a starting boundary corner.
4.122 New England Patriots via ARI (Alex): Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Cam Newton has one year on his deal, which strikes me as a bit of a mentorship contract. Jarrett Stidham hasn’t proved that he’s worth any votes of confidence. Trask has been frequently billed as a Belichick-style QB and this class is running out of options.
4.123 Detroit Lions via MIA through PHI (Josh): Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pitt
Big athlete. Causes a lot of chaos at the line of scrimmage with his pass rush capabilities. Sounds like Dan Campbell has found his kneecap biter.
4.124 Washington Football Team (Josh): Robert Hainsey, OT, Notre Dame
Developmental lineman that has both guard and tackle flexibility. Potential replacement if Scherff leaves next offseason.
4.125 Minnesota Vikings via CHI (Josh): Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana
Anthony Harris replacement, Johnson showed a lot of flashes on tape in 2020 and helps fill out the secondary.
4.126 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Jaylon Moore, OT, Western Michigan
Offensive tackle with high upside, will need some development. There is a big void currently at right tackle currently for the Titans.
4.127 Indianapolis Colts (alex): Keith Taylor, CB, Washington
Long, press-man corner who lacks ball production but will be afforded at least a year to grow in this situation behind Xavier Rhodes, who had a bounceback year with the Colts. Has everything in the toolbox to grow into a quality NFL corner.
4.128 Pittsburgh Steelers (Josh): Drew Dalman, IOL, Stanford
Day one replacement for the recently retired Maurkice Pouncey, Dalman is one of the better centers available in this draft class.
Projected Trade: NO sends 4.133, 7.229, and a 2022 6th to SEA for 4.129
4.129 New Orleans Saints via SEA (Josh): Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
One of the Saints biggest needs is a corner opposite of Marshon Lattimore. With St-Juste falling a bit, they make a move to come get him here.
4.130 Jacksonville Jaguars via LAR (Alex): Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
Jacksonville needs players at safety, which motivated the Trevon Moehrig selection. Not everyone is a starter out of the gates, though, and Gillespie would be a viable backup option behind Moehrig, Rayshawn Jenkins, and Jarrod Wilson.
4.131 Baltimore Ravens (Josh): Tommy Doyle, OT, Miami (OH)
Developmental tackle for the Ravens, a player they can groom as a potential void filler for Orlando Brown who was traded earlier this week.
4.132 Cleveland Browns (Alex): Tyler Shelvin, IDL, LSU
Cleveland doubles down on the 1-techs to ensure they’re covered at the position. Shelvin is never going to be a three-down player, but Day 3 is the time to take more specialist players.
Projected trade: NE sends 4.139 and 6.197 to SEA for 4.133
4.133 New England Patriots via NO through SEA (Alex): Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska
New England comes up to take another offensive lineman to bolster their depth at tackle, although both Jaimes and second-rounder Alex Leatherwood can kick inside too. The Patriots know you can never have too many linemen.
4.134 San Francisco 49ers via BUF through MIN (Alex): Osa Odighizuwa, EDGE, UCLA
Odighizuwa can move all across the line for any team, with experience from nose to 5-tech. I think he’ll fit best on the outside, where San Francisco could use some depth to avoid the injury issues they had in 2020.
4.135 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Milton Williams, IDL, Louisiana Tech
A player that has soared up boards recently, it wouldn’t surprise me if he goes higher than this, but Green Bay jumps at the opportunity to grab Milton Williams here to add to their defensive line rotation as a situational player that can play against the run and the pass.
4.136 Baltimore Ravens via KC (Josh): Cameron Sample, EDGE, Tulane
Super high ceiling player that Baltimore can utilize in a few different places along their defensive front.
4.137 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): David Moore, IOL, Grambling State
Tampa struck gold on a small school lineman when they drafted Ali Marpet in the second round in 2015. With another opportunity to add some depth, why not swing on another small schooler? Moore could easily develop into a starter and look like the steal of the draft.
4.138 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
Dallas’ linebacker corps has struggled a touch in recent years, so adding a bit of competition may stoke the flames a bit. Rice is a borderline starter despite some limitations in coverage that should add special teams value right away.
4.139 Seattle Seahawks via NE (Alex): Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Schwartz is the purest field stretcher in the class, without much else to his name as a prospect as of right now. In Seattle, he’d have room to both work and grow with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the roster soaking up coverage.
