Round One | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
The Raiders get themselves a dog in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft. And boy, do Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock like to slightly overdraft big school defensive talents!
Christian Barmore was productive as a part-time player before 2020, and that continued in his final college season. Barmore was part of a very heavy rotation at Alabama, so he remained fresh when on the field.
His late-season uptick is what really propels him into this draft spot. He’s risky because he hasn’t put it all together consistently, but the upside and flashes will have Gruden drooling on the mask he’s not wearing correctly.
18. Miami Dolphins: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
There have been recent whispers about poor interviews with Kadarius Toney, but the product on the field in 2020 is hard to argue with. Additionally, he’s the type of target that Miami could use in their offense. Toney allows Tua Tagovailoa a target he can get the ball out to in the short areas of the field and simply allow him to make plays.
There was a play in the Missouri game where Toney bounced off tackles of highly regarded linebacker Nick Bolton and also shed a tackle from future NFL safety Tyree Gillespie on his way past a few other defenders into the end zone. NFL teams will live with a dropped pass here and there when the player is a potential home-run threat.
19. Washington Football Team: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
My oh my! How the mighty have fallen. Washington getting an athlete like this at linebacker in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft is not fair. Not on a defense that is already outstanding.
They just won a bad NFC East in 2020, so going out of their way to draft Mac Jones doesn’t make a ton of sense. I feel that the front office and head coach Ron Rivera will go the veteran free-agent route instead.
Micah Parsons is a freak athlete at the position who has upside as a pass rusher, but inconsistent tape and questionable off-field character have tanked his once Teflon draft stock inside the top-10.
20. Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Listen, they have to try SOMETHING here. It seems inevitable someone will draft Mac Jones in the first round, and the one situation that makes sense is in Chicago.
Jones doesn’t possess the high-end physical tools you’d like to see from a future franchise quarterback, but he’s a very accurate quarterback who can thrive off quick decision making and ball placement. His biggest question coming into 2020 was his ability to make plays out of structure. In his championship season at Alabama, he showed he’s not simply a statue in the pocket, even if he is not the athletic marvel that the top-four targets are.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Azeez Ojulari is a versatile edge defender who possesses good traits and a willingness to bang around against the run that is unlike most sub-260-pound defensive ends. He isn’t a finished product, but he’s a young prospect with the bend, first step, and competitive nature that teams look for.
There is something to be said about his ability to make THE play when it’s absolutely needed. You can’t quantify the intriguing clutch factor in his game. His tape against the Crimson Tide was outrageous. He came down line multiple times to blow up pulling guards, which helped the linebackers scrape free over the top and make plays outside the tackles.
22. Tennessee Titans: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
Gregory Rousseau is such an intriguing case study. The Titans couldn’t rush the passer in 2020 if the quarterback invited them to dinner. Rousseau, on the other hand, had 15.5 sacks as a position convert.
He still doesn’t really know what he is doing as a player, which is terrifying in two ways. He’s endlessly long-limbed and tall, which helps him control blockers and maintain his space, but he also tends to pop up and play too high.
He doesn’t really possess a pass-rush repertoire at this point, and his best reps came from the inside, and at about 250 pounds. In terms of upside picks, this is the one. Rousseau is completely boom-or-bust as a prospect, but in the 20s, taking a gamble on a raw pass rusher is better than taking a soggy taco.
23. New York Jets: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Joe Douglas just did a backflip. Robert Saleh would be talking about eating knee caps if he was Dan Campbell after drafting a guy like Horn. Like his father Joe, Jaycee Horn plays with an attitude that gives him an edge.
Additionally, that attitude on the defensive side of the ball undoubtedly gets into the heads of opposing receivers. Horn is the prototypical size for a press-man cornerback, and he’ll also bode just fine in Cover 3 looks.
The mental side of the game and his propensity to close his hands on the receivers’ hips and jerseys are what lands him as the fourth cornerback drafted. If he cleans up those issues, he has legitimate CB1 upside.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Talk about a fit! The Steel City has a long history of intimidating players. Teven Jenkins adds to that. He is a departure from the traditional finesse style player of past Oklahoma State Cowboys.
