Wednesday, March 24, 2021

2021 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3/24/21 With Trades & Players Comparisons

 The PRO DAYS and Free Agency are in full swing now . Still grinding tape and searching for more information . I'm betting the Pro days will bring a lot more names to the forefront . This is a offense heavy draft, especially in the first round  , and there are 3 defensive positions where I expect multiple players to come off the board in the opening round . I'd bet on 3 corners .3 or 4 LB'S ,maybe 3 edge guys , and one safety and DT each   . There is one more corner , safety , and 2 D-Lineman I could see sneaking in .That's only 12 defensive guys in the first , with a max of 16 , and it could be as few as 11 !  If it's 16 then it's probably people over drafting for need instead of grade, but different teams will have different grades as well. On the offensive side of the ball I expect 5 QB's, 4 or 5 WR'S , one or two TE's, one or 2 RB's to buck a trend , and a LOT of offensive lineman. In fact I expect there will be more O-Lineman drafted in the first than any other position group, even though only one(maybe 2) will come off the board in the top 10. OT's have a lower bust rate because if they don't work outside you can usually make them more effective inside , but many of them will be over drafted this year too .The Senior bowl was even more illuminating than usual this year  . I am still favoring the guys who played this year over those who sat out ( all or a lot of the season ) whenever it's close , and I am not sure if that will change . With the workout portion of the combine staying cancelled their will be even less information out there than usual about those missing players, and I have never trusted Pro day numbers very much , but this year they will carry more weight to sway draft boards . That means the Senior Bowl might have been our best chance to get precise measurements on a lot of players . Also, remember that just because they are in my first round mock that doesn't mean that I have a first round grade on them . I rarely have 32 players with a first round grade in any draft, and that's with me taking every scheme into account . Most teams are very scheme specific , and may have only 15-18 guys with a first round grade on their individual boards . With the cap reduced there are a lot of players being restructured, taking a salary reduction , or being cut outright . So I wouldn't expect big free agent dollars for many guys this off season. In fact their will probably be a lot of 1 year deals, and veteran free agents as football tries to recover from the massive financial losses due to Covid .  I am not even sure if we will have full stadiums in all NFL markets this year . I live in the Soviet republic of California, and our fascist lefty governor loves destroying businesses and lives so he can make as many people as possible dependent on the Government . So I might not even get to checkout that new stadium in California yet. In 2022 I expect the TV money will roll in along with fuller stadiums, and things will get back to a more normal way of life. So if your team has a lot of cap space they can potentially make large gains in 2021 , but I don't know how sustainable they are. Please remember that this is how I think teams will draft, and not necessarily my personal rankings . I have also added player comparisons so you can get an idea of who your team might be getting . The higher they are ranked the more likely they are to reach that comp, and it's only for on the field . I will change them if I think of a better one too. Feel free to comment. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it respectfully and intelligently or I just won't post it . So here it is. Enjoy .



# Is for a player for with reported character or maturity concerns .

** Is for a player with reported injury concerns .


1.JACKSONVILLE - TREVOR LAWRENCE - QB - CLEMSON

NFL PLAYER COMP - CARSON PALMER - retired

The Jets blew it, and now the Jags ended with one of the great QB prospects in history . Trevor is so good that it even brought Urban Meyer out of his 2nd retirement ,although the more I thought about it the less I like the hiring. Meyer seems more like an opportunist to me that is gravy training on a cherry gig, but who knows maybe he will become the 3rd coach to win both a NCAA championship and the Superbowl . The Jags are coming off a good 2020 draft and they lead the league in cap space . They also already have plenty of young talent at the skill positions , except for TE. They have no key free agents they need to resign either , and when you add 5 of first 65 2021 draft picks this team could have a very quick turnaround .The biggest needs on offense ( after drafting Lawrence ) are left tackle and TE . The Jags obviously disagree with me about left tackle because they slapped the franchise tag on chronic underachiever Cam Robinson, although they could be just covering their asses, or maybe they want to kick him inside to guard .On defense they should just go best player available , except for edge rushers where they are already covered. So lets talk about the foregone conclusion of picking Trevor Lawrence . The best QB grade I have ever had for a college player is still Andrew Luck, but before that it belonged to Carson Palmer . Although I wasn't evaluating players at the time when Elway entered the draft , and I have heard many legendary personnel men say he was the best QB prospect they ever saw  . Palmer was big ( 6"5" , and 235 pounds ) , had a strong arm , and was very mobile and athletic ( 4.62  40 time ) for such a big guy . Although he didn't run much , especially after he tore his ACL . I mention this for two reasons .  One - because a lot of people are saying that Lawrence is the greatest QB prospect to ever come along , and Lawrence is number 2 for me behind Luck , but ahead of Palmer . The other is because Lawrence reminds me of a better version of Palmer . Palmer had an up and down college career until his Heisman trophy winning 2002 season , and Lawrence has been great from the start .The game has changed , and Lawrence is more likely to run a lot than Palmer ever did . Plus Palmer's frame was a lot more filled out with muscle , but that's who he reminds me of , although Luck and Palmer played in more Pro friendly offenses in college. Some may want to point out that Luck only had an average arm . Arm strength isn't as important to me because if it's good enough, and you can throw people open quickly you can still make all the throws . The two greatest QB's of ALL - TIME in my book are Brady and Montana, and they only had average arms . Peyton Mannings was even a little below average , but all three of them made quick reads and got the ball away fast , and that alleviates some of the arm strength question . Lawrence has the big arm to make all the throws in the NFL, Solid accuracy, was productive behind a subpar O-line ,and has a lot of big game experience & leadership traits . So Lawrence is my all time number two QB prospect behind  Luck . Only a fool would pass on him, and the only way I would trade this pick is for Patrick Mahomes, and that would NEVER happen .So a slam dunk for the Jags . In Free Agency the jaguars have signed a lot of low cost FA's out of the gate, but haven't made a big splash so far . Of the 7 players they signed in the first week maybe 3 or 4 are potential starters , and the rest are depth .The potential significant incoming players are CB Shaquille Griffin, WR Marvin Jones, Safety Rayshawn Jenkins, and DT Tyson Alualu . 

 
2.NY JETS
 - 
ZACH WILSON  - QB - BYU
NFL PLAYER COMP - BRETT FAVRE - retired
Darnold can't stay healthy , and he still turns the ball over too much , so they should just ship him out of town like Gase . Maybe he might even turn it all around for a new team. He's still very young, and hasn't had much to work with in his time with New York .If they aren't going to take a QB they should trade down because I believe The Panthers would give them a kings ransom for this pick, and they would only have to drop to #8 while getting even more picks . They don't have as much potential quality in their picks as the Jags do , but they do have 5 of the top 87 already , and they are 2nd only to the Jags in cap space .  Plus they have a ton of needs on defense, need to improve their interior O-Line , and add some more weapons on offense . In the end I think they trade Darnold  & draft Zach Wilson , or make the huge trade with the Texans for Deshaun Watson . I'm thinking a relatively new GM like Joe Douglas won't want to trade enough of his draft pick bounty to pry away Watson . Plus they could get at least a 3rd for Darnold, or maybe a 2 and a conditional pick thrown in . So more picks to build around their new QB .Now I have to say after doing all his tape I surprisingly FREAKING LOVE ZACH WILSON ! Before the 2020 season I broke down one of his 2019 games ( against Utah because I liked their defense ) , and I wasn't real impressed . I usually only watch one if there isn't a lot of buzz on the guy , and then see if they deserve a deeper look .What I didn't know was that he had both shoulder and hand injuries at the time . That's entirely my fault because when I break down film on a player , as opposed to just watching it like the fan I also am, l do it without the sound to avoid being distracted or influenced by the commentary . They probably mentioned it on the broadcast and I never knew . This year my initial take when buzz started going around about him was his poor level of competition might be inflating the chatter . That's not his fault, and they actually had a tougher schedule lined up before Covid hit, but with so many teams cancelling their season they had to take what they could get . Wasn't a great schedule ,and they did lose the first game of his I broke down in 2020 at Coastal Carolina , who was #18 at the time .  He definitely looked more mobile , had great pocket awareness , and showed a stronger arm . Still didn't see him as a first rounder , but then I watched San Diego ST and especially the UCF game . UCF had one of the best secondary's in all of college football this year , and he was special in that game . I then went after all of his tape, and found out about the 2019 injuries . I remembered that he had a good true freshman year as a starter for 7 games in 2018 . So I watched his first start against Hawaii , and his last 2 games of that year .  Against Utah in 2018 I already saw significant progress happening , and flashes of brilliance .In the the Bowl Game  against Western Michigan who was a step down from Utah. Wilson was a perfect  18 for 18 with 4 TD'S and 317 yards passing despite some decent pass rush pressure in that game . That's when you really started to see the guy he became this year . in 2020 he had a Tony Romo like 6th sense in the pocket, a really strong arm coming at you from a bunch of weird angles, and a point guard like distribution of accurate NFL throws all over the field . It's very Favre-ish in both the good & bad ways . He can make throws few can with a flick of the wrist, but that big arm & gunslinger mentality can come with a lot of growing pains . As Great as Favre was there is a reason why he is still the ALL-TIME NFL leader in interceptions 10 years after he retired by a whopping 59 over the next guy . Wilson's reads are pretty quick too, he can throw guys open , does pretty well against pressure, and has no off the field concerns that I have heard about . His only Negatives are, level of competition this year, lacks an ideal frame to add weight  , the occasional arrogantly forced ball, and he's almost a ginger­čśé .  Only Luck, Lawrence and Burrow had higher QB grades for me in the last decade  . He's now my clear cut #2 QB and the 4th highest graded player on my whole board . If I had the number 2 pick I would run to the podium when it was my turn . The Jets have spent big in free agency early , but the 2 key additions are WR Corey Davis & edge rusher Carl Lawson . Davis has had injury issues, but last year was his best season . If he can stay healthy and be more consistent he could be a number one WR for this team . Lawson is a technician as a edge rusher , but he has trouble holding the edge in the run game . Other than that only 3 of them seem to be possible impact players . DT Sheldon Rankins is another talented guy who plays well when healthy, but he has had a lot of serious injuries in his career. Lamarcus Joyner might return to form for them at his natural safety spot, but he seemed lost in the slot for the Raiders last season . Special teams ace Justin Hardee is another . Everyone else just looks like potential depth to me, except for LB Jarrad Davis . Signing that former 1rst round bust for the Lions , who seems lost in coverage , baffled me . Maybe he will be a better fit in Saleh's defense, but I will believe it when I see it .


