Ian Cummings’ 3-round November 2021 NFL Mock Draft

    As we write this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we’re approaching the second half of the NFL’s perception cycle. In the offseason, teams experience optimism in the absence of resistance. But as the season arrives and progresses, certain teams receive sobering reminders of how far they still have to go, and the present gets less and less endearing. By the halfway point, we know who most of these teams are, save for the few who toil in the middle.

    In this mock draft, 32 teams turn an eye to the future, with the hopes that their perception of progress can eventually become a reality. Not every team will succeed right away — that’s true of any NFL Draft. But with these selections, they’ll give it their best shot.

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

    1. New York Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

    The New York Jets remain winless on the year, and while general manager Joe Douglas poured some cold water on the “hard reset” talk, this Jets team has all the qualities of the destabilizing remains of a failed experiment that will eventually, inevitably dissolve. Every week, they not only lose but find themselves outmatched, out-classed, and out-worked, and at some point, ownership has to recognize that, for the sake of the culture, they need to start over.

    A lot depends on picking the right coach in the ensuing rebuild, but the Jets don’t need much of a discussion on who their next quarterback will be. They’ll be in a position to select Trevor Lawrence in the coming NFL Draft, and that’s an opportunity they simply can’t pass up. Lawrence is the most complete quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, and with his physical talent and gift for making the hardest throws, he can make the Jets better, regardless of the infrastructure around him.

    2. New York Giants: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

    New York, New York. The city so nice they named it twice. “Football purgatory” is the other name. The two teams in New York are a combined 1-15 through eight games each, and while Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman have refused to acknowledge the possibility of picking a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, if they stay at No. 2 overall, it’s a choice that must be considered.

    For all his potential, Daniel Jones has not taken a large step up this year; his persistent turnover woes remain, and as a passer, he’s noticeably inconsistent and late on a lot of throws. In the NFL, teams need to recognize their mistakes early at quarterback. While the book might not be closed on Jones yet, Justin Fields is a quarterback with an infinitely better outlook, possessing the athletic ability, arm talent, and natural feel to succeed where Jones has failed.

    3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are in an awkward spot, with the Giants unexpectedly picking a quarterback. They could opt to select one of Trey Lance or Zach Wilson, but the No. 3 pick seems a little rich. Quarterbacks haven’t gone 1-2-3 in the NFL Draft since 1999. Why? Because not only does the value dip at QB, but there’s also superior value at other positions.

    This pick is a prime example of that, as the Jacksonville Jaguars opt to instead solidify their support group if they can’t pick their franchise quarterback altogether. With Cam Robinson likely leaving in free agency, the Jaguars will need a new starter at tackle, and Penei Sewell is far and away the best option available in the 2021 NFL Draft.

    4. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

    We’ve known from the start that Brian Flores loves versatility from his defensive players, and Miami’s dominant win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8 was proof of that. Using a myriad of creative blitz packages, Flores kept Jared Goff guessing and prevented him from getting comfortable.

    If there’s one player in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft Flores would beg and plead for, it’s Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. A linebacker-edge hybrid, Parsons might literally be the perfect player to match with Flores. He has the athleticism and motor to be a productive off-ball linebacker, but at the same time, his explosiveness and experience as an edge rusher also allow him to be a menace as a pass rusher.

    5. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

    It’s been a sobering year for the Dallas Cowboys, who find themselves at 2-6, now quickly sliding to the depths of the dreadful NFC East. A lot depends on Dak Prescott’s future for the Cowboys in 2021, but right now, one thing we can quantify is the state of the defense. It’s bad, and Dallas needs to invest more high-end capital to improve.

    Trevon Diggs appears to be slowly finding his groove as a playmaker for Dallas, but the Cowboys could use a true CB1 to take pressure off of Diggs and help him develop further. Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II has proven himself to deserve this distinction in 2020. Surtain is a good athlete for his 6-foot-2 frame, and with his physical foundation, he also brings outstanding instincts, ball skills, and awareness on the boundary.

