Mike Tagliere’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft (2.0 – Two Rounds)
It’s the calm before the storm. That’ll all change on March 15th when teams and free agents are able to start working out new deals. While March 17th is the actual day they can sign, we always get word of signings in the two-day window leading up to that.
Prior to that taking place, I’m going to do a mock draft. This is an exercise everyone should do, as the teams will tell you a lot about your process during free agency. If I believe a team needs a wide receiver, do we hear about them inquiring about the position in free agency? If it’s a clear need for them and we don’t hear about them inquiring, they clearly have a target or two in the NFL Draft. If we do hear about them inquiring about receivers and land one, it’ll surely change the way we approach their mock draft.
So, while this mock draft will surely change before the actual NFL Draft, this should give you a good idea of the players who will be available to them, as well as which players I believe they should be targeting based on their current roster.
1.01 Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB – Clemson)
No matter how many mock drafts I put together, don’t come here expecting a different result for the Jaguars at No. 1. Lawrence is the guy they’ll be building their franchise around in the coming years, and if they hit on a few of their other high-end prospects, the turnaround for this franchise shouldn’t be too long.
1.02 New York Jets – Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
This is where things can start swinging, as there’s little chance the Jets have Sam Darnold on their roster as well as this pick. I don’t project trades prior to my final mock draft because they have a butterfly effect on the rest of the draft that isn’t realistic if that trade doesn’t happen. Many are putting Zach Wilson in this spot, and while I can certainly see it happening, Fields is closer to the can’t-miss prospect that the Jets need, as there’s less forecasting in his projection because of the competition that he faced.
1.03 Miami Dolphins – Penei Sewell (OT – Oregon)
The Dolphins showed last year that they’re dedicated to improving the offensive line. While they certainly took a step forward, they still allowed 34 sacks. By taking Sewell, they can slide Austin Jackson over to right tackle, move Robert Hunt to guard, and have depth at the most important position behind quarterback. Their goal in this draft should be to give Tua Tagovailoa everything he needs to succeed, and this would certainly help.
1.04 Atlanta Falcons – Zach Wilson (QB – BYU)
This Falcons team is clearly in rebuilding mode, and though they can’t cut Matt Ryan and his massive contract, they do need to snag his successor. There’s a chance that Justin Fields and Wilson are flip-flopped with the teams I have them going to, but it seems they’re both going top-five. Wilson would be able to sit for a year and catch up to the speed of the NFL behind Ryan, then potentially start in 2022.
1.05 Cincinnati Bengals – Kyle Pitts (TE – Florida)
We’ve seen what Travis Kelce and George Kittle can do for their offenses, right? Well, Pitts is the next tight end in line. He’s a tight end who can be used all over the field, and he would help fill the void left by A.J. Green. He’s a matchup nightmare, especially when you pair him with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. There are other clear needs the Bengals have, but it’d be a reach for an offensive lineman here, as Penei Sewell is already off the board. If the draft board falls the way mine has, they should be talking with Carolina or Washington about trading back to collect some more picks.
1.06 Philadelphia Eagles – Ja’Marr Chase (WR – LSU)
Now that the Eagles have officially announced the releases of DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, they need to start filling out their receiving corps. Pairing Chase with Jalen Reagor would give Jalen Hurts the weapons he needs to succeed and remove any excuses about poor play. While I do believe that Micah Parsons should be considered, Chase is considered a “once every five years” type prospect at a position of need.
1.07 Detroit Lions – Micah Parsons (LB – Penn State)
If Dan Campbell wants to take out kneecaps and such, he’s going to need beasts on the defensive side of the ball, and there isn’t one better than Parsons in this draft class. He’s someone who swarms all over the field and has athleticism to help out in coverage. Their former inside linebacker Jarrad Davis is slated to be a free agent, so it also happens to be a massive need for them.
1.08 Carolina Panthers – Trey Lance (QB – North Dakota State)
It’s no secret that the Panthers were interested in both Matthew Stafford and Deshaun Watson, so they’re certainly in the market for a quarterback. Lance isn’t someone who’ll start right away, but the Panthers do have Teddy Bridgewater under contract through 2022, and they can cut him after the 2021 season with just a $5 million cap hit, provided Lance is ready to roll at that point. Some are starting to say that Mac Jones might go over Lance, but given they still have Bridgewater, taking the upside of developmental Lance makes much more sense for them, as Jones doesn’t have much of a ceiling.
