7:00 AM ET
- Mel Kipper Jr.
Mel Kiper has been an NFL analyst for ESPN since 1984. He appears regularly on SportsCenter and on ESPN radio stations and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
- Todd McShay.
ESPN Senior Writer
- ESPN college football player and NFL draft analyst
- ESPN since 2006.
- He played quarterback in high school and was a reserve quarterback at the University of Richmond.
With nine days to go until the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, let’s look ahead with another three-round mock draft…. With a twist. This time, ESPN NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay based their predictions on what they would do with each pick, not what they think each team would do. They play against the general managers of the 32 teams according to their personal rankings. Rules for the project :
- Three full rounds, 105 full rounds, and all about who Kiper and McShay would pick in each round.
- Kiper and McShay alternated each pick, with Kiper starting at #1 and taking odd numbers and McShay taking even numbers.
- No deal that means I won’t take player X if you won’t take player Y. No cheating.
We’ve also added our ESPN NFL Draft Day Predictor odds for every first round pick available in the slot. It’s a model that predicts the range of likely outcomes for NFL prospects based on mock drafts, team needs and Scouts Inc. evaluations to give us probability and likelihood of selection.
Kiper starts us off with the Jaguars, and he also gets the last pick as we make the compensatory selection for the Saints at #105. Four teams have five rebounds, including the Jaguars. Kiper also made the only trade in this three-round projection where the team jumps into the top 10 to take the quarterback. Watch the 90-minute SportsCenter special at 7 p.m. and on Tuesdays (ESPN2 and ESPN App) to see how they do via our picks.
Message: The asterisk indicates a compensatory selection. Also, don’t forget that the Patriots gave up their own third round pick.
Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3
The choice of tipper: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson.
No surprise there. Lawrence is one of my highest-rated quarterbacks, and he will immediately become the face of the Jaguars.
Lawrence’s chances of being available here, according to ESPN NFL Draft Predictor of the Day NFL Draft: 100%
McShay’s choice: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU.
If there was any doubt about the Jets’ willingness to move on from the second QB, it disappeared when they sold Sam Darnold earlier this month. Wilson has a lot of potential as a guy New York can build around.
Chances of Wilson being available here are 98.5%.
The choice of tipper: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State.
You must know by now how much I love Fields. He has everything it takes to become a superstar and will thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Fields’ chances of being available here: 100%
McShay’s choice: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida.
Sure, there’s a good chance new coach Arthur Smith gets his future QB with this pick, but I’m not about to let a multi-dimensional offensive nightmare like Pitts get away with it. It can be used anywhere on the plane and is almost impossible to cover.
Pitts chances of getting here: 96.4%
The choice of tipper: Pena Sewell, OT, Oregon.
I don’t think the Bengals can give up a good left tackle like Sewell, even with Joe Barrow’s friend Ja’Marr Chase still on the roster. Barrow can’t throw the ball when he’s on his back.
Sewell’s chances of being available here: 98.0%
McShay’s choice: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU.
Chase is my top receiver, and Miami should definitely get another weapon for Tua Tagovailoa. Suddenly he had Chase, Will Fuller V and DeVante Parker. You can win with this trio.
Chase’s chances of being available here: 45.0%
Business forecast: New England goes for QB
Tipper: We needed a quarterback – that happens every year – so I’m going to make one, since I’m the general manager of the odd teams. In this deal, the Patriots make a jump of eight spots to get their player, while the Lions add the Patriots’ second-round pick (No. 46) and future picks, possibly even their first-round pick next year. There’s a lot to be said for that, but Bill Belichick and his teammates need a long-term solution at the game’s most important position.
The choice of tipper: Mack Jones, QB, Alabama.
Jones is slightly ahead of Trey Lance, and I think he’s more willing to play for a rookie, especially for a team that made some winning moves this season. Plus, Josh McDaniels has already proven he can scheme for the pocket passer with incredible accuracy.
Jones’ chances of being available here: 6.8%
McShay’s choice: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern.
