by Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)
April 12th, 2021
30 | 61 | 94
6 | 18 | 36 | 50 | 82
|New England Patriots|
15 | 46 | 77 | 97
|New York Jets|
2 | 23 | 34 | 66 | 87
10 | 44 | 75 | 100
|New York Giants|
11 | 42 | 76
12 | 37 | 70 | 85
|Washington Football Team|
19 | 51 | 74 | 83
27 | 58 | 105
5 | 38 | 69
26 | 59 | 90 | 92
24 | 55 | 88
20 | 52 | 84
7 | 41 | 72 | 102
|Green Bay Packers|
29 | 62 | 93
14 | 79 | 91
21 | 54
1 | 25 | 33 | 45 | 65
22 | 53 | 86 | 101
4 | 35 | 68
8 | 39 | 73
|New Orleans Saints|
28 | 60 | 99 | 106
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
32 | 64 | 96
9 | 40 | 71
|Kansas City Chiefs|
31 | 63 | 95
|Las Vegas Raiders|
17 | 48 | 80 | 81
|Los Angeles Chargers|
13 | 47 | 78 | 98
16 | 49
|Los Angeles Rams|
57 | 89 | 104
|San Francisco 49ers|
3 | 43 | 103
We’re less than a month out from the 2021 NFL Draft and the market is beginning to heat up. San Francisco made their jump up to three, Miami and Philadelphia moved back, and the Jets made their intentions clear by dishing Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. The top five probably won’t move around much more, if at all, but there’s a lot more movement that we might see in the next couple of weeks.
The fluctuations that some players are going through right now is also very notable. Players like Mac Jones and Trey Lance have the masses split while others are debating whether or not Penei Sewell is the generational talent that some make him out to be (spoiler: he is). My point is that none of these mock drafts are ever going to be accurate, but trying to understand a team’s draft philosophy could help draw out more accurate picks and better conversations regarding teams and players.
Like the past couple drafts I wrote, I’m going to go past the first round so that we can talk about some players that might not be getting enough attention and work deeper into draft strategies. I’ll mainly be talking about the actual draft process and team needs with this piece, so for deeper detail on players, check out the links at the bottom of the page.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback
It’s not going to change. It’s not usual for a player to go wire-to-wire as the favorite to be picked first overall, but Trevor Lawrence is going to do exactly that. His performances from high school to the Elite 11 to Clemson have been truly outstanding and there’s no doubt who Jacksonville will be selecting. It’ll likely be tough sledding while the roster is rebuilt for the first year or two, but the value of this pick comes over the course of the next 15 years, not the next 15 months. Trevor Lawrence is the best player in this draft and it’s not close.
2. New York Jets
Zach Wilson, Quarterback
There was a question around whether or not the Jets really wanted to draft a quarterback considering Sam Darnold’s standing and flickers of potential, but the trade with Carolina that saw Darnold leave for a lean package of picks leaves no doubt as to where the Jets are looking. New York is hitting reset at quarterback and the option that makes the most sense in my eyes is Zach Wilson. The makings of a good offensive line are in place for the Jets and giving someone with that much arm talent time in the NFL has proven to be potent. This franchise is desperate for a pick to hit and I believe outside of Trevor Lawrence, this is their best bet.
3. San Francisco 49ers (via HOU)
Justin Fields, Quarterback
It’s not often that a team trades up this high just to draft a wide receiver or offensive tackle, so I think it’s fair to assume that San Francisco are aiming to cut the line and guarantee themselves a top quarterback. Kyle Shanahan did great things with Robert Griffin III while he was in Washington so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him grab someone who has a flash of scramble in them. Despite possessing a stellar arm and passing predominantly, Justin Fields is clearly the best dual threat quarterback in this draft and Shanahan’s offensive creativity could partner well with Fields’ talents. A talented young crop of pass catchers will help keep Fields productive in the air and on the ground and revitalize an offense that was stagnant a year after making the Super Bowl.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Trey Lance, Quarterback
The top three picks are all stapled down and there’s a lot of reports that Atlanta are getting phone calls about this fourth pick, but I’m not predicting trades so we’ll settle for what we have. Atlanta could go any number of ways with this pick, but the smartest way to go is getting in on the quarterback festivities. Since his MVP season Matt Ryan has clearly depreciated and since his contract goes on until 2024, that gives plenty of time for the team to develop their pick. Trey Lance is an extremely young prospect and while he’s raw, the potential is nearly tangible. Lance needs to grow as a player and developing next to one of the better passers in NFL history isn’t a bad way to go. The Falcons get their guy for the future and plenty of time to make the pick work. I think that’s a victory for both sides.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle
Look, it’s not to say that the defense doesn’t need help when I say that the Bengal’s offense is the priority, it’s just that the Bengals cannot afford to see their first overall pick on the sidelines because they took a pass catcher or cornerback. Joe Burrow already suffered a knee injury from the lack of protection, so grabbing Penei Sewell, an utterly behemoth dancing bear to solidify the left tackle position, while Jonah Williams moves to the right, is the right choice. A lot of people are touting the fact that Zac Taylor said Jonah Williams will stay at left tackle, but that decision would be asinine if Sewell is there to be had. Outside of Lawrence the Oregon product is the best player in this draft and getting him to protect Burrow is the only correct choice for the future of the franchise.
6. Miami Dolphins (via PHI)
Kyle Pitts, Tight End
I think Miami may have done the best piece of business around this draft considering they grabbed more assets by moving down and still might grab the player they were looking at to begin with. The question here for the Fins is whether they think Kyle Pitts or Devonta Smith is a better choice for the offense. That question is really tough and has a lot of sides to it. DeVante Parker is not a good enough WR1 for a contending team, but the addition of Will Fuller V really strengthens the wide receiver room. Are Cethan Carter or Mike Gesicki realistically tight ends of the future for the team? How much does the Alabama connection matter to Tua? Can Smith last in the NFL with his frame as it is? I’ve changed my stance on Pitts a bit in the past couple of months as I really poured over his film and workouts and I’m confident that the Dolphins should take him if he’s available. All the teams that are making deep runs have great tight ends now. Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski, Zach Ertz, heck, it’s been this way since Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez revolutionized the position. Kyle Pitts is the future of football. The Dolphins have to take him if he’s there.
7. Detroit Lions
Ja’Marr Chase, Wide Receiver
The Lions are the epitome of failure in North American sports. They haven’t won a playoff game for decades, their leadership is unmotivated by the potential of success, and the overall atmosphere around the franchise has made two of the best talents at their positions ever flatly quit the game. This seventh pick will not change any of that, but it could be a foundational piece in building out of that hole. Ja’Marr Chase would quickly become the best wide receiver the team has seen since Calvin Johnson and would likely be the best receiver Jared Goff has ever thrown to. The pass catching room is destitute apart from T.J. Hockenson so this pick wasn’t difficult to make. There was some consideration for a cornerback, specifically Patrick Surtain II, but after taking Jeff Okudah with the third pick last season, the Lions need to diversify their portfolio desperately.
8. Carolina Panthers
Patrick Surtain II, Cornerback
This is a tough pick to call. Carolina is in very bad shape considering their roster and this draft will be extremely important for Matt Rhule. The only positions I’m confident the team won’t address with this pick are running back, outside linebacker, and defensive tackle. We can probably rule out quarterback considering the money they have tied up in the position right now, but who knows. The positions I’m really interested in for this pick are at offensive tackle and cornerback. The Panthers have Taylor Moton, Cam Irving, and Greg Little at tackle for the moment and the position is pretty deep, so I’m leaning cornerback. With just Donte Jackson and Troy Pride Jr., having a chance at sticking around, Patrick Surtain II would make the biggest impact. The Alabama product will walk into the starting defense and while he could struggle against the best wide receivers in this division, he’ll be getting valuable reps and won’t be out of place. He’s a very good player and could anchor their secondary for a long time.
