Valdovinos’ 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Off-field issues cause Micah Parsons to slide, but that’s never deterred Jon Gruden.
Parsons would take over as the MIKE in Las Vegas and provide an additional pass-rush option. A former defensive-end-turned-linebacker, Parsons is still learning the nuances of the linebacker position. He has the tools to be an elite player in the NFL, but don’t expect him to come in and be immediately successful. Teams will pick on him a bit in coverage, but he’s the best blitzing linebacker I’ve ever seen, and it’s rare to find someone so big and so fast.
18. Miami Dolphins: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Azeez Ojulari seems to have settled into the most popular EDGE1. He possesses quality explosion and flexibility. He can occasionally lose the point of attack, but he’s a much-needed influx of youth and athletic ability to Miami’s EDGE rotation. They added an offensive weapon earlier, and here they add another talented piece to one of the league’s most underrated defenses.
Miami would’ve liked to have Najee Harris here, but they’ll settle for another SEC superstar. DeVonta Smith and Ojulari is a really nice way to start this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft for the Dolphins.
19. Detroit Lions (via WFT): Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Lions passed on the opportunity to take Jaylen Waddle when they traded back with Washington, but they still get a top receiver at 19. Rashod Bateman would instantly become the Lions’ top receiving option, and with Anthony Lynn, he’ll be in a role similar to Keenan Allen.
Bateman could be one of the most productive rookie receivers in the scenario, thanks to a lack of competition for targets in Detroit. Jared Goff gets his No. 1 target, and Detroit receives draft capital to move up for their guy in 2022.
20. Chicago Bears: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
While some Bears fans might be disappointed that Bateman went the pick before them, they should be ecstatic Christian Darrisaw fell to them. My second-rated tackle and fifth overall player, Darrisaw is excellent value at No. 20. He can play left or right tackle but would likely be the team’s starting left tackle by the end of training camp.
Like Trent Williams, Darrisaw shows the ability to get to his spots, regardless of the degree of difficulty. Darrisaw is an impressive prospect and a draft win for Chicago.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Colts stayed conservative in free agency, saving their money for future contracts they have to shell out like Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson. The Colts’ big additions this offseason will be via the draft, besides the Wentz trade, which is a great start. Adding an athletic specimen like Samuel Cosmi to play on a line as strong as Indianapolis is unfair. That unit could be one of the three best offensive lines for the next half-decade.
22. Tennessee Titans: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
After years of not knowing what Tennessee was gonna do in the first round, I can confidently say that if Teven Jenkins is on the board when the Titans pick, they’ll take him. Dominant at the point of attack, with smooth feet and a good sense for pass protection, Jenkins has several fans across the NFL and media. His arm length and anchor could be issues, but he has shown the ability to mask them with his body control. The Titans find their right tackle of the future in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
23. New York Jets: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
If there’s one thing I credit Joe Douglas for, it’s finding value. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the obvious best player available in my eyes, and I believe Douglas would recognize that as well. Playing under Robert Saleh, JOK could become one of the top defenders in the NFL. He’ll be utilized all over the field, dominant as a matchup nightmare, playing behind an underrated defensive line that made a big splash adding Carl Lawson this free agency.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Javonte Williams, RB, UNC
It sounds as though the Steelers are intent on adding a workhorse through the draft. With Najee Harris already off the board, the Steelers need to act now if they want to land one of the top three rushers. Choosing between Javonte Williams and Travis Etienne, in the end, I think Mike Tomlin will value the vision and contact balance of Williams over the pure explosiveness and long speed of Etienne. Williams’ playstyle would provide a nice contrast to Pittsburgh’s passing attack.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
The Jaguars need to continue adding talent to their defense, specifically in the defensive backfield. Selecting C.J. Henderson last year was a strong start, but giving him another top-50 pick in the secondary could do wonders.
Trevon Moehrig can play both free or strong safety and provides a size matchup for tight ends. The top safety in the class, Moehrig is good value for Jacksonville here. They could contend for the seventh seed in the AFC with a great draft class. They’re off to a strong start in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
26. Cleveland Browns: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
The Browns added considerable talent to their defense via free agency. John Johnson III and Troy Hill join Denzel Ward, Ronnie Harrison, and Grant Delpit to form one of the top secondaries in the AFC. They also brought in Takk McKinley, a rotational pass rusher behind Myles Garrett, and now Kwity Paye.
Paye, like Garrett, is a physical freak. He is a powerful run defender with the explosiveness and bend to be a double-digit sack getter. The Browns should be contending for a Super Bowl with the roster they have in place, and selecting Paye brings them one step closer.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The question isn’t whether or not a team will fall in love with Jayson Oweh’s traits. The question is, which team will fall in love with them?
One of the most impressive athletes we’ve ever seen, Oweh goes in the same range Montez Sweat did in the 2019 NFL Draft. Oweh’s tools didn’t lead to college production, but there were flashes of nuance and technique. In Baltimore, Oweh would be in one of the top organizations at developing defensive talent. A fully developed Jayson Oweh is a terrifying thought to have.
28. New Orleans Saints: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
The biggest draft riser as of late, after his incredible pro day, it seems like Jamin Davis is a near-lock to be a first-rounder. Raw but superbly athletic, Davis is the kind of linebacker you’d create in a lab — big, strong, fast, and explosive. Davis would benefit from playing with the numerous veterans on the New Orleans defense. The Saints are preparing for life without Drew Brees, and investing in their defense could be wise.
29. Green Bay Packers: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
I refuse to believe the Packers will once again ignore addressing the wide receiver position in the draft. Getting an explosive playmaker to pair with Davante Adams is imperative. Kadarius Toney can operate as a dominant Z in Matt LaFleur’s offense. He takes attention away from Adams and could even be a spark rusher to change the pace. After bringing back Aaron Jones, adding Toney would give the Packers the well-rounded offense they lacked last year.
30. Buffalo Bills: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Bills lack a consistent rusher to pair with their dominant passing attack. Zack Moss and Devin Singletary are OK, but neither can be a workhorse back like Travis Etienne. Etienne brings Buffalo’s offense to an entirely new level with the speed and acceleration to score a touchdown on any play. He improved as a receiver from his junior to his senior year, and he’s now adept enough to be used as a third-down option — nice value for the Bills in this 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
Whether the Chiefs want to play him at tackle or guard, they could have used Alex Leatherwood in the Super Bowl. Few players in the class can match Leatherwood’s experience as a three-year starter at multiple positions for Nick Saban at Alabama. Long arms and requisite athletic ability, when he can lock his hands and extend his arms, it’s impossible to get past him. However, he suffers from inconsistency on film and must correct his mental lapses before he can be a trusted starter in the NFL.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami FL
The Buccaneers have a few decent options here, so they choose the player with the highest upside still on the board. Had he been healthy for most of his college career, there’s no question Jaelan Phillips would be the first edge rusher taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. On the other hand, concussions slowed down his career and caused him to slide here. The Bucs can take Phillips and play him with a rotation until he takes over as the full-time starter across from Shaq Barrett in 2022.