My first round big board is finally finished, so I’ll be turning my attention to the later rounds of the draft after some guys stood out at the Senior Bowl. Since 32 picks is a vast range — and hopefully, the Falcons get some extra picks in this round by trading back — I’ll be going in-depth on each positional grouping instead of an arbitrary ranking system. I really like a lot of guys in this range, per usual. I’ll do the later rounds after getting some Pro Day results, so be on the lookout. If you missed any of my previous editions, they’re down here:
1. RB Najee Harris, Alabama
2. RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina
3. RB Michael Carter, North Carolina
4. WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
5. TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
6. QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Nothing has changed with Najee Harris; he is still a punishing back with enough athleticism and elusiveness to break off big chunk runs. You can read Chase’s draft profile on him here. Just can’t fathom spending a high draft, first round, pick on him.
Next, my attention turns to UNC’s thunder and lightning. Javonte Williams, thunder, is a bowling ball and another punishing runner. He finishes carries with authority and isn’t afraid of contact; he honestly reminds me a bit of Michael Turner. Williams is pretty athletic and a good receiving option out of the backfield for as massive as he is. He’s really pushing Najee Harris for first on this list, and you can read my full draft profile about him here. Lightning, Michael Carter, made himself some money at the Senior Bowl, as he showed off his shiftiness and overall athletic gifts throughout the week and in the game.
Marshall gets bumped down here due to positional need, but I think he’s an absolute robbery of a pick in the second round. If you want to know why, check out Alex’s in-depth breakdown here. Pat Freiermuth is the victim of some prospect fatigue and Penn State’s poor output in 2020, but he is an absolute mismatch at tight end. He has smooth route running and hands to go along with his incredible athleticism for a guy his size. At 6’5 and 250, I think he only puts on more muscle to his frame and improves as a blocker. He would be a luxury pick at this point, but he looks even better than his fellow Penn State alum Mike Gesicki did coming out of college.
Kellen Mond had a good enough Senior Bowl to launch him into the late second-round, probably, but I’m good on a quarterback at this point. This class is extremely top-heavy, and as you’ll see, there’s way too much value in the trenches and in the secondary to reach for Mond here.
1. IOL Landon Dickerson, Alabama
2. IOL Trey Smith, Tennessee
3. IOL Wyatt Davis, Ohio State
4. IOL/T Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State
5. IOL/T Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
Landon Dickerson is still my favorite prospect in this range, and although he didn’t play at the Senior Bowl — he certainly helped out his case by measuring in the 97th percentile for active NFL centers for size, weight, and wingspan. His leadership at Alabama was apparent, and he’s a plug and play starter that would immediately fill either left guard or center, two massive positions of need for the Falcons.
Trey Smith had a pretty solid Senior Bowl, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best pure guards in the entire class. Another plug and play starter that immediately helps to protect Matt Ryan. Wyatt Davis’ draft stock has taken a tumble, but he’s another very athletic and physical guard that instantly improves the team — likely starting opposite of Chris Lindstrom if selected.
I quite like Teven Jenkins, but he’s more of a project. He has more gifts than some of the guys above him, but Jenkins needs more refining in his technique. He is mean as hell in the run game and was solid in pass protection. The former Cowboy has some flexibility at guard, and while he has the potential to be better than some of these guys — Jenkins also needs a little more work and doesn’t provide the same immediate impact. Alex Leatherwood had a bad Senior Bowl. While I wouldn’t take him unless Atlanta got an extra second-rounder, he still has a lot of versatility and experience that will make him pretty solid from day one.
1. EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami
2. EDGE/IDL Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
3. IDL Daviyon Nixon, Iowa
4. IDL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
5. ILB Dylan Moses, Alabama
6. LB Jabril Cox, LSU
7. LB Baron Browning, Ohio State
8. LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
Jaelan Phillips is one of my favorite prospects in the draft, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the former #1 ranked high school player sneaks into the first round. Phillips is incredibly gifted for his size, and he profiles as a 3-4 EDGE — something that should be appealing to Dean Pees. Carlos Basham is projecting in the third round, but I’m not sure he falls that far — or even close. He showed incredible inside-out ability at the Senior Bowl. Basham’s flexibility to kick inside and still rush off the edge is something that can really transform a 3-4 defense. That switchability with Grady Jarrett and Marlon Davidson can give Atlanta a LOT of looks.