9. Denver Broncos
Kyle Trask, Quarterback
Here comes one of the first giant dilemmas of the draft. Denver has a roster that’s put together pretty well for the most part. They have big money on players who are going to make a difference and not too much in any one spot. They’re in pretty good shape at most positions, but do they want to stay here at 9? How do they feel about Drew Lock? What’s the next realistic step at improving the defense? Are they happy with the offensive line? I think Denver ends up moving out of this spot, but if they don’t and the situation ends up as we see it currently, I think they have to address the quarterback position. Drew Lock might end up as a good player down the road, but this team needs to get better now before Las Vegas and Los Angeles leave them in the dust. There’s no more time to wait for Vic Fangio so grabbing a player who put up ridiculous numbers at Florida in Kyle Trask would be the correct move. They hit reset at quarterback with a guy that has massive upside, they have a decent offensive line to protect him, and a couple of very nice pass catching weapons. Again, I don’t know how they’re thinking or if they even want to stick with this pick, but Trask is the best move in this situation.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Rashawn Slater, Offensive Lineman
Versatility is something that a lot of offensive linemen have, but not in the depth or quality that Rashawn Slater possesses. The Cowboys are known for their dominant offensive lines and there happens to be an opening right now for a guard. Slater played all along the offensive line at Northwestern, guard, tackle, and center, so this wouldn’t be a tough transition task for him. Plus, if a tackle went down, he could step in. Same for a center. Dallas needs a defensive tackle and safety badly and with this pick they could get their choice of any of them, but Slater is easily the best value. The Cowboys maintain their line and run game and they protect Dak Prescott. They win all around.
11. New York Giants
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE
The Giants have another interesting decision to make with their pick. They’re similar to Denver in that they’ve actually composed their roster fairly well with money in the right places, but there’s still a lot of questions to ask. Do they feel as though they should improve the pass rush? If they do, should it be an actual edge rusher or a more versatile outside linebacker? Is the interior offensive line satisfactory for their needs? How confident is the team in Dexter Lawrence at defensive tackle? Those are all questions that only they can answer, of course, but I identify their biggest need in the pass rush. I think the actual edge rusher is more important than an outside linebacker in this scenario for them so I have the franchise taking Gregory Rousseau. He’s a monster at getting behind the line of scrimmage and making plays and going opposite of Leonard Williams could create issues that elevate the rest of the defense.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (via SFO)
Devonta Smith, Wide Receiver
After seeing the de-evolution of the offense in Baltimore, Philadelphia is probably looking at Jalen Hurts and thinking they need to upgrade the pass catching weapons. There’s a lot of positions that need to be addressed for the Eagles, but two have been pressing in my eyes for a long time, wide receiver and middle linebacker. There’s probably a temptation to grab Penn State’s Micah Parsons considering his tackling prowess, but the need to keep Jalen Hurts healthy is much more pressing than that of cleaning up a very good defensive line’s mistakes. Philadelphia needs to keep the offense fresh with good pass catchers and while they grabbed Jalen Reagor last season, they need a true number one. That player can be had with Devonta Smith still around after a quarterback frenzy. Smith is a fantastic receiver with great improvisation skills which will work well in the offense and with Hurts.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
Christian Darrisaw, Offensive Tackle
The Chargers took a risk by grabbing Justin Herbert instead of a top left tackle in the draft last year, but that risk has paid off in a big way considering the team may have found their franchise quarterback. This draft should be used to make sure the player is protected and able to use high caliber weapons. The first step for this team is clearly to draft a tackle and that player is Christian Darrisaw. I don’t think there’s too much deliberating going into this one considering Darrisaw is able to block at the NFL level and there’s an opening at left tackle.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Guard
As I browse the current Minnesota roster, I’m generally fine with how they spend their money outside of a few positions. Those positions are tackle and guard. Those positions have no big money players and that just can’t fly in this version of the NFL. Backfield protection is a huge part of the NFL now and there simply need to be upgrades made there. I would also like to see Minnesota grab a safety and edge rusher at some point in this draft, but the need for a very good offensive lineman is so pressing it cannot be ignored. AVT is good enough to start as a guard immediately and his time in college saw him play left tackle as well, so if he needs to move out he can. Minnesota still has a lot of work to do, but this is a good start.
15. New England Patriots
Shane Buechele, Quarterback
And here comes our next big dilemma of the draft. New England has such an interesting situation to work through and there’s a ton of moving parts that need answers. The Patriots made some… interesting… offseason decisions. They signed a couple of tight ends to the combined money of a four year quarterback deal, grabbed a couple of old friends in Kyle Van Noy and Trent Brown, and re-signed Cam Newton to another burner deal. So here lies the beginning of the debates. Is Mac Jones an upgrade or even a quarterback that’s good enough to thrive in the NFL? Are Henry Anderson or Chase Winovich good enough to be every down players on the edge? Could Christian Barmore be a big upgrade at defensive tackle? Those questions are just touching the surface for the Patriots, but I think the answer to this pick lies in them. Newton’s deal expires after this season and Jarrett Stidham’s expires after the next one. Neither quarterback has any real future in New England, so grabbing a new passer is the right choice. As tempting as it might be to grab Mac Jones, the Patriots should go with Shane Buechele. He’s a fantastic thrower and something of a poor man’s Zach Wilson. He could be a lot like Matt Stafford if things go correctly and that can win a title in New England with this management.
16. Arizona Cardinals
Caleb Farley, Cornerback
Based on how the Cardinals played last season one might believe that their roster is pretty close to being complete, but that’s far from the truth. After reviewing their players I think they could go a number of ways with this pick. Any offensive lineman, a running back, a defensive tackle, another edge rusher, a cornerback, or a safety would all be seen as smart picks. The best value at this point comes in cornerback Caleb Farley. There’s some experience in the cornerbacks room but not enough talent, and Arizona will need help there with Matt Stafford and Russell Wilson in their division. Farley could start day one and that’s what Arizona needs.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Christian Barmore, Defensive Tackle
The Raiders are another team that had a very interesting offseason in that they demolished their offensive line for some reason. This leaves them in need of literally any position along the line, as well as a need for an outside linebacker, cornerback, and defensive tackle. There’s also a need for a second wide receiver, but that’s ancillary at this point. If we were to go by the best available player to suit their needs, I would say the Raiders go after Zaven Collins, the outside linebacker, but considering they already have three edge rushers on big money, he might be a waste of a pick in terms of value. Christian Barmore is a very good defensive tackle who could step in and cause issues in the middle of the line while Ngakoue, Ferrell, and Nassib wreak havoc on the outside.
18. Miami Dolphins
Joe Tryon, EDGE
Despite grabbing one of the best tight ends to come out of college this century, the Dolphins still need a lot of help turning their roster into one that can contend for a Super Bowl. I would like to see the Dolphins grab a really good tackle, but with the class being as deep as it is this season, they should be able to look towards the defensive side of the ball with this pick. There’s a chance to upgrade everywhere on the defensive line as well as at safety, so that’s what the Dolphins need to look at. Joe Tryon out of Washington is one of the best rushers in this class and has a great mix of speed and power to bring to Miami. Maintaining that defense’s dominance will be key to winning the division and Tryon can be a big part of that.
19. Washington Football Team
Micah Parsons, Inside Linebacker
For the most part I really like where Washington is sitting. Their defense is really well put together and even though the offense has some questions to answer, their defense can win the NFC East. I want to see Washington get a better quarterback, but they won’t get great value at the position at this point, so the team should look elsewhere. I’m tempted to grab Najee Harris, but putting some finishing touches on the defense with Micah Parsons is too good to pass on. Parsons can make this defense great by anchoring the second level in between all the playmakers on the line and in the secondary. Plus, the value is fantastic.
20. Chicago Bears
Jaycee Horn, Cornerback
The Bears are finally out from under Mitchell Trubisky, but their quarterback issues are far from over. However, the same issue that Washington was dealing with are still prevalent with the Bears: they can’t get much value at quarterback right now. They could take Mac Jones, but I’m not confident he’s a professional player. Instead the Bears need to consider an upgrade at offensive tackle, safety, or cornerback, especially now that Kyle Fuller is a Bronco. The question is whether cornerback or tackle is more important, and that’s a serious debate for this team. Should they wait to upgrade the line until they have a long term plan at quarterback or should they get someone who can improve now? Both cornerback and tackle are deep, but tackle is deeper so grabbing Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina makes the most sense. Neither Nick Foles or Andy Dalton will be in Chicago long term so the team can afford to wait on the tackle. Horn is necessary to keep the Bears competitive, so that’s the right choice.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Jalen Mayfield, Offensive Tackle
The interior of Indianapolis’ line is one of the best in the entire NFL, but the tackles are currently leaving a lot to be desired. The offense is probably on its last leg before needing to be shaken up, so getting a good player to protect Carson Wentz would be a good investment. There’s plenty of other areas of need: cornerback, safety, wide receiver, edge rusher, and outside linebacker, but the gap at left tackle is just too large to ignore. Indianapolis would be well served to grab Jalen Mayfield and not think too much harder. He’s a very solid player who can start immediately and protect Wentz well, so there’s not much more to analyze.
