2021 Draft Pick-by-Pick Analysis: Round 2

Ole Miss Rebels WR Elijah Moore
Ole Miss Rebels WR Elijah Moore
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Welcome to Football Outsiders' pick-by-pick coverage of the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL draft! Over the next 29 hours or so, we'll provide you with…

  • Laser-accurate quarterback comparisons (only Football Outsiders dares to compare one of this year's prospects to Drew Stanton);
  • Heartwarming tales of offensive linemen destroying their childhood homes with their siblings and preteen quarterbacks getting publicly shamed by their fathers;
  • Lots of statistical nuggets about teams and prospects (this is Football Outsiders after all);
  • Visits from special guests like Emo Howie Roseman and Death Metal Shanahan;
  • Actual scouting observations, occasionally; 
  • Tons of insights, analysis, asides and fun.

This is my 20th draft providing some form of live pick-by-pick coverage for outlets from Bleacher Report to The New York Times, but it's my first time doing so for the home team here at Football Outsiders. I'm thrilled to be able to spend the next two nights with you. Welcome aboard what's always a wild ride! Refresh often for updates!

If you're looking for the usual "Open NFL Draft Discussion Thread," there isn't one this year. Feel free to get the discussion going in the comment thread below.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars

Georgia Bulldogs CB Tyson Campbell

Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

When we last left Pope Urban I, he was backing up the selection of Trevor Lawrence with running back and Clemson teammate Travis Etienne. That's exactly the sort of drafting someone does when he has been hanging around the broadcast booth for a few years and thinks he's smarter than anyone in the NFL, which is why it felt so much like a Gruden/Mayock Raiders move.

Today, we get to learn if Urban Meyer is listening to his personnel department or just grabbing guys who impressed him while he was chilling in the studio on Saturday afternoons.

So far, results are inconclusive.

Cambell was coached by Patrick Surtain the First in high school. This year's cornerback class is turning into Six Degrees of Patrick Surtain!

Campbell is a well-proportioned 6-foot-2, has a smooth backpedal and hips, is sticky in coverage, and appears to have good ideas when trading off assignments and anticipating a throw. Unfortunately, it doesn't always come together against top competition. Campbell had a rough game against Alabama: Jaylen Waddle beat him for a 90-yard touchdown, and DeVonta Smith shook loose against him repeatedly. Waddle and Smith did that sort of thing to every cornerback in 2020, but the problem for Campbell is that the NFL will be full of players like Waddle or Smith.

Everything about Campbell's tools and technique shout "NFL starter." The results were a little more concerning, but Campbell may just either need a little more polish or a little more help against top receivers.

There was better value on the board for this pick.

Grade: B-

34. New York Jets

Ole Miss Rebels WR Elijah Moore

Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

Moore finished second in the nation to DeVonta Smith in both receptions (86 to 117) and yards (1,193 to 1,856). That's remarkable because Moore played just eight games last season, opting out of the final two games of Ole Miss' already-truncated schedule.

Moore produced double-digit catches in every game except one last season, and he put up some jaw-dropping stat lines: 14-238-3 against Vanderbilt, 13-225-2 (with six carries for 45 yards) against South Carolina.

If those numbers scream "little slot screen guy" to you, then your instincts are on point. But Moore demonstrates remarkable toughness when working the short middle of the field. He also possesses enough speed to lift the lid on deep routes. The typical little slot playmaker only possesses one of those two attributes. Moore also ranked third to Ja'Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith with a Playmaker Score projection of 616 yards per season. That projection was fueled by Moore's share of the Rebels offense and use in the running game.

It's tempting to write Moore off as a Jamison Crowder type who will rack up impressive numbers but never be an upper-echelon prospect. But I see Steve Smith qualities in Moore. That's a really ambitious comparison, but the Jets will be pretty happy with Moore if he ends up somewhere in the middle of Crowder and Smith (while taking a few touches away from Crowder).

Grade: A-

35. Denver Broncos

North Carolina Tar Heels RB Javonte Williams

Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

Williams was part of a committee backfield with Michael Carter. Williams had a mammoth 236-yard, three-touchdown game against Miami at the end of last season, with several video game-worthy, Beast Mode-caliber runs.

Based on that Miami game, Williams is Eric Dickerson. Based on his overall body of work, Williams is a determined, well-built tackle-breaker with solid receiving chops who lacks a fourth gear in the open field and has too lateral a rushing style when trying to turn the corner on outside runs. He could be a James Connor type who can churn out yards but doesn't provide enough big-play capability to climb into the Derrick Henry/Dalvin Cook class.

Everything the Broncos do this weekend—and perhaps for the next three years—may be clouded by the fact that the team passed on Justin Fields last night (despite a reported interest) and couldn't consummate a rumored Aaron Rodgers trade. The Broncos just TRADED UP to draft a modest upgrade over Melvin Gordon. That's the kind of move that will keep them where they are instead of getting them where they expect to be.

Grade: C

36. Miami Dolphins

Oregon Ducks S Jevon Holland

Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

One Team. One Tua. One ton of draft capital. One chance to finally return to relevance. THIS is DolphinQuest 2021.

The Problem: The Dolphins pass defense ranked 26th in DVOA against passes over the middle of the field. None of their linebackers, including newcomer Benardrick McKinney, truly excels in coverage.

The Solution: A solid safety, if not the best one on the board.

Holland is almost the ideal prototypical slot defender. He can turn and cling to most slot receivers in man coverage, has great closing burst on plays in front of him, is an asset when blitzing, and will throw his body around in run support.

Holland would merit a first-round pick if he just offered a bit more of anything. He's a little small for the box safety role and will give up a little too much height and weight against George Kittle types. He's not a thudding tackler. He's more of a B-plus blitzer than the next Jamal Adams, and so forth.

Holland opted out in 2020 and remains a bit of a project. Given time, he could develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber defender.

