These Live 2021 NFL Draft Grades will be posted minutes after each pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Follow @walterfootball
2021 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16
| Picks 17-32
| NFL Draft Team Grades
2021 NFL Mock Draft
Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia - A- Grade
The Jaguars had a miserable defense that they needed to address, so this is the beginning of that. There was a huge hole at cornerback across from C.J. Henderson, which Tyson Campbell will fill. Campbell is a lengthy cornerback I had in the first round of some of my updates. I eventually moved him into the middle of Round 2, but this is the right area for him.
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New York Jets: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss - B Grade
I've had Elijah Moore in the third round for a while, but moved him up late in the process. I still think this is a bit high for him, as Moore will be limited to the slot. It's a bit of an odd fit for the Jets, but there's no doubt that the Jets needed help at receiver, with their top player at the position being the underwhelming and inconsistent Corey Davis.
Denver Broncos: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina - C Grade
I'm not a fan of first-round running backs, as none of the picks over the past decade at that position have done well (see my study on the 2021 NFL Draft Day 2 Preview, and this is close enough for me not to be a huge fan either. I don't hate this pick because there was some argument for Javonte Williams to be the first running back off the board, but the Broncos could have gotten a complement for Melvin Gordon in the next couple of rounds.
Miami Dolphins: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon - B Grade
Over Trevon Moehrig? That's a surprise. Still, the pick makes sense. Jevon Holland was a prospect some team in the middle of the second coveted. He's a very instinctive linebacker and will be able to play right away. He'll fill a big need in Miami's secondary.
Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Dickerson, C/G, Alabama - C Grade
Based on his ability alone, Landon Dickerson is worth this pick. He's a very smart center with excellent technique. Unfortunately, he suffered countless injuries at Alabama, so he's a major risk this early in the second round. He makes sense as an eventual replacement for Jason Kelce, but I would've tried to obtain Dickerson in the third round.
New England Patriots: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama - A Grade
The Patriots traded two fourth-round picks in this deal with the Bengals. They simply couldn't believe that Christian Barmore was on the board. Barmore was a mainstay of my first round for most of the process, so I love the value New England is getting with a player who can help them pressure Josh Allen.
Chicago Bears: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State - A Grade
I mocked Teven Jenkins to the Bears at No. 20 in one of my final updates, so I obviously love this value with Teven Jenkins. I also love the pick because the Bears absolutely had to protect Justin Fields. Their offensive line has been in severe decline in recent years, so that seems to be changing.
Atlanta Falcons: Richie Grant, S, Central Florida - B Grade
Another safety over Trevon Moehrig, so I wonder if there are injury concerns with the TCU product. Richie Grant is a quality safety prospect with great instincts, so he can start right away. That's needed for the Falcons, who have to deal with Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and D.J. Moore in their division.
Detroit Lions: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington - B Grade
The Lions maintained one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last year, so it's not a surprise to see them address that with this pick. I was never really a fan of putting Levi Onwuzurike in the first round because of his pass-rushing limitations, but he makes sense near the middle of the second round. This is a solid pick.
Miami Dolphins: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame - A- Grade
Liam Eichenberg was usually slotted in this area in my mock draft; sometimes higher. He ended up at the end of the first round in my final update, so I like this value for the Dolphins, who needed to improve the offensive line. Miami must protect Tua Tagovailoa to help him succeed after a disastrous rookie year, and Eichenberg will help make that happen.
Las Vegas Raiders: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU - A+ Grade
Everyone whined about the Raiders apparently reaching for Alex Leatherwood on Thursday even though it was really fine value. I imagine that this selection will be viewed more favorably because Trevon Moehrig was frequently mocked in the first round as the only safety in the opening frame. Moehrig is a safe prospect who figures to fill a huge need in the Raiders' dreadful secondary.
Dallas Cowboys: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky - C- Grade
Ouch. The Cowboys really wanted Trevon Moehrig and Jevon Holland, yet both safeties were snatched off the board before their pick. The Cowboys had to settle for Kelvin Joseph, a raw cornerback with character concerns. Joseph belonged in the third or fourth round, so this was a reach. That said, Joseph could meet his upside and fill a big need.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Walker Little, OT, Stanford - B- Grade
Walker Little is a risk. He's had a long layoff from football because of an injury in 2019. I thought he would fall in the 2021 NFL Draft as a result. However, he projects to be a quality pass protector, so I won't complain too much about this pick because the Jaguars had a weakness at tackle and they had to protect Trevor Lawrence.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jackson Carman, OT/G, Clemson - A+ Grade
I love this pick. Back in February, some league sources told us that Jackson Carman could sneak into the opening round. He obviously didn't, so the Bengals are getting awesome value with Carman, especially when considering that they traded down eight spots. They had to improve their offensive line to protect Joe Burrow, and they did just that with Carman.
Los Angeles Chargers: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State - C Grade
The Chargers lost Casey Hayward this offseason, so they had to replace him. However, I think this is a bit high for Asante Samuel Jr. He's short and slow, which is not a good combination for an NFL cornerback. I think this is a bit early for him, but I don't hate the pick.
San Francisco 49ers: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame - B- Grade
I've said this multiple times, but I'm always a fan of teams adding to the offensive line to protect a young quarterback. Trey Lance is raw, so he'll need all the protection he can get once he takes over for Jimmy Garoppolo. I had Banks slated as a third-round prospect, but I don't hate this value in the middle of the second frame.
