Open Rants by kkunert327

2021 NFL Draft Vol 1
Published at 10/13/2020
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Other Publishings by kkunert327

Normally I type up my mock drafts over on the Mock Draft Builder, but for some reason I am unable to publish them. Instead, I will do the old fashion way without the fancy team logos on here. I will continue to lean on for the draft order with their ability to use winning percentages and strength of schedule. Which seems less subjective than if I went through with my fan goggles making the order and going through the rest of the season. So without further adieu here we go!


Round 1

1) New York Giants - Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson

This is a no brainer, who ever gets the number one pick is getting Trevor Lawrence. With that being said, if I were Trevor landing with the Giants, Falcons, Cowboys, or Vikings who are all contenders for that top pick seems a whole lot better than Washington, the Jets, or Jags. As we have seen with Joe Burrow no matter how good you are in college, in the NFL you are only as good as your surrounding pieces. Lawrence has some hope with the Giants with nice young pieces like Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Andrew Thomas to work with. I also like Joe Judge as a coach moving forward with a nice young defense. Overall, between the two New Yorks the Giants is by far the most ideal landing spot for the future star. 

2) Atlanta Falcons - Penei Sewell OT Oregon

I know there will be some debate on taking a quarterback here and for sure will be if they land the top pick starting off completely fresh after firing Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn on Sunday. However, I think Matt Ryan is still too good to let go. I know he has a big contract, but compared to others it is not as big as it once was. However, I understand the appeal to move off from him and I am sure they get a nice few picks back for him as well. I just do not see him being the problem with the bad play calling and porous defense being their main issues. A pass rusher is needed more than a tackle here, but Sewell is by far and away the best player not at the quarterback position in the draft. Jake Matthews has not been a bad left tackle, but he also has not been the best. Sewell could slide him over to the right tackle spot where he is an upgrade over incumbent Kaleb McGary another former first rounder of Dimitroff that has not been as good as expected. Overall, this is going to be an interesting off season for Atlanta. 

3) New York Jets - Justin Fields QB Ohio St

The Jets are next on the clock in cleaning house firing their coach Adam Gase and most likely the rest of their staff. Allowing newish GM Joe Douglas a nice clean slate to work with. Unfortunately, for Sam Darnold his contract is almost up in New York so greener pastures elsewhere has to be on the horizon for him. He might be better off elsewhere anyways much like Ryan Tannehill has resuscitated his career away from Gase. In any case, Justin Fields barring a terrible season when the Big 10 starts should be the favorite to be the second quarterback taken. To me though he has no chance to catch Lawrence as the top quarterback in the class. I am skeptical of Fields being any good in the NFL after so many Buckeye quarterbacks have come and gone without a whimper at the next level. He is built more like a modern quarterback with his mobility and ability to make plays with his legs. However, I would not be shocked if away from Ohio St’s simple offense he might get overwhelmed like Dwayne Haskins, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, and Braxton Miller have been away from Columbus. 

4) Washington Football Team- Trey Lance QB North Dakota St

In one of the more shocking turn of events this week has been the benching of Dwayne Haskins after what was a solid game against the Ravens last week, which opened the door for Alex Smith’s return to the field after Kyle Allen’s injury. All in all, what a weird week for Washington’s quarterback carousel. In any case, I am sure Ron Rivera and Haskins had some sort of falling out that caused the benching more than just his performance. I think for once owner Dan Snyder has given control over to someone else to make decisions and it so happens to be Ron Rivera. I would expect a new signal caller to be brought in that Rivera gets to hand pick. I love Lance and I think if anyone will give Lawrence a run for the top quarterback prospect in the class it will be the former Bison. Unfortunately, after a so-so “showcase game” performance and no ability to improve off of it with no season it will be tough for him. Lance reminds me a ton of Carson Wentz and Josh Allen, but a lot more athletic with his ability to move and be a dangerous runner. All around I think he has the ability to be a big upgrade over Haskins. 

5) Minnesota Vikings - Gregory Rousseau DE Miami

The Vikings have to be kicking themselves over giving Cousins another big fully guaranteed extension this past off season. However, to me he has not been the biggest problem on the team. Letting go of key defensive players like Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Trae Waynes, Mackenzie Alexander, and Xavier Rhodes all in one offseason was a bit of a big overhaul to withstand going into this season with no proper off season to gel on defense. Not to mention losing Stefon Diggs is clearly noticeable on offense despite Justin Jefferson showing flashes. If they pick this high they need to just take the best player available whether it's somehow Sewell or a defensive stud here. With Sewell off the board the best pass rusher available that fits is Gregory Rousseau. Unfortunately, he only has one year of tape after sitting out this season due to COVID. I cannot complain about him taking that route, but he would have gotten a ton of great publicity being on a pretty good Miami team that has been on a ton of primetime games. His stock would have skyrocketed, but seeing as how it’s a weaker pass rusher class he might retain his spot as a top 10 pick. He would give the Vikings a proper replacement for Everson Griffen. 

6) Jacksonville Jaguars - Kyle Trask QB Florida 

This may be way too high for Trask, but if the Jags go on to only win 1 game this season or even 2 or 3 I doubt Gardner Minshew will be brought back. He has shown flashes of potentially being a solid starter, but like Darnold in New York it might be hard to show it with the lack of talent around him. In general, I would expect Minshew to have a fantastic career as a very good backup for the most part of his time in the NFL. Trask was looking like the next Joe Burrow until he traveled Kyle Field, where it seems COVID just passed over it with how packed the stadium was. In his defense, I doubt they were prepared for that noise level and being forced to silent counts. If you ask me, conferences need to get on top of this and make it fair for all having a set amount of fans at each stadium to avoid any unfair competitive advantages. In any case, Trask to me has the size, maturity, poise, and arm talent to start sneaking up boards if he bounces back the rest of the season. His coach Dan Mullen has done well with coaching up quarterbacks and Trask could be his next success to hit the NFL. Playing down the road at Jacksonville would also be a big plus for the former Gator. 

