Here’s the second-round projection for my 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
2021 NFL Mock Draft
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: TCU S Trevon Moehrig
The Jaguars need a lot of help all over their defense. They signed S Rayshawn Jenkins to a big four-year deal in free agency but they still have considerable room to improve at safety. Moehrig has great ball skills and is generally seen as the top option in a safety class that doesn’t have a ton of top-end talent.
34. New York Jets: Kentucky CB Kelvin Joseph
It’s tempting to dip again into a deep receiver class but the Jets have a massive void at cornerback right now to the point that they can’t afford not to take a cornerback. Joseph has the size and athleticism to thrive in new HC Robert Saleh‘s Cover 3 scheme, which sets him apart from some of the other corners available.
35. Atlanta Falcons: Clemson RB Travis Etienne
Defense is a major need for the Falcons but this is the sweet spot for running backs in the draft. Etienne would add a home-run element to Atlanta’s offense and be a great fit if HC Arthur Smith runs as much power as he did in Tennessee.
36. Miami Dolphins: North Carolina RB Javonte Williams
The Dolphins pounce on the final back in what’s generally seen as the consensus top three. Williams had his signature performance in Hard Rock Stadium against the Canes last season and would bring a hard-nosed running style to Miami’s offense.
37. Philadelphia Eagles: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.
Though he’s been dinged for his size, Samuel is roughly the same size as shutdown Packers cover man Jaire Alexander. He showcased terrific athleticism at his pro day and the NFL bloodlines from his father are obviously fantastic. Asante Samuel Sr. starred for the Eagles for a few seasons and his son could do the same.
38. Cincinnati Bengals: Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg
After foregoing offensive line in the first round, the Bengals swing back to address their biggest need in a deep class. Eichenberg gives them another potential long-term piece at tackle and additional flexibility with current pieces on the roster like Riley Reiff.
39. Carolina Panthers: UCF S Richie Grant
Plenty of analysts loved to connect the Panthers to Mac Jones given they coached him directly at the Senior Bowl. But a different connection they made flew under the radar, as Grant was one of the players who impressed Matt Rhule and company the most, as he switched to play corner with zero hesitation during practices. He’s not a full-time outside corner in the NFL but Grant gives the Panthers secondary another versatile chess piece.
40. Denver Broncos: Kentucky LB Jamin Davis
On paper, the Broncos are an early candidate to be one of the NFL’s best defenses in 2021. If there’s any weakness, it’s at linebacker, where Josey Jewell and A.J. Johnson are competent but not difference-making starters. Davis has the size and athleticism to change that, as his stock has skyrocketed to the point that he could be a first-round pick this month.
41. Detroit Lions: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman
Detroit had to essentially rebuild its receiving corps from scratch this offseason. Fortunately for them, the depth of the receiving corps could cause teams to wait and push talented players down the board like Bateman. The former Golden Gopher plays a lot like Saints WR Michael Thomas, and while he’s not as big as Thomas despite what Minnesota listed him at last season, Lions HC Dan Campbell will recognize the style.
42. New York Giants: Texas DE Joseph Ossai
One of the big free-agent swings the Giants struck out on was adding OLB Leonard Floyd before he went back to the Rams. They land some help for their edge-rushing group here. Ossai isn’t the biggest player but he showcases maniacal effort on every single snap to chase down whoever has the ball.
43. San Francisco 49ers: Alabama C Landon Dickerson
Injuries are the biggest thing keeping Dickerson out of the first round, as he’s been banged up quite a bit in college. That hasn’t stopped the 49ers before, though, and they have a pretty gaping need at center that Dickerson would solve.
44. Dallas Cowboys: Washington DE Joe Tryon
For as bad as Dallas was last season, their roster isn’t littered with holes. Their struggles last year could arguably be chalked up to injuries and underperformance. They need more production from their defensive tackle and linebacker group but with big draft and financial investments in those positions recently, Dallas elects to go with Tryon to keep the pass rush stocked as the team switches defensive schemes.
45. Jacksonville Jaguars: Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth
The Jaguars have very little at the tight end position right now, but that could change by adding Freiermuth. New Jaguars TE coach Tyler Bowen has worked with Freiermuth the past three years at Penn State and can tell Jacksonville everything it needs to know about the kid they call “Baby Gronk.”
46. New England Patriots: UCF CB Aaron Robinson
New England should start looking ahead at the cornerback situation with both Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson heading into contract years. Plus, you can never have too many corners.
47. Los Angeles Chargers: North Dakota State OT Dillon Radunz
Even if the Chargers decide to forego an offensive tackle in the first round, this class is deep and there could be strong options available to them in the second. Radunz was the other North Dakota State player to turn heads and while he might not be ready to start immediately, he offers the upside to develop into a quality left tackle.
48. Las Vegas Raiders: Missouri LB Nick Bolton
Despite a major investment in free agency last offseason in Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, the Raiders got very little from either player. Both would have been more serious candidates to be cut if their contracts were structured differently. Bolton is good value here who can offer the Raiders some insurance in case one or both of Littleton or Kwiatkoski fail to improve.
49. Arizona Cardinals: Ohio State G Wyatt Davis
Currently the Cardinals’ two projected starters at guard are Justin Pugh and Brian Winters, with potentially 2020 third-round OT Josh Jones a candidate to move inside. Arizona could use a younger option on the inside who could push for a starting job as a rookie and perhaps replace either Pugh or Winters in a year.
