Los Angeles has Kyzir White at 4-3 right outside linebacker, Kenneth Murray their 2020 first round pick out of Oklahoma starting at 4-3 middle linebacker, and Uchenna Nwosu at 4-3 left outside linebacker. With Denzel Perryman in Carolina, there is no depth behind those three linebackers. Nick Niemann has experience at all three linebacker spots like Perryman making him a nice solid depth linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers to start the sixth round.
The 6-0 194 lb Frank Darby may not be as big or as physical as N'Keal Harry or Brandon Aiyuk. Arizona State produced two first round receivers and Darby is good enough to get drafted. He hardly played in 2020 with only 6 receptions, 46 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown in two games, but he had a good 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. Atlanta gets a guy who can push Russell Gage for the slot reciever job.
Here is our interview of Frank Darby from the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. You can click the link below to listen to that recorded press conference of Arizona State wide receiver Frank Darby.
New England adds another safety for depth. I have a fourth round grade on Joshua Bledsoe so this is a great pick for New England after Patrick Chung retired. New England has Adrian Phillips at strong safety and Devin McCourty at free safety. Right now second year safety Kyle Dugger is the subsitute safety after sitting out his rookie year. Joshua Bledsoe will likely be a backup to Phillips at strong safety while Dugger continues to learn under Devin McCourty at free safety.
Trey Hill was my fourth best center in this draft behind Creed Humphrey, Landon Dickerson, and Josh Myers who all went in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Also Cincinnati did not use their fifth year tender on 2018 first round pick Billy Price so if Trey Hopkins misses time in 2021 after missing most of 2020 with an injury Trey Hill could see time as a rookie if he makes the Bengals final roster.
The 6-3 364 lb Deonte Brown can pass block and run block. He never gave up a sack in his four years as a starting guard on Alabama. He's versatile enough to play both left guard and right guard.
Carolina needed an upgrade at both guard spots and they got two guard upgrades with this pick and one of the undrafted Free Agents they signed which is why the Panthers get the first A+ grade of the sixth round. Deonte Brown was a player with a third round grade on my board.
Carolina also got Gramlbing State left guard David Moore who is versatile enough to play left guard, center, or right guard with his versatility. I had starter grades on both Deonte Brown and David Moore. I believe both guys can develop into starting guards on Carolina.
San Francisco already drafted Trey Sermon. Now they get a second change of pace back so they don't have to give Sermon more than 25 carries a game. Mitchell has starter upside as a change of pace back, but his ceiling is lower than Sermons. Mitchell was the final running back among fifteen to make our running back rankings. While he was a reach in the sixth round, he's talented enough to get picked despite me having a seventh round grade on him.
There were better running backs on the board since Gary Brightwell failed to make our top fifteen running back rankings. Seven of the top fourteen running backs that are on our running back rankings are still there, plus Brightwell had 525 rushing yards in 2018 before having back-to-back seasons of only 390 rushing yards. Brightwell is Wayne Gallman's replacement so the Giants get a D grade for reaching late.
William Sherman lined up at left tackle and right tackle for Colorado. His 2020 tape against Utah was awful. New England is sliding Sherman inside to the backup left guard role behind Michael Onwenu which is why I can live with this pick even though it feels like a reach. It's a solid pick from a position of need.
The 5-10 216 lb Larry Rountree III had 972 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2020 despite having under 1,000 rushing yards. He also did well at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. Even though he's got the upside to be an NFL starter, he should start out as a fourth string running back in training camp with Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, and Joshua Kelley ranked ahead of him on the Los Angeles Chargers. I had a fourth round grade on Rountree and mocked him in the fifth round which is why the Chargers got an A grade for adding another running back here.
I posted a film cut of Missouri running back Larry Rountree III VS Mississippi State. Larry Rountree III looked incredible on tape versus Mississippi State.
The 6-2 291 lb Jaylen Twyman had 12 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks in 2019 before opting out of 2020. Twyman is the best defensive tackle to come out of Pittsburgh since Aaron Donald.
Minnesota has Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce as the starting defensive tackles on their roster. Jaylen Twyman provides depth at defensive tackle and is re-united with his Pittsburgh Panther teammate Patrick Jones II. The Pitt Panthers two best defensive linemen go from being coached by Pat Narduzzi to being coached by Mike Zimmer.
Brandin Echols best plays on film came in Community College rather than during his time with the New York Jets. That worries me since this team needed to find a cornerback who could compliment Bryce Hall at cornerback.
New York drafts a second cornerback for depth after getting Aaron Robinson in the third round. Rodarius Williams is older than Cleveland Browns 2019 second round pick Greedy Williams. Great job by New York loading up at cornerback here.
Cincinnati needed to get a running back for depth behind Joe Mixon. This is my least favorite pick of the draft for Cincinnati with so many talented running backs that were better than Evans on film still on the board. At least Cincinnati waited until fullback Ben Mason got picked because I had Mason graded above Evans. This pick would have gotten an F grade if Cincinnati took Evans over Mason.
Carolina grabs a receiver for depth to compliment starters D.J. Moore, Roby Anderson, and Terrace Marshall Jr. Shi Smith was my second best receiver on the board, and I had a fourth round grade on him. Carolina just continues to do well in this draft in terms of reloading with talent.
New Orleans grabs a swing tackle for depth. Sean Payton said this team needed depth behind left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk. I had a sixth round grade on Landon Young and love this fit for Young where he gets to be a swing tackle for New Orleans because he's got experience on both sides of the offensive line. Young even said he'd be comfortable with switching to the right side if it is what New Orleans needs him to do.
New York gets someone who provides depth at defensive tackle. He may be able to play next to Quinnen Williams, but I'm not expecting that big of a contribution from Jonathan Williams in the sixth round.
Stone Forsythe has experience in both offensive tackle roles. Tony Mario and Mark Sciubba two of our most trusted members on Draft Utopia's staff both called Forsythe the sleeper of this draft at offensive tackle. That makes him an ideal candidate to groom behind Duane Brown for the future.
Jalen Camp is in my top 40 unlike Racey McMath. He's nothing more than a backup so I feel like Jacksonville may have wasted this pick even though they neeed a wide receiver for depth after losing both Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley to Free Agency. It feels like Jacksonville will roll with D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones, and Laviska Shenault Jr. as their top three wide receivers with Collin Johnson, Philip Dorsett, and Jalen Camp in depth roles.
Cleveland grabs someone with a similar skill set to Antonio Gibson out of Memphis. They get a player that can play both running back and wide receiver with his versatility in the sixth round. I love this pick as Cleveland will groom Felton behind Kareem Hunt.
Damar Hamlin gives Buffalo a good safety for depth behind strong safety Jordan Poyer and free safety Micah Hyde. Hamlin has great speed and the range you want a safety to have. He's great in coverage. Struggles with blitzing, winning blocks, and wrapping up his tackles.
This pick feel like a reach. Tennessee needed a safety for depth behind strong safety Dane Cruikshank and free safety Kevin Byard. Amani Hooker is the main backup safety for both Curkshank and Byard. Tennessee grabs Breeze to fill that final safety spot on their depth chart.
The 6-2 243 lb Quincy Roche had 19 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks in 2019 next to Gregory Rosseau. Quincy Roche only had 14.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks in 2020. Quincy Roche had a strong week in Mobile. Roche ran a better 40-time than Gregory Rosseau.
Pittsburgh got Quincy Roche for depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. This was a fantastic addition by the Pittsburgh Steelers getting this third round talent in the sixth round for depth at 3-4 outside linebacker.
Tampa Bay got this compensation pick at 217 when wide receiver Breshad Perriman signed with the New York Jets. Tampa Bay originally gave this pick to Seattle in a trade. Then Seattle moved this pick and 250 to Chicago to reclaim pick 208.
Khalil Herbert has the upside to develop into a future starter. Here, he gets to be a third string running back to David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen as Chicago gets the best running back on the board in the sixth round.
New Orleans got this compensation pick at 218 when outside linebacker A.J. Klein signed with the Buffalo Bills. Indianapollis got this pick and 229 the first pick of the seventh round when they traded 206 to New Orleans.