7) Miami Dolphins (via Houston) - Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU 

The Dolphins were given this pick from the Texans for their ill fated trade to get Laremy Tunsil and subsequently giving them a massive contract that is one of many hemorrhaging their salary cap. In the case for the Dolphins, I would love it if they just roll with Fitzpatrick for most of the season. There is no reason to force in Tua Tagovailoa who had no proper offseason to learn the offense, and can continue to sit on the sideline learning, getting healthy, and getting stronger for the NFL. I see no one complaining now that Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes who were wise to bring along their future signal callers slowly. Come next year Tua could have a nice young offensive line with Robert Hunt and Austin Jackson having a year of seasoning along with probably more additions via free agency. Through the draft they could continue to focus on finding talent to surround Tua, with Brian Flores doing well developing defensive talent allowing them to gloss over the defense a bit more during the draft. Chase is a no brainer top receiver in the class and the only closest competition could be a tight end in Kyle Pitts. He was wise to sit out for the year with Joe Burrow in the NFL and with the team itself looking like a shell of it’s championship former self. Chase is an electric receiver who could create an excellent one-two punch with DeVante Parker who continues to look pretty solid after his breakout season. 

8) Los Angeles Chargers - Micah Parsons LB Penn St

The Chargers are in a nice little sweet spot here with the ability to take the best player available here whether its a offensive lineman or a defender it would all make sense. With Melvin Ingram hitting free agency a new pass rusher makes a ton of sense, but with a young signal caller like Justin Herbert improving the blocking could also top the list of needs for GM Tom Telesco. I would lean towards defense a little bit with Patrick Mahomes looking like a big mountain to get over if they ever want to make a run in the playoffs in the next 10 years. Parsons could finally solidify their rotating door of linebackers to man the middle of the defense. He has impressive size, speed, and athleticism to be a rare top 10 linebacker in this year’s draft class. His ability to move and cover is almost similar to Isaiah Simmons this past year, but he just lacks the position flexibility that made Simmons so tantalizing for the NFL. Parsons is more of a traditional linebacker who can play the middle of the field and create a nice chess match with Mahomes twice a year with his high IQ. 

9) Detroit Lions - Marvin Wilson DT Florida St

It will be interesting to see what the Lions do with Matthew Stafford this off season. Do they keep him or do they start completely fresh after they fire Matt Patricia and company allowing whoever comes in to start with his own quarterback. Unfortunately for the Lions if they pick 9th they are little too high to even land a guy like Trask here. They could force it with a prospect like Jamie Newman or Brock Prudy, but that would seem too early for both of them. Instead, one more season with Stafford is not a bad idea if they can finally figure out how to stop people on defense. The rocket science Patricia seems to be too over his skis to even make sure his defense is lined up properly on most plays. Marvin Wilson seems like a great fit up front on their defensive line that has failed to put any pressure on opposing signal callers despite overpaying for Trey Flowers who is their only solid player up front. Wilson to me reminds me a bit of Aaron Donald with similar play styles up front. I doubt Wilson ever becomes as great as Donald who is a unique player in every sense, but it would not be shocking if he comes close. He would at least provide some more push up front and at a more premium position at the tackle spot if you ask me since collapsing the pocket up the middle is more disrupting to a quarterback than from the edge. Overall, almost like the Falcons who are in a similar spot with a veteran quarterback it will be interesting to see what the Lions do this offseason. 

10) Denver Broncos - Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama 

A new left tackle here to finally replace Garrett Bolles makes a ton of sense here, but after Sewell the talent drop off is big with guys like Alex Leatherwood, Sam Cosmi, and Walker Little being the next options. None of them are truly stand out talent to be selected this high. Instead, the Broncos need to also address their cornerback situation with how injury ravaged they have been there. Maybe A.J. Bouye can return and play at his signature solid level, but even then they could use a new corner or two across from him. Surtain is benefitting from his top competitors for the top corner spot Caleb Farley and Shaun Wade not playing this season. So far Surtain has looked shaky, but that is to be expected for many corners not having had a real off season to gel with their fellow defenders. However, he does have great skills and experience being trained well by defensive back guru Nick Saban. Like his dad, he has nice length, ball skills, and strength to be a very good press man corner that is a big need in the NFL. If Vic Fangio survives another season due to the bad break he has had with injuries then a corner like Surtain will be a great fit for his defense. 

11) Philadelphia Eagles - Dylan Moses LB Alabama

The Eagles should definitely hang onto Carson Wentz and any Philly fan who thinks otherwise is what’s wrong with this franchise and city. He has worked with literally a line up of deck chairs and lawn furniture the past two seasons. He has no receivers of note, his offensive line has turned into a decrepit unit of skeletons, and his defense cannot stop a nosebleed outside of a stout run stuffing d-line. So before you run the guy out of town like you did to Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid you better realize what you have in Wentz and Doug Pederson. With a rare higher draft pick the Eagles could go in a multitude of directions from a new blocker, a corner, or a linebacker here. I lean towards linebacker with how good of a prospect Moses is compared to the others at the other positions. This defense was also at it’s best when they had a linebacker trio of Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, and Nigel Bradham. Since their run to the Super Bowl all of them have left in consecutive years and now their weak defense really shows the loss of all that talent in the middle of the field. Moses is a quarterback on the field and has been a great player when healthy for the Crimson Tide. He has come back this year and proved why Saban has been willing to give him so much leeway as the defensive signal caller. He should be a lock as a top 15 pick despite playing an overlooked position like middle linebacker. 