    6. Atlanta Falcons: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

    What good is a 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft without at least one mind-boggling surprise? The goal of a mock draft is to capture the essence of a draft’s unpredictability, after all, and it doesn’t get much less predictable than the edge position in the 2021 class.

    It’s anyone’s guess who NFL scouts wind up seeing as EDGE1 by year’s end, but in my opinion, Michigan’s Kwity Paye has a good chance to ascend to the draft’s highest ranks. It’s hard to pinpoint what Paye doesn’t have as a prospect: He’s well-sized at 6-foot-4, 272, he has good length, he’s strong, he’s explosive, he has a relentless motor, and to top it off, he has historic agility numbers for a defensive end, which can help him navigate the pocket and get blockers off-balance.

    It’s too early to definitively say that Paye will wind up even in the top-15, but he has as good a chance as any to pace his position. He’s off to a torrid start in 2020 with 2.0 sacks and 16 pressures through two games, and if the Falcons are looking for an established presence on the edge with their first-round pick, Paye arguably checks the most boxes.

    7. Washington Football Team: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

    Zach Wilson has been the biggest riser in the draft process in 2020, and that race hasn’t been close. Every week, Wilson adds “wow” throws to his resume, but he’s not just a highlight factory; Wilson also has plenty of the trademark traits that accompany franchise quarterbacks, such as off-script ability, arm talent, accuracy, poise, and quick processing.

    Washington has the choice of Wilson and Trey Lance at this juncture, and while either one is excellent value addition, Wilson brings something that will be particularly important for Washington. After watching Dwayne Haskins struggle to execute at a basic level early in 2020, Washington will want a quarterback who can be a smooth operator from day one. That’s Zach Wilson personified.

    8. Los Angeles Chargers: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

    Until he gets back onto the field, there will be speculation on whether Jaylen Waddle’s ankle injury will impact his long-term explosiveness or not. But if his recovery goes smoothly, then his status as the most dynamic offensive skill player in the 2021 NFL Draft shouldn’t be in danger.

    Waddle’s like a light switch; one second he’s there, and the next, he isn’t. Consequently, it seems fitting that he’s drafted here by the team that represents electricity. With Waddle, Justin Herbert will have another dynamic deep threat, with whom he can continue to light up the stat sheets and lead Los Angeles into the next era.

    9. New England Patriots: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

    Bill Belichick has stuck by Cam Newton’s side even as the former MVP has struggled, and for now, it seems like Belichick is intent on seeing out the year with Newton as his guy. But while Newton hasn’t had a very good supporting cast to work with, he himself has also struggled to execute as a passer, and it seems like his one-year stint with the Patriots won’t be extended by any measure.

    Subsequently, New England may be looking for a signal-caller yet again in the 2021 offseason. But this time, it’s different; they’ll likely be picking high enough to get a passer with franchise potential without having to shell out assets in a trade. Trey Lance is an excellent get at No. 9; Lance’s uneven one-game showing may bump him below the surging Zach Wilson, but athletically, he has the highest upside of any quarterback in the 2021 class, and his leadership and competitive fire compounds his potential.

    10. Minnesota Vikings: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

    It’s always nice when a team can couple two needs into one player, and that’s what the Minnesota Vikings are able to do here. The Vikings need more talent all across their line, and both on the edge and on the interior, they’ve underwhelmed in terms of disruption.

    Gregory Rousseau is still very raw and tools-based, and after opting out in 2020, he won’t have any recent progression on tape. But Rousseau is still a rare physical specimen, possessing an outrageously long 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame. On the edge, his length and power can be a big mismatch against less imposing tackles, and he can also rush on the interior, where his athleticism will supersede the blockers he’ll face. His versatility and upside should be enough for the Vikings to make the call.

    11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

    If you had to name-drop a challenger for Zach Wilson’s title of “biggest riser” this year, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn would likely be a popular choice. Horn has been one of the best coverage players in the nation in 2020, using his combination of athleticism, size, and physicality to neutralize SEC receivers week in and week out.