3.
MIAMI-(texans) PENEI SEWELL - OT - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMP - TRENT WILLIAMS - 49ers
Miami is one of the teams that may possibly trade down, and that's if they don't decide to swing a megadeal for Deshaun Watson, but until his off the field questions are adjudicated I don't see him going anywhere .  I don't think they should for a couple of reasons . First , while this team is on the rise coming off a 10-6 season ,that was with a last place schedule, and they still need some more good players before they can be considered true Superbowl contenders. They currently have the picks and cap space to make those moves right now , but a lot of that would be gone if they acquired Watson . Second - I still believe in Tua. Expecting a rookie to come in with those below average weapons and a patchwork O-Line was unrealistic. He needed at least one of the two to do a better job . Now if they give him improved blocking , and some weapons that can separate better then he should be expected to make some good progress . The Fins drafted 3 O-Lineman last year and all 3 had some starts . only 2nd rounder Robert Hunt lived up to his draft slot , and that was playing right tackle  .  Hunt would be a better fit inside at guard . You draft Sewell and throw him in at LT, move 2020 21rst rounder Austin Jackson to RT , and kick Hunt to guard and you have now improved 3 positions on the O-line . If they stay at #3 I believe that they should ( and will) take Penei Sewell with the pick . This guy is a true dancing bear . There are very few people on planet earth of this size that move so well . He was kicking ass as a starting true freshman LT at Oregon right out of the gate, and that shows not just talent ,but work ethic & football IQ . Smart with good strength and hand placement .Sewell is not technically refined yet from a NFL perspective, but he can do things most NFL starting OT's can't, and that's saying a lot . He has all the talent in the world, although I would like to see more of a mean streak . The fins could also trade back with Carolina , add to their already impressive array of draft picks ,and get a offensive weapon . At least 2 and maybe 3 among Ja'maar Chase, Devonta Smith, Jaylan Waddle, or Kyle Pitts will likely be available at #8 . They already have two 1rst, two 2nds, and a 3rd without trading down . At this moment I'm thinking they go with Sewell if he is there at #3 . The Dolphins have added 3 significant free agents early on . Will Fuller is one of the games great deep threats, although he has trouble staying healthy, and his hands are inconsistent . QB Jacoby Brissett is a high end backup, but he has enough starts under his belt to be valuable if Tua goes down . RB Malcolm Brown is as steady as they come . A 3 down back who holds onto the ball, but lacks long speed. Matt Skura might be a stop gap center, but I see him more as a solid backup interior guy .


*** TRADE *** The PANTHERS trade their 1rst (#8)  and 2nd(#39)  rounders in this draft  and edge rusher Bryan Burns  to the FALCONS for their 1rst rounder (#4)   *** TRADE ***


4.CAROLINA -(falcons)- TREY LANCE - QB -  N. DAKOTA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMP - STEVE MCNAIR - retired
Teddy Bridgewater has never been the same since his injury . He is still a solid QB, but lacks the upside and durability of a long term franchise QB these days . I don't see anyone trading for Deshaun Watson until his off the field questions are adjudicated so they will need to draft a QB. Matt Rhule is too good of a coach to be picking this high next season, and I think he trades up and takes the big athletic QB who fits his system here . Maybe Lance sits a season behind Teddy because his 2020 season was cancelled after only 1 game this year, and it wasn't a good showing as a passer . Plus he needs work on throwing guys open , and needs to sharpen his accuracy some too .His 2019 tape was excellent though . That year Lance threw 28 TD'S ,  WITH NO PICKS , rushed for 1100 yards, and another 14 TD's . His undefeated 2019 team also won a championship, and that is really hard to ignore . He has a cannon for an arm . Only played in one game this year after only 15 starts heading into the season , and it was the worst game he played for the bison's, and I have watched 11 of them. In this years lone game he only completed 50% of his passes in a run heavy play action offense with some very open receivers . Although he did rush for 143 yards & two TD's on only 15 carries , which he means had 4 total TD's that day , but he also threw his first pick .Also on the bright side his season was cancelled instead of just opting out ,and I have no reason to think he had any say in it . His mechanics are just OK, with a lower than ideal throwing motion & longer release that could lead to forced fumbles & tipped balls . I see him as having a high floor anyway . Trey has the Biggest arm in the draft and is built like a linebacker . Really dangerous runner and is used to playing under center already. As a passer they run a very basic paint by the numbers Pro style offense ,with a lot of the same route combinations over and over  . He executes that offense very safely, but I wish he would take more chances down the field , as he mostly throws deep on designed play action passes . His running ability gives him a high floor as a rookie if you tailor the offense to his strengths . However, unlike Wentz , Prescott, and Newton as rookies he doesn't just read half the field . That alone should give him a leg up on all 3 early if he goes to a good team . If he is a full season starter as a rookie he could be a fantasy football stud , especially if he went to the 49ers . Only trading up to #6 keeps the Panthers from mortgaging their future too , Carolina has a lot of cap space as well, and they should use that money to improve their O-line right now .The only Panthers free against signing of note to me is edge rusher Haasan Reddick. He had a breakout season last year after being moved back to the edge . He was a first round pick as a edge rusher coming out of Temple where he played for Matt Rhule , but the Cardinals made him an off the ball LB due to his lack of size . Signing him is the only reason I think they might part with a young talented edge player like Burns, but teams are willing to give up a lot for a QB. Maybe WR David Moore becomes a steady #3 WR, but I don't like the rest of the incoming FA's as anything more than possible depth, and it looks they overpaid for some of them .