12) Cincinnati Bengals - Alex Leatherwood OL Alabama 

Anyone with any knowledge of football has to know that Joe Burrow is going to be living on borrowed time if they continue to overlook the protection in front of him. It will be nice to see if Jonah Williams can kick inside to guard where he is more of a proper fit and for them to find a replacement for the disappointing Billy Price. Overall the entire line needs to be upgraded in general. Grabbing a versatile blocker like Leatherwood would be a nice fit. He is a bit of a talent like Tristan Wirfs who scouts may be split on where he fits along the line. At Alabama he has done well wherever they put him from guard to right tackle to left tackle. I think he is a much better prospect than fellow Tide blocker Jonah Williams who was always a guard in my opinion. Leatherwood will allow them some flexibility to either keep him at left tackle or move them wherever he is needed most with a free agent or another blocker later in the draft might be less versatile than Leatherwood. Overall, taking a blocker at every pick makes a ton of sense for the Bengals. 

13) Miami Dolphins - Wyatt Davis OG Ohio St

The Dolphins continue to enhance the talent around Tua Tagovailoa to ensure a swift transition to their hopeful franchise signal caller moving forward. Bringing in Chase is a bit of a no brainer with their first pick, but their pick here will be an interesting one to see what they do with here. I would lean towards their offensive line to keep him upright. They have a few young pieces like Austin Jackson, Michael Deiter, and Robert Hunt to work with moving forward. However, left tackle, and center are still up in the air. Wyatt Davis is a rare high end interior linemen that there is a consensus on being a high first round draft pick. He can plug in immediately adding some grit and strength to the middle of their line. If they want Tua to survive they need to clearly keep him upright, but as we have seen across the league this season having a balanced offense with a strong run game allowing for play action is key to a lot of the success for the good teams in the league. It also helps make it easier to scan the field. 

14) San Francisco 49ers - Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech 

Well that was a thud for the once mighty 49ers defense. They were absolutely manhandled by Ryan Fitzpatrick and company. Not only were they driven up and down the field, but they cannot even use the excuse of the humid weather down in Miami due to the fact they were at home when they were thrashed. I know Jimmy G did not play well, but they might have rushed him back due from his ankle injury. What is not excusable is how poor their secondary played and I have always thought the likes of Jaquiski Tartt, Jimmie Ward, and Richard Sherman were a bit overrated due to playing behind an excellent d-line. Now without the stout pass rush their secondary now looks severely overmatched. Farley the former receiver is a bit of a work in progress here at corner, but his upside and talent is just too good to pass up on. Unfortunately, he passed up playing this season to season his technique and ability as an outside corner. He possesses more natural athleticism and speed than Sherman, another fellow receiver ever did at the corner spot. This may seem high for a one year wonder, but I can see Farley exploding at the Combine and squarely fixing himself at the top half of the first round. 

15) New Orlean Saints - Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama 

I always thought the Saints offense was one Michael Thomas away from being inconsistent. Luckily for them, Alvin Kamara has looked fitter and stronger than he did last year when he was the lone go to back. However, his injury history is still too inconsistent to lean on him as much as they have. It also does not help that the now highly paid Michael Thomas looks to be turning into a diva wide receiver with spats with the coaching staff and now him punching teammates at practice. The Saints have a low tolerance for that sort of stuff so it would not be shocking if this relationship ends sooner rather than later. If they pick this high they should be in a prime spot to take a new talented receiver to lean on. Tight end Kyle Pitts is in contention to be a great pick here, but speed seems to be a big factor come draft day. Waddle oozes that and more as an electric downfield weapon who can also run nice routes. He is a slithery route runner and runner with the football making him very difficult to take down let alone keep up with. We saw his teammate Ruggs shoot up draft boards last year despite not putting up that great of production. Waddle looked better than Ruggs last year and so far with Mac Jones he has looked even better. It would not be all too surprising if he sneaks into the top 10.

16) New England Patriots - Kyle Pitts TE Florida

How Bill Belichick of a pick here if he goes with a tight end over a flashier receiver. To be honest it could be for the better, since Belichick’s biggest weakness in the draft has been drafting wide receivers. I doubt he even wants to go with a pass catcher here, but without Brady he cannot just rely on his quarterback to make lesser receivers better. I have been delightfully surprised with how good of a passer Cam Newton has looked, but clearly a lack of talent is also apparent with his inability to find open receivers. Newton once had a great tight end who he leaned on a ton with Greg Olsen so bringing in a talent like Kyle Pitts would be a match made in heaven. Pitts to me could quietly be one of the best all around athletes in the league with his rare speed, size, hands, and routes from the tight end spot. His position coach who once coached Antonio Gates in college has been on the record saying that Pitts could possibly be better than the future Hall of Famer. Pitts is a great fit for New England here who can pick up the mantle of great tight end play that made their offense so difficult to match up in years past. 

17) Arizona Cardinals - Carlos Basham Jr DE Wake Forest

The Cardinals are in an interesting position as a team that has talent, but they just feel super young still. They have nice players on defense especially in their linebackers and secondary, but they still lack a significant pass rush up front. Chandler Jones has quietly been one of the best at his craft in the league, but age might be catching up to him soon now that he is in his 30s. He should still be a significant playmaker for a while, but having a go to partner across from him has been a huge need. Basham unlike his fellow edge rusher Gregory Rousseau has opted to play this season and it has done him a world of good. He has been the star player of a weak team and defense in particular. Despite being the key guy to prepare for on their defense he has still been an electric edge rusher putting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. His athleticism, speed, and upside make him an intriguing prospect in a weak pass rusher class. His stock could rise if he continues to impress and if Rousseau goes on to have a poor draft season after opting out for the season. Basham could even shine better than the former Hurricane as an equally great athletic specimen at the Combine.

