Mike Tagliere’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft (3.0 – Two Rounds)
It’s finally time to start taking mock drafts seriously. Why? Well, we now have a much clearer picture as to what the rosters look like heading into the draft. Free agency certainly changed a lot, and while there are still moves to be made, most of the big names are off the market.
We’re likely to hear about some more trades as we lead up to the draft, but we won’t attempt to project them here. The reason I wait until my final mock draft to do trades is because they’re extremely tough to project, and if you get one trade wrong, it has a butterfly effect throughout the rest of the draft. Players who shouldn’t be available suddenly are. There are some players who fall further than they’re supposed to in this mock because we don’t have trades, but we’ll take that tradeoff.
1.01 Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB – Clemson)
If there’s one pick everyone will agree on, it’s that Lawrence will be the first player off the board. While the media networks will often try to dramatize who the first pick will be, this one is a no-brainer. The Jaguars select their franchise quarterback, a prospect many have said is the best to come out of the draft since Peyton Manning.
1.02 New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB – BYU)
It’s odd we haven’t seen Sam Darnold traded yet, and we did hear newly-acquired Corey Davis say that he’s under the impression that Darnold will be his quarterback. Still, when the GM tells us that he’s accepting phone calls for trade offers for Darnold, that’s a telling sign. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Jets trade out of this pick, but if they stay here, them selecting a quarterback is a lock, and all signs point to Wilson.
1.03 San Francisco 49ers (from Dolphins) – Justin Fields (QB – Ohio State)
The 49ers made a big splash last week, trading away three first-round picks and a third-round pick to the Dolphins to land the No. 3 overall selection, hinting they’re okay with one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft. And no, they didn’t trade their future for a non-quarterback. Which quarterback do they prefer? Fields has the longer track record, Trey Lance is considered somewhat of a developmental guy with massive upside, and Mac Jones is also reportedly in the mix as a more traditional pocket passer. I can see them going any which way, but Fields is who I’d bank on right now.
1.04 Atlanta Falcons – Trey Lance (QB – North Dakota State)
This is where the draft can go a million different directions, as the Falcons re-structured Ryan’s contract and made his 2022 cap hit $48.6 million, with $40.5 million if they decided to cut him. That means he’s going to be on the team, so why draft a quarterback to sit on the bench for two years? Well, Lance is a quarterback who is likely going to need some developing, so it could work out. You just don’t want to project a top-five quarterback sitting while on his rookie contract for multiple years. Still, if the Falcons stay here at No. 4, they’re likely taking a quarterback. In the end, I’m expecting them to trade out of this pick.
1.05 Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell (OT – Oregon)
If there’s a valuable lesson the Bengals have learned over the last few years, it’s that you must invest in offensive linemen to protect your quarterback. They did grab Riley Reiff in free agency, so by taking Sewell they would have three starter-caliber offensive tackles on the roster, meaning one of them would slide to the inside. Reiff’s contract is only for one year, so they don’t have him locked up as the long-term solution, either. Still, after hearing they were interested in Kenny Golladay during free agency, it’s possible they choose to re-unite Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase.
1.06 Miami Dolphins (from Eagles) – Ja’Marr Chase (WR – LSU)
The Dolphins were a clear candidate to trade out of the No. 3 pick, though I didn’t suspect they’d move back to No. 12. With the haul they received from the 49ers, I didn’t blame them at all. Moments later, we found out they traded up to the No. 6 pick, which made sense. Sure, they snagged Will Fuller in free agency, but it was only a one-year deal, so the Dolphins decide to grab one of the top wide receiver prospects to come out in quite some time. They are surrounding Tua Tagovailoa with enough talent to ensure he has what he needs to succeed. If he can’t make it work with Fuller, Chase, and DeVante Parker, that’s an issue.
1.07 Detroit Lions – Micah Parsons (LB – Penn State)
There are some who would expect the Lions to take a quarterback here, but having so much money tied up in Jared Goff for at least the next two years, they need to start rebuilding the rest of the roster. They lost Jarrad Davis in free agency, which now gives them a reason to snag this year’s top linebacker in Parsons, who just ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. If Dan Campbell wants to play tough/rugged/relentless defense, Parsons is a good place to start.
1.08 Carolina Panthers – Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)
We’ve heard the Panthers tied to Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford over the last few months, and while those plans don’t seem to be working out, they have a fallback option with Jones at No. 8. The Panthers wouldn’t need to start him right away if they didn’t feel he was ready because they have Teddy Bridgewater under contract through this year, and can cut him after the 2021 season with just $5 million in dead cap. We’ve heard whispers in the draft community that No. 8 overall is the floor for Jones.
1.09 Denver Broncos – Rashawn Slater (OT – Northwestern)
What the Broncos did in free agency was impressive. They went out and signed Ronald Darby to a three-year deal, then snagged Kyle Fuller as soon as he became available, clearing up their cornerback issue. They also locked up safety Justin Simmons and retained the versatile Kareem Jackson. That allowed them to bypass the defense and take a quarterback to compete with Drew Lock, who they only invested a second-round pick to get, but after the 49ers traded into the No. 3 pick, it ruined their plans. So, they invest in another offensive lineman to protect Lock (or their future quarterback). It’s tough to say they can rely on Ja’Wuan James at this point.
1.10 Dallas Cowboys – Patrick Surtain (CB – Alabama)
Cornerback was an issue for the Cowboys before losing Chidobe Awuzie in free agency, so it’s obviously still an issue. Grabbing Surtain pairs him back up with Trevon Diggs, the cornerback he played alongside just a year ago at Alabama, giving them a solid 1-2 punch at the position. While Caleb Farley is my top cornerback in this class, his back issue that recently came up will have him slide a little bit.
1.11 New York Giants – Kyle Pitts (TE – Florida)
Ever since they hired Joe Judge last year, we’ve heard about the Giants shopping Evan Engram, who now has one year left on his contract. The Giants did sign Kyle Rudolph to a two-year deal but can cut him after the first year with just a $2.2 million cap hit. Bottom line is that tight ends don’t just walk into the league and dominate right away. Having a tight end or two while Pitts gets acclimated his rookie year wouldn’t be a bad thing.
1.12 Philadelphia Eagles (from Dolphins) – Devonta Smith (WR – Alabama)
It’s no secret that the Eagles need wide receivers after releasing both DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Sure, they drafted Jalen Reagor in the first round last year, but we’ve heard the Eagles GM state that they want to put Jalen Hurts in a position to be successful, which means having weapons and/or protection. Reagor is a good receiver, but he’s not going to be the go-to possession receiver the Eagles need. Smith is that guy. Some will question his weight and not want to put him this high, but don’t forget that John Ross went at No. 8 overall just four years ago when nobody expected him to. Smith is a superstar whose play deserves more respect.
1.13 Los Angeles Chargers – Christian Darrisaw (OT – Virginia Tech)
The Chargers have done a great job shoring up the inside of their offensive line in free agency with the additions of Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler, but they need to nail the left tackle position. While there may be others I’d prefer over Darrisaw, he seems to be a lock for a top-20 pick, so he fits here. Protecting Justin Herbert has to be their priority, or they’ll be left looking like the Bengals, who failed to protect Joe Burrow.
1.14 Minnesota Vikings – Kwity Paye (EDGE – Michigan)
There are many who will talk about offensive line with this pick, and while that’s not out of the realm of possibilities, Mike Zimmer had to be sick of watching his defense not generate pressure last year. And to make matters worse, Danielle Hunter is threatening a holdout without a new contract. We already know what this defense looks like without him, and it isn’t pretty. They need someone who can come in and play right away. While Paye is someone who I believe is a bit overrated in this draft class, there are some expecting him to generate top-12 buzz. The Vikings are likely to take the highest pass rusher on their board.
