After a crazy first night in the draft, a ton of potential first round talent was left on the board coming into the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL draft. Here were some of the best picks from Thursday night.
Cleveland STEALS Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah 52nd overall:
JOK was one of my highest ranked draft prospects coming into draft weekend, and I was honestly shocked he was still on the board going into day two. The Notre Dame hybrid LB has sideline to sideline speed, explosive and aggressive in terms of contact, and can even cover WR or TEs man to man. To me, Owusu-Koromoah was a prototypical, modern era type of LB athlete teams would want on their defense.
Instead, 6 other LB prospects were taken before him as he fell into the late 2nd round to Cleveland. I think he’ll get an opportunity to help an already solid defensive unit– playing a big part in pass coverage from the LB spot. I’m not sure why he fell this late, but this may just be the biggest steal of the entire draft so far.
Tampa Finds a Project QB in Kyle Trask:
The defending champion Buccaneers, who already added depth to their pass rush unit in the 1st round and were able to retain all of their starters from this past season, may have found a diamond in the rough at the end of the 2nd round.
Kyle Trask, to me, was a QB not enough people talked about. He was insanely productive at Florida and came very close to snatching the SEC title away from Alabama after a miraculous comeback effort. Trask is a tall, strong athlete that has great arm talent. His accuracy is a bit inconsistent and he still is learning when make pre-snap and in the moment reads, but his floor is much higher than a guy like Mac Jones (who is limited athletically).
For Tampa, this pick is extremely smart. At this point, they are filling out depth and looking to add pieces for the post-Brady era (whenever that is). Adding a project QB with high upside to learn alongside the greatest of all time at the position is nothing short of an excellent investment.
New England Adds Unique Interior Pass Rush Prospect:
The rebuilding New England Patriots saw an opportunity, and traded up to the 38th overall pick to take Alabama DT Christian Barmore. To many, Barmore was the best DT in this entire draft. He posses unique power and pass rush ability from the interior, and has high upside to improve as a run defender as well.
For New England, they get a chance to bring in a very special athlete with a gift for interior pass rush, which very few guys can do at the NFL level. Although raw, especially against the run, Barmore will have a chance to compete in New England with their brand new set of defensive linemen.
Indianapolis Takes Another Gamble on an Injured Prospect
Dayo Odeyingbo tore his achillies just before the Senior Bowl back in January, but as we saw with Indy in previous drafts, they aren’t afraid to take guys based on recent injuries (they took Julian Blackmon in the 2020 draft after a knee injury, and he panned out very nicely).
Odeyingbo is a freaky big, fast, long armed pass rusher who looks like a first round type of talent on tape. The achillies tear may prevent him from playing this season, but the Colts also selected Michigan DE Kwity Paye in the first round. In theory, if Dayo comes back for the 2022 season and performs the way he did for Vanderbilt, the Colts essentially got away with two top end, first round talents off the edge without any crazy trade ups. A very underrated selection that could prove to be crucial to the Colts’ title hopes in the near future.
Kansas City Finds Immediate Damien Wilson Replacement
After losing starting LB Damien Wilson in free agency, Kansas City took Missouri LB Nick Bolton with the 58th overall selection.
I thought there was glimpses of Bolton showing first round talent, as he proved to be an extremely instinctive, natural, explosive LB at the college level. Bolton is excellent blitzing from the LB spot, and can even be useful in zone coverage.
This pick fills a hole on the Chiefs defense, but it does so with a first round type of talent deep into the 2nd round. This was a great need pick with high value for the defending AFC Champs.