2021 NFL Draft Rumors and Buzz for Draft Week

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Tuesday, April 27: Latest rumors and buzz around the 2021 NFL Draft

Make sure to check in throughout the week, as this article is updated regularly with all the latest rumors from the 2021 NFL Draft. The most recent information will be updated at the top of this section. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter: @TonyPauline, along with Pro Football Network: @PFN365.

Cowboys’ front office split on Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn?

(6:10 PM ET) While there’s been talk of a battle within the San Francisco 49ers’ front office over which quarterback the team will select with the third selection, I am told a similar battle is taking place at One Cowboys Way in Frisco, Texas, as to which cornerback Dallas will select.

There’s a 50/50 split in the front office right now as to whether the team should take Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn with the tenth pick. As stated last week, during the Draft Insiders podcast with Trey Wingo — while Surtain is presently higher rated on my board, two years down the road I believe Horn can be the better cornerback.

49ers’ inability to land free agent QB may influence draft decision

(5:00 PM ET) If the Niners end up taking Mac Jones over Trey Lance, which is the way it looks as of right now, it’s because of what they could not accomplish during the offseason. The team really wanted to sign a veteran quarterback and went hard after Andy Dalton as well as Joe Flacco.

The game plan was then to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, likely to the Patriots, draft Lance, and let him sit for most of the season. The inability to sign Dalton or Flacco put them in a bind and now makes taking a quarterback who’s more NFL-ready a priority.

Houston’s Payton Turner rising up draft boards

(4:45 PM ET) Yesterday, I mentioned Davis Mills as the fastest rising player on draft boards. If there is an equivalent on defense, it would be Houston defensive lineman Payton Turner. Turner is coming off a terrific senior season as well as three good days of practice at the Senior Bowl. Most who I’ve spoken with tell me Turner will be selected ahead of Miami’s Gregory Rousseau, and he has an outside shot of landing in the late part of Round 1.

What is the Dolphins’ plan at 6 overall?

(3:20 PM ET) There’s a lot of intrigue surrounding both the picks the Dolphins hold at 6 and 18 overall. As mentioned last week during The Draft Insiders podcast, the player they like is Pitts. But unless the Falcons move that pick — and it doesn’t look like they will be able to make a trade at present time — Pitts will be gone. After speaking with people, what I can tell you about the Miami Dolphins at six is this — the team is seemingly moving away from DeVonta Smith and towards either Penei Sewell or Smith’s Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle.

Howie Rosman and the Eagles are known to pull a surprise or two on draft day — so who could it be this year?

(12:55 PM ET) I’m told the team loves Kwity Paye, the edge rusher from Michigan, and view him as a clone to another former Wolverine — Brandon Graham — the Eagles’ former first-round pick. Could they take him with the 12th overall selection? I’d say right now, it’s possible.

Rashawn Slater’s medicals not a concern for teams

(12:55 PM ET) I previously reported red flags popped up on Rashawn Slater’s back during combine medicals. I’m told they are not enough of a concern to hurt his draft stock. The other player I’m told came out of Indianapolis worse for the wear was Georgia pass rusher Azeez Ojulari, who was flagged for a degenerative lower leg condition.

Expectations are that Zach Ertz will be traded at some point over the weekend

(11:30 AM ET) I’m told there are six to seven teams in the running, including the Indianapolis Colts. Many tell me it’s a situation where Howie Roseman will try and squeeze as much as possible from a team that wants Ertz considering the weakness of the tight end class. As we previously reported, the Eagles’ initial third-round asking price was too much for teams initially interested.

Could the Cincinnati Bengals really pass up offensive tackle Penei Sewell in favor of receiver Ja’Marr Chase?

(10:45 AM ET) The answer is yes, but a source close to the team tells me it has little to do with the Burrow to Chase connection at LSU in 2019. “You have to understand the mentality of the Bengals’ front office,” my source told me. “They got a damn good receiver in Tee Higgins last year, and they must protect Burrow. But the way they see it is the team lost A.J. Green, and after what turned into a contentious relationship, the priority of many in the front office is to replace Green with another receiver and stick it to him.”

After the third pick, what are the San Francisco 49ers planning to do in the 2021 NFL Draft?

(8:45 AM ET) The San Francisco 49ers are expected to select a quarterback with the third overall pick, then hope to fortify the offensive line during and after the draft. I’m told the team hopes to come away with almost a handful of blockers which they will select at some point during the draft or sign afterward as free agents.

Are the New York Jets targeting a running back?

(8:45 AM ET) Don’t count out the New York Jets taking a running back with either the 23rd or 34th pick. While I’ve dismissed this possibility in the past, despite previously reporting the team has a high grade on Najee Harris, I’m told the Jets feel there is a big drop off after Harris, Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams. The Jets see all three of those running backs as plug-and-play-type ball carriers.

If the Steelers miss out on Najee Harris, who is their next target at the running back position?

(8:45 AM ET) If the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t select Najee Harris in the first round and go offensive line instead, who’s the next running back on their list? I’m told the team loves Ohio State’s Trey Sermon, as he’s a perfect fit for their system. Some in the organization feel his playing style is similar to a young Le’Veon Bell. Hence, if they go offensive line on Day 1, Sermon could be the running back they select on Day 2.