With Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft only nine days away, let’s look ahead with a new three-round mock draft … with a twist. This time, ESPN NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay made their predictions based on what they would do with each pick, not what they think each team will do. They’re playing general manager for all 32 teams and using their personal rankings to guide them. The rules for the draft:
Three full rounds, 105 total picks and all about whom Kiper and McShay would take at each pick.
Kiper and McShay alternated each pick, with Kiper starting at No. 1 and taking the odd numbers and McShay taking the evens.
No deals that even hint at “I won’t take Player X if you don’t take Player Y.” No cheating.
We also included our ESPN NFL Draft Day Predictor’s chances for each first-round pick to be available in that slot. It is a model that forecasts the range of draft outcomes for NFL prospects based on mock drafts, team needs and Scouts Inc. grades to give us availability and selection likelihood.
Kiper kicks us off with the Jaguars, and he’ll also get the final pick as we go through the compensatory selections to the Saints at No. 105. Four teams make as many as five picks, including the Jaguars. Kiper also made the only trade of this three-round projection, with a team jumping into the top 10 to take a quarterback. Check out the 90-minute SportsCenter Special at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday (ESPN2 and ESPN App) to see them go through our picks.
Note: An asterisk denotes a compensatory selection. Also, remember that the Patriots’ own third-round pick was forfeited.
Kiper’s pick: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
No surprises here. Lawrence is one of my highest-graded quarterbacks ever, and he’ll immediately become the face of the Jaguars’ franchise.
Lawrence’s chances of being available here, according to the ESPN NFL Draft Day Predictor: 100%
McShay’s pick: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
If there was any doubt that the Jets were going with a QB at No. 2 overall, it vanished when they dealt Sam Darnold earlier this month. Wilson has a ton of upside as a guy New York can build around.
Wilson’s chances of being available here: 98.5%
Kiper’s pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
You should know by now how much I like Fields. He has all the tools to be a superstar, and he’d thrive in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Fields’ chances of being available here: 100%
McShay’s pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
There’s of course a decent chance new coach Arthur Smith gets his QB of the future with this pick, but I’m not passing on a multidimensional offensive nightmare like Pitts. He can be used all over the formation and is nearly impossible to cover.
Pitts’ chances of being available here: 96.4%
Kiper’s pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Sewell’s chances of being available here: 98.0%
McShay’s pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
Chase’s chances of being available here: 45.0%
Projected trade: New England moves up for a QB
Kiper: We needed a trade for a quarterback — they happen every year — so I’m going to make one with myself since I’m the general manager of the odd-numbered teams. This deal sees the Patriots jump eight spots to get their guy, while the Lions add the Patriots’ second-round pick (No. 46), plus future selections, maybe even their first-rounder in next year’s draft. It’s a lot to give up, but Bill Belichick & Co. need a long-term solution at the game’s most important position.
Kiper’s pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
I have Jones slightly ahead of Trey Lance, and I think he’s more ready to play as a rookie, particularly for a team that made several win-now moves this offseason. Plus, Josh McDaniels has already proven that he can game plan for a pocket passer with tremendous accuracy.
Jones’ chances of being available here: 6.8%
McShay’s pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Slater’s chances of being available here: 99.0%
Kiper’s pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Remember: This mock draft is what I would do, and I don’t think Drew Lock is the long-term answer in Denver. Lance is only 20, and he’ll need some time, but he has a high ceiling.
Lance’s chances of being available here: 5.1%
McShay’s pick: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Dallas gets first pick of the defensive pool, and I’m reuniting Surtain with his former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs in this CB room. Surtain is a true shutdown corner.
Surtain’s 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.
Kiper’s pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Smith’s chances of being available here: 47.6%
McShay’s pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Philly can exhale: The Eagles moved back to No. 12 and still got one of the top four pass-catchers. Waddle is the most dangerous player in the class with the ball in his hands.