    Even so, Horn continues to be overlooked in a relatively top-heavy cornerback class. He may not hail from one of the blue-blood teams, but Horn has every trait needed to succeed at the NFL level. He’s athletic, he’s tough, and he’s nuanced with his hands, hips, and feet, and that complete ascending profile may elevate him over others with less tape.

    12. Carolina Panthers: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

    Caleb Farley opted out for the 2020 college football season, and while his opt-out does make him susceptible to falling behind 2020 risers like Horn, Farley should still go off the board comfortably within the margins of the top-15.

    Farley ended his collegiate career on a high note in 2019, notching four interceptions and 12 pass deflections. In the process, he showcased an uncommon mix of 6-foot-2, 207-pound size, and elite functional athleticism. Regardless of his lack of recent production, Farley has the skill set to be a lockdown cornerback in the NFL, and Carolina will very much enjoy adding to their athletic defensive arsenal.

    13. Detroit Lions: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

    That’s right; the second linebacker off the board in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft isn’t Alabama’s Dylan Moses. Instead, it’s SEC rival and Missouri Tigers standout Nick Bolton. One could make a case that Bolton has been the best linebacker in the country so far this year. He’s averaging over ten total tackles per game, and he’s a menace for opposing defenses both against the run and the pass.

    Bolton doesn’t have the imposing size that Moses has, but Bolton is still an elite athlete with impressive range, and at 6-foot-0, 232, he’s far from small. He reminds me a bit of a Devin Bush type of player. Bush had similar size concerns, but he supplemented that with uncanny instincts and sideline-to-sideline speed. Bolton has the same kind of makeup, so don’t be surprised if he goes earlier in than expected.

    14. Denver Broncos: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

    The Denver Broncos will graciously accept the linebacker consolation prize of Dylan Moses with the 14th overall pick. This is a steal in terms of value, and Moses has the combination of size and athleticism to surely develop into a defensive mainstay for Vic Fangio’s squad.

    With that being said, it’s important to address why Moses, a near-constant top-ten projection, slid in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. While Bolton has been a steady constant this year, Moses has been inconsistent week-to-week, experiencing mishaps as a tackler and in coverage. He still shows flashes that will warrant a first-round selection, and he may reach his peak again before the season concludes, but as of now, his performance doesn’t have the solidity that comes with top-ten picks.

    15. San Francisco 49ers: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

    The 49ers will have the tough task of building back to Super Bowl contention in the 2021 offseason, and while injuries make it tough to evaluate the team in earnest at the moment, one position where they can surely improve is cornerback. While Jason Verrett has mounted a long-awaited emergence, players like Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon are losing their luster and might not have long-term futures with the team.

    The cornerback position might be in line for a high-priority investment in 2021, and at the 15th overall pick, Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade provides good value. Although he’s been up-and-down through two games as an outside cornerback for the Buckeyes, his 6-foot-1 size combined with his athleticism provides inspiring developmental potential. Additionally, if he develops on the boundary and gains confidence, he’d give San Francisco valuable versatility.

    16. Miami Dolphins: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

    Since my job security depends on pleasing a company predominantly run by Dolphins fans, I won’t entertain the notion of selecting Tua Tagovailoa’s replacement here. Tagovailoa had a rough debut outing, but it was his first NFL start. Tagovailoa should improve as he gets more comfortable, and one way to expedite that process in 2021 is to add to his supporting cast.

    The equation is simple for Miami at this pick. There are several exciting wide receiver prospects on the board, but DeVonta Smith is one that not only compliments the Dolphins’ current weapons well, but also has pre-existing chemistry with Tagovailoa. Smith’s elite route running ability and general reliability should serve him well early and often. To put it into a mathematic expression: Alabama quarterback + Alabama wide receiver = Prosperity.