The Panthers need to protect Sam Darnold to make it work. They have a Taylor Moton as a franchise, but Slater can start opposite him as a left tackle or slide in to protect him all year.
Slater’s chances of being available here: 99.0%
The choice of tipper: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State.
Remember: This spot draft is what I would do, and I don’t think Drew Lock is the long term solution in Denver. Lance is only 20 and needs time, but he has a high ceiling.
Lance’s chances of being available here: 5.1%
McShay’s choice: Patrick Stein II, CB, Alabama.
Dallas gets the first pick in the defensive pool, and I’m reunited with former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs in this CBS room. Saving is the real stopping point.
Keep the chances of being available here: 84.7%
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay give their opinions on what the Cowboys should do with their first round pick.
The choice of tipper: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama.
Daniel Jones needs more weapons and he will now have a Heisman Trophy winner in free agent Kenny Golladay. The Giants’ offense can be dangerous in the NFC East.
Smith’s chances of being available here: 47.6%
McShay’s choice: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama.
Philadelphia may expire: The Eagles are back at #12 and still have one of their top four pass catchers. Waddle is the most dangerous player in the class when he has the ball in his hands.
Vadle’s chances of being available here: 49.9%
The choice of tipper: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech.
McShay surprised me by putting Rashaun Slater at #8, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that Darrisaw will finish that high. He could be LA’s starter at left tackle as a rookie.
There’s a good chance Darrisaw is available here: 93.2%
McShay’s choice: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC.
There are holes in the Vikings’ roster, and Vera-Tucker is versatile, even if he is better suited for the guard position. He is a strong blocker at the second level and will help Dalvin Cook create space in the run game.
The chances of Vera Tucker being available here… : 87.4%
The choice of tipper: Micah Parsons, Los Angeles, Penn State.
Detroit takes a step back for extra assets and still gets a defensive player against. Parsons is a playmaker who can be used as both a tailback and pass rusher.
There’s a good chance Parsons will be available here: 21.2%
McShay’s choice: Jaycee Horn, BC, South Carolina.
Both outside CBs are on one-year contracts and Horn is a tough corner with wheels. Arizona needs someone to handle the elite receivers in the NFC West now that Patrick Peterson is elsewhere.
Horn’s chances of being available here: 28.8%
– Smile: Kiper | McShay | Tannenbaum
– Rating: Kiper | McShay
– Kiper/McShay: Dueling Fake | All-22
– Team Needs | Best Features QB | Mailbag
– McShay Playmakers | Favorite Kipper
– Full Review | Choose Order | More
The choice of tipper: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU…
That might be a little high for my best safety, but the Raiders were hard to predict with Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock at the helm. Meurig could be a depth defender alongside Jonathan Abrams.
There’s a good chance Meurig will be available here: 88.7%
McShay’s choice: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoa, Los Angeles, Notre Dame.
The Dolphins are in the top 10, so I look at the defense and give them something they haven’t had in a long time: a versatile linebacker who can cover and fill multiple roles.
The chances of Owusu-Koramoa being available here: 59.8%
The choice of tipper: Jamin Davis, Los Angeles, Kentucky.
Washington has a good front four, but could do better at middle linebacker. Davis has an elite 2020 season tape and has some light power.
Davis’ chances of being available here: 96.6%
McShay’s choice: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech.
I don’t see any offensive receptions here for Chicago, although I did some digging and the day 1 quarterbacks are off the board. With Desmond Trufant signing a one-year contract, I think Farley – arguably the best cornerback in the class – will be Jaylon Johnson’s staging position for the next few years.
Farley’s chances of being available here: 37.6%
The choice of tipper: Jaelan Phillips, Washington State, Miami.
I can’t believe this is the first edge of the board. Phillips has had injuries – he quit football while at UCLA – but his ability to throw the pass is undeniable. And that’s the Colts’ biggest need.
Phillips’ chances of being available here: 74.0%
McShay’s choice: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss…
I keep going back and forth between Tony Moore and Florida’s Kadarius, but I think Moore is explosive enough to absorb the Titans’ losses in the receiving game (Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries).