22. Tennessee Titans
Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver
For being such a decent team, Tennessee has a lot of issues with their roster that need to be solved. They can stand to add talent at just about every position outside of quarterback and running back and some positions still need starters. There’s still a big opening for a wide receiver, edge rusher, cornerback, safety, tight end, and tackle, but a pass catcher is clearly the biggest need. Jaylen Waddle, assuming the health of his leg, is the best option and a very good value at 22. He would be an instant starter and one of the best, if not the best, pass catcher, in the division.
23. New York Jets (via SEA)
Rondale Moore, Wide Receiver
After getting Zach Wilson with the second pick overall, I think the Jets are in a position to draft the best available player barring a quarterback or offensive lineman. There’s another pick for them early in the 2nd round so they don’t have to worry too much about missing on top talent anywhere, so this pick really is free to go wherever they desire. I really like the idea of grabbing a running back or wide receiver, though the temptation of addressing the other side of the ball by getting a corner, safety, or edge rusher is also a temptation. Rondale Moore is a player that can not only get open in the NFL, but he’ll be able to make plays and succeed against just about any defense with just about any route tree you throw at him. Despite being smaller, he’ll be Wilson’s best friend and a long term option that addresses their long-standing wide receiver issues.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jackson Carman, Offensive Tackle
I went through the Steelers roster and only found a couple of positions that could really do with upgrades. The first is at tackle, needing upgrades at both spots, followed by center, cornerback, and running back. There’s still plenty of great players at all of those positions, but the need for two tackles tells me that the Steelers should address that position. I’m very tempted to grab Najee Harris for the run game, but the run game needs blockers and the crop of running backs is very deep anyways. Jackson Carman is good enough to start this season and will provide Big Ben with the help he needs to stay healthy.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
Alex Leatherwood, Offensive Tackle
Just like the Jets, Jacksonville still has a lot of work to do after snagging their franchise quarterback, but the areas of focus are a bit easier to hone in on than that of New York. The priority for Jacksonville should be to surround Lawrence with the parts to make him successful and that starts with a good pass catcher and a good blocker on the ends of the line. I also love the prospects of a running back or edge rusher with this pick, but getting top guys to help Lawrence will be the priority, and with good tackles leaving quickly, getting Alex Leatherwood is the right choice. He’s a massive body who can pass and run block and has already played in a complex offense at Alabama. Lawrence gets protection and time and Jacksonville gets a good, layered tackle with a ton of experience.
26. Cleveland Browns
Kwity Paye, EDGE
I’ve talked about Cleveland in my earlier drafts and how I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to address the defense solely in this draft. Their offense is loaded with weapons and depth and while their defense is good, they can still make strides in becoming one of the better units in the entire league. They can use help all over but starting defensive line jobs are up to be had, so they ought to grab one. The local Ohio State fans might not be too happy, but with Kwity Paye available, Cleveland has no choice but to pull the trigger. A lot of analysts have him as the best pass rusher in the class and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up as such. Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson get some help and a very good team gets objectively better.
27. Baltimore Ravens
Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver
The Ravens are probably really wanting to add a good pass catcher, but at the same time they’re in dire need of a safety, so here we enter a value discussion. The options to add would be either someone like Elijah Moore or Rashod Bateman at wide receiver, or Trevon Moehrig at safety. Moehrig is the best safety in the class and one of the better ones to come out of college in the past few years. Moore and Bateman are huge upgrades and great players who would help Lamar Jackson maintain his versatility. I generally lean wide receiver to help keep the quarterback fresh, but safety is extremely tempting considering the value and talent. The Ravens have just three picks in the first three rounds, so they would have to wait almost an entire round to make their next pick, so I would be looking at who might be available at that point next round. Wide receivers go much faster than safeties so they might be looking at a completely different class of player with their next pick, while safety looks pretty nice in the next eight or so players. Moehrig is much better than them, but the drop off isn’t as severe as it is from Moore and Bateman. I have the team taking Moore because of his versatility, ability to scramble, and raw athleticism. He would be a great player to improvise with Lamar Jackson.
28. New Orleans Saints
Rashod Bateman, Wide Receiver
For the most part, I think there’s only one or two positions that New Orleans really needs to worry about right now. I would like to see them add in a lot of places, but I think their needs at wide receiver and linebacker are by far the most pressing. The best pick for the Saints to be successful would certainly be at wide receiver, keeping the quarterbacks happy and full of options. Rashod Bateman is a fantastic player and it would surprise no one if he ended up as a 1,000 yard receiver this season. With no Drew Brees the completions won’t come as easily, but Bateman can at least keep production at a decent level.
29. Green Bay Packers
Sage Surratt, Wide Receiver
Last season only a single player drafted by the Packers in 2020 made a postseason appearance, and that was running back A.J. Dillon for just a couple of snaps. Green Bay has to do a better job at being realistic in the draft and actually making the team better instead of guessing. They need to help Aaron Rodgers while he’s still in his prime and the only way they can do that right now is getting him a very good pass catcher to mirror Davante Adams. There’s other needs, but this is the largest by far. Get a pass catcher and worry about that other stuff later. Sage Surratt isn’t the huge name that a lot of fans might want, but he was fantastic at Wake Forest and will be even better in Green Bay. He has size, speed and length and I expect him to be one of the more productive players from this draft.
30. Buffalo Bills
Eric Stokes, Cornerback
The Bills might have the most complete roster in the NFL, to the point where they’re almost just drafting for depth. In my eyes they could only use a guard, cornerback, or tight end, and cornerback is absolutely where they would find the value with this pick, so they need to go with Eric Stokes out of Georgia. He could be of use this season and possibly even start opposite Tre’Davious White. I love the situation the Bills are in, and I wouldn’t mind if they traded out of this spot, even though Stokes would be an awesome addition.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Samuel Cosmi, Offensive Tackle
For a team that nearly went back-to-back in the Super Bowl, the Chiefs are in pieces all over the roster. They’re in need of another wide receiver, a defensive tackle, an edge rusher, an outside linebacker, a safety, any cornerback, any tackle, or a center. That’s not an ideal situation for the team to be in, but it does give them plenty of options for the draft. Silver linings, right? It’s really tough to not pick a corner given the need, but the demand for Patrick Mahomes to stay upright is more important than any need in the league. We saw what happened when that line fell apart in the Super Bowl, and that can’t happen again. Any number or tackles could go in this position and I know the Teven Jenkins train is picking up serious speed, but I like Samuel Cosmi to go in this position. He should be able to play well even against the good edge rushers in this division and would be a reliable player in the future. Keeping Mahomes healthy is paramount and Cosmi does that.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wyatt Davis, Guard
The way I see it, Tampa only has three real places that they might improve with a first round draft pick. The first is at guard where Ali Marpet is in need of a counterpart. They could grab one on the free agent market, but the draft picks are flush with talent there. They could use an outside linebacker as depth behind Shaq Barrett and Levonte David, or they could get another corner to add depth and versatility to their secondary. I don’t think there’s a defensive player they could draft that becomes a starter outside of a small chance at cornerback, but a guard could start and make a real difference for this team. Wyatt Davis out of Ohio State is more than capable of starting for the Super Bowl Champions and would have plenty of cover and time to develop with an unbelievable offense in Tampa Bay.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars
Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver
I’m perfectly fine if Jacksonville wants to address their offense completely with their first two rounds of picks, and that’s where this one is heading as well. After getting Lawrence and Alex Leatherwood with their first two picks, they have a chance to grab a good wide receiver with their next pick. My next best player, Tylan Wallace, would be a great pick for Lawrence to find his pro legs. The player has a massive catch radius and his athletic ability helps him fight off corners, create separation, and catch balls over his head with his leaping. Wallace is a very forgiving receiver and that would be a great fit for a quarterback with a ton of pressure on him.
34. New York Jets
Zaven Collins, Outside Linebacker
If I’m the Jets, I’m very happy at this point because I’ve snagged some very good players at very valuable prices. The passing game has improved considerably and the offensive line is in very good shape. However, I’m still worried about the other assets of the game. I could bear to snag a running back, a tight end, an edge rusher, a corner, a safety, or an outside linebacker, so I would be looking at the best players from those positions. I would eliminate tight end and the condition of edge rusher means I could probably wait on that position for now. There’s huge value at running back with Najee Harris, outside linebacker with Zaven Collins, and at safety with Trevon Moehrig, so I would decide between there. I’m ultimately going with Collins because outside linebacker drops off much quicker than safety and running back and Collins is extremely versatile. He can rush the passer, cover routes, and just tackle like crazy, so the defensive playmaker is the best option for the pick, and a great value to boot.