Indianapolis has Carson Wentz and Jacob Eason their 2020 fourth round pick as the backup quarterback. Here they get a quality third stringer who has backup upside at best in Sam Ehlinger. I had a fifth round grade on Sam Ehlinger plus I love the idea of him playing in Indianapolis as I think this is a fantastic fit for Ehlinger.
Draft Utopia sends our condolences to Sam and the Ehlinger family after the tragic news about his younger brother Jake Ehlinger, who passed away earlier this week. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield also sent his condolences to Sam Ehlinger's family on Twitter after the news broke earlier this week.
Atlanta got this compensation pick at 219 when Wes Schweitzer signed with the Washington Redskins now known as the Washington Football Team. Denver got this pick in their trade with Atlanta at 35 when they moved up for Javonte Williams.
Denver grabs a big body receiver to replace DaeSean Hamilton who will start out as the fifth best receiver on this team, but could get promoted to the fourth best receiver on Denver if Hamilton gets moved. The 6-3 212 lb Seth Williams did well against Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph in Auburn's opener. He struggled the rest of the season against quality cornerbacks though.
Carolina got this compensation pick at 222 because defensive end Bruce Irvin signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Carolina got a long snapper with 55 career starts who happened to be the top long snapper in the 2021 NFL Draft. His dad played in the NFL for Seattle and the Raiders.
Minnesota got this compensation pick at 223 because cornerback Mackensie Alexander signed with the Cincinnati Bengals The Arizona Cardinals got this pick in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings when they sent backup center Mason Cole to the Minnesota Vikings.
Arizona gets a nickel corner for the future. I don't see Byron Murphy re-signing with Arizona after his rookie deal unless he gets to play on the outside. Tay Gowan played nickel cornerback at Central Florida so this is a great pick for Arizona here.
Philadelphia got this compensation pick at 224 because cornerback Ronald Darby signed with the Washington Redskins now known as the Washington Football Team. Philadelphia drafts a safety for depth here and they get a good one in LSU free safety Jacoby Stevens who may be an ideal replacement for Jalen Mills.
Philadelphia got this compensation pick at 225 because running back Jordan Howard signed with the Miami Dolphins. Philadelphia traded this pick and 240 to the Washington Football Team for a 2022 fifth round pick.
I've only handed out three F grades for the entire draft up until this pick with my last F grade being in the third round. Washington gave up a 2022 fifth round pick for a long snapper who wasn't the best long snapper in the draft which is why this pick is an F grade.
Carolina got this compensation pick at 226 because their backup right tackle Daryl Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills. Williams did well enough to earn a right tackle job in Buffalo for the short-term, but Carolina traded this pick to the New York Jets when they traded for New York Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold. New York traded this pick and 162 to the Kansas City Chiefs when Kansas City traded 175 and 207 to New York to move up for Duke tight end Noah Gray. Kansas City got the biggest steal of the sixth round with the pick that the Jets got for Sam Darnold which has to sting for Jets fans.
The 6-5 331 lb Trey Smith is versatile enough to play left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle. He's also got massive 10-inch hands that NFL scouts rave about. Being the first freshman to start at left tackle for Tennessee in thirty years makes Trey Smith a candidate that could be picked in the first to second round, but most likely the second round. Trey Smith did not give up a sack in 2019.
Trey Smith will begin his career as a backup left guard to Joe Thuney because Smith was a former five star recruit who showed elite pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking in High School. Kansas City also has Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff returning at right guard along with Kyle Long.
Chicago got this compensation pick at 228 because quarterback Chase Daniel signed with the Detroit Lions. Chicago got a cornerback wtih the final pick in the sixth round.
Chicago lost both Kyle Fuller and Artie Burns to Free Agency after choosing to cut Fuller to save cap space. That's what Thomas Graham Jr. is at this point too, but he gives Chicago some depth at cornerback.
Here is our interview of Thomas Graham Jr. from the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. You can click the link below to listen to that recorded press conference of Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham Jr..