    Cummings’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

    17. Las Vegas Raiders: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

    Las Vegas’ sack production has been horrendous in 2020, and it’s one reason why they can’t get over the hump in a tense AFC playoff race. On the edge, they may be inclined to see if Maxx Crosby can get his numbers back up, and they also may wait to see if first-round pick Clelin Ferrell can carry over his productive run defense into the passing game.

    But regardless of what happens on the outside, the Raiders need an influx of talent on the interior defensive line. And while Marvin Wilson hasn’t been as productive as expected this year, he’s still the premier talent in an underwhelming interior class. Wilson, despite some inconsistency in 2020, has the size and explosiveness necessary to be molded into a starter, and at the 17th pick, his upside presents enough value to justify the selection.

    18. Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

    Just got the word from chief: Mitchell Trubisky ain’t it, and Nick Foles ain’t it, either. The Bears’ persistence at staying mediocre at the quarterback position is a fun storyline, but for their well-being, they need to do everything they can to improve under center in 2021 legitimately. Given that they may ultimately be picking in the late teens, the free agency market might be more attractive for Ryan Pace. But here, they’re able to snag the fifth quarterback in Round 1, Alabama’s Mac Jones.

    The drawback with Jones is that he isn’t as proactive of an athlete as the other first-round passers in this class, but he’s a smart quarterback with very good processing skills and ball placement. Because of his mediocre athleticism and good-not-great arm strength, I don’t grade him as a first-round player. Still, if he keeps producing the way he has been, he’ll inevitably get into the conversation in a league that values quality quarterback play at a premium.

    19. Philadelphia Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

    Travis Fulgham’s emergence has been a gift for the Philadelphia Eagles in a season that otherwise hasn’t gone according to plan for all the wrong reasons. With that being said, however, the Eagles should not take for granted the need to further supplement their receiving core. The 2021 NFL Draft should present a priceless opportunity to add talent there, and at No. 19, they’re in a good spot.

    In this mock, LSU standout Ja’Marr Chase remains unselected at the Eagles’ pick, and his availability makes for an easy choice. Chase doesn’t have elite athleticism, and he’s only 6-foot-0, 208, but he brings with him near infallibility at the catch point, and his toughness, body control, and focus should make him an early favorite of Carson Wentz, provided he’s still the Eagles’ quarterback in 2021.

    20. Cleveland Browns: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

    The Browns’ offense was the source of ire in the team’s latest loss, but in actuality, the defense has been the source of many of the team’s struggles. Inconsistency from the defensive unit has often forced the offense to get into high-scoring situations, and moving forward, they’ll need to overhaul that side of the ball if they want to compete in 2021.

    From a foundational standpoint, one area that could help improvements trickle to all levels of the defense, if addressed, is edge rusher. Aside from Myles Garrett, who’s been dominant, the Browns don’t have another edge presence. Jayson Oweh might be exactly what they’re looking for. He’s an elite athletic specimen who’s gotten off to a fast start in 2020, and his length and mind-boggling short-range explosiveness can compound the discomfort of any quarterback who has to face Garrett.

    21. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

    My condolences to the Jaguars fans in this 2021 3-round NFL Mock Draft. Twice now, they’ve missed out on their quarterback at optimal value, and now at pick No. 21, they have a crucial decision to make. Jacksonville could reach for a signal-caller like Kyle Trask or Brock Purdy, but that hardly seems like a good idea, especially after seeing Purdy struggle and Trask display his limitations, despite his statistical success.

    So for their second-straight first-round pick, Jacksonville is once again in quarterback-support mode. If they can’t grab the franchise passer they want, why not add to his arsenal so that when he arrives, his job is easier? They got his franchise left tackle earlier, and now, they add an elite run-after-catch threat with similarly explosive downfield ability in Purdue’s Rondale Moore.

    22. Indianapolis Colts: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

    The Colts have both Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith at tackle at least through 2021, but given Castonzo’s age and slight dip in quality in 2020, and given Indianapolis’ relative solidity throughout the rest of the roster, it feels productive to address the team’s future at tackle in the first round here.

