Facebook Pixel

    Ian Cummings’ 3-round February 2021 NFL Mock Draft

    The quarterback situation across the NFL is becoming increasingly dire. Free agency and the NFL Draft are getting closer, and the pressure is on 32 teams to build, recover, and sustain success. It sounds like a high-stakes, once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, but in reality, it’s just another NFL offseason soon to begin. As teams gear up for the first player acquisition phase, here’s a 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft to project their intentions beyond that.

    Cummings’ 2021 3-round NFL Mock Draft | Round One, Picks 1-16

    1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

    Yes, several teams may have Zach Wilson listed as QB1 over Trevor Lawrence. However, only one team matters when it comes to the Trevor Lawrence-Zach Wilson discussion, and that’s Jacksonville.

    The Jaguars are the gatekeeper, and as long as Lawrence is their top-rated quarterback — they certainly seemed interested at his pro day on February 12 — then he’ll be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Nothing has changed on that front. Lawrence is athletic, strong-armed, and accurate, and he’s also a calm and collected leader who attracts success.

    2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young

    Much like the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets also control their destiny in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. They might receive trade offers for the No. 2 pick, but as long as they don’t see a chance at redemption with Sam Darnold, they’ll stay put and draft a quarterback. In this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Zach Wilson is the selection.

    Current trends depict Zach Wilson as QB2 over Justin Fields. While this isn’t a consensus opinion, it has plenty of merit. Although Wilson doesn’t quite have the top-tier athleticism or arm strength of Fields, he’s confident, electric, and effortlessly natural off-script. Wilson’s instincts for off-platform playmaking are second to none, and that natural ability will go a long way in April.

    3. Philadelphia Eagles (projected trade w/ Miami Dolphins): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

    Now that the Eagles have closed the back cover of the tragedy known as “the Carson Wentz Saga,” they can turn the page to the sequel. Hopefully, it will have a more endearing ending.

    At pick No. 6, the Eagles were already in prime position to acquire a quarterback. However, given the higher demand and lower supply for quality quarterbacks this year, the Eagles may be forced to trade up and secure their selection. In this range, the Miami Dolphins are a suitable trade partner, and from the Wentz trade, the Eagles have additional draft capital to offer.

    In a projected trade, the Eagles move up to No. 3, giving up the sixth overall pick, the 70th overall pick, and a few high picks in 2021. The prize is worth the price.

    Even in the face of recent questions surrounding his ability to scan the field, Justin Fields is an impressive quarterback prospect and an equal contender to the QB2 mantle. Fields is a supreme physical talent with toughness and accuracy downfield. The Eagles don’t represent the ideal starting situation for Fields, but he has the traits to transcend his surroundings.

    4. Los Angeles Chargers (projected trade w/ Atlanta Falcons): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

    Many people — yours truly included — overthought Justin Herbert last offseason. Now, a rookie touchdown record and an Offensive Rookie of the Year award later, Herbert is arguably the top quarterback from the 2020 class. With their quarterback in town, it’s now time for the Los Angeles Chargers to get him some much-needed protection. They should be aggressive in pursuing that.

    The Chargers could feasibly stay put at No. 13 and read the board at that juncture. However, this draft represents a rare opportunity to select a blue-chip tackle and one who is familiar with Justin Herbert’s pocket movements and habits.

    Penei Sewell has the athleticism, balance, and natural leverage to be a standout offensive lineman. Furthermore, he’s much stronger and more refined than his age would indicate. It’ll cost Los Angeles their 77th pick this year and an additional haul in 2022, but for the protection of their star quarterback, it’s worth it.

    5. Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

    In what seems to be an annual exercise, the Bengals’ roster is depleted and needs more talent. Likewise, Cincinnati’s offensive line is subpar. Even during a typical year, that’s an area of added importance. Yet, with Joe Burrow coming back from a season-ending injury, that takes on added emphasis.

    Unfortunately, picking at No. 5, with Penei Sewell gone, the Bengals’ options aren’t numerous. Taking the depth of the 2021 offensive line class into account, the Bengals choose to pass on the blocking unit with this pick and instead select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

    On the surface, picking a tight end in the top five isn’t the best value proposition. However, it’s not brash to say that Pitts is more than a tight end. He’s an athletic nightmare for opposing defenses, with the skills to separate and the playmaking ability to dominate defenders. If they can improve the line, Pitts makes the Bengals’ offense scary.

    6. Miami Dolphins (projected trade w/ Philadelphia Eagles): Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

    This offseason’s first order of business for the Miami Dolphins is to strengthen the supporting cast around 2020 first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa. Even after trading back a few picks, the Dolphins are still in an excellent position to do so.

    At No. 6, Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is a tremendous addition. Above all else, the Dolphins need a receiver who can accumulate YAC and separate downfield. As long as his ankle is healthy, Waddle is the perfect fit for this archetype.

    Waddle is an elite athlete with unnatural explosiveness both laterally and vertically. He can expand space in the short and intermediate ranges, and he has the vertical extension ability and body control to be a deep threat. Some might see his profile and wonder if he’s just another Henry Ruggs III. He’s not. Waddle was one of the main reasons Ruggs couldn’t produce more with the Crimson Tide.