4.140 Pittsburgh Steelers (Josh): Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
Like I mentioned earlier, the Pittsburgh cornerback room is depressing. I know Marco Wilson is most notably known for throwing a shoe in a loss that might’ve costed Florida a chance at the College Football Playoffs, but he is actually a solid technical and rangy corner.
4.141 Los Angeles Rams (Alex): Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State
Kaindoh is a bit of a projection, having just 10 starts to his name due to injury problems at Florida State. For the Rams, his best utilization is probably going to be as a 3-4 DE who rushes from the interior, but he has stood up and gotten after it in the past as well.
4.142 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee
Two wide receivers for the Packers in one draft? There is no way this actually happens, but Palmer is a Draft Twitter darling and a great outside option.
4.143 Minnesota Vikings (Josh): Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State
Small receiver who has return upside. Minnesota hasn’t had a productive number three receiver in a long time. Johnson at the very least can be a primary return man for a Vikings return unit that has had its struggles.
4.144 Kansas City Chiefs (Josh): Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State
Mostly depth piece here, but another body in the secondary that Kansas City can have in their back pocket in case of an injury.
5.145 Jacksonville Jaguars (Alex): Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma
A developmental nickel corner behind another Tre (Herndon).
5.146 New York Jets (Josh): Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
The Jets RB room is not good. Herbert offers at the very least a spot start option.
5.147 Houston Texans (Alex): Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech
Versatile safety who is likely a dime linebacker as a pro.
5.148 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt
Odeyingbo would be going much higher if he hadn’t torn his Achilles in January.
5.149 Cincinnati Bengals (Josh): Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia
There’s a theme in this mock draft. Get Joe Burrow help.
5.150 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): Royce Newman, IOL, Mississippi
College right tackle who is likely moving to guard in the NFL; good depth piece as injury insurance.
5.151 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Curtis Samuel “replacement” with durability concerns thanks to a weight of 149 pounds.
5.152 Denver Broncos (Josh): James WIggins, S, CIncinnati
Versatile safety that ideally will be a zone safety contributor. Also can help on special teams.
5.153 Detroit Lions (Josh): Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson
Developmental WR3-4. Detroit’s WR room is just not fun to look at right now so Powell is some additional help to go with first rounder DeVonta Smith.
5.154 New York Jets via NYG (Josh): Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina
Super effective run defender that needs some development in the rest of his game.
5.155 New York Giants (Josh): Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State
Developmental situational pass rusher for the Giants to use up front.
5.156 Miami Dolphins via PHI (Alex): Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke
Hybrid front fit with coach’s son instincts who can play a variety of roles in Miami.
5.157 San Francisco 49ers via MIN (Alex): DJ Daniel, CB, Georgia
Sub package corner who should make an impact on special teams.
5.158 Houston Texans via NE (ALex): Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
Straight-line speedster with kick return value who needs to develop a better route tree.
5.159 Los Angeles Chargers (ALex): Caden Sterns, S, Texas
Versatile third safety with the potential to grow into a starting free safety role if he can stay on the field.
5.160 Arizona Cardinals (Josh): Janarius Robinson, EDGE, FLorida State
Scheme specific defensive end depth with a lot of enticing traits.
5.161 Buffalo Bills via LVR (Alex): Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State
Summer hype machine who would let Buffalo turn Ed Oliver loose as a pass rusher.
5.162 Las Vegas Raiders via MIA (Josh): Jonathon Cooper, EDGE, Ohio State
Super smart pass rush specialist that gives Vegas some much-needed depth.
5.163 Washington Football Team (josh): Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
Three year starting corner who showed flashes of shutdown capability at Oregon.
5.164 Chicago Bears (josh): Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas
Super smooth slot receiver that also offers return capabilities.
5.165 Indianapolis Colts (Alex): Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
Athletic freak with questionable hands who should be a good WR3 or WR4 at the very least.
5.166 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Chauncey Golston, EDGE, Iowa
Situational pass rusher for now, but can develop into a starting caliber defensive end in the right scheme.
5.167 Las Vegas Raiders via SEA (Josh): Robert Jones, IOL, Middle Tennessee
Continuing to revamp their offensive line with some interior help.
5.168 Minnesota Vikings via PIT (JOsh): Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU
Nickel and safety hybrid that could contribute in a lot of Mike Zimmer’s three safety looks.
