2021 First Round NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
This seems like a Raiders pick. Quite frankly, this is Micah Parsons‘ floor at this point. The Raiders need a linebacker, and specifically, they need athleticism at linebacker. Parsons is an athletic marvel with great downhill skills and can rush off the edge a little bit. Only scratching the surface of his potential, Parsons is a perfect fit for that defense in Sin City.
18. Miami Dolphins: Creed Humphrey, OC, Oklahoma
The Dolphins need some help along their offensive line. The center position, in particular, is a place where they could use someone to fill the void there. Creed Humphrey is the safest, surest prospect that there is at the position this year. With a phenomenal football IQ, strong hands, and unquestionable athleticism, Humphrey will be a nice piece along the Dolphins’ front for years to come.
19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
With no quarterback on the board at this point, Washington must face the music and instead add a coverage chess piece in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. There is no doubt that Owusu-Koramoah will fill a void that Washington has at linebacker. Additionally, he can help them out at slot cornerback and safety. A complete unicorn, Owusu-Koramoah should be making an immediate high-level impact.
20. Chicago Bears: Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
The Bears need cornerback help after releasing Kyle Fuller earlier this offseason. While there are other positions they could attack at this point, Greg Newsome presents both good value and exceptional tape. His fluidity and phenomenal matching skills will be welcome across from Jaylon Johnson in the Windy City.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
Another fit that could be made possible due to value, Kwity Paye manages to fall into the Colts’ lap, and they get him as a result. Paye is a twitched-up athlete who could reasonably stand up in a 3-4 or put his hand down in the dirt in a 4-3 scheme. With the variety of ways he wins, Paye should be an impact player from Day 1.
22. Tennessee Titans: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
After losing Corey Davis to free agency, the Titans are in serious need of wide receiver help. Enter Rashod Bateman, who is one of the best route runners and separators in the class. A vertical threat with a serious burn, Bateman is the exact type of receiver that Tennessee needs to help round out the corps with Josh Reynolds and A.J. Brown already there.
23. New York Jets: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Despite the concerns over his back injuries, in this scenario, Caleb Farley still finds himself in the first round. His great physical tools might lack some polish, but you cannot find guys who move like Farley — it is that simple. He has the potential to be an elite coverage cornerback if he cleans up some footwork inconsistencies and eye discipline issues.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
With no Harris on the board, the Steelers instead pivot to the other top running back to fill the void for them. Travis Etienne is a guy with legitimate elite acceleration, short-area burst, and long speed. An improving receiver, Etienne can upgrade the Steelers’ mediocre backfield right away from that standpoint. He should be a starter alongside Ben Roethlisberger in Matt Canada’s offense.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Building upon their selection of Lawrence earlier in the draft, the Jaguars attack the other side of the ball this time. Standout TCU free safety Trevon Moehrig is the selection. The Jaguars seriously lack much in their defensive backfield. After adding C.J. Henderson last year, the first order of business should be to get a serious presence at free safety. Moehrig can be that guy with his range and ball skills.
26. Cleveland Browns: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
The meteoric rise of Jamin Davis ends with him heading to the Dawg Pound in Cleveland. Davis is noticeably raw, that much is certain. However, this is a guy who has physical tools that are so rare that some team will take a chance on him, and rightfully so. Davis has to improve on shedding blocks and reading plays and his keys, but he can make a difference on physical ability alone in his rookie season as he develops.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
With Orlando Brown Jr. likely on his way out because the Ravens can not pay him left tackle money, Samuel Cosmi can be a plug-and-play replacement for Brown. Cosmi’s excellent feet and use of his snatch-trap move allow him to defeat guys with great burst and length. While he will not overpower anyone by any means, Cosmi can still be a steady presence across from the returning Ronnie Stanley.
28. New Orleans Saints: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Saints have the talented Demario Davis in the middle of their defense with no one else to complement him. They fix that issue by drafting the athletic and traitsy Zaven Collins. A guy who moves far too good for 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Collins will be a downhill attacker who has coverage upside in a Saints’ defense that is only continuing to improve.
29. New York Giants (from Packers): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC
Trade! The New York Giants trade picks 42, 76, and a 2022 third-round pick to the Packers for pick 29.
The Giants are making sure their offensive line is a strength in this draft. After picking Slater earlier, they move up in this to select perhaps the best interior lineman in the draft in Alijah Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker is one of the surest, safest prospects in the entire 2021 NFL Draft. Like Slater, he might be able to play all five spots along the offensive line. Either way, there is a good chance both Slater and Vera-Tucker would start.
30. Buffalo Bills: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama
The Bills are going for another value pick. They could use pass rush both off the edge and from the interior, and Christian Barmore might be the best player available here at this selection, so they go with him. Barmore will come in and be an immediate help for the Bills’ interior pass rush.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs need help along the offensive line. Now, they did assuage some of that through free agency, but they need a tackle across from likely starter Lucas Niang. Teven Jenkins may just be the best-case scenario for the Chiefs. Jenkins is a mauler with a physical aptitude. He will protect Patrick Mahomes and keep this Kansas City offense humming.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Rounding out the top 32 is a good value pick for the defending Super Bowl champions. With little to no holes on the roster, the Buccaneers draft for the future instead. Joseph Ossai can replace Jason Pierre-Paul should he walk after the season. Ossai is a twitched-up edge rusher who is still learning the position. With the ability to play off-ball as well, the Buccaneers have a versatile rotational piece in Ossai.
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