The NFL Draft has concluded the third round, wrapping up Day 2. We will go pick by pick and evaluate each team’s selection and how it fits and what these players may need to work on to succeed in the NFL.
2021 NFL Draft Round 3 Recap
3.65 | Jaguars | Andre Cisco | S | Syracuse
The Jaguars turn to their secondary and draft a ballhawk in the third round of the NFL Draft. Andre Cisco’s 2020 season-ending ACL tear does raise a few concerns but he should still retain his speed. He moves swiftly between the sidelines and was productive on the stat sheet: 12 INTs in two years. Jacksonville desperately needs a safety that brings prowess. Cisco should lock up the lead role at FS and can hopefully teach the other DBs some tricks.
3.66 | Vikings | Kellen Mond | QB | Texas A&M
9,600+ passing yards and 1,600+ rushing yards by Kellen Mond in college. Kirk Cousins will go into the season as the starter as Mond still needs some time to develop to the NFL level. Mond is a much better athlete with a good deep arm and knows how to use his legs to his advantage. He can use the time on the bench to better his accuracy and reading the defense.
3.67 | Texans | Davis Mills | QB | Stanford
Houston’s first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft comes in the third round and is an insurance plan for Deshaun Watson. If Watson is forced to relinquish his starting role for whatever reason, Mills has the potential to compete. Between the pandemic and knee injuries, Mills has a limited resume but has a strong arm and excels in play-action. He lacks in great speed and athleticism and would struggle if started as a rookie. He’s coachable and just needs to be able to read and react to NFL defenses.
3.68 | Falcons | Jalen Mayfield | OT | Michigan
Guard was the weak point in the offensive line and Mayfield can beat out the committee. While he played mostly tackle in college, he can swing to the guard position. He has the skills of a first-round talent but his stock suffered from a lack of athleticism and a poor pro day. Versatility is key in this league and he has that going for him. Expect to see him in a few different roles on the line as a rookie.
3.69 | Bengals | Joseph Ossai | LB | Texas
Cincy added help up front in free agency with Trey Hendrickson and is doubling down in the NFL Draft with Ossai. The Bengals lost several key players on their DL and need a presence to attack the QB. Ossai made the change from ILB to DE and it worked in his favor. He isn’t the most experienced pass rusher but is raw and can be molded. He’s got grit that coaches love but lacks quickness. He will thrive more in attacking than chasing.
3.70 | Panthers | Brady Christensen | OT | BYU
Brady Christensen protected Zach Wilson in college and will now help give Sam Darnold a fighting chance. This was one of Carolina’s biggest needs out of the NFL draft and they end up with a quality player. His athletic frame is similar to a linebacker and possesses good technique in all aspects. He needs some polishing as a third-round talent and needs to add weight to be more OL and less DE. He is a bit older than the other prospects but it’s not a deal-breaker.
3.71 | Giants | Aaron Robinson | CB | UCF
This wasn’t as much of a need as it was the best player on the board that adds depth to a depleted secondary. Projected as an early second-round selection, his downfall is opening his hips too soon and being impatient in coverage and jumping routes. He’s a good mix of speed and size. His tackling improved in 2020 but he needs to focus on not getting hot-headed and recognizing routes.
3.72 | Lions | Alim McNeill | DT | NC State
Detroit once again decides to bring in an impact player for their defensive front. McNeill is mobile for a nose tackle who can still be a bull rusher on the line. He’s NFL-level strong already but is limited as a pass rusher. Luckily, he won’t have to stress about the pass and can create success against the run. Detroit is looking to depend on their defense with Jared Goff at QB and a possibility of a young QB soon.
3.73 | Eagles | Milton Williams | DT | Louisiana Tech
This might have been a reach at #73 but Milton Williams isn’t a bum. Sure, he’s undersized but makes up for it with athleticism, pass-rush potential, and good use of hands. He is still going to be a work in progress but could still see some playing time as a rookie. While he’s not the most physical DT, he is quite resourceful with his smarts and technique. This at least fills a need on the roster.
3.74 | Washington | Benjamin St-Juste | CB | Minnesota
St-Juste is intriguing at 6’3” and 200+ pounds. He has a small resume in college and doesn’t have elite instincts. From the IQ intangibles, he’s behind due to lack of experience. What makes him a third-round talent is being aggressive in the catch and an outstanding tackler. Washington doesn’t have an immediate need at CB but St-Juste is a raw talent who could easily be groomed into a long-term starting role in the secondary.