5.169 Cleveland Browns via LAR (Alex): Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
Bigger back who still has receiving upside and could grow into a bigger role if Cleveland’s analytics-based approach leads to Nick Chubb hitting the open market.
5.170 Jacksonville Jaguars via CLE (Alex): Darius Stills, IDL, West Virginia
Undersized tackle who relies on quicks to get upfield but can get over-aggressive at times.
5.171 Baltimore Ravens (Josh): Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA
Fun. Dynamic. Versatile. Do it all offensive playmaker for Lamar Jackson.
5.172 San Francisco 49ers via NO (Alex): Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn
Box safety or dime linebacker who would fit in a 49ers defense that de-emphasizes traditional safety play.
5.173 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo
Situational pass rush specialist to fill in when either Smith needs a breather.
5.174 Buffalo Bills (Alex): Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
RB2 or RB3 with home run hitter potential if he gets on a straight line thanks to sprinter speed.
5.175 Kansas City Chiefs (josh): Michal Menet, IOL, Penn State
Smooth, fundamentally sound blocker that Kansas City could start at center if needed.
5.176 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Dan Moore Jr., OT, Texas A&M
Developmental tackle to potentially replace Donovan Smith when his contract expires.
5.177 New England Patriots (Alex): Shawn Davis, S, Florida
Nickel safety who was injured every year at Florida but has the tools to hang around.
5.178 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Drake Jackson, IOL, Kentucky
A center that would allow the Packers to keep Jenkins at guard if they felt it was necessary. Offers flexibility along the interior.
5.179 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Darren Hall, CB, San Diego State
Corner and safety versatility to provide depth at all five secondary spots.
5.180 San Francisco 49ers (Alex): Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE, Notre Dame
More injury insurance for the 49ers defensive line with another player who can rush from the inside or outside.
5.181 Kansas City Chiefs (Josh): Josh Ball, OT, Marshall
Day two tape, but has off-field issues from his time at Florida State that pushes him down the board.
5.182 Los Angeles Rams via ATL (Alex): Olaijah Griffin, CB, USC
Underrated corner with man coverage skills that will keep him on a team as a CB4 at worst.
5.183 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Jacob Harris, WR/TE, UCF
WR to TE convert receiving a ton of buzz due to an intriguing blend of size and athleticism from an elite soccer background.
5.184 Baltimore Ravens (Josh): Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina
Solid backup/depth option. A bit of a tweener, does not have an ideal role in the NFL.
6.185 Los Angeles Chargers via JAX through TEN (ALex): Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State
High-energy guy with good ball-tracking skills that would give Los Angeles a better downfield presence from WR3.
6.186 New York Jets (Josh): Ben Mason, FB, Michigan
The Jets will be instilling the 49ers offense with the new coaching staff… a fullback is a must and Ben Mason is a good one.
6.187 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, APpalachian State
Jean-Charles’ primary selling point is ball skills: 33 passes defended in his career as a Mountaineer.
6.188 New England Patriots via HOU (Alex): Avery Williams, CB, Boise State
The best special teamer in this draft seems almost destined to be a Patriot, especially as Matthew Slater hits 36 in September.
6.189 Detroit Lions via PHI (Josh): Garret Wallow, LB, TCU
A physical tackler, who is a bit undersized, in the right scheme can be a starter.
6.190 Cincinnati Bengals (Josh): Daelin Hayes, EDGE, NOtre Dame
Explosive athlete that when healthy has shown some true starter caliber potential.
6.191 Denver Broncos (Josh): Bryan Mills, CB, North Carolina Central
Depth piece that translates as a press corner if he cleans up his technique all around.
6.192 Dallas Cowboys via DET (Alex): Jonathan Marshall, IDL, Arkansas
Another Texan with an alien athletic profile that will develop at 3-tech.
6.193 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Jamie Newman, QB, Wake Forest
Underdeveloped processor who would have some time to get more advanced under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
6.194 San Francisco 49ers (Alex): Jermar Jefferson, RB, ORegon State
Jefferson feels like a 49ers back: finesse one-cut style with receiving upside.
6.195 Houston Texans via DAL (Alex): John Bates, TE, Boise State
Limited athlete who strikes me as more of a blocking tight end.