A fine pick. But I keep waiting for the Dolphins to use their millions of draft picks to blow me away.

Grade: B

37. Philadelphia Eagles

Alabama Crimson Tide OL Landon Dickerson

Landon Dickerson, C/G, Alabama

Dickerson, the Rimington Trophy winner as the nation's best center, suffered an ACL tear in the SEC championship game. He later made the final two snaps of the National Championship Game as an inspirational gesture; fortunately, Greg Schiano was locked in a cage somewhere, unable to return to Ohio State to call the "ATTACK KILL DESTROY" defense against Alabama's victory formation.

Dickerson was last seen doing cartwheels in the background of Mac Jones' pro day interview. So ACL rehab must be going well. Also, that was the highlight of Mac Jones' pro day.

Dickerson also earned his black belt in karate at age 11. Well, so did my youngest son. That's right: I interrupted a scouting report for a dad brag. My draft grades, my rules, Bucko.

You can probably write the scouting report for an Alabama center with ACL issues as well as I can: great athlete at the position, disciplined, well-coached, capable of making line calls, battle-tested against top competition, may benefit from a redshirt year despite the cartwheels. That about covers it. Dickerson could be an NFL starter for a decade.

The Eagles offense ranked 31st in adjusted line yards in 2020, and while Jason Kelce is still playing well, he will soon replace Mike Golic as the hype man who announces the Eagles' Day 2 draft picks.

This is a sound selection. We will learn later whether Howie Roseman has scouted any programs besides Alabama in the last two years.

Grade: B+

38. New England Patriots

Alabama Crimson Tide DL Christian Barmore

Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

Come to think of it, we will also learn later whether Bill Belichick scouted any programs besides Alabama (or just called ol' buddy Nick Saban up to gab) over the last year.

Barmore is a rectangular-shaped 300-plus-pounder with tremendous upper-body strength and surprising explosion over his first three or four strides. He was used as a rotation lineman by Saban, often playing the nose on third downs, and his overall game is rudimentary. He recorded 8.0 sacks in limited playing time last year, thanks to a combination of bull rushes, stunts, and just beating interior offensive linemen with initial quickness.

Barmore is a bit of a high-upside project due to his limited college playing time. But this is a thin defensive tackle class, and Barmore projects as a useful wave defender at worst, so this was a relatively safe selection.

This is your basic Patriots second-round pick, the kind we used to hail as a stroke of genius and then politely ignore when the player turned into little more than a sturdy backup.

Grade: C+

39. Chicago Bears

Oklahoma State Cowboys OL Teven Jenkins

Teven Jenkins, T/G, Oklahoma State

Jenkins is a massive dad-bod right tackle who rose up draft boards after a strong pro day performance. He's an ornery finisher who pushes defenders around when he latches on. Unfortunately, he's also a lunger who can get caught off balance and has a backpedal that may be too slow for the NFL, necessitating a move inside to guard.

Jenkins also dealt with lower back issues in 2020, which is a troubling development for an athlete who doesn't carry his weight like a CGI superhero.

Jenkins' pro day may have revealed untapped athletic potential. But Jenkins was a three-year starter for Okie State, making it a little hard to project any sudden development. I fear he will max out as a Phil Loadholt type who is just good enough to get by as a starter for a few years.

This is not a terrible selection, which counts for something when we are evaluating Ryan Pace.

Grade: C+

40. Atlanta Falcons

Central Florida S Richie Grant

Richie Grant, S, Central Florida

The Falcons somehow ranked 14th in defensive DVOA last season. This is a fact that my brain cannot process. It challenges my assumptions about the fundamentals of how the universe works.

The Falcons defense is not necessarily good, mind you. They appear to have been bulwarked last year by their handful of capable semi-stars (Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones), faced the Taysom Hill Saints twice, caught the Chiefs with a pre-playoffs hangover, and so forth. But the very notion that the Falcons could make meaningful gains on defense in this draft is staggering.

Fortunately for my equilibrium, their offense is on the verge of collapse.

Now onto the selection…

On one play against Memphis in 2020, Grant lined up in the box off the left side of the formation and crashed the line of scrimmage. Memphis ran Rodrigues Clark on a zone-read inside, so Grant should not have had any impact on the play. But Grant reversed direction when Clark broke through the line and into the open field, then he chased Clark down from behind and stripped the running back before he could reach the end zone.

And that's how draft crushes are born, folks.

Grant lists at 194 pounds but looks bigger. He's at his best when playing the box and attacking vertically. He missed a ton of tackles early in his career—39 of them in 2018 and 2019, per the Sports Info Solution Football Rookie Handbook—but appeared to clean up his technique last year. He made a fine impression at the Senior Bowl and had a typically impressive 2021 pro day.

Grant may max out as a hustling, straight-line-ish strong safety. But he's fun to watch and will make his share of plays.

Grade: B+

41. Detroit Lions

Washington Huskies DT Levi Onwuzurike

Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

There is no Aaron Donald in this draft. There's not even a Vita Vea, really. In fact, this draft class is so thin at defensive tackle that Onwuzurike found himself defending his status as a possible first-round pick during his pro day interview. "I'm the best D-tackle in this draft," he said, "so the best D-tackle should go in the first round."

Alabama's Christian Barmore leapt ahead of Onwuzurike when the Patriots grabbed him a few picks ago, but Onwuzurike still had a point. The last time no defensive tackle was drafted in the first round was in 2017. Malik McDowell was the first defensive tackle selected that season, by the Seahawks with the 35th overall pick. McDowell's career has been swallowed up by injuries and off-field incidents. Before that, you have to go back to 1981 to find a draft class without a first-round tackle.