Moore’s chances of being available here: 95.6%
The choice of tipper: Greg Newsom II, CB, Northwestern…
I was thinking Quiti Pai’s defense, but Newsome might be the Jets’ best corner on day 1. New coach Robert Saleh will love Newsom’s ability to turn and run against the faster leagues.
There’s a good chance Newsom is available here: 53.8%
McShay’s choice: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama.
Pittsburgh’s 3.6 yards per carry was last in the NFL in 2020, and they just lost their most productive carry with James Conner. Mel doesn’t like the first round, but it makes too much sense.
Harris’ chances of being available here: 77.3%
The choice of tipper: Kadarius Tony, WR, Florida.
I love Tony’s adjustment to Jacksonville, where new coach Urban Meyer finds creative ways to get the ball in his hands. He’ll be friends with Trevor Lawrence.
Tony’s chances of being available here: 49.5%
McShay’s choice: Quiti Pei, D, Michigan…
It’s a mini-slider for Paye, my best guard, but Cleveland isn’t complaining. The Browns still need a top pass rusher opposite Myles Garrett, even after contracting Jadeveon Clowney and Takkarist McKinley.
Pay’s chances of being available here: 5.7%
The choice of tipper: Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU.
I stay consistent… Marshall to the Ravens in each of my four spot drafts because Lamar Jackson needs an outside threat. Marshall was overshadowed a bit at LSU, but he can go where he wants.
the chances of Marshall being available here are 84.4%.
McShay’s choice: Rashod Bateman, Rhode Island, Minnesota.
If Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill succeed, they will need a backup receiver. Bateman makes tough catches in the middle of the field and is versatile.
Bateman’s chances of being available here: 68.9%
The choice of tipper: Bitches Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State.
Since McShay took Bateman, I’ll settle for a starting tackle for Green Bay. Jenkins, who played right tackle in college, is very strong in the run game.
Jenkins is probably here: 34.1%
McShay’s choice: Zaven Collins, Los Angeles, Tulsa.
Collins is able to cover, plug holes in the defense and attack the passer. He would fit well alongside Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano at the second level, supporting Buffalo’s pass rush in the middle of the field.
Collins’ chances of being available here: 44.6%
Check out the best moments of Tulsa OLB Zaven Collins’ college career.
The choice of tipper: Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama.
I’m a big fan of Dickerson, who could be in the 2nd round. partly because he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in December. But if healthy, he could become a starter at center for the Chiefs, who need better linemen.
Dickerson’s chances of being available here: 91.6%
McShay’s choice: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan …
Mayfield is a motion blocker who can help open up lanes for the Bucs’ run game. I think he’ll serve as a swing tackle at first before getting a starting job opposite first round pick Tristan Wirth in 2020.
Mayfield’s chances of being available here: 89.7%
The choice of tipper: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson…
Yes, those are the Jaguars’ top three choices. They were not good on either side of the ball, there is a reason they got the first pick. Etienne will be a threat in the passing game with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
McShay’s choice: Aziz Ojulari, OLB, Georgia.
New York struggled at QB last year, and Ojulari is the best at it. He will be a very good edge defender and can help cover underneath.
The choice of tipper: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina.
New coach Arthur Smith, who had Derrick Henry at Tennessee, is adding a physical running back to relieve Matt Ryan. Williams had the highest number of broken tackles of any running back in the FBS last season.
Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay analyzed the 2021 NFL Draft.
– The first version of the podcast
McShay’s choice: Liam Eichenberg, OT/G, Notre Dame…
Finding a receiver for Tua Tagovailoa (Ja’Marr Chase) was half the battle. How about a clean bag? I expect GM Chris Grier to put money into this offense and I do. Eichenberg is versatile enough to play both defenseman and defensive end.
The choice of tipper: Nick Bolton, Los Angeles, Missouri…
This is a good thing for the Eagles, who need a middle linebacker in coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s new defense. Bolton is a catcher.
McShay’s choice: Tutu Atwell, R.R., Louisville.
Mel asked Peney Sewell to protect Joe Barrow, so now I want to find a catcher for him. Atwell is lightning fast and can give the offense some advantages.