Daviyon Nixon is raw, but he can be the best player out of this bunch. He is incredibly athletic at 6’3 and 305, and he uses his hands very well to create an interior push. If Nixon is developed properly, the sky’s the limit — don’t be shocked if he’s a Pro Bowler one day. Levi Onwuzurike had a fantastic Senior Bowl week, and he’s another fantastic interior pass rusher I could see Atlanta being interested in.
I have to barely give Dylan Moses the edge over Jabril Cox, mainly because of positional fit. Dean Pees has had success in Baltimore, New England, and Tennessee with thumping inside backers to enforce against the run. Jabril Cox is great in space, but I prefer Moses to allow Deion Jones to transition to a more natural WILL role. Moses isn’t as good in coverage as Cox, but he immediately provides more juice against the run.
I liked Baron Browning later in this draft, but he flew up draft boards after an impressive Senior Bowl. Browning finally showcased why he was a five-star coming out of high school, and he’s certainly going to be a versatile piece for whoever picks him. The former Buckeye is a combination of what Cox and Moses do well, but I’m not 100% sold off one week of Senior Bowl practice. I do like his game a lot, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he becomes an outstanding NFL linebacker.
Chazz Surratt is the biggest project of the group. The former quarterback has all of the tools and athleticism, but he’s still learning the position. If he goes to a team that develops linebackers at an elite level, he can become a dangerous weapon. Surratt terrorized ACC quarterbacks all season long rushing the passer, defending the run, and dropping into coverage.
1. S Richie Grant, UCF
2. S Jevon Holland, Oregon
3. S Trevon Moehrig, TCU
4. CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State
5. CB Aaron Robinson, UCF
6. CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia
This might be hypocritical, but I won’t be too influenced by the Senior Bowl with Browning, but Richie Grant was too impressive not to make him my first safety on the board. What really sold me was his ability on the boundary. Most at his position can hold their own at dropping in the box or even as a slot corner, but it’s infrequent that a safety can match up on the boundary with a guy like Nico Collins and absolutely eat his lunch — the best comp I found was Charles Woodson. Grant is fast, physical, and has impressive ball skills to go along with the versatility he offers — truly the complete package as a prospect. He’s still a bit raw and might take time to develop, but I would gamble on the upside — even with a need for immediate help at safety.
Everyone who reads my draft stuff knows I love Jevon Holland, and he offers a lot of the same as Grant, but he reminds me of Desmond King with his ability to be a lockdown defender in the slot. He doesn’t offer the same juice as Grant on the boundary, but he has some chops there. I think Holland is more polished than Grant, so I’d be happy with either of these guys.
Moehrig is more of a ballhawk than either of the other guys, which is why I’d be pleased selecting him as well. He’s more of a pure free safety, but I think he’s physical and athletic enough to play rover when called upon. I like Asante Samuel Jr a LOT (his dad was fantastic for the Falcons), but he’s probably going to be limited to nickel duties at first. Samuel is as sticky of a man corner as you will find, but his zone technique will need some polish. He still has all the potential of a complete boundary corner in the NFL, but he’ll need some polish in that area.
You can pretty much copy and paste all of that for Aaron Robinson, who did have a fantastic Senior Bowl week. I think Robinson and Samuel will be fantastic slot specialists, which is a need for Atlanta. Tyson Campbell has nosedived down draft boards, but I anticipate a team in the second round bets on his potential in a league where you can never have too many talented corners. His tools will keep him afloat, but he never demonstrated exceptional ball skills at Georgia. He is a sticky press corner with good length, but Atlanta should be done drafting an Isaiah Oliver-type prospect. I would consider taking him in the third round, but I could see him getting scooped before them.