1.09 Denver Broncos – Caleb Farley (CB – Virginia Tech)
If there’s one clear weakness on the Broncos defense, it’s the cornerback position, and they were tested more than ever in 2020. Just one year after trading for A.J. Bouye, the Broncos recently released him, making the need for a cornerback even more obvious. Farley is my top cornerback in this draft class because he makes fewer mistakes than Patrick Surtain.
1.10 Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain (CB – Alabama)
The Cowboys took the best player available last year with CeeDee Lamb, but this time around, they need to attack some clear needs. They’re slated to lose Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis in free agency, and their cornerback unit wasn’t very good to begin with. Pairing Surtain with his old teammate Trevon Diggs makes some sense, as they can send Anthony Brown into the slot. If they really like an offensive tackle, we could see them go that route.
1.11 New York Giants – Devonta Smith (WR – Alabama)
I said recently on the FantasyPros Football Podcast that if a team drafts Smith, they won’t have to worry about him being a bust due to what he does on the field. The size concerns are real from an injury aspect, but if you guaranteed every franchise Smith were to remain healthy and play a full career, he’d be a top-10 pick. The Giants are reportedly sticking with Daniel Jones, and by adding Smith to an already explosive group of pass-catchers, he’d be running out of excuses for poor play. It would also allow Sterling Shepard to move back into the slot, where he excelled earlier in his career.
1.12 San Francisco 49ers – Jaycee Horn (CB – South Carolina)
Based on the players that are hitting free agency for the 49ers, this pick might change a lot in the coming weeks/months. They want to retain left tackle Trent Williams, but will they be able to? If not, that’s a massive need and they could go with one here. They also have cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams, and Dontae Johnson all hitting the open market. Horn’s a solid cover cornerback who should be able to start immediately.
1.13 Los Angeles Chargers – Rashawn Slater (OT – Northwestern)
Every time I look up, it seems Slater continues to move up draft boards. While I didn’t have him as a top-three tackle right now, he’s flashed potential, including slowing down Chase Young in 2019. He’s thick in the hips but has athleticism to get to the second level, too. The Chargers can use three or four new starters on the offensive line, so they should be zeroing in on an offensive lineman here to try and protect their franchise quarterback. This is a position you rarely find starters in free agency.
1.14 Minnesota Vikings – Gregory Rosseau (EDGE – Miami)
It’s no secret that the Vikings missed Danielle Hunter‘s presence last year, but even when he returns, they’re lacking potency on the edge. Rosseau is considered raw and has a small body of work, but based on what we’ve seen, he’s a high-upside pick worth a first-round selection. It’s possible the Vikings have another edge higher than him, but it’ll be tough to pass on his long-term upside.
1.15 New England Patriots – Jaylen Waddle (WR – Alabama)
The Patriots aren’t going to reach for a quarterback, and they’ve shown that time and time again. Mac Jones will be a popular guy that goes to them in mock drafts, but I don’t see it. Instead, they start adding to the weaponry, as they don’t have “that guy” who can take the ball to the house at any given point. Waddle would change that and give them the flexibility they like with receivers, moving him all over the field, including the slot.
1.16 Arizona Cardinals – Kwity Paye (EDGE – Michigan)
There are a few positions the Cardinals need to attack on defense, including cornerback, where three of their top five players are headed to free agency. But the top three have already come off the board and they need to address the defensive line. Yes, the Cardinals signed JJ Watt… to a short-term contract. They had serious needs on the defensive line, so adding another piece to the puzzle would certainly help. Paye’s not my favorite prospect to be taken right here, but he seems to be valued in the draft community more than guys like Jayson Oweh and Jaelen Phillips. Paye would be learning from the best.
1.17 Las Vegas Raiders – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB – Notre Dame)
The Raiders have needs at linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Fortunately for them, Owusu-Koramoah can play all three if needed. He used to play safety, has the agility to cover the slot if needed, and has a nose for the ball at linebacker. He’s one of my favorite prospects in this draft class.
1.18 Miami Dolphins – Najee Harris (RB – Alabama)
Do the Dolphins re-sign Davon Godchaux? If they don’t, they have a big need on the interior of their defensive line, but it seems like they’d like to. They’ve invested in both Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis in recent drafts, so they move to the offensive side of the ball and select Harris, who’ll immediately take some pressure off Tua Tagovailoa. By selecting Harris in the first round, they’ll get that fifth-year option with him. With selections of Penei Sewell and Harris, the Dolphins offense is suddenly turning into a strength.