1.15 New England Patriots – Jaylen Waddle (WR – Alabama)
The operation this offseason was to eliminate excuses and set their quarterback up for success. While they did add Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to the group of wide receivers, let’s not pretend they have a go-to option at the position. Waddle can play all over the formation and allow the Patriots to release veteran Julian Edelman. If Cam Newton can’t get it done with the new group of pass catchers, the Patriots will have no issue adding another quarterback in 2022. Heck, we still might see them make a move for Jimmy Garoppolo.
1.16 Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley (CB – Virginia Tech)
Some will wonder why Farley has fallen this far, and it’s fair considering he’s my top cornerback in this class. However, when it was announced that he recently needed back surgery, it’ll raise some red flags. The Cardinals benefit from his fall and snag their replacement for Patrick Peterson, who they lost in free agency.
1.17 Las Vegas Raiders – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB – Notre Dame)
The Raiders might want to look at offensive linemen with this pick after moving on from 3-of-5 starters in 2020, but their defense needs upgrades. Owusu-Koramoah fills a lot of needs for them, as he is a former safety who moved up to play linebacker. The Raiders have needs at safety, linebacker, and nickel cornerback. Owusu-Koramoah has the ability and athleticism to help out at all three positions, making the defense better from day one.
1.18 Miami Dolphins – Gregory Rousseau (EDGE – Miami)
The Dolphins have been trying to rebuild their defensive front over the last couple years, adding both Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis, but now it’s time to add to the edge. After losing both Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy this offseason, their defense needs multiple pieces. Rousseau is a great piece for a young core of players, as he may have some learning curves along the way with such a small sample size (one year) of dominant play at the college level.
1.19 Washington Football Team – Alijah Vera-Tucker (OL – USC)
After snagging Ryan Fitzpatrick in free agency and having none of the quarterbacks fall to them, Washington should build for now, as well as the future. How is that possible? Well, get the pieces to protect your quarterback. Vera-Tucker is someone who can play both guard and tackle, though they’ll likely need him to step in at tackle sooner rather than later.
1.20 Chicago Bears – Jaycee Horn (CB – South Carolina)
After releasing Kyle Fuller, the Bears suddenly have a massive need at cornerback. Not only were they pretty thin at the position before, but now losing 2-of-3 staters (not that Buster Skrine should be a starter) makes it a clear need. They did grab veteran Desmond Trufant in free agency, but his play has been rapidly declining and he’s on just a one-year deal, so Horn makes plenty of sense to form a long-term duo with Jaylon Johnson.
1.21 Indianapolis Colts – Samuel Cosmi (OT – Texas)
The Colts can not mess around with this pick. They need to get a replacement for left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who retired at just 32 years of age. Remember what Carson Wentz looked like without protection last year? Yeah, not great. Cosmi is a very big man at 6-foot-7 and 309 pounds who I have ranked as a top-three tackle in this class, so this would be a great selection.
1.22 Tennessee Titans – Rashod Bateman (WR – Minnesota)
After losing Arthur Smith to the Falcons, you must wonder if the Titans will throw the ball more in 2021. If you’ve looked at their depth chart of pass catchers behind A.J. Brown, you’re left with a pit in your stomach. Knowing they’ve lost Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, the Titans are in serious need of playmakers, and Bateman fits that bill.
1.23 New York Jets (from Seahawks) – Greg Newsome (CB – Northwestern)
The Jets have been busy in free agency, though they’ve ignored the cornerback position, which is one of their clear needs. As of now, their starting cornerback trio would be Bryce Hall, Blessuan Austin, and Corey Ballentine. That’s not a group you want labeled as starters, so they take the highest cornerback on their board.
1.24 Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris (RB – Alabama)
We’ve heard a lot of rumors surrounding the Steelers and their pursuit of a running back, meeting with both Harris and Travis Etienne, though I believe Harris is a better fit for their offense. He can overcome some of the Steelers offensive line woes with his battering style of play. This pick would also take some much-needed pressure off Ben Roethlisberger.