Waddle’s chances of being available here: 49.9%
Kiper’s pick: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
McShay surprised me by taking Rashawn Slater at No. 8, but I don’t think it’s out of the question that Darrisaw goes this high. He could be L.A.’s starter at left tackle as a rookie.
Darrisaw’s chances of being available here: 93.2%
McShay’s pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/G, USC
There are holes all over the Vikings’ line, and Vera-Tucker has versatility — though his best fit is at guard. He’s a strong blocker at the second level, which will help open lanes for Dalvin Cook in the run game.
Vera-Tucker’s chances of being available herer: 87.4%
Kiper’s pick: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Detroit trades down to pick up extra assets and still gets an impact defensive player. Parsons is a playmaker who will run down tailbacks and pitch in as a pass-rusher.
Parsons’ chances of being available here: 21.2%
McShay’s pick: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Both outside CBs are on one-year deals, and Horn is a tough press corner with wheels. Arizona needs someone who can square up with the elite NFC West receivers now that Patrick Peterson is elsewhere.
Horn’s chances of being available here: 28.8%
Kiper’s pick: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
This might be a little high for my top-ranked safety, but the Raiders have been tough to predict with Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock in charge. Moehrig can be the deep safety next to Johnathan Abrams.
Moehrig’s chances of being available here: 88.7%
McShay’s pick: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
We got the Dolphins a receiver in the top 10, so I’m turning to the defense here and getting them something they haven’t had in a while: a versatile linebacker who can cover and fill multiple roles.
Owusu-Koramoah’s chances of being available here: 59.8%
Kiper’s pick: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Washington has a great front four, but it could upgrade at middle linebacker. Davis has elite tape from the 2020 season, and he has some coverage ability, too.
Davis’ chances of being available here: 96.6%
McShay’s pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
I’m not seeing any offensive tackles here for Chicago, even if I were to reach a little bit, and the Day 1 quarterbacks are off the board. So with Desmond Trufant on a one-year deal, I like Farley — probably the top cover corner in the class — as a running mate to Jaylon Johnson for years to come.
Farley’s chances of being available here: 37.6%
Kiper’s pick: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
I can’t believe this is the first edge rusher off the board. Phillips has a history of injuries — he medically retired from football when he was at UCLA — but there’s no denying his pass-rush traits. And that’s the Colts’ biggest need.
Phillips’ chances of being available here: 74.0%
McShay’s pick: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
I keep going back and forth on Moore and Florida’s Kadarius Toney, but I like Moore’s explosiveness as a replacement for the Titans’ free-agency losses in the receiving game (Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith and Adam Humphries).
Moore’s chances of being available here: 95.6%
Kiper’s pick: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
I thought about defensive end Kwity Paye here, but Newsome could be the Jets’ top corner on Day 1. New coach Robert Saleh will love Newsome’s ability to turn and run against even the fastest wideouts.
Newsome’s chances of being available here: 53.8%
McShay’s pick: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Pittsburgh’s 3.6 yards per carry ranked last in the NFL in 2020, and it just lost its most productive rusher in James Conner. Mel might not like first-round running backs, but this makes too much sense.
Harris’ chances of being available here: 77.3%
Kiper’s pick: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
I love the fit for Toney in Jacksonville, where new coach Urban Meyer can come up with creative ways to get the ball in his hands. He’ll be Trevor Lawrence‘s best friend.
Toney’s chances of being available here: 49.5%
McShay’s pick: Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
It’s a mini slide for Paye, my top-ranked edge rusher, but Cleveland isn’t complaining. The Browns still need a high-end pass-rusher opposite Myles Garrett, even after the Jadeveon Clowney and Takkarist McKinley signings.
Paye’s chances of being available here: 5.7%
Kiper’s pick: Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
I’m staying consistent here — I’ve had Marshall to the Ravens in each of my four mock drafts — because Lamar Jackson needs an outside threat. Marshall was overshadowed a bit at LSU, but he can run every route.
Marshall’s chances of being available here: 84.4%
McShay’s pick: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Bateman’s chances of being available here: 68.9%
Kiper’s pick: Teven 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 extremely physical in the run game.
Jenkins’ chances of being available here: 34.1%
McShay’s pick: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Collins can cover, shoot gaps in run defense and rush the passer. He’d fit nicely next to Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano at the second level and help shore up Buffalo’s middle-of-the-pack pass rush.
Collins’ chances of being available here: 44.6%
Check out the best highlights from Tulsa OLB Zaven Collins’ college career.
Kiper’s pick: Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
Dickerson’s chances of being available here: 91.6%
McShay’s pick: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Mayfield is a drive blocker who can help open lanes for the Bucs’ run game. I think he’d serve as a swing tackle early on before eventually earning a starting gig opposite 2020 first-rounder Tristan Wirfs.
Mayfield’s chances of being available here: 89.7%
Kiper’s pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Yes, that’s the first three picks on offense for the Jaguars. They were not good on either side of the ball — there’s a reason they had the No. 1 pick. Etienne joins his Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and he’ll be a menace in the passing game.
McShay’s pick: Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
New York had problems getting to the QB last year, and Ojulari is elite in that area. He’ll be a very good situational edge rusher and can help cover underneath.
Kiper’s pick: Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
New coach Arthur Smith — who had Derrick Henry in Tennessee — adds a physical running back to take the pressure off Matt Ryan. Williams had the highest rate of broken tackles of any FBS running back last season.
McShay’s pick: Liam Eichenberg, OT/G, Notre Dame
Getting Tua Tagovailoa a receiver (Ja’Marr Chase) was half the battle. How about a clean pocket? I expect GM Chris Grier to invest picks in this offense, and I’m doing the same. Eichenberg is versatile enough to play tackle or guard.
Kiper’s pick: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
This is a great fit for the Eagles, who need a sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker in new coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s defense. Bolton is a tackling machine.
McShay’s pick: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Kiper’s pick: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Ian Thomas, a fourth-round pick in 2018, only has 36 catches over the past two seasons, and 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 pick: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
Linebacker was the first thing I looked for on my “best available” sheet, but there’s just no value there. While Denver brought in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller (who is on a one-year deal), I still think this cornerback unit needs depth. Samuel can also play the nickel role in the short term.
Kiper’s pick: Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Since Detroit’s trade down took them out of the running for the top-tier wideouts, let’s add Brown to a barren depth chart. He averaged 20 yards per catch in each of the past two seasons.
McShay’s pick: Ronnie Perkins, OLB/DE, Oklahoma
I love this fit. Perkins is an excellent pass-rusher, which is exactly what the Giants need, and it’s good value for him in this range. He had 5.5 sacks and nine QB hurries in only six games last season.
Check out highlights from Oklahoma’s standout defensive end Ronnie Perkins.
Kiper’s pick: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
McShay’s pick: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Only three teams allowed five-plus yards per carry last year, and Dallas was among them. Barmore would help stop the bleeding in the middle of the defense.
Kiper’s pick: Richie Grant, S, UCF
This makes four picks so far for the Jaguars, and this is the first on defense. Grant has the versatility to play as a center fielder or down in the box.
McShay’s pick: Joe Tryon, DE, Washington
This pick goes to Detroit via Mel’s Lions-Patriots trade in the first round. I liked seeing Romeo Okwara return to the Lions, but I want to see a whole lot more off the edge. Tryon can play both defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker.
Kiper’s pick: Jayson Oweh, DE/OLB, Penn State
Oweh has gotten some buzz as a first-rounder because of his athletic traits, but I wouldn’t take a chance on him that high. The Chargers can let him be a situational pass-rusher as a rookie.
McShay’s pick: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
Texas’ Samuel Cosmi or North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz could play a role in rebuilding the offensive line, but the Raiders allowed the seventh-most passing yards in the NFL last season (4,212). Let’s keep building up the secondary.
Kiper’s pick: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
McShay’s pick: Samuel Cosmi, OT/G, Texas
With no running backs in this range, it’s more protection for Tua Tagovailoa. And like Liam Eichenberg, Cosmi is versatile and can play inside or outside. Let’s see if Tagovailoa is truly the guy for Miami.
Kiper’s pick: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Here’s the sixth quarterback in the class. Mills is all over the place on teams’ boards, but he makes sense in Washington, which isn’t picking high enough to take one of the top five signal-callers. Mills played in only 14 games at Stanford, so there is some risk taking him any higher.
McShay’s pick: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
If Mel hadn’t taken Davis Mills at No. 51, I had him penciled in here. I’m not ready to reach for Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond or Florida’s Kyle Trask just yet, so I’ll pivot to giving Andy Dalton another playmaker. Moore has rare speed and burst.
Kiper’s pick: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
The Titans parted ways with Adoree’ Jackson, Desmond King II and Malcolm Butler and only brought in Janoris Jenkins. If they don’t go corner in Round 1, they have to take one here. Stokes had four picks last season.
McShay’s pick: Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State
Remember when new Colts QB Carson Wentz was under fire every Sunday last season in Philadelphia? It didn’t go so well. And left tackle Anthony Castonzo just retired.
Kiper’s pick: Alex Leatherwood, OT/G, Alabama
I don’t think Leatherwood is a top-50 player, but he’s a fit for Pittsburgh, which needs both a guard and tackle. If McShay is giving the Steelers a running back in Round 1, I need to get them a player to block.
McShay’s pick: Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
We got one pick for Seattle in the first three rounds. Rousseau’s pro day left a little to be desired, but he had 15.5 sacks in 2019 before opting out in 2020. He just needs some refining.
Kiper’s pick: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
This is the Rams’ first pick, and they could be getting an immediate starter in Humphrey, who excels as both a run and pass blocker. There’s a chance Humphrey is the top center drafted, even higher in Round 2.
McShay’s pick: Carlos Basham Jr., DE/OLB, Wake Forest
Kiper’s pick: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
The speedy Schwartz could be a deep threat for the Browns, who still need depth at receiver. He was used on underneath routes in college, but he has some untapped potential.
Check out highlights from Auburn’s dynamic wide receiver Anthony Schwartz.
McShay’s pick: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
Rashod Bateman checks the WR box, and now Cox gives the defense an impact inside linebacker who is excellent in coverage.
Kiper’s pick: Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
I thought about tight end here, but Robinson has the potential to be a starter opposite Tre’Davious White. He’s also an outstanding tackler, which is underrated for corners.
McShay’s pick: Patrick Jones II, DE, Pitt
Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace and Michigan’s Nico Collins got some consideration here regarding the ongoing need for pass-catchers. But ultimately, I liked Jones’ fit with a team lacking depth on the edge.
Kiper’s pick: Malcolm Koonce, OLB, Buffalo
Finally a spot for my guy Koonce, who is one of my favorite pass-rushers in this class. He’s long and athletic, and could wreak havoc off the edge as a situational defender for the Chiefs.
McShay’s pick: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Kiper’s pick: Quinn Meinerz, C/G, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Let’s close out the Jags’ five picks in the first three rounds with a D-III linemen whom no one should doubt. He could play guard or center but might fit better as guard Andrew Norwell‘s successor in Jacksonville.
McShay’s pick: Jackson Carman, OT/G, Clemson
We have to keep Zach Wilson upright, and Carman has size, mobility and versatility. He could provide depth at right tackle or move inside to guard.
Kiper’s pick: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
This is the Texans’ first pick of this draft after former coach/general manager traded for Laremy Tunsil. Eskridge is a slot weapon who will also be a key contributor in the return game.
McShay’s pick: Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
The Falcons are just crossing off needs, one pick at a time. Molden is more of a nickelback who stands out in zone coverage and can make plays on the ball.
Check out the best highlights from Washington CB Elijah Molden’s college career.
Kiper’s pick: Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame
After I gave the Bengals Penei Sewell in Round 1, Banks could plug another hole and help protect Joe Burrow while providing a push for Joe Mixon. A more efficient running game will make Burrow more efficient as a passer.
McShay’s pick: Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Kiper’s pick: Joseph Ossai, OLB, Texas
This is a great fit, as Ossai is undersized and probably needs to land on a team that runs a 3-4. He could be a menace as a rookie pass-rusher in Vic Fangio’s defense.
McShay’s pick: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
The Lions’ defense has a “Help Wanted” sign on most positions, and Holland is a ball hawk who can even drop down and line up over the slot.
Kiper’s pick: Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
I got Sam Darnold some help in Round 2 with a tight end, and Collins is a big, 6-foot-4 receiver who averaged 19.7 yards per catch in 2019. He could be a steal this late.
McShay’s pick: James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
Yet another Day 2 lineman who can play inside or outside, Hudson needs some development time. He’s a defensive-line convert who only has one full season as a starter under his belt.
Kiper’s pick: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Offensive line is a sneaky need for the Cowboys, who had major injury issues last season. Little missed nearly all of 2019 with a knee injury and opted out of last season, but he has a first-round tool set.
McShay’s pick: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Surratt has sideline-to-sideline range and can cover tight ends or running backs in the pass game. He brings a different element to the Giants’ linebacking corps.
Kiper’s pick: Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
It was either corner or receiver here, and St-Juste has some upside. He only made 14 starts in college after transferring from Michigan. He could be Chris Harris Jr.‘s successor.
McShay’s pick: Payton Turner, DE, Houston
Minnesota’s 23 sacks ranked in the bottom five in 2020, and Turner has the strength to drive back blockers and get to the QB. He’d likely play a rotational role early in his career but should develop into a reliable starter.
Check out highlights from Houston’s dynamic edge rusher Payton Turner.
Kiper’s pick: Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
McShay’s pick: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Kiper’s pick: Chris Rumph II, LB, Duke
How did McShay have the Dolphins’ first four picks? Rumph has some versatility — Duke used him all over the field — but he fits as an outside linebacker for the Dolphins, who need more from their pass rush this season. He had eight sacks in 2020. His dad, Chris, is the Bears’ defensive line coach.
McShay’s pick: Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
The Washington offense needs more weapons, and Smith is a strong route runner with good speed and hands. He really impressed at the Senior Bowl and then ran a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day.
Kiper’s pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
I know that McShay gave the Bears Rondale Moore in Round 2, but they need to get Andy Dalton all the help they can. St. Brown had 178 catches over the past three seasons, and he knows how to get open.
McShay’s pick: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
Cisco is a ball hawk on the back end, hauling in 13 interceptions over 24 career games. The Eagles were one of four teams in the single-digits in that category last season.
Kiper’s pick: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
After letting Jonnu Smith walk in free agency, the Titans have Anthony Firkser atop their tight end depth chart. Freiermuth often played out of the slot for the Nittany Lions, and he’s already advanced as a pass-catcher.
Check out the best highlights from Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth college career.
McShay’s pick: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
The running back pool has thinned out, though Ohio State’s Trey Sermon and North Carolina’s Michael Carter peaked my interested here. But Davis is a plug-and-play guard who is dominant in pass protection, and right now, the Jets need everything they can get there.
Kiper’s pick: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Wade got some first-round buzz after the 2019 season, but he had a poor 2020 season, when he moved out wide and covered the opposing team’s best receiver. He’s better out of the slot, and if he can get back to his 2019 form, he could be a steal.
McShay’s pick: Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
I’m sticking the needs chart 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.
Kiper’s pick: Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina
McShay got the Browns an edge rusher in Round 1, and Jones is a high-upside inside linebacker with instincts and long arms. The Browns don’t have many immediate needs, so Jones could be eased in.
McShay’s pick: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia
Kiper’s pick: Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU
Some teams view the 5-foot-8 Washington as a slot corner, but I think he’s better as a deep safety. He had five picks in 2019. He could play a nickel or dime role for the Browns.
McShay’s pick: Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State
It might be a little bit of a reach, but we can’t go three rounds and not get the Packers a receiver. Johnson is really good in space and can be dangerous out of the slot.
Kiper’s pick: Patrick Johnson, OLB, Tulane
This makes it all defense in the first three rounds for the Bills, who need to get younger on the edge. Johnson had 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons. He could be a third-down pass-rusher here.
McShay’s pick: Larry Borom, OT, Missouri
Perhaps another slight reach, but the Chiefs need an offensive tackle. Blame Mel for passing on other OTs for Kansas City earlier on. Borom has size and power, but I worry about his movement skills at the next level.
Kiper’s pick: Cameron Sample, DE, Tulane
That’s back-to-back Tulane defenders from me. Sample is a little bit bigger than Johnson but doesn’t have the same kind of pass-rush potential. He could battle to be Jason Pierre-Paul‘s backup in Year 1.
McShay’s pick: Tay Gowan, CB, UCF
Gowan has upside as a press corner on the outside, but he might need some time to develop, considering he has just one season of FBS play on his resume. But Stephon Gilmore is potentially a free agent in 2022, so cornerback depth is welcomed in New England.
Kiper’s pick: Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
Fehoko is a 6-foot-4 receiver who averaged 23.6 yards per catch in 2019. If the Chargers let Mike Williams walk next offseason, Fehoko could be the favorite to replace him. He needs to get red-zone targets as well.
McShay’s pick: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Cornerback depth is already lacking in New Orleans, and it could get a lot worse if Marshon Lattimore departs in free agency next March. Adebo is a ball hawk with eight interceptions and 29 passes broken up over 22 career games.
Kiper’s pick: Jamar Johnson, S, Utah
A safety helps fill all of the Cowboys’ most immediate needs, as we’ve also given them a corner, defensive tackle and offensive tackle. Johnson could challenge Donovan Wilson and free-agent signing Damontae Kazee for a starting job.
McShay’s pick: Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
We addressed WR, CB and TE, so it’s between offensive line, safety and linebacker for me here. Why not combine two of those with Nasirildeen? He’s a hybrid defender who played the “Star” position (a versatile linebacker/defensive back) in Florida State’s defense — a role previously held by Derwin James.
Kiper’s pick: Demetric Felton, WR/RB, UCLA
The 5-foot-8 Felton played both running back and receiver for the Bruins, and he averaged 165.8 all-purpose yards in 2020. The Lions just need to add talent. He’d likely play slot receiver in Detroit.
McShay’s pick: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
The 49ers had one of the NFL’s best run defenses last season. They drafted Javon Kinlaw in the first round last April, so let’s go back to the defensive tackle well to give him a partner on the inside and keep the run D a strength. Nixon is very disruptive and is a good fit as a 3-technique in the San Francisco 4-3.
Check out the best highlights from Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon’s college career.
Kiper’s pick: Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Surratt ran a disappointing 4.69 40-yard dash at his pro day, but he put up good numbers in 2019 before opting out of this past season. The Rams added veteran DeSean Jackson this offseason, and they need more depth behind Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
McShay’s pick: Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
Myers would provide depth on the inside at both center and guard for an offensive line that is key to the Ravens’ juggernaut run game. But like many late-Day 2 picks, he is a developmental prospect.
Kiper’s pick: Dayo Odeyingbo, DE, Vanderbilt
Odeyingbo has an intriguing skill set as a 285-pound defensive end, and the Saints need to find defensive help through the draft. Former first-round pick Marcus Davenport hasn’t put it all together yet. Odeyingbo likely would have gone much higher if he hadn’t torn his Achilles in January.