2021 7-round NFL Mock Draft | Round Three
65. Jacksonville Jaguars: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
The Jaguars were rolling out Josh Jones and Andrew Wingard at safety last year. Josh Jones is an impending free agent, and his play last season doesn’t deserve an extension.
The Jaguars add a versatile, athletic safety in Nasirildeen who can cover tight ends and start right away.
66. New York Jets: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
With the addition of Mike LaFleur and John Benton from the 49ers, the Jets will likely run the Shanahan wide-zone scheme. I believe that is a perfect fit for Michael Carter’s skill set.
While La’Mical Perine had flashes of good play last year, the Shanahan scheme rotates multiple runners and Carter is just a better prospect than Perine. Those two are an adequate young duo to rotate between, especially with both of their receiving chops.
67. Houston Texans: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
With Will Fuller’s loss and Brandin Cooks’ likely release in the offseason, the Texans will need to replace their explosive vertical speed to their receiving room.
Eskridge burst onto the scene at the Senior Bowl with his speed, separating with ease from virtually every corner in Mobile. A DB convert, Eskridge is surprisingly refined with his routes. While Eskridge doesn’t have the profile of a WR1, he’ll be a productive pro from the get-go.
68. Atlanta Falcons: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
The Falcons don’t have a reliable every-down back on offense, something they’ll need with Arthur Smith at the helm. Javonte Williams is a tough bowling ball of a back with excellent pass-blocking chops. He’ll be the Falcons’ lead back on Day 1.
69. Cincinnati Bengals: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
The Bengals seem to be approaching a departure from long-time standout Geno Atkins to save cap space. They spent big on acquiring D.J. Reader in the offseason, but they need a pass-rushing defensive tackle next to him. He’s a fluid interior rusher who posted incredible production in limited games this season in the Big Ten.
70. Philadelphia Eagles: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
The Eagles get to make another pick, and surprise, it’s a receiver! When I wrote this 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft out, I had this matchup between scheme, need, and player in my head — Amon-Ra St. Brown to the Eagles could not get out of my head.
He would excel in their slot role with some of Sirianni’s quick-pass concepts and middle-of-the-field reads. He settles in right away and likely establishes an excellent rapport with new QB Justin Fields.
71. Denver Broncos: Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
While the Broncos have gotten production out of players like Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson, neither can be described as great coverage linebackers. The Broncos drafted Justin Strnad last year in the fifth round to play that role, but coming off of another injury, it’s tough to rely on him as their sole player there.
Werner is a fluid ‘backer in space who can hang with tight ends over the middle of the field and can come crashing down against the run.
72. Detroit Lions: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
Even with a franchise tag of Kenny Golladay, the Lions need to fill out their receiving room. Local product Nico Collins plays big and wins downfield because of it. He can be the perfect, long-time replacement for Golladay’s skill set while drawing some attention away from Jaylen Waddle as well.
73. Carolina Panthers: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (FL)
Brevin Jordan with the Joe Brady-coached offense in Carolina would be an awesome pairing. Brady had excellent production out of Thaddeus Moss at LSU. Adding a player of Jordan’s mismatch ability and versatility would help unlock that offense even more.
74. Cleveland Browns (via WAS)*: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
Trade! Cleveland Browns trade pick 89 and pick 110 to the Washington Football Team in exchange for pick 74 and pick 243.
With a potential run on receivers incoming, Cleveland trades up to take their guy while Washington recoups some more draft picks after their earlier trade up. Elijah Moore steps up into the slot right away and adds an explosive element that the Browns were sorely missing last season.
75. Dallas Cowboys: Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU
Dallas’ secondary was brutal last year, and they only take even more hits in the offseason. While the Cowboys typically avoid the safety position like the plague, they simply have to address it this offseason. Washington can compete in the slot and in split-field coverages from Day 1.
76. New York Giants: Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC
The Giants seem likely to lose nose tackle Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency. They’ll need his replacement and for cheap, given the cap situation around the league. Tuipulotu is a stout, heavy-handed monster up front against the run with some surprising pass-rushing chops to his game.
77. Los Angeles Chargers: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Were you sensing a theme for the Chargers’ draft plans? Weapons and protection around Justin Herbert reign supreme to maximize their window for as long as possible. I’m certain Brandon Staley noted how frustrated Sean McVay was last year with the lack of a true speedster on the Rams’ roster.
OC Joe Lombardi saw much of the same thing in New Orleans, with the Saints excelling with Brandin Cooks and Ted Ginn. With Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Terrace Marshall commanding a lot of attention outside, Tutu can excel underneath after the catch and win vertically.
78. Dallas Cowboys (via MIN): D’Ante Smith, OT/OG, East Carolina
There’s a lot of uncertainty along Dallas’ offensive line, particularly among both of their starting tackles in Tyron Smith and La’el Collins. The situations there are murky right now, but it’s clear that the team needs insurance plans for both players.
Enter D’Ante Smith, who is a former wrestler with some positional versatility. He possesses outstanding tools, and letting him grow alongside Tyron Smith would be incredible for his growth. He can play the left guard spot and kick outside if Tyron Smith gets hurt again.