    Waddle brings big plays wherever he lines up, and that’s just what Miami needs.

    7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

    The Lions might end up franchise-tagging high-priority free agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay. However, even if they do, they’ll still be sporting a receiving corps that is impossibly barren. Currently, only Geronimo Allison and Quintez Cephus remain under contract from 2020. Golladay undoubtedly makes that unit much better, but the complementary addition of Ja’Marr Chase could take things one step further and turn it into a strength.

    Chase is a dense, ultra-competitive receiving threat with good speed, excellent vertical ability, and the sheer alpha mentality to consistently convert in contested situations.

    Opinions vary a bit more widely on Chase, but his pure instincts for catching the football are at the top of his class. He also has enough route-running ability and YAC ability to be a complete starter. Across from Golladay, Chase’s presence may spawn slogans reminiscent of a law firm: “Golladay and Chase: A duo you can trust.”

    8. Carolina Panthers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

    The Panthers are very much in the theoretical Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, and the eighth overall pick would give them a leg up on most teams. However, seeing that they still have their first-round selection in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we can assume that they failed to acquire Watson in this scenario.

    Seeing that quarterback is still a need, the most logical option here is Trey Lance. Lance doesn’t quite have the security or polish as the quarterbacks ranked above him. However, he’s one of the most physically talented quarterbacks to come out in recent memory, and he can be a franchise passer with some development.

    9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

    Micah Parsons’ stock has been quietly slipping since the start of the offseason. The Penn State star has some off-field questions that he’ll have to answer for. However, beyond that, Parsons is an elite athletic talent who could provide a tremendous boost for creative, aggressive defensive coaches. Who do you think of when you envision that archetype? I think of Vic Fangio.

    In Vic Fangio’s scheme, Parsons could be an excellent fit. With his explosiveness and 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame, Parsons has the size and range to be a force downfield, as well as traverse the second level. Additionally, given that Parsons has experience as a pass rusher, he also has the versatility to be a threat on the edge.

    With Von Miller’s future uncertain and a decision nearing on Bradley Chubb’s fifth-year option, having some under-the-radar security with Parsons is a bonus.

    10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

    The Dallas Cowboys need cornerbacks. But beyond that, the Dallas Cowboys need a playmaker in the form of a tone-setter on defense. Both Patrick Surtain II and Caleb Farley have playmaking instincts, but perhaps no one has more tone-setting ability than Jaycee Horn.

    A fiery competitor, Horn has the athleticism and physicality to be an early pick, and he couples that with an endless desire to pester opposing wide receivers. Horn isn’t often mocked above his counterparts, but this pick serves the purpose of showing that it’s possible. And it’s not just for show. Horn has a strong case.

    11. New York Giants: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

    One can’t help but wonder if the New York Giants are already doomed to eventually part ways with Daniel Jones. An upgrade at quarterback might be what they need most.

    However, the Giants have already reaffirmed their confidence in Jones. Likewise, picking at No. 11, behind several other quarterback-needy teams, doesn’t do them any favors. For now, the most realistic move is to support Jones on offense and keep building a strong defense.

    Here at No. 11 in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, defense is a better fit on the board, and Kwity Paye is the pick. Paye is 6-foot-4, 272 pounds, but he has explosive burst, incredible change-of-direction capacity, and a red-hot motor. He has the potential to be a terror off the edge for New York, and he also has enough size and power to shift inside as far as the three-technique on a situational basis.

    12. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

    Well, this worked out well for the San Francisco 49ers. Cornerback is one of the most pressing needs for the 49ers this offseason. All of their starters are set to hit the market, and only one — Jason Verrett — should experience some resistance from the 49ers’ camp.

    There will undoubtedly be a need for more talent on the boundary when the NFL Draft comes around. At No. 12 in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Patrick Surtain II is one of the best potential options. Surtain had a productive career with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and he has the necessary length, footwork, physicality, and ball skills to be an early starter with upside.

    The 49ers promoted linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to replace Robert Saleh as defensive coordinator. Given Ryans’ experience under Saleh, it’s likely he carries over some of the same philosophies. In that scheme, Surtain has lots of potential.

    13. Atlanta Falcons (projected trade w/ Los Angeles Chargers): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

    The Falcons managed to acquire a few extra picks by trading down from No. 4 to No. 13 in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Now, the real work begins. If the Falcons stick with Matt Ryan in the short-term, they can focus their early picks on rebuilding their defense, which has dramatically depreciated since Atlanta’s Super Bowl berth.

    At No. 13, it makes sense to address the defensive line, and Gregory Rousseau is an exciting fit in Dean Pees’ defense. Pees loves to use multiple fronts to churn up different kinds of blitzes, and Rousseau has a ton of upside as a versatile chess piece on the defensive line. He’s an incredibly long physical specimen, and although he’s not particularly fast or flexible, his motor and burst allow him to produce from a variety of alignments.

