Analysis on every pick in the second and third rounds


The 2021 NFL draft, i.e. the league’s 86th annual “Player Selection Meeting,” rolls on with the second and third rounds Friday night.

After an eventful Thursday in Cleveland, all 32 teams are scheduled to make picks on Day 2 – the Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks all sitting out Round 1 after previously making trades for established veterans. But they’ll enter the fray – though the Texans aren’t slotted until Round 3 – looking to strike gold at a time when the best teams tend fill out their rosters with less-acclaimed prospects.

Now, to the picks:

DRAFT TRACKER: Analysis on every pick in the first round

2021 NFL draft tracker: Second-round picks

Not a ton of production in terms of turning the ball over for the Bulldogs, but you can’t teach sub-4.4 speed or a willingness to tackle. Gives the Jags a nice nickel package with CJ Henderson and newly signed Shaquill Griffin.

34. New York Jets – WR Elijah Moore, Mississippi

The NYJ continue investing in assets to surround new QB Zach Wilson. After bolstering the O-line in Round 1 with OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, GM Joe Douglas gets the explosive receiver from Ole Miss. Moore can operate from the slot, take jet sweeps and turn a hitch into a score. He finished with 86 grabs for 1,193 yards and eight scores in eight games last year. This pick could cast doubt on the future of current slot receiver Jamison Crowder.

He averaged 7.3 yards per carry in 2020 and put the ball in the end zone 22 times. A physical runner who also blocks and catches (25 last year), his arrival means another timeshare as he replaces Phillip Lindsay as Melvin Gordon’s partner in crime.

36. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans) – S Jevon Holland, Oregon

Holland had nine INTs over the 2018 and ’19 seasons before opting out last year. He should upgrade Miami’s shaky back line, which isn’t on par with what should be a solid group of corners.

Story continues

He’s recovering nicely from a torn ACL and should be ready to go for Week 1. Between ‘Bama and his time at Florida State, he’s played all five O-line positions but seems likely to settle at the interior in the NFL. Could be C Jason Kelce’s eventual successor.

He wrecked Ohio State in the CFP national championship game, flashing his ability to clog running lanes and get to the quarterback up the gut. A three-down disruptor who should bring needed athleticism to New England’s front. The Pats gave up two fourth-rounders for the second-round swap with Cincy.

Should settle in at right tackle and become another element (along with first-round QB Justin Fields) that helps Chicago’s shoddy offense help upholding its side of the deal in the Windy City. Bears fans should enjoy Jenkins’ play-to-the-echo-of-the-whistle mentality.

40. Falcons (from Broncos) – S Richie Grant, Central Florida

Atlanta ranked last against the pass in 2020, allowing 34 TD passes. Grant, who had 10 picks over the last three seasons, joins a new-look safety corps that said goodbye to Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee in free agency while welcoming Duron Harmon and Erik Harris.

41. Detroit Lions – DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington

He can defend the run and penetrate on passing downs and should be willing to bite a few kneecaps for new coach Dan Campbell. He was an all-Pac-12 selection in 2019 before opting out last year. Detroit has now picked two linemen from the conference after going with Oregon OT Penei Sewell in Round 1.

42. Dolphins (from New York Giants) – OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame

Giants GM Dave Gettleman trades down again, adding a third-rounder in 2022, enabling Miami to get a new right tackle. Expect Eichenberg to guard southpaw QB Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side after this week’s trade of Ereck Flowers telegraphed a move of 2020 second-rounder Robert Hunt inside.

43. Las Vegas Raiders (from San Francisco 49ers) – S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

Last year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner, Moehrig has nice range, plays with good instincts, can cover and is willing to come up and make a hit. He should nicely complement 2019 first-round S Johnathan Abram, who’s more of a thumper in the box.

44. Dallas Cowboys – CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky

And Dallas begins repairing last year’s sieve-like pass defense, Joseph now paired outside with 2020 second-rounder Trevon Diggs. Joseph’s exceptional athleticism should serve him well as he adapts to the NFL. Joseph, who started his college career at LSU, had four INTs last year.

45. Jaguars (from Minnesota Vikings) – OT Walker Little, Stanford

Massive at 6-7 and 313 pounds, he’s got all the talent in the world but suffered a torn ACL in 2019 and opted out last year. Projects as the successor to Jags LT Cam Robinson, who’s playing on the franchise tag in 2021. Walker should be a good long-term investment as Trevor Lawrence’s blind side sentinel.

46. Bengals (from Patriots) – OT Jackson Carman, Clemson

A 6-5, 317-pounder, Cincinnati didn’t wait long to upgrade QB Joe Burrow’s protection after opting for WR Ja’Marr Chase instead of a left tackle Thursday. Carman protected Lawrence from the left side for Clemson and might get an opportunity to do the same for Burrow, whose rookie season was prematurely ended by a knee injury. If not, Carman could be the long-term right tackle or even a guard.

47. Los Angeles Chargers – CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Another son of a former NFL star, Samuel the Younger is a more willing tackler than dad sometimes was. He can also generate turnovers and helps out the Bolts secondary after the losses of Rayshawn Jenkins and Casey Hayward. Samuel had three picks in eight games for the Seminoles in 2020, when he was an all-ACC selection.

48. 49ers (from Raiders) – G Aaron Banks, Notre Dame

Another all-ACC pick, the 6-5, 325-pounder should help facilitate the Niners’ ground game, which is truly the key to their offense. This O-line is getting a nice boost this spring after veteran C Alex Mack also signed.

49. Arizona Cardinals – WR Rondale Moore, Purdue

Moore blazed an unofficial 4.29 40 at his pro day while posting 42½-inch vertical jump. He posted 114 catches and 14 TDs as a freshman in 2018 … but injuries, including to his hamstring, have kept him off the field quite a bit since. Small (5-7, 181) but very strong, he could be a dangerous weapon – also able to produce on jet sweeps or pitches – between veteran WRs DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green.

50. Giants (from Dolphins) – OLB/DE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

He led the SEC with 8½ sacks in 2020 and was so well respected that he was named a team captain as a freshman. Can man the edge in odd or even fronts. The Giants didn’t have a five-sack performance from any of their edge players in 2020.

51. Washington Football Team – LT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

The all-Big-12 performer stands 6-6 and 314 pounds and should plug in immediately at left tackle for the WFT. Cosmi may not have elite physical skills, but he is durable and can also play right tackle. The Football Team continues to build a nice roster even if a quarterback of the future will have to come in the future.

52. Browns (from Bears via Panthers) – LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

Cleveland trades up (and surrenders a third-rounder as part of its Round 2 flip with Carolina) to end JOK’s free fall. A 6-1, 221-pounder, Owusu-Koramoah compares himself to the Colts’ Darius Leonard and also doles out some thunderous hits. He can defend in space and cover large sectors of the field for a Browns defense that continues to add studs.

53. Tennessee Titans – OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State

He took care of Trey Lance for the Bison and represents the Titans’ latest whack at right tackle after they let All-Pro Jack Conklin walk after the 2019 season and wasted a first-round pick on Isaiah Wilson last year. A left tackle in college, Radunz also provides a nice measure of versatility. Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry say thank you.

54. Indianapolis Colts – DE Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt

He’s coming off an Achilles injury but had 5½ sacks in eight games last year. If the Colts are lucky, Odeyingbo and first-rounder Kwity Paye could be the new Dwight Freeney-Robert Mathis combo for the 2020s.

55. Pittsburgh Steelers – TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

The “Baby Gronk” nickname isn’t entirely accurate even though he wore No. 87 and has a similar gait. But Freiermuth should be a nice combo tight end for an offense that’s incrementally getting overhauled this offseason. He had 92 catches for 1,185 yards and 16 TDs in three seasons with the Nittany Lions.

56. Seattle Seahawks – WR D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan

Welcome to the draft, Seattle, which gave up its first-rounder in the Jamal Adams deal … and that’s OK given the Seahawks’ spotty record in Round 1 lately. Eskridge brings more athleticism to the passing game with his blazing speed, averaging 23.4 yards per catch over the past two seasons. At 5-9, 190 pounds, he’s more Tyler Lockett than DK Metcalf. Still, what about that offensive line, fellas?

57. Los Angeles Rams – WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville

Welcome to the draft, L.A., which gave up its first-rounder in the Jalen Ramsey deal. Atwell may only be 5-9 while hovering near 150 pounds, but his speed could bring another dimension to an offense that already added DeSean Jackson. An all-ACC selection in 2019 when he led the conference with 1,272 receiving yards, Atwell could demand every ounce of QB Matthew Stafford’s arm strength.

58. Kansas City Chiefs (from Baltimore Ravens) – LB Nick Bolton, Missouri

The two-time all-SEC performer is short at 5-11 and 237 pounds – so were London Fletcher and Zach Thomas – but brings thump and range from just down the road to the AFC champs, who could use both at the second level. Bolton had 16½ tackles for loss over the past two seasons.