    Only Penei Sewell has gone off the board at the tackle position, and thus, there’s still a wealth of talent available for Frank Reich to choose from. One player who’ll likely go in Round 1 is Liam Eichenberg. Eichenberg has been nearly dominant for the Fighting Irish this season, and his functional mobility, combined with his size, anchor, and mauling motor, makes him a long-term starting candidate once Castonzo hangs up his cleats.

    23. Arizona Cardinals: Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma

    Despite their legitimate contention in the NFC West playoff race, the Arizona Cardinals are far from a finished product. There are several different areas they could pursue here. Ultimately, in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, I saw the offensive line as the best mesh of need and value, as Arizona has some withstanding uncertainty both at the tackle spots and on the interior.

    Here, the Cardinals address the interior. Mason Cole, an average starter at center, enters a contract year in 2021, and Justin Pugh and Justin Murray make for a slightly underwhelming guard duo. Arizona can improve their depth and quality of starting play by adding Creed Humphrey, an aggressive blocker with a good center of gravity, who has the traits to excel at center, but play anywhere on the interior.

    24. Baltimore Ravens: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

    The 2021 edge class is polarizing in the best kind of way; there isn’t an established top dog, and there’s very little consensus as to how the position will be ranked. But there’s so much top-tier athletic talent to choose from, and it could wind up being one of the better classes in recent memory, depending on how its players develop. Texas’ Joseph Ossai embodies this dichotomy.

    The Longhorns standout wasn’t even an edge rusher in 2019, and his status diluted his draft stock on the surface level, but a position switch has unleashed a dominant new form of Ossai in 2020, and he’s quickly rising up the ranks at the edge rusher position. Tony Pauline recently labeled Ossai as an ascending second-round pick, and I’m going to take it one step further. With his explosiveness, length, bend, and playmaking ability, Ossai is worthy of a late first-round selection.

    25. Green Bay Packers: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

    The Packers have, at least for now, staved off the critics who doomed their offense in 2020 after watching the team neglect its receiving core in the 2020 NFL Draft. Aaron Rodgers’ MVP-caliber performance has elevated the unit as a whole, but that doesn’t mean wide receiver isn’t still a need. Whether Green Bay will address WR or another position like linebacker or tackle in the first round will come down to value, and here, the best value remains at wide receiver. It’s Rashod Bateman.

    Dalton Miller compared Rashod Bateman to Chargers Pro Bowl wideout Keenan Allen earlier this year, and that comparison holds a lot of weight, even two weeks into the 2020 season. Bateman has been somewhat diluted by Minnesota’s run-heavy offense and Tanner Morgan’s subpar quarterback play, but the receiver still catches whatever comes his way, and he’s still a high-floor option in the NFL Draft with productive NFL upside.

    26. Tennessee Titans: Aidan Hutchinson, DL, Michigan

    For teams utilizing variations of the 3-4 defensive scheme, there exists a continuous need for players who have the versatility to line up at the three-technique spot and rush the edge on any given play. That’s the kind of versatility that Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson can provide.

    At 6-foot-6, 269, Hutchinson has impressive size and length, and he’s also very powerful at the point of attack. His high motor allows him to find production wherever he lines up, and although he hasn’t put much on the stat sheet yet in 2020, he has traits that can impact when utilized in the right role. Once he further refines his hand techniques, he can be a game-changer.

    27. New Orleans Saints: Caden Sterns, S, Texas

    The Saints have definite needs moving into the twilight of Drew Brees’ career, but their standing as one of the league’s best teams places them at odds with their ideal draft situation. New Orleans won’t pick early enough to capitalize on the best value at their most needy positions, so they’ll have to play the board, be patient, and simply take what they can get.

    Here, there isn’t overwhelmingly great value at quarterback or wide receiver, and linebacker may take a bit of a backseat after the team’s trade for Kwon Alexander. One position that can be addressed with value here is safety, with Marcus Williams entering free agency after this season. Texas’ Caden Sterns can help fill the athleticism void if Williams leaves, and he’s proven his ability to make plays on the ball in coverage.