    14. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

    The Minnesota Vikings’ defense struggled mightily in 2020, and the defensive line was near the heart of that underperformance. The Vikings were ineffective in clogging running lanes. In the passing game, inconsistent pressure helped opposing quarterbacks stay on target. Improving the defensive line is one of Minnesota’s most important tasks in 2021, and at No. 14, Christian Barmore is an underrated option.

    As noted by others, Barmore’s meteoric rise late in his collegiate career mirrors that of past Alabama linemen like Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. Barmore has the size, explosiveness, and heavy-handed style to be just as disruptive in the NFL. For the Vikings, he’d be an immediate upgrade on the interior and reinvigorate a position group that desperately needs added talent.

    15. New England Patriots: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

    It didn’t take long for New England’s offense to devolve once Tom Brady left for Tampa Bay. On the line, David Andrews and Joe Thuney are impending free agents. Jarrett Stidham is the only holdover quarterback on the roster, no longer benefitting from the mystery of potential.

    Additionally, the team’s receiving corps features a mix of underwhelming young players and veterans past their prime. At pick No. 15, there’s only so much New England can do to smooth things over.

    Mac Jones is an option, but New England has enough cap space to pursue a quarterback in free agency and add to the weapons in the draft. Because Jones is a common selection for Bill Belichick’s squad, let’s divert course and add to the receiving room here.

    DeVonta Smith is an excellent pick and a particularly strong fit for the Patriots. Yes, he’s undersized. However, his play style translates to instant production, and he’s a safe projection, even at his weight.

    16. Arizona Cardinals: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

    The Arizona Cardinals got their long-awaited breakout from former first-round pick Haason Reddick in 2020. However, Reddick may ultimately take that breakout and leverage it to acquire a lucrative contract elsewhere. With Chander Jones’ long-term future uncertain on the other side, it makes sense for the Cardinals to pursue an edge rusher with this pick.

    At No. 16 in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Georgia edge defender Azeez Ojulari is a tantalizing fit. Like Reddick, Ojulari is an undersized rusher, but he offers similar burst and torso flexibility off the line, and his motor always runs hot.

    Round One | Picks 17-32

    17. Las Vegas Raiders: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

    Caleb Farley is arguably the best cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Farley also has the highest chance of falling among the top three cornerbacks. Farley doesn’t have the name recognition or pedigree of Surtain, and unlike Horn, he doesn’t have a stellar 2020 season to fall back on and fuel his ascension. Farley opted out, and he has an injury history. Those factors alone might make NFL teams less bullish on his projection.

    Still, picking Farley here is a much better cornerback selection than last year for the Las Vegas Raiders. Last year, the Raiders selected 24-year-old Damon Arnette with the 19th pick. They’ll remedy that selection somewhat with Farley’s addition.

    Farley has the length, youth, and athleticism that Arnette lacks. His addition on the outside should provide the Raiders some flexibility with their ill-advised first-rounder from 2020 while forging a strong duo in Farley and Trayvon Mullen. Farley and Mullen on the outside, with Arnette in the slot, could be an excellent combination under new coordinator Gus Bradley.

    18. Miami Dolphins: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

    With a weapon already in tow, the Miami Dolphins can now turn their attention to the offensive line. Questions are surrounding how the group will settle in the future, and the Dolphins shouldn’t settle for what they have. With Tua Tagovailoa’s development at stake, investing in the offensive line is a smart venture, and at No. 18, Rashawn Slater constitutes a dream scenario.

    Although Slater opted out of the 2020 season, his draft stock remained strong. He’s a nimble, athletic lineman with good hand precision, urgency, and versatility. His length doesn’t inspire as much confidence. Nevertheless, Slater could be a potential starter at all five positions. That flexibility will allow the Dolphins to proceed with freedom on the line.

    19. Washington Football Team: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

    Part of this is experimental. Personally, I’m not on board with the Washington Football Team selecting Mac Jones at No. 19. But ultimately, it’s still a possibility. If it happens, can they acquire enough talent to support him in the later rounds?

    Regardless of one’s opinion on Jones, there’s a reason he’s in the discussion here. Jones played exceptionally well in his lone year as a starter at Alabama, displaying poise, good arm talent with accuracy, quick processing skills, and awareness in the pocket.

    Jones isn’t the most athletic player, but he’s not quite in NFL shape at the moment. With further refinement of his frame, he could draw out more functional athleticism. Even so, he already has high-level distributor potential.

    20. Chicago Bears: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT, USC

    The Bears are in quarterback limbo. However, that fact alone doesn’t excuse a reach at quarterback here. There is no available quarterback worth picking this early, so it’s up to Chicago to use restraint and instead maximize value by addressing the offensive line. Players like Charles Leno and Bobby Massie are starting to fall out of favor as merely serviceable options, and on the interior, there’s room for improvement as well.

    At this point, drafting a lineman like Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC is a good move for the Bears. Vera-Tucker is a stout, versatile blocker who has experience at both tackle and guard. He had a great year at tackle in 2020, but with his fast hands and proactivity when seeking to provide help, he projects well as a guard. At the very least, Vera-Tucker provides the Bears with flexibility as they rework their line, and he can be a solid starter at several spots.