1.19 Washington Football Team – Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)
I’m not buying the rumors that Jones will be off the board by the eighth pick. While I can see a team trading ahead of Washington to snag him, I don’t see how he goes inside the top eight picks. There are a few directions that Washington can take here, though seeing them opt for the most important position on the field makes a lot of sense. Jones is a risky pick in the first round, but it makes the pill easier to swallow knowing they’re outside the top half of the round. Their defense is good enough to the point where they’ll be competitive, so they need to find their long-term answer at the position.
1.20 Chicago Bears – Alijah Vera-Tucker (OT – USC)
We don’t know if the Bears will be retaining Allen Robinson, but considering all the franchise tag talk, we should be prepared for that to happen. In order to make his salary work, they’re going to need to cut some fat off the roster from a salary cap standpoint, which would likely include starting right tackle Bobby Massie. Vera-Tucker has experience at both guard and tackle, giving the Bears flexibility on the line.
1.21 Indianapolis Colts – Christian Darrisaw (OT – Virginia Tech)
The sudden retirement of Anthony Castonzo is going to hurt the Colts offensive line, so they need to find his replacement at left tackle. When dealing for Carson Wentz, the Colts basically said this year’s first-round pick was off the table, so they clearly have a plan in mind. Darrisaw is a sturdy presence in pass protection, as he doesn’t panic and knows where the pocket is in his slide.
1.22 Tennessee Titans – Jaelen Phillips (EDGE – Miami)
The Titans need some help in the pass rush department and they know it. They tried to solve it by signing Jadeveon Clowney last year, but we know how that ended. Phillips flashed top-10 upside last year while Gregory Rosseau sat out and would be a welcomed addition to their defense. It’s actually possible we see him come off the board before Rosseau.
1.23 New York Jets (from Seahawks) – Jayson Oweh (EDGE – Penn State)
With Robert Saleh now the head coach, look for him to add big potential on the edge. Oweh is a bit small right now but hearing rumors that he has 4.3 speed will move him up draft boards, as he can add weight this offseason with the right training. When Oweh is selected, it’ll be because of his potential reward.
1.24 Pittsburgh Steelers – Jalen Mayfield (OT – Michigan)
It’s been rumored that the Steelers won’t re-sign Alejandro Villanueva, which creates a big void at left tackle. It seems likely they’d move Chukwuma Okorafor from right tackle over to left tackle, which is a big question mark. On top of that, Zach Banner is a free agent, creating a void at right tackle. Mayfield has that gritty mentality you need to play offensive line and should help create some lanes in the run-game, which the Steelers need to get back on track in 2021.
1.25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) – Trevon Moehrig (S – TCU)
After snagging Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars need to start attacking the needs on the defensive side of the ball. Moehrig is my top safety in the draft who can play deep in coverage or up in the box. My favorite part about watching him on film was his ability to tackle in the open field in one-on-one situations. He’s a great start to a rebuilding defense.
1.26 Cleveland Browns – Christian Barmore (IDL – Alabama)
If it weren’t for Myles Garrett, the Browns pass rush would essentially be non-existent. Larry Ogunjobi has his flashes but was a disappointment in 2020 and is now heading to free agency. Barmore is far from a finished product against the run, but he’s a great pass-rusher who’ll be a disruption almost immediately.
1.27 Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman (WR – Minnesota)
We all know the Ravens need to add some wide receiver help, right? If Bateman falls to them at No. 27, they should run to the podium to select him. Bateman is a highly intelligent wide receiver who is one of the best at manipulating defenders throughout his routes and can be a possession-style receiver while freeing up Marquise Brown to work down the field. Bateman reminds me of Keenan Allen, which is obviously a good thing.
1.28 New Orleans Saints – Zaven Collins (LB – Tulsa)
The Saints are going to be in salary cap hell this year, as they’re going to be $50 million over the cap, and that’s including getting rid of Drew Brees‘ contract. Because of that, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to re-sign pending free agents, like Sheldon Rankins. They could go with an interior defensive lineman here (like Daviyon Nixon), but linebacker is also a need, and Collins isn’t expected to fall outside of the first round.