5.
CINCINNATI 
JA'MARR CHASE - WR - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMP - DEANDRE HOPKINS - TEXANS
The Bengal's had a good draft, but injuries to their young O-Line ended Joe Burrows impressive rookie season . Combine that with too many guys getting playing time over established veterans for some reason, and you get a 4-11-1 record.  However, it was still progress over their 2-14 2019 season . Future HOFer AJ GREEN is a free agent , and he had been relegated to #3 WR status last season anyway. Plus he signed with the Cards. Winning at the end of the season cost them Penei Sewell . I don't see another O-Lineman I would be comfortable taking in top 10 , let alone top 5 , but if Sewell falls here I am sure they would take him. So I will go with a receiver . I had Devonta Smith slightly ahead of Chase after he sat out the whole season , although I definitely had Ja'marr way ahead of before opted out, and I would happy with Kyle Pitts too . Then Smith refused to weighed and measured at the Senior Bowl, which makes me think he's even smaller than his listed 6"1" and 175 lbs.   I think if it was a toss up for them that the LSU connection would be the the kicker to make the Bengals take Chase here anyway. Chase dominated SEC corners , and did the same in the playoffs as a red shirt sophomore . Justin Jefferson had a great a rookie year , and I had a first round grade on him , but I liked Chase a lot more before the opt out . Ja'maar is an Alpha . A Physically dominant WR with a my ball mentality ,and a wide catch radius . Smacks aside corners at the line of scrimmage ,and can get open at all levels despite still needing some polish as a route runner . Plays much bigger than he is, breaks tackles ,and the will of would be tacklers. Not a burner , but he gets open enough  ,gets behind DB's, separates when the balls in the air, and wins contested catches .  Chase and Burrow have a connection that I see carrying over to NFL, and if you add him to Tyler Boyd & Tee Higgins you have a high end WR core . The Bengals have plenty cap space before free agency, but owner Mike Brown is not known for spending money . This might have been the time to spend some and go after a Joe Thuney.  Then take some more of that cash and extend young stud safety Jessie Bates . I think with a healthy O-line & Burrow , Chase , their other draft picks, and whole lot of young talent with  another year under their belt could get them to .500 this year on a last place schedule .The Bengals went another way. They let effective and steady edge rusher Carl Lawson go the jets, and then overpaid for the more talented but less effective Trey Hendrickson . They did sign middling OT Reilly Reiff to play RT, but he has never been more than a solid at best OT, and is a better fit at guard.  At least it's still a upgrade over what they had. Then they signed Chito Awuze to play corner, but let a better CB in William Jackson leave to Washington. Mike Hilton is either a slight upgrade over Mackenzie Alexander or just a wash. DT Larry Ogunjobi has been average at best , but he is still young so maybe he will progress in Cincy. 


6.PHILADELPHIA - KYLE PITTS - TE - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMP - DARREN WALLER - RAIDERS
Even after resigning Jason Kelce and restructuring Darius Slay the Eagles still have cap troubles. So trading back so they can get more picks and cheaper players makes a a ton of sense unless they are taking a QB .  I don't see them taking a QB here unless the owner is going to give Roseman a new 3 year window because right now Howie has to justify using a 2nd rounder on Hurts last season, but that's what I would do of I stayed at #6 . Barring that magnanimous gesture trading back is the best move here , but I am going to say they stay in place for now, because I want to see how things look after a few weeks of free agency.  I expect they take Kyle Pitts , Parsons , Waddle , or Devonta Smith. Pitts because they are trading Ertz ,and they like to run a lot of 2 TE sets . Either of the WR's is worth this pick, but I think LB is a bigger need. An offensive lineman would help a lot too , because they were slaughtered by injuries up front last season , and they have a lot of age on their O-Line . However, my next O-Lineman is Slater , and I don't see him in the top 10 . If they trade back any farther he might be a good idea though . I will go with Pitts simply because he is the highest ranked player left on the board . Pitts is just a weapon on offense, and he's only 20 year sold right now so you can expect him to get even better . A mismatch as either a WR or TE . He's not a great blocker, but at least he tries to block, and has the frame to add more muscle once his man strength comes in . He's too fast for most LB's, and too big for most DB . You don't see many TE's explode out of their brakes and separate like Pitts . I don't see a offensive playmaker like Pitts being their main need, and I will explain why, but at least they would get good value taking him at #6.  The reasons why I don't think its a big need is because I don't think that was the problem last year . 1 -The line was beat up, and the starters missed a ton of games too  2- The top 3 WR on the depth chart heading into the season (Jackson,Jeffery, and Reagor ) missed a combined 25 games , and all of them missed at least 3 apiece  . 3 - Wentz lost his confidence, and Hurts isn't a polished passer . 4 - The defense couldn't stop anybody which put more pressure on the QB's . 5 - Ertz and Goedert missed 5 games each too . 6 - Covid caused the leagues rookie classes to get a slower start than imagined . 7- Apparently the relationship between Wentz and Doug Pederson got so bad that they weren't even talking for much of the season . Howey Roseman is on thin ice so he would be wise to get some more picks ,and show he hit on some very early . Reagor , Hurts ,  Wallace , Driscoll, and maybe even Tega Wanogho from the 2020 draft should all have increased roles this year as well .The only significant free agent addition for the Eagles so far is safety Anthony Harris, but he is an upgrade .


7.DETROIT  - DEVONTA SMITH - WR - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP - a slimmer CALVIN RIDLEY - FALCONS
Matt Patricia was obviously a failure as a head coach. While trying to recreate the Patriots he didn't learn Belichick's most important lesson . That being to adjust your system to the personnel you have when you don't have the right guys to run your ideal system . I'm a huge Jeffrey Okudah fan, but even Stephen Gilmore didn't play at his peak level for a few years in the league .  You don't take a rookie CB, no matter how highly rated & drafted he was, and then expect him to play single man coverage outside against Adam Theilen, Allen Robinson , and especially Davante Adams . Patricia wanted to play man , and didn't care if he had the personnel for it, plus Okudah was playing injured .   Belichick will have a completely different game plan with different personnel and sub packages one week to the next , and Patricia wasn't wily enough to figure that out.  Then he drove away Matthew Stafford, and left Dan Campbell with a big mess to fix .  Wide receivers Kenny Golliday , Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola , and Mohammed Sanu are all free agents this off season. While I thought they would find a way to bring back Golliday (they didn't franchise tag him)  , and he signed with the Giants .Jones signed with the Jags, and others are big question marks . The Lions did sign veterans Breshad Perriman & Tyrell Williams, but neither is a Number one WR, and both come with injury & underachiever labels . Plus the Lions don't have a lot of cap space, although the 2 future first rounders they got to take on Goff's contract should help the rebuild . Since Campbell got a 6 year contract , and a serviceable veteran QB to start now ,he has time to build the roster . That means he can go best player available, and avoid forcing a QB pick now , and if one falls here they can trade back and get even more picks to speed up the rebuild. Smith is kind of like a skinnier Calvin Ridley, and he can play 2 WR spots well. A elite route runner who separates at will, sets up DB's with his intelligence,  and has great hands . He lacks size , but he's almost always open early thanks to a a lot of different releases, and is home run threat on the deep ball . Probably needs to add about 10 more pounds of muscle , because although he doesn't struggle to get off the line in college he will face better press corners in the NFL . Even though he is not a high level burner , he is slipperier than a greased eel .Smith even returned some kicks this year , and took one to the house . He was absolutely the best player in college football this season , and I was surprised & happy that he got the Heisman . One more worry is if he doesn't measure at LEAST 6 ft. 170 , and it's possible after he refused to be weighed & measured at the Senior Bowl. His pro day measurements might be more important than his 40 and drills .Could go behind his Alabama teammate Waddle if that happens , but I would take this guy in the top 10 , and be happy about it.  Smith has a high floor and football IQ . He's just a really good football football player , and " The Slim Reaper " is the coolest & most fitting nickname I can remember . The only other incoming free agent signing that looks to have a possible big role is Jaamal Williams . A former blocking TE like Campbell is sure to want a healthy running game , and Williams & Swift should both see plenty of touches in this new offense . 


8.ATLANTA-(panthers)- MICAH PARSONS - LB - PENN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMP - BOBBY WAGNER - SEAHAWKS
I definitely no longer think they can trade Matt Ryan because it would kill their cap, and the cap went down after Covid , especially after they restructured his deal pushing more money into the future. I was thinking they were going to take a QB before the restructure , but not now.  The Falcons have serious cap problems ,and it wouldn't shock me if they traded down to get more picks , and if since they probably aren't taking a QB that is their their best play . The Falcons haven't had any big FA singings, although they did bring back their kicker Younghoe Koo after a Pro Bowl season in 2020 . New head coach Arthur Smith is a former college O-lineman , and he could push for Rashawn Slater, but I'm going to bet this pick is used on defense, because that was the main problem with their team last year . New DC Dean Pees likes bigger LB's , and that doesn't fit the Atlanta's current LB room . Micah is another player who sat out the season , and in his case it really scares me from taking him in the top 10 because he so raw at off the ball LB . Also a part of me thinks he would be better off as an edge rusher, but the former RB already switched positions to LB 2 years ago . He has elite size , speed , and power for a LB , but currently lacks the football IQ and instincts to be the QB of a defense . Parsons , Greg Rousseau, and Caleb Farley are the 3 top consensus guys heading into the season who were new to a position, but opted out anyway , and I think all of them hurt their stock because of it . After Parsins blows up his PRO DAY I expect he goes top 10 anyway. His upside is off the charts, but keep an ear to the ground for character & maturity concerns that could cause him to fall . Playing next to a veteran like Deion Jones would benefit him as well .
.