59. Panthers (from Browns) – WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

The first offensive pick of the Matt Rhule era, Carolina’s doctors are apparently comfortable with Marshall’s medical flags. If he’s healthy, pretty sweet value for a 6-3, 205-pounder who provides QB Sam Darnold with another supplementary downfield option to DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. Of Marshall’s 94 grabs over the past two seasons, 23 went for TDs. He reunites with former LSU OC Joe Brady, too.

60. New Orleans Saints – LB Pete Werner, Ohio State

He’ll team with All-Pro Demario Davis after Alex Anzalone signed with Detroit. An all-Big Ten selection with a nose for the football, Werner (6-3, 238) flashed sub-4.6 speed at the Buckeyes’ pro day and should be an every-down player.

61. Buffalo Bills – DE Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest

“Boogie” Basham is a high-effort D-lineman who continues adding to the depth here after Buffalo took DE Gregory Rousseau in Round 1. At 6-3, 274 pounds, Basham should also be more stout against the run than some of the Bills’ lighter edge players.

62. Green Bay Packers – C Josh Myers, Ohio State

The Pack lost All-Pro C Corey Linsley, another Buckeye, in free agency to the Chargers. Myers should slide into this spot to deliver snaps to Aaron Rodgers … presumably.

63. Chiefs – C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

Kansas City has not re-signed Austin Reiter, the starting center the past two seasons. Enter the two-time Big 12 offensive lineman of the year, who’s worked with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray and now gets a chance to snap to Patrick Mahomes … if Humphrey can beat out veteran Austin Blythe on a revamped O-line that was the Chiefs’ downfall in Super Bowl 55.

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Kyle Trask, Florida

He led FBS with 43 TD passes in 2020. Trask is huge at 6-5 and 236 pounds, but doesn’t necessarily possess the huge arm Bruce Arians generally favors. Lightly recruited out of high school, Trask could find something in common with 2000 sixth-rounder Tom Brady as the Bucs bring in a potential successor once TB12 decides he’s had enough … which is at least age 45 according to the five-time Super Bowl MVP.

A general view of the 2021 NFL Draft Stage at First Energy Stadium.

2021 NFL draft tracker: Third-round picks65. Jaguars – S Andre Cisco, Syracuse

He had 12 INTs between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, but a torn ACL ruined the former all-ACC performer’s final year with the Orange. But fully healthy, he could be an upgrade in center field for the Jags.

66. Vikings (from Jets) – QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M

Intriguing prospect who won Senior Bowl MVP honors after steadily improving throughout his college career. Finished with 71 TDs and 27 INTs for the Aggies and is a much better athlete than Minnesota starter Kirk Cousins. Mond, who had 9,661 passing yards in college and 1,609 on the ground will get time to develop here but could maybe push to play eventually given Cousins is only under contract through 2022.

67. Texans – QB Davis Mills, Stanford

Houston’s first pick of this draft … is a potential replacement for Deshaun Watson. Mills was highly recruited out of high school, but knee injuries limited him to 11 starts. He ran a sub-4.6 40 at his pro day and is the kind of compelling prospect you’d love to develop … maybe behind Tyrod Taylor? Keep an eye on this one.

68. Falcons – OT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan

Good value here for Atlanta given Mayfield was often projected as a first-rounder. Might wind up at guard in the NFL.

69. Bengals – LB Joseph Ossai, Texas

After shelling out for DE Trey Hendrickson in free agency, Cincinnati continues adding to its pass rush after losing Carl Lawson, Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins since last season.

70. Panthers (from Eagles) – OT Brady Christensen, BYU

Zach Wilson’s left tackle could get a shot to reprise that role for Darnold by filling one of Carolina’s biggest needs.

71. Broncos –

72. Lions –

73. Panthers –

74. Washington (from 49ers) –

75. Cowboys –

76. Giants –

77. Chargers –

78. Vikings –

79. Raiders (from Cardinals) –

80. Raiders –

81. Dolphins –

82. Washington –

83. Panthers (from Bears) –

84. Cowboys (from Colts via Eagles) –

85. Titans –

86. Vikings (from Seahawks via Jets) –

87. Steelers –

88. Rams –

89. Panthers (from Browns) –

90. Vikings (from Ravens) –

91. Browns (from Saints) –

92. Packers –

93. Bills –

94. Ravens (from Chiefs) –

95. Buccaneers –

x-96. Patriots –

x-97. Chargers –

x-98. Saints –

x-99. Cowboys –

x-100. Titans –

x-101. Lions (from Rams) –

x-102. 49ers –

x-103. Rams –

x-104. Ravens –

x-105. Saints –

(x-compensatory selection)

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Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL draft 2021: Analysis on every pick in the second and third rounds



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