Arizona Cardinals: Rondale Moore, WR/RB, Purdue - B Grade
You can't be surprised that Kliff Kingsbury made this pick. Rondale Moore is a dynamic gadget weapon. He doesn't have a natural position, but the Cardinals will be able to use him all over the place. Kyler Murray is probably happy about this selection, though he would have been better off getting an offensive line upgrade.
New York Giants: Azeez Ojulari, DE/OLB, Georgia - A Grade
Azeez Ojulari was someone people mocked in the first round. We did as well, at least until we got some news that teams flagged him for an injury, which would explain his fall. However, he's well worth the risk here, especially after a trade down in which the Giants secured a third-round pick in 2022. I mocked Ojulari to the Giants with their natural second-round choice, so this deserves a high grade.
Washington Redskins: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas - C Grade
I thought the Redskins would go offensive tackle in the first round (Christian Darrisaw) and a linebacker here, but the opposite occurred. Perhaps they should have gone with my plan because this pick is underwhelming. Sam Cosmi is athletic, but he's tough and tends to get bullied around in the trenches. This does not bode well for the NFL.
Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame - A Grade
I slotted Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to the Browns in the first round, so I love this value. That said, I'm not surprised Owusu-Koramoah slipped. Some would say he doesn't have a natural position, so after Isaiah Simmons' struggles last year, teams may have been worried about Owusu-Koramoah's translation to the NFL. However, he's a great athlete and should be able to help Cleveland defend Lamar Jackson.
Tennessee Titans: Dillon Radunz, OT, Notre Dame - B Grade
The Titans have lost three right tackles in the span of two offseasons, so this was a position they needed to address. This is fine value for Dillon Radunz, but the one concern I have is that Radunz won't have the length to stay at tackle, so he may have to move inside.
Indianapolis Colts: Dayo Odeyingbo, DT, Vanderbilt - C- Grade
The Colts are ready to win this year, so why did they draft a player who will have to redshirt in 2021? Dayo Odeyingbo is a very talented defensive tackle, but he tore his Achilles in late January. This selection will pay off in the long term, but it goes against Indianapolis' plan right now.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State - C+ Grade
The Steelers are basically like a beautiful car with no engine. They've added two talented play-makers so far, but their offensive line is garbage, so how is their offense going to function? Pat Freiermuth is a talented tight end who will upgrade Eric Ebron, so I don't hate the pick, but Pittsburgh really needs to address its blocking.
Seattle Seahawks: Dwayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan - F Grade
There are so many reasons to hate this pick. First of all, it's a shock that the Seahawks didn't trade down because they had just three selections in this draft. Second, Russell Wilson complained about offensive line help, yet Seattle didn't address it. Third, Dwayne Eskridge was someone I've had in the third or fourth rounds. And fourth, this doesn't fill a need at all.
Los Angeles Rams: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville - B- Grade
Tutu Atwell is someone I've had slotted in this range for months, so I'm fine with this pick. Atwell is very small (5-8, 155), but he's lightning quick, and Sean McVay will make good use of him in the offense. That said, I would've liked to have seen the Rams address their blocking or secondary, as this seems like a luxury pick.
Kansas City Chiefs: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri - B Grade
Nick Bolton is an instinctive linebacker, but has some limitations in coverage. Still, this is a fine pick, as I've had Bolton slated around this area for most of the pre-draft process. He could fill a huge need in Kansas City's poor linebacking corps.
Carolina Panthers: Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU - A Grade
D.J. Moore's contract is up soon, while Robby Anderson is just above average, so receiver was in play for the Panthers. Terrace Marshall was the best player available at the position. Marshall was mocked in the first round by some, but injury concerns caused him to drop. I like the value for Marshall here, especially with the Panthers picking up a pair of third-round chices from trading down twice.
New Orleans Saints: Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State - B- Grade
Pete Werner is a stout run defender who played well down the stretch this past season, but I didn't ever have him in the second round. I had always mocked him in the third frame, but this is close enough for it to not matter much. Werner certainly fills a need in a dubious linebacking corps.
Buffalo Bills: Carlos Basham, DE/DT, Wake Forest - A Grade
Buffalo's top priority is beating Patrick Mahomes because he stands in their way of a Super Bowl victory. Getting all the pressure possible on him is the way to do it, and Carlos Basham should help. Basham was very productive at Wake Forest, though he doesn't have great athleticism or upside, which mirrors their first-round choice of Greogry Rousseau.
Green Bay Packers: Josh Myers, C, Ohio State - A Grade
Finally, a pick Jordan Love can like. The Packers lost three offensive linemen this offseason, which doesn't even count David Bakhtiari coming off an injury. One of those free-agent departures is Corey Linsley, so Green Bay had to replace him. I thought there was a chance Josh Myers could go earlier, so I'm a big fan of this pick.
Kansas City Chiefs: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma - A Grade
Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL, yet he couldn't win behind his dreadful offensive line last year. The Chiefs needed to make wholesale changes up front. They added talent at tackle and guard, but center remained a weakness - until now. I had Creed Humphrey a bit earlier than this spot, so I love this pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida - C- Grade
2021 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | NFL Draft Team Grades
Meh. I get it. The Buccaneers had no successor for Tom Brady. And Kyle Trask makes sense at the end of the second round, though I had him going in the third frame in my final update. The thing is, Tampa is all in for winning now, so I think the Buccaneers could have waited until the third round for a quarterback and spent this pick on a player to help this year.
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