2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

By

2021 NFL Draft First Round: Picks 21-32

21. Indianapolis

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: DE Kwity Paye, Michigan (27th overall CFN ranking)

Yeah, Paye could’ve gone in the top 15 and few would’ve blinked. He’s got the quickness off the ball, he closes with a flash, and he can pop.

There’s no real knock on him other than Jaelan Phillips is potentially special athletically and no edge rusher in this draft moves like Jayson Oweh. Didn’t like him at 15ish, love him at 21.

It all worked out for the Colts. This was a great value spot for their needs, and now they can go after a corner and O lineman later.

Good luck keep Paye from slowing down. He’s always working and always moving – he fits what the Colts want.

22. Tennessee

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech (18th overall CFN ranking)

The only concern is his health. As long as the back is fine, there are no Covid issues, and as long as he can get out there and be fine for most of a 17-game season, he’s as good as any corner prospect in the draft.

He’s got the elite size, the 4.28 speed, and he’s got the skills to be a top ten overall pick who slid down here. It’s a great value get for the Titans … if he’s healthy.

This HAS to be Christian Darrisaw to the Vikings. They traded down after not getting Rashawn Slater, but they’re going to luck into the value with …

23. Minnesota (from New York Jets from Seattle)

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech (25th overall CFN ranking)

The Vikings traded down, got a little something extra, and they landed the position they absolutely had to get. A defensive end would be nice, and QB Davis Mills would’ve been an interesting call, but offensive tackle, offensive tackle, offensive tackle.

Now comes the fun pick. Pittsburgh has to go running back here. Najee … Najee …

24. Pittsburgh

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: RB Najee Harris, Alabama (6th overall CFN ranking)

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him. I always get hammered on this, but he was the main man on last year’s Alabama team even over Mac Jones and a Heisman-winning receiver. He was the steady do-it-all glue.

Pittsburgh ALWAYS seems to get the right value pick in the first round. Harris is a top ten overall talent, he’s a true NFL franchise running back, and he’s an instant fit for a Steeler offense that desperately needed a back to work around.

Fantasy football players, plan on grabbing Najee in the top 15, or you’re not getting Najee.

25. Jacksonville (from LA Rams)

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson (24th overall CFN ranking)

Boom. I had the Jaguars taking Etienne with the first pick in the second round – there’s no beef with grabbing the second running back off the board here.

Trevor Lawrence AND Etienne? That’s not bad. There’s a whole lot of historic college talent now in that Jacksonville backfield.

I’m already cheesed that Tebow will take goal line carries away from my future Etienne fantasy pick.

26. Cleveland

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: CB Greg Newsome, Northwestern (38th overall CFN ranking)

The Browns were in the perfect spot. They needed a whole lot of defensive help – especially for the front seven – and there was a whole lot of defensive talent here.

They had their choice of a few pass rushers and nice defensive backs, and Newsome isn’t that bad a call. He’s got the speed, athleticism, and smooth-as-silk style of play … when he’s on the field.

He’s never fully healthy. He wasn’t able to last a college season; how will he last through a 17-game NFL season? The skills are there, and he can be a big-time producer on one side – he has to stay in one piece.

27. Baltimore

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (56th overall CFN ranking)

I like Elijah Moore and Rondale Moore better, but Baltimore needed to take a wide receiver here, and it gone one. Bateman is smooth, he’s a solid deep threat, and he’s going to be a huge help for Lamar Jackson.

Bateman’s 4.39 sealed it. He knows how to make big things happen around the goal line, he doesn’t have to be the No. 1 with Hollywood Brown on the other side, and now he’s in a fantastic situation.

28. New Orleans

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: DE Payton Turner, Houston (76th overall CFN ranking)

Turner was a high-riser through the process with his 4.5 40, great workouts, and with the potential to be one of the better pass rushers who could come out of this.

At 6-5 and 270, he’s got the size, he’s got the athleticism, and he’s going to make a whole lot of teams mad – a bunch of defensive coordinators had to hope Turner would slide to the second round.

It wasn’t a need pick, though. It wasn’t a bad pick, but the Saints have to go hard on wide receiver and corner later.

You HAVE to take a wide receiver here if you’re the Packers, don’t you? They need a corner, but they need to make Aaron Rodgers happy …

29. Green Bay

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia (75th overall CFN ranking)

Speed, speed, speed. He’s a tough guy defensive back in a slim body, and more than anything else … 4.25.

No, it might not be a pick to make Aaron Rodgers happy, but the Packers had to go with a defensive back. It’s about making the overall team better, and if the team is better, Rodgers might be happier.

Or, just say (bleep) it. You’re not happy No. 12? Go be a game show host.

There are a few nice pass rushers here for Buffalo to take. I’d love for Penn State’s Jayson Oweh here, and Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari works, too.

30. Buffalo

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (35th overall CFN ranking)

Rousseau more than works here, too. Last year at this time he seemed like a possible top ten overall pick after a massive 2019, opted out, and now the sky’s the limit.

He might not be the speed rusher that others on the board are, but he’s a 6-7, 266-pounder who’s going to bring the effort and fight on every play. Give him a little time, but he’ll work.

The Ravens have a whole lot of nice prospects sitting there for the taking. This has to be when they get the best safety in the draft. They got the wide receiver in Rashod Bateman, and now they have Trevon Moehrig there for the taking.

31. Baltimore (from Kansas City)

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: DE/EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State (23rd overall CFN ranking)

Speed, speed, speed, speed, SPEED. He’s a 4.36 40 runner who can jump out of the stadium. He’s a freakish athlete who can live in the backfield, but …

No sacks. It’s not like he didn’t come close, but he didn’t come up with a sack last year for Penn State and has to be more of a closer. That’s coming. He has too many tools and too much talent to not be a disruptive force.

32. Tampa Bay

CFN Best Available Player: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
Pick: LB Joe Tryon, Washington (44th overall CFN ranking)

Okay … another dangerous pass rusher for the Tampa Bay defense. He didn’t play this last year, but he’s a 6-5, 259-pound playmaker who’ll be another big part of the Super Bowl champion puzzle.

It would’ve been nice to take one of the defensive tackles, but that’s nitpicking. It was a frosting on the cake selection, and they got a producer.

CFN 2021 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
from the college perspective …
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | OG & C
DE & Edge | DT | LB | CB | Safeties
Top 105 2021 NFL Draft Prospects

More College Football News