79. Arizona Cardinals: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
The Cardinals spent on defense with the last two picks, and now they turn to the offense. They’ll need to replace Larry Fitzgerald and potentially upgrade on Christian Kirk or Andy Isabella.
Amari Rodgers’ ability after the catch would fit right in with Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme, and he can produce on some of those manufactured touches that Kingsbury creates. As a slot receiver who works best in the shorter areas of the field, Rodgers pairs well with Kyler Murray’s reluctance to hit the deep middle of the field.
80. Las Vegas Raiders: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
The Raiders spent big on Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski last offseason, and neither of them have exactly lived up to that billing. It’s more likely the Raiders move on from Kwiatkoski than Littleton, and they’d save about $3.5M in cap space in doing so.
Replacing Kwiatkoski with a coverage linebacker in Jamin Davis would be a wise investment.
81. New England Patriots (via MIA)*: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Trade! New England Patriots trade pick 96 and pick 120 to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for pick 81.
The fit between New England and Dyami Brown is too good to ignore, and with several teams in the wide receiver market, the Patriots pounce early. Miami stockpiles some assets, while the Patriots finally add a receiver that can separate and win downfield.
The Patriots had arguably (maybe not so arguably) the slowest receiver room in the NFL last year. A player with the downfield ability of Dyami Brown would be a fresh addition.
82. Jacksonville Jaguars (via WSH): Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Continuing to overhaul their secondary, the Jaguars draft yet another safety in this talented class. Cisco starts right away and can play centerfield and split-field coverages deep for the Jaguars. He’ll add some playmaking to a secondary that desperately needs it.
83. New York Jets (via CHI): Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
The Shanahan offense loves multiple tight end sets. While the Jets have Chris Herndon there, adding an additional tight end would be a smart move. Hunter Long isn’t going to be mistaken for Darren Waller anytime soon with his athletic profile, but he’s a reliable target over the middle of the field and can block better than Herndon.
84. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The Philadelphia Eagles’ linebacker corps needs an overhaul this offseason. Nate Gerry is a free agent, and none of T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, or Alex Singleton are exciting options to build around.
The team has fourth-round pick Davion Taylor in the mix, but adding another explosive athlete in Dylan Moses to be their heat-seeking missile on defense would give them two young athletes to develop and grow. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon knows the importance of linebackers to a defense from his time with the Vikings and Colts, and the Eagles shouldn’t neglect the position.
85. Tennessee Titans: Alim McNeill, NT, NC State
While the Titans have Jeffery Simmons, they need a replacement for DaQuan Jones at nose tackle. McNeill is an athletic marvel at the 0-tech that resets the line of scrimmage with his power.
McNeill is still developing as a pass rusher. With some additional growth, Tennessee could have a monstrous duo in the middle of their defense.
86. Chicago Bears (via NYJ): Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC
Hufanga is physical, violent, nasty, and every other similar adjective you can think of on the field. He’s an enforcer when crashing downhill who lined up all over for the Trojans’ defense. He’s instinctual and improved in coverage in 2020. Hufanga can step right in to replace Tashaun Gipson at safety.
87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
With Vance McDonald’s retirement, the Steelers need a reliable tight end who can block and catch. Eric Ebron isn’t that kind of player.
Tommy Tremble wasn’t often targeted, but he excelled in both blocking and receiving. He would provide a security blanket over the middle of the field for whoever is the Steelers’ next quarterback.
88. Detroit Lions: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
The Lions need to boost their pass rush in a big way. The team ranked dead-last in pressure rate and tied for 27th in sacks last season. Payton Turner can play inside or outside for the Lions, boasting a great frame and length.
Turner has a great blend of quickness and power as a rusher, but he’ll need to develop his plan as a pass rusher.
89. Washington Football Team (via CLE): Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
Despite adding Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the WFT still needs to add another cover option to their safety room. Holland can align in the slot or play deeper, creating some versatility. Pairing the versatility, athleticism, and coverage skills of JOK and Holland with Kamren Curl and Landon Collins to that secondary would be an incredible mixture.
90. Minnesota Vikings: Shaun Wade, S, Ohio State
With the Vikings poised to lose Anthony Harris in free agency and Harrison Smith getting up there in age, the Vikings would be prudent to add young talent to that safety room. Wade isn’t an outside corner like he tried to play this season but will likely make plenty of money as a safety in the pros.
91. Cleveland Browns: Trill Williams, DB, Syracuse
The Browns continue to completely retool their secondary by taking another versatile defensive back. Williams played outside corner, slot corner, and safety for the Orange. His length and athleticism served him well in every role. Cleveland can move him around based on matchup and would just add another talented DB to their defense.
92. Green Bay Packers: Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA
Green Bay likely loses Aaron Jones this offseason but has A.J. Dillon waiting in the wings. Felton can be a part-time back behind him and also play slot receiver for the team. Felton would play the role the team envisioned for Tavon Austin.