The choice of tipper: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College.
Ian Thomas, a fourth-round pick in 2018, has had just 36 catches over the past two seasons, so the Panthers need a tight end who can stretch the middle of the field. Long is also a good blocker – he’s a complete player.
McShay’s choice: Asante Samuel Jr, CBS Florida.
Linebacker was the first thing I looked for in my availability list, but there’s just no value there. Although Denver drafted Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller (who is on a one-year contract), I think this cornerback unit still needs depth. In the short term, Samuel could also play a role as a nigger.
The choice of tipper: Dyami Brown, Rhode Island, North Carolina.
With Detroit not in action in the first extension due to its trades, we add Brown to the bare list. In the last two seasons, he has averaged 20 yards per catch.
McShay’s choice: Ronnie Perkins, OLB/DE, Oklahoma.
I love this cut. Perkins is a great dough machine, which is exactly what the Giants need, and that’s a good value for him in this area. Last season he had 5.5 sacks and nine QB hurries in just six games.
Check out the highlights of Ronnie Perkins’ performance on Oklahoma’s defensive side.
The choice of tipper: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia.
Campbell has had an inconsistent college career, but teams are looking for quality touches here. The 49ers allowed Akello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman to become free agents.
McShay’s choice: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama…
Last year, only three teams allowed more than five yards per carry, and Dallas was one of them. Barmore would help stop the bleeding in the middle of the defense.
The choice of tipper: Richie Grant, S., UCF.
That’s four rebounds so far for the Jaguars, and that’s the first on defense. Grant has the versatility to play in the middle or in the mesh.
McShay’s choice: Joe Tryon, Washington.
In the first round, this pick goes to Detroit via Mel’s Lions-Patriots trade. I liked Romeo Okwara’s return to the Lions, but I want to see a lot more. Tryon can play either defensive end or outside linebacker – 3-4 linebackers.
The choice of tipper: Jason Ow, DE/OLB, Penn State.
Oveh made some noise as a rookie because of his athletic ability, but I wouldn’t rate him that highly. The Chargers can let him be a rookie.
McShay’s choice: Calvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky…
Texas’ Samuel Cosmey or North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz could play a role in rebuilding the offensive line, but the Raiders missed the seventh-most yards in the NFL last season (4,212). Let’s continue to build on the second.
The choice of tipper: Amari Rogers, WR, Clemson.
Rodgers is one of the best receivers in this class, and Kyler Murray needs an inferior target who can get open. Christian Kirk is in the final year of his rookie contract.
McShay’s choice: Samuel Cosmey, OT/G, Texas.
No backs in this area, it’s more of a Tua Tagovailoa defense. And, like Liam Eichenberg, Cosmi is versatile and can play both indoors and outdoors. Let’s see if Tagovailoa is really a Miami man.
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The choice of tipper: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford.
Here’s the sixth quarterback in the class. Mills is all over teams’ rosters, but he makes sense in Washington, which doesn’t collect enough to take a top-five signal-caller. Mills only played in 14 games at Stanford, so there’s a certain risk in drafting him higher.
McShay’s choice: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue.
If Mel Davis hadn’t taken Mills in 1951, I’d have him here. I’m not ready for Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond or Florida’s Kyle Trask yet, so I’ll give Andy Dalton another game-changer. Moore has rare speed, and he literally explodes.
The choice of tipper: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia.
The Titans have parted ways with Adoree Jackson, Desmond King II and Malcolm Butler and only have Janoris Jenkins back. If they don’t pick a corner in the first round, they’ll have to pick one here. Stokes took four shots last season.
McShay’s choice: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State.
Remember how new Colts QB Carson Wentz was under fire every Sunday in Philadelphia last season? It didn’t go so well. And left tackle Anthony Castonzo just retired.
The choice of tipper: Alex Leatherwood, OT/G, Alabama.
I don’t think Leatherwood is a top-50 player, but he’s a good fit for Pittsburgh, which needs a linebacker and a tackle. If McShay is going to give the Steelers a chance to get back in the first round, they need to block a player.