Onwuzurike has some McDowell-like tendencies on the field (as opposed to off the field). He's a Tasmanian Devil-like penetrator who can knife through the line of scrimmage and rip away from blocks. His disruptiveness rarely results in big plays, however, because he's a man without a plan once he's in the backfield. The fact that the Huskies lined him up at nose tackle on 45% of snaps (per Sports Info Solutions) and asked him to eat up double-teams didn't help.

Onwuzurike's overall game needs refinement, particularly after an opt-out season. But it's easier to rein in a defender who wins with his first step and uses his hands well than it is to coach up a slower, more methodical lineman. Onwuzurike has the upside to make some team wish they drafted him earlier.

I know I said yesterday, when the Lions selected Penei Sewell, that they aren't really ready to start drafting for need yet and should just get the best athletes available. That said, they may want to grab a wide receiver soon instead of trying to out-Gettleman Dave Gettleman with Hog Mollies and glass crunchers.

Grade: B

42. Miami Dolphins

Notre Dame Fighting Irish OL Liam Eichenberg

Liam Eichenberg, T, Notre Dame

One Team. One Tua. One ton of draft capital. One chance to finally return to relevance. THIS is DolphinQuest 2021.

The Problem: The Dolphins offense finished 24th in adjusted line yards and 20th in adjusted sack rate last season. Three rookies (Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley, Robert Hunt) are currently penciled in as starters. Assuming all three will develop is the kind of thing a franchise does while reaching the playoffs twice in 18 years.

The Solution: Reinforcements and competition on the offensive line.

Eichenberg was a three-year starter for the Fightin' Irish. He's quick off the line, technically sound, and athletic enough to do the job. Per Sports Info Solutions, he allowed just one sack in the last two seasons. Eichenberg is not a mauler or an elite specimen, but he could develop quickly into a durable, capable NFL left tackle.

Another good-enough pick, this time after trading up. The Dolphins will inevitably earn lots of A-plus draft grades for their haul (that's what happens when you have 253 picks), but I would have liked to have seen more high-upside players and/or a slightly greater sense of urgency.

Grade: C

43. Las Vegas Raiders

TCU Horned Frogs S Trevon Moehrig

Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

Moehrig has breathtaking open-field speed and outstanding range. He breaks on the ball in the air quickly, can blow up screens on the perimeter, and often crosses the field to clean up the spill when a ballcarrier reaches the open field. He also gets high character grades from the folks who grade such things.

What's not to like? Moehrig is an inconsistent open-field tackler who overruns some plays and flicks the dive stick too readily on others. He appears to be a bit of a gambler when jumping routes, which can be a problem for a free safety who played a lot of Cover-2 and Cover-4. Finally, a lingering back issue flared up during Moehrig's pro day.

Pro Football Reference changed the Raiders with a league-high 143 missed tackles last season. Primary culprits included safety Jonathan Abram, who whiffs on killshots, and linebacker Corey Littleton, a decent coverage linebacker who isn't that great at anything else. So Moehrig's inconsistent tackling could be an issue. That said, he's the sort of pure free safety who ends up leading the NFL in interceptions once or twice simply by roaming centerfield and getting great jumps on errant throws.

If the Raiders had drafted Moehrig yesterday and Alex Leatherwood today, they would have saved themselves some criticism.

Grade: A

44. Dallas Cowboys

Kentucky Wildcats CB Kelvin Joseph

Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

Joseph played for LSU in 2018 but got trapped in the pattern buffers of the transfer portal in 2019. He escaped to intercept four passes for the Wildcats in 2020. Joseph drew the Kyle Pitts short straw often in coverage last year, and the Florida tight end burned him for a touchdown on a double move and drew a pass interference foul when Joseph face-guarded him in the end zone.

Last year the Cowboys pass defense ranked dead last in DVOA against No. 2 receivers, in part because rookie Trevon Diggs was overmatched early in the year, in part because Jourdain Lewis and Anthony Brown played too many snaps when Chidobe Awuzie was hurt, and in part because no one in the Cowboys coaching staff appeared to have any idea how to run a Zoom meeting.

Joseph is toolsy and appears to have good eyes, feet, and instincts in zone coverage, and he fills a need. But there are safer selections (starting with Asante Samuel Jr.) on the board.

Grade: B-

45. Jacksonville Jaguars

Stanford Cardinal T Walker Little

Walker Little, T, Stanford

Little missed all but one game of 2019 with a knee injury, then opted out for 2020. So the Jaguars are basing this selection on what Little did in his one season as a Pac-12 starter at age 19. The 2018 tape shows a promising lineman who needs two seasons of refinement to get better at delivering an initial jolt and to stop bending at the waist.

Actually, Pope Urban is almost certainly basing this selection on his old recruiting notes. Which means the Jaguars are probably a disaster waiting to reoccur.

Grade: D

46. Cincinnati Bengals

Clemson Tigers OL Jackson Carman

Jackson Carman, T/G, Clemson

The Bengals offense ranked 31st in adjusted line yards in 2020. They have ranked 22nd or lower in each season since 2017. They've ranked 19th or lower in expected sack rate every year since 2016.

While the Bengals front office may indeed consist solely of a late 1990s fax machine and Stevie Budd from Schitt's Creek, sleepy negligence has not been the cause of the Bengals line woes. They have invested considerable draft capital and some free-agent bucks along the line. But Bobby Hart, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jake Fisher, and Billy Price have all been mediocre to disastrous.

Whether the cause was bad scouting, bad coaching, bad luck, or a trifecta, the Bengals nearly ruined Joe Burrow last season and can't afford to not do everything possible to reinforce their pass protection.

Carman was a two-year starter at left tackle for the Tigers. His best attributes include a swift punch to rock his defender, quick feet, and a somewhat ornery disposition. His weakest attribute is an inability to handle pure speed on the edge, which should force Carman to move inside.

In other words, your basic power program guard prospect, suitable for everyday NFL use. Not as bad a pick as the Jaguars selection (though, yes, I would have ripped His Unholiness Pope Urban for drafting more Clemson guys), but not as much help as Burrow needs.