    28. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh

    The Bills have done a good job supplementing their pressure and sack production with creative blitzes, but at the end of the day, they could still use a long-term upgrade on the edge. Both of their starters, Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, are at least 32 years old. In recent weeks, the lack of consistency on the edge has impeded the defense’s overall production.

    While there are still veteran mentors in the locker room, Buffalo should look to add a future starting pass rusher. Here at No. 28, Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones II fits what they need. Jones, a stellar athlete with good size and power, has 7.0 sacks and 9.0 tackles for loss so far this season, and his proactivity as a playmaker on the line should grant him early success with the AFC East’s new leader.

    29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

    Azeez Ojulari is only a redshirt sophomore, but he’s quickly becoming one of the most exciting edge prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft — and that’s saying something. In just five games this season, he’s nearly matched his sack total from an 11-game slate in 2019, and he’s also tacked on 6.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and two pass deflections.

    Ojulari is a bit undersized as a pass rusher, standing at around 6-foot-3, 240, but he offers very impressive burst and flexibility around the corner, and once he hits the open pocket, he has tremendous acceleration, which allows him to close plays. With Shaquil Barrett scheduled to hit free agency and the productive Jason Pierre-Paul growing older, Ojulari is an investment in the present and the future, all at once.

    30. Kansas City Chiefs: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

    With Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson set to hit free agency soon, the Kansas City Chiefs will have to undergo standard maintenance of their skill position cast. For Andy Reid, this task isn’t a chore, but instead, a jovial exercise, aimed at deciphering how he can terrorize NFL defenses for another half-decade.

    Having threats like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman still under contract will be valuable, but the Chiefs will need to reinvest in a boundary threat with the size and speed to create mismatches. LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr. fits that profile; aside from an underwhelming performance against Auburn, he’s been dominant in 2020, and he has enough of every skill to be a welcoming, versatile addition for Reid’s offense.

    31. New York Jets (via SEA): Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

    It’s a good thing the Jets got a first-round pick for Jamal Adams because they certainly need at least two. Resetting at quarterback was the primary objective for New York in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, but the rest of the roster needs a great deal of restructuring as well.

    The secondary, in particular, is an area of concern for New York. While the value is a little uncertain here at the 31st pick, one player who provides more than enough with his upside is Georgia’s Tyson Campbell. Campbell, an athletic 6-foot-2, 196-pound cornerback, has shown progression in 2020, producing on the ball at his highest clip yet. With his combination of disruptive length and 4.4 speed, he’s a sound investment for any rebuilding team.

    32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

    With the future uncertain at offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems logical to address that position with the final pick in Round 1. Going further, the Steelers crave a “next man up” mentality from their players, and perhaps no 2021 tackle embodies that theme more than Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood.

    With a solid combination of functional mobility and power, Leatherwood, standing at 6-foot-6, 312, has the traits to play at both tackle and guard. This versatility should give him added appeal for the Steelers’ front office, but given his fundamental traits, Pittsburgh should be able to develop him into a quality player wherever they need him.

    Cummings’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Round Two

    33. New York Jets: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

    Teams that are situated at the 33rd overall pick have the privilege of being able to pounce on first-round talent that trickles into Round 2, and here, the New York Jets benefit by picking Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

    Pitts could very well be the most talented tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, and in a class that includes the likes of Pat Freiermuth, Brevin Jordan, and Hunter Long, that means something. Pitts is an elite athlete who sports a 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame, and he has the skills to win wherever the ball comes his way. For Trevor Lawrence, he’d be an invaluable safety blanket from the start.

    34. New York Giants: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

    35. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

    36. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson

    37. Atlanta Falcons: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

    38. Dallas Cowboys: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

    The Cowboys need a defensive overhaul from the ground up, and that means reinvesting in an interior defensive line that’s underwhelmed for far too long. Dallas took a step in the right direction with the selection of Patrick Surtain II in Round 1, but they can take it even further by getting an interior lineman who can generate pressure and keep the linebackers clean. Alabama’s Christian Barmore has the upside to fulfill that role.

