Oren Shiri one of the co-hosts of my podcast and the Vice President of Draft Utopia posted his Las Vegas Raiders 2021 NFL Mock Draft slideshow. He's got the same picks as I do for the first two rounds.
The Las Vegas Raiders need linebacker help. Jeremiah Owusu-Koraomah is the best linebacker on the board with Micah Parsons and Zaven Collins gone.
The 6-1 216 lb Jeremiah Owosu-Koramoah can play everywhere at linebacker just like Micah Parsons and Zaven Collins. Jeremiah Owusu-Koromah showed the versatility to play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, 3-4 right outside linebacker, 3-4 middle linebacker, and 3-4 left outside linebacker with his versatility.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has great speed and zone coverage. His speed allows him to be an asset as both a pass rusher and a run stuffer. His best fit in my opinion is at 4-3 right outside linebacker. The Las Vegas Raiders can draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and move Corey Littleton over to 4-3 left outside linebacker since Littleton struggled on the weak side in 2020. Nick Kwiatkowski would remain the starting middle linebacker on the Las Vegas Raiders.
Miami should take Najee Harris here. That's certainly who I would select here. I'm not sure that they will though since one of their coaches gave Harris negative body language at the Senior Bowl. Harris just smiled, had a good time, and didn't react to that which makes me that much more confident in Najee Harris.
With Azeez Ojulari gone I would either take Najee or trade down and see if some team wants to give up a lot for Mac Jones. However, I don't think Miami does that in real life. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Miami takes Joseph Ossai my second best 3-4 outside linebacker behind Azeez Ojulari right here at 18 even though it's a reach.
The 6-4 235 lb Joseph Ossai had 61 solo tackles, 29 assisted tackles, 90 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, and 2 interceptions in 2019. Ossai had 25 solo tackles, 30 assisted tackles, 55 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, and 5.5 sacks in 2020. He registered 3 of those sacks against Oklahoma State while showcasing first round speed and athleticism off the edge. He relies heavily on his pass rushing and cannot do much else. If you can shut down his pass rushing, you can neutralize him.
Drafting Joseph Ossai allows you to put him at 3-4 right outside linebacker next to Andrew Van Ginkel who moves over to 3-4 left outside linebacker perhaps even improving since he'd play against right tackles after having 6.5 sacks against left tackles in 2020. Miami also has Jerome Baker and Bernardrick McKinley at 3-4 middle linebacker complimenting Joseph Ossai and Andrew Van Ginkel giving Miami a strong front 7 once again.
There are a lot of mocks giving San Francisco Mac Jones at 3. I have a second round grade on him and he had two bad Pro Days after a strong 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. However, with all this hype surrounding Mac Jones, I find it hard to believe he doesn't get picked in the first round.
Mac Jones may go earlier than this. It's just I have a second round grade on Mac Jones. In fact I have a lower potential grade on him than I did on former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts. He's the last quarterback that has a starter grade at quarterback in this draft so there is a possibility he gets overdrafted by going in the first round.
A reporter asked Devonta Smith whether Tua Tagovailoa or Mac Jones was better. Smith answered Jones before the reporter could finish the question.
I posted a film cut of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones VS Florida. Mac Jones managed the game well during the 2020 SEC Championship Game.
Here is our interview of Mac Jones from the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. You can click the link below to listen to that recorded press conference of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
The Chicago Bears grab their replacement to Kyle Fuller at 20. Jaycee Horn dominated agianst most of the SEC opponents he faced so he's not escaping the top 20.
The 6-1 205 lb Jaycee Horn can line up at field cornerback, boundary cornerback, or nickel cornerback. He can play cornerback everywhere. He's excellent in man coverage as well as the best run stuffing cornerback in this draft. He's physical and knows how to use his hands which is why Voch Lombardi and Jeff Cavanaugh have him graded out as the top cornerback in this draft.
Jaycee Horn can play man coverage and press coverage. He can play in cover 0, cover 1, and cover 2 schemes as long as he's playing man or press coverage. If you put him in zone coverage, he's gonna give up a first down or a touchdown. Go through South Carolina's tape against Auburn. Jaycee Horn dominated against Seth Williams in man and press coverage. When Horn lined up in zone coverage, he kept getting carved by Bo Nix.
Indianapolis gets a replacement to Anthony Castonzo at left tackle who recently announced his retirement. The 6-5 312 lb Alex Leatherwood has a high ceiling and if he reaches that ceiling he could be the top offensive tackle in this draft class.
Alex Leatherwood pass blocked for Tua Tagovailoa at left tackle in 2019 and was a run blocker for Najee Harris. He also zone blocks effectively. His 2020 tape wasn't as good as his 2019 tape. He got promoted to team captain though for the 2020 Season. He can still maintain blocks for 3-5 seconds in pass protection. He's got the run blocking strength and run blocking footwork to make an immediate impact. Hand placement on passing plays could use some work, but the good on tape outweighs the bad in spades. He's a first round prospect and a great addition for the Indianapolis Colts at 21 after a strong week at the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl.