His game translates seamlessly to the almost instant passing attack of the Steelers. He sets quickly, strikes efficiently, and gets the job done. His vertical pass sets aren’t fully developed, but until the corpse of Ben Roethlisberger retires, he won’t have to worry about long-developing passing plays very often.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
This draft might look a bit awkward for Jaguars’ fans. I am aware that linebackers Myles Jack and Joe Schobert exist and will for years on the Jaguars’ defense. However, 6-foot-1 and 215-pound linebacker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, played more in the slot than in the box for the Fighting Irish anyways.
Versatility is key, and Owusu-Koramoah is as versatile as they come. He has the athleticism to play in the slot and in the back half as an overhang or force player. Owusu-Koramoah possesses the physicality to play in the box, and he can rush the passer. He provides options and allows Jacksonville to remain in base defense rather than going to nickel.
26. Cleveland Browns: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Nick Bolton is LB1 in the traditional sense. He’s a downhill terror, has a quick trigger when processing blocking schemes, and covers well. He isn’t the transcendent athlete Micah Parsons is, but he provides a bit of everything at the position.
In addition, he is in better shape to produce immediately. The Browns have thrown a bunch of names at linebacker the past few seasons, and drafting one in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft is a big win for an already talented defense.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
Joseph Ossai is an incredibly solid pass rusher. He provides versatility as someone who can play off the ball or as a traditional rusher. Ossai plays both from a two and three-point stance.
He’s athletic enough to survive in space and has the hands to beat offensive tackles on the way to the quarterback. Yet, his fit in Baltimore is so good because he epitomizes that of an AFC North defensive lineman. His motor runs hotter than a nitrous-injected funny car. He has powerful hands and good reactionary athleticism to make plays in space.
28. New Orleans Saints: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
Baron Browning finally got it. His athleticism finally translated to production for the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2020.
Browning is the prototypical build for an inside linebacker at the NFL level, and pairing him with veteran Demario Davis is a match made in heaven. He possesses the length and tackling ability to be a force if he continues to progress his mental trigger. Browning really came into his own in coverage in 2020, where he showed an understanding of space and place.
29. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Rashod Bateman seems like the forgotten man in the 2021 NFL draft class, but he shouldn’t be. His 2019 tape was outstanding, and although 2020 wasn’t at the same level, his traits persist.
Bateman has good size and athleticism, but his flexibility and short-area quickness allow him to consistently separate. He’s also no slouch at the catch point and has no issues playing in inclement weather. Aaron Rodgers just needs one more weapon that he can count on down in and down out. Bateman could put the Packers over the top.
30. Buffalo Bills: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Samuel Cosmi’s draft stock has been wild to track. His athleticism and upside were lauded early on. For some reason though, even as he showed marked improvement in his game, new names emerged from nowhere in this tackle class, and it seemed Cosmi was left behind and out of Round 1.
However, in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft, and going forward, he should see his name firmly falling into Round 1. His play in 2020 warrants top-20 consideration, and the Bills snatching him up at No. 30 is a testament to how great this tackle class is.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
A match made in heaven. Najee Harris fits an immediate need for the Buccaneers. They need a player who can consistently produce on the ground but can also make plays as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
It’s difficult to wrap one’s head around a 6-foot-2, 230-pound running back who can also make contested catches on back shoulder fades from wheel routes. Harris has a special blend of power and finesse, and in a past generation, he would be considered in the top-15.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Alex Leatherwood struggled during his time in Mobile, but not as much as it seemed. He has an endless amount of experience playing left tackle for the Crimson Tide, and he also has the ability to slide inside if necessary.
The Chiefs are a team with no real nagging needs, so building more in the trenches on a team playing in the Super Bowl without either starting offensive tackle seems fitting. This won’t be the only time Kansas City picks from the Crimson Tide in this 2021 2-round NFL mock draft.