35. Atlanta Falcons
Najee Harris, Running Back
The Falcons addressed their future with Trey Lance in the first round, so they’re able to move on to another grouping of great players with their second pick. They could think about a pass catcher, but for now I think they might pass on that notion. The interior offensive line isn’t in great shape and could use a guard, but they can look other places before settling. Running back is a huge area of need, and one that would provide fantastic value. There’s a need for an edge rusher or outside linebacker, but not a larger need than that of a running back. Corner and safety could both use help, but ultimately I would settle between running back and safety. Najee Harris is too good of a value to pass up at this point and would diversify the Falcon’s offense, so he’s the right choice.
36. Miami Dolphins (via HOU)
Landon Dickerson, Center
The Dolphins are also making their third pick of the draft after getting Joe Tryon and Kyle Pitts, so they’re fairly wide open as well. The three biggest needs to me are at center, safety, and running back, and there’s good value at each of those positions. I think that in this situation it would be best to draft Landon Dickerson because he already has a rapport with Tua and would fit the line perfectly. I think the connection is good enough on its own, but the player is a fantastic blocker and would be one of the best blockers on the team immediately, so that’s a great bonus.
37. Philadelphia Eagles
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Inside Linebacker
Philly grabbed a great wide receiver with their first pick, so they’re finally able to address another position that they’ve needed to address for far too long at inside linebacker. Yes, they could do with a running back or second corner, but they’ve needed a tackle machine for years and that player is available in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The player just makes tackles and will instantly make this defense much more consistent than it has been since they won the Super Bowl. Not much more to think about.
38. Cincinnati Bengals
Seth Williams, Wide Receiver
AS much as I would like to see Cincinnati take a linebacker or edge rusher after getting Penei Sewell in the first, they need to follow the Jacksonville plan of getting better around their franchise quarterback. They have a couple of decent wide receivers, but Seth Williams out of Auburn would elevate their receiving corps and give Joe Burrow a huge target to throw to in the middle of the field. The Bengal’s offense is a lot closer to being very functional than it seems and Seth Williams could help them turn the corner.
39. Carolina Panthers
Pat Friermuth, Tight End
After a long layoff, it’s time to dip our toes back into the market of tight ends. Carolina needs a good receiving weapon and they could probably find one at wide receiver, but the best addition at this pick would be to grab Pat Friermuth. The Penn State product is a prototypical tight end for the modern game and would be a great target for Teddy Bridgewater, or Sam Darnold, to target for the season. He’s a big player who could elevate the offense and make the lives of everyone around him easier.
40. Denver Broncos
Trevon Moehrig, Safety
Finally. It’s been making me genuinely uncomfortable as I’ve been writing this that Trevon Moehrig was still on the board, but the needs just weren’t big enough. This is a great player who will be able to affect the game for any team, but there were just too many options and valuable players for Moehrig to go higher than this. I’m sure that in a different situation he could go in the top 18 to 20 picks, but this is just how it went this time around. Moehrig is fantastic and will dominate any secondary and his value at this point is too much to pass up, even for a team that needs an inside linebacker.
41. Detroit Lions
Jevon Holland, Safety
After getting a much needed pass catcher in Devonta Smith in the first round, I believe that Detroit needs to flip their sights and really examine the defense. There’s room to add offensive linemen, but three positions on defense, safety, cornerback, and linebacker, all need help. I think the most value would come in the secondary at this point and since cornerback is very deep, Detroit should probably address safety with this pick. Jevon Holland will certainly be starting this season given the status of the Lion’s secondary and will give Jeff Okudah some very talented cover on the back end. That doesn’t end their issues at safety, but it puts a couple stitches in the gash.
42. New York Giants
Tommy Togiai, Defensive Tackle
One of the things that we’ve seen become more and more relevant in the NFL is good teams and the correlation of being able to get pressure with four pass rushers. The Patriots were always able to do it, Philadelphia was able to do it, the 49ers did it, and the Bucs perfected it against an injured Chiefs line. With Kwity Paye on the Giants roster from the first round, the Giants have a chance to get another defensive lineman and make the front four ridiculous. Tommy Togiai was a player that was hardly on the radar at the beginning of the season but a very productive 2020 season has him as one of the best defensive linemen in the class. He could be the final piece needed to have that defense compete for a division title.
43. San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Molden, Cornerback
After grabbing Justin Fields with their first pick, San Francisco is free to address the rest of their roster and find the biggest issues with the construction. The three positions that I found the biggest issues with were at safety, cornerback, and guard, but the biggest need is clearly at corner. The 49ers have a paper thin secondary right now and even though Elijah Molden won’t fix their issues, he’s good and versatile enough to solve a lot of them and take a ton of threats away. That’s a big value at this pick.
44. Dallas Cowboys
Daviyon Nixon, Defensive Tackle
After making sure that offensive line is airtight, Dallas needs to turn and focus solely on the defense. Their issues on that side of the ball nearly had me taking a defensive player to begin with, but now there’s no other option. They need a safety, edge rusher, cornerback, outside linebacker, but most of all, a good defensive tackle. I’ve spoken at length about what pressure with four can do, but not even this pick could make that happen, there’s that much need here. Daviyon Nixon is a huge dude from Iowa who should be able to make a big difference up front with that defensive line. He should step into the nose role easily and at least take some of the pressure off of DeMarcus Lawrence. They’ll probably both be double teamed, but it’s a step in the right direction.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN)
Travis Etienne, Running Back
There’s two schools of thought to work through with this pick. The first is that after three picks going towards the offense, Jacksonville could turn their heads to a very needy defense, looking at an edge rusher or safety or defensive tackle, getting marginally better. Or they could supercharge the offense with either a tight end or running back. I think you know what we want to do. Plus, the way the cookie crumbles, Trevor Lawrence is able to team up again with one of the better college running backs of all-time and his Clemson teammate in Travis Etienne. This pick would make the offense the best in the division, fairly easily, and give them a chance to push for the playoffs right away.
46. New England Patriots
Trey Smith, Guard
I talked a lot about the Patriots with their first pick so I’ll try to keep this one a bit more brief, but there’s still a lot to work through with this team. Do they want to invest more money in a pass catcher with so much tied into the tight ends? How much do they believe in their second and third edge rushers and cornerbacks? I identify their three biggest needs at EDGE, defensive tackle, and guard, with the latter options being the most pressing. Trey Smith out of Tennessee is good enough to start in the NFL and be very good, especially in the AFC East. The Patriot offense was miserable last season and while Smith can’t gain yards, he can keep the pocket clean for the quarterback and open some holes for their running backs, and that will be a big help for the unit.
47. Los Angeles Chargers
Patrick Jones II, EDGE
Even after nabbing Christian Darrisaw in the first round and vastly improving the offensive line, there’s so many upgrades that this team can make, even on that same line. The Chargers are in need of a tight end, guard, safety, defensive end, and outside linebacker, all of which could see a starting job. If we go with the best available player for those positions, we’re definitely targeting an edge rusher where we find Patrick Jones II out of Pitt. The player is crazy strong with fantastic pass rushing skill and would be flatly menacing across from Joey Bosa. Again we come to the theme of getting pressure with four; to win in the AFC West that concept will be paramount in the minds of coordinators and neutralizing Patrick Mahomes will be the only way to win. Jones can help accomplish that.
48. Las Vegas Raiders
Liam Eichenberg, Offensive Tackle
The Raiders are speed fiends but even though they need a wide receiver, they won’t be able to satiate that hunger with this pick. The Raiders need a lot but their biggest needs currently lie in the trenches, even after getting Christian Barmore in the first round. They could use any player along the offensive line or an edge, and right now the best choice would be to grab Liam Eichenberg from Notre Dame at tackle. I think he would be good enough to at least start on the right side after the Raiders reset their line and he could make a good, nasty option for the future when the current contracts expire.