    21. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

    The retirement of Anthony Castonzo opened up tackle as a significant need for the Colts, but the recent addition of Carson Wentz via trade only compounds the need for security on the offensive line. Wentz has been a very good quarterback before, and Indianapolis has the coaching and the weapons necessary to support his rebound. All they need beyond that is a stable offensive line, and a tackle at No. 21 can get them that.

    By virtue of the luck of the board, the Colts get a franchise left tackle with this pick. Virginia Tech blocker Christian Darrisaw has all the tools necessary to be a high-level starter for a decade or more.

    At 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, he has the requisite size, and on tape, he’s a superb athlete who thrives in the open field. He’s also an intense, physical, aggressive blocker who doesn’t hesitate to impose his will. Darrisaw does need to refine his lateral footwork and hand placement, but for the Colts, he’s the right investment at the right time.

    22. Tennessee Titans: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

    It’s incredibly tempting to pick an edge rusher here, but the recent news regarding 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson demands attention. Recently, Titans general manager Jon Robinson said that Wilson “was not the same player we evaluated” during the 2020 season.

    Robinson then said that Wilson will “have to make a determination on whether he wants to play pro football.” This comes after a rookie season in which Wilson violated protocols twice and was charged with a DUI.

    There’s always a chance that Wilson and the Titans smooth things over. Yet, just one year into his career, that’s not how you want a general manager to talk about a player. If Tennessee ends the Wilson experiment early, they’ll need a new starter at right tackle on the offensive line.

    One player who’d be comfortable in that position early is Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins. This might be a bit high for Jenkins, but he’s been getting first-round buzz recently. Jenkins is a powerful, physical blocker who’s hard to move, and he’d fit what the Titans are looking for in their linemen.

    23. New York Jets: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

    Things might be starting to look up for the New York Jets. A superb staff has assembled beneath new head coach Robert Saleh, and Zach Wilson is an excellent fit for Mike LaFleur’s offense.

    With their franchise quarterback now in tow, the Jets have some flexibility regarding how they approach the rest of their picks, which should be best player available all the way down. At this juncture, one could argue that player is Syracuse cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu.

    Melifonwu has experienced a meteoric rise since the start of the offseason. He flashed several times during the season. However, it wasn’t until scouts got a look at his tape that they realized just how athletic, physical, and disruptive he was.

    Melifonwu has unnatural explosiveness and fluidity for his 6-foot-3, 213-pound frame, and his closing speed/length combination can be lethal in the NFL. He’s the quintessential Robert Saleh cornerback, and he’s an excellent piece to build around on defense.

    24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

    The needs keep piling up for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but one of the more underrated areas of concern is wide receiver. JuJu Smith-Schuster will almost certainly not be retained in free agency, and the only holdovers are Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington. All three of those receivers have starting experience, but by the same virtue, all three are lacking in certain areas and underwhelm as a collective unit.

    Adding a glue guy like Rashod Bateman to an unstable receiving group could be what the Steelers need. Bateman has good size and athleticism, but beyond that, he’s one of the best route runners in the 2021 NFL Draft. Additionally, he has excellent toughness, instincts, and proactivity at the catch point.

    For an aging Ben Roethlisberger, Bateman provides the possibility of another year of survival. And for Roethlisberger’s eventual successor, Bateman delivers a steady and reliable No. 1 receiver.

    25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

    Much like the Jets, the Jaguars’ early selection gives them the flexibility to use their later first-round pick on the best player available. With plenty of needs and no more pressure to find the franchise guy, the Jaguars can simply add talent from this point out. And with the No. 25 pick in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is an excellent addition.

    Owusu-Koramoah rests near the boundary of linebackers and safeties when it comes to size and usage, and that’s opened up a debate regarding what his role will be at the next level. To me, his versatility is what makes him such an exciting prospect.

    Don’t try and find a concrete role to slot him into. Instead, figure out how to maximize his skill set situationally. Owusu-Koramoah has the instincts and explosive athleticism to be a threat all over the field, and his ability to always be near the ball translates at every level.

    26. Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

    It’s nice to see the Browns picking this late, but it’s essential for them not to get complacent. They were knocking on the door in 2020, but to improve further, they’ll have to solidify their defense. Their linebacker group was significantly lacking in 2020, and adding a versatile, instinctive, productive player like Zaven Collins could smooth things over.

    Standing at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Collins is a massive player who couples his size with a high football IQ and tremendous proactive physicality. Collins isn’t quite an elite athlete, but he still moves well for his size and offers impressive playmaking utility against both the run and the pass. Additionally, with his size and speed downfield, he can be a catalyst as a situational edge rusher, something else that the Browns need on their defense.

    27. Baltimore Ravens: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

    Surprised? Don’t be. Amon-Ra St. Brown has fallen under the radar in a strong receiving class, but he’s most definitely worthy of first-round consideration in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Ravens need reliable, well-rounded receiving talent, and at the 27th pick in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, St. Brown might be the best fit remaining.