Grade: B-

47. Los Angeles Chargers

Florida State Seminoles CB Asante Samuel Jr.

Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State

And there came a day, around the tail end of the 20th century, when Earth's mightiest football champions got busy and produced a new generation of heroes to cover threats that no single cornerback could withstand. Young Cornerback Avengers: Assemble!

Name: Asante Samuel Jr.

Son of: Asante Samuel, who let a gift-wrapped Eli Manning interception bounce off his hands in Super Bowl XLII, then became a charter member of the ill-fated 2011 Eagles "Dream Team," then ended his career with the Falcons defense during their down years. (Yes, the Falcons defense has had "up" years. 1977, for instance).

Samuel was also a two-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro Bowler for the Patriots, but negativity sells, Bucko.

Scouting Report: Samuel Jr. suffers a bit in comparison to both his father and fellow Young Avengers cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. and Jaycee Horn. He's smaller, leaner, and a little less instinctive in the open field than the other big-name second-generation cornerbacks. He intercepted three passes in 2020, but two came against Georgia Tech (a wingbone offense whose quarterback was throwing gopher balls) and one against Jacksonville State.

Criticisms aside, Samuel Jr. is quick-footed, technically sound, and competitive, and he handled his share of tough coverage assignments well. He should develop into a capable NFL starter. This is an excellent pick at this point in the draft.

Grade: A

48. San Francisco 49ers

Notre Dame Fighting Irish OL Aaron Banks

Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame

Banks is your typical power program interior line prospect. He's built like a small bungalow, has impressive pitty-pat footwork, can engulf his defender, takes two bus transfers to get around, uses his hands inconsistently (sometimes a great punch, sometimes a cuddly hug), and gets a little lost when forced to move three paces in any direction.

49ers Draft Grades by DEATH METAL SHANAHAN: Protection? There is no protection against the descending darkness or the ravages of time. Cowering behind protectors provides little more than a brief respite before the onslaught. Yet still we build our walls, for all the good it shall do.

Grade: C+

49. Arizona Cardinals

Purdue Boilermakers WR Rondale Moore

Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

Moore reminds me of Rocket Ismael. He has a high-stepping gait in the open field and often looks like he's gliding around an air hockey table when changing directions. He's a delight to watch, and while I am skeptical of all pro day results in 2020, Moore's 4.29-second 40-yard dash (plus a 42.5-inch vertical jump) is impressive even if we take a little air out of it.

Now the downside: Moore's height (5-foot-7 at his pro day) is just as much of a concern as DeVonta Smith's mystery weight. Moore is too tiny a target to be used consistently on 20-plus-yard routes. Even when Moore caught 114 passes for the Boilermakers in 2018, his average depth of target (per Sports Info Solutions) was just 5.2 yards downfield. Factor in multiple injuries in 2018 and 2019, and Moore may max out as a situational gadget specialist.

A 5-foot-11 Moore would probably have been a first-round pick. The actual-sized version of Moore may be a better value here than DeVonta was with the 10th overall pick, because the relative risks are lower.

I love Moore as a No. 2 option and as a slots-'n'-slants guy in Kliff Kingsbury's system and hope that he can make the Cardinals offense fun again.

Grade: A-

50. New York Giants

Georgia Bulldogs ER Azeez Ojulari

Azeez Ojulari, ER, Georgia

Ojulari may not be the best edge rusher in the 2021 draft class, but he could be the best all-around football player among the edge rushers. He's more experienced in coverage than any of his peers, defeats blockers, and pursues well in the running game and handles his assignments well against options, rollouts, and misdirection plays.

As a pass-rusher, Ojulari is quick enough to beat his blocker to the outside from time to time and keeps working to pick up coverage sacks. SackSEER provides mixed reviews (just 18.7 sacks through five seasons, a decent 62.1% rating), but again: Ojulari is more of an all-purpose lineman.

Ojulari dealt with high school injuries which derailed his early college career, so he may still be developing. He could be a Harold Landry type who doesn't blow up the sack leaderboard but can drop into coverage for a half-dozen zone blitzes per game without getting lost.

Folks, Dave Gettleman is trading down, adding picks, and still finding excellent value in the draft. Frankly, I don't want to be there if he's vindicated and starts gloating.

Grade: A

51. Washington Football Team

Texas Longhorns T Samuel Cosmi

Samuel Cosmi, T, Texas

Cosmi lists at 6-foot-7 but looks shorter on film, which is often a sign that he's a natural knee-bender who knows how to avoid being out-leveraged. He has a quick, smooth backpedal and is as good as any offensive tackle in this class at mirroring his defender's moves.

Cosmi gets bull rushed a little too easily and ducks his head too often when blocking, but I love his pass protection mirroring so much I can live with a few flaws. I think Cosmi can develop into a high-end starter and excellent pass-protector. I had him graded ahead of several players who were already selected.

Grade: A-

52. Cleveland Browns

Notre Dame Fighting Irish LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

There was a play against Clemson where Owusu-Koramoah blitzed from a slot corner position and essentially intercepted a pitch sweep that the running back bobbled in the backfield, then raced for a touchdown. He also stripped a receiver after the catch later in the same game.

Plays like those illustrated Owusu-Koramoah's NFL potential more than any scouting report could. Owusu-Koramoah lists at 6-foot-1, 221 pounds, but has a CGI-sculpted frame that looks bigger. He plays with a careening style and can rip away from blockers with his long arms.

Owusu-Koramoah played a lot of slot corner for the Fightin' Irish but doesn't quite have the quickness for such a role in the NFL. There's also talk about some troubling medical reports, which caused him to slip.

I get Haason Reddick vibes from Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. He's going to be a handful as a pass-rusher. And he upgrades a weak Browns linebacker depth chart. Excellent value at this point in the draft.