9.DENVER -  JUSTIN FIELDS - QB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMP -DESHAUN WATSON - TEXANS
The Broncos are one of the teams trying to get in on Deshaun Watson , and as disappointing as Drew Lock was to us all last season I can see why . BUT unless they are getting Watson , but I don't think Warson is going anywhere until his off season questions are adjudicated. So unless a QB they love just falls in their lap at #9 like this time I expect this pick to be made somewhere on defense.  I don't know if they love Fields, but I do , and I just have trouble seeing a QB this talented fall out of the top 10.  I previously thought Denver or Dallas would be the first team to pick a corner if they stayed in place, but the broncos have already signed Ronald Darby & Kyle Fuller. Plus I have Dallas trading back right now . Fuller is a stud, and even though Darby has been up & down in his career he is very talented . The Broncs also brought back one of the best safeties in the league when they made Justin Simmons the highest paid player at his position. Fields has taken a lot of criticism because of the failure of other Buckeye QB's in the Pro's and I find it unwarranted after doing all of his tape for 2 years . Yes, I saw Indiana and Northwestern, but also saw the improvements he made when he lit up Clemson . I have broke down every one of his games in 2019 and 2020 . Needs to speed up his release , because Fields has the slowest reads & release time of the 5 first round QB's , but he is also the most accurate QB in the draft when his mechanics are right . When they are not it can be a problem. Anyone hating on him and comparing him to Haskins has it dead wrong , because Fields is NOT very similar to Dwayne Haskins.  Despite the fact that Haskins had the strongest arm in his draft class  he rarely threw ( or even looked ) down the field, . He was a check down Charlie , and besides Haskins reportedly failed because he liked the nightlife more than watching film & learning NFL football . Fields is the opposite in that he looks to throw down the field too much, and he is also a far superior athlete and runner to Haskins . He will also need to learn a MUCH wider playbook , and cut back on his urge to run when his first or 2nd read isn't open. His other big flaw is eye discipline, because he is too often staring down his first receiver . So once he learns to mislead safeties he will make a huge jump in effectiveness . Has the arm to make all the NFL throws ,but it is still behind the bigger arms of Lance, Wilson, and Lawrence in order. Don't surmise that I don't like Fields because I moved Wilson ahead of him . I just believe Wilson translates to the Pro game quicker, is better long term, and has a higher upside as a passer . If I was Atlanta, Philly, Carolina, Denver, or Frisco I would take him if he fell to me . Most years Fields would be the consensus number one overall pick, and this would be chance for Elway too finally draft the right QB .


*** TRADE *** The DOLPHINS trade their 1rst (#18)  and 2nd(#50)  rounders in this draft to the COWBOYS for their 1rst rounder (#10)  . *** TRADE ***


10.MIAMI-(dallas)-a faster JAYLEN WADDLE - WR - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP- a faster TYLER LOCKETT -SEAHAWKS
Now the Dolphins start collecting weapons for Tua, and it's a former teammate , if not the one most people expected . Waddle is a burner who explodes out of his breaks, runs away from defenders with the ball in his hands, and teams will have to game plan for his lightning speed whenever he's lined up . He makes plays all over the field,  is a weapon as a receiver, runner, and even as a returner . A good route runner with a wider catch radius than I expected for his size. Waddle plays bigger than he is with his compact build as blocker and runner. He will pull safeties and open up the rest of the field for the offense . He had a broken ankle this year, but came back for the national championship game when other guys were sitting out that whole season. Even though he obviously wasn't 100% he still made a key catch in the game .HIs hands are just OK , and he's not he biggest guy , but I believe in him .Pairing his speed with Will Fuller's would stress any defense, and give DC's and DB's nightmares. Also both guys separate at a high level, and since  Tua is currently preferring to only throw at only clearly open guys, it's a huge double upgrade. 


11.NY GIANTS - RASHAWN SLATER - OL - NORTHWESTERN
NFL PLAYER COMP - LOGAN MANKINS - retired
The Giants were 21rst in the league in cap space heading into free agency, and that was before they payed Leonard Williams . They need more picks to keep building their roster , and I think they would gladly trade back if the right deal comes along, or if their isn't a player they love available at #11. Despite all that the Giants have been busy in free agency. They resigned Leonard Williams to a big deal, and then made a splash by bringing in a young potential #1 WR in Kenny Golliday.  The G-Men also inked the fastest man in the NFL in John Ross to a bargain deal, and if he is healthy & motivated it could pay big dividends . Throw in solid veteran backups QB Mike Glennon, RB Devontae Booker, and TE Kyle Rudolph at solid prices and the excuses on offense are mostly gone . Word is that they also want to get younger along the O-Line, but I personally wouldn't have let Kevin Zeitler go, although they can get a cheaper replacement in this scenario.  Slater is the #1 interior O-Lineman on my board , although no one did a better job against Chase Young one on one outside in 2019 , but I have read in 2 different places from people in the know that he has sub 33 inch arms. So I expect him to play center or guard in the NFL, but his Pro day numbers came in on March 9th and they claim he had 33 exactly. Not sure who to believe now, and all the rest of his testing numbers were top notch and back up his excellent tape. That doesn't mean that he couldn't hold up outside, but i do think he would be a better fit on the interior.  His tape is better than Sewell's, but he lacks the same  upside at OT. He has played both OT spots in college, and his technique has improved every year . He can stay smoothly engaged while on the move better than most NFL guys already , and is adept at riding players past the pocket .Slater has a mean streak , goes hunting ,and will find somebody to block even when he's uncovered. Needs to keep his hands up with more regularity, but he is a natural knee bender with a good punch  . He tends to get too high when going to the 2nd level, but he doesn't stop until he blocks someone. Almost every time I saw him get beat was to the inside, so I believe the move to guard will make him a day one impactful starter . He is my number one interior O-Lineman after I discovered Landon Dickerson injury history , and I see Pro Bowls in his future inside . I still think Slater could play outside, but he would play guard or center for the Giants , and only kick outside if needed .


12.SAN FRANCISCO - MAC JONES - QB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP -  MATT HASSELBECK - retired
Jimmy G has missed 23 games in the last 3 years ,  he's just solid at his best, and he comes with a 25 million dollar salary . I know that the 49ers have some key free agents that they can't resign while paying Jimmy that kind of money, and only a fool would extend his injury prone inconsistent ass .  For me I would literally prefer Jones over Garoppolo even if they had the same salary, because I believe he will be  more consistent once he learns the offense.  The niners aren't in cap trouble , but they just have too many free agents to resign, and not  enough room to fit them all . Dallas had the same dilemma last year and let Byron Jones leave, and it really hurt their defense . Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett , Ahkelllo Witherspoon ,K'waun Williams, Emmanuel Mosely ,Jaquiski Tartt, Dontae Jhonson , and Jamar Taylor were all free agents in the frisco secondary . Sadly that wasn't even their biggest free agent worry . That would be Trent Williams , and lets not forget about key cogs named Kyle Jusczcyk & Kendrick Bourne .So far they were able to resign Trent Williams ,Jusczcyk  , Mosely , Johnson, Tartt, and Verrett . The only players of note lost were #3 WR Bourne ,Witherspoon, and so far disappointing former #3 overall pick Soloman Thomas. They also upgraded at center with Alex Mack, although he is 35 , and they should draft a pivot in waiting this year . If they draft Jones and get rid of Garoppolo they can keep most of those other key guys .  That's why even though frisco is in the same boat as Dallas when it comes to the secondary in free agency I don't have the 49ers taking a corner. San Francisco has more cap space, and a easily replaceable QB. Dallas has none of those . Right now Jones is a more PRO ready QB than the 4 who will be drafted ahead of him this year, but he also the lowest tools, upside, and he needs a lot around him to win early . Although he surprised me by running a 4.7 forty at his Pro day. Jones is accurate ,makes lightning quick reads, and knows how to mislead safeties.  The 49ers have a offense that is loaded at all the other skill positions like Alabama , and Jones gets rid of the ball so quickly that his average arm isn't much of a factor most of the time. They just need a QB and some interior O-Lineman . This scheme should translate well to Jones , and Shanahan's are good at putting a hard working QB into a good position to be productive quickly. They could also trade back , or take a corner or interior O-Lineman, but this makes the most sense to me. Don't let last season confuse you . This team is a Superbowl contender who was just killed by injuries . Even with a rookie in Jones they could be in the Superbowl again right away .