McShay’s choice: Gregory Russo, DE, Miami…
We have a pick for Seattle in the first three rounds. Russo’s Pro Day left a lot to be desired, but he had 15.5 sacks in 2019 and 15.5 in 2020. He just needs a little clarification.
The choice of tipper: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma…
This is the Rams’ first pick, and they can get an immediate starter in Humphrey who excels as a runner and pass blocker. There is a chance Humphrey is the best center, even higher in the second round.
McShay’s choice: Carlos Basham Jr, DE/OLB, Wake Forest.
The departure of Matthew Jadon and Yannick Ngakoue leaves a hole on the wing, and Basham has strength in abundance. He can also come into the house when asked.
The choice of tipper: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn.
The speedy Schwartz could be a depth threat for the Browns, who still need depth at the receiver position. It was used on routes under the university, but it has untapped potential.
Check out the highlights of Auburn’s dynamic wide receiver Anthony Schwartz.
McShay’s choice: Jabril Cox, Los Angeles, LSU…
Rashod Bateman keeps the WRs in check, and with Cox the defense now has an effective inside linebacker who is excellent in coverage.
The choice of tipper: Aaron Robinson, QB, UCF.
I was thinking about the tight end, but Robinson has the potential to be a starter versus Tre’David White. It is also an excellent stapler that is underrated for its corners.
McShay’s choice: Patrick Jones II, DE, Pitt…
Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace and Michigan’s Nico Collins provided insight into the current need for pass stealers. But in the end, I was fine with Jones fitting into a team that had no depth on the perimeter.
The choice of tipper: Malcolm Coons, OLB, Buffalo.
Finally a spot for my boy Koonsae, who is one of my favorite baseball players in this class. He’s long and athletic and can wreak havoc for the Chiefs as a situational defender.
McShay’s choice: Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma.
Antonio Brown doesn’t seem to be able to come back, and Tom Brady is at his best when he can get the ball to multiple targets. Wallace also has a lot of speed.
The choice of tipper: Quinn Miners, C.G., Wisconsin Whitewater.
Let’s round out the top 5 Jags in the first three rounds with a D-III line that no one should doubt. He can play guard or center, but he might be better suited to succeed Andrew Norvell in Jacksonville.
McShay’s choice: Jackson Carman, OT/G, Clemson.
We need to keep Zach Wilson up and Carman has the size, mobility and versatility. He can be a right tackle or a guard inside.
The choice of tipper: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, West Michigan.
He is the Texans’ first pick in this draft since Laremy Tunsil, the former coach/general manager, was traded. Eskridge is a slot player who will also play an important role in the return game.
McShay’s choice: Elijah Molden, CBS Washington.
The Falcons are just getting rid of the needs, one by one. Molden is more of a nickel back who stands out in coverage and can run the ball.
Check out the best moments of Elijah Molden’s college career.
The choice of tipper: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame…
After knocking off the Bengals in the first round, the Canes can fill another hole and help protect Joe Burrow and back up Joe Mixon. A more effective running game will make Burrow more effective as a passer.
McShay’s choice: Ifeata Melifonva, Syracuse, Syracuse…
Melifonwu needs some refinement, but he has a lot of potential as a pressure corner. The Eagles lack depth at the position outside of Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox (who could be a free agent in 2022).
The choice of tipper: Joseph Ossai, OLB, Texas.
This is a great landing, as Ossai is undersized and should probably end up on a team that uses a 3-4. He could be a threat to new defender Vic Fangio.
McShay’s choice: Javon Holland, S, Oregon.
The Lions’ defense has a Help Wanted shield at most positions, and Holland has a ball hawk that can even stretch out and line up in the slot.
The choice of tipper: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan State.
I helped Sam Darnold with a second-round tight end and Collins with a 6-foot-4 wide receiver who averaged 19.7 yards per catch in 2019. It could have been stolen so late.
McShay’s choice: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati…
Another second liner who can play both inside and out, Hudson needs time to develop. He is a game changer on the defensive line with only one full season as a starter under his belt.