We're on quite a run of fine picks!

Grade: A

53. Tennessee Titans

North Dakota State Bison OL Dillon Radunz

Dillon Radunz, T, North Dakota State

Radunz looked wobby in the lone 2020 Bison game last autumn (against Central Arkansas), but so did just about everyone on the field. He improved his stock with a strong Senior Bowl week.

Radunz has the strength and quickness to just latch onto FCS defenders and erase them, and he's quick and athletic in pass protection. He's a waist-bender at times and often gets away with wrapping his arms outside to steer edge rushers, but his technique is good enough to get by for now.

Radunz is a size-and-traits project guy. I feel like this is a little early for him, and the Titans don't have as pressing a need at tackle as they do at wide receiver and elsewhere.

Grade: C+

54. Indianapolis Colts

Vanderbilt Commodores ER Dayo Odeyingbo

Dayo Odeyingbo, ER, Vanderbilt

Odeyingbo is the prospect you assemble when you only have so many Madden points to spend but like to max out attributes. Size? 99 at 285 pounds. Initial Burst? Sorry, that's a 50: Odeyingbo is one of the last players out of his stance on many snaps, which is a damning trait for an edge rusher. Quickness? Surprise: a 99 again, so once Odeyingbo uncoils he moves very well. Speed? Oops, another 50: he's only quick for about five steps.

Odeyingbo tore an Achilles in January, making him an even more vexing player to evaluate.

I can't see Odeyingbo succeeding as a true edge rusher because of his sluggish get-off. As a 5-tech or two-gapping defensive end, on the other hand, he could be very effective.

Ian Rapoport just said on the telecast that Odeyingbo will need a redshirt year. Cool cool cool. So he'll be ready just in time for the Colts to need a new quarterback. At least they also drafted Kwity Paye.

Grade: D+

55. Pittsburgh Steelers

Penn State Nittany Lions TE Pat Freiermuth

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Freiermuth blocks well enough to fold inside or set the edge on sweeps and has soft hands for hauling in short passes. He flashes some tackle-breaking capability when he turns upfield.

Freiermuth is not sudden or shifty, and much of his production came on RPOs or plays designed to get the ball out quickly. He doesn't appear to be a savvy, instinctive zone-beater either. But Freiermuth may be the best choice in a weak tight end class for a team seeking a traditional blocker and safety-valve receiver.

The Steelers are having one of their "It's Always 1977 in Pittsburgh" drafts. I don't hate Freiermuth and kinda like the Najee Harris selection, but I worry that they are reacting to Ben Roethlisberger's decline not by making necessary upgrades on the offensive line or trying to keep their defense among the Top Five, but by wrapping themselves in a security blanket.

Grade: C

56. Seattle Seahawks

Western Michigan Broncos WR D'Wayne Eskridge

D'Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

Hey! It's time to check in on the West Coast Packers, a team trying to return to the Super Bowl by constantly negging the one guy in the organization capable of getting them there!

At least the Seahawks are getting Russell Wilson some weapons. Does that seem so hard, Packers?

Eskridge was an all-state sprinter in high school. His college sizzle reel is full of "skinny post and see ya later" touchdowns. He moved to cornerback for part of the 2019 season before returning to wide receiver in 2020 and averaging 23.8 yards per reception, with eight touchdowns in six games.

Eskridge maxes out at just 5-foot-9, 188 pounds. Despite his defensive background, Eskridge can get tossed around a bit when trying to block, though he gives a hearty effort.

Playmaker Score is high on Eskridge, and a combination of pure speed, fine hands when plucking passes away from his body, and all-around special teams value will help him find a role right away.

Grade: B+

57. Los Angeles Rams

Louisville Cardinals WR Tutu Atwell

Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

Hey, cutie, I'm Sean. Welcome to my Malibu crash pad, sponsored by Rocket Mortgage. Rockets are elongated, impressive, and powerful, baby, just like my four-vertical passing concepts.

Have a seat on the sectional sofa. Dip your toes in the deep-pile carpet while Cooper pours you a mai tai. Dig that view of the beach. We've just been chillin' here since Thursday. We don't work too hard on draft weekend here in Rams country, honey. It's all about the experience.

You can't help but stare at my NFC championship ring, can you, sweetie-boo? It's just a trinket. My real hardware is upstairs, if you catch my drift. I'm a certified genius. Ask me to name all the starters on the Seahawks defense. C'mon, ask me. I don't care if you don't find that interesting or impressive. OK, I will do it even if you don't ask. Jamal Adams. Marquise Blair. Jordyn Brooks … That's right, Hot Snacks, I am going to keep whispering in your ear until the last second, whether you like it or not. Gosh, I miss Jared.

Wait … what do you mean you were hanging out at Kliff Kingsbury's desert hideaway last night? No, I'm not jealous. Yes, I am open-minded! But you should go. Really, just leave. Call your own Lyft.

Hey Kevin: we really gotta stop trading out of the first round!

Tutu is too too small for the NFL, though it would be fun to someday see him in the same offense with Keke Coutee: opponents wouldn't know which one was motioning into the backfield for an end-around that nets 3 yards, and a Keke-to-Tutu double-reverse would be the crowning achievement of Western Civilization.

Hey Rams: you really gotta stop trading out of the first round!

Grade: D-

58. Kansas City Chiefs

Missouri Tiger LB Nick Bolton

Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

Bolton racked up 198 combined tackles for the Tigers in 2019 and 2020. He's a laser-guided missile when shooting gaps and making plays in the backfield and delivers a pop when he gets a square hit on the ballcarrier. He also diagnoses plays well, handles simple coverage assignments effectively, and hustles all over the field. Those attributes outweigh some technical flaws as a tackler.

The Chiefs ranked 31st in the NFL in pass defense against running backs. I am not sure Bolton will help in that department, but the Chiefs defense always needs a talent jolt, and Bolton could have a great impact as a blitzer.