13.LA CHARGERS - CHRISTIAN DARRISAW - OT - VA. TECH
NFL PLAYER COMP - RONNIE STANLEY - RAVENS
The Chargers O-Line has been a wreck for years, and the fact that Herbert played so well last year behind it is pretty impressive , especially when you consider how often he threw down the field compared to what he did at Oregon. I figured they should spend most of their cap space ,and at least 2 of their top 3 picks up front . They have the cap room to bring in 2 veterans starters .Well, they did what I was hoping for right away in free agency. They signed  ALL PRO center Corey Linsley away from the Packers, and he has been one of the best centers in the league for a long time . A high level veteran pivot man who can make all the calls up front ,and who can help lead a O-Line that should have a lot of new faces in 2021 . Then they brought in veteran Matt Feiler from Pittsburgh . He can play tackle or guard and has been solid starter inside & outside when ever given a chance . For the blindside, unless they Bolts plan to let XFL OT Storm Norton play left tackle  the Chargers will need to draft one. Darrisaw excelled in a predominantly zone run scheme,  and was a good pass blocker too .Teams in the top 20 like the 49ers & bears would be better fits , but the 49ers resigned Trent Williams , and I doubt Darrisaw makes it to pick 20 for Chicago. I can't tell if Darrisaw is  just so smooth that he it looks easy, if he's lazy, has the occasional gas tank problem, or if he just underestimates his opponents .  Probably some of each, but he needs to fire his hands quicker to protect his chest. The results are good overall, but I wish he was meaner and tried to finish more often. He was a good run blocker this year ,and usually those guys are killers so it's even more mystifying to me that he doesn't finish as many blocks as he could .The Bolts run more Inside zone and man/gap, but I would still take him here . Darrisaw is my number 2 OT, because I see Slater as a better fit inside personally . Christian probably doesn't have the massive arm length of Ronnie Stanley, but the tape is almost boring just like the Ravens Pro bowl tackle when he entered the draft . I'm sure Herbert would love to have a boring rush from his blindside . The Chargers also signed 34 year old pass catching TE Jared Cook to fill part of the hole Hunter Henry left behind .


14.MINNESOTA -  ALIJAH VERA-VUCKER - G/T - USC
NFL PLAYER COMP -  JOEL BITONIO - BROWNS 
Despite a lot of veteran cuts last year the Vikings are still 25th in the league in cap space . So if there is a QB available here that a team below them likes they might be willing to trade down and get more picks. If Rashawn Slater was still here than he would be the pick , but with him gone I will just give them my next interior O-lineman. Left guard Dakota Dozier was really bad last year and Vera-Tucker could slid right in and be a immediate upgrade. I don't think taking Vera-Tucker here would be an overdraft, and at least he can play some left tackle if needed .Alijah Tucker is the # 3 guard and #3 OT on my board.  He played left tackle last year , and did pretty well until they played Oregon, but to be fair Kayvon Thibodeaux is my odds on favorite to go #1 overall next year . Anyway I think Tucker is a better fit at his normal left guard position , but if the  Vikings need him outside he could hold up there. They cut former LT Reilly Reiff, but they may want to move Ezra Cleveland or Brian O'Neil to the blindside .Alijah is the best 2nd level blocker in the draft, and could spring Dalvin Cook for some big runs in this offense , and Cook already broke plenty with a bad O-Line. The Vikes also spent a lot of money on veteran NT Dalvin Tomlinson & Patrick Peterson, although it remains to be seen where Peterson will play . Will he follow the opposing teams number one WR around, play just one side, play some in the slot, or even play some safety ? No matter what he does having a veteran future HOFer like him to mentor Jeff Gladney & Cameron Dantzler can only help .


15.NEW ENGLAND JEREMIAH OWUSA-KORAMOA - LB/S - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMP - DERWIN JAMES - CHARGERS
What a difference a year makes . The good ole Patriots discount is gone , but I figured it would be once Brady left, although I didn't think it would be this drastic . For years veteran players would take less to remain with the Patriots, or join them for a chance to get a ring , but with Brady gone so is the discount . Brady took less so vets would take less to stay on the team. Now incoming vets aren't chasing a ring ,and have no need of a to take a discount on a Brady-less 7-9 team . Now the Pats are not only spending a lot of free agent money, but they are also overpaying in many cases, and I can't figure out why they let their best free agent Joe Thuney sign with the Chiefs?  However, spending a lot of money in free agency is what happens when you haven't drafted well recently. Since Belichick won his 1rst ring with the Pats he had previously only had two big dollar free agents join the team. Adalius Thomas and Stephon Gilmore. Thomas started out well, but ultimately didn't like the Patriot way , or just got old after a couple of years of in New England  . Gilmore earned his money, but now he is aging so I wouldn't be surprised if he is moved by Belichick .Do all these FA signings mean they are going to pull a un Patriot-like trade up for a QB?  It's the Patriots so they could do anything . "IF" Mac Jones falls here I believe they would take him , but you never know with Belichick . They resigned Newton, but with only 5 million guaranteed for one year so they are obviously not committed to him long term .Plus they are more prone to trading back than any team in the league .I'm going to give them Owusa-Koramoa because he needs a innovative defensive guy like Belichick to use him right, and because of his versatility . I think Zaven Collins would fit here too, but I did that last time, and I like to change it up and show a lot of different scenarios. Jeremiah is lightning fast , makes plays sideline to sideline against the run & pass, and can cover the slot like a 2nd round DB . I think he is a better fit at safety as he is not a guy who will take on, stack & shed blocks . Although he will run right by blockers ,or through a shoulder of a blocker & can be a blitzing weapon too.  Belichick would love this kind of speedy chess piece, and he also brings value as a pass rusher  . This is the kind of rare guy that can guard a high end move TE, and make plays all over the field. Only weaknesses I see for him is if he goes to a unimaginative DC, or that he sometimes comes in too hot and overrun plays . Belichick will love him . This off season the Pats traded to bring back OT Trent Brown ,and traded away 2020 opt out OT Marcus Cannon. Then they signed veteran WR's Kendrick Bourne & Nelson Agholor. They also payed big bucks to TE's Jonnu Smith & Hunter Henry so I expect that the predominantly 2 TE offense will be back for them in 2021. I believe they wanted to run it last year but the 2 rookie TE's they drafted in the 2020 draft disappointed . The 2 TE offense also fits Newton who likes to throw them high and hard. The Pats then paid big bucks to Ravens edge rusher Matt Judon. DT Davon Godchaux also got in on the money train, and he is joined by CB/Safety hybrid Jalen Mills . They also brought back versatile LB Kyle Van Noy and resigned run blocking center David Andrews. I am not sure why they brought in center Ted Karras. Maybe to be a interior swingman, or possibly Andrews or Karras will play some guard . All in all it's a huge haul that should make them competitive this year no matter who the QB is, but they paid a lot for a group that doesn't have a obvious star. 


16.ARIZONA  PATRICK SURTAIN THE 2ND - CB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP - MARLON HUMPHREY - RAVENS
The cards lost future HOFer Patrick Peterson to the Vikings in free agency, and that makes corner their clear cut top priority right now .This son of a retired PRO BOWL corner looks to be living up to his dad's legacy . He is extremely polished as you would expect  . He has good size for the position , is scheme diverse and can go up and contest the catch .  Despite all that he lacks top end speed , fluidity, and quickness on tape .  He has a extremely high floor ,and I expect him to be at least a solid starting corner, although he doesn't have the same mega upside as Farley, or even Horn . He plays at a high level outside or in the slot . Has a very high football IQ, recognizes route combinations, and is a technical clinic as a corner . The rare true freshman starter at the biggest NFL producing college, and played for Saban , who is known for developing NFL DB's .Plays a ton of press and zone, but I think his best fit would be in a cover 3 heavy scheme like Frisco , Las Vegas, Dallas, or Seattle. They also brought in past their prime future HOFers JJ Watt and AJ Green . If both are healthy they are still good players, especially Watt . Don't forget that they also brought one of the best kickers in the league in Matt Prater . He may be 36 , but he's a kicker , and they can play forever.  Prater still has a big leg .Last season wasn't his best , but he is the NFL's ALL TIME leader in 50+ yard field goals , and was 6 of 10 from there last season . The cards also picked up 3 time Pro bowl center Rodney Hudson for a 3rd rounder . All these veteran moves lead me to believe that the front office thinks they can make a run this season, and since they are in the toughest division in the NFL just making the playoffs makes you a contender . So if they make the playoffs with their key players healthy I will chuck a bet on them to win the Lombardi .