18) Indianapolis Colts - DeVonta Smith WR Alabama

The Colts could be looking at a quarterback here with both Phillip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett set to be free agents. I would not be shocked if they retain Rivers if he can get him to the playoffs this season. If not it could be mid round possible gem Jacob Eason who may get a shot at the starting gig next year. In any case, reaching for Brock Purdy, Jamie Newman, or Sam Ehlinger here seems like a stretch for the usually wise drafting Chris Ballard. Maybe they go after a veteran free agent or possible trade candidates in Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, or even Sam Darnold who could all be had. Any way they go they really need to address the receiver position where aging oft-injured T.Y. Hilton is set to be a free agent. Second rounder Michael Pittman is currently on the IR so we will have to see if he can be as advertised next season. Bringing in a new receiver like DeVonta Smith makes a ton of sense thanks to his high floor being something that Ballard looks for in draft picks. He reminds me a lot of Justin Jefferson last year where he is a lot more athletic than people give him credit for, but he also excels in his routes and getting open. There were times last year where in an offense with Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Jaylen Waddle when Smith looked like the best of the bunch. 

19) Dallas Cowboys - Sam Cosmi OT Texas 

I would normally go with a defensive back, pass rusher, or even a quarterback here in the wake of the Dak Prescott injury. However, in the Cowboys history with Jerry Jones leading the draft they have not taken any of those positions in the first round outside of DeMarcus Ware way back in 2005. Instead, they can go back to the offensive line where they have had a lot of success in the first round. Unfortunately, the only guy left from those first round linemen is Zach Martin for the most part. Tyrone Smith is way over the hill and cannot seem to stay healthy on the field any longer. Whoever they roll with at quarterback moving forward they need to protect him better. A rash of injuries have forced them onto some 3rd and 4th string blockers. Cosmi is a local product out of Texas who has improved greatly in his second full year as a starter. He was possibly a 2nd round pick last year, but wisely stayed in school to improve his stock. His athletic profile is high end for a tackle, but bulking up and becoming a better blocker is something he needs to improve on. That is something that is much easier to teach than pass blocking where he excels. He could be a nice riser prospect come next Apri after the workouts where he should really excel. 

20) Carolina Panthers - Creed Humphrey OG/C Oklahoma 

The Panthers are playing just as good as I thought they would with Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. They chalked it up to just a dud year with a new head coach and quarterback with Teddy as just a placeholder. I am glad Bridgewater has shown he is better than that and has all the makings of being a franchise quarterback. Now with this later first round pick they could go in many directions with maybe a new linebacker, corner, or safety. However, I could see the Panthers move to improving their offensive line, which has been less than stellar the past few seasons. They have had a rotation of guards for a long while now and Matt Paradis is just an okay center. Humphrey has played mostly center during his time at Oklahoma, but he has the size, strength and ability to flip out at either guard spot for the Panthers with Paradis being more than fine in the middle. He has been a multi year starter in a high powered offense that has started to take over the NFL of late. It is rare to see a center/guard taken this high, but this class is a tad shallow at more premium positions like pass rusher or corner. He could be a nice long term solution on the interior for any team looking to improve it’s offensive line. 

21) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota St

I frequently listen to The Dan Patrick Show every morning and mostly each week on Monday a caller calls in each week to tell us how bad the left tackle for the Bucs are. I always thought Brady being a fast decision maker will help him look better. Now a few weeks into this recent marriage I have noticed the caller was extremely right and Donovan Smith is as good as a traffic cone out at left tackle. If they really want Brady to take them to the promised land they certainly need to improve their blocking as well as discipline in general on offense. Their o-line currently is a heavily penalized unit in general. Tristan Wirfs has been okay so far, but it clearly shows he is just good on the right side, I doubt moving to the left tackle side would fit well with his talent profile. Radunz is another player who was quietly on “showcase” during North Dakota St’s one game this season. He has not given up a sack so far in his career as their blindside blocker. Not many will know of him coming out of the FCS level, but I am sure he is on the radar of many scouts and GMs already. During the lead up to the draft I am sure he will start to pick up even more steam to be a first round selection. 

22) Las Vegas Raiders - Quincy Roche OLB/DE Miami 

The Raiders reached on Clellin Ferrell a few drafts ago when they could have landed a stud in Josh Allen out of Kentucky who has been a great find for the Jags. Now it looks like Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will need to try and find another edge rusher to replace Khalil Mack. This is not the best draft to have a big need at the edge position, but the teams that are might reach early to get the best of the bunch with how shallow it is. One guy who may percolate up draft boards is Quincy Roche who was solid up in Temple, but has now showcased a good display of talent down in Miami despite not having Gregory Rousseau across from him. He is still growing into his frame which should help him out in the run game, but his quickness around the corner is a natural trait for him. The Raiders have slowly acquired better young talent on defense, maybe Roche can continue that trend. In a division where the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will be a hurdle to get deep into the playoffs, finding better pass rushers will certainly be needed. 

23) Kansas City Chiefs - Walker Little OT Stanford

I doubt the Chiefs pick this high when it’s all said and done, but I would not be shocked with teams seemingly figuring out how to slow down their offense by using their own run games to eat up the clock. In any case, no matter where they make their pick this team can certainly use the best player available mantra throughout the draft. For the longest time their defense could have used more help, but they have proven to be severely underrated this year with their great schemes and developing young players. Instead, bolstering the offensive line could be a great asset moving forward now that Mahomes will eat into a good portion of the cap that will prevent them dipping into free agency a ton moving forward. I think if Little can prove healthy enough this season it would help his stock a ton. Two injury shortened seasons will knock his draft stock a bunch, but I think he still possesses the upside and talent to be a strong left tackle. Former first overall pick Eric Fisher has been a fine blindside blocker, but certainly not as great as a number one overall tackle should be. It would not be shocking if they find a replacement here in Little to move Fisher inside at guard or right tackle that are also in need of upgrades. 