6.196 New York Giants (Josh): Charles Snowden, LB, Virginia
A 3-4 outside linebacker that needs to add strength to translate to the NFL.
6.197 Seattle Seahawks via NE (Alex): Larnel Coleman, OT, Umass
Fresh-off-the-farm raw tackle with great athletic upside who could develop nicely behind the gracefully aging Duane Brown.
6.198 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Jason Pinnock, CB, Pitt
Seahawks-style corner with insane testing numbers and Chargers connections (WR coach Chris Beatty and defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill).
6.199 Minnesota Vikings (Josh): Evan McPherson, K, Florida
Did anyone else watch a Vikings game last season? This pick needs no explanation.
6.200 Las Vegas Raiders (Josh): Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech
McPhearson has all the tools, but lacks ideal height for an outside corner that will likely hurt his draft stock.
6.201 New York Giants via ARI (Josh): Chris Evans, RB, Michigan
Insurance policy for Saquon Barkley if he were to get injured again.
6.202 Cincinnati Bengals via MIA (JOsh): Jose Borregales, K, Miami
Competition with Seibert for the starting job here.
6.203 Houston Texans via WAS (Alex): Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL, South Carolina
Run game standout that suffers from a few balance issues as a pass protector.
6.204 Chicago Bears (Josh): Larry Borom, OT/G, Missouri
Primary run blocker with athletic limitations. Ideally a backup strong side player.
6.205 Tennessee Titans (Josh): Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri
A zone safety that possesses a high IQ. One of my favorite players in the draft.
6.206 Indianapolis COlts (Alex): Tony POljan, TE, Virginia
Former QB with blocking TE upside as a Mo Alie-Cox type.
6.207 Kansas City Chiefs via PIT (Josh): Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Speed. Speed. Speed. It’s Kansas City. Speedy wide receivers are kind of their thing.
6.208 CHicago Bears via SEA (Josh): Israel Mukuamu, CB, SOuth Carolina
Super raw corner with ideal size, but massive fundamental deficiencies. Could transition to safety.
6.209 Los Angeles Rams (Alex): Trey Hill, IOL, Georgia
NFL backup at all three interior positions despite primary experience at center.
6.210 Baltimore Ravens (JOsh): William Sherman, OT, Colorado
Sherman is likely going to be too undersized and too raw to be a tackle in the NFL, but he profiles nicely to a move to guard on the inside due to his movement skills.
6.211 Cleveland Browns (Alex): Nick Niemann, LB, Iowa
A bit on the older side for Cleveland, but Niemann has the athletic profile and special teams ability the Browns love in their linebackers.
6.212 Houston Texans via NO (Alex): Tedarrell Slaton, IDL, FLorida
Powerful lineman with only one season as a full-time starter under his belt.
6.213 Buffalo Bills (Alex): Matt Bushman, TE, BYU
Lee Smith replacement as a blocking TE who turns 26 during his rookie year.
6.214 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Tamorrion Terry, WR, FLorida State
Terry has round three talent and falls due to an outlier 2020 and a deep WR group.
6.215 Tennessee Titans via KC (Josh): Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
Receiving back to complement Derrick Henry.
6.216 Pittsburgh Steelers via TB (JOsh): Max Duffy, P, Kentucky
Punters are people too and the Steelers need a punter. Jordan Berry only averaged 40.5 net yards per punt last season.
6.217 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Camryn Bynum, CB, Cal
Possible safety convert with the smarts to stick on a roster.
6.218 New Orleans Saints (Josh): Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State
Productive starter at Oklahoma State that just needs some minor technical cleaning up to do.
6.219 Atlanta Falcons (Alex): Richard Lecounte III, S, Georgia
Inconsistent performer presumably still recovering from injuries caused by a motorcycle accident given his poor testing numbers.
6.220 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Jaylen Twyman, IDL, Pitt
Super explosive athlete that had a dominant showing at his pro day.
6.221 Chicago Bears (Josh): Tariq Thompson, S, San Diego State
Scheme versatile safety with the ability to defend both the run and the pass.
6.222 Carolina Panthers (Alex): Carson Green, OT< Texas A&M
Swing tackle with guard capabilities who needs to clean up his technique.
6.223 Arizona Cardinals (Josh): Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri
Smart and reliable pass catching tight end, that has shown the ability to block as well. Offers upside of as a team’s second tight end option.
