Cummings’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Gregory Rousseau, DL, Miami
The Raiders need more pass rushing help on the interior. But they also need to reevaluate their edge rusher situation, as 2019 No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell might not be a franchise guy. This 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft selection is a compromise between those two needs. Gregory Rousseau is raw and not overly flexible, but his length allows him potential on the edge, and some of his best reps in 2019 came as an interior rusher.
18. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ve mocked DeVonta Smith to the Miami Dolphins in every one of my 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Drafts thus far. It just goes to show how good of a fit Smith is for the Dolphins’ offense.
Smith can gain separation with his route-running quickness and precision, and that’s an element that’s drastically lacking in southern Florida. Plus, Smith was one of Tua Tagovailoa’s top targets in 2019, so the franchise quarterback and the 2020 Heisman winner will have immediate chemistry.
19. Washington Football Team: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Washington Football Team is actually fairly complete. Give them a top quarterback from this year’s class, and they’re a playoff contender again in 2021. But they’re not in position to get a top quarterback this year, so unless they make a blockbuster trade, they’re looking at drafting weapons instead.
Jaylen Waddle is an excellent pick here. He offers the elite dynamic run-after-catch ability that gleans versatility in Scott Turner’s offense. Additionally, he’s a tough player who can go vertical and make plays at every level.
20. Chicago Bears: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
The Bears are another team with quarterback questions, but also might not be in position to get a starting quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. Given that the Bears have questions at tackle and guard, Alex Leatherwood is a solid pick at No. 20. Leatherwood logged plays at both tackle and guard in college, and he has the length, play power, and functional mobility to be a starter wherever the Bears need him most.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas
The Colts pass rush has a lot of potential, but it hasn’t quite emerged yet. With Justin Houston aging and time running out for several players to break out into consistent roles, it might finally be time to invest Round 1 capital at the position. Joseph Ossai is a long, athletic edge rusher who brings a tireless motor and immense potential in Matt Eberflus’ scheme.
22. Tennessee Titans: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Titans’ top need rests at edge rusher, but given the approaching turnover at wide receiver, we decided to go offense in Round 1 of this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Don’t worry, we’ll make up for it later. Plus, Kadarius Toney has a ton of upside.
Toney has otherworldly elusiveness and agility, and he’s also explosive in open space. He can provide an elite YAC threat early for the Titans. And if they’re feeling dangerous enough, they could also use him as a gadget runner alongside Derrick Henry.
23. New York Jets: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Let’s go down the “Save Sam Darnold” checklist. Complete elite tackle duo? Check. Add legitimate workhorse running back with versatility? That’s next on the list. The RB1 title is currently split between Najee Harris and Travis Etienne, but Harris is the more complete back for the Jets.
Standing at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Harris has intimidating density and toughness, and he adds to that with exceptional contact balance, agility, and explosiveness with his cuts. He’s also a smart runner with good vision, who provides a stellar outlet as a receiver.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
At some point, the Steelers will have to address the future of their quarterback position. But for now, they can settle for improving the supporting cast around the quarterback. Alejandro Villanueva is a free agent this offseason, and it’s unclear if Chukwuma Okorafor is part of the future. Getting a steady, technically proficient tackle like Liam Eichenberg could help increase Pittsburgh’s stability at one of the most important positions.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame
The Jaguars got their franchise quarterback. Now, it’s time to add a glue guy on the defensive side of the ball. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a standout final season for the Fighting Irish, using his urgency, athleticism, and physicality to distinguish himself as a playmaker. Owusu-Koramoah is smart and instinctive, and his versatility and playmaking ability can be a boon for a young Jaguars defense that’s still finding its way.
26. Cleveland Browns: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave was a borderline first-round pick, but after his performance in the college football playoffs, he might solidify his status as a late first-rounder. Olave has enough size and explosiveness, and he also has near 4.4 speed, with the ball-tracking ability and instincts to be a versatile threat. For the Browns, he’s a high-floor receiving option with plenty of upside.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
This is an incredibly ideal situation for Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh, and for the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers might lose Shaquil Barrett this offseason, but they still have Jason Pierre-Paul for another year. Pierre-Paul, a Pro Bowler in 2020, can serve as a valuable mentor for Oweh, who has all the athletic tools to be a dominant edge rusher in time, among them explosiveness, length, and twitch.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
Both Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue are free agents, and it’s unlikely that the Ravens will bring back both of them. Thus, Baltimore needs an edge rusher who fits their scheme. Ronnie Perkins profiles well in this spot for this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Like Judon, his size meshes well as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and Perkins has the explosiveness, density, and relentless motor to produce quickly and efficiently.
29. New Orleans Saints: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
The Saints have gotten by for a couple of years with Michael Thomas and a thin group below him. Emmanuel Sanders was a solid addition, but he turns 34 in March, and Tre’Quan Smith is a free agent after 2021. Adding a high, upside player like Terrace Marshall Jr. would be smart at the tail end of Round 1. Smith is 6-foot-3 and has good speed to complement that size. He can also be a threat in every third of the field.
30. Buffalo Bills: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
The Buffalo Bills’ offense is electric. Now just imagine if they had a consistent receiving threat at tight end. Pat Freiermuth is a big-bodied player who offers an enticing mix of burst, route running detail, awareness, and ability to pull down contested passes. Freiermuth can get open, and he also has the physicality to make plays in tight spaces and get yards after the catch. For Josh Allen and Bills Mafia, he’s the piece to complete the puzzle.
31. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Packers have one of the best receivers in the league in Davante Adams, and the emergence of tight end Robert Tonyan will give them flexibility on their offensive cast. But with Allen Lazard hitting free agency this year and Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s contract set to expire in 2022, the Packers can stand to add another receiving threat here.
Rashod Bateman is excellent value at the end of Round 1. He’s a well-sized and physical receiver, with the crisp route-running ability to find daylight.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
There’s a lot of looming uncertainty across the offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs. A change seems likely at center, and there are also questions pending at guard. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif still has to return after opting out in 2020, and at the other guard slot, there likely isn’t a long-term starter on tap.
Wyatt Davis can solve one problem for the Chiefs. Davis is a big blocker who provides a nice mix of athleticism and functional power on the inside. He can provide some stability for a unit that’s crucial for the Chiefs’ success.
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