24) Cleveland Browns - Patrick Jones II OLB/DE Pittsburgh 

The Olivier Vernon trade might go down as a dud for both teams as Kevin Zeitler has not been anywhere as good as advertised for the Giants thus far. However, at least Zeitler can get on the field and for the Browns was a very good blocker. Vernon has done literally nothing since his arrival in Cleveland with his inability to even get on the field. With Myles Garrett playing at an extremely high level, finding another pass rusher to take advantage of all the attention Garrett gets is very needed. As mentioned earlier, the pass rusher class in general is a bit lackluster, but it does provide a few high upside options that could make sense being selected in the first round. One of them being Patrick Jones II who has been a solid all around presence off the edge for the Panthers defense. He is a very quick and strong defender who can get after the quarterback, while also setting the edge well in the run game. His tape this season has helped his stock a ton as he has been a handful to defender against all season long for opposing offenses. The Browns could certainly use his presence across from Garrett who is getting frequently double teamed. 

25) Chicago Bears - Travis Etienne RB Clemson 

David Montgomery has shown flashes of very high end play, but it has been way too inconsistent for this offense that needs all hands on deck to help hide Nick Foles’ or Mitch Trubisky’s deficiencies. Travis Etienne made a strange decision to return to school after being a heavily used back for the previous three seasons, but Dabo Swinney has gotten many players to drink the Kool-Aid down at Clemson and has gotten many guys to return for one more season. Etienne reminds me a ton of guys like Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, and even a Christian McCaffrey with his ability to be a great runner of the football while at the same time being an excellent pass catcher. He is a smaller back, but runs like a big back with his balance and ability to power through defenders. To me he is a rare solid back to be selected in the first round with his high end home run threat ability. Pairing him with Montgomery and Cohen could give Matt Nagy a deadly trio of backs that he has to finally feature in this offense. 

26) Baltimore Ravens - Joe Tryon OLB Washington

The Ravens are having a hard time getting after opposing quarterbacks this season, but it has not been totally noticeable thanks to their terrific secondary locking down receivers. However, with their top edge rushers Tyus Bowser and Matt Judon scheduled to become free agents this off season they will need to dip into the draft to fix that problem. I assume they will keep one of them, but neither have been all that the past two seasons. Tryon will hopefully have a Pac 12 season to prove he can duplicate his break out season last year. He is an athletic freak of an edge rusher that needs a lot more refinement before he can be depended on as a full time edge rusher. His smaller frame is a weakness right now in the run game, but putting on more strength should not be too hard for him. However, he has all the makings of being a nice edge rusher that the Ravens could get the most out of. With Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in their way to make the Super Bowl for the foreseeable future they certainly need to do a better job keeping the highest paid player in the NFL in check. 

27) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) - Shaun Wade DB Ohio St

This might be really low for Wade, but I would not be surprised his attitude could cause him to dip down the draft boards a bit. Out of all the recent Buckeye corners to come into the NFL he certainly seems the most versatile being able to play safety or corner, but he is also the most unrefined. He was called for a ton of DPI calls last season to go along with a few over the top hits that were deemed unnecessary. The Jags did just draft C.J. Henderson last year in the first round, but losing both A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey all in one season could cause them to  look into grabbing a new corner or two. It will be interesting to see how teams will grade both Wade and Farley who both opted out of the 2021 seasons where they could have certainly improved their draft stocks had they played. Both are really raw and in need of refinement. I think Wade is also a defensive back that needs proper coaching to use him correctly as a defensive back that can play all across the secondary. Both corner and safety are needed for the Jags so this selection is a big need filler at both spots. 

28) Tennessee Titans - Rondale Moore WR Purdue

A.J. Brown has been a nice find for their receiving corp, but former number 5 pick Corey Davis has not been anything of the sort. He has been a huge disappointment thus far and is set to be a free agent after they declined his fifth year option. If they want Ryan Tannehill to have continued success after giving him that huge extension they need to give him more talent to work with in the passing game. Rondale Moore is a smaller receiver, but might possess the most explosive out of all the potential first round receivers. With Derrick Henry handling the bulk of the offensive duty, giving them a downfield threat to account for could take a few defenders out of the box to defend the deep ball. He would also help them get a bit more creative on offense finding ways to give him the ball as a home run threat on every touch. Moore offers a ton of versatility on offense with his all around ability to be a dangerous ball runner so it will be nice to see this offense get a little more entertaining to watch. 

29) Green Bay Packers - Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State

Here’s that receiver everyone has been clammouring about for Aaron Rodgers. Now I was a rare fan of the Jordan Love pick just for this very reason as it looks like it has lit a fire under Rodgers this season with some competition behind him. What lost me in last year’s draft was the A.J. Dillon pick in an already crowded backfield with Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams. In any case, they right a little bit of a wrong here finally finding Rodgers a pass catching tight end to work with. He was really disappointed when they failed to keep Jared Cook a few years back with their strong connection, but he has yet to find that with any other tight end. Rodgers values intelligent route runners with great timing and Freiermuth has the high IQ to be able to accomplish that. He is a very good blocking tight end and has even gotten comparisons to Gronk having the same type of talent at both catching passes and blocking in the run game. Hopefully he can come out and put together in what will be an abbreviated Big 10 season. 