1.29 Green Bay Packers – Daviyon Nixon (IDL – Iowa)
There will be pitchforks out for the Packers not selecting a wide receiver here, but they need help on defense and Nixon would be a great option up front on their 3-4 defense. Nixon is my top defensive tackle in this draft from an “NFL ready” standpoint, and knowing the Packers have now been to back-to-back NFC Championship games, they need someone who’ll make an impact immediately. Unlike their first-round pick last year, Packers fans should not be upset with this pick.
1.30 Buffalo Bills – Greg Newsome (CB – Northwestern)
The Bills need some cornerback help to put alongside Tre’Davious White, as he’s continually asked to shadow opposing No. 1 receivers, but when they run into teams who have multiple threats, it’s an issue. Newsome is not the greatest tackler, but he’s solid in coverage almost always contesting targets coming his way. They can even play him in the slot if they’re able to re-sign Josh Norman, though that remains to be seen.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs – Kadarius Toney (WR – Florida)
With Eric Fisher suffering an Achilles injury late in the postseason, he may not be ready to play in Week 1, which could lead the Chiefs to go with an offensive tackle like Samuel Cosmi here. But for now, we’ll assume he’s back. The Chiefs have both Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson hitting free agency this year, and it’s not like they had much depth at the wide receiver position to begin with. Imagine trying to defend Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Travis Kelce, and Toney as a defensive coordinator.
1.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Etienne (RB – Clemson)
If the Bucs want to keep some of their pending free agents on the defensive side of the ball, they’re not going to be able to re-sign someone like Leonard Fournette. While Ronald Jones is a solid one-two down back (with just one year left on his contract), they need someone who can catch passes out of the backfield with consistency, and Etienne proved that he can do just that in 2020 while racking up 48 receptions for 588 yards and two touchdowns in just 12 games. I could also see them going cornerback here, as Asante Samuel Jr. would make sense. Free agency is going to determine a lot with the Bucs, because as of now, there are at least three starters on defense hitting the open market.
2.01 Jacksonville Jaguars – Samuel Cosmi (OT – Texas)
As of right now, the Jaguars need an offensive tackle with starter Cam Robinson hitting free agency. They could choose to move Jawaan Taylor over to left tackle, but it would still leave a void on the right side. The starting caliber offensive tackles are disappearing, so they need to prioritize the position here. Cosmi is someone who has flashes of what could be a rock-solid starter in the league, though there’s some inconsistency the coaching staff will have to work through.
2.02 New York Jets – Tyson Campbell (CB – Georgia)
Saleh goes back to the defensive side of the ball and snags Campbell, who’s likely best-suited for a zone scheme. He’s a phenomenal tackler and does a good job on the perimeter with bigger wide receivers than he does with the smaller, slippery ones. The Jets desperately need cornerback help.
2.03 Atlanta Falcons – Andre Cisco (S – Syracuse)
The Falcons don’t have a starting safety on their roster. The only safety they have right now is Jaylinn Hawkins, last year’s fourth-round pick with 76 snaps under his belt. Cisco has a great build to him and will play all over the field. He’s a risk-taker, as he’ll let his instincts take him out of his zone at times which will put the defense in a bad spot, but he’s also going to reward you with big plays. The Falcons need a playmaker on the back end.
2.04 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) – Chazz Surratt (LB – North Carolina)
After snagging two offensive players in the first round, Brian Flores and the Dolphins go back to the defensive side of the ball. Surratt is someone who’s still learning the linebacker position (used to play quarterback), but based on the improvements we’ve seen in the two years of him playing linebacker, there’s a high ceiling to his projection.
2.05 Philadelphia Eagles – Nick Bolton (LB – Missouri)
The Eagles don’t have a history of selecting linebackers high in the draft, but if they want to fix their weaknesses, they need to stop trying to put a band-aid over them. Bolton is a high-effort linebacker who will make his coaches happy.
2.06 Cincinnati Bengals – Wyatt Davis (IOL – Ohio State)
The Bengals need to protect their franchise quarterback and they need to run the ball a lot more efficiently. The addition of Davis should help both, as he does a good job of positioning his body and manipulating defenders in the run game. There are certainly areas that need improvement in his pass protection, but Davis is regarded as a first-round pick in many circles.
2.07 Carolina Panthers – Teven Jenkins (OT – Oklahoma State)
The Panthers have both of their starting offensive tackles hitting free agency, as well as one of the backups. It’s a major position of need for them, unless they can get something done in free agency. While watching Jenkins, part of me thought he might be a better guard at the next level, but the Panthers have to take the highest tackle on their board.