Tennessee makes the first surprise pick in my 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Central Florida safety Richie Grant is my favorite safety in this years draft and would be an ideal replacement to strong safety Kenny Vaccaro by pairing up with free safety Kevin Byard at 22.
Most have Trevon Moehrig as the top safety in this draft, but Moehrig misses too many tackles on tape for my liking despite winning the Jim Thorpe Award for his superb coverage on film. Also, I just like Richie Grant more on tape personally.
Richie Grant out of Central Florida has the best backpedal I've seen on tape from a safety since Eric Berry came out of Tennessee for the 2010 NFL Draft. Richie Grant had 69 solo tackles, 40 assisted tackles, and 109 total tackles in 2018. Grant really showcased his superb coverage along with 8 deflections from pass breakups in 2019.
The 6-0 194 lb Richie Grant made K.J. Costello look like a day 3 pick on tape last year in one of Costello's worst starts at Stanford prior to transferring to Mississippi State. Richie Grant can play man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage. He can play in cover 0, cover 1, cover 2, cover 3, and cover 4 schemes. He can also line up at cornerback, strong safety, or free safety playing defensive back everywhere on the secondary. He also got a 90 grade for run stuffing among safeties which is best in the 2021 NFL Draft among safety prospects.
Richie Grant and his teammate Aaron Robinson did not play in the bowl win where BYU defeated Central Florida. Grant doesn't miss tackles on tape and I feel like he's the only plug-in-play defensive back in the 2021 NFL Draft.
On April Fools Day, I asked Reese's Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy if Richie Grant would be a good pick at 22. His response is in the conversation below. Also, there is no t in Richie Grant.
I gonna have the titans taking Ritchie grant as vaccarros replacement at 22 overall. I loved his backpedal on film in 2019 before I had the privilege and opportunity to watch him in mobile. Think that’s too early Jim?
There are two players in consideration for the New York Jets at 23. Alabama running back Najee Harris and Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. Creed Humphrey received the highest grade that I've ever handed a center. I heard reports that a Jets scout compared him to their former center Nick Mangold. I also heard they had a zoom call with Najee Harris. I expect this pick to be Creed Humphrey or Najee Harris with the player they pass on falling to Pittsburgh.
The 6-4 312 lb Creed Humphrey has the pass blocking, run blocking, and zone blocking to play center. Humphrey pass blocked for Jalen Hurts and was great with run blocking for running back Kennedy Brooks. Creed Humphrey got the highest grade that I ever gave a center. Even higher than guys like Eric Wood, Alex Mack, Garrett Bradbury, and Maurkice Pouncey. That was why I gave the New York Jets Humphrey at 23.
Pittsburgh lost James Conner to Arizona. They get their running back here. Najee Harris is my top ranked running back in this class, but Pittsburgh also loves Clemson running back Travis Etienne and would take him in the event that Harris is gone at 24. You can click on Najee's name or any other running backs name to get access to our running back rankings for the 2021 NFL Draft.
I posted a film cut of Alabama running back Najee Harris VS Florida. Najee Harris ran the ball like an All Pro during the 2020 SEC Championship Game.
Jacksonville needs a blindside to replace Cam Robinson. Honestly, I'm open to the idea of trading this pick for Orlando Brown Jr. on the Baltimore Ravens, because after Sewell, Slater, Darrisaw, and Leatherwood, I don't see an offensive tackle in this draft who has a ceiling as good as Orlando Brown Jr. If Jacksonville keeps this pick, they can either take a different offensive tackle or address the defense hoping to find a star on defense to build their team around.
The 6-7 310 lb Samuel Cosmi is versatile enough to play left tackle or right tackle. Cosmi started at right tackle in 2018 and moved to left tackle in 2019. Cosmi has the strength to maintain blocks for 5-7 seconds in pass protection, but he's more likely to maintain blocks for 3-5 seconds once he gets to the NFL. He plays too aggressive at times which leads to holding penalties see his game against Kansas State in 2019. Samuel Cosmi cut back on the holding penalties in 2020 to solidify himself as a first round prospect.
Dawgs By Nature a Cleveland Browns site on SB Nation was kind enough to ask me my thoughts on Clowney. The link to the article comes first. I previously leaked my pick at 58 in this article, but that pick has now changed to add more suspense to the mock draft. Here at 26 the Cleveland Browns upgrade defensive tackle.
The 6-5 311 lb Christian Barmore can play 3-4 right end, 3-4 nose tackle, 3-4 left end, and 4-3 defensive tackle. Cleveland grabs Alabama's interior defensive lineman who had 22 solo tackles, 15 assisted tackles, 37 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 8 sacks, and 6.5 quarterback hurries as a replacement to Sheldon Richardson at 26.
