The Day 3 picks in the NFL Draft encompass over half of the entire draft board. Finding value with earlier picks is necessary for teams, but Day 3 can also be a mechanism for furthering success. There are always hidden gems to find, and developmental prospects to add, and athletic specimens to mold. And it’s a tired argument, but yes — the best QB in NFL history also went on Day 3. The later rounds don’t always get their due, but today is their day. In this Day 3 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we examine the possibilities that remain on the table.
2021 NFL Draft Order: Round 4
There were plenty of surprising — and quite frankly head-scratching — picks in Rounds 2 and 3, and that pushed a lot of high-level talent into the Day 3 pool. Which teams will be the first to take advantage of the opportunities that have emerged?
106. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cameron Sample, DL, Tulane
The Jaguars are the first off the board on Day 3, and they take Tulane lineman Cam Sample. Sample exploded at the Senior Bowl, and he has the physical profile that projects well into Joe Cullen’s scheme, which will likely use multiple fronts on the defensive line.
107. New York Jets: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
Jabril Cox was considered a potential Round 2 pick in plenty of mock drafts over the offseason. He even tested well at his pro day recently, which was supposed to inflate his stock. Instead, he falls to this pick, and the Jets get a high-level coverage linebacker with upside.
108. Atlanta Falcons: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
The Falcons have yet to draft a running back. In Arthur Smith’s scheme, it’s probably a good idea to have someone there. Kenneth Gainwell is more than just a “someone.” He’s a nearly elite receiving back with the density and elusiveness to break out in a hybrid-zone scheme.
109. Carolina Panthers: Caden Sterns, S, Texas
The Panthers can still stand to add a high-upside coverage safety alongside Jeremy Chinn. At this point in this Day 3 2021 NFL Mock Draft, Caden Sterns is a tantalizing player. He’s an elite athlete whose flashes present him as a pure, rangy playmaker on the back end.
110. Cleveland Browns: Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa
Elerson Smith tested as the most explosive athlete in this class at over 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. He also flashed a lot at the Senior Bowl in January. Smith has already fallen out of Day 2, but he shouldn’t fall far beyond this point. The Northern Iowa alum can be an excellent rotational rusher for the Browns.
111. Cincinnati Bengals: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
With the Geno Atkins era behind the Bengals, it remains imperative to restock the talent supply on the defensive line. Some questions are surrounding Daviyon Nixon‘s maturity. Nevertheless, his explosive talent is too much to pass up here.
112. Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
If the Lions manage to pull this off, they win the draft. Period. Teams can throw in the towel three rounds early. The Lions have already had a stellar draft. Amon-Ra St. Brown provides them with an immediate starter with a chip on his shoulder at their most pressing remaining need.
113. Cleveland Browns: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
Trey Smith‘s fall is one of the most perplexing storylines this year. The Tennessee guard was a high-level starter for years on end in college. For the Browns, who unfortunately run the risk of losing Wyatt Teller in 2022 free agency, it’ll be good to have a backup plan.
114. Atlanta Falcons: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
While Jabril Cox’s descent was surprising, Dylan Moses‘ wasn’t. Moses has a lot of work to do if he wants to get back to his pre-injury level of play. Nevertheless, Dean Pees will know how to use him, and Moses still has the athleticism needed to rebound.
115. Dallas Cowboys: Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
In Trill Williams, the Dallas Cowboys get a cornerback substantially better than they took at No. 99 overall. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Class value aside, Williams can ball, and he has the athleticism and versatility to provide early value.
116. New York Giants: David Moore, OL, Grambling State
There’s a bit of uncertainty on the interior line for the New York Giants. They can stabilize the group by taking David Moore in this Day 3 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Moore is a nasty blocker who has impressive proportional length, given his robust and stout frame.
117. Los Angeles Rams: Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
Jalen Ramsey is the quintessential elite athlete at cornerback, and 2020 breakout player Darious Williams also boasts top-end athletic traits. The Rams follow the same blueprint with Robert Rochell, getting arguably the most athletic cornerback in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
118. Los Angeles Chargers: Royce Newman, OG, Ole Miss
The Chargers have already drastically improved their offensive line. Between Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, and Bryan Bulaga, they’re sitting pretty. But that last guard spot can still be improved. The athletic, gritty Royce Newman can help with that.
119. Minnesota Vikings: Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana
The Minnesota Vikings signed Xavier Woods to replace Anthony Harris in free agency, but that’s just below a lateral move at best. Jamar Johnson provides them with a well-sized, instinctive defender who has a knack for finding ways to make plays.
120. New England Patriots: Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Michael Carter was a fringe second-round pick in many mocks over the offseason. So it only seems right that the evil empire snatches him up a round and a half later than expected. Carter is an excellent receiving back, with the quick cuts and vision to have a vital role.
121. Los Angeles Rams: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
The future is precarious at offensive tackle for the Rams. Thus, adding a high-end talent from the 2021 NFL Draft is a good move in this Day 3 mock. Stone Forsythe has the size and the athleticism to be an exceptional blocker. In L.A., he can learn from Andrew Whitworth.
122. Cincinnati Bengals: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Brevin Jordan‘s fall has likely been fueled by his injury history and his below-average athletic testing score. Jordan’s testing was no doubt disappointing. However, as a RAC threat on tape, he shows better athleticism than advertised. He can be a steal for the Bengals here.
123. Philadelphia Eagles: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
A select few teams will benefit significantly from the devaluation of the 2021 NFL Draft’s linebacker class. In this Day 3 2021 NFL Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of those teams. Cameron McGrone is smooth, compact, and instinctive, both in the box and in coverage.
124. Washington Football Team: James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati
There’s been talk that third-round pick Benjamin St-Juste might play a bit at safety. However, Washington should add a more natural player there. James Wiggins is an elite athlete when healthy, and his explosive, physical nature could be precisely what this defense needs.