    Barmore hasn’t shown enough yet to be a consensus first-round prospect, but he has the traits necessary to develop and become an impact player. His explosiveness is above-average, but where he truly stands out is with his combination of length and power, which he can use both to clear lanes as a pass rusher and close them as a run blocker.

    39. Los Angeles Chargers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

    40. New England Patriots: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

    41. Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

    42. Washington Football Team: Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh

    The Washington Football Team’s defense is more complete than people expected it to be ahead of the 2020 season. The defensive line is very good, even without sack specialist Matt Ioannidis, the linebacking core has enjoyed above-average play from Cole Holcomb and Kevin Pierre-Louis, and the cornerback group, led by Kendall Fuller, has allowed the fewest passing yards in the league.

    The offense is still a work in progress, but Washington’s defense doesn’t need much more before it can be considered one of the better units in the league. A bonafide free safety is what Washington needs, and that’s a prototype Paris Ford has the potential to fit perfectly. He can still polish his game a bit, but Ford offers elite athleticism and physicality, torrid play speed, and the versatility to line up in different spots, something Ron Rivera values from his defensive backs.

    43. Cincinnati Bengals: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee

    44. Carolina Panthers: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

    45. Denver Broncos: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

    46. Detroit Lions: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

    Kadarius Toney came out of nowhere in 2020, but he’s already established himself as a legitimate NFL Draft prospect, and in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, he rises into Round 2. Toney hasn’t only helped replace Florida’s receivers lost to the 2020 NFL Draft, but he’s also somewhat displaced Kyle Pitts as an offensive weapon, contributing his own playmaking ability to Dan Mullen’s squad.

    At 6-foot-0, 193, Toney is a bit undersized, but he makes up for his slight frame with elite run-after-catch ability and contact balance. He doesn’t quite have the top-end speed of Jaylen Waddle or Rondale Moore, but his elusiveness and ability to stay on his feet will make him a valuable weapon for any offense.

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

    48. Las Vegas Raiders: Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU

    49. Miami Dolphins: Carlos Basham, DL, Wake Forest

    50. Chicago Bears: Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh

    51. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, S, Notre Dame

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

    53. Cleveland Browns: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina

    54. Arizona Cardinals: Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke

    One of the more overlooked edge prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft is Duke defensive lineman Chris Rumph II. There’s a reason for this; Rumph is a bit undersized at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, and there are questions surrounding whether or not he can produce in the NFL without adding mass.

    With that being said, Rumph is doing everything he can in 2020 to prove the doubters wrong; he’s already eclipsed his 2020 sack total in just over half the games, with 7.5 in seven contests. Rumph’s relatively slight frame does prevent him from winning with power consistently, but his athleticism, bend, and lateral twitch gives him a high floor as a pass rush specialist, and if he can add to his frame without sapping away his explosiveness, he could potentially be an NFL starter.

    55. Baltimore Ravens: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

    56. Indianapolis Colts: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

    57. Tennessee Titans: Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State

    58. New Orleans Saints: Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

    Midway through the 2020 season, we still don’t know who the Saints’ quarterback of the future is. Jameis Winston is presumably soaking things in on the sidelines, but his issues could prevent him from being anything more than a volatile starter. And Taysom Hill… well, we don’t really need to get into that.

    New Orleans needs a transition plan for when Drew Brees inevitably walks into the sunset, and although he may not be a very recognizable name, Spencer Sanders brings some appeal here. Like Brees, he’s a slightly smaller passer, but unlike Brees, he’s an elite athlete with a big arm and a big-play gene. He’s also somewhat volatile, but it seems like Sean Payton would be interested in infusing Sanders’ natural ability into his quarterback position.

    59. Green Bay Packers: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

    60. Buffalo Bills: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

    61. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darius Stills, DT, West Virginia

    62. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Myers, OC, Ohio State

    63. Seattle Seahawks: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

    64. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jay Tufele, DT, USC

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