30) Pittsburgh Steelers - Sam Ehlinger QB Texas 

Why not draft Big Ben’s successor here with a late first round pick. No prospect they select here will make that big of an impact on their solid all around roster. Of course they could use a new blocker or corner, but it will not really make or break the team next year. What could is if Big Ben decides to retire after this season or the next. Ehlinger has all the makings of being a very good big, athletic, and strong armed quarterback. He is built more like a modern day quarterback with his ability as a runner, but he has developed into a much better passer. This season in particular he has been able to put together solid games displaying his advancement as a potential first round quarterback. He will be in contention with a group of guys like Jamie Newman, Brock Purdy, and Kyle Trask to be the next prospects after the top three guys to come off the board. It would be hugely beneficial to Ehlinger to learn behind Big Ben who has a similar build and playing style to the former Longhorn. 

31) Buffalo Bills - Paulson Adebo CB Stanford

They have been in a bit of a search for a quality corner to play across from Tre’Davious White for a little while now. The duo of Taron Johnson and Levi Wallace have been nice corners, but they are more built to be slot or dime corners to be brought in off the bench. Length has also been key in what the Bills look for in corners and Adebo possesses that and more. He is a dominant outside corner with great length, size, and aggressive play to keep up with bigger receivers. His tackling in the run game should also appeal to many coaches and scouts across the league. Like many bigger corners he needs to be better with twitchier receivers with improving his footwork and prove he can flip his hips naturally. I generally appreciate most players out of Stanford with how well coached they are by coach David Shaw. Also for the most part most Stanford players on the defensive side of the ball have tended to be very good players at the next level. I would not be shocked if he has a Tre’Davious White, surprising rookie season that will have many scouts and GMs kicking themselves for not taking him. 

32) New York Jets (via Seattle) - Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota

Welp, I doubt this is what the Jets had hoped when they got a first round pick from Seattle in the Jamal Adams trade, but who would have known. At least it’s still a first round pick and gives them a nice talented young player on a cheap deal with a fifth year option. Wherever this pick lands they will more than likely take a receiver with it to help out their new quarterback. Jamison Crowder has looked decent this year, but someone has to catch the passes in the offense. Maybe Denzel Mims can come back and show some talent. However, even if he does I would not hesitate to load this injury prone unit with more talent. Bateman has all the natural pass catching abilities that has made Michael Thomas such a threat in the NFL despite not being an elite burner. He has great hands to go along with a great ability to high point passes in the end zone. His size, and ability to box out defenders is one of his best traits and if he comes back for the Big 10 season he should be able to continue to prove that ability. Of course, he will be missing Tyler Johnson across from him to take some attention away, but it will not be major since Bateman was always the better receiver between the two. 

Round Two

1) Atlanta Falcons - Jevon Holland S Oregon

The Falcons secondary has been a sieve for the most part of the season and a couple years for the most part. Keanu Neal cannot stay healthy so finding a new starter next to or to replace him is needed moving forward. 

2) New York Jets - Kwity Paye OLB/DE Michigan

This Jets defense needs to find a way to generate more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Quinnen Williams has not been the guy to do it as expected so do not be surprised if this new GM decides to move off on him sooner rather than later with a new interior rusher. Paye right here provides a ton of versatility and upside. 

3) New York Giants - Trey Smith OL Tennessee 

Whoever is the quarterback here the Giants need to continue to find ways to properly protect him. Andrew Thomas looks fine thus far despite some rookie growing pains. The rest of the line is able to be upgraded outside of maybe Will Hernandez. Smith is a potential gem here as a first round talent that drops a bit due to injury woes. 

4) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Minnesota) - Christian Barmore DT Alabama

Former first rounder Taven Bryan has been a bit of a disappointment thus far especially after having a ton of time learning from guys like Malik Jackson and others who blocked him for a few seasons. Barmore has all the makings of being the next interior tackle out of Alabama to hit the NFL with their prototypical skill sets. 

5) Jacksonville Jaguars - Andre Cisco S Syracuse

The Jags have had a ton of talent leave their secondary in the past few years and actually the defense in general. With so many picks it would be a big oversight not to find better defenders to fill their once great defensive unit. Cisco is a ball hawking game changer type defensive back that is needed on this defense that lacks playmakers. 

6) Miami Dolphins (via Houston) - Chuba Hubbard RB Oklahoma St

The continuation of loading up the offense around Tua keeps going. Myles Gaskins has looked nice thus far, but he is more of a change of pace smaller back. Hubbard is a dynamic back who can do it all and could be an amazing value pick here for the Dolphins to help Tua lean on in the offense. 

7) Washington Football Team - Tyson Campbell CB Georgia

I would prefer them to go receiver or blocker here, but the value of Campbell here is just too good to pass up on here. Especially with how poor their secondary overall has been this season. Only Kendall Fuller has provided any ability and even then he is just a low end starter for most teams. 

8) Detroit Lions - Jamie Newman QB Georgia

The Lions are not able to take a quarterback with their first pick being so high in the previous round. However, there are a couple intriguing second tier options like Newman or Purdy still on the board to take here. Newman is super raw, but he fits the athletic profile that coaches and GMs are looking for in quarterbacks nowadays. He would benefit even sitting behind Stafford for a season. 

9) Denver Broncos - Jalen Mayfield OT Michigan 

I think it’s hard for John Elway he has missed on first rounders, he hung onto Paxton Lynch until the very end and it looks like he could do the same with Garrett Bolles here. He is maybe the worst left tackle in the league and if they want Drew Lock to succeed they need to block better for him. Mayfield is an intriguing prospect who possesses a great deal of upside for the next level. 

10) Los Angeles Chargers - Chris Olave WR Ohio St

Justin Herbert needs more healthy options in the passing game. Keenan Allen is certainly one of the better receivers in the league, but health keeps him from reaching that truly elite status. Meanwhile, Mike Williams is the definition of an oft-injured player with his inability to be on the field. Stability in the passing game will certainly help Herbert’s development. 