125. Minnesota Vikings: Jay Tufele, DT, USC
Minnesota’s interior defensive line should be much-improved this year. Still, with the way the class’ talent has fallen down the board, it seems wise to capitalize on the opportunity. Jay Tufele is great value here, and his multifaceted impact will be important early.
126. Tennessee Titans: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa
Still, in need of a wide receiver, the Tennessee Titans take Ihmir Smith-Marsette with the 126th pick in this Day 3 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Smith-Marsette has the speed and the savvy to man the slot between A.J. Brown and Josh Reynolds, but he also has some versatility.
127. Indianapolis Colts: D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
The Colts decided to double-up on defensive ends in Rounds 1 and 2, leaving the cupboard relatively bare at offensive tackle. They should at least look to add a developmental player there. In Round 3, D’Ante Smith, with his elite length and torso flexibility, makes plenty of sense.
128. Pittsburgh Steelers: Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame
This feels like a Steelers pick, and it also feels like good value if they’re going to pick an EDGE. Daelin Hayes is a weight room warrior and an extremely high-character player. He has good athleticism at 6-foot-4, 253 pounds, and he adds to a promising young rotation.
129. Seattle Seahawks: Khyiris Tonga, DT, Brigham Young
This might be a reach over some other defensive tackles — as per the Seahawks’ contractual stipulations that require them to reach. That said, Khyiris Tonga is an intriguing player here. He’s a massive, heavy-handed player, and he can help fill Seattle’s void on the interior.
130. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
Tommy Togiai was recruited by Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer back when Meyer was leading the Buckeyes. If Togiai falls this far in Round 4, his connection in Jacksonville should eventually land him a job. From there, Togiai has the power and burst to surprise.
131. Baltimore Ravens: Adrian Ealy, OT, Oklahoma
The Ravens still need to fill their void at tackle after trading Orlando Brown Jr. Adrian Ealy is an underrated option in Round 4. He’s a natural right tackle, and he shows better athleticism than what his testing numbers indicate. He can be a starter in Baltimore.
132. Cleveland Browns: Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M
After knocking the first two picks of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the park, the Browns have earned the privilege of selecting PFN Daily Mock Draft MVP Bobby Brown. Brown is an athletic specimen with insane length and explosiveness on the interior, and his upside is immense.
133. New Orleans Saints: Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace
You could argue that Tylan Wallace should have gone in Round 3. Going over halfway through the fourth round to the New Orleans Saints is just unfair. Wallace can be a high-level starter across from Michael Thomas with his steely resolve and dynamic ability downfield.
134. Minnesota Vikings: Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss
The Minnesota Vikings need another big-bodied pass catcher at tight end after losing Kyle Rudolph, and Kenny Yeboah provides excellent value here. Yeboah is a good athlete with natural receiving skills, and he also has ample blocking experience from Ole Miss’ offense.
135. Tennessee Titans: Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri
It’s fun to think about what Tyree Gillespie can do alongside Kevin Byard in Tennessee’s defense. Gillespie is already an incredibly intuitive and proactive player in the bottom two-thirds. However, his pro-day testing proved that he also brings athleticism beyond the intangibles.
136. Baltimore Ravens: Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
Having tentatively filled most of their needs, the Ravens can indulge a bit here. With the running backs starting to trickle away, the Ravens get their guy before it’s too late. Khalil Herbert is an excellent complement to J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill.
137. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ta’Quon Graham, DT, Texas
As always, the Buccaneers can do what they want. Here, they add a defensive lineman with otherworldly upside. Learning behind Ndamukong Suh, Ta’Quon Graham has the elite athleticism and length to become an impact player at the three-technique position eventually.
138. Dallas Cowboys: Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama
At this point, there’s little we can do to salvage the value that the Cowboys sacrificed on Day 2. But a smart pick here would be Deonte Brown. If he can keep shedding weight, he could be an excellent eventual starter for Dallas, who might lose Connor Williams in free agency next year.
139. Cincinnati Bengals: Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana
The Bengals’ infatuation with Joe Mixon, who’s been one of the NFL’s least efficient running backs, is somewhat confounding. It at least makes sense to add another versatile back to the rotation. Elijah Mitchell is a great athlete, and he also has utility as a receiver and a blocker.
140. Pittsburgh Steelers: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
The Steelers, in a peculiar move, neglected the tackle position in Rounds 2 and 3. They did add Kendrick Green, but they still need another potential starter on the outside. James Hudson has a ways to go, but he flashed upside at the Senior Bowl with fast and forceful hands.
141. Los Angeles Rams: Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State
Shaka Toney‘s size is scary, but someone has to bank on his elite athleticism and bend on the edge. And the Rams, who run a 3-4 scheme, present a great fit for him. Toney won’t ever be an elite run defender, but his pass-rushing upside is tantalizing.
142. Green Bay Packers: Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue
Derrick Barnes was a sleeper to go on Day 2 with his athletic traits, so in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft, it makes sense that he doesn’t go far beyond that point. Barnes played well at the Senior Bowl and might have earned a few fans in Green Bay’s front office.
143. New York Jets: Camryn Bynum, CB, California
At this point in our Day 3 mock draft, the cornerback board is relatively dry. But Camryn Bynum still provides upside here. Bynum — who logged 6 picks and 28 deflections over four years at Cal — is a great athlete, and he’s also position versatile in the secondary.
144. Kansas City Chiefs: Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston
Marquez Stevenson didn’t run quite as fast as expected. Nevertheless, in this Day 3 mock draft, he’s one of the more intriguing receivers available. Injuries hampered his career at Houston, but Stevenson has the dynamic skill set the Chiefs always crave.