49. Arizona Cardinals
Deonte Brown, Guard
After picking Caleb Farley to help out the back end of the defense, the Cardinals are now free to work on the offense and help out Kyler Murray. Arizona is in need of some good offensive linemen, especially on the interior, and a good running back, something that’s pretty easy to find in this draft. Because running backs are so easy to find this year, Arizona should be looking for an offensive lineman before the best ones are gone. They’re in the market for a tackle or guard but the bigger need and slightly better value is at guard for this pick in Deonte Brown. Brown is an absolute mass of humanity that has very good mobility and nasty hands, plus he can fit into this offense and adjust to Kyler Murray’s movement well.
50. Miami Dolphins
Chris Rumph II, Outside Linebacker
Since the Dolphins have already worked through three picks and secured three top picks, they’re going to start looking at players to upgrade on current contracts. The three biggest areas of need are defensive tackle, outside linebacker, and a running back, and with the newly restructured line, a running back seems like the correct option, but again, the depth is so good that there’s better value at defensive tackle and outside linebacker. If I were the Dolphins I would target Chris Rumph II out of Duke to hold down outside linebacker. He’s big and quick enough to rush the passer, his height and wingspan can take away a large portion of the field, and his tackling abilities are good enough to keep him on the field for three downs. There’s more time to grab tackles and running backs later, so getting Rumph at very good value is the way to go.
51. Washington Football Team
Mac Jones, Quarterback
Micah Parsons was taken in the first round to get the defense close to tip-top shape, so I think it’s fair if Washington turns their gaze to the offensive side of the ball. There’s a number of things they could address with this pick, they could get a tackle, a running back, a wide receiver, or even a quarterback. I know Jones will probably be gone long before this pick, but I think he’s wildly overrated and feel as though even this pick is a reach for the player. However, Washington needs a quarterback desperately because Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t be good enough, nor is he the answer for the future. Mac Jones is at least an effort at getting the future in order and who knows, maybe I’m wrong and he’ll be great. Either way, Washington needs a quarterback and Jones is the guy, I guess.
52. Chicago Bears
Daniel Faalele, Offensive Tackle
The Bears replaced Kyle Fuller with their first pick, but now it’s time to address the issue that was at the forefront for most of the offseason: the offensive line. The team has needed a dominant left tackle for just about their entire existence and that player could be had with Daniel Faalele. If you’re not familiar with the player, just think of Mekhi Becton, but bigger. The player actually fits perfectly because even though there’s some growing to do and he’ll need to transition to the left side, he won’t have pressure on him this season with the quarterback situation as it is. The offense isn’t set up to succeed and even though that can be a pressurized situation in itself, it shouldn’t bother the Bears too much with this player.
53. Tennessee Titans
Hamsah Nasirildeen, Safety
The Titans are in desperate need of pass catchers even after getting Jaylen Waddle in the first round, so there’s going to be some eyes on the tight end position with this pick. However, it may be foolish to overlook the needs at safety and defensive tackle as well. Living with what you have at tight end is probably okay for now because there are some good options to pick up later, but the value at both defensive tackle and safety are likely as good as they’ll get. I think the bigger need is slightly edged to safety just because there’s a couple years left on the deals of Larrell Murchison and Jeffery Simmons and a majority of the safety deals will be ending after this season. Hamsah Nasirildeen is a fantastic player who could step in next to Kevin Byard and help Tennessee form one of the better secondaries in the division. With the AFC South in the shape it’s in, every team should be gearing up to win the honors and go to the playoffs and Nasirildeen would be a step in the right direction.
54. Indianapolis Colts
Jaelan Phillips, EDGE
Just as it was painfully obvious for the Colts that their first pick needed to be an offensive tackle, their second pick must absolutely be an edge rusher. There’s currently no decent starting options on the roster, but luckily enough, they’re able to get one from the draft. Jaelan Phillips out of Miami is one of the best rushers in this class and will immediately be the top sack-getter on this team. He can at least get into the backfield to salvage the team’s defensive efforts.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ambry Thomas, Cornerback
Pittsburgh shored up their offensive line a bit with Jackson Carman in the first round but there’s still plenty of work to be done up and down this roster, and you can stick with the offensive line if you want to. There’s a definite need for an interior offensive lineman, but there’s also a need for a running back, a cornerback, or any defensive lineman. That’s a lot to choose from, but we should be able to narrow it down. Center, cornerback, and edge provide the best value, and from that point you’re just deciding what the biggest need is. You already have some good options to get after the quarterback, so it’s either a center or corner. Both positions have a majority of their money gone after this season and corners will be completely destitute after 2023, so I’m going to have Pittsburgh address that opening. Ambry Thomas isn’t extremely versatile, but he’s a reliable player and one that can start and cover most of the receivers in this division and especially the number two options.
56. Seattle Seahawks
Ifeatu Melifonwu, Cornerback
Seattle finally swings in with their first pick of the draft, something that they’ll be very thankful to have, but there’s so many places to use it. They desperately need help at quarterback, but there’s also a big need for help on the interior offensive line and the defensive line, plus they could use an outside linebacker. However, I think it’s painfully obvious where this first pick needs to go. The cornerback room is barren and needs two starters before the season begins. Getting one of them here is an absolute must and that player being Ifeatu Melifonwu is a good deal. He’ll struggle to begin considering the players he’ll be tasked with covering, but his growth will follow quickly and the Seahawks will be happy with their pick.
57. Los Angeles Rams
Joseph Ossai, EDGE
The Rams also get their shot at their first pick in the draft, and they have an equally difficult choice to make, though their range of issues to address is limited to one side of the ball. The Rams need to get better on defense and it’s pretty easy to identify where if you take a quick look at their roster. Safety, inside linebacker, and defensive end all need to be upgraded, but the lack of ability on the edge makes it clear where the priority should lay. The value is still good at the position as well as the Rams are able to grab Joseph Ossai with the pick. He’s more of a speed rusher, but he’s excellent at applying pressure either way and will be a good step in building the team’s pass rush beyond Aaron Donald.
58. Baltimore Ravens
Teven Jenkins, Offensive Tackle
After finally getting some help with their debilitating pass catching issues, the Ravens can look towards the rest of the roster to figure out what comes next. I’ve identified offensive tackle, edge rusher, and safety as the biggest problem areas, and I think it’s pretty easy for me to make a choice based on the current options available. Baltimore’s defense needs help but making sure Lamar Jackson has everything he needs to be successful is far more important, so anchoring the offensive line with a very good value in Teven Jenkins is a great call. He’s good enough to start on the right or left and has the mobility to block for a quarterback like Jackson.
59. Cleveland Browns
Chazz Surratt, Inside Linebacker
The Browns are back and get to keep addressing their defense with their picks, so let’s see where their money would be best spent. At both defensive tackle and safety there’s only one big ticket player, but there’s 2020 draft picks just behind them that are ready to produce this season. Outside linebacker and inside linebacker could both bear to add a starter, and while I like the depth of options at corner, they could bear to add more talent there as well. However, the needs at linebacker are simply too big to ignore and since Joe Schobert left, they’ve needed someone in the middle to stitch up the defensive line, so Chazz Surratt is the right player. He’s a versatile inside linebacker who can do a plethora of things, including get after the passer, so the Cleveland defense should become objectively better when he joins the team.
60. New Orleans Saints
Marvin Wilson II, Defensive Tackle
The Saints have a pretty nice roster to operate with and now that the salary of Drew Brees is off the books, they have some space to breathe and make signings, but there’s still a need for help in some positions. I would like to see the Saints grab either an inside linebacker or defensive tackle with this pick. They could use depth in the offensive line or secondary, but I see the highest importance being in the middle of the front seven. Marvin Wilson II will be a very good penetrator in the A gaps and can do some damage farther out with the tools that would be around him in New Orleans.
61. Buffalo Bills
Brevin Jordan, Tight End
I wrote at length about how well I think the Buffalo roster has been constructed, and after getting Eric Stokes to hold down a corner spot, I think the Bills will be happy with their defense and look to fill the remaining holes on offense. There’s a chance that they can upgrade at both guard and tight end with the draft and I think the best value could probably be had at tight end. Since they didn’t get one of the top talents at guard, they might as well get one of the top talents at tight end and Brevin Jordan has the ability to make Buffalo’s offensive skill positions really hellish to play against. He’s like Kyle Pitts with his attributes at an eight instead of an 11 and could be a big part of the offense this season.