Grade: B+

59. Carolina Panthers

LSU Tigers WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

Marshall caught 46 passes while playing fourth fiddle behind Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the national champions in 2019. He was promoted to first chair in 2020 but caught just 48 passes (in a shorter season, of course) while splitting targets with Kayshon Boutte and others.

Marshall is a tall possession receiver who can be very effective on slants and skinny posts from the slot. He has a stutter-step and other subtle moves during his stem that help him get open on in-breaking routes. But the rest of Marshall's game is rather unspectacular: he's a glider with gather-up speed, his route tree isn't very refined, and he's not the blocker most teams would want from a receiver his size.

Marshall looked like a dangerous No. 3 receiver in a great offense but a very ordinary go-to guy in a less star-studded offense over the last two years. That may turn out to be the final assessment of his NFL career as well.

I know all the really really really smart people are supposed to love Matt Rhule and coordinator Joe Brady, but both of them have a really bad case of Get My Guys Syndrome. So far, I'm not impressed with what the Panthers have done in Rhule's second season.

Remember: Sam Darnold is this team's only quarterback.

Grade: C-

60. New Orleans Saints

Ohio State LB Pete Werner

Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State

Werner lists at 242 pounds but looks lighter, with arms and ankles that look a little spindly for his position. He runs well, is quick-footed when changing directions, and has three years of B1G starting experience. Werner likely projects as a Will who could start but is more likely to play a nickel/sub/special teams role. There's a chance that he maxed out as a sturdy starter in a program that surrounded him with talent.

While the Panthers are drafting like a team that has all the time in the world to assemble the ultimate LSU/Baylor/Temple alumni roster, the Saints are drafting like a contender that has no idea that the whole building is crumbling around them, thinking they can still fiddle around with projects.

Grade: C-

61. Buffalo Bills

Wake Forest ER Carlos Basham

Carlos "Boogie" Basham, ER, Wake Forest

Basham is the cousin of Tarell Basham, who signed with the Cowboys in March after a few serviceable seasons as a situational pass-rusher for the Jets. SackSEER loves him (an 88.8% rating, higher than Kwity Paye or new teammate Gregory Rousseau) in part because he recorded eight pass breakups in his college career.

Basham is indeed nimble and decisive when operating in space, allowing him to bat down screen passes and find the ball after an option mesh. He has an inside move and a little swim move to beat blockers when pass-rushing. If a blocker latches on and gets Basham moving laterally, however, he becomes a grocery cart.

I think Basham is athletic and versatile enough to be a solid NFL starter for the Bills, who won't stick him at right end for 50 snaps per game.

Judging by this pick and the Rousseau selection, the Bills clearly watched the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl and said, "Hmmm, sack Patrick Mahomes a billion times? Maybe WE should try that."

Grade: B+

62. Green Bay Packers

Ohio State Buckeyes C Josh Myers

Josh Myers, C, Ohio State

Myers replaced Michael Jordan (Bengals) as the Buckeyes center. Jordan replaced Billy Price, who was also drafted by the Bengals, who are unaware that they are allowed to recruit out of state. Price replaced Pat Elflein (Vikings and Panthers), who was the son of Shechem and the brother of Alcazar, who fled the land of Canaan during the exile, and … whoops, switched from the Ohio State media guide to the bible there. My bad. But go back far enough and you get Cory Linsley, the center Myers will replace.

Myers is a well-built, reliable, athletic-enough, and B1G-tested lineman. He tore up his foot by playing through injuries in the 2020 postseason, however. The injury may slow Myers at the start of his career and bears monitoring.

Overall, Myers looks like the best Ohio State center prospect since Linsley.

Grade: B

63. Kansas City Chiefs

Alabama Crimson Tide C Creed Humphrey

Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

Humphrey had an outstanding all-around pro day; I won't post the numbers, because no one really cares about a center's pro day results, but they were great. Teammate Ronnie Perkins said that watching Humphrey in the weight room was "like watching Frankenstein" because "he's the strongest dude in the weight room."

First of all, Mr. Perkins, Frankenstein was the doctor, not the monster. [Editor's note: yes, we do plan to give the writer a nuclear wedgie for that.] Secondly, how much do you think Frankenstein's Monster could really bench? Let's check the tape, and … woah that got dark in a hurry.

Humphrey's strength and athleticism are evident on film. He's also an experienced starter with fine technique and a hustling style. Heck, Humphrey looks like he could be a tackle prospect if not for his stubby arms.

Humphrey projects as an Alex Mack type who could play at a high level for many, many years. I had him ranked ahead of Myers, as did many others I think.

Grade: A-

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Florida Gators QB Kyle Trask

Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Upside: Matt Hasselbeck
Downside: Nathan Peterman
Likely Comp: Nick Foles

The problem with evaluating Kyle Trask is Kyle Pitts. Trask threw 43 touchdowns, but Pitts made 12 of those touchdowns look easy. Wide receiver Kadarius Toney, picked earlier tonight, caught 10. Alabama's Mac Jones had the nation's best weapon corps, but Trask was a close second, and there were some games (like the opener against Ole Miss) in which everything just looked a little too easy.

Trask has many appealing "soft skills," including eye discipline, the ability to reset in the pocket, and a knack for checking down and tossing flair passes that give his running backs space to move. He's a fine deep touch passer. But he has about a C+ arm and mobility. There are also many troubling flaws to his game, including fumbilitis and a habit of throwing into coverage. Trask also benefited from several dropped interceptions last season.

It's tempting to pencil Trask in as a heady NFL game manager. But he's likely to endure too many strip-sacks and throw too many interceptions when NFL defenders get the jump on his cut fastballs. Hence the Foles comp: Trask may prove capable of looking like a folk hero under ideal conditions but will end up fumbling and stumbling his way out of multiple jobs when everything isn't clicking.