    Terrace Marshall Jr. offers a better athletic profile and more size, but St. Brown is an authoritative target who has the speed and agility to get yards after the catch while also possessing the body control and vertical ability to make plays downfield. He would immediately give Baltimore’s receiving corps a steady constant, and he’d look good making plays in purple and gold.

    At the moment, he profiles as more of a Day 2 pick. Nevertheless, if he tests well at his pro day, there isn’t much on tape stopping him from ascending up the board.

    28. New Orleans Saints: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

    The Saints know how to wiggle around a bit when it comes to cap space, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to free up enough financial flexibility to re-sign free safety Marcus Williams. Williams is set to command a high price on the open market, and with him gone, the Saints will need a new rangy piece on the back end to complete their perpetually productive secondary.

    With the 28th pick, TCU’s Trevon Moehrig is excellent value, and he fits the Saints’ specific needs well. Standing at 6-foot-2 with a frame over 200 pounds, Moehrig has the necessary size to be a tackling threat downfield. He couples that size with excellent athleticism, which he uses at all levels of the field — especially deep, where he has the tracking ability and length to be a disruptive player in coverage.

    29. Green Bay Packers: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

    Aside from Davante Adams, who’s just the full package, the Green Bay Packers’ receiving corps leaves a lot to be desired in the short and intermediate ranges. The only three receivers under contract for 2021 besides Adams are Devin Funchess, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

    All three of those receivers are big-bodied players who don’t exactly specialize in churning out run-after-catch yards. It’s time for the Packers to bring back something they haven’t had since Randall Cobb, and they can do that by drafting Kadarius Toney.

    At 5-foot-11, 189 pounds, with arms just over 30 inches, Toney isn’t an imposing physical threat. This limits his ability to convert downfield with size. However, for what Toney lacks in that department, he compensates tenfold with his ability to attain separation and create after the catch.

    Toney is a twitchy, sudden player, and he uses that suddenness and explosiveness out of his breaks to peel off of defenders. In open space, he has elite elusiveness and contact balance. He fits perfectly into a Packers’ offense that could use his versatility and playmaking potential.

    30. Buffalo Bills: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

    Two years ago, the Buffalo Bills rode their elite defense to a playoff berth. Now, it’s the offense that returns as a feared unit, while the defense requires improvement at every level. On the front line, the Bills need more of a pass-rushing presence. On the second level, the Bills may need to replace Matt Milano, who intends to test free agency. In the secondary, the Bills need a high-level starter at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White.

    Most of the worthwhile first-round cornerbacks are gone at this point, but one option who’s flown under the radar so far this offseason is available: Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II.

    Newsome is a bit underweight for his size, but he’s a long, athletic cornerback who’s also smart, disruptive, and dynamic with his movement. He’ll need to stay healthy in the NFL, but if he can do that, he immediately brings Buffalo’s secondary a step back toward its 2019 level.

    31. Kansas City Chiefs: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

    Everyone wants to pick an offensive lineman for the Chiefs after their Super Bowl performance. Let’s mix things up a bit. We know that a large part of the Chiefs’ offensive line woes were the result of injuries.

    We also know that the 2021 NFL Draft is relatively deep at the offensive line, so it’s entirely prudent for the Chiefs to bypass the line here and instead use their first-round pick on a more scarce position. With Alex Okafor, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Taco Charlton all hitting free agency, adding another pass-rushing threat across from Frank Clark could be of benefit.

    Hailing from Texas, Joseph Ossai gives Kansas City the boost they need to keep things going on defense. After switching from off-ball linebacker to EDGE in 2020, Ossai saw his production skyrocket.

    He was already known to be long and athletic. However, in 2020, he coupled those physical traits with a ferocious motor off the line and combative hand usage. He’s still relatively raw, but all the tools are there for Ossai to produce in the NFL. Feeding off of the play of Clark and Chris Jones, Ossai’s emergence might come sooner rather than later.

    32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

    Alright, let’s pack it in. Tampa Bay has next year’s Super Bowl, too.

    That may or may not be a dramatized representation of your reaction to this pick — unless you’re a Buccaneers fan. Then you’re getting your finger size measured for your next ring.

    For most teams, a running back isn’t going to take you over the edge. However, the Buccaneers are different. They don’t have many needs to begin with, and they reportedly plan on bringing most of their high-profile free agents back this offseason.

    Watching the Super Bowl, one of the only things that eluded the Buccaneers was a complete running back, who could both grind out tough yards and make waves as a receiver. Najee Harris is the complete running back the Buccaneers need.

    Harris is a big, physical player, but he also has elite explosiveness, impeccable natural receiving ability, and excellent vision at the line. He can tack on two more years to Tom Brady’s career and provide Tampa with the balance they seek.

    2021 3-round NFL Mock Draft | Round Two

    33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

    With Cam Robinson likely leaving through free agency, it’s imperative that the Jaguars don’t wait too long to address the tackle position. With Trevor Lawrence now rostered, this position takes on added importance.

    Samuel Cosmi can develop into an effective blindside blocker opposite Jawaan Taylor. He’s 6-foot-7, weighs over 300 pounds, and has the necessary length/athleticism combination to be a high-level starter with some development.