By drafting Barmore, Cleveland has Myles Garrett at 4-3 right end, Andrew Billings at 4-3 defensive tackle, Christian Barmore at 4-3 defensive tackle, and Jadeveon Clowney at 4-3 left end. This gives Cleveland one of the leagues strongest defensive lines even without Sheldon Richardson.
Baltimore lost Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue as their starting 3-4 outside linebackers. Both of the 3-4 outside linebackers that I have Pro Bowl grades on in Azeez Ojulari and Joseph Ossai are gone.
One player in my top 20 is still available at 27. That player is Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman. Evan Massey of NFL Analysis reported that the Ravens are looking at drafting Rashod Bateman at 27 to get Lamar Jackson his number one target.
The 6-2 210 lb Rashod Bateman was a great number two receiver next to Tyler Johnson the last two seasons, but he wasn't as sharp as a number one receiver in 2020. Luckily for Bateman, he can come in and compliment A.J. Brown if the Titans choose to move on from Corey Davis.
Rashod Bateman had a Minnesota freshman record 51 receptions, 704 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns next to Tyler Johnson as a true freshman in 2018. Bateman had a Minnesota sophomore record 60 receptions, 1,219 receiving yards, and 11 recieving touchdowns in 2019. Bateman only had 35 receptions, 472 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns in 2020.
Rashod Bateman can run all 30 routes effectively plus his vertical is projected to be in between 35 and 45 inches with a minimum of a 35 inch vertical and a maximum of a 40 inch vertical. The route tree and vertical alone make Rashod Bateman a first round prospect despite a down year in 2020. Unlike Tyler Johnson, he's clean off the field making him an ideal player for Baltimore at 27 as Lamar Jackson finally gets a number one target allowing you to put Sammy Watkins next to him on the outside with Marques Brown in the slot. You also got Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche in depth roles at wide receiver giving Baltimore one of the leagues deepest receiving cores.
New Orleans moved P.J. Williams to a backup free safety role. The New Orleans Saints also lost Janoris Jenkins to the Tennessee Titans and Ken Crawley to Free Agency. Getting a cornerback to pair with Marshon Lattimore at 28 is now key.
I gave Eric Stokes an A- grade in man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage. He only gave up 1 touchdown all season and that was to Devonta Smith against Alabama. Eric Stokes had a 0.51 yards per coverage snap which was second among cornerbacks in 2020. He can play in cover 0, cover 1, cover 2, cover 3, or cover 4.
He's also more durable than the cornerback that most people have as their fourth best cornerback. I will be mocking that cornerback to Green Bay at 29.
There are three Big 10 players that Green Bay is considering at 29. Those players are Rashod Bateman out of Minnesota, Greg Newsome II a cornerback on Northwestern, and Michigan offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield. I think they get Greg Newsome II the son of Craig Newsome who had a forced fumble and interception in Super Bowl 31 on the Green Bay Packers during his rookie season against the New England Patriots.
The 6-1 190 lb Greg Newsome II got an A- grade from me in man coverage, zone coverage, and press coverage. He can play in cover 0, cover 1, cover 2, cover 3, or cover 4.
The downside is that has durability concerns which is why he dropped to Green Bay. He's pretty lethal when healthy though. He's good enough to compliment Jaire Alexander forcing Kevin King inside to a nickel role.
The 6-5 271 Kwity Paye is the top 4-3 defensive end in this draft. I don't see him becoming a Pro Bowl defensive end despite having the ability to be a quality starter. That's why I have him ranked much lower than most. He didn't crack my top 32, but Buffalo needs a defensive end for depth so they grab Paye here since some have Paye going as high as fourteen to Minnesota after his strong Pro Day.
Kansas City gave up 31 to get Baltimore Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. as a left tackle since he did pretty good filling in for an injured Ronnie Stanley. The 6-6 320 lb Teven Jenkins played both left tackle and right tackle at Oklahoma State. He can pass block, run block, and zone block effectively. He got the best of Joseph Ossai in a pretty intense one-on-one contest between both Big 12 prospects. Jenkins also had a good week in Mobile proving that he's a first round prospect. Teven Jenkins is a great right tackle to compliment left takle Ronnie Stanley.
Tampa Bay has all 22 starters coming back. They just re-signed Antonio Brown today too. Kadarius Tony is my only first round grade receiver left so Tampa Bay takes Toney to wrap up the first round.
Pro Football Focus called Kadarius Toney the shiftiest receiver with the best agility they have seen from a wide receiver in seven years. I agree with this and believe Kadarius Toney could be a younger version of Brandin Cooks in due time. He's also the final receiver in this draft with a first round grade that can run all 30 different routes on the route tree so Tampa Bay gets him here to wrap up the first round at 32.