In summary, Trask is the perfect quasi-successor for Tom Brady: good enough to get through a game or two if called upon, but not nearly good enough to be perceived as a threat and banished to the TB12 dungeons.

Grade: C

Looking for the rest of the draft? Click here for:


50 comments, Last at 04 May 2021, 2:38pm

#1 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 5:46pm

I'm ready to get hurt again

Points: 0

#2 by bravehoptoad // Apr 30, 2021 - 6:53pm

I'm ready to pay another three 1st-round picks for a developmental prospect who won't play this year.

Points: 0

#3 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:09pm

But I wonder when he'll play first. When should he...hmm I suppose whenever they feel he gives them the best shot to win. 

At least be happy your traded up 21st century 1st round QB is gonna be active at some point his rookie year!

Points: 0

#4 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:22pm

Another 6-1 Georgia CB before Asante. You'd think the NFL would like bloodlines.

Points: 0

#5 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:24pm

I was worried about the new Jax FO after the Etienne pick. I'm still not convinced - this is Trent Baalke we're talking about - but I like the Campbell pick. I thought they might go for another Clemson player or maybe an OSU player for Meyer. I still think Baalke and Meyer will ruin Lawrence like Indy wrecked Luck. But at least this pick makes sense.

Points: 0

#37 by Mike Tanier // May 01, 2021 - 12:11am

In reply to by justanothersteve

Campbell's good. The rest is scary. 

Points: 0

#6 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:28pm

for another skill player.

This time for a RB. Ehhhhhhhhh what you doing baby?

Points: 0

#17 by reddwarf // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:13pm

Paton is being very conservative it seems.  Like Surtain the scouts seem to think Williams will be at least a decent pro.

But trading up for a RB?

Points: 0

#21 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:17pm

And trading up for a RB is not good. 

Shame because I liked what they did last year.

Ok nows time to go to bed

Points: 0

#7 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:32pm

Philly just picked a WR in the 1st the last 2 years.

Then Cincy again. They could get Terrace. Dooooo it. Higgins and Chase outside and Terrace and Boyd in the slot sounds soooo good. Then draft OL rest of the day.

Points: 0

#8 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:33pm

Get back on track with the value positions for a Tyler Lockett comp.

Points: 0

#9 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:34pm

It's the Isley Brothers!!! Why on Earth isn't the cover band playing Twist And Shout?

Points: 0

#42 by Tom Tulpa // May 01, 2021 - 12:38pm

Where's Questlove when you need him?

Points: 0

#10 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:37pm

Traded to Pats for Barmore. TMJ probably gone soon. At least they were smart enough to trade back.

Points: 0

#11 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:38pm

What are the Jets doing making seemingly-sensible picks? My worldview is being shaken.

Points: 0

#33 by mehllageman56 // Apr 30, 2021 - 10:18pm

They got a decent GM 3 years ago.  They hired him just late enough that he didn't draft anyone until last year, and Becton and Mims seem fine (the others haven't worked out yet, we'll see), but it should be obvious that Douglas knows what he's doing.  Getting 2 first round picks and change for Jamal Adams and a 2nd rounder for Darnold should tell you that.

Doesn't mean the guys he's picking will work out though.  Even Dark Hoodie struggles with the draft.

Points: 0

#12 by TomC // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:46pm

Jeebus, Ryan Pace trading up again. The man has a compulsion. But damned if I don't agree with the pick again.

Points: 0

#13 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 7:50pm

Yeah. I was like WTF when I heard the Bears traded up again. But I gotta agree Jenkins is a solid pick for an OL that really needs help. I'd be worried the Bears may have some real depth problems in a few years with their lack of future draft picks if I weren't a Packers fan. 

Points: 0

#32 by Dan // Apr 30, 2021 - 10:02pm

Reasonable move, as far as trade-ups go, but I think I would've rather they stayed put and drafted Dillon Radunz.

Points: 0

#49 by Steve in WI // May 03, 2021 - 4:25pm

I know even less about the tackle prospects than I did about the QB prospects, so apart from my well-documented criticism of Pace being way too eager to trade up every single draft, I was pretty happy about the Jenkins pick based on the position and the idea that Jenkins would have been a defensible pick at 20th overall, if things had been different. But Tanier's grade/opinion on Jenkins, coupled with the Bears cutting Charles Leno today which makes it seem that they are expecting Jenkins to be their starting LT immediately, has me a little concerned.

BTW, I've decided to be optimistic for once about Fields because the more I learn about him, the more I like, and also because quite frankly it's tiresome to constantly hope for bad outcomes to get a new front office installed. That said, I can't help pointing out that they open up $9M of cap space by cutting Leno, yet incur a $5.5M cap hit on Andy Dalton (the rest of the money goes against the cap in 2022 and 2023), who they acquired when they already had a placeholder QB under contract in Foles (who they overpaid for in 2020). Leno has not been a very good LT, but I would much rather have him on the team than Dalton in 2021, even if the hope is that Jenkins will start from day one. Offensive line depth always seems to be an issue.

Points: 0

#15 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:08pm

But you just traded away some picks. Maybe wise to just stay put. Board was falling well

Points: 0

#36 by Theo // Apr 30, 2021 - 11:32pm

Please just type whatever you type in the comment subject in the comment.

Aaron, can we drop this feature??

Points: 0

#44 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 02, 2021 - 12:25am

It's more annoying when you don't have a header and just ...

Aaron don't drop the feature. 

Points: 0

#18 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:15pm

One of the talking heads just said - twice! - that JAX has "hit it out of the park" on all 4 of their picks so far this draft, and all I can think is why, oh why, do I not have the TV on mute?

Points: 0

#38 by Mike Tanier // May 01, 2021 - 12:13am

Pope Urban made LOTS and LOTS of media friends.

As a rhule, you can tell which coaches are really generous with us and end up getting far too much benefit of the doubt.