17.LAS VEGAS - JAYCEE HORN - CB - S. CAROLINA
NFL PLAYER COMP -  AQIB TALIB - retired
The Raiders defense was terrible last year . They have been restructuring , cutting and trading guys to get under the cap. Some of those trades were once big time O-Line starters so they could go that way with the pick. A lot of the defensive problems were due to a lack of a pass rush, and lack of coverage talent, but their big free agent signing of LB Cory Littleton didn't work out either. They have a smart tough guy in Kwiatkowski , but they need speed and reliability . However the Raiders have been getting rid of O-LIneman left & right since a week before free agency started. In 2019 they had one of the better lines in the league, but age and big salaries are apparently causing them to go in a different direction . I don't know if this means they are rebuilding, but when you jettison 3 fifths of your O-Line it's not likely to look pretty for Derek Carr & Josh Jacobs .  They also need help at safety after former 1rst rounder John Abram was terrible last year , and slot corner/safety Lamarcus Joiner was let go. I'm going with a corner. Horn Opted out before the season was over, but played well in 7 games. Blatantly the grabbiest corner I have ever seen who is still likely to go in the 1rst round  . Alpha who competes on every play . Great fluidity & feet for a big corner . Actually follows the opposing teams WR around the field at times . Technique is just OK, and you will see him pedal high or open his hips too soon more than I expected from a 2nd generation player . Very physical pressing at the line, but too physical after 5 yards, especially when the receiver makes his break on the ball  . He's a willing tackler, but technique is wild and sloppy . I think he fits a cover 3 team well , and with Gus Bradley as the new DC he's a fit here. Tghe Raiders free agent moves don't make a lot of sense to me other than edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue and WR John Brown. They needed pass rush so Yannick makes sense , and the speedy Brown is a even swap for Nelson Agholor. Center Nick Martin is a down grade compared to Hudson, but he is at least a solid pass blocker. RB Kenyan Drake seems expensive for a backup when you have a bell cow back like Jacobs. Solomon Thomas has been a bust on the edge, but even if you play him at the 3 technique I don't see him as being better than Hurst. 


18.DALLAS-(miami)- CALEB FARLEY - CB - VA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMP - JIMMY SMITH - RAVENS
Dallas is still in cap trouble after over paying Dak, and I don't see it creating enough cap space to make a splash in free agency. They have a lot of needs , and their once vaunted O-Line is getting older and injury prone. First  enter Travis Frederick retired . Tyron Smith has been missing a few games every year with back & neck injuries, but he missed most of last year and had neck surgery, and your back & neck are often each a retirement injury . RT La'el Collins was the youngest of their good blockers and he missed the whole year with a hip injury, and even stalwart iron man Zack Martin missed games last season. Plus they restructured a lot of those older injured O-Lineman to create cap space, and that bill is going to come due eventually . Add the Dak injury and a bad beat up defense , and you see why I expect them to trade back. Maybe the line is healthy this season, but I wouldn't be surprised if they took one of the many dual tackle/guards available in the 1rst 2 rounds. However, they only have last years 2nd rounder Trevon Diggs( who played well for a rookie) and Anthony Brown signed as possible viable starters at corner . So a corner is clearly their biggest need ,and I expect them to get one of the 3 I have a first round grade on, unless something ridiculous like CeeDee Lamb falling to them happens again . There was a report on March 22nd right before I typed this that Farley might need back surgery . I'll talk to my  brother (he's a doctor) about this and adjust his value accordingly next mock. If Dallas hits in this draft & makes some cheap quality veteran additions in free agency , and is healthy this year their window of contention is still open . You know Jerry Jones is ALL-IN to win another one after what he payed Dak ,and he's too old to rebuild . This trade back gives them 4 day 2 picks . They could get a much needed Nose tackle,  O-Lineman, safety, and maybe even another corner or LB with those picks. Dallas did bring back veteran number 3 corner Jourdan Lewis . While he can play inside pretty well , and some outside if needed , he is also very grabby . Maybe they plan to move Anthony Brown back outside. He was a boundary corner in college at Purdue .The only possible impact signing that the Cowboys have made so far is strong safety Keanu Neal , and it makes sense because he played for Dan Quinn in Atlanta , but I was surprised by it because Donovan Wilson made a lot of progress last season . With Neal's injury history Wilson may get plenty of playing time anyway . Farley is the most talented corner in this draft , and even though he sat out the season I previously thought he would go ahead of more polished 2nd generation players like Surtain , Horn , and Samuels . However ,now he is having back surgery, and that could drop him way down draft boards.  . Until I talk to my vacationing brother ( He's a doctor) I am just moving Farley down to my 3rd corner. His tools , traits , and upside are huge . You just see don't many CB's this big that move so well . Farley was probably always the best athlete on his team growing up , because guys like that tend to become QB's in a lot of high schools even if they aren't the best passer . You tend to want the ball in the hands of your best athlete as much as possible at that level. Farley was primarily a running QB as a high school senior with 2,574 yards rushing , and 37 rushing TD's.  He is raw as a corner , and his initial transition in college was to WR . His 2019 tape at corner was great, but that's all we have to go on to decide if he is a top 10 pick in this draft . He's almost always in off coverage, and while he definitely has the size & strength to press you rarely saw it on tape . Caleb has a great burst to the ball , and good makeup speed as well . I expect he will shine on his Pro day, and that his upside will make him the first corner drafted.  


19.WASHINGTON -  RASHOD BATEMAN - WR - MINNESOTA
NFL PLAYER COMP - ALLEN ROBINSON - BEARS
Obviously the Redskins need a QB , and I believe if ANY of the top 5 fell here they would take a shot, but I can't see them trading up for one this year, or at least not very far . They did sign Ryan Fitzpatrick to hold it down in th short term  .Even with Fitzmagic at QB they need another receiver to pull double coverages off Mclaurin. In fact it's kind of amazing how well Mclaurin has played considering the poor QB play of a variety signal callers  , and the lack of other viable targets around him . The Redskins did sign Curtis Samuel , but he is more of a slot & gadget guy .Bateman is a different kind of reviver than Mclaurin , as he gets open without the top end speed that Terry has . Rashod has great releases off the ball, can get open early , and is a smart route runner . Good size , physical in every way, and can break tackles after the catch . His tape was better in 2019 when he played more outside  This year he played more slot for some reason, and while he still looked good the film wasn't quite as impressive. Maybe it was the loss of Tyler Johnson to the draft , or the Covid shortened and unorthodox practice time, but he also opted out before the season was over . The only issue with him is drops . He  may not a burner , but he can get open on his own ,and be a starting X or Power slot . Adding him to Mclaurin , the blossoming Logan Thomas ,and Samuel gives Fitz a decent shot at success . Their other big free agent signing is corner William Jackson , and I think he is a bargain . 


20.CHICAGO - ALEX LEATHERWOOD - T/G- ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP - VERNON CAREY - retired
Right now the Bears just squeezed under the cap . So I didn't see how Chicago could get a better QB after throwing the franchise tag on Allen Robinson without gutting their currently competitive roster . They did upgrade at QB with Andy Dalton, but they also cut a good corner Kyle Fuller, but brought in veteran CB Desmond Trufant . The Bears also declined the option on RT Bobby Massie, and allowed key DT Akiem Hicks to seek a trade.  So they probably need to resign Robinson before free agency begins , and trading back to get more picks might be a good idea . Other than QB , offensive tackle is their number one need, but so many of the top OT's in this draft might be a better fit at guard . So I'm going to give them my next highest rated OT ,even though I think he might be a better fit at guard right now . . Leatherwood has the length & feet to be an NFL left tackle, but he has inconsistent pass sets sometimes, and just gives up too much pressure outside . Oversetting , feet too wide ,and bad hand placement , and a soft punch, are the most common culprits . Plus every once in a while it looks like he gives up if beat off the snap. Very frustrating guy , and he is just an OK athlete that might be a better fit inside . Sometimes he looks perfect with a great lockout and you think franchise left tackle too .He has experience at both left tackle and right guard in the SEC so he's been playing against a lot of NFL guys. He is a people mover in the run game, with serious strength , but he also falls of blocks too much . I moved him back some after the Senior Bowl, but beggars can't be choosers, and he's the next OT on my list. Worst case scenario I see him as a good starting guard, and I think of him as just a guard he is in my top 32, but if he gets his act together he's a left tackle . So the high floor as a guard, and the high upside of being a starting OT , make him likely to come off the board in the first round of a weird draft.