    34. New York Jets: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

    35. Atlanta Falcons: Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama

    This is considerably high for Landon Dickerson, who’s only an average athlete, and is coming off a major injury. Having said that, Dickerson has a few traits that specifically fit the Falcons’ needs, and he’s a high-level starter even in spite of his flaws.

    With Alex Mack likely heading out the door, either via free agency or retirement, the Falcons need a new starting center. With his mauler mentality and play strength, Dickerson can be a quality player for Arthur Smith’s offense. Additionally, Dickerson also has versatility across the line, something that can help give Atlanta flexibility when faced with injuries.

    36. Miami Dolphins: Richie Grant, S, UCF

    On one hand, the Dolphins could settle for what they have in-house at safety. Word on the street is that they like the potential of Brandon Jones, and veterans Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe provide a nice baseline. But why not shake things up and make a borderline elite secondary even better when you have the chance?

    Richie Grant is a bonafide center fielder with the range, instincts, and playmaking ability to be a star at the next level. Playing behind Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, with Rowe, McCain, and ascending first-rounder Noah Igbinoghene in his corner, Grant could take Miami’s defense over the top.

    37. Philadelphia Eagles: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

    38. Cincinnati Bengals: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

    At least one of the Bengals’ first few picks has to be spent on an offensive lineman. There’s no middle ground there. The unit has already underwhelmed for years, but now, with Joe Burrow’s safety at stake, anything less than improvement is unacceptable.

    In this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield is the pick in Round 2. Mayfield is an excellent athlete for his 6-foot-5, 320-pound frame. He offers enticing upside at both tackle and guard and can move as the Bengals see fit as they develop around his physical traits.

    39. Carolina Panthers: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

    40. Denver Broncos: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

    Having Micah Parsons gives the Broncos the capacity to supplement their pass rush, but to maximize Parsons’ versatility, they should have another edge defender who can shoulder most of the load there. At No. 40 in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Jayson Oweh is an excellent value pick.

    Oweh is widely regarded as a potential first-rounder with his elite athleticism and length, but his lack of development could push him down a bit. Still, he has the physical tools to be an electric threat off the edge. Don’t worry about cornerback. We’ll address that soon enough.

    41. Detroit Lions: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

    42. New York Giants: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

    The only reason Creed Humphrey isn’t the first center off the board in this mock draft is that Dickerson provides Atlanta with more positional versatility. In my opinion, Humphrey is still comfortably the best center in this class.

    The Oklahoma standout has great play strength and leverage, and he was clearly a cut above most of the other options at the Senior Bowl this year. For the Giants, he can provide stability for Daniel Jones and help the quarterback seek out improvement in Year 3.

    43. San Francisco 49ers: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

    44. Dallas Cowboys: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

    That’s right, Dallas. Even with Jaycee Horn, your defense isn’t there yet. You’ve still got a long way to go, but adding Jaelan Phillips is a big step in the right direction in the second round.

    Phillips has an injury history that may bump him down boards a bit. However, he’s an incredibly talented EDGE prospect with plus size and athleticism. His hands are also fast and skillful, and he has a potentially devastating spin move in his arsenal. Across from DeMarcus Lawrence, Phillips can give Dallas the pass-rushing boost they need.

    45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

    46. New England Patriots: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

    The Patriots could use an infusion of talent on their interior defensive line. Situated at the No. 46 pick in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, New England is in a good range to pick a defensive lineman. At this specific point, Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike is a solid fit.

    At 6-foot-3, 290 pounds, Onwuzurike has a great combination of athleticism and length, and that blend of traits allows him to be versatile across the line. With his anchor and flexibility, Onwuzurike has bountiful upside against both the run and the pass.

    47. Los Angeles Chargers: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee

    48. Las Vegas Raiders: Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB

    This may be surprising, but Jordan Smith has all the tools necessary to go on Day 2, despite receiving none of the hype. He’s 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, with a massive 83-inch wingspan, and he showcased his athleticism and aggressive hand usage at the Senior Bowl.

    He may need some time to adjust into a full-time edge-rushing role in the NFL if that’s ultimately what awaits for him. Nevertheless, for a Raiders team that needs more pass-rushing upside, Smith has it in spades.

    49. Arizona Cardinals: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

    50. Miami Dolphins: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

    51. Washington Football Team: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

    It’s entirely likely that the Washington Football Team remains relatively still on the offensive line this offseason. Cornelius Lucas impressed at left tackle in 2020, and Wes Schweitzer also played well at left guard. However, both players were rarely full-time starters before 2020, and Schweitzer, in particular, could be vulnerable to replacement.

    Additionally, Brandon Scherff’s long-term future still remains a question. For flexibility and depth on a line that now has a franchise quarterback to protect, Alex Leatherwood has appeal here. He can start at left tackle if Lucas regresses in 2021, but he also projects well inside to guard with his length and strong base.

    52. Chicago Bears: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

    From a pure talent standpoint, this is too high for Davis Mills. Mills is more of an old-school, pocket-passing quarterback, and on tape, he has room for progression as a processor and a decision-maker.