3.75 | Cowboys | Osa Odighizuwa | DT | UCLA
Osa Odighizuwa could end up seeing some starting time due to a lack of talent at his position. He’s quick off the snap and can work through the gap and also as a pass rusher. He won’t be a true DT anchor but can open gaps for LBs to attack and can line up anywhere on the DL.
3.76 | Saints | Paulson Adebo | CB | Stanford
Adebo should compete for a starting job with his size advantage and ball skills. His best tape came from 2018 and he doesn’t have the greatest acceleration. His speed comes from the long haul though. Adebo’s main strength is a receiver’s mindset and ability to read and react to routes effectively.
3.77 | Chargers | Josh Palmer | WR | Tennessee
The Chargers have the right mindset in the 2021 NFL draft and are hitting on all the key needs with impactful players. They are in need of more depth at WR rather than a true starter. You can’t just look at Palmer’s stats to get a sense of him. He can get physical with DBs and cause separation and has been refining his route-running. But yes, he isn’t a stat machine and struggles with acceleration.
3.78 | Vikings | Chazz Surratt | LB | North Carolina
Chazz Surratt turned himself into an All-ACC LB after starting his career as a QB. He’s the opposite of Josh Palmer: he racks up the stats but his film shows inconsistencies and concerns. Minnesota’s current LBs have missed many games and Surratt can rotate in and make a few big stops.
3.79 | Raiders | Malcolm Koonce | DE | Buffalo
The Raiders face Mahomes and Herbert twice a year and struggles in getting consistent pressure on them. Koonce has proven he can bring the heat on opposing QBs and has a good motor. His basic fundamentals are sort of all over the place but can fix them with time. After a year of putting in the work, Koonce can be a focal point coming off the edge.
3.80 | Raiders | Divine Deablo | DB | Virginia Tech
Deablo is a former WR with great size. The Raiders are obviously trying to fill many holes on defense and Deablo can become a hybrid safety/linebacker. He would be better suited to cover TEs across the middle and work in zone coverage. With his size, he can run into the box and aid against the run.
3.81 | Dolphins | Hunter Long | TE | Boston College
Hunter Long could have been the first TE selected but his blocking is in shambles. He is more of a big receiver who can pinpoint the pass and comes away with it. Despite his size, he can turn on the burners for some impressive speed. It’s doubtful he can get his blocking up to the NFL level but can refine himself as a pass-catcher. Miami now has two receiving TEs and Mike Gesicki can at least assist as a blocker.
3.82 | Washington | Dyami Brown | WR |North Carolina
Dyami Brown can use his speed to open the field for Washington’s other playmakers to thrive. He had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and can have a high YAC rate in the slot. Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to have to dig down deep to get the ball to his new deep threat.
3.83 | Panthers |Tommy Tremble | TE | Notre Dame
Once again, Carolina makes a move to better Sam Darnold. The latest piece is a Notre Dame stud in Tremble. He is a developed blocker and can be a safety net for Darnold if he has to dump the ball off quickly. Tremble doesn’t excite you with his routes but can cause some separation with his speed.
3.84 | Cowboys | Chauncey Golston | DE | Iowa
Dallas seems to be holding out hope that their current offense holds up as they pick up another defensive player. Golston isn’t flashy as a pass rusher but is small enough to slip through the gaps to attack the ball. He’s a physical athlete with potential but needs to continue to add weight/strength. Some scouts would call this a reach after projecting him in the fourth or fifth round.
3.85| Packers | Amari Rodgers | WR | Clemson
Amari Rodgers has the tools to line up opposite Davante Adams and we just hope he gets to have Aaron Rodgers throw to him. If it is someone new, Rodgers can be an asset with YAC and turning short passes into big yardage. Against man coverage, DBs seem to stick to him. If he happens to break loose, then look out.
3.86 | Vikings | Wyatt Davis | G | OSU
Wyatt Davis works best in opening holes for the run game. Dalvin Cook is looking to improve on last season and Davis could be his saving grace. He’s just a bit undersized at guard with average footwork. He should hope to refine his ability in pass protection to have a lasting career.
3.87 | Steelers | Kendrick Green | OL | Illinois
Green is a three-year starter with versatility at guard and center. Luckily, Pittsburgh has a need for both positions. He is the ideal fit for a zone run-scheme like the Steelers but isn’t the best pass protector. His coaches can work with him to influence his pass protection and could end up developing into another great Pittsburgh lineman.
3.88 | 49ers | Trey Sermon | RB | OSU
San Francisco has been known for its multiple attack run game. Their new beast is a mixture of Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and Trey Sermon’s 7.4 yards per carry. His main downside is his struggle as a pass-catcher.