11) Cincinnati Bengals - Trey Hill C Georgia 

Billy Price has been an utter disappointment thus far as a former first round pick. Joe Burrow needs better talent all across the line, which is why I am okay with doubling up on blockers in the first two rounds here. Hill has looked nice this season as the Bulldogs full time center displaying great power. 

12) Philadelphia Eagles - Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern

Andre Dillard has not been as good as expected nor has he been healthy enough to really develop as a blocker. Meanwhile, Lane Johson, he of the PEDs and loud mouthing has also had a difficult time staying healthy. New blockers all across the line are certainly needed to keep Wentz upright and give him the ability to move the ball efficiently. 

13) San Francisco 49ers - Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M 

If Jimmy Garoppolo continues to look pedestrian as he did against the Dolphins I would not be shocked if he is on an even shorter leash next season. They might be an ideal spot for a veteran like Matthew Stafford or Matt Ryan to land with. Until that is determined a rookie backup could be an ideal prospect for Kyle Shanahan to groom behind Garoppolo. 

14) Miami Dolphins - Paris Ford S Pittsburgh

Let’s sprinkle some defensive talent for Brian Flores to work with now. This defense could have one of the better secondaries if Byron Jones, and Xavien Howard can stay healthy. However, they could still use a safety over the top who can take the ball away from the likes of Josh Allen who they have to combat twice a year. 

15) New England Patriots - Jaylen Twyman DT Pittsburgh 

The Patriots could use some more punch up front to help out their rather terrific secondary. I trust Newton on offense if he continues to look as well as he did prior to him testing positive for the virus about a week ago. Twyman is in the middle of what has been a very good Pitt defense thus far and could be a nice riser if they continue to play well. He would fit their defensive front quite well. 

16) New Orleans Saints - Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina

MarShon Lattimore is one of the better corners in the league, but outside of him this secondary is extremely vulnerable. They have yet to really slow down any passing offenses this season and without Brees moving forward that might be an issue that is hard to combat. In a division with Brady having stronger corners will always be needed to get by him. 

17) Indianapolis Colts - Joseph Ossai OLB/DE Texas

The Colts have one of the best defenses in the league right now, but I think part of it has been their schedule where they have gone against the Jags, Bears, and Jets who are a few of the lower end offenses in the league. If they want to be more legitimate they need to enhance this pass rush a ton. Losing Justin Houston to free agency will certainly not help either. 

18) Arizona Cardinals - Cade Mays OL Tennessee 

The Cardinals could use improvements along the interior of their offensive line. With Kyler Murray being one of the smallest quarterbacks in the league finding him better throwing lanes is a big must. Mays might be shooting up draft boards now as a full time starter at Tennessee after being blocked at Georgia. His versatility is going to be extremely appealing here. 

19) Dallas Cowboys - Aidan Hutchinson DE Michigan

The duo of Everson Griffen and DeMarcus Lawrence has not been as fearsome as thought so far. Lawrence especially has been a bit disappointing after being one of the highest paid players on this defense. A pass rusher either inside or on the edge is a big need for this hapless defense. I would even be tempted with a run stuffing nose tackle at this point here. 

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jay Tufele DT USC 

Ndamukong Suh is a shell of his former self at this point and is nothing more than an overpriced decent run stuffer. Sure he has some flashes of his old self pushing the pocket, but he has hung up his cleats a few seasons ago after signing that big deal with Miami way back when. More punch to go along with their edge rushing duo of Shaq Barrett and JPP would be an ideal get through the draft for this defense. 

21) Las Vegas Raiders - Deonte Brown OG Alabama 

The Raiders have a few aging interior linemen in Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson who have been so-so towards the ends of their careers. Not that the other guard Denzell Goode has been all that, well good either. Adding good depth along the line has never been a bad idea for most teams. Brown is a very good blocker who is sneaky good enough to be a first rounder. 

22) Carolina Panthers - Nick Bolton LB Missouri 

The sudden retirement of Luke Kuechly has really impacted the interior of their defense. Shaq Thompson was supposed to be able to keep the seat warm after the future Hall of Famer left, but he has been a liability to this point. Linebackers could always be had in the middle of the draft like Bolton here. He is a talented linebacker who fits the prototype role being able to cover tight ends and slot receivers very well. 

23) Cleveland Browns - Terrace Marshall Jr WR LSU 

The Browns could use some depth behind their two top receivers OBJ and Jarvis Landry. Both seem to be geling better so far with the team on a win streak. However, both could be expendable after this season at their price. Marshall is another big time LSU receiver who can join fellow alums Landry and Beckham Jr. 

24) Kansas City Chiefs - Hamilcar Rashad Jr DE Oregon St

Why not get a better pass rusher to bolster this suddenly competitive defense. This team is so well off with Mahomes being the great eraser making people overlook their deficiencies and allows them to swing at big almost lottery ticket type draft picks. Edge rusher is not a huge huge need, but it never hurts to have too many. Rashad is a bit of a tweener, but the Chiefs deploy a versatile front that will allow him to move all over the defense. 

25) Baltimore Ravens - Jackson Carman OG Clemson 

The Ravens are sort of in the same boat as the Chiefs, but they just have yet to beat their biggest rivals of the AFC. So they have a bit of a shorter leash so to say to make too many mistakes. What could always help is more depth along their offensive line. They could also use a new receiver or corner with a lot of players hitting free agency. Overall, many players make sense here, but I think keeping Lamar Jackson comfortable in the pocket is a big need. 

26) Los Angeles Rams - Brenton Cox Jr. OLB/DE Florida

The Rams have probably the best pass rusher in the game in Aaron Donald, but what is surprising is their difficulty to find a consistent pass rusher across from him. Leonard Floyd has done okay thus far, but he has never really been a consistent playmaker nor has he been consistently healthy. Cox Jr. is an intriguing athletic specimen who could be a late riser come draft day. 

