Cummings’ 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1, Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Based on your rankings, Teven Jenkins might not be the best tackle on the board here. Christian Darrisaw and Samuel Cosmi both stand out as equally compelling options. Jenkins is overlooked in this context, though. Some experts have him as high as OT2, and on tape, his impact is undeniable. Jenkins is a good athlete who’s powerful, ultra-aggressive, and well-leveraged.
A bonus for Las Vegas is that Jenkins is a much more natural right tackle than his competitors here. And after the Raiders shipped starting right tackle Trent Brown to the Patriots, they need a new starter. Jenkins has both the tools and the positional familiarity to file into the lineup on Day 1.
18. Miami Dolphins: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
The Dolphins missed out on considering Najee Harris in this mock draft, but with more talent on the interior line, they can ensure that holes will be open for whoever lines up in the backfield. Seeing that the top center is still on the board, this decision suddenly becomes an easy one.
Even before he tested as the best athlete ever at the center position, Creed Humphrey, known for his strength, tenacity, and relentless consistency, was already a likely first-round pick. He’ll help bolster the Dolphins’ rushing attack while also providing necessary support for Tua Tagovailoa in Year 2.
19. Washington Football Team: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Washington Football Team did a nice job adding to their receiving corps in free agency. Curtis Samuel projects as an exciting weapon alongside Terry McLaurin. Additionally, Adam Humphries is also an underrated slot receiver who will provide rotational ability. Nevertheless, Washington could still add a more imposing threat on the boundary. That’s where Rashod Bateman comes in.
Bateman tested very well athletically, and although he measured in smaller than expected, it doesn’t change his NFL outlook. He’s still an incredibly sharp, nuanced player with great bands and body control. With Bateman, Washington’s offense is suddenly dangerous.
20. Chicago Bears: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Andy Dalton shouldn’t be the Bears’ unquestioned starter from a diagnostic perspective. Consequently, the Bears aren’t in a position to acquire competition for him, either. Sitting at No. 20 overall, the best the Bears can do is bolster the offense around him. And luckily for Chicago, there’s an elite offensive tackle prospect available later than he should be.
Darrisaw is young, massive, and very athletic. With the Bears being mediocre overall at the tackle position, Christian Darrisaw can help provide an upgrade. And when the Bears potentially get their next franchise QB in 2022 or 2023, Darrisaw will be there to protect his blindside.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
The Colts are still looking for full-time starters along the edge, even after acquiring Ben Banogu and Kemoko Turay in recent years. Both players still have upside, but Indianapolis shouldn’t be timid in seeking to improve their pass rush. In this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, one edge rusher who fits the Colts’ desired mold is Joseph Ossai.
Standing at almost 6-foot-4 and 256 pounds, with 34-inch arms, Ossai logged a 4.63 40-yard dash, a 41.5-inch vertical jump, and a 131-inch broad jump at his pro day. Ossai has an elite combination of explosiveness and length, and his motor always runs hot. It’ll take some time to refine his pass-rushing arsenal, but the upside here is immense.
22. Tennessee Titans: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
The Titans were due to reshuffle at the cornerback position, but free agency left them on the thin side. They did sign Janoris Jenkins and Kevin Johnson to join 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton. However, neither player is a guaranteed starter at this stage of their careers. The Titans still need more top-end talent at the cornerback position, and at No. 22 overall, Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II is a sound investment.
Newsome is an excellent athlete with the length to disrupt passes, and he’s also astute and quick as a processor. He has traits conducive to early success on the boundary, but he should have the versatility to move around in time.
23. New York Jets: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Jets have a couple of intriguing young linebackers in Blake Cashman and Jarrad Davis. Additionally, C.J. Mosley should benefit from Robert Saleh’s presence. Nevertheless, almost no position is off-limits for the Jets with their second first-round pick. If the value is right, it’s time to pull the trigger. Such was the case this time around when Zaven Collins dropped to No. 23 overall.
Collins tested at his pro day on April 2, logging a 4.67 40-yard dash, a 35-inch vertical, and a 122-inch broad jump at 6-foot-5, 259 pounds. Collins offers an elite size/athleticism combination, but he’s also a smart, measured player who reads the field well and navigates through congestion with ease. His versatility and physicality at the contact point could take the New York defense up a notch.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
After losing Bud Dupree in free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to replenish the talent lost in their edge-rushing room. They still have T.J. Watt, whose withstanding presence lessens the blow somewhat. Still, if Pittsburgh were to add another edge defender, they could restore their defensive unit to near-elite standing. At No. 24 overall, Azeez Ojulari is an excellent value pick.