    Having said that, the 2021 NFL Draft is absolutely barren after the top five quarterbacks. Taking into account how many quarterback-needy teams exist, it’s not only possible but likely that a quarterback goes higher than anticipated on Day 2. Mills has the arm talent to fuel this rise, but if he’s called on to play early for Chicago, he has more work to do.

    53. Tennessee Titans: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

    54. Indianapolis Colts: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

    The Colts haven’t seen the desired linear growth from 2019 early second-round pick Rock Ya-Sin, and after a bounce-back season in 2020, veteran Xavier Rhodes is set to hit the free agent market.

    Once again, cornerback is a need for the Colts, and one under-the-radar player who fits the Colts well is Kelvin Joseph. Joseph has only recently gained buzz as a draft prospect. Standing at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, he has plus length and flashes ball skills. He also has the athleticism and fluidity to position himself well. He could still add more consistency to his game, but he has the tools the Colts look for on the boundary.

    55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

    56. Seattle Seahawks: Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF

    With Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar scheduled to hit the free agent market, the Seahawks need to invest in a coverage unit that thoroughly underperformed last season. Versatility is one trait they’ll likely covet with their first selection, and UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson checks that box well.

    Robinson has good size and athleticism, and he’s also super physical at the catch point. He had a strong Senior Bowl week, and in the past, Seattle has inflated the value of those players on their board.

    57. Los Angeles Rams: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma

    Nine out of 10 times, Ronnie Perkins likely goes earlier than this. The hyperactive Oklahoma defender isn’t the largest edge rusher, which schematically took him out of contention for some teams. Yet, with the Rams, he’s an excellent fit.

    Perkins is explosive and extremely compact as a rusher, and he brings forth tremendous effort at the contact point. With surprising pent-up power and fast, physical hands, he’s one of the most underrated edge rushers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

    58. Baltimore Ravens: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

    59. Cleveland Browns: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

    60. New Orleans Saints: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

    Dylan Moses had a down year, and that will affect his stock. However, there is reason to be optimistic regarding his NFL projection. Moses has said that he wasn’t 100 percent throughout the 2020 season.

    With time to heal and an NFL training regimen, Moses could realize his potential as a well-filled-out, instinctive, physical specimen at the linebacker position. New Orleans is an excellent landing spot for him. It’s a place where he can be patient but also benefit from opportunity.

    61. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Jones, EDGE, Pittsburgh

    62. Green Bay Packers: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

    If the board falls their way, the Packers can take the best player available in Round 1, then stay put and see what linebackers are available in Round 2. They enacted a variation of that strategy in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, and sure enough, Jabril Cox fell to them at No. 62.

    Cox has some room for refinement. Still, he’s a great athlete at his size, and he played well in his lone year against SEC competition. He also showed out at the Senior Bowl, further reinforcing his upside.

    63. Kansas City Chiefs: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

    64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alim McNeill, DT, North Carolina State

    Round 3

    65. Jacksonville Jaguars: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

    66. New York Jets: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

    67. Houston Texans: Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama

    Where to begin with Houston? There are so many needs and so few resources. It honestly all feels futile. When in doubt, the offensive line is always a good place to start. With Tytus Howard and Laremy Tunsil currently set as the team’s tackles, stocking the interior with big-bodied blocker Deonte Brown makes sense.

    Brown is powerful and strong in his lower body, but he will have to cut weight. He weighed in over 360 pounds at the Senior Bowl, and he was noticeably struggling against quicker linemen in one-on-ones. Having said that, Brown already moves better than you’d expect a 360-pound human to move. If he can get to 330 or 320, it’s exciting to think about how much that could open up his game.

    68. Atlanta Falcons: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

    69. Cincinnati Bengals: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston

    70. Miami Dolphins (projected trade w/ Philadelphia Eagles): Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

    71. Denver Broncos: Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse

    Ifeatu Melifonwu’s rise is not without reason, but he’s not the only Syracuse cornerback who deserves Day 2 hype. Denver Broncos fans, allow me to introduce you to Trill Williams. He’s 6-foot-2, has potentially sub-4.4 speed, and a 40-inch vertical. Furthermore, Williams has eye-popping closing speed when pursuing receivers, physicality, and versatility.

    Throughout his college career, he played on the boundary, in the slot, and at safety. Williams is an impeccable fit for Fangio’s defense. He’s versatile, long, and physical. He’s fast, and he plays fast. Williams can refine his mental game a bit, but in the third round, you take that and run with it.

    72. Detroit Lions: Jay Tufele, DT, USC

    73. Carolina Panthers: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

    74. Washington Football Team: Elijah Molden, CB, Washington

    75. Dallas Cowboys: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

    76. New York Giants: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

    Eventually, we had to address wide receiver for the Giants. Aside from Darius Slayton, they seriously lack in terms of established, dynamic talent. D’Wayne Eskridge will have to do the establishing once he reaches the NFL, but the explosiveness is already there in spades with him.

    Eskridge is built in the mold of a smaller slot receiver, but he plays with searing speed and engaging competitive toughness. After his Senior Bowl showing, he’s a near-lock to go somewhere on Day 2. In this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, the Giants are the beneficiaries.