21.INDIANAPOLIS - KWITY PAYE - DE/OLB - MICHIGAN
NFL PLAYER COMP - MELVIN INGRAM - FA
Since the Colts already went and got Wentz as a QB, an Frank Reich helped him almost win a MVP I doubt they take a QB High . Left tackle and edge rusher would seem to be the most obvious needs, but if they have their choice of their top edge rusher versus a their 4th or 5th OT I think they go for the DE . Plus they have the cap space to sign a top FA at either spot . Personally I would rather spend money on Trent Williams, Alejandro Villanueva, or Eric Fisher than any of the edge FA's. The Colts haven't brought in anyone new so far, but they have resigned CB Xavier Rhodes & backup RB Marlon Mack.  They have cap space so I don't know why they aren't upgrading more yet. Justin Houston and Denico Autry played the most snaps at DE for the Colts last year, and both are free agents . Paye is a twitchy freakish athlete with good size . He is mostly a bull rusher right now, and he needs to expand his pass rush repertoire, but I think after his Pro day he will be the first edge rusher off the board . It's a projection because he is a better athlete than football player right now , but all the edge guys this year have questions . At least I saw progress this season .He is the kind of player that D-Line coaches salivate about in a draft meeting, because they are sure they can coach him up into a elite  player.  .


22.TENNESSEE - CHRISTIAN BARMORE - DT - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP - GERALD MCCOY - FA
The Titans need a Right tackle, a DT who can stop the run, a WR ,and DB's, and a also a TE after losing Jonnu Smith . They cut 3 starters in their secondary ,and only brought in one in 32 year old Janoris Jenkins . Since they spent big on edge rusher Bud Dupree from Pittsburg that probably rules out the edge. The Titans also lost WR Corey Davis to the Jets , and cut WR Adam Humphries, but signed Josh Reynolds away from the Rams. I also doubt they reach for a RT 2 years in a row. So I will go with the top DT in the draft. Barmore is a big, strong, athletic, flexible  interior D-lineman who can play all of the inside spots in a odd or even front except for 2 gapping NT . Unlike many recent Alabama DT's & 5 techs he doesn't 2 gap at a high level inside , but he's better at it outside at the 5 technique, although he could play some shaded nose. Barmore can shed blockers quickly one on one in both the run & pass games . Surprised by how few starts a guy this talented has, and that does give me pause .He gets off the ball well and changes the line of scrimmage quickly when he makes initial contact . Dominated the playoff game and National Championship Game this year, but it also worries me that he didn't that every week . Is he the type guy who only shows up and plays his hardest when he's about to get paid ?The only interior D-Lineman I have a first round grade on, and should be the first one off the board, maybe in the top 20 picks. Plus he comes from a base 3-4 which is what the Titans run. 


23.NY JETS-(seattle)- TRAVIS ETIENNE - RB - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMP - JAAMAL CHARLES - retired
The Jets need more weapons , and I know many think a WR should be the pick here, but Ettienne is a game breaker , and there are plenty of WR's in the 2nd & 3rd rounds. After the disappointment of the shell of Leveon Bell masquerading for Jets fans they deserve a real high end RB . He would take pressure off the young QB, is definitely worth a first rounder, is a threat to take it to house on every play, and is someone you have to game plan against . First, I can't believe he went back to school this year, but he improved, and didn't opt out like so many others .Etienne is a one cut straight ahead back that hits the hole with speed , strong leg drive, runs low, and has great contact balance. The Jets new coach came out of a one cut system in Frisco, and I expect them to follow suit in New York . He's running so fast that he breaks tackles, and he also really improved as a weapon in the receiving game this season . Etienne has a nice spin move ,and is so explosive that he runs to daylight when defenders think they have an angle on him  . Ran a 4.4 at his pro Day, but he looks faster in pads with an elite burst. Doesn't make big cuts, but generally subtly changes direction at full speed to create failed arm tackles , and did it behind a poor O-Line this season. He also has a LOT less carries than any 3 year starting 1rst round RB I can remember . Could use some more patience as a runner and blocker, and more consistency in pass pro but he's willing to stick his face in the mix . He is a safe pick in a draft with a lot of questions .
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24.PITTSBURGH - LIAM EICHENBERG - OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMP - MIKE MCGLINCHEY - 49ers
Both of the Steelers starting OT's will be free agents this off season, but not only do I expect that they will bring at least one of them back, they also have history of getting O-lineman later in the draft and developing them well . They don't have a lot of cap space to bring in much either .Edge rushers in the first round are more the Steelers style than over drafting a O-lineman , and I doubt they have the cap space to bring back Bud Dupree this off season . However, the 2 edge guys that I have 1rst round grade that fit their scheme just went at 21 and 22 . Also , the Steelers have over drafted very recently at positions of need an OT'S have a low bust rate because they can usually kick inside if they fail on the edge . Liam remind spme of a former N. dame OT who is now the starting RT for the niners. He is tall an doesn't bend well, but surprisingly is better at run blocking than he is the passing game anyway .  He has good pass sets but can get bull rushed because of playing so high . Throws his hands well, and resets when they are swept away, but too often they do get smacked away . If he through them tighter inside he might have less trouble with people getting inti his chest . He isn't a top athlete, but is still effective for the most part . He has improved every year , and has played both tackle spots. I have a 2nd round grade on him, but he has a high floor if you put him at RT in a run heavy scheme . The Steelers are reportedly planning to go back to running the ball more so I see him as a good fit for them.


25.JACKSONVILLE rams)- ALIM MCNEIL - DT - NC ST.
NFL PLAYER COMP - DARON PAYNE - REDSKINS
Some guys you like more and more the deeper you get Into their tape .Mcneil is one of those guys for me , and it really hit me when I stopped getting frustrated at his measly tool box as a pass rusher . Once I accepted him as a Nose Tackle I came to appreciate that he is the rare 3 down NT even if he just collapses the pocket with regularity .Very athletic & explosive off the ball for such a huge guy, with the 1rst step of a 3 technique . He can take on some double teams , and that's with him still playing too high too often . I have a slightly lower grade on him than Daron Payne who went #13 overall, but Payne was more polished a rusher . Although unlike Payne he doesn't have any games where he got RAGdolled by Frank RAGnow.   Was a LB and RB in high school and just kept getting bigger . Can play every interior DL position in a odd or even front . Played at 340 lbs. mostly as a NT last season  but word is that he intends to be in the 320's at his Pro Day. Needs more than a bull rush to become a PRO BOWL type guy, but that's the only pass rush move he does that works for him right now . Some of the other attempted moves actually made me laugh out loud, but he has the athletic agility & flexibility to do a lot more with NFL coaching.  He will shove the guy attempting to block him right in the QB's lap , but once he learns to consistently stay lower coming forward he could become a force as a pass rusher. I have a high 2nd round grade on him , but he is in my top 32 so I can see him going in the late first. He will fill a big need for the jags and make their edge rushers( Allen & Chaisson) far more effective, because a QB can't step up in the pocket when he's shoving a blocker into their face.



26.CLEVELAND - GREGORY ROUSSEAU - DE/DT - MIAMI
NFL PLAYER COMP -  DAVID IRVING - RAIDERS
The Browns finally broke through this season . All those draft picks have made them a contender who won a playoff game , and it was even sweeter beating  the division rival Steelers .. Now it's time to see  if they can get to the Superbowl .  They have some cap space, but might be saving it for a new deal for Baker . I expect this to be a DT, DE,WR, or CB. Since I don't have another CB or WR with a first round grade I am leaving them out for now. The DE's left all make me wary , but a a guy who is built like Myles Garrett could probably learn a lot playing with him . Rousseau is like Micah Parsons and Caleb Farley. A extremely physically gifted player who opted out anyway  ,despite  being as raw as a plate of sushi. He is also built like Julius Peppers who was a former college power forward before sticking with football, but doesn't look to be the same type athlete . Unless he can show me some tape from an alternate universe where played well outside against good competition I have trouble projecting him there . He has the frame to carry a lot more weight and play primarily inside against slow footed interior players. Since that's the only place I have seen him consistently win that's where I am going to project and comp him .  This guy has an elite frame and enough upside to entice someone to take him in the 1rst round . He was a WR and safety in high school who outgrew the positions, and he has only year of tape as a D-Lineman in 2019 as a redshirt freshman . Then he opted out . I would have him get up to 280 or 290 and make him a 3 technique, but I think teams will want him on the edge, and kick him inside in passing situations . He has long arms and some bend so it very well could work, but he could have been a top 10 pick if he hadn't opted out and played well off the edge this year.  In free agency the Browns have already upgraded 2 positions in the secondary with former Rams. They brought in corner Troy Hill and he can team with Denzell Ward if he is healthy.  At safety they John Johnson the 3rd who can team with Grant Delpit if he is healthy . 