Ojulari is a candidate to go earlier, but the board fell in the Steelers’ favor this time around. They could opt to stick with Alex Highsmith as a starter and address other needs, but adding Ojulari to the rotation only makes the front more dangerous. Ojulari has excellent burst, energy, and proportional length; his disruptive potential, which was especially evident at the Peach Bowl, makes him a great investment to make.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Gregory Rousseau, DL, Miami
Gregory Rousseau’s pro day results invalidated the initial assumption that Rousseau was an elite athletic specimen. There certainly is upside with Rousseau, but it has to be contextualized in the right role. Rousseau isn’t a perfect fit as an edge rusher in an even front. However, in a multiple front, where Rousseau can slide inside and use his length, he projects well.
After getting their franchise quarterback, the Jaguars can afford to take a gamble on Rousseau here. Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, who comes from the Ravens, should ultimately employ a more versatile defensive front. There, Rousseau’s hybrid projection will be most valuable.
26. Cleveland Browns: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Before his pro day, Terrace Marshall Jr. was already on the fringe of the first round. Now that he’s tested as one of the most athletic receivers in the class — sporting a 4.38 40-yard dash, a 39-inch vertical, and a 125-inch broad jump at almost 6-foot-3, 205 pounds — he might have the boost he needs to ensure a Round 1 selection.
Marshall boasts an elite size/speed combination, and he projects as a player who can make plays at every level of the field. For the Browns, whose future at wide receiver remains uncertain, Marshall provides an exciting profile to mold. But beyond that, Marshall has the body control and the RAC utility to pay back dividends on Day 1.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Health withstanding, Jaelan Phillips is arguably the best edge rusher in the 2021 NFL Draft. His pro day validated his stellar athletic profile, and Phillips also has exceptional hand quickness and precision for his experience level. His injury history might scare off a few teams and push him down the draft board, but the Ravens might value his pure edge-rushing prowess above his projected availability.
Phillips can provide Baltimore with an impact starter in his first year. He can also potentially provide stability on the edge for years on end in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
28. New Orleans Saints: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
The Saints could go with a defensive tackle or a wide receiver in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. However, the value felt richest at linebacker. There, hyper-athletic linebacker prospect Jamin Davis was still on the board. At his pro day, Davis registered a Relative Athletic Score of 9.93.
Among other things, he put up a 4.48 40-yard dash, a 42-inch vertical, and a 132-inch broad jump at 6’3 1/2″ and 234 pounds. Davis has room for growth, but his athletic, rangy frame is worthy of development. At his maximum potential, he can be a star in the NFL.
29. Green Bay Packers: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Offensive tackle isn’t necessarily the top need for the Packers. On the other hand, David Bakhtiari is coming off a torn ACL suffered in late December, and the team released Rick Wagner early in the offseason. They still have Billy Turner, who played well in 2020. Considering the uncertainty surrounding Bakhtiari’s injury, as well as Turner’s positional versatility, it might be a safe move to bolster the line in the late first.
Taking the long-term upside philosophy into account, Samuel Cosmi makes a lot of sense here. Cosmi tested as one of the most athletic tackles ever at his pro day, and he also has the length and power necessary to be an impact starter. In Green Bay, he allows the Packers security for the future, and he also allows Turner to have more flexibility across the line.
30. Buffalo Bills: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Buffalo Bills defense still has talent, but a shift has taken place in northwestern New York over the past year. Now, Buffalo is an offensive-oriented team, but they can take steps in the 2021 NFL Draft to restore their strength on the defensive side of the ball.
At No. 30 overall, Michigan’s Kwity Paye offers an enticing profile for the Bills to work with. Paye is explosive, compact, and incredibly twitched-up as a rusher. Learning from veterans Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, Paye could take his game to the next level.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
There were worries about the Chiefs’ offensive line after the Super Bowl, and the Chiefs themselves expedited the rebuild process by initiating self-destruct protocol in free agency. Now, they’re short two starting tackles — pending Lucas Niang’s development — a starting center and security at guard. With so many needs on one functional unit, the smart option would be to pursue positional versatility.
In Round 1, perhaps no offensive lineman fills that need better than USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker. Tucker has quality tape at both tackle and guard. With a great combination of size and athleticism, he’d give the Chiefs flexibility and security in the trenches.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Few teams have the luxury of coming into the draft with no major needs. But that’s the situation of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. The Buccaneers are gearing up to compete again in 2021. They could feasibly add a new starting running back here, but with Najee Harris gone, none of the remaining options are quite as enticing.
A more value-driven move might be to add defensive tackle Christian Barmore. Barmore was red-hot down the stretch for the Crimson Tide in 2020. He flashed athleticism and heavy hands on tape, and with a year of rotational opportunity behind Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, and William Gholston, he’d be in an ideal situation.