3.89 | Texans | Nico Collins | WR | Michigan
The Texans have options at QB but little at WR. Nico Collins is a large target to throw to 6’4”, 215 pounds. He will likely be called upon often as a rookie and will need to learn how to separate from his coverage better.
3.90 | Vikings | Patrick Jones | DE | Pittsburgh
Mike Zimmer chewed out his defense last year, specifically the pass rush. Patrick Jones doesn’t attack with the best presence and his hand movement is average at best. He can slip past into the backfield with ease but needs better fundamentals and balance to be a well-rounded pass rusher.
3.91 | Browns | Anthony Schwartz | WR | Auburn
Cleveland adds speed to their offense and Anthony Schwartz can get behind the defense as the Browns are run-heavy. Schwartz has elite speed but doesn’t have the hands or ball-tracking to match that would make him a real WR2.
3.92 | Titans | Monty Rice | LB | Georgia
Monty Rice is a promising prospect on all fronts. He has 4.6 40 speed, which gives him an edge in competition. This also allows him to drop back into coverage and chase the ball. He would be best suited as an early-down player who is a bit too cautious in his playmaking.
3.93 | Bills | Spencer Brown | OT | Northern Iowa
Spencer Brown seems more like a potential future starter with Buffalo as their two starters seem locked in. He’s a towering man on the field who needs to work on his footwork, balance and anchoring to take the next step in his career.
3.94 | Ravens | Ben Cleveland | G | Georgia
Baltimore’s elite run game is right where Ben Cleveland belongs. He’s massive at 6’6” and 343 pounds and could brute his way into a starting gig. He can use his frame and build to make way for the ball carrier but may struggle in containing pass rushers and keeping pressure off of Lamar Jackson.
3.95 | Buccaneers | Robert Hainsey | OL | Notre Dame
As mentioned almost every day, the Bucs brought back all 22 starters from last year. They have minimal needs and depth at OL is never a bad thing in this league. Hainsey is a top-heavy tackle who s patient yet tough. Similar to Cleveland, he could have an issue against the NFL’s top edge rushers.
3.96 | Patriots | Ronnie Perkins | DE | Oklahoma
Perkins dropped way down the board and it’s not from a lack of talent. He has his flaws and setbacks but he will thrive and excel under the Patriots. He’s brutal and relies more on power than technique. He seemingly fits the mold for this scheme.
3.97 | Chargers | Tre’ McKitty | TE | Georgia
Hunter Henry moved on from the Chargers and it might be for the best. He never really found his full potential but Tre’ McKitty was a productive pass-catcher in college. Herbert lacks a real threat at TE and McKitty can develop a long-lasting connection with Herbert.
3.98 | Broncos | Quinn Meinerz | OL | Wisconson-Whitewater
The D3 product looks like a Canadian urban legend who did the unthinkable and truly worked his way into the NFL. His Senior Bowl performance caught the eye of NFL scouts and his film shows great pass protection and developing strong hands. Denver got a real hidden gem here.
3.99 | Cowboys | Nahshon Wright | CB | Oregon St
Wright is a little small but could be a good fit for Dan Quinn’s defense. He is quite physical and could be a real threat in the secondary with more size on his frame.
3.100 | Titans | Elijah Molden | CB | Washington
There is a hole in Tennessee’s secondary and Molden is a great slot corner. Some scouts question his speed but he’s flashy with a pedigree behind him. The Titans are hitting on all of their picks thus far and Molden is no different.
3.101 | Lions | Ifeatu Melifonwu | CB | Syracuse
The run of CBs continues with the impressive Ifeatu. Detroit’s secondary is a mess and Ifeatu has long-range and contains routes while being an open-field tackler. He has to shake his injury bug first to be given a real shot.
3.102 | 49ers | Ambry Thomas | CB | Michigan
The fourth straight CB selected, Thomas is great in man coverage and quite physical with his hands. As a former receiver, he also has the trait to recognize routes and timing.
3.103 | Rams | Ernest Jones | LB |South Carolina
The Rams select Jones, getting an athletic defender that brings light to a weak spot on the roster.
3.104 | Ravens | Brandon Stephens | CB | SMU
A former RB, Stephens could see time as a safety for Baltimore and will likely be a a strong special teams contributor.
3.105 | Broncos | Baron Browning | LB | OSU
Browning is labeled as “rangy” and fits the mold of an off-ball LB who can blitz and drop into coverage.