27) Chicago Bears - Liam Eichenburg OT Notre Dame 

The Bears have actually had better protection than a year ago and markedly so. Clearly new o-line coach Luis Castillo is doing a very good job. However, Bobbie Massie has always been a bit of a weak point on the line that could get upgraded. The Bears have also been a fan of bringing in guys from Notre Dame, which is basically right down the road for them. 

28) Tennessee Titans - Tedarrell Slaton DT Florida 

The Titans continue to bulk up their defensive front after they gave away Jurrell Casey for peanuts. I do like Jeffrey Simmons and what I saw from him last year. Granted the COVID outbreak will cause him a bit of a set back this season. Still adding more bulk up front could really help this defense to hopefully make a push to beat out the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. 

29) Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris RB Alabama

James Conner is a nice back, but he has not been consistent enough to garner one of those big contract extensions that Alvin Kamara, or Dalvin Cook has gotten. Harris is a nice big back who can be a nice addition to this offense. He is oddly one of the quieter talented backs to have played at a high level down at Alabama in a long time. 

30) Green Bay Packers - Josh Meyers OG Ohio St

Protection will be key as Aaron Rodgers ages and becomes a bit more brittle. He already has a bit of an injury history that is also going to be in the back of many people’s minds including Rodgers who will be looking over his shoulder at Jordan Love. Adding more depth along the line in my opinion is always a wise move in the long run. 

31) Buffalo Bills - Thomas Booker DE Stanford

The Bills defense has always been a scheme dependent unit where they win with great play calling over just relying on one great player or two. Sure they have White at corner, but they have yet to really have that reliable pass rusher. Finding one in this draft is a must for them if they want to be considered true contenders for the next few seasons.

32) Seattle Seahawks - Tyreke Smith DE Ohio St

The Seahawks have zero pass rush this season and their leaky defense might be their undoing come playoff time if a team is smart enough to properly run out the clock on Russell Wilson and company. One name who could rise with a good season this year is Tyreke Smith who is now the next up to take up the great pass rusher mantle in Columbus. 

Round 3 

  1. New York Jets - Jayson Oweh DE Penn St 

  2. New York Giants - Tamorrion Terry WR Florida St

  3. Atlanta Falcons - Brock Purdy QB Iowa St

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Brevin Jordan TE Miami 

  5. Houston Texans - Daniel Faalele OT Minnesota 

  6. Washington Football Team - Justyn Ross WR Clemson

  7. Minnesota Vikings - Asante Samuel Jr CB Florida St

  8. Denver Broncos - DeAngelo Malone OLB Western Kentucky

  9. Los Angeles Chargers - Elerson Smith DE Northern Iowa

  10. Detroit Lions - Hamsah Nasirildeen S Florida St

  11. Philadelphia Eagles - Thayor Munford OG Ohio St

  12. Cincinnati Bengals - Tyler Shelvin DT LSU 

  13. Miami Dolphins - Jimmy Morrisey C Pittsburgh 

  14. Washington Football Team - Alec Lindstrom OG Boston College

  15. Cleveland Browns - Israel Mukuamu CB South Carolina

  16. New England Patriots - Forfeited

  17. Arizona Cardinals - Kary Vincent Jr CB LSU 

  18. Indianapolis Colts - Caden Sterns S Texas 

  19. Dallas Cowboys - Trevon Moehrig S TCU 

  20. Las Vegas Raiders - Seth Williams WR Auburn

  21. Carolina Panthers - Sage Surratt WR Wake Forest 

  22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chris Rumph DE/OLB Duke 

  23. Kansas City Chiefs - Tylan Wallace WR Oklahoma St

  24. Cleveland Browns - Cameron McGrone LB Michigan 

  25. Los Angeles Rams - Eric Stokes CB Georgia

  26. Chicago Bears - Cory Durden DE Florida St

  27. Baltimore Ravens - Amon-Ra St.Brown WR USC

  28. Tennessee Titans - Kenneth Gainway RB Memphis

  29. Green Bay Packers - LaBryan Ray DT Alabama 

  30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Alaric Jackson OT Iowa

  31. Buffalo Bills - Tommy Kraemer OT Notre Dame

  32. New York Jets - Derion Kendrick CB Clemson 

5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Giants
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Dallas Cowboys
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Denver Broncos
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Carolina Panthers
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Detroit Lions
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Philadelphia Eagles
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Atlanta Falcons
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Houston Texans
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets
5/3/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Jacksonville Jaguars
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks
3/2/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Running Backs
3/1/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Quarterbacks
2/16/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft : Vol 1 - Post Super Bowl (7 Rounds)
1/28/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Pre Super Bowl
1/14/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Post Wild Card
1/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Mock Draft - End of Season
12/10/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 5
11/22/2020 - Draft Vol 4
10/28/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol. 3
10/23/2020 - NFL Draft Vol 2
10/13/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 1
7/15/2020 - Top Running Backs Power Rankings
7/15/2020 - Quarterback Rankings
5/5/2020 - 2020 Post Draft Prospect Rankings: Quarterbacks
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Kansas City Chiefs
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: San Francisco 49ers
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Green Bay Packers
5/3/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Tennessee Titans
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5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Minnesota Vikings
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5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Buffalo Bills
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New England Patriots
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Philadelphia Eagles
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4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Chicago Bears
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Pittsburgh Steelers
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Dallas Cowboys
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4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Carolina Panthers
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4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Miami Dolphins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New York Giants
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grades: Washington Redskins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Detroit Lions
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Cincinatti Bengals
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