62. Green Bay Packers
Paulson Adebo, Cornerback
There’s a lot of areas to address on the Packer’s roster, but the fact that they got a solid pass catcher in the first round should make Aaron Rodgers happy, and that’s what matters. However, there’s four big areas of need and only filling one of them will be a tough task. The four positions are cornerback, inside linebacker, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle. My first thought would be to get Rodgers more help with a tackle, but there’s so much better value on the defensive side of the ball that we can wait to move on a blocker. Instead I’m thinking very hard about grabbing either a cornerback or a linebacker. Ultimately I’m going with the cornerback, but it’s only because I think Paulson Adebo has absolutely ridiculous upside and unreal value as a second cornerback. The Packers should be thrilled if they get this type of value at this pick in the draft.
63. Kansas City Chiefs
Aaron Robinson, Cornerback
The Chiefs need a lot of help to maintain their levels of dominance, but they’re certainly going to need more help in the secondary after addressing the offensive line with the first pick. The team is in desperate need of a good cornerback and there’s one to be found in Aaron Robinson out of UCF. Robinson is probably good enough to start but the Chiefs should still be looking into bringing a more experienced player in from the market. There’s still a need for a receiver and some lineman or a linebacker, but corner is too barren to ignore right now.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Trill Williams, Cornerback
After drafting Wyatt Davis with their first pick, I think the only position where Tampa Bay could get better in this draft is at cornerback, and that’s literally it. It would be nice if they could have been a couple picks earlier to grab one of the more talented players, but the guys left are still more than good enough to make an impact this season. This defense will keep every offense on its back foot as is, so being a corner couldn’t be much easier in the NFL. Trill Williams out of Syracuse won’t be a lockdown player, but he has a high ceiling and he’s played in a talented secondary in college, so he ought to fit right in.
65. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jayson Oweh, EDGE
The ability to keep improving the offense ought to be a massively enticing offer for Jacksonville, but after four straight picks going to the offense, it might be time to look at the other side of the ball. There’s still a need for a tight end, but neglecting the defense completely could end up being problematic. It’s pretty evident that the biggest need for an upgrade comes along the defensive line, especially on the outside. Getting more pressure on the quarterback to force errant throws to the solid cornerbacks and linebackers will give Jacksonville a better chance of turning the ball over and Jayson Oweh can definitely get pressure. He’s close to being one of the best pass rushers in the class and a bit of good coaching should make him a big threat.
66. New York Jets
Javonte Williams, Running Back
With this pick I would either like the Jets to go after an edge rusher or a running back, and if we look at those positions on the roster they’re somewhat similar. They both have draft picks from last season in the rotation (and both are from Florida, and a pick from this draft to either position could potentially usurp the starting job. The current value is absolutely leaning towards the running back position so that’s where we’ll look, and that player is Javonte Williams. Williams is a bruiser of a back and wouldn’t necessarily eliminate La’Mical Perine from the equation due to Williams’ blocking abilities. A scheme and roster fit with value at this point? That’s an easy choice.
67. Houston Texans
Azeez Ojulari, EDGE
Finally Houston joins the mix after missing out on the first two rounds thanks to their trade for Laremy Tunsil, but is it too late to make an impact? Probably not, considering the amount of help that the team needs in just about every area. They could do with a pass catcher, an interior offensive lineman, a running back, a second safety, a defensive tackle, a defensive end, a cornerback, and pending Deshaun Watson’s current issues, possibly a quarterback. If they do end up needing a quarterback, there’s good value right now, but I won’t be picking one now. I think the best current value is at center, but considering that position is one of the lesser needs from Houston, I think they might be better off looking at an edge rusher, cornerback, wide receiver, or running back. The pass rush is decimated after the exodus of J.J. Watt, and while Azeez Ojulari won’t vault them into a top pressuring team, he will get into the backfield and cause some issues.
68. Atlanta Falcons
Paris Ford, Safety
The Falcons grabbed two offensive studs in the first two rounds, but now it’s time for them to look at the defense and make some changes. Three areas of the defense really concern me and those areas are cornerback, safety, and edge rusher. Cornerback and edge are areas of importance for this team but the Falcons only have two safeties on the roster currently and neither are very talented, so they have to get a good player at that position. Paris Ford is a very good option and considering the time in the draft, he’s a pretty good value as well. I’m not sure he’s quite ready to anchor a secondary, but the baptism by fire should only help him grow.
69. Cincinnati Bengals
Creed Humphrey, Center
The biggest needs for Cincinnati in this draft were at offensive tackle and wide receiver and they addressed those issues with their first picks, so they’re able to open up their options in this round. I think the biggest needs of the team are at outside linebacker, center, and along the defensive line, but the need for a good center is pretty evident considering their only rostered center is from the practice squad. Creed Humphrey is a fantastic value at this point in the draft and has operated some very complex NFL style offenses at Oklahoma. He’ll adjust very quickly and be a great partner to develop with Joe Burrow.
70. Philadelphia Eagles
Jeremy Ruckert, Tight End
Philadelphia filled some long-standing needs with their first two picks, and even though they still need help at those positions, it’s time to look at other areas of the team. They’re in need of a tight end as well as a cornerback and running back. I think there’s good value at all three positions, but the best value will certainly come on the offensive side of the ball. Philadelphia needs to expand their offensive options and give Jalen Hurts a chance and while a running back could do that, a big pass catching target could do the same. Jeremy Ruckert out of Ohio State was an option that the Buckeyes relied on heavily all season and he was very consistent and effective. He can play the middle of the field and will be a good player for Hurts to rely on.
71. Denver Broncos
Dylan Moses, Inside Linebacker
If Denver wants to make an upgrade at any position at this point, it’s probably going to come on the defensive side of the ball. There’s a decent need for a talented inside linebacker and there’s also a need for a defensive tackle. Both have decent draft picks from last season as options, but both can be improved upon with a pick from this season’s ranks. I have Dylan Moses slightly edging Levi Onwuzurike in my standings so Denver will get better at inside linebacker, but either player is very talented. Moses is a great prospect out of Alabama and should be able to soak up tackles.
72. Detroit Lions
Dazz Newsome, Wide Receiver
Yes, the Lions could definitely use a tackle to improve the offensive line, just like they could do with a linebacker or another cornerback, but another avenue they could explore to keep improving would be through grabbing a second pass catcher. They’re in desperate need of another player to catch passes and considering the contract situation, they’ll be more in need after this coming season. Dazz Newsome out of North Carolina is a fantastic pass catcher and would be a very nice number two to Devonta Smith.
73. Carolina Panthers
Ben Cleveland, Guard
The Panthers improved at cornerback and tight end in the first two rounds, so let’s check out their roster and see where else they need help. I wouldn’t hate it if they grabbed a safety, but they’re also in need of an inside linebacker, guard, or defensive tackle. They have some decent options at inside linebacker and Derrick Brown should eat up most of the snaps at defensive tackle, but guard can be upgraded with a starter so that’s what Carolina should target. Ben Cleveland is a very talented player out of Georgia and an absolute mauler, so I think their pick would be best used on him. Christian McCaffery’s health issues were a big problem for Carolina so better blocking will be a key. Cleveland fits the mold.
74. Washington Football Team (via SFO)
Nico Collins, Wide Receiver
Washington addressed some big issues in the first two rounds by getting the anchors on either side of the ball, but they’re still in need of some help on both sides. On offense they could use a running back or wide receiver, and on defense there’s a need for a safety or outside linebacker. If they’re adding either way, it should be between the outside linebacker and wide receiver, and there’s so much value left at receiver that it can’t be passed up. Nico Collins out of Michigan is a massive target for Mac Jones to pass to and one that should match up well with the cornerbacks in the division. Getting some more consistent targets to work with downfield will be a big boost for an offense that needs help.
75. Dallas Cowboys
Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Outside Linebacker
Dallas has improved their trenches with their first two picks so it’s time to move out, but it still has to be on the defensive side of the ball. The offense can manage at the moment, but the defense needs a ton of help. They need a safety, outside linebacker, depth at inside linebacker, another defensive tackle, and another edge, but safety and outside linebacker are the biggest issues needing to be addressed. Hamilcar Rashed Jr. would be a huge versatile boost on the outside and one that makes getting to the quarterback a lot easier. Dallas flatly needs a defensive lifeline and this player would help with that.
76. New York Giants
Trey Hill, Center
The Giants actually have a pretty well put together roster and there aren’t a lot of needs, but there are some places where they could get better. If they wanted to add an interior offensive lineman or safety, they would probably be in good shape after the pick. Considering there won’t be a labeled center on the team after this season, grabbing Trey Hill out of Georgia to fill the role would probably be in the best interests of the Giants. Hill could develop a nice rapport with Jones and give a bit more protection to a player that needs it in Saquon Barkley.