1.25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) – Pat Freiermuth (TE – Penn State)
We didn’t know how the Jaguars valued Josh Oliver with the new regime coming in, but after watching him shipped off to Baltimore, tight end has become a major need for the Jaguars. As of right now, their starting tight end would be James O’Shaughnessy or Chris Manhertz. There is a connection here, too, as the Jaguars have Tyler Bowen on the staff, Freiermuth’s former college position coach. I would also put safety Trevon Moehrig in the discussion for this pick, but they feel confident he’ll be there with the first pick in the second round, which is not the case with Freiermuth.
1.26 Cleveland Browns – Zaven Collins (LB – Tulsa)
The Browns don’t have many holes on their roster, but if there’s one that’s glaring, it’s linebacker. They did sign Anthony Walker in free agency, though he’s on just a one-year deal, so there’s no guarantee he’s there for the long haul. Collins has good instincts and is able to help with blitzing due to his incredible size for a linebacker.
1.27 Baltimore Ravens – Jayson Oweh (EDGE – Penn State)
There are many who have a wide receiver going to the Ravens, but what they did – or didn’t do – in free agency said a lot about how they value the position. They did lose both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue on the edge and couldn’t replace them in free agency, so they need to find a startable pass rusher in the draft. Oweh may not be a completely finished product, but he’s oozing with upside.
1.28 New Orleans Saints – Christian Barmore (IDL – Alabama)
The Saints are going through a transition with both their offense without Drew Brees, as well as their defense after losing Sheldon Rankins, Malcom Brown, Trey Hendrickson, Kwon Alexander, and Janoris Jenkins. Barmore would help replace the losses of Rankins and Brown, though he isn’t a finished product just yet after playing part-time with Alabama. Still, the thought of him alongside David Onyemata makes life easier on everyone behind them.
1.29 Green Bay Packers – Daviyon Nixon (IDL – Iowa)
I’ve been on this bandwagon since my first mock draft, as I believe the Packers cannot ignore their deficiencies on defense any longer. Sure, they now likely need more help on the interior of the offensive line, and they can most definitely use a wide receiver, but their defense has been a problem for a couple years now. Nixon is a force to be reckoned with and would help them on day one. If you’re a Packers fan, you should be happy with this pick.
1.30 Buffalo Bills – Jaelen Phillips (EDGE – Miami)
This is probably later than Phillips should go, but with the way the chips fell in this mock, the Bills are happy he’s available. Phillips stepped up in a big way with Gregory Rousseau opting out for the 2020 season, boosting his draft stock enough to the point where he might be selected before Rosseau. The Bills defense should probably be the priority for them in the first round, and while cornerback would make sense, Phillips has fallen too far.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs – Jalen Mayfield (OT – Michigan)
After letting go of both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, the Chiefs need to be looking at some offensive tackles early in the draft. Mike Remmers and Lucas Niang (who’s never played a snap in the NFL) are their current starters, while Mayfield would likely be a plug-and-play right tackle. After snagging Joe Thuney and Kyle Long this offseason, the Chiefs should fare much better running the ball this year.
1.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Asante Samuel Jr. (CB – Florida State)
The Bucs have somehow managed to retain their entire 2020 team of starters, which gives them flexibility with this pick. While they could choose to add depth on the defensive line, cornerback has been a position of ups and downs for them, as both Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting have struggled at times. Giving them another starting-caliber cornerback on a championship roster wouldn’t be the worst idea.
2.01 Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig (S – TCU)
The Jaguars should like Moehrig with the No. 25 pick, but looking at the teams behind them, Moehrig should be available here. Sure, they added Rayshawn Jenkins and Rudy Ford in free agency, but they’re ideally depth pieces. Snagging Moehrig brings a playmaker to the back end of the defense. With C.J. Henderson and Shaquill Griffin starting at cornerback, it should also allow Moehrig to come up and make plays near the line of scrimmage, which is what he does best.
