Trevor Lawrence

Predicting every pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft

20. Bears – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

The Bears need an offensive line if they want Andy Dalton to succeed. They slapped a franchise tag on Allen Robinson to hold onto a legitimate no.1 receiver. Now they set the foundations in the trenches with the massive Jenkins.

A brutish Tackle who uses his hands aggressively and moves well at 317 lbs, Jenkins would offer blindside protection to Dalton and afford him time to find the likes of Robinson. Jenkins will need to use his lower body better in blocking, and improve his technique with his hands as his arms are considered short for the position. However, he has the raw tools that can be refined into a strong outside blocker.

21. Colts – Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

With Jenkins gone just one pick earlier, the Colts have to settle for a freak athlete on the defensive side of the ball. While zero sacks last season will concern some teams on his production, Oweh did have 6.5 tackles for loss. He often frustrated QBs with his pass rush, so the lack of sacks doesn’t paint a full picture.

Oweh’s lit up his pro day (4.36 40 yard dash, 11’2” broad jump), and utilizes his hands well to get by pass blockers. He needs to show production at the NFL level, which will start by increasing his set of pass rush moves and his timing. Oweh is a raw prospect compared to some more developed players. The Colts have shown they can develop young players quickly in recent years.

       

22. Titans – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

The Titans suddenly have needs in multiple positions, with Corner, Wide Receiver, and the offensive line positions of need, as well as a frankly anaemic pass rush. They go for Corner here, believing there is depth at other positions to fill spaces in later rounds. Issues with Caleb Farley’s back mean the Titans, like the Cardinals, take the safer pick here.

Newsome had excellent tape with Northwestern last season, with 10 passes defended in only 6 games, and zero touchdowns allowed. He shows instinct getting to the ball early, and finishes tackles well, despite his leaner frame. He may struggle against more physical receivers early on, but his football IQ is very high so he will adjust quickly to the NFL.

23. Jets – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Farley seems like exactly the player Joe Douglas likes: A good player with strong character who others have downgraded due to injury concerns (e.g Bryce Hall, 2020). Assuming Farley can stay healthy, the Jets may have gotten a future Pro Bowl-esque Corner.

Farley had microdiscectomy surgery in March for his back, and suffered an ACL tear in 2017. If he can get healthy, his size and frame (6’1”, 197lbs) will help him carry over his best qualities to the NFL. He has fantastic instincts, knows how to find the ball (16 passes defended and 4 INTs in 2019), and is a strong tackler at the position. Farley could be the best Corner in this draft, but only if he can be injury-free.

24. Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

There are no offensive linemen left with obvious 1st round grades in the draft, so the Steelers may trade up on the night to fill their biggest need. However in this scenario, Pittsburgh get their next big Running Back and take some pressure off Ben Roethlisberger’s deteriorating arm.

Harris is a physical runner who loves to stiff arm defenders, but has also shown dependable hands as a pass catcher, and has the body size to be an effective blocker. He gets north-south quickly with his cuts, and although he needs to improve his processing speed at seeing running lanes develop, Steelers fans will love his physical, blue-collar build.

       

25. Jaguars – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

This pick makes sense because of the Jaguars draft capital. Moehrig is clearly the best Safety in this draft class. With picks early in the 2nd round (33 and 45) they can address other needs (Receiver, Linebacker) at positions with more quality in depth later.

Moehrig works well in Jacksonville as he has the intelligence and play recognition teams love. He can diagnose routes quickly and get himself between the receiver and the ball. Although he doesn’t have a big build for the position, he uses his length well to wrap players in the tackle, and is versatile in pass coverage and in the box. Moehrig gives the Jaguars a defensive leader to pair with Lawrence on offence.

26. Browns – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

With Jadeveon Clowney on board, the Browns no longer believe they have a pressing need at the Edge. Therefore, they can continue to target and address their needs as they have done the past few offseasons, taking Owusu-Koramoah. The Notre Dame product is fast and plays with a twitch that many players just don’t.

Sometimes he can be too eager with that twitch and speed, overreacting to plays before they fully develop. However he is intelligent and shows awareness of coverage that, combined with his athleticism, make him a nightmare to play against. He can force fumbles in contact, as well making plays in the air. With some improvement in tackling, Owusu-Koramoah can be a high-level Linebacker in the league.

27. Ravens – Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

The Ravens can go Receiver or Edge here. They have needs in both positions. Watching the draft develop, they see several good pass catching options still on the board later on, and take a risk on Phillips. Despite his past concussions issues, Phillips looks like a real outside pass rushing menace.

With 8 sacks in 10 games last year, Phillips announced himself to NFL scouts with his production, physicality, and speed in pass rushing scenarios. Watching him use his ankles to get around Tackles. He does need to get better at finishing tackles and disengaging with blockers faster, but he has potential to be a destructive player opposite Calais Campbell.

28. Saints – Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi

The Saints need another consistent option in the passing game alongside Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill are replacing future Hall of Famer Drew Brees at Quarterback, they add a threat from the slot in Moore to ease the transition slightly.

Moore is great at creating separation with his speed. While he doesn’t have the biggest route tree, the routes he runs looks smooth and controlled. He has strong hands to win contested throws, and isn’t afraid to take a hit, which will be crucial at the NFL playing across the field from the slot.

29. Packers – Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU

After stupefying the league by taking Jordan Love last year, the Packers work towards rectifying things with Aaron Rodgers by giving him a new target. Marshall can play outside and in the slot, and has the speed to stretch the field.

He attacks the catch point well, and absorbs contact well to break tackles. He does have some concentration concerns, and will need to improve his separation at the next level. However, another weapon for Rodgers that also takes double teams away from Davante Adams can only be a good thing for Green Bay.

30. Bills – Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

The Bills can’t believe their luck as a top player in a position they have lacked star power in is available at 30. Ojulari is a speed rusher, using his get off and bend to get around blockers before they can get fully set. He has long arms for his height, offsetting concerns about his size for the position.

Ojulari uses his hands and natural timing well to force his way past, often drawing penalties in the process. His backfield vision allows him to get to the Running Back quickly, but he’ll need to add more to his rushing arsenal than just speed moves to get to the next level. Overall, Ojulari is an excellent fit for a Bills team crying out for pressure off the edge.

31. Chiefs – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

The Chiefs badly need a Tackle, and can’t afford to wait until the 2nd round to get one. Cosmi may be a reach, but it does give Patrick Mahomes the protection he so sorely lacked in the Superbowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cosmi doesn’t have the ideal height or power for the position, but he shows good lower body quickness to get ahead of speed rushes and seal the edge on running plays. He uses his hands well to chop at hands of rushing defenders. Cosmi also adjusts quickly to rushing sets. While his power is a slight worry, he can improve his strength with coaching and shows good technique.

32. Buccaneers – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

The Buccaneers adopted a ‘run it back’ strategy this offseason, re-signing almost all of their free agents. A team this stacked will only get better with players that can play a variety of ways, which Collins can do.

Zaven Collins is an extremely capable outside Linebacker, who can also play Edge when needed. He has the physical tools (long arms, speed) that make him exciting, but his versatility make him ideal for Todd Bowles‘ defence. He can read the Quarterback’s eyes while sitting at Linebacker, but he has shown promise and a burst off the edge. His range of stats last season (11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 6 passes defended, 4 INTs) show he can do several things well.

What should your team do in the 1st round? Are there any players you’re surprised didn’t go in the 1st round? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

If you’re looking for where to watch the 2021 NFL Draft, the NFL Gamepass is an option to consider. 

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