50. Miami Dolphins: Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore
Moore has flown a little bit under the radar in a deep, deep wide receiver class. But there have been rumblings for a little bit now that the NFL is high on Moore and he boosted his stock in the eyes of the public with a 4.33 40-yard dash. At just 5-9, Moore profiles as more of a slot receiver at the next level, but that should fit just fine with what Miami’s looking for. He could go much higher than this.
51. Washington Football Team: Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood
Washington used a fourth-round pick last year on Saahdiq Charles but he played sparingly and it’s unclear if he’ll be the answer at either left tackle or guard. Leatherwood possesses some of the same concerns, as some evaluators project him having to move inside at some point. Regardless, Washington likes flexibility in its offensive linemen and Leatherwood gives them another player to develop and find a slot for.
52. Chicago Bears: Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield
The Bears start chipping away at their need at tackle, adding Mayfield here to replace released veteran RT Bobby Massie. Mayfield is a bit of a project, hence his availability midway through the second round, but has some interesting upside. The presence of Germain Ifedi gives Chicago some flexibility to groom Mayfield as a potential long-term starter on the right side without rushing him into action.
53. Tennessee Titans: Purdue WR Rondale Moore
Let’s get this out of the way, this is late for Moore based on the hype he gets in some circles. He could very well be a first-round pick. However, he has a long injury history, and at just 5-7 he could be a slot receiver only. He’s not a slam-dunk pick. Still, he’d be a fascinating weapon and add a little bit of lightning to the thunder Tennessee has on offense between Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown.
54. Indianapolis Colts: BYU OT Brady Christensen
Thankfully it’s a deep draft at tackle for the Colts, as they land a potential long-term left tackle all the way down at No. 54. Christensen has great size and started the past three years at left tackle for the Cougars.
55. Pittsburgh Steelers: Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey
There are a few options for the Steelers to patch the gaping hole C Maurkice Pouncey‘s retirement left in the middle of their offensive line. Humphrey would be an outstanding one to fill it. He’s been one of college football’s best and most consistent centers for the past three seasons.
56. Seattle Seahawks: Georgia CB Tyson Campbell
Seattle currently has just three picks so there’s a strong, strong chance they trade down to try and get more selections. One of their biggest needs, though, is a starting outside cornerback, as their two outside options right now are Tre Flowers and Ahkello Witherspoon. Campbell has the length the Seahawks covet in corner prospects but also has rare timed speed.
57. Los Angeles Rams: Wisconsin-Whitewater C Quinn Meinerz
The Rams don’t have many glaring needs on the roster right now but center is an exception after losing 2020 starter Austin Blythe to the Chiefs. It might be a lot to ask Meinerz to go from Division II to starting right away in the NFL. But if his breakout performance at the Senior Bowl was any indication, he’s ready for a leap in competition.
58. Baltimore Ravens: Northern Iowa OT Spencer Brown
Tackle has become a big pending need for the Ravens with RT Orlando Brown‘s trade request. Even if he plays out the 2021 season, he almost assuredly won’t stick around beyond the end of his rookie deal. The Ravens can begin planning for that, though, by adding another Brown. He’s a little raw coming from Northern Iowa but Brown’s athleticism is jaw-dropping. According to Kent Platte’s Relative Athletic Scores metric, Brown is the most athletic tackle in his database, with the highlights including a 6.89 three-cone drill time at 6-8 and 311 pounds.
59. Cleveland Browns: Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon
While it’s generally seen as a weaker class for defensive tackles, there are a couple of potential gems to be plucked. Nixon has moments on tape where he just takes over, and the thought it landing in the NFL where rotations are more common could help him unlock that more consistently. He gives the Browns an immediate replacement for Larry Ogunjobi and a potential long-term replacement for Sheldon Richardson.
60. New Orleans Saints: Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace
Releasing Emmanuel Sanders left the Saints with a big hole at No. 2 receiver and there aren’t a ton of great options to fill it. Wallace rebounded well from a torn ACL in 2019 that likely prevented him from entering the draft a year ago and he would provide a deep element to New Orleans’ offense that would complement what they have in Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
61. Buffalo Bills: Houston DE Payton Turner
The Bills have a long-term need at defensive end once Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison move on, and Turner is a fascinating talent to develop behind them for the time being.
62. Green Bay Packers: Louisiana Tech DT Milton Williams
Green Bay couldn’t afford to seriously make a run at bringing DL J.J. Watt home but there’s still a need for another impact defensive lineman. Williams has turned heads with his workout times this offseason that have remained consistent, whether at a private facility or his pro day. He could be a dynamic, disruptive five-technique that the Packers sorely need.
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Ohio State LB Baron Browning
For the second year in a row, the Chiefs add a linebacker as they try to restock some youth at the position. Willie Gay developed enough for the team to let Damien Wilson leave this offseason and Browning could form a long-term tandem with Gay that would let Kansas City transition away from Anthony Hitchens.
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins
Looking ahead and keeping strengths strong should be the focus for the Buccaneers in the draft this year as they take advantage of having very few holes. At outside linebacker, they could use someone to develop with an eye on taking over for Jason Pierre-Paul at some point.