    77. Atlanta Falcons (projected trade w/ Los Angeles Chargers): Keith Taylor, CB, Washington

    78. Minnesota Vikings: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa

    79. Arizona Cardinals: Royce Newman, OG, Ole Miss

    80. Las Vegas Raiders: Jevon Holland, DB, Oregon

    81. Miami Dolphins: Josh Myers, C, Ohio State

    82. Washington Football Team: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

    In the second round of this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Washington got some added protection for newly-acquired franchise quarterback Mac Jones. Earlier in this round, they got an instinctive slot cornerback/safety hybrid in Elijah Molden.

    Now, the board has given them an opportunity to address the wide receiver position with Clemson wideout Amari Rodgers. Rodgers isn’t a rangy threat. He’s only around 5-foot-9. However, he weighs in over 210 pounds, and that density carries over to the field. Rodgers has a near-elite blend of contact balance, explosiveness, and speed in the open field. Furthermore, he should provide Washington’s offense with the run-after-catch element they desire.

    83. Chicago Bears: Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh

    84. Philadelphia Eagles: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina

    85. Tennessee Titans: Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA

    86. New York Jets: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

    87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Quinn Meinerz, C, Wisconsin-Whitewater

    Steelers veteran center Maurkice Pouncey retired after the 2020 season, leaving yet another void on the Steelers’ roster for 2021. The 2021 NFL Draft already isn’t very strong at the center position. Luckily for the Steelers, they picked just in time to grab one of this year’s gems: Wisconsin-Whitewater lineman Quinn Meinerz.

    Meinerz burst onto the scene at the Senior Bowl, where he was one of the best linemen present against FBS competition. Meinerz plays angry and has great power at the point of attack. Given the Steelers’ ability to develop linemen, he could be an early starter who ends up manning the center spot for years.

    88. Detroit Lions: Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State

    89. Cleveland Browns: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

    90. Minnesota Vikings: Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami

    91. Cleveland Browns: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa

    92. Green Bay Packers: Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State

    There hasn’t been much buzz around Shakur Brown this offseason, but it’s time to put him on the map as a potential sleeper at the cornerback position.

    Standing at around 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Brown had 5 interceptions and 4 pass deflections in 2020. He’s clearly a good athlete with enticing ball skills, and he also has some alignment versatility. For the Packers, who could be filling multiple cornerback spots with new players in 2021, Brown offers flexibility and developmental upside.

    93. Buffalo Bills: D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina

    94. Kansas City Chiefs: Demetric Felton, WR, UCLA

    95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Walker Little, OT, Stanford

    96. New England Patriots: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

    97. Los Angeles Chargers: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College

    98. New Orleans Saints: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina

    99. Dallas Cowboys: Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech

    I think I’ve been too nice to the Cowboys in this mock. Jaycee Horn and Jaelan Phillips already give that defense a serious boost, but Divine Deablo in the secondary is almost unfair — that is if they can develop his talent.

    Deablo is an athletic specimen, standing over 6-foot-3 and weighing in at almost 230 pounds. In 2020, he broke out, displaying impressive athletic freedom and ball skills on the field while at Virginia Tech. If he can continue to develop, he has serious playmaking potential, as well as positional versatility.

    100. Tennessee Titans: Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State

    101. Los Angeles Rams: Trey Hill, C, Georgia

    102. San Francisco 49ers: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame

    Tommy Tremble has been overlooked for much of this draft cycle, but people are starting to come around on his upside — myself included. This seems about as high as he’ll go, but the fact remains that Tremble does have third-round upside. He’s easily the best blocking tight end in the 2021 class, and he also has the size and athleticism to develop into a better receiving threat down the road.

    For San Francisco, who places a heavy emphasis on the running game, this is an excellent pick. Tremble can immediately come in and provide value as a blocker, and under George Kittle, he could develop into a solid TE2.

    103. Los Angeles Rams: Austin Watkins, WR, UAB

    104. Baltimore Ravens: Cam Sample, DE, Tulane

    With a laundry list of free agents on the defensive line and the edge, the Baltimore Ravens have some work to do to remobilize that unit. Earlier in the draft, the Ravens passed on other options for skilled players at receiver and linebacker. However, with their third-round compensatory pick, they get a player who can play both roles on the line.

    Cam Sample has inside/outside versatility at around 6-foot-3, 274 pounds, and he has immense pass-rushing upside. He plays with a red-hot motor, and as the Senior Bowl showed, he can generate pressure with violent hands, burst off the line, and power in his strikes.

    105. New Orleans Saints: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M

    The biggest knock on Kellen Mond throughout the draft cycle is that he’s, well, Kellen Mond. On any given play, you don’t know what to think of him. The Texas A&M quarterback can make some impressive plays, but he also has plenty of blunders on tape. He has enough athleticism and arm talent to amount to something in the NFL, but he was never able to put things together in college.

    If there’s any team that can make Kellen Mond “not Kellen Mond,” the Saints might be it. Sean Payton has a way with quarterbacks, and an opportunity with New Orleans might be what unlocks Mond’s potential.

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

    Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

    Related Articles