2.08 Denver Broncos – Ar’Darius Washington (S – TCU)
The Broncos have both Justin Simmons and Will Parks headed to free agency, while they can save $10 million by releasing Kareem Jackson. Unless they can re-sign one/both of their safeties, they’ll need to address the position, and Washington is a great fit.
2.09 Detroit Lions – Rondale Moore (WR – Purdue)
The Lions need help all over the field, but having just two wide receivers under contract is a real issue. Moore is a moveable chess piece who can play all over the field and give the Lions some versatility. He’s phenomenal after the catch, which is perfect because most of Jared Goff‘s success comes from short/intermediate passes.
2.10 New York Giants – Joseph Ossai (EDGE – Texas)
The Giants have both Dalvin Tomlinson and Austin Johnson hitting the open market, creating a need in the middle of the defensive line, so we could see them go with a big man here, but edge is equally as important. While I’m not particularly high on Ossai, many believe he’s going to be taken in the first round.
2.11 San Francisco 49ers – Creed Humphrey (IOL – Oklahoma)
We don’t know what’s going on with Trent Williams right now, but I’m thinking the 49ers find a way to retain him. They still need to upgrade the interior of their offensive line and Humphrey would be a welcomed addition.
2.12 Dallas Cowboys – Marvin Wilson (IDL – Florida State)
The Cowboys added Neville Gallimore in the third round last year, but the interior of their defensive line still needs help. Wilson is an aggressive player who’ll keep his wheels spinning. He also has enough strength to work through blocks while keeping his eyes on where the play is going. Linebacker is a need they could address, but Wilson has fallen far enough.
2.13 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Vikings) – Asante Samuel Jr. (CB – Florida State)
The Jaguars are making their fourth pick inside the top-45, and they’re happy to add another position of need. While snagging C.J. Henderson in 2020 was a start, they need to add more talent to their stable of cornerbacks, and Samuel would be an excellent addition.
2.14 New England Patriots – Joe Tryon (EDGE – Washington)
I really don’t see the allure with Tryon (ranked outside my top eight edge rushers) but based on what a lot of NFL insiders are saying, he has a chance to go in the first round. While watching him, it seemed like losing some weight and becoming a 3-4 OLB would suit him well, which might work out for the Patriots who run a hybrid scheme.
2.15 Los Angeles Chargers – Landon Dickerson (IOL – Alabama)
The rebuilding of the offensive line continues, as you’d pair Dickerson with the edges of Rashawn Slater and Bryan Bulaga. The defense had a bevy of injuries last year, so they should be in good shape, while protecting Justin Herbert should be their No. 1 priority. Dickerson has that mean streak you want from an interior lineman.
2.16 Las Vegas Raiders – Alim McNeil (IDL – NC State)
The Raiders are playing against the Chiefs and Chargers twice a year, so they’re going to need some help from their pass rush department. McNeil flashed some high upside in college, even fighting through double-teams at times. His presence on the interior should help the edge rushers find their way to the quarterback more often.
2.17 Arizona Cardinals – Eric Stokes (CB – Georgia)
It was rumored that the Cardinals were moving on from Patrick Peterson, though Peterson shot down those rumors recently, saying they were “dirty rumors.” Still, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, and it’s possible they move in a different direction, especially considering there have been no talks of a new contract. Stokes is someone who has solid size, but he’s not the cover cornerback that Peterson is/was. There’ll be a learning curve with him, but snagging a cornerback makes sense.
2.18 Miami Dolphins – Tutu Atwell (WR – Louisville)
The Dolphins have been rumored to snag Ja’Marr Chase at No. 3 overall, and while I understand it, they do have two big-bodied receivers in DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. Atwell is a slippery wide receiver who should be used both in the slot and on the perimeter with the ability to stretch the field. I have major size concerns with him, as he’s listed at just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, but he’s rumored to be an early second-round pick.
2.19 Washington Football Team – Terrance Marshall (WR – LSU)
We’ve heard Washington wants to add a wide receiver to complement Terry McLaurin, so snagging the 6-foot-3, 201-pound Marshall makes sense. He’s a bigger target who can play both in the slot and on the perimeter. He’s had some issues with drops, but that’s okay because he wouldn’t be the possession-style receiver in this offense.
2.20 Chicago Bears – Richie Grant (S – UCF)
The Bears defense has been a strength, but ever since losing Adrian Amos, they’ve been searching for a safety to take his place. Pairing Grant with Eddie Jackson would make one heck of a duo, as both can play deep or in the box, though Grant would likely be the one coming up closer to the line of scrimmage while allowing Jackson to be the ballhawk.
2.21 Tennessee Titans – Tyler Shelvin (IDL – LSU)
The Titans snagged an edge in the first round, but they need to keep addressing their defensive front, as DaQuan Jones is a free agent. Shelvin was just a one-year starter at LSU who showed promise, though opting out for 2020 may derail his stock and leave him falling further than this, but he’s a good plugger for their 3-4 defense.
2.22 Indianapolis Colts – Carlos Basham (EDGE – Wake Forest)
The Colts have a team that’s competing right now, so snagging someone who’s not a developmental prospect makes sense. With Justin Houston, Denico Autry, and Al-Quadin Muhammad hitting free agency, the Colts need some help on the edge. Basham is a big guy, but he’s also smart and won’t get too aggressive if he knows where the play is designed to go.
2.23 Pittsburgh Steelers – Javonte Williams (RB – North Carolina)
By sticking with Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers remain in-it-to-win-it, so they need someone who can make an impact on day one. Williams is a true banger in between the tackles who can handle a big workload that’s left behind by James Conner. The offensive line is an issue and though they addressed it in the first round, Williams can break some of the tackles needed to help them out.
2.24 Seattle Seahawks – Ben Cleveland (IOL – Georgia)
If the Seahawks want to run the ball, like Pete Carroll says, they need to add talent up front. Cleveland is a big man who takes up a lot of real estate. On top of his punishment mentality in the run-game, you won’t see many move him back in pass protection, either. He’d be a great selection.
2.25 Los Angeles Rams – Azeez Ojulari (EDGE – Georgia)
There are many who have Ojulari going earlier than this, though this is the area I see him going. The Rams didn’t have a first-round pick, so getting a player who some projected as one looks like a solid deal, especially when they have both Leonard Floyd and Samson Ebukam headed to free agency. We could also see them go linebacker, but there’s not an obvious selection here.
2.26 Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Jones (EDGE – Pittsburgh)
While the Ravens typically take the highest player on their board, they have a massive need on the edge with Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee, Yannick Ngakoue, and Tyus Bowser hitting free agency. Surely they’ll be able to work out something with someone in free agency, but the position is a clear need as of right now.
2.27 Cleveland Browns – Jabril Cox (LB – LSU)
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it; the Browns are going to snag some linebackers. It’s a glaring weakness on their defense, as the front four looks solid with Myles Garrett and first-round pick Christian Barmore, while their cornerbacks and safeties are littered with high-end picks. They should be taking the highest one on their board here.
2.28 New Orleans Saints – Ifeatu Melifonwu (S – Syracuse)
The Saints have a lot of issues with salary right now, which means they won’t be able to fill holes in free agency. They have three of their top four safeties hitting the open market, and the one they do have left (Malcolm Jenkins) is 33 years old. They need to add help on the back end.
2.29 Buffalo Bills – Pat Freiermuth (TE – Penn State)
It seems the Bills have inquired about Evan Engram, so they’re looking to upgrade from Dawson Knox. Freiermuth is a complete tight end who can play on every down and has the size/athleticism you want. He’d give Josh Allen another weapon in the passing game.
2.30 Green Bay Packers – D’Wayne Eskridge (WR – Western Michigan)
There are some who don’t believe Eskridge will go this high but pairing him with Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams is drool-worthy. Eskridge will stretch the field on day one, and even better, he’s not someone who suffers when the opponent tries to press him. In fact, he probably wants them to because after quickly shutting that down, he will outrun them. He’s not a complete route-runner just yet, but he doesn’t need to be with Adams in the fold.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Leatherwood (OT – Alabama)
The Chiefs are likely going to need some sort of insurance on Eric Fisher (Achilles), and knowing Mike Remmers is a free agent, adding depth wouldn’t be a bad thing. Leatherwood has already played against the best-of-the-best in college, which is good for his transition to the NFL. He’s not nearly as athletic as some of the tackles in this class, but he moves very well in pass protection.
2.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Levi Onwuzurike (IDL – Washington)
The Bucs are obviously a pretty complete team after winning the Super Bowl, but there are a lot of question marks surrounding their free agents. One of those question marks is the aging superstar Ndamukong Suh. Snagging Onwuzurike would make perfect sense as a young replacement to complement Vita Vea, as they’d have a bit of thunder and lightning between them two.