6.224 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): William Bradley-King, EDGE, Baylor
High-effort rusher whose best utilization will be in sub packages where he can stand up and get after it.
6.225 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): Elijah Mitchell, RB, UL Lafayette
Back with good vision and pass-catching skills to keep him around as a backup that rotates in.
6.226 New York Jets via CAR (Josh): Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
Smart, and polished receiver that is a perfect fit for an offense working a lot over the middle and in space.
6.227 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Adrian Ealy, OT, Oklahoma
Size and strength project who would be afforded a few years to clean up his technique behind elite linemen in Dallas.
6.228 Chicago Bears (Josh): Tommy Kraemer, IOL, Notre Dame
Super stable and reliable guard while at Notre Dame, should transition nicely to the NFL, although he does have athletic hindrances.
7.229 Seattle Seahawks via JAX through NO (Alex): Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
Jump-out-the-gym receiver with inconsistent hands that could bolster a red-zone offense.
7.230 Minnesota Vikings via NYJ through SF (JOsh): Jack Anderson, IOL, Texas Tech
Minnesota just needs to add bodies along the offensive line. Anderson gives them depth at guard.
7.231 Miami Dolphins via HOU (Alex): Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane
Tweener size at 6’2”, 240 but likely will bulk up a bit to play 3-4 EDGE.
7.232 Tennessee Titans via ATL (JOsh): Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke
Situational defensive player that lacks ideal size to fit as an edge rusher in the NFL.
7.233 Houston Texans via CIN (Alex): Khyiris Tonga, IDL, BYU
Should be a two-down player in the NFL, but nose tackle singularity hurts his value.
7.234 Philadelphia Eagles (Alex): Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State
Athletic project with special teams value who could grow into a starting role with a weak safety rotation in Philly.
7.235 Cincinnati Bengals via DET (JOsh): Ta’Quon Graham, IDL, Texas
Rotational lineman with a super high athletic ceiling.
7.236 Buffalo Bills via CAR (Alex): Antonio Phillips, CB, Ball State
Phillips got buzz at Ball State’s pro day despite not being able to work out due to injury. Probable 7th round snag to avoid bidding on the open market.
7.237 Denver Broncos (Josh): Tay Gowan, CB, UCF
High upside corner, who needs some refinement in his game. Opt out this past season likely hurt his draft stock due to lack of fundamental progression shown.
7.238 Dallas Cowboys (Alex): Kylen Granson, TE, SMU
Really a FB/H-back type considering he’s only 6’1”; would push Sewo Olonilua to replace the released Jamize Olawale.
7.239 Denver Broncos via NYG (Josh): Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Red zone receiver with limited athleticism and has a hard time creating separation. Was Jamie Newman’s safety net at Wake Forest.
7.240 Detroit Lions via SF through PHI (Josh): Landon Young, OT, Kentucky
Developmental prospect with the ability to play guard and tackle.
7.241 Los Angeles Chargers (Alex): Drue Chrisman, P, Ohio State
Competition at all three specialist spots is needed following a disastrous 2020 campaign in LA.
7.242 New England Patriots (Alex): Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
Belichick has long-standing ties to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, which could lead to a selection like this.
7.243 Arizona Cardinals (Josh): Austin Watkins Jr., WR, UAB
Another one of “my guys”, super reliable hands and excellent route runner. Lack of top end speed will hurt his draft stock.
7.244 Washington Football Team via LVR (JOsh): Noah Gray, TE, Duke
Solid pass catcher that lacks top speed and consistent blocking ability. Decent option for a second tight end on a roster.
7.245 Pittsburgh Steelers via MIA (Josh): Drew Himmelman, OT, Illinois State
Super raw, developmental tackle prospect with incredible size and length.
7.246 Washington Football Team (Josh): Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Excellent leader and super high IQ player that just does not have the arm or measurables to be a starter in the NFL.
7.247 Arizona Cardinals via CHI (Josh): Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State
Super instinctive and versatile three down linebacker that lacks top end speed. Coming off of a break out campaign in 2020.
7.248 Indianapolis Colts (Alex): JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU
Linebacker-safety hybrid who will be in the box full-time and has the hit power to be an impact special teamer.
7.249 Jacksonville Jaguars via TEN (Alex): Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech
Raw route runner with a nice athletic toolbox to craft with.
7.250 Seattle Seahawks (Alex): Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
Possible guard convert, especially for Seattle, where the interior seems to always be in flux, despite good play in 2020.
7.251 Tampa Bay Buccaneers via PIT (Alex): Jonathan Adams Jr., WR, Arkansas State
Red zone threat who could be a worthy Mike Evans injury insurance policy.
7.252 Los Angeles Rams (Alex): Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Tiny player who had some huge holes to run through in the MAC, which clouds his eval a bit.
7.253 Denver Broncos via CLE (Josh): Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Super tenacious and instinctive linebacker with high athletic upside.
7.254 Pittsburgh Steelers via BAL (Josh): Anthony Hines III, LB, Texas A&M
Athletic and rangy linebacker with the ability to drop back in coverage.
7.255 New Orleans Saints (Josh): Damar Hamlin, S, Pitt
Instinctive safety that has some athletic limitations, but will thrive if used in zone over the middle of the field.
7.256 Green Bay Packers (Josh): Nate Hobbs, CB, Illinois
Tough and physical corner with solid ball skills, had a good junior year but struggled at times last season.
7.257 Cleveland Browns via BUF (Alex): Sam Cooper, IOL, Merrimack
Injuries hampered Cooper’s college career, but Cleveland has done a lot of homework on him despite his age being a bit outside their parameters.
7.258 Miami Dolphins via KC (Alex): Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Developmental backup behind Tua Tagovailoa.
7.259 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Alex): Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati
Plays at lightspeed and just needs to be reined in a bit to improve angle pursuits. A special teamer in the meantime.
QB: Feleipe Franks, Arkansas; Brady Davis, Illinois State; Shane Buechele, SMU; KJ Costello, Mississippi State; Brady White, Memphis
RB: Kylin Hill, Mississippi State; Larry Rountree III, Missouri; Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas; CJ Marable, Coastal Carolina; Kene Nwangwu, Iowa State; Gerrid Doaks, Cincinnati
FB: Tory Carter, LSU; Carl Tucker, Alabama
WR: Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville; Trevon Grimes, Florida; Mike Strachan, Charleston; Whop Philyor, Indiana; Dax Milne, BYU; Damonte Coxie, Memphis; Bennett Skowronek, Notre Dame; Marlon Williams, UCF; Damon Hazelton, Missouri; Rico Bussey Jr., Hawaii; Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M
TE: Quintin Morris, Bowling Green; Cary Angeline, North Carolina State; Nick Eubanks, Michigan; Briley Moore, Kansas State; Pro Wells, TCU
OT: Syrus Tuitele, Fresno State; Foster Sarell, Stanford; Jake Burton, UCLA; Kayode Awosika, Buffalo; Jake Curhan, Cal
IOL: Jimmy Morrissey, Pitt; Ryan McCollum, Texas A&M; Greg Eiland, Mississippi State; Pier-Olivier Lestage, Montreal; Bryce Hargrove, Pitt
IDL: Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State; Carlo Kemp, Michigan; Quinton Bohanna, Kentucky; Lorenzo Neal, Purdue; Jordon Scott, Oregon
EDGE: Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State; JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State; Eli Howard, Texas Tech; Malik Herring, Georgia; Chris Garrett, Concordia St. Paul
LB: KJ Britt, Auburn; Grant Stuard, Houston; Riley Cole, South Alabama; Amen Ogbongbemiga, Oklahoma State; Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State; Paddy Fisher, Northwestern; Tuf Borland, Ohio State; Rashad Byrd, Georgia Southern
CB: Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon; KJ Hampton, USF; Rachad Wildgoose II, Wisconsin; Dicaprio Bootle, Nebraska; Bryce Thompson, Tennessee; Nahshon Wright, Oregon State; Mac McCain III, North Carolina A&T; Mark Gilbert, Duke
S: Paris Ford, Pitt; Tre Norwood, Oklahoma; Brady Breeze, Oregon; Aashari Crosswell, Arizona State; Lamont Wade, Penn State
K: Riley Patterson, Memphis; Quinn Nordin, Michigan; Jake Verity, East Carolina
P: James Smith, Cincinnati; Pressley Harvin III, Georgia Tech; Oscar Draguicevich III, Washington State
LS: Thomas Fletcher, Alabama; Camaron Cheeseman, Michigan; Ryan Langan, Georgia Southern