The choice of tipper: Walker Little, OT, Stanford…
The offensive line has been a tricky problem for the Cowboys, who suffered a number of serious injuries last season. He missed most of 2019 with a knee injury and was waived last season, but he has some first-round tools.
McShay’s choice: Chazz Surratt, Los Angeles, North Carolina.
Surratt has a sideline and can cover tight ends or running backs in the passing game. He brings another element to the Giants’ corps.
The choice of tipper: Benjamin St. Clair Only, CB, Minnesota…
It was either a corner or a catcher here, and St. John’s was the place to be. Just has some potential. He made just 14 starts in college after coming over from Michigan. He could be the successor to Chris Harris Jr.
McShay’s choice: Payton Turner, DE, Houston.
Minnesota’s 23 sacks were among the five worst in 2020, and Turner had the strength to support blockers and get to the QB. He will likely play a rotation role early in his career, but he should develop into a solid starter.
Watch highlights of Payton Turner’s rush to the field in Houston.
The choice of tipper: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa.
Brown is massive – 6-foot-4 – and physically similar to Raiders tackle Colton Miller, who just got a big extension. He had 32 leavers in college, that’s true.
McShay’s choice: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington.
This is a very good addition in depth for the Raiders. He is very disruptive and can rotate with Quinton Jefferson, Johnathan Hankins and Solomon Thomas inside for the 4-3 Las Vegas.
The choice of tipper: Chris Rumph II, Los Angeles, Duke.
How did McShay get the first four Dolphins? Rumph has some versatility – Duke has used him all over the field – but he fits as an outside linebacker for the Dolphins, who need more of their pass rush this season. He had eight sacks in 2020. His father, Chris, is the Bears’ defensive line coach.
McShay’s choice: Shea Smith, Rhode Island, South Carolina.
Washington’s offense needs more weapons, and Smith is a good route runner with good speed and hands. He impressed during the Senior Bowl, running a 4.33 40-yard dash on his pro day.
The choice of tipper: Amon-Ra St. Brown, R.R., U.S.C.
I know McShay gave the Bears Rondale Moore in the second round, but they need all the help they can get from Andy Dalton. St. John’s Brown has 178 catches over the past three seasons and knows how to get open.
McShay’s choice: Andre Sisko, S., Syracuse…
Cisco is a ball hawk in the backfield and has thrown 13 interceptions in 24 games. Last season, the Eagles were one of four teams to finish in the single digits in that category.
The choice of tipper: Pat Freyermuth, TE, Penn State.
Following the departure of Jonnu Smith, the Titans have recruited Anthony Fierkser to supplement the tight end depth chart. Freyermuth often played in the slot for the Nittany Lions, and he had already developed as a pass catcher.
Check out the best moments of Penn State TE Pat Fryermuth’s college career.
McShay’s choice: Wyatt Davis, G., Ohio.
The number of running backs is down, although the transfer of Trey and Michael Carter from North Carolina to Ohio State has piqued my interest in the position. But Davis is a defender who dominates pass protection, and right now the Jets need everything they can get in that area.
The choice of tipper: Sean Wade, CB, Ohio.
Wade got first-round attention after the 2019 season, but he had a disappointing 2020 season covering opponent’s top receiver. He should be better from the slot, and if he can regain his form from 2019, he could be a bargain.
McShay’s choice: Pete Werner, Los Angeles, Ohio.
I’ll put a card in here. Kiper gave the Rams a center (Creed Humphrey) with their first pick, and now Werner can bring versatility, speed and length to the linebacking group.
The choice of tipper: Ernest Jones, Los Angeles, South Carolina.
McShay picked the Browns in the first round, and Jones is a highly regarded inside linebacker with instincts and long arms. The Browns don’t have many pressing needs, so Jones can be relieved.
McShay’s choice: Richard LeConte, S., Georgia.
Anthony Harris signed with Philadelphia and Harrison Smith is 32. LeCounte has the skills of an entertainer and a former wide receiver.
The choice of tipper: Ar’Darius Washington, South Carolina, TCU.
Some teams see the 6-foot-2 Washington as a backup, but I think he’s better suited as a deep safety. He had five picks in 2019. He could have played a nickel or dime role for the Browns.
McShay’s choice: Cade Johnson, South Dakota.
It may be a little difficult, but we can’t go three rounds and not take a Packers receiver. Johnson is really good in space and can be dangerous from the slot.
The choice of tipper: Patrick Johnson, OLB, Tulane.
That’s the entire defense in the first three rounds for the Bills, who need to reduce the numbers at the rim. Johnson has 24.5 sacks in the last three seasons. It could have been the third in a row.
This is what you can expect at the NFL level from the top players at these positions:
– Quarterback: QBASE 2.0
– Receive width: Playmaker:
– Running Back: BackCAST
– Passwheel : Bag
McShay’s choice: Larry Borom, OT, Missouri…
Maybe another short span, but the Chiefs need an offensive hit. It’s Mel’s fault for not picking the other Kansas City OTs early. Boram has the size and strength, but I worry about his motor skills at the next level.
The choice of tipper: Pattern Cameron, DE, Tulane.
I’m a Tulane supporter. The sample size is slightly larger than Johnson’s, but does not have the same potential. He can fight for the reserve Jason Pierre-Paul in the first category.
McShay’s choice: Tay Gowan, CB, UCF.
Govan has the edge as an outside linebacker, but he may need some time to develop as he only has one season of FBS games on his resume. But Stephon Gilmore could become a free agent in 2022, so a cornerback is welcome in New England.
The choice of tipper: Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford…
Fehoko is a 6-foot-6 receiver who averaged 23.6 yards per catch in 2019. If the Chargers let Mike Williams go next season, Fehoko could be the favorite to replace him. He also needs targets outside the red zone.
McShay’s choice: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford…
New Orleans already lacks depth at cornerback, and it could get worse if Marshawn Lattimore leaves free agency next March. Adebo is a hawk with eight interceptions and 29 assists in 22 career games.
The choice of tipper: Jamar Johnson, S, Utah…
The safety helps address the Cowboys’ most pressing needs, as we also gave them a cornerback, a defensive tackle and an offensive tackle. Johnson could challenge Donovan Wilson and newly contracted Damonte Kazee for the starting position.
McShay’s choice: Hamsa Nasirildin, S., Fla.
We have WR, CB, and TE tackles, so for me it’s between offensive line, safety, and linebacker here. Why not combine the two with Nasirildin? He is a hybrid defensive end who played the star position (versatile linebacker/defensive lineman) on Florida State’s defense, a role previously filled by Derwin James.
The choice of tipper: Demetri Felton, WR/RB, UCLA.
Felton, who is 6-foot-6, played both running back and receiver for the Bruins, averaging 165.8 yards in 2020. The Lions just need to add some talent. He’ll probably play in Detroit.
McShay’s choice: Davien Nixon, DT, Iowa.
Last season, the 49ers were one of the best defenses in the NFL. They drafted Javon Kinlow in the first round last April, so we need to pick up the defensive tackle to give him a partner and keep the run D going. Nixon is very disruptive and fits well as a 3 tech in San Francisco’s 4-3.
Check out the world’s best moments from Davien Nixon’s college career.
The choice of tipper: Sage Surratt, RV, Wake Forest.
Surratt ran a disappointing 4.69 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, but he put up good numbers in 2019 before falling away last season. The Rams added veteran DeSean Jackson this season and need more depth behind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
McShay’s choice: Josh Myers, C, Ohio.
Myers provides depth at both center and defensive end of the offensive line, the heart of the Ravens’ game. But, like many others, he is a developmental candidate.
The choice of tipper: Dayo Odeijbo, DE, Vanderbilt.
Odeyingbo has an intriguing set of skills as a 285-pound defensive end, and the Saints should find defensive help through the draft. Former first-round pick Marcus Davenport hasn’t quite figured it out yet. Odeijbo probably would have been much higher if he hadn’t torn his Achilles tendon in January.
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