2021 NFL draft: Round 2 instant grades

Eric Edholm
·13 min read

1. Jacksonville JaguarsCB Tyson Campbell, Georgia – He is a long corner with great athletic traits. Campbell was roasted against Alabama but otherwise had promising tape. Even after taking C.J. Henderson in Round 1 a year ago and signing Shaquill Griffin in free agency, the Jags needed another corner. Grade: B. 

2. New York JetsWR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss – Zach Wilson gets more help. Some thought Moore could land in Round 1, but he slips to this spot and should be an electric weapon from the slot. Moore’s slim build and limited college route tree were strikes against him, but his big-play juice should help wake up a once-dormant offense. Grade: B+.

3. Denver BroncosRB Javonte Williams, North Carolina – Denver slides up five spots to grab one of my favorite backs in the draft. Williams has a Nick Chubb-like frame, but perhaps without Chubb’s speed. Nonetheless, Williams is a tackle-breaking tank who will add a physical dose of football to this offense. He could be a rookie star, with Melvin Gordon in decline. Grade: A-.

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 10: Javonte Williams #25 of North Carolina is chased by a diving Jermaine Waller #28 of Virginia Tech on a 29-yard run during a game between Virginia Tech and North Carolina at Kenan Memorial Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 10: Javonte Williams #25 of North Carolina is chased by a diving Jermaine Waller #28 of Virginia Tech on a 29-yard run during a game between Virginia Tech and North Carolina at Kenan Memorial Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

4. Miami DolphinsS Jevon Holland, Oregon – Holland is a safety who can cover the slot and be used vs. backs and tight ends. With some CB-like coverage skills and promising upside, this is a very interesting pick. He opted out with a mere 16 starts over two seasons. In time, he could be an impact player. Grade: C+.

5. Philadelphia EaglesC Landon Dickerson, Alabama – Dickerson slid because of worrisome medical reports. He’s a first-round talent every day of the week, but four season-ending injuries — including a torn ACL late last season — in a five-year span spooked some team doctors. Still, we’re willing to support this risk, as Dickerson’s tangibles and intangibles are outstanding. It appears he’ll start out his career at guard, where he’s played extensively before. Grade: A-.

6. New England PatriotsDT Christian Barmore, Alabama – New England gets in on the action early, moving up eight spots to land a highly promising but unrefined talent on the interior. Some scouts wondered about Barmore’s work ethic and inconsistent play, but he has the most upside of any interior player in this weak DT class. A boom-or-bust pick, but we can’t imagine Nick Saban not telling Bill Belichick exactly what he’s getting here. Grade: B+.

7. Chicago BearsOT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State – There were medical concerns with Jenkins’ hip injury that ended his 2020 season. But he’s a country-strong mauler who will be a great fit on a Bears line that needs him to start immediately. GM Ryan Pace has now traded up twice in this draft and potentially hit two home runs, assuming Jenkins is ready to go.. Grade: A.

8. Atlanta FalconsS Richie Grant, UCF – Give GM Terry Fontenot credit for moving down and adding assets. Grant is a nice pick here — a ballhawk with good range and instincts. The Falcons are going to see a lot of passes thrown against them this season, and adding a back-half piece after moving on from Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee this offseason was a must. We, however, liked TCU’s Trevon Moehrig slightly better. Grade: B.

9. Detroit LionsDT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington – New GM Brad Holmes is solidifying the lines of scrimmage. Michael Brockers is good, and there are a few other decent bit players in the mix. But Onwuzurike potentially gives them what they didn’t have: a rusher on passing downs. He opted out last season. He was viewed as a borderline first-/second-round prospect. Grade: B+.

10. Miami DolphinsOT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame – Interesting. We assumed center was Miami’s biggest OL need, but Eichenberg has been a left tackle his whole time with the Irish (even though many teams projected him inside to guard). He’s not flashy but a very solid, reliable, smart and tough blocker who lacks great athletic traits. Grade: C+.

11. Las Vegas RaidersS Trevon Moehrig, TCU – Vegas has addressed two big needs with its first two selections. We didn’t love the Alex Leatherwood pick in Round 1. But moving up here to nab Moehrig, a top-25 prospect on our board, is a smart move by GM Mike Mayock. The Raiders needed a center fielder, and Moehrig gives them an instinctive playmaker on the back end who also can cover the slot. Grade: A-.

12. Dallas CowboysCB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky – Classic boom-or-bust pick. The Cowboys wanted to move up for Tyson Campbell, we believe, but settled for another long, athletic corner in Joseph. He brings character concerns, irritating two different coaching staffs (LSU and Kentucky), so Mike McCarthy and Dan Quinn could have their hands full. If he matures, Joseph has some serious skill. He’s a blazer with ball skills. Grade: C.

13. Jacksonville JaguarsOT Walker Little, Stanford – Had the 6-foot-7 Little played more than 72 snaps over the past two seasons, he might have been a first-round pick. His athletic traits are exciting and he has excellent length in an OT class that is short on that. This is giant risk, but it could pay off if Little gets stronger and develops after missing most of the past two seasons to injury and opt-out. Grade: C+.

14. Cincinnati BengalsOT Jackson Carman, Clemson – Three tackles went off the board in the span the Bengals traded down, so we can question the wisdom of that move (even with New England shipping them two fourth-rounders). Carman is a plus run blocker with great power, and he possibly fills an immediate starting role inside. But his pass-protection was an issue at times at left tackle, and he was inconsistent. Perhaps a move inside will serve him better? Grade: C.

15. Los Angeles ChargersCB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State – Two picks, two big holes filled. Tom Telesco understands value, and Samuel being on the board at this point was a surprise. Samuel might be tried inside, but his tape outside — even while lacking great length — was mostly great. Cutting Casey Hayward opened a big hole and Chris Harris is entering the final year of his deal. This is a nice choice. Grade: A-.

16. San Francisco 49ersOG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame – The OL run rolls along. Banks landed on the back end of the top 100 picks, as his lack of quickness was always going to limit his appeal to certain teams. But Banks also can mash in the run game and was used at both guard spots in college. He’s also pinch hit at left tackle on occasion. A nice player who adds physicality, but we viewed him more as a third-round prospect. Grade: C-.

17. Arizona CardinalsWR Rondale Moore, Purdue – We thought the Cardinals might consider a move up in Round 1 for a receiver. They grabbed a powder keg of a playmaker in the 5-foot-7 Moore, who can play slot receiver and perhaps moonlight in the backfield. Moore’s college career didn’t end the way many expected after a brilliant freshman season, beset by injuries, but he’s a bulldog who adds electric speed and big-play prowess. Grade: B-.

18. New York GiantsEDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia – What is happening this draft? GM Dave Gettleman, who never had traded down, now has moved down twice in this draft. Here he snags a player who was connected to the Giants as a possible Round 1 option. Ojulari's knee was red-flagged by a few teams in the pre-draft process. If healthy he’s a young, ascending, disruptive playmaker. Ojulari plays with his hair on fire and has a knack for dislodging the football. We like it. Grade: A-.

19. Washington Football TeamOT Samuel Cosmi, Texas – The first-round chatter for Cosmi felt like a reach, but here? This is a good spot for the light-footed tackle who has experience at both OT spots. He’s not a mauler in the run game but an effective mover who can handle pass-rush speed pretty well. Nice pick at a need spot. He was our 51st-ranked player. Grade: B-.

20. Cleveland BrownsLB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame – The hometown crowd gets a thrill with GM Andrew Berry swinging a move up to this spot. And the fall ends for Owusu-Koramoah, who was roundly mocked in Round 1. We’re not his biggest fan, but boy, this feels like excellent value for a hard-hitting, versatile playmaker with great coverage ability. This is the kind of player you need when it’s time to defend vs. special quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson. Grade: A.

Dec 28, 2019; Orlando, Florida, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) celebrates his sack on Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) (not pictured) during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2019; Orlando, Florida, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) celebrates his sack on Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) (not pictured) during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

21. Tennessee TitansOT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State – The Titans could try Trey Lance’s left tackle on the right side, where Kendall Lamm and Ty Sambrailo are the current options to start. But Radunz also can play with his aggressive, nasty style at guard. He has balance issues but is a high-energy blocker who has promise. This is about where we felt our 54th overall prospect should be taken. After whiffing on Isaiah Wilson last year, this pick needs to hit. Grade: C+.

22. Indianapolis ColtsDT Dayo Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt – A classic Chris Ballard pick. Odeyingbo’s motor was still running hot late in games for a winless Vandy team. He’s super long, versatile and capable of playing up and down the d-line. He suffered a torn Achilles this past winter and likely won’t get on the field until later in the season. But two years from now, this could be a home run. Odeyingbo was one of our favorite prospects to scout this fall. Grade: B-.

23. Pittsburgh SteelersTE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State – Remember Heath Miller? Freiermuth could be that type of tight end. With Vance McDonald retired and Eric Ebron signed for only another year, the Steelers needed an option such as this. He’s a great fit for this city and team, just as Najee Harris is. We shall see if ignoring the offensive line will come back to bite the Steelers. The pick is a good one on the surface. Freiermuth can threaten the seam, is a hard worker and competes well as a blocker. Grade: B-.

24. Seattle SeahawksWR D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan – Seattle’s first 2021 pick is interesting. We love Eskridge’s speed as a receiver and returner, and he fits the Seahawks' mold pretty well. In three years, he could be Tyler Lockett Jr. Did they overlook a major need at center, though? Yes. The Seahawks always march to the beat of their own drummer, and they find ways to make it all work, so we can’t hate another weapon for Russell Wilson. Grade: C+.

25. Los Angeles RamsWR Tutu Atwell, Louisville – If there’s a coach who can employ Atwell’s blurring speed, it’s the space maker, Sean McVay. But many teams we spoke with were shook by Atwell’s tiny frame (155 pounds) and worried he might never be more than, say, an Andrew Hawkins clone. Perhaps Atwell is more than that, but the Rams' need at center was big. Atwell was just outside our top 100 prospects. Grade: C-.

26. Kansas City ChiefsLB Nick Bolton, Missouri – Our late colleague Terez Paylor might have loved this pick. Bolton is a hammer in the run game who will set a tone with his hard-nosed style. He’s also a strong coverage player with great anticipation skills, even if his shorter frame might not make him a TE-eraser. Still, this feels like theft at this stage, landing a top-50 player and possible early starter here. Bolton makes the two-hour drive down Interstate 70, and the Chiefs get better. Grade: A-.

27. Carolina PanthersWR Terrace Marshall, LSU – Marshall’s fall ends as medical concerns about two leg injuries he suffered in high school raised questions for team doctors. But the high-end skills, speed and size make Marshall an intriguing option in Carolina’s passing game. He lands in a good spot here with more weapons needed for Sam Darnold. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady knew exactly how to use Marshall at LSU, so he enters with familiarity with the offense. Grade: B+.

28. New Orleans SaintsLB Pete Werner, Ohio State – The Saints now have approximately 78 Buckeyes on their roster. (And like 3 cornerbacks.) Werner is a smaller coverage linebacker who could be an upgrade over Alex Anzalone. Still, this feels like a reach. We like Werner's intangibles and blitzing ability but he profiles more as a third or fourth linebacker and special teamer than a top-60 selection. Grade: C.

29. Buffalo BillsEDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest – Buffalo’s d-line has received a makeover. Basham joins Greg Rousseau as the newest members of that unit. Can we call them the Bash Brothers? Basham isn’t a slippery rusher and his arsenal of moves is limited. He can win with power, high effort and sneaky quickness, and can kick down inside. Nice player and a good addition. Grade: B+.

30. Green Bay PackersC Josh Myers, Ohio State – Over Creed Humphrey and Quinn Meinerz? We don’t love it. Myers is very tough and smart, and he’ll immediately help the run game if he wins a starting role, either at guard or center. There were some times when his pass protection was sub-par. Will be play center? Will Aaron Rodgers be there to receive his snaps? So many questions in Green Bay. Grade: C+.

31. Kansas City ChiefsC Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma – Without the benefit of a first-round pick, the Chiefs have selected two players worthy of top-50 selections. The smart, athletic (and left-handed) Humphrey has a wrestling background and could play at guard if Austin Blythe remains at center. This is a great pull for GM Brett Veach and Co. We like this pick better than the Packers’ center selection. Grade: B+.

32. Tampa Bay BuccaneersQB Kyle Trask, Florida – The Bucs did a fair amount of work on Trask and liked his toughness, resiliency and touch, making him a fascinating developmental option and possible replacement for Tom Brady. Tampa Bay now has the two slowest QBs in the league, but that doesn’t matter much. If Trask can learn how to overcome great athleticism (or a great arm), it’ll help that he’s watching the best craftsman of all time for at least another year. And he is used to being a backup, having sat behind D’Eriq King in high school and Feleipe Franks at Florida. Grade: C.

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