77. New England Patriots (Forfeited)
The Patriots were stripped of their third round pick after the 2019 incident in which their non-football employees were video-taping Cincinnati’s sideline.
78. Los Angeles Chargers
Royce Newman, Guard
Even after getting a left tackle and edge rusher, the Chargers have a lot of needs to be fulfilled with this pick. They could use it on a tight end, safety, another tackle, a guard, or an outside linebacker. There’s a starting job at all of those positions, but there are two starting jobs open at guard and that must be addressed with this pick. Royce Newman out of Mississippi is good enough to start at guard, but his versatility saw him kick outside to tackle as well, so that ability to move around and maintain good blocking will be valuable to the Chargers and Justin Herbert.
79. Minnesota Vikings
Spencer Brown, Offensive Tackle
The Vikings spent their only pick so far on an interior offensive lineman, something they needed desperately, but that doesn’t even solve their offensive line issues, not to mention the numerous problems they have all over the field. There’s a big need for a tackle and that’s my first thought to address, but they also need a tight end, safety, outside linebacker, edge rusher, and cornerback, but nothing really moves me off of their need for another offensive lineman. Spencer Brown out of Northern Iowa hasn’t seen the best competition, but he’s performed well physically and looked good at the Senior Bowl, so there aren’t many knocks against him. He may not be a starting left tackle quite yet, but he should be good enough to slide in on the right side. Plus, he’s already worn purple in his college career.
80. Las Vegas Raiders (via ARI)
David Moore, Guard
The Raiders are in a unique situation right now because they have back-to-back picks, something that we don’t see very often. The advantages are obvious because the team doesn’t have to worry about the player they decide against not being gone with their next pick, so there’s a bit less stress, especially if it’s a “one or the other” decision. Las Vegas improved their trenches with their first two picks with Christian Barmore and Liam Eichenburg. There’s a need for improvement at safety, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, guard, and corner, so some decisions need to be made. Since they just got a defensive tackle and the edges are talented, they can hold off on another big guy. Safety has some options, as does corner, but they can be improved. While guard might not open up this season, there will be a definite need there next season, so getting ahead of the need could be a good idea. There’s enough pass rushers to hold off on an outside linebacker, so I would think Vegas grabs a corner with safety just being edged out. The first pick is David Moore who can start for the team this season if needed and be effective, especially with the mentorship of the good guards in front of him.
81. Las Vegas Raiders
Asante Samuel Jr., Cornerback
The second pick of two for the Raiders will be a cornerback, though going after a safety is tempting. However, there’s still some good value at cornerback and the jersey sales will bump a bit higher than usual for a mid-third rounder. Asante Samuel Jr. would be a valuable nickel on this team and could match up well in man thanks to his athletic abilities.
82. Miami Dolphins
Michael Carter, Running Back
The Dolphins are on to their fifth pick in three rounds and their needs have shrunk considerably. Now I see their only areas to improve are safety, running back, and defensive tackle. There’s good value at any of those positions, but the best value is Michael Carter out of North Carolina. He’s a really talented runner with jittery skills that will make him tough to tackle. He’s not the power back that a lot of teams are employing now, but he’s good enough to pick up a ton of yards and score a lot of touchdowns for this team. He plays a lot like Christian McCaffery and should be able to pick up yards like the Panther, especially behind this young offensive line.
83. Washington Football Team
Charles Snowden, Outside Linebacker
A few picks ago I narrowed down the needs of Washington to wide receiver, safety, outside linebacker, and running back, and had them picking a wide receiver. I think the biggest need for Washington comes at outside linebacker and luckily, the best value comes at the position as well. Charles Snowden out of Virginia will be a nice blend of versatility and size to the Washington defense and will be able to be used in a variety of roles and packages. His ability to get after the quarterback, spy, and tackle should make him a very valuable asset.
84. Chicago Bears
Amari Rodgers, Wide Receiver
The Bears are another team with debilitating issues and though they did take care of a couple of them with Daniel Faalele and Jaycee Horn, there’s still a lot to work on. The biggest needs are at wide receiver, safety, quarterback, and guard, but the biggest need is clearly the latter of the bunch. There’s clearly a need for help at guard, but the value just isn’t there at all, especially when put up against the players at the other positions. I don’t think the Bears are interested in pursuing a quarterback, so I think they would be best off getting a pass catcher. Amari Rodgers out of Clemson is a really talented player who would be a good second option after Alan Robinson. He would be a great target for whoever is passing the ball and one that the Bears need badly.
85. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND)
Kylin Hill, Running Back
The Eagles took Jeremy Ruckert earlier this round, deciding against getting another cornerback or a running back. This pick they’ll need to decide between those two positions, but the choice shouldn’t be too difficult. Kylin Hill showed some serious chops at Mississippi State as both a running back and a pass catcher. Getting such a versatile weapon to use out of the backfield will be extremely valuable to Jalen Hurts. Hill would probably hold down the offensive skill positions for the rest of the draft for Philadelphia, but the team definitely has other needs to fill past that.
86. Tennessee Titans
Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE
The Titans grabbed a wide receiver and safety with their first two picks of the draft, but their focus needs to turn to the trenches for their next decision. There’s a need for a tight end, a tackle, and some defensive linemen and it’s not really clear what has the biggest need. The only position I feel fine about skipping this pick is defensive tackle, but the rest need to be considered. Tight end and edge rusher proved the best value at this pick and considering the lack of pass pressure that Tennessee has been getting, they need to go with the EDGE. Dayo Odeyingbo was one of the best pass rushers in the SEC this past season and that’s saying a lot. He’s going to be able to get good pressure as a starter this season and may even see some double teams considering his size and speed.
87. New York Jets (via SEA)
Quincy Roche, EDGE
The last pick the Jets saw, one that came early in the third round, we talked about how they needed to choose between a pass rusher and a running back. We ultimately decided to go with a running back, so this pick needs to be a player who can get pressure on the quarterback and form a front that can actually cause some issues. Quincy Roche is that player, and is the third edge rusher out of Miami. He may not lead the team in sacks but he could lead the team in pressures and hurries which can be just as helpful in a lot of cases.
88. Pittsburgh Steelers
Michal Menet, Center
The Steelers have become considerably better in the first couple of rounds but there’s a lot left to improve and there’s no one specific area to target. The team could use a running back, interior offensive lineman, inside linebacker, and defensive tackle, but only choosing one is a tough task. The biggest need is almost certainly on the interior line, but even that still calls for a positional decision. I think grabbing a center to replace the retired Maurkice Pouncey is the best move, so Michal Menet is the best pick. Menet went to school at Penn State so the fans should appreciate him, plus he’s a very talented blocker who can do a lot of good for a backfield that’s desperate for help.
89. Los Angeles Rams
Monty Rice, Inside Linebacker
The Rams are only on their second pick of the draft, but they don’t have a tremendous amount of needs that can’t be addressed with this pick. The Rams took an edge rusher with their first pick and though their offensive line is pretty solid for this season, they could bear to add an interior lineman for support. There’s a pretty significant need for a safety or an inside linebacker, but they could also do with a cornerback to help Jalen Ramsey. Ultimately I think the best value is currently coming with Monty Rice out of Georgia. The player is ridiculously talented and versatile and can play a bit of Cash, which is a lot like a safety that plays closer to the line. He could soak up a lot of tackles for a team that really needs that attribute.
90. Cleveland Browns
Levi Onwuzurike, Defensive Tackle
The Browns aren’t exactly in the same position that the Raiders were in earlier this round considering the Vikings split their picks, but they’re in good shape to grab a couple of nice pieces to improve their team in a row. Their biggest needs are mainly on the defensive side of the ball still. They could improve with an outside linebacker, cornerback, defensive tackle, and guard. At this point in the draft the best value certainly comes at defensive tackle where Levi Onwuzurike could make an impact this season. The player is a wrecking ball who would be an amazing alternative to Sheldon Richardson.
91. Minnesota Vikings
William Bradley-King, EDGE
I went through the laundry list of issues that the Vikings have earlier in this round, but to recap, the team needs a tight end, safety, outside linebacker, edge rusher, cornerback, and center, but they can’t pick another offensive lineman right now. The biggest needs right now are at safety and edge rusher where there’s a potential starting job up for grabs. The best value comes at edge rusher where the Vikings can grab William Bradley-King out of Baylor. He’ll be a nice asset to help Danielle Hunter get some pressure and force turnovers.