27.BALTIMORE-  AZEEZ OJULARI - OLB/DE - GEORGIA
NFL PLAYER COMP - SHAQ BARRETT - BUCCANEERS
The Ravens lost edge rushers Matt Judon to the Patriots and Yannick Ngakoue to the Raiders . They also brought in Kevin Zeitler as an upgrade at guard , and made a run at Kenny Golliday before he signed with the giants . Their big free agent loss was Matt Judon to the Patriots so I am going to give them Ojulari. I have a first round grade on Azeez ,and he fits their base 3-4 scheme. When I got done watching Azeez on March 1rst I was impressed . He has played well in the SEC against a lot of future NFL OT's the last 2 seasons, but he does most of it with only one move . He fires off the ball and beats blockers with speed and good hand use . I don't see him as a every down 4-3 end unless he gets bigger & stronger, and he already played in a rotation at Georgia. Don't know if he has the frame to put on much more without losing that ability to bend the arc outside. He needs some speed to power to take his game up a notch, but the power needs to be added in the weight room , because he doesn't have much now ,and his frame isn't that big.


28.NEW ORLEANS- TREVON MOEHRIG - S - TCU
NFL PLAYER COMP - HARRISON SMITH - VIKINGS
Starting FS Marcus Williams was somehow given the franchise tag after a Herculean effort to get under the salary cap , but Malcolm Jenkins seems to be more about politics than playing good football these days .So the cash strapped Saints need an upgrade at one of the safety spots . Moehrig isn't just the best safety in this draft, but also someone with a first round grade who has fallen all the way to  pick # 28 in this mock . In a draft with very few sure things he is a steal here .He's a complete player that could play in any scheme with the size to even play some LB. He's a big hitter, but can cover the slot receiver . Is a force against both the run and pass , and plays well high or low, but I like him better closer to the line of scrimmage . He's a ballhawk too .The Saints are trying to reload instead of rebuilding after Dree Bree's retirement. They let go of a lot of good players to get under the cap, but the only big free agent signing they have had so far is bringing back Jameis Winston to compete with Hill at QB.


29.GREEN BAY - ZAVEN COLLINS - LB/EDGE - TULSA 
NFL PLAYER COMP - DONT'A HIGHTOWER  - PATRIOTS
The pack struggled to get under the cap and they could be a team that is willing to trade out of the 1rst round, even though it would cost them that 5th year of control . They lost one of the best centers in the league in Corey Linsley, which should piss off Rodgers, but at least they already have 2019 2nfd rounder Elgton Jenkinson the roster ready to slip into the pivot  .I see a Offensive lineman, defensive lineman, WR ,CB, or LB here . Since a reader pointed out to me that they don't like to take WR's in the first I will avoid that. The last one was Javon Walker in 2002 , so I ruled that out . I guess they could take Alex Leatherwood or Alim McNeil along the lines, but I don't have a first on either . Same with my next corner so I am going with LB . For some reason they let Blake Martinez leave after one injury riddled season, and then over payed for a far more injury prone Christian Kirksey . Well they cut him after that disaster, and they now need a QB of the defense . Someone who can set the tone, and is smart enough to get everyone lined up right . I  think Nick Bolton would fit that role better , but the new Pack regime has been drafting upside a lot in the early rounds since they took over. Personally I think Collins would be best as a 3-4 OLB rushing the passer more regularly , but you also seeing him playing great as an off the ball LB .  Collins can cover, fill against the run, and blitz as a LB . His tape was a happy surprise . He can do it all, but his level of competition wasn't ideal at Tulsa . He's got big throwback LB size, but the movement skills that you need in today's sub package game . His only weakness is his technique as a tackler, and that's part of the reason I would rather set him loose to rush the passer . He reminds me of a current Patriot ,and that seals the deal for me , although I may be higher on him than most . In free agency the Packers key moves were bringing back RB Aaron Jones & CB Kevin King, but they also lost ALL PRO center Corey Linsley. 



30.BUFFALO - TEVEN JENKINS - G/T - OKLAHOMA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMP - ZACK MARTIN - COWBOYS
I expect the Bills to go O-line, Edge rusher, or corner here. Since they have a lot of free agent O-Lineman I really wanted to go there, and I still did even they have already resigned 3 of them. Jenkins has my favorite tape to watch among this years crop of O-Lineman. He's a nasty  powerful finisher. Played OT in college and he might be able to hold up there , but I like him inside where his limited arm length is less likely to hold him back . Has great balance for a guy who is leaning forward so often, but I think that would be alleviated inside . Good on the move pulling and at the 2nd level .He's a mature player who's brawler mentality could inspire other O-Lineman to up their game .  Violent hands and a natural knee bender . Didn't face the best competition, but his tape kicks ass . Mostly a right tackle , but he has a few starts at LT and guard in his past . This guy fits the Bills power running game hard nosed mentality like a glove .


31.KANSAS CITY - SAMUEL COSMI - OT - TEXAS
NFL PLAYER COMP - BRIAN O'NEIL - VIKINGS
Obviously most people are going to think Offensive tackle here after watching a harried Mahomes hobble around in the big game . I agree that its a decent idea , but I will also make the argument why it's not necessary in the first round  .  The Chiefs were missing their 3 best blockers in the Superbowl , and all 3 could be back next season . Both starting Pro Bowl OT's got knocked out for the year before the playoffs, and both should be healthy for 2021, although their best blocker Schwartz is a question because it's a back injury  . Starting guard Laurent Duvernay Tardiff opted out before the season, and spent the year ( ( former pre-med  and future doctor ) nobly helping out in hospitals as a orderly . 2020 3rd round Pick OT Lucas Niang also opted out before the season . KC also had the almost worst case scenario starting at tackle in the Superbowl . Guard Andrew Wylie who had missed the Chiefs other post season games actually started out of position at RT . Last but definitely not least we come to Superbowl blindside starter Mike Remmers . Even people who aren't regular fans, and only watch the Superbowl might have recognized the name . The reason is that Remmers was the primary victim of one of the greatest defensive performances in post season history in Superbowl 50 by Von Miller in 2016 . Remmers was then the starting right tackle for the Panthers and proceeded to look like a turnstile as Miller kept working him all day long . One more tidbit is that Offensive tackle is very deep in this draft , and as many as 10-13 of them could come off the board on day two. Half them might be better at Guard or can at least play their well if the Chiefs regular starters had returned to form in 2021 . The Chiefs run a lot of 3 safety big nickle looks, and Daniel Sorenson is a free agent who played terrible last season, but I think they can find that guy later . I was also considering going with an edge rusher, because none of the KC edge guys did much last year , and that includes the highly paid Frank Clark . However, after all that consideration  they cut both injured OT's so I am going with a OT. KC did sign the top FA guard in Pro Bowler Joe Thuney , and brought former Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long out of retirement. While those are nice gets inside I think a potential OT is more needed. They made a run at Trent Williams, but he went back to Frisco on a record setting contract, but a another athletic left tackle could fit the bill here. Cosmi is a 3 year starter for the longhorns. He was a RT in 2018 , and has held down the blindside the last 2 years .He has gotten bigger & stronger each year in college, but he needs to pack more muscle on his 6"6" frame to hold up in the NFL, although he is lean like a big TE at present. Pass blocking is his forte right now, and he has the feet and agility to hold up outside, which fits the pass heavy Chiefs. He has a nice early punch, but his hands will get knocked down a lot more in the NFL. His pass sets aren't Pro ready, but if he takes to NFL coaching he should hold up outside quickly.  Great Pro Day that confirms the big TE athleticism seen on tape, but 33 inch arm length is barely serviceable for many teams. He will be fine in a zone heavy run blocking scheme with a lot of double teams, but he's not a guy that blows defenders off the ball like many others in this draft. 


32.TAMPA BAY - NAJEE HARRIS - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMP - ARIAN FOSTER - retired
Congrats to the BUCS and all their fans .Every time people doubt Brady he rears back and wins . I admit that I didn't think he was a fit in a offense that goes down the field so much, but by the final 3rd of the season you could see some definite progress . Then they of course won the Superbowl, and the word is that they are bringing almost all of the band back together. A edge rusher or RB make the most sense here, but I just love Najee's game, and think he could be the missing piece to going back to back . Harris has great vison, some wiggle, breaks tackles, and is a stud in the passing game . Brady loves throwing to his backs, and you need to be able to pass protect to play with him . Najee has great hands with the agility to adjust to the ball in the air like a WR, and he's a man in pass pro. Not a home run hitter, but he will move the chains in a variety of ways . I can see him as a 300 touch guy with ease . He will need to run lower in the NFL, but that's a problem nay taller backs suffer from .