Round One | Picks 17-32
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Off-field concerns lead to a Micah Parsons fall, but he finds a great landing spot in Las Vegas. The Raiders lack size and play strength in their linebacker room and could boost their pass-rush unit. Parsons can do both.
Listed at 6’3″, 245, Parsons has more than enough size to be an impact playmaker near the line of scrimmage. With Cory Littleton already on the team, Parsons won’t need to draw difficult coverage matchups.
18. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
After securing a pass-catching weapon with the third selection, Miami grabs the best rushing weapon in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Najee Harris is the best blend of power and finesse among running backs this year, and his ability as a pass catcher makes him the clear No. 1 running back, in my opinion.
Miami desperately needs a workhorse in the backfield, and Harris’ history with Tua just furthers the value of this selection.
19. Washington Football Team: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Washington has a tough decision between Christian Darrisaw and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (JOK). However, with the way Cornelius Lucas played in 2020, it’s entirely possible the team feels comfortable with him as the left tackle moving forward. This awards Washington the opportunity to select one of the top defensive playmakers in the NFL Draft.
JOK blurs the line between linebacker and safety, but he’s elite in man coverage and is more than willing to get ugly in the trenches. Playing him behind Washington’s loaded defensive line only exemplifies his strengths and could push the defense into becoming the best in football.
20. Chicago Bears: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Bears have splintered the relationship between themselves and Allen Robinson. With Robinson likely leaving the team as soon as possible, it will be essential for them to find a new WR1. Rashod Bateman can do just that. His skill set has led to some well-respected draft analysts comparing the two players.
Bateman would immediately replace Robinson in the Chicago offense as they attempt to remain competitive in the NFC.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Though not as clean a prospect as Slater or even Sewell, I believe Christian Darrisaw may have a higher ceiling than both. His ability to make difficult blocks is unmatched in the class, and he looks like the 49ers’ superstar Trent Williams the way he moves in space. His feet and overall technique still have development to undertake, but I think he can be an impact rookie from Day 1 and a multiple-time All-Pro throughout his career.
Playing him on an offensive line that also features Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, and Braden Smith means the Colts could possess the best offensive line in the NFL for the next five-plus years.
22. Tennessee Titans: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
It’s hard to gauge how much the NFL will like Azeez Ojulari. His get-off, bend, and a knack for making big plays will lead an NFL team to fall in love with him. The Titans already possess an explosive and bendy edge rusher in Harold Landry. Pairing him with Ojulari gives them one of the most volatile and dangerous pass-rushing duos in the NFL.
In this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, the Titans add one of the most high-profile edge rushers in the class.
23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks): Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Jets still have needs all over their defense. Most notably, at the edge rusher position. Gregory Rousseau is likely viewed higher among NFL front offices than he is by the media. His length, athletic profile, and production all jump out at you, but his film can be underwhelming at times.
The Jets make this selection with his ceiling on their mind. Rousseau saw a bit of a fall in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft, but don’t be surprised to see him go as high as the early teens come draft night.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
The Steelers have several needs on offense. First, in my eyes, is identifying their left tackle of the future.
Sam Cosmi has all the tools to warrant a selection here in the late first. His tools are some of the best in class, and his hands are as refined as Slater’s. His power at the point of attack isn’t great, and his feet could still use some work. Regardless, he becomes the top option in Pittsburgh right away.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma
One of my top-rated edge defenders, Ronnie Perkins is maybe the most well-rounded pass rusher in the 2021 class. He was dominant against elite tackles and consistently showed a hot motor on the field. He’s a good run defender and is well-developed rushing the passer.
The Jaguars must continue to add quality players on defense but are building a strong nucleus adding Perkins to Allen, Jack, Schobert, and Henderson.
26. Cleveland Browns: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
As far as traits go, Ifeatu Melifonwu is near the top of the cornerback prospects. He’s 6’3″ with fluid hips and great length. The Browns need someone to play opposite of Denzel Ward. Melifonwu fits the defense and could develop into a lockdown corner in his own right.
Should Melifonwu develop into his full potential, the Browns would have a bid for the top cornerback duo in the NFL. A pick that seems to gain more and more steam as the draft process rolls on, this is one of my favorite selections in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
The Ravens have options here, but the edge rusher class’ depth is enough to warrant taking Wyatt Davis here. The Ravens need a guard, and Davis is one of the top players at the position.
An impactful run blocker with a stout anchor and natural hands, Davis makes sense to have to pave the way for Lamar Jackson and former teammate J.K. Dobbins. Baltimore knows they can still get an impactful pass rusher and receiver on Day 2 and elect to take Davis here.
28. New Orleans Saints: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
The Saints desperately need a secondary weapon outside of Michael Thomas. Rondale Moore is one of the most dynamic athletes in the class and isn’t credited enough for his refinement as a receiver. He’s elite after the catch and has legitimate sub-4.3 speed, capable of taking the top off a defense.
Adding Moore to the offense will be massive for whoever is starting at quarterback for the Saints next year, and his presence should lead to more single coverage looks for Thomas.
29. Green Bay Packers: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Similar to the Saints, the Packers must get a running mate for their WR1. Davante Adams was arguably the best receiver in the NFL last year, and it was clear defensive coordinators didn’t fear another player in the Packers’ passing game.
Kadarius Toney has the tools to be an elite underneath weapon, excelling with the ball in his hands. His contact balance and agility are among the best this year. A weapon that can produce after the catch for Aaron Rodgers, Toney makes a ton of sense in Green Bay.
30. Buffalo Bills: Zaven Collins, LB/EDGE, Tulsa
It’s unclear where the NFL values Zaven Collins and where they view him at the next level. He has the range and instincts to play as an off-ball linebacker and the length, get-off, and tenacity to be an edge rusher.
With Buffalo likely losing one of their starting linebackers to free agency, as well as needing an influx of young talent at edge rusher, they could target Collins at the end of Round 1. Playing off-ball on early downs and coming to the line of scrimmage on obvious passing downs could optimize his usage.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Some view Jalen Mayfield as a tackle, others as a guard. Kansas City possesses a need at both positions. Mayfield played right tackle during his time at Michigan but could replace Eric Fisher on Patrick Mahomes’ blind side.
Smooth feet, strong hands, and natural athletic ability, give Mayfield a relatively high ceiling. He has shown flashes of dominance at the point of the attack but needs to find that power more consistently.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL)
With the long-term future of Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul very much in doubt, it makes sense for the Buccaneers to target an edge rusher early in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Jaelan Phillips is a former five-star recruit who struggled at UCLA but found his footing this past season at Miami. He showed a nuanced pass-rushing skill set, as well as natural play strength, explosion, and bend. Injury concerns are there, but the player Phillips could be is enough to warrant a late first-round selection.