2.02 New York Jets – Travis Etienne (RB – Clemson)
The Jets snagged Tevin Coleman in free agency, but let’s not pretend that allows them to ignore the position in the draft. If the Jets want to run an offense similar to the style that Kyle Shanahan runs in San Francisco, they’re going to need talent at the position. Etienne is a true three-down back who should start on day one while learning the offense through the veteran Coleman.
2.03 Atlanta Falcons – Azeez Ojulari (EDGE – Georgia)
The Falcons have needed help on the edge for quite some time now, so this is where they need to start investing in someone. Ojulari is starting to get first-round buzz, so the Falcons are happy to see him last until the third pick in the second round.
2.04 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) – Jabril Cox (LB – LSU)
It seems the draft community is higher on Cox than I am, with some anticipating he’ll generate first-round buzz. The Dolphins snagged Gregory Rosseau in the first round to replace Shaq Lawson, so now they snag a linebacker to replace Kyle Van Noy.
2.05 Philadelphia Eagles – Nick Bolton (LB – Missouri)
After snagging a wide receiver in the first round, the Eagles need to move on to their next big void on the roster: Linebacker. We could see them look at some offensive linemen here, though many have flown off the board. Bolton would give them an instant upgrade in the middle of their defense with his high-effort play.
2.06 Cincinnati Bengals – Terrace Marshall (WR – LSU)
The Bengals passed on LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase in the first round, but they get one of Joe Burrow‘s other LSU receivers in the second round with Marshall. After showing interest in Kenny Golladay, the Bengals clearly feel they have a need at wide receiver after losing A.J. Green, John Ross, and Alex Erickson this offseason.
2.07 Carolina Panthers – Rondale Moore (WR – Purdue)
After flashing 4.29-second speed at his Pro Day, Moore is likely scooting up draft boards. The Panthers lost Curtis Samuel in free agency, so they’re going to need a player to help take on that role in Joe Brady’s offense. Moore can play that role and will add more tackle-breaking ability to the position.
2.08 Denver Broncos – Joseph Ossai (EDGE – Texas)
The Broncos are in a position where they can add depth and adding it at the edge position is important with Von Miller getting up there in age and on the final year of his contract. Ossai is considered a first-rounder by many in the industry, though he’s not as high on my board. It would help to learn and play alongside Miller and Bradley Chubb.
2.09 Detroit Lions – Eric Stokes (CB – Georgia)
The Lions continue to build on the defensive side of the ball because the wide receiver they were hoping would fall (Terrace Marshall) didn’t. This offseason, the Lions have lost cornerbacks Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman, Darryl Roberts, and Rashaan Melvin. Adding Stokes would give them a sturdy long-term duo with Jeff Okudah, though Stokes does have some issues to improve on.
2.10 New York Giants – Carlos Basham (EDGE – Wake Forest)
The Giants didn’t feel the need to reach for an edge rusher in the first round, but they do need to add one in the first two days of the draft. Basham would likely be a starter on day one for them, pairing up with Lorenzo Carter to provide a balanced pass-rush with run-defending capabilities.
2.11 San Francisco 49ers – Landon Dickerson (IOL – Alabama)
After investing heavily in their new starting quarterback, the 49ers go all-in to protect him. They might have the best tackle duo in the league between Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, and while they did add Alex Mack this offseason, he’s on a one-year deal and close to retirement. They could play Dickerson at guard in 2021 and become a truly dominant offensive line.
2.12 Dallas Cowboys – Jamin Davis (LB – Kentucky)
The Cowboys defense should be the focus during the early stages of the draft, so after snagging Patrick Surtain in the first round, they add Davis in the second. They lost Sean Lee and Joe Thomas this offseason, leaving them with just Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith as clear-cut starters, but Vander Esch has had plenty of health issues that require depth signings. Davis isn’t a polished linebacker just yet, but he’s got plenty of athleticism.