Points: 0

#19 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:16pm

Cowards for going OL instead of WR this year!

TMJ and Chase, just ball out. Forget Mixon!

Points: 0

#22 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:26pm

Why? Cincy's OL sucks. They have to protect Burrows before he's ruined like Carr or Luck. It's not a sexy pick, but it is a smart pick. It's easier to find WRs than OL at this stage of the draft. 

Points: 0

#24 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:29pm

But OL picks rarely get criticized. Thats pretty sexy. 

Cowards. Just traded down. Got more ammo to find OL later. 

Points: 0

#25 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:40pm

Nothing more cowardly than taking cheap shots calling professionals cowards without any real explanation. I still await your analysis. 

Points: 0

#26 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:53pm

Good luck guarding Chase, Higgins, Boyd, and TMJ. Would have to drop everyone into coverage.

Points: 0

#28 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 9:10pm

No idea what that means. Your Twitter-level comments lack any meaning. I'm still waiting for an explanation that makes sense. Or comprehension for that matter. 

Points: 0

#34 by mehllageman56 // Apr 30, 2021 - 10:22pm

Seconded.  The Bengals already passed on Sewell for Chase, why are they cowards for picking linemen or trading down?  Not sure why cowardice or courage would even factor into the draft, they are all business decisions about how well potential employees fit your schemes.

Points: 0

#45 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 02, 2021 - 12:27am

If you don't understand how they'd be so lethal, that's on you for being a stick in the mud.

Points: 0

#20 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:16pm

Cut Hayward. Replace with ASJ. Finally off the board. 

Points: 0

#23 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:26pm

Don't make it back to GB. Ugh.

Eskridge too. Oof

Points: 0

#27 by ImNewAroundThe… // Apr 30, 2021 - 8:54pm

But Richie Grant seems like such a Falcons pick.

Points: 0

#39 by Mike Tanier // May 01, 2021 - 12:13am

I really love the player. Yet I can see exactly how it will fail if it fails. 

Points: 0

#46 by ImNewAroundThe… // May 02, 2021 - 12:28am

Not a great edge class but would've been a good gamble

Points: 0

#29 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 9:31pm

I would have preferred a WR or OT, but the Pack needed to replace Linsley. I thought either Jenkins or one of their 2020 picks could have been enough, but this guy can play any of the interior line positions. I didn't care if the Pack didn't draft offense in the first round; they needed a CB too. But I still want them to get a WR today.

Points: 0

#35 by All Is On // Apr 30, 2021 - 11:19pm

I think they really need two interior o-line starters this year (center and right guard), so this makes some sense. They also desperately need some tackle depth, ideally someone who could replace Billy Turner next year. I kinda feel like interior o-line wasn't the wrong pick, but maybe taking a swing on a tackle, kicking Turner to RG, and letting one of the three guys they drafted last year take the center spot would have been my preference.

Either way, I expect them to pick another o-lineman before the end of the draft.

Points: 0

#30 by RobotBoy // Apr 30, 2021 - 9:33pm

In jr. high, did Bill Belichick wait for Tanier after school and steal his lunch money?

Points: 0

#40 by Mike Tanier // May 01, 2021 - 12:15am

In reply to by RobotBoy

Not at all. He spent 20 years being the most brilliant mind in the NFL. But that (and the Patriots' habit of "keeping score" with the local media) conditioned a generation of sports media to never ever ever ever ever question his moves, even the really suspect ones. So I enjoy veering in the other direction. 

Points: 0

#41 by RobotBoy // May 01, 2021 - 3:37am


It seems a stretch to claim that the Pats haven't received withering criticism from the media over the years. From the annual, 'Brady is done' contingent to the 'Cheatriots' chorus to the 'Belichick owes it all to Brady' and 'Brady owes it all to Belichick' crews, along with the 'Belichick: great coach, terrible GM' meme...The list is a long, long, long one. Perhaps there is something to the 'keeping score' element, I wouldn't really know anything about that, but it makes me wonder if the organization has done you some disservice.

I have no problem with people taking the piss out of NE - the chowderheads can be just as insufferable as any other fans that have grown fat with success. However, I do feel that over the past 3 or so years, your coverage of the team has become unrelentingly critical and dismissive. Before then, your takes would be surprising, offbeat, unexpected, and might break either way. Now whenever I see a mention of NE in your work, there's no doubt that vitriol is about to be dispensed.

I say this as a longtime reader, having tracked your byline from the early days of FO forward. I've read most every one of your columns for at least the past eight (?) years with great interest and enjoyment. Your takes on the Pats however, have become somewhat predictable.

Points: 0

#43 by LionInAZ // May 01, 2021 - 11:26pm

In reply to by RobotBoy

Belichick and the PatsWaffenSS might get blasted for being sleazy, BB has rarely been criticized for personnel decisions because WINZ. Brady sort of blew a hole in that last year, but the 'genius' aura hasn't completely died. Now it seems we're entering an experimental phase where Nick Saban makes BB's choices.

Points: 0

#48 by SmoothLikeIce // May 03, 2021 - 10:30am

unrelenting sycophancy = bad

unrelenting negativity as a result of being upset about the unrelenting sycophancy = good


Awesome stuff Mike thanks for the explainer

Points: 0

#50 by RickD // May 04, 2021 - 2:38pm

Second-guessing Belichick is how many Boston sportswriters get paid.  

This is especially true of his drafts.  

Points: 0

#31 by justanothersteve // Apr 30, 2021 - 9:46pm

The other Tom Brady-like QB gets to back up Tom Brady. This could be the best place for Trask to go because he could end up with a Gary Kubiak-Chase Daniel-like career. For all we know, Brady could play until he's 50. They needed to upgrade their QBs; their backup is Ryan Griffin. They don't even have Gabbert anymore.

Points: 0

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