2021 NFL Draft grades: Day 2 analysis for all 32 teams originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft will feature the second and third rounds, and there are plenty of exciting players still on the board for teams to select.
Thursday’s first round was highlighted by five quarterbacks taken in the top 15 picks, including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence going No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, BYU’s Zach Wilson going No. 2 to the New York Jets and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance going No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Friday could see a few quarterbacks come off the board, too. Stanford’s Davis Mills, Florida’s Kyle Trask and Kellen Mond of Texas A&M are all expected to be taken in the second or third round.
Looking for instant analysis of every second- and third-round pick? Follow along below for our live draft grades for all 32 teams (listed in alphabetical order).
Pick(s): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (No. 49 in Round 2)
Moore was a productive slot receiver in the Big 10 and should give Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray a reliable target in short yardage.
Pick(s): Richie Grant, S, UCF (No. 40 in Round 2); Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan (No. 68 in Round 3)
The Falcons secondary was awful last season, which made Grant a logical pick early in the second round. He’s a little undersized (5-foot-11 and 197 pounds), but he makes up for it with above average football IQ and athleticism.
Mayfield adds nice versatility with his ability to play left and right tackle.
Pick(s): Ben Cleveland, G, Georgia (No. 94 in Round 3); Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU (No. 104 in Round 3)
Cleveland is a very good run blocker, which should help him make a seamless transition to a Ravens offense that led the league in rushing yards and ranked No. 3 in rushing touchdowns last season.
Pick(s): Carlos Basham Jr., DE, Wake Forest (No. 61 in Round 2); Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa (No. 93 in Round 3)
The Bills don’t have any glaring roster needs entering the draft, so they’re just adding to what is already a fearsome front seven. Gregory Rousseau in Round 1 and Basham in Round 2 provide plenty of pass rushing ability to Buffalo’s defense.
Pick(s): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU (No. 59 in Round 2); Brady Christensen, OT, BYU (No. 70 in Round 3); Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame (No. 83 in Round 3)
The Panthers need to surround starting QB Sam Darnold with enough playmakers at the skill positions, and Marshall was one of the best choices on the board at pick No. 59. Bolstering the offensive line with the selection of Christensen — who kept Zach Wilson upright at BYU — helps Darnold, too.
Pick(s): Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State (No. 39 in Round 2)
The Bears selected QB Justin Fields in Round 1, and now they’ve taken a player who will help protect him. Jenkins is a first-round talent who can play both left and right tackle. He could start Week 1 for Chicago.
Pick(s): Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson (No. 45 in Round 2); Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas (No. 69 in Round 3)
Offensive line was a major concern for the Bengals in 2020, and that cannot be the case next season with franchise QB Joe Burrow coming off a major knee injury. Taking Clemson’s starting left tackle was an excellent choice in Round 2.
Pick(s): Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (No. 52 in Round 2); Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn (No. 91 in Round 3)
Owusu-Koramoah is one of the most versatile defensive players in this class. He will be able to play snaps at linebacker and safety for Cleveland.
Pick(s): Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky (No. 44 in Round 2); Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA (No. 75 in Round 3); Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa (No. 84 in Round 3); Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State (No. 99 in Round 3)
The Cowboys’ are intent on improving their defense, with the most notable selections being top-ranked linebacker Micah Parsons in Round 1, and then cornerback Kelvin Joseph early in Round 2. Joseph ranked No. 2 in interceptions among SEC players last year and had a great game versus Alabama.
Dallas’ defense, at the very least, will have much better depth in 2021, and that’s a step in the right direction.
Pick(s): Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina (No. 35 in Round 2); Quinn Meinerz, G, UW-Whitewater (No. 98 in Round 3); Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State (No. 105 in Round 3)
The Broncos traded up to select Williams, who plays with a powerful style that punishes defensive players. He’s also a quality pass-catcher out of the backfield. An interior offensive lineman was a more pressing need for Denver in Round 2, but there’s no question Williams was the best remaining running back entering Day 2. The Broncos, in their defense, did add to the offensive line in Round 3.
Pick(s): Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington (No. 41 in Round 2); Alim McNeill, DT, NC State (No. 72 in Round 3); Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse (No. 101 in Round 3)
Games are won and lost in the trenches, and after bolstering the offensive line in the first round Thursday night with the selection of left tackle Penei Sewell, the Lions went defensive line-heavy in the second and third rounds.
Green Bay Packers
Pick(s): Josh Myers, C, Ohio St. (No. 62 in Round 2); Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson (No. 85 in Round 3)
Myers is a versatile offensive lineman who adds much-needed depth to the interior of the Packers o-line. He could be a starter late in his rookie season or perhaps in Year 2.
And then the Packers drafted a wide receiver — FINALLY! — for reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the third round. In all seriousness, Amari Rodgers has the makings of a top-tier slot receiver.
Pick(s): Davis Mills, QB, Stanford (No. 67 in Round 3); Nico Collins, WR, Michigan (No. 89 in Round 3)
Mills was the best QB available on Day 2 and the Texans got him early in the third round. He could be the long-term answer at quarterback for Houston depending on how Deshaun Watson’s situation unfolds. Collins was a sneaky good pick in the third round for the Texans, too.
Pick(s): Dayo Odeyingbo, DE, Vanderbilt (No. 54 in Round 2)
The Colts are intent on improving their pass rush after taking Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye in the first round and Dayo Odeyingbo in the second round.
Pick(s): Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia (No. 33 in Round 2); Walker Little, OT, Stanford (No. 45 in Round 2); Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse (No. 65 in Round 3)
Cornerback was a huge need for the Jaguars, and they’re getting a good one in Campbell, who was projected in many mock drafts to be a first-round pick. He has the size and speed needed to make an impact at the pro level.
Protecting No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence will be crucial to the Jaguars’ success, which makes Little an excellent pick in the second round.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pick(s): Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri (No. 58 in Round 2); Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma (No. 63 in Round 2)
Bolton was a 2019 and 2020 first team All-SEC selection at Missouri. He plays on every down and will bring plenty of speed and quickness to the Chiefs defense.
Humphrey was an excellent pick at the end of the second round as one of the highest-ranked centers in this class. The Chiefs have done a nice job rebuilding their offensive line after it was a disaster in Super Bowl LV.
Las Vegas Raiders
Pick(s): Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU (No. 43 in Round 2); Malcolm Koonce, LB, Buffalo (No. 79 in Round 3); Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech (No. 80 in Round 3)
The Raiders love elite athleticism, and Moehrig will bring plenty of that to the Las Vegas secondary.
Los Angeles Chargers
Pick(s): Asante Samuel Jr., CB, FSU (No. 47 in Round 2); Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee (No. 77 in Round 3); Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia (No. 97 in Round 3)
Samuel was the best remaining cornerback at No. 47. The Chargers got tremendous value here. Samuel can excel in man coverage and fills a huge need on L.A.’s defense.
Palmer’s speed gives Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert a quality downfield threat. The Tennessee product set career highs in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season.
Los Angeles Rams
Pick(s): Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville (No. 57 in Round 2); Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina (No. 103 in Round 3)
The Rams added another weapon in Atwell to their new-look offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford. He’s undersized, but it’s hard to ignore his production at Louisville. He led the ACC in receiving yards in 2019 and brings excellent speed to the field.
Pick(s): Jevon Holland, S, Oregon (No. 36 in Round 2); Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame (No. 42 in Round 2); Hunter Long, TE, Boston College (No. 81 in Round 3)
Holland will help the Dolphins’ pass coverage after leading Oregon in interceptions twice in 2018 and 2019 before opting out of the 2020 season. His nine interceptions from 2018 through 2019 were the third-most in college football.
Eichenberg was a three-year starter at left tackle for Notre Dame and will provide valuable pass protection for Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Pick(s): Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M (No. 66 in Round 3); Chazz Surratt, LB, UNC (No. 78 in Round 3); Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State (No. 86 in Round 3); Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh (No. 90 in Round 3)
Mond could be Kirk Cousins’ eventual replacement, but the Vikings had more glaring needs to address in the third round than quarterback. Surratt isn’t likely to make an immediate impact at linebacker, but he does have tremendous upside. He’s more of a long-term play for Minnesota.
New England Patriots
Pick(s): Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama (No. 38 in Round 2); Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma (No. 96 in Round 3)
Barmore was considered the best defensive tackle in the 2021 draft class, and the Patriots traded up to get him early in the second round. He played a key role in a dominant Alabama front seven and led the team with eight sacks last season. Barmore also was the defensive MVP of the national title game against Ohio State. New England got a first-round talent in the second round, which is always ideal.
Perkins is a strong pass rusher who was the No. 44 ranked player on draft expert Daniel Jeremiah’s Big Board, and the Pats got him all the way at No. 96.
New Orleans Saints
Pick(s): Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State (No. 60 in Round 2); Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford (No. 76 in Round 3)
The Saints reached in the first round, but their Day 2 selections made a lot more sense. Werner addresses a need at linebacker with his coverage skills. Adebo can line up inside or outside and has good size (6-foot-1 and 200 pounds) at cornerback.
New York Giants
Pick(s): Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia (No. 50 in Round 2); Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF (No. 71 in Round 3)
Ojulari was an important player for a Georgia defense that had four players taken in the top 50 picks. He also was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded pass rusher in the 2021 draft class. Robinson adds much-needed depth in the secondary.
New York Jets
Pick(s): Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss (No. 34 in Round 2)
Getting a wide receiver with game-breaking speed, explosiveness and toughness at No. 34 was a tremendous outcome for the Jets. Moore should have been a first-round pick after an awesome 2020 season in which he earned first team All-SEC honors. He plays a lot like former Carolina Panthers wideout Steve Smith.
Pick(s): Landon Dickerson, G, Alabama (No. 37 in Round 2); Milton Williams, DT, La. Tech (No. 73 in Round 3)
Dickerson slid to the second round because of injury concern, but when healthy, he is an absolute stud in the interior of the offensive line. That pick was tremendous value for the Eagles.
Pick(s): Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn St. (No. 55 in Round 2); Kendrick Green, C, Illinois (No. 87 in Round 3)
The Steelers again passed on much-needed offensive line help by taking a tight end in the second round. Pittsburgh could have taken a comparable tight end later in the draft. They did address that offensive line weakness in the third round, but it should have come much earlier (like in Round 1).
San Francisco 49ers
Pick(s): Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame (No. 48 in Round 2); Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State (No. 88 in Round 3); Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan (No. 102 in Round 3)
Banks is a very talented player with massive size at 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds. He will provide plenty of protection for 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Sermon should be a nice fit in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, too.
Pick(s): D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan (No. 56 in Round 2)
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will love Eskridge, whose elite speed makes him a formidable deep threat. He can also contribute on special teams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick(s): Kyle Trask, QB, Florida (No. 64 in Round 2); Robert Hainsey, OT, Notre Dame (No. 95 in Round 3)
The Bucs do need someone to take over for legendary quarterback Tom Brady when he eventually retires, but using a second-round pick on that player didn’t make a ton of sense.
Pick(s): Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota St. (No. 53 in Round 2); Monty Rice, LB, Georgia (No. 92 in Round 3); Elijah Molden, CB, Washington (No. 100 in Round 3)
Radunz has the potential to be an NFL starter for a long time. He also allowed just one sack of North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance (the No. 3 overall pick to the 49ers) during the 2019 season.
Washington Football Team
Pick(s): Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas (No. 51 in Round 2); Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota (No. 74 in Round 3); Dyami Brown, WR, UNC (No. 82 in Round 3)
Cosmi brings plenty of physicality and toughness at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds. He’s also versatile enough to play both left and right tackle.
St-Juste was one of the best picks in the third round. He has the potential to be a very good cornerback thanks to, among other attributes, impressive size at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds.