We’ve already discussed the first 16 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, so let’s go ahead and dive in to the final half of the first round.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
CB Greg Newsome II, Northwestern Wildcats
The Raiders still need to work on their front seven, but Newsome is a too good a fit for Gus Bradley’s defense. His presence combined with that of Johnathan Abram should go a long way in sealing up the back end.
18. Miami Dolphins
WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss Rebels
It’s time to get Tua some toys. Moore ran a 4.32 at his Pro Day and was the SEC’s second-leading receiver in both receptions and receiving yards last year. He would round out the Dolphins receiving room and give Tua a young target to work with over the next few years.
19. Washington Football Team
QB Mac Jones, Alabama Crimson Tide
It just makes too much sense. Jones is currently skyrocketing up draft boards so he could very well be gone by now. But there’s no doubt Washington takes him at No. 19 and makes him the quarterback of the future.
20. Chicago Bears
EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia Bulldogs
Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack are set to count more than a combined $28.5 million against the cap in 2021. That’s 15.6% of Chicago’s salary cap space allocated to two players.
Ojulari can be the relief the Bears need in both production -Quinn recorded just 2.0 sacks in 2020- and cost. He’s a very versatile player who can rush the passer from a two- and/or three-point stance.
The Bears have options and flexibility with Mack and Quinn next year, too. Ojulari can be a safety net in case one of the two have to go.
21. Indianapolis Colts
T Alex Leatherwood, Alabama Crimson Tide
Someone needs to replace Anthony Costanzo and Leatherwood has the most experience at left tackle. Samuel Cosmi is an attractive candidate, but he may be better suited at right tackle. Leatherwood’s versatility is well-documented and will go a long way in allowing him to sustain a career in the NFL.
The Colts replace Costanzo and in return, Carson Wentz stays upright. Which has to happen if Indy wants any shot at dethroning the Titans.
22. Tennessee Titans
EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan Wolverines
The Titans will be absolutely thrilled with Paye at this pick. They signed Bud Dupree during the first week of free agency, but no one knows when he will be ready to go – much less 100%.
Harold Landry has been solid, recording 14.5 sacks over the last two years, but Paye brings unrivaled athleticism and will not only provide depth, but offenses will have to pay attention to where he is when he’s on the field. They won’t be able to just single him up with a tight end or anything like that.
23. New York Jets (from SEA)
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The 2020 Butkus Award winner could end up being one of the best picks in the draft, especially when you consider the situation he’s coming into.
OK will be exactly what C.J. Moseley and Jamal Adams were supposed to be, except he can play the roles of both players. New head coach Robert Saleh will know exactly how to use him. Just look at 2020 All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner. That’s the kind of impact OK can have in New York.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
RB Najee Harris, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Steelers could easily go left tackle depending on what happens with Alejandro Villanueva. A Harris/Benny Snell Jr. combo would be almost identical to that of James Connor and Snell at full health.
Harris is a dual-threat back and arguably the best back in this class. Roethlisberger is going to need all the help he can get this year and Harris can aid in that objective.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
S Tre’Von Moehrig, Texas-Christian Horned Frogs
With all due respect, the Jaguars have no one at safety. Like, no one. That’s why they decide to take Moehrig.
A lot of people are throwing an offensive tackle at this pick, but the Jaguars franchised Cam Robinson and drafted Jawaan Taylor two years ago, so they seem to be in decent shape at that spot. However, you need to protect your franchise quarterback. Therefore, if the Jags feel like they need an upgrade then you could easily see them go that route.
26. Cleveland Browns
EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami Hurricanes
The Browns know how valuable it is to have a threat opposite Myles Garrett. Rousseau is a gigantic prospect (6-foot-7, 265-pounds) who can also fill in on the inside of the defensive line when needed.
27. Baltimore Ravens
T Sam Cosmi, Texas Longhorns
Sure, the Ravens have Orlando Brown, but what if they end up trading him? Even though it’s highly unlikely – what if he doesn’t show up when the season starts? Either way, this isn’t an ideal situation and the Ravens need to have a backup plan in case things go awry.
I mean, even if Brown does move over to left tackle, the Ravens will still need a right tackle. Cosmi can fill that spot and fill it well.
28. New Orleans Saints
DT Christian Barmore, Alabama Crimson Tide
Barmore’s stock is falling, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to take him out of the first round just yet. Plus, the Saints have a need on the interior of their defensive line after releasing Malcom Brown earlier in the offseason.
Barmore would form a solid rotation with Shy Tuttle opposite David Onyemata and would essentially negate the loss of Brown. If he can correct his issues and play to his potential, Barmore will be someone teams hate dealing with for years to come.
29. Green Bay Packers
C Landon Dickerson, Alabama Crimson Tide
Green Bay lost arguably the league’s best center in Corey Lindsley to free agency. Ourlads.com currently has Elgton Jenkins at center, which seems like malpractice when it comes to using the Pro Bowl guard.
Dickerson can come in right away and start. He’ll also ensure there are no growing pains if Jenkins is in fact the first option to replace Lindsley. Aaron Rodgers goes yet another draft without a top-tier playmaker in the first round, but a good offensive lineman can be just as valuable -if not more at times- than a receiver.
30. Buffalo Bills
RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina Tar Heels
Sure, the Bills signed Matt Breida, but that doesn’t mean anything. Especially when you consider the Bills used the veteran salary benefit when doing so.
Regardless, Devin Singletary has yet to prove he is capable of a full load and Zack Moss struggled to stay healthy in 2020. Williams is a dynamic playmaker out of the backfield and will give the Bills a three-headed monster (four if they choose to keep Breida) at the position.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
T Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Mike Remmers will start at right tackle, but that could change with Jenkins in the fold. At worst, Jenkins is solid depth. At best, he makes Remmers the solid depth and can protect Patrick Mahomes for the next 6-8 years. Lucas Niang should return to the fold this year, which will help with the current left tackle situation. It’s also a deep draft on the offensive line, so the Chiefs could find their guy later on, as well.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington Huskies
Out of all the available pass rushers, Tryon is the most-rounded of all. He has multiple moves in his arsenal and he is solid against the run. More importantly, the Bucs have two starters in Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul that are not only effective, but will be on the field for the majority of the time.
This allows Tryon to develop and learn from two of the best in the game. A season of limited playing time is a perfect scenario for easing the former Huskie back in. When he does play, he has the ability to be a difference-maker and we all know that Todd Bowles will put him in the best situation(s) to succeed.
The Bucs defense gets better but it also has hope for the future with Tryon on the roster.
If you missed picks No. 1-16, check them out here.