93. Buffalo Bills: Keith Taylor, CB, Washington
The Bills are still searching for that CB2 spot opposite of Tre’Davious White. Taylor would excel in the Bills’ zone-heavy coverage. He excelled in the Senior Bowl this season and flashed excellent press technique. His physicality and skills in coverage would be a welcome addition with Tre’Davious White.
94. Kansas City Chiefs: Cam McGrone, LB, Michigan
While the Chiefs’ defense is better than many give it credit, the linebacker room needs some serious turnover. Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Ben Niemann all combined for over a thousand snaps. Besides, Wilson and Niemann are projected free agents.
The Chiefs selected Willie Gay last year, but they need more talent at that spot. McGrone is coming off an injury, pushing him down this 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. He’s a violent thumper over the middle of the field and flashed coverage skills.
95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Bruce Arians stated a few days ago that left tackle Donovan Smith would be back with the team in 2021. However, Smith’s deal is up in 2022, and cutting him could save the Buccaneers $14.25M.
Hudson is a raw athlete with plenty of upside and tools to work with but has just 11 starts to his name. Hudson growing next to Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, and Tristan Wirfs would be excellent for his development as a pro.
96. Miami Dolphins (via NE): Jackson Carman, OT/G, Clemson
I’m projecting Carman inside to guard for the Dolphins, but he can also play tackle in a pinch. His blend of power and size blends him well with the power scheme Studesville wants to run. I’m not entirely sold on Ereck Flowers being the answer there at guard in the long-term, and Carman fits the scheme better.
97. New York Giants (via LAC)*: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
Trade! The Los Angeles Chargers trade pick 97 to the New York Giants in exchange for TE Evan Engram.
Another weapon for Justin Herbert in this trade! After the recent Hunter Henry quote about playing for a good quarterback and all of his injuries, I’m skeptical of Henry’s return to the Chargers. As such, they trade for a mismatch weapon in Evan Engram.
The Giants get an edge rusher they so desperately need on the outside. Joe Tryon displayed good explosiveness in a standup role for the Huskies. He displayed excellent ability against the run and can also corner at the top of his rush well.
98. New Orleans Saints: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
I’m not completely sold on the Saints’ wide receiver room. Michael Thomas is one of the league’s best when he’s on the field, but he had some locker room issues this past season. Emmanuel Sanders is reliable, but he’s 33, and he might not be on the team past next season.
Tre’Quan Smith has been inconsistent with only two games over 100 yards in his career. The team needs to invest in playmakers if they want to continue their success. Wallace is a downfield winner with excellent body control and physicality.
99. Dallas Cowboys: Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt
The Cowboys aren’t hurting at pass rusher right now with DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, and Bradlee Anae all on the roster. That allows them the luxury of taking Odeyingbo here coming off of a January ACL tear. His explosiveness, length, and versatility would make a welcome addition to the Cowboys’ defensive line.
100. Tennessee Titans: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
Given the recent comments Isaiah Wilson has made, it seems likely his time with the Titans is over. The Titans will need to search for a new right tackle of the future.
A former tight end, Spencer Brown boasts rare movement skills and power at the right tackle position. He stood out in Mobile as a result. He has the tools worth developing and gives the Titans one of the most athletic tackle duos in the league.
101. Los Angeles Rams: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
There are just too many logical connections between Little and the Rams to ignore here in this 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. The Rams’ new offensive line coach, Kevin Carberry, was the Stanford offensive line coach for Little.
The team also needs an offensive tackle with the uncertainty of Andrew Whitworth. The team could stash Little behind Whitworth for a season while he develops his ability to pass protect.
102. San Francisco 49ers: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
The 49ers are sending some mixed messages about Jimmy Garoppolo, and it’s rather apparent many fans are fed up with him. While the team could daydream about a new quarterback, there’s yet to be a clear signal about their intentions.
Mills is a prototypical “pro-style” quarterback with a good blend of size, progression speed, and touch. He doesn’t boast the strongest arm in the class, but he can put some zip on the ball. In Shanahan’s scheme, he’d be a good developmental backup and potential starter to compete with Jimmy G.
103. Los Angeles Rams: Kendrick Green, OC, Illinois
With the Rams likely moving back to a wide-zone run game and Austin Blythe’s imminent departure, they’d be wise to grab a replacement at center.
Kendrick Green played guard and center at Illinois, and the Rams would plug him in the middle. He has the easy movement skills and quickness to be a highly effective zone center.
104. Baltimore Ravens: Adrian Ealy, OT, Oklahoma
There’s a lot of uncertainty with Orlando Brown’s future in Baltimore, so I went ahead and took a replacement here in this 2021 7-round NFL Mock Draft. Ealy is yet another Oklahoma player Baltimore would pluck. He is a developmental but toolsy right tackle.
105. New Orleans Saints: Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
With the Saints taking hits on the defensive line in losing Sheldon Rankins in free agency and a potential departure of Malcom Brown, I felt it prudent for them to replace one here.
Togiai is a powerful run stuffer with a constant motor. He isn’t a superb pass rusher, but he can clog running lanes and command attention away from Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport.