2021 NFL DRAFT Team Mocks AFC North

By | April 23, 2021

And finally we get around to the AFC North, and home of LAMAR JACKSON. Can the RAVENS draft enough talent to help get this team over the Play-Off hump and into the Super Bowl with a scrambling QB like JACKSON? That is starting to become a question already. Will JOE BURROW be back and at full health in Cincinnati? More importantly, will the BENGALS find enough in their Draft to protect him better, give him more weapons to throw to, and shore up the D a bit? Kind of a challenge with 8 Picks. Will the STEELERS find their new lead RB with CONNOR gone? Are the BROWNS as good as many of us think they are? Too many questions. Too many fresh bodies needed. Only 32 Picks for all 4 teams in their group.

 

RAVENS

Round 1, Pick 27    TERRACE MARSHALL   WR   LSU

Round 1, Pick 31     SAMUEL COSMI  OT  TEXAS

Round 3, Pick 94     BREVIN JORDAN TE  MIAMI

Round 3, Pick 104     SHAKA TONEY   OB/ER    Penn State

Round 4, Pick  131      HAMSAH NASIRILDEEN   S/LB    Florida State

Round 4, pick 136      ELIJAH MITCHELL  RB  LOUISIANA

Round 5, Pick 171     CHRIS RUMPH   OB/ER     Duke

Round 5, Pick 184    KHYIRIS TONGA   DT     BYU

Round 6, Pick 210    DANIEL MOORE   OT    Texas A&M

Call me crazy! With JOHN HARBAUGH as Head Coach and GREG ROMAN as Offensive Coordinator, I am forcing a WR and receiving TE down their throats at the top of a limited Draft card here. Yep… because until they open that playbook a bit more, quality teams in the Play-Offs can shut down their Offense, in which JACKSON is too easily mirrored by select defenders.  I also doubled up on them with Edge Rushers in TONEY & RUMPH, because two of their biggest VFA losses were their top pass rushers in JUDON & NGAKOUE. NASIRILDEEN may take a while to fit in to their schemes, but his athleticism should be a very welcome addition. TONGA is a good, old-fashioned stone wall for the middle of their DL, where everyone seems to have gotten old together in the past couple of years.

 

BENGALS

Round 1, Pick 7    PENEI SEWELL  OT    Oregon

Round 2, Pick 38    RASHOD BATEMAN   WR    Minnesota

Round 3, Pick 69     BARON BROWNING  LB    Ohio State

Round 4, Pick 111      JACOBY STEVENS   S/LB     LSU

Round 5, Pick 149    BOBBY BROWN     DT     Texas A&M

Round 6, Pick 190    DEMETRIC FELTON     WR/RB/RS   UCLA

Round 6, Pick 202     NOAH GRAY     TE     Duke

Round 7, Pick 235    RODARIUS WILLIAMS  CB  Oklahoma State

PITTS was their man, but was already gone by the time they picked in Round 1. The consolation prize may be better for them with a plug and play OT that is big and athletic. Just like a BENGAL of long ago named ANTHONY MUNOZ. BATEMAN is the good hands man to help that receiving corps. Both of the top two picks are major upgrades for the return of JOE BURROW. FELTON and GRAY, on Day 3, will add some talented depth to the weapons locker. BROWNING & STEVENS add talent and depth to their LB group, with STEVENS also being able to provide depth and versatility to the S group. Changes were already made in their DL room, but somewhere in the exchange of personnel, that group got a little thin. BROWN is a big old boy that can move and chase. Depth, my friends, is a key factor in the marathon that is the NFL season. That, and taking care of your Franchise QB.

 

BROWNS

Round 1, Pick 26    CHRISTIAN BARMORE      DT    Alabama

Round 2, Pick 59    DYAMI BROWN   WR    UNC

Round 3, Pick 89    ANDRE CISCO    S     Syracuse

Round 3, Pick 91     AARON BANKS    OG    Notre Dame

Round 4, Pick  110    DERRICK BARNES     LB    Purdue

Round 4, Pick. 132    BEN MASON    FB     Michigan

Round 5, Pick 169   TRE’ McKITTY      TE     Georgia

Round 6, Pick 211    JOSE BORREGALES  K   Miami (F)

Round 7, Pick 257    DEOMMODORE  LENOIR    CB     Oregon

What do you get for a team that now has just about everything?  A little bit of this, and some of that, is my answer. This is now a team in the position to pick off of their value board and not push the envelope for a position per se. There is kind of a twitch to grab a WR up high, because one has to question if BECKHAM will be back and his old self again. If he is not, then they need a new No. 1 wideout. So given that uncertainty, I believe DYAMI BROWN is a solid option in Round 2. I also felt like BARMORE was a solid pick late in Round One because of their cutting of SHELDON RICHARDSON and his big Cap hit in 2021. CISCO is a verified ball-hawk which they are still not sure they have on the roster because of past injuries within their S group. BANKS give them a shot to bolster their depth along the IOL, and at a potential cost savings. Gotta be honest, I luv both of those 4th Round selections. BARNES was highly underrated until he showed out at the Senior Bowl venue, and can play almost any LB spot they need from game to game. MASON might beat out JANOVICH, whom they traded for, again saving them money and saving a roster spot or two because of his versatility. BORREGALES was the best prospect in the Special Teams grouping, and will get the chance to beat out PARKEY and McCRANE, who qualify as journeymen in my estimation. McKITTY has the athleticism to become the all-around TE that they lack right now. He needs to be developed as a receiver, but I luv the head start  that he brings to that project with his 11″ hand size. Something for almost everyone on this list, with plenty of pro level talent.

 

STEELERS

Round 1, Pick 24     NAJEE HARRIS  RB  Alabama

Round 2, Pick 55      ASANTE SAMUEL    CB    Florida State

Round 3, Pick 87    JAY TUFELE   DT    Southern Cal

Round 4, Pick 128    K.J. BRITT     ILB    Auburn

Round 4, Pick 140     ELERSON SMITH   DE/ER   N. Iowa

Round 6, Pick 216     JAYLON MOORE    OL   Western Michigan

Round 7, Pick 245      DILLON SOEHNER   TE     Iowa State

Round 7, Pick 254     JACK ANDERSON   OC    Texas Tech

If the League weren’t in such state of devaluation of the RB position, there is no way a team picking at 24 would ever have a shot at a player like NAJEE HARRIS. He brings the power and elusiveness to the STEELERS that they never quite got from JAMES CONNOR. He also refined his receiving ability last year with MAC JONES at the helm. Their secondary lost NB/HILTON and CB/NELSON, so they had to be delighted, again, in Round 2 when ASANTE SAMUEL was available. He’s a talented, feisty little guy that should battle with LAYNE for NELSON’s old spot. The team almost lost ALUALU in VFA, and that seems to have forced them to realize how thin they had become along their DL. TUFELE has the resume’ to be the heir apparent to ALUALU, with all of his athleticism and a bit more size. I can see BRITT taking VINCE WILLIAMS spot with a combination of decent athleticism and a pushing approach to stopping the run up the middle. ELERSON SMITH is a small school guy that sat out 2020, however, he showed up and out in Mobile at the Senior Bowl venue. He is built like DUPREE and has some of the same pass-rush inclinations. The last 3 Picks are all geared to depth and youth in their blocking corps. They have had good luck with MAC-OL this millennium, and MOORE could be, for now, a solid back-up all along their front. ANDERSON was one of the pleasant surprises  at the Senior Bowl. SOEHNER is from that deep and talented Cyclones TE group and might even make the depth chart as a back-up OT in their jumbo package, at 6’7/268 lbs. He also lined up as an H-B at times in college. This group has a STEELERS feel to it, and I like it.

This division was somewhat limited by only having 32 Picks, but in general, used them wisely. Most of their Picks filled holes, but were NOT reaches for a position deficit. They only corralled 5 of my Top 50 prospects, but got 12 in my Top 100. You can’t fix your roster completely in one Draft, but this group may have helped itself more than your average division. Despite Pandemic Opt Outs last Fall many of whom are returning for a  “free” year of eligibility from the NCAA. I expect to see the shortage of draft eligible players show up more when the Picking is over and teams fight to fill up their 90-man rosters. Some recently forgotten Camp vets will get unexpected interest by teams with depth needs.

 

Pigskin Paul

That’s a wrap for this year’s Team Mocks here at the GBN Report. I will be posting a First Round Mock  next week and my official Top 100 list as well.