2.13 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Vikings) – Liam Eichenberg (OT – Notre Dame)
The Jaguars seemed to be moving on from Cam Robinson, but at the last moment, they decided to put the franchise tag on him. This could mean a few things, but most likely that they’re keeping their options open. With Eichenberg going as a first-rounder in some mock drafts, the Jaguars are happy to add him in the second round.
2.14 New England Patriots – Aaron Robinson (CB – UCF)
After taking a playmaker for offense in the first round, the Patriots add some talent to their cornerback room. Robinson best projects as a slot-type cornerback who can hang with big slot receivers, or even tight ends, as he has the length to cover them. With more and more teams utilizing tight ends in the passing games, the Patriots would have a terrific man-coverage cornerback in Robinson.
2.15 Los Angeles Chargers – Ifeatu Melifonwu (CB – Syracuse)
It was surprising to see the Chargers release Casey Hayward, as it created a massive need at the cornerback position. They did re-sign Michael Davis, which helps, but we can’t ignore the fact that Chris Harris Jr. is going to be 32 years old in a few months and has just one year left on his deal. Melifonwu is a high-upside prospect who has the size to hang with the big boys on the perimeter.
2.16 Las Vegas Raiders – Teven Jenkins (OT – Oklahoma State)
The Raiders lost three starting offensive linemen this offseason, including right tackle Trent Brown. While I could see them going with safety Andre Cisco here, Jenkins has fallen far enough. He’ll need to walk in and start at right tackle immediately, which is perfect because that’s the position he played in college. I’ve wondered if Jenkins would become a guard, but the Raiders need him on the edge.
2.17 Arizona Cardinals – Kenneth Gainwell (RB – Memphis)
When looking for the perfect landing spot for Gainwell, you want to find a team who utilizes their slot receivers quite heavily because it’s where Gainwell separates himself. Fortunately, the Cardinals run 4WR sets more than any team in the NFL, which allows them to get him on the field in a multitude of different scenarios. It’s tough to see the Cardinals sticking with Chase Edmonds alone in that backfield.
2.18 Miami Dolphins – Javonte Williams (RB – North Carolina)
The Dolphins want someone who can bang in-between the tackles, hence the reason they went and signed Jordan Howard last year in free agency. While that didn’t work out, they’re likely looking for another one, and Williams fits that description. He’s a force to be reckoned with on first- and second- down, and though he’s a capable receiver, Myles Gaskin would be a great complement to this timeshare.
2.19 Washington Football Team – Chazz Surratt (LB – North Carolina)
If there’s one area of Washington’s defense that looks suspect, it’s linebacker. They’ve also lost quite a few depth pieces this offseason. Surratt is a former quarterback who transferred to linebacker just two years ago but made a splash immediately. He was the runner-up ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and racked up 206 tackles over those two seasons.
2.20 Chicago Bears – Kadarius Toney (WR – Florida)
I think the hype got out of control with many projecting Toney as a first-round pick, but his slide ends with the Bears. We heard the Bears were shopping Anthony Miller over the last few weeks, which means they have alternate plans in the slot, and the answer is not on their depth chart right now. Because of that, I’m expecting them to select a receiver early in the draft. Toney is the type of player Matt Nagy would design plays around.
2.21 Tennessee Titans – Tyler Shelvin (IDL – LSU)
As of right now, the Titans starting nose tackle is Teair Tart. That’s not going to last very long, so we should be looking at interior linemen for the Titans, as they’ll need someone who can play immediately. Shelvin isn’t a finished product, as he was just a one-year starter at LSU, but when he did play, he flashed potential at 6-foot-3 and 346 pounds. He’s a plugger up the middle.
2.22 Indianapolis Colts – Dayo Odeyingbo (EDGE – Vanderbilt)
The Colts needed to address the offensive line in the first round, but now they need to focus on the edge position, as it’s a weakness of theirs. Odeyingbo isn’t projected to go this high by many, but I have him as a top-50 player in this draft who can do some damage alongside DeForest Buckner. You just don’t see players his size (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) move that well.
2.23 Pittsburgh Steelers – Creed Humphrey (IOL – Oklahoma)
After snagging Najee Harris in the first round, they need to get an offensive lineman who can create some room up front. Humphrey walks into the position that’s been filled by Maurkice Pouncey for the last decade. This pick should make all Steelers offensive players happy.
2.24 Seattle Seahawks – Tyson Campbell (CB – Georgia)
The Seahawks have a lot of needs, so they can go a lot of different ways with this pick, but moving forward with Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, and Ugo Amadi feels less-than-optimal. Because of that, they grab the long cornerback out of Georgia. Campbell fits their zone-heavy scheme very well as a surefire tackler.
2.25 Los Angeles Rams – Andre Cisco (S – Syracuse)
This is tough because I can see the Rams taking a shot on the talented safety Ar’Darius Washington but could also see them going with the playmaker Cisco. While Washington would be considered the top safety in this class if he were a bit bigger, Cisco is a ballhawk who’s always aiming for the turnovers. Knowing they have what might be the best cornerback duo in the league, the Rams can afford to take the player who comes with a bit more risk/upside.
2.26 Baltimore Ravens – Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – USC)
We all know the Ravens need a wide receiver, but the question continually comes up in my mind: “Do they utilize one enough to justify a high draft pick on one?” They may decide to wait longer than this because of that, but St. Brown would complement Marquise Brown very well as a possession-style receiver who operates underneath. Even if he doesn’t start, he’d provide insurance for the oft-injured Sammy Watkins.
2.27 Cleveland Browns – Joe Tryon (EDGE – Washington)
There are a lot of draft analysts who say Tryon will be gone long before this, though I’m not sure he deserves to go ahead of those who’ve been drafted here. The Browns have Myles Garrett and little else behind him. They did snag Takk McKinley in free agency, though he’s far from a sure thing, and he’s also on a one-year deal.
2.28 New Orleans Saints – Elijah Moore (WR – Ole Miss)
There are many positions the Saints can upgrade, and wide receiver is certainly one of them. Behind Michael Thomas is Tre’Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Juwan Johnson. By drafting Moore here, it’d give Sean Payton another versatile weapon to use on offense. After the release of Janoris Jenkins and reports of Marshon Lattimore‘s arrest, they may want to go with a cornerback, but we’ll await more details on Lattimore before assuming anything.
2.29 Buffalo Bills – Paulson Adebo (CB – Stanford)
We all know that Tre’Davious White is their top cornerback, but beyond him they have very little talent at the position. Adebo isn’t someone who’d be great against pure route runners, but he won’t be asked to shadow those guys. He’s excellent in 50/50 situations and has a good feel for where a receiver wants to go, making him a solid No. 2 cornerback alongside White.
2.30 Green Bay Packers – D’Wayne Eskridge (WR – Western Michigan)
When looking for a wide receiver for the Packers, you want to find someone who complements Davante Adams well. Eskridge is that player, as he is going to rip the top of the defense and force you to tilt coverage to his side, as he has legitimate 4.3-second speed. We could see someone like Tutu Atwell go before Eskridge and play that type of role, but Atwell has more physical limitations to his game than Eskridge, who can beat press coverage and isn’t afraid to go up and get it.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs – Tylan Wallace (WR – Oklahoma State)
The Chiefs were one of the teams who were searching for a receiver in free agency, but ultimately wound up with nothing and had to re-sign Demarcus Robinson. Now that Sammy Watkins is officially gone, they need to add a receiver to the depth chart. Wallace is a sure-handed receiver who isn’t the greatest at anything, but he’s above average at everything.
2.32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Levi Onwuzurike (IDL – Washington)
The Bucs were able to retain Ndamukong Suh for another year, but they need to prepare for life without the big fella. Onwuzurike is someone we saw get doubled quite a bit while at Washington. While he wasn’t the guy who was racking up a bunch of sacks, he is the guy that’ll shift the pocket. When you combine him with fellow Washington alum Vita Vea, you have a nasty duo for years to come.