2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
17. Arizona Cardinals: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
Kendrick is even newer to the position than guys like Diggs and Farley are. The 2019 season was his first as a cornerback after previously playing wide receiver for Clemson. He moved out of necessity and never looked back.
Kendrick has continued to display growth at the position week in and week out and has the size and movement skills necessary to be a CB1 in the NFL. He is still developing, but ball skills and natural athleticism land him in the first round in a deep cornerback class that lacks elite top-end talent.
18. Indianapolis Colts: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Notre Dame pumping out another super solid lineman? We should not be surprised. His snap streak without allowing a sack is unbelievable. He made Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones look like just another guy out there, despite Jones garnering first-round consideration himself.
If there was more flash in his game, he might be a top-10 player. The Colts are the next team to benefit from teams drafting skill position players over offensive linemen in this draft.
19. Washington Football Team: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
For the love of all things holy, please do not line this man up with his hand in the dirt and ask him to block on a majority of snaps. If he’s the first offensive position player drafted, it would not be a surprise.
Pitts will go out and test like a receiver, and his ability as a route runner isn’t talked about enough. He is so good in contested and aerial situations that we ignore that he can make cornerbacks look silly with an impressive ability to change direction.
And Pitts can make any quarterback look good. He’s used to doing that. That is why he was an easy name to place in this 2021 2-Round NFL Mock Draft.
20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Bateman had significant buzz throughout the summer, but he’s completely fallen off the map despite playing in five games in 2020. If there has been a single highlight from this season for Bateman, I missed it.
He is still a well-rounded receiver, nevertheless, who can separate and win in contested situations. The Bears could lose Allen Robinson in the offseason, and replacing him with another big-bodied wide receiver is the first step toward beginning to replace Robinson’s talent. Taking Bateman in this 2021 2-Round NFL Mock Draft does just that.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Are you a bit surprised to just now be seeing Rousseau’s name in this 2021 2-Round NFL Mock Draft? Rousseau’s hype machine could only last so long. His production in 2019 was silly, but the tape just never seemed to match it. He’s incredibly long but doesn’t look particularly explosive as an edge rusher from a first-step and bend perspective.
In an NFL that continuously improves getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly, capturing the edge immediately is a necessary trait in a modern pass rusher. Rousseau’s best reps come from the inside, where he can use his length to collapse the pocket through speed to power.
22. Cleveland Browns: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Owusu-Koramoah fits a couple of needs for the Browns. We see more of these “tweener” players every year, and he is the newest iteration of linebacker/safety hybrid. His coverage ability is his party piece, but he possesses the physicality to be a WILL linebacker at the next level.
The Browns need help at safety as well, and it shouldn’t be crazy if we see Owusu-Koramoah cover tight ends out in the slot or play as an overhang as a third safety. He also has flashed as a pass rusher with seven sacks in two seasons.
23. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Normally, this would be blasphemous for me to do. A running back? In the first round? In this economy?! But I needed to convey just how much I enjoy Harris as a player. Recreating a bit of that unbelievable Alabama offense from 2019 doesn’t seem like an awful idea.
Harris is a complete back with outstanding size and speed. He has more wiggle than you’d expect from a 230-plus-pound back, and he is a naturally gifted receiver out of the backfield. His back-shoulder fade versus former LSU Tigers and current Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen was unbelievable.
24. Baltimore Ravens: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, Louisiana State
Please Baltimore, for the love of all things holy draft a wide receiver that can ride all the roller coasters at Six Flags! Drafting Marshall allows that to be a reality. After losing Justin Jefferson to the NFL and Ja’Marr Chase to opting out, Marshall filled those shoes in a big way to the tune of 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in just seven games in 2020. He provides a big target to hit over the middle and a nice downfield threat that can win in contested situations.
25. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Ojulari was a surprising study. As a 240-pound defender, I did not expect someone to be so physical and aggressive against the run. This young man will take on your pulling guard with his inside shoulder, remaining parallel to the line of scrimmage, force the bounce by the back, and then run him down.
He has the rest of the tools necessary to be either a true defensive end or an outside linebacker that primarily rushes. Ojulari possesses ideal explosion and bend. If he develops, his hands could become a double-digit sack contender year after year. This is outstanding value.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Patrick Jones, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Jones is a lanky, explosive athlete with a great hanging rip move that really puts pressure on offensive tackles to counter and run him up the arc and past where he wants to end up. He can flatten out and soften rush angles and displays good flexibility as a pass rusher.
His work against the run leaves a lot to be desired from a physical perspective, but his hanging rip pass rush move he uses to win the arc is enough to work through the time it takes for him to develop against the run.
27. New York Jets: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
Protect your young quarterback at all costs. Davis still needs to grow from a consistency perspective, but his physicality at the position should allow the run game to open up a bit in New York.
He survived in an Ohio State offense that runs many long-developing pass concepts that put him on an island for a long time against pass rushers. This is a bit of an upside pick, but the Jets must spend resources protecting Zach Wilson.
28. Buffalo Bills: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
As was Kendrick, Campbell is an upside pick at the cornerback spot. The 2020 season was his first as a full-time player for Georgia, and he is still growing technically. But he is one of the faster players in this class, and his frame is ideal for the position.
He’s endlessly long, isn’t afraid to be physical at the line, and has the fluidity in his hips necessary to mirror receivers in and out of breaks. Campbell simply needs to be better at learning to work and understand leverage and overall positioning in man coverage.
Getting a complement to Tre’Davious White is a glaring need for the Bills, who have one of the more complete rosters in football.
29. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Olave is so natural at the position. He is a gifted route runner who will create separation on all three levels. He isn’t quite Justin Jefferson, but they are similar movers at similar sizes. Olave works as a longer strider but can still snap off sudden changes in direction, reminiscent of the crossover-type route running Jefferson displays against off coverage.
Getting Michael Thomas a running mate is necessary for the success of whoever is throwing passes for the Saints in 2021.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
First, elite last name. Second, kudos to Virginia Tech on the two first-round picks. Darrisaw is a long and athletic blocker who possesses a nice strike and solid anchor in pass protection.
He will need to improve his consistency and patience in his vertical sets, as he can become a bit antsy and get out over his skis, which leads to a bit of waist bending. But this is a left tackle prospect who is not far off from being a consistent product, and getting that kind of blocker with the 19th pick is outstanding value for Washington.
31. Green Bay Packers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Barmore was a pass rush specialist for an unfairly deep Alabama defensive line in 2020, but he’s shown intriguing growth in 2020 with more snaps. We hoped for dominance from him going into 2020, and even if that didn’t happen, he did show he can consistently bang around on the interior.
He has good lateral agility and possesses the power in his hands to win quickly and get through the shoulder of interior blockers.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Collins may very well go in the top 20 of this 2021 2-Round NFL Mock Draft, but until we know more, he gets to head to the two-time defending champions (in this scenario). This young man plays edge, linebacker, safety, and fills up the water cooler.
His movement skills at 260-pounds boggles the mind at times. Collins is not super explosive for the position, but his fluidity is ideal for surviving in coverage at the next level. He adds value as a playmaker in coverage and as a pass rusher, and that versatility is perfect for a team that needs a linebacker that isn’t a Dallas Cowboys retread.