92. Cleveland Browns (via NO)
Grant Stuard, Outside Linebacker
The Browns still need some defensive help at outside linebacker and cornerback and could do with some help at guard. I think guard and outside linebacker could be the best choice at the moment and I really like the thought of continuing the construction of this defense, so I would be taking Grant Stuard out of Houston. He could be another player to bring pressure or just someone to help soak up tackles next to Chazz Surratt. Either way, he’s a valuable piece to slot into a defense with massive potential.
93. Green Bay Packers
Nick Bolton, Inside Linebacker
Green Bay addressed their depth issues on the outside of both sides of the ball with their first two picks, but now it’s time to move inside. There’s a healthy need for a right tackle, an inside linebacker, maybe a center (but I think Jake Hanson is a good option), and potentially another dedicated defensive lineman, but right tackle and inside linebacker are the biggest needs in my eyes. Nick Bolton is a player who can actually replace the production that Blake Martinez made while in Green Bay and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he pulled a Darius Leonard and led the league in tackles in his rookie season. He’s actually that good.
94. Buffalo Bills
Tyson Campbell, Cornerback
Buffalo also addressed their passing game on both sides of the ball with their first two picks, so they’ll also be looking inside to figure out their next step. Their roster is really well put together so I don’t think it will be too tough to sort out that next step, no matter what the needs are. I think those needs are at guard and cornerback, again, and grabbing some depth at either of those positions shouldn’t be an issue. Tyson Campbell is a really nice cornerback out of Georgia and happens to be the teammate of Eric Stokes who was the first pick of the Bills. That type of depth in the secondary might be enough to push this team into the Super Bowl.
95. Kansas City Chiefs
Jordan Smith, EDGE
The Chiefs snagged a tackle and a cornerback in the first two rounds but that’s far from enough to make this team whole again. The team could probably do with another wide receiver, another tackle, a center, another cornerback, a defensive tackle, and a defensive end, so all they have to do is take their pick! It’s not a fun situation to be in, but it’s one they have to deal with. Luckily, they should be able to make a nice impact on their roster with this pick. I’m going to avoid taking a wide receiver because the other needs are simply more pressing, so I’m going with Jordan Smith. Smith isn’t a well known name but he’s a really talented edge rusher and a player who can find penetration in tough situations. The Chiefs need to level the playing field with their weakened offensive line and Smith can do that.
96. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jamie Newman, Quarterback
The fact that the only quarterback on the roster is Tom Brady makes me think that there’s a plan to grab a young passer in this draft. At this point there’s no better passer than Jamie Newman and as far as underrated prospects go, he may be the most overlooked in the entire draft. He didn’t play this past season but put up ridiculous numbers at Wake Forest with subpar weapons around him. At best you have a good quarterback to follow Tom Brady. At worst you have someone who’s going to net you some nice picks in the future. It’s a good situation to be in.
97. New England Patriots
D’Wayne Eskridge, Wide Receiver
I have New England grabbing a guard and quarterback in the first two rounds, but they’re going to need some playmakers on the outside and on defense to make things work this season. New England has spent some fringe picks on wide receivers in the past, so now it’s time to do it again. D’Wayne Eskridge is a really talented pass catcher who actually excels running routes that New England likes to throw. Whether the quarterback is Shane Buechele or Cam Newton, Eskridge would be a great addition for the team.
98. Los Angeles Chargers
Kenny Yeboah, Tight End
If you remember back to the last pick the Chargers had, they were still in need of a tight end, safety, tackle, and outside linebacker. After addressing the offensive line with two of three picks, we can rule out a pick for a tackle. The team can get their tight end of the future by going after Kenny Yeboah and at this point he would be a really nice value. He’s a very talented pass catcher, a lot like a poor man’s Kyle Pitts, and could end up as one of the most productive pass catchers out of this draft in the Charger’s offense.
99. New Orleans Saints
Tristen Hoge, Guard
What I really want to see out of the Saints with this pick is a guard, an inside linebacker, or a second edge rusher. The value is probably coming on defense, particularly on the edge, but I think the biggest need is at guard considering Andrus Peat is the only designated guard on the roster. Tristen Hoge would be a really nice addition and can work a heavy load of pass protection considering he blocked at BYU. He’s a big player and a good candidate to start on this team.
100. Dallas Cowboys
Richie Grant, Safety
I spoke a bit about how much Dallas needs to focus on the defense and this pick will not be an exception. After getting an outside linebacker and defensive tackle, the team can still do with a safety and depth at inside linebacker and the defensive line. I like Richie Grant out of UCF to be the pick at safety because he has the highest chance of making an impact this season. He was a playmaker with a very good secondary in Orlando and should translate some of that playmaking to the NFL with Dallas. They need help on the back end and Grant can provide.
101. Tennessee Titans
Walker Little, Offensive Tackle
After a few productive picks, the Titans have a couple of positions to focus on. Their biggest needs are currently at tight end and offensive tackle, and considering the state of those positions, I’m fine with them addressing either one of them. My rankings barely have tackle as the better value, but it isn’t by much. Walker Little out of Stanford was projected to be a top draft pick, but his stock fell when he decided to opt out of the season. The player is extremely talented and would be a really nice asset to stick on the right side. I think Little has a ton of upside and would be excellent across from Taylor Lewan.
102. Detroit Lions (via LAR)
Keith Taylor, Cornerback
A couple of pass catchers and a safety composed the picks for the first few selections of Detroit, but it’s time to go to different positions for this next pick. The Lions need an offensive tackle, a linebacker, or a cornerback for their next pick, and it’s really just a decision as to where the team feels the best value is. I think that Keith Taylor out of Washington provides the best value considering where he would be selected and the role he could fill. He would be in a very good situation as a secondary corner in the NFC North and would be able to grow with a young secondary.
103. San Francisco 49ers
Khyiris Tonga, Defensive End
The 49ers have only picked twice, the first pick being Justin Fields and the second being Elijah Molden at cornerback. This pick they need to look at a plethora of situations. I see needs at safety, inside linebacker, guard, defensive tackle, and again at corner. The best value and most useful player at this point would be Khyiris Tonga out of BYU. He’s not a wrecking ball, but he’s a mobile and creative player who can pass rush and defend the run and would be especially useful in a rotation. With the experience of this defensive line to feed off of, Tonga would grow quickly and help the line restore its effectiveness fairly quickly.
104. Los Angeles Rams
Josh Myers, Center
If you recall back to the Ram’s last pick, you’ll remember that Los Angeles is in need of a safety, cornerback, or interior offensive lineman to help block for Matt Stafford. The team can bear to pass on a safety because of the Monty Rice selection, but corner and interior lineman are still very much fair game. Josh Myers out of Ohio State is a very nice center that provides good value for a player who could be in Los Angeles for a long time. He won’t have any issues with the scheme and has already played with a pro-style quarterback in Justin Fields, so he ought to fight for a starting job this season.
105. Baltimore Ravens
Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE
After grabbing two great selections in the first two rounds, the Ravens are up for their final pick of Day 2. They could still bear to add a pass catcher or any sort, but a safety, edge rusher, or center might be of more use to the team at this point. Since Baltimore only has two defensive ends on the roster, I want to see them add depth and they can do it with a good player in Joshua Kaindoh. The Florida State pass rusher got a lot of penetration in the ACC and was one of the bigger impact names on that defense, so slotting him into a rotation in Baltimore should be a task he’s up to.
106. New Orleans Saints
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Wide Receiver
After getting a guard with their first compensatory pick, the Saints have the last pick of the third round and are sitting between an inside linebacker or a second edge rusher. I like either pick, but at this point it might be smart to simply go with the best player available, be it a pass catcher, offensive lineman, or something completely different. They have the roster flexibility to make it work and a lot of experts say that this is the more effective way to draft anyways. Right now my best player on the board is Amon-Ra St. Brown. His skills might see him taken far before this and I think the Saints would get great value if he falls this far. New Orleans could use a third talented pass catcher and St. Brown could fill the role.
Other Draft Materials
Draft Big Board
Mock Draft 1.0
Mock Draft 2.0
Mock Draft 3.0: All Offense
Mock Draft 3.1: All Defense
Mock Draft 5.0
Running Back Rankings
Wide Receiver Rankings
Tight End Rankings
Offensive Tackle Rankings
Defensive Tackle Rankings
Outside Linebacker Rankings
Inside Linebacker Rankings