Tag Archives: Najee Harris

2021 NFL Draft Recap: AFC North

In the AFC North’s 2021 NFL Draft recap, the Ravens picked a couple of receivers to provide competition, the Bengals gave Chase his former QB and the Browns added another corner. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers decided to get back to playing bully ball with an emphasis on its lines and picked up a bruising running back along the way.

Baltimore Ravens     
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 27th overallBaltimore RavensRashod Bateman6’0 190/WR-Minnesota18/2nd RoundBateman gives Jackson yet another weapon after the signing of Sammy Watkins. The team is continuing to attempt to get it right at the position.
1st Round, 31st overallBaltimore RavensJayson Oweh6’5 252/DE-Penn State143/3rd RoundThe Ravens bet on Oweh’s upside, which includes 4.3 speed and very good upper body strength.
3rd Round, 94th overallBaltimore RavensBen Cleveland6’6 354/OT-Georgia92/3rd RoundIn today’s NFL, however, he is going to have to make sure that he becomes more efficient in pass protection. This becomes even more paramount when you weigh in the 355-pound range. It is at least pretty well-distributed on his 6-foot-6 frame. His experience and anticipation of how teams would attack on line games was much better in 2020.
3rd Round, 104th overallBaltimore RavensBrandon Stephens6’1 219/CB-SMU277/4th RoundStephens is a former running back who transitioned to cornerback in college and did so admirably. One of the things that makes that transition so hard is you’re seeing the game from the outside-in as opposed to inside-out. Technically, he is going to have to work on some things if he plans to stay on the perimeter.
4th Round, 131st overallBaltimore RavensTylan Wallace5’11 193 WR-Oklahoma State82/3rd RoundThe best projection for Wallace, who is a smooth route runner with body control, could be to the slot position. He is a bit of an enigma due to his build and injury history. He projects as a solid No. 3 receiver initially with an opportunity to grow into a No. 2 receiver.
5th Round,160th overallBaltimore Ravens (from Arizona Cardinals)Shaun Wade6’1 195/Nickel-Ohio State87/3rd RoundUnlike many of the Buckeyes’ pure cover corners, Wade had more experience playing the nickel back spot. At that spot, he has shown the ability to blitz, tackle, read route combinations, play man coverage and pass off routes in zone.
5th Round, 171st overallBaltimore RavensDaelin Hayes6'3 261/DE-OLB-Notre Dame139/3rd RoundHayes is a very good athlete with plenty of opportunity to become a better pro than collegian. Right when he was about to take off in 2019, he went down to injury against Virginia. His versatility is intriguing.
5th Round, 184th overallBaltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)Ben Mason6’2 256/TE-H-back-Michigan282/4th RoundMason is sort of a Patrick Mekari-clone. He could take the place of former Hayden Hurt in some of the team’s three tight end sets.
Cincinnati Bengals
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
5th overallCincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWR-LSU12/1st RoundChase re-unites with his former Heisman QB in hopes of re-igniting their 2019 national championship rhythm.
46th overallCincinnati Bengals (from New England Patriots)Jackson Carman6’5 317/OT-Clemson88/3rd RoundSome of his blocks in space were highlight film worthy. He can lean on defenders with his mass. Managing his weight, however, could help alleviate some of the technical flaws. Did the weight contribute to the former five-star recruit's recent back surgery in January 2021?
69th overallCincinnati BengalsJoseph Ossai6’3 255/LB-Texas120/3rd RoundThe notes kept piling up for Ossai as we broke down his game. In 2019, we were not at all that impressed with his work at the exchange linebacker position. In 2020, he turned it on as a defensive end. He set the edge versus tight ends, flattened on run away and used hip swivel to turn the corner on occasion versus offensive tackles.
111th overallCincinnati BengalsCam Sample6’2 274/DE-OLB-Tulane67/2nd RoundWhile he has played some as an inside-shade defensive end, the team is now using him to stand up and rush (as it has in the past) with his hand in the dirt. His increased feel of influencing the offensive tackle off of his third step up the field now complements his unique combination of power and hand usage.
122nd overallCincinnati BengalsTyler Shelvin6’2 350/DT-NG/LSU112/3rd RoundHe was not capable of being single blocked by one man and routinely required two blockers as the zero-technique or one-technique defensive tackle. His athleticism should not be underestimated. While at Northside High School (La.), he punted, kicked and played defense.
139th overallCincinnati Bengals (via New England Patriots (compensatory selection)D’Ante Smith6’5 305/OT-ECU81/3rd RoundThe ECU lineman does provide some positional versatility, having seen action at both left guard and left tackle in school. He combines with current Bengal Hakeem Adeniji to give the team added swing versatility.
149th overallCincinnati BengalsEvan McPherson5’11 177/PK-Florida407/5th RoundThe last Gators kicker to leave early for the NFL Draft was Eddy Pineiro, who actually is nearly identical in size to McPherson. Like McPherson, Piniero was extremely accurate while at Florida (88-percent). McPherson will compete with former Oklahoma PK Austin Seibert for the job in Cincinnati.
190th overallCincinnati BengalsTrey Hill6’4 330/OC-Georgia331/5th RoundHill is a true junior who was forced to play early in his career and responded favorably. The clean-up procedures that he went through on his knees in 2020 were due to pain, but prior to this year he had been relatively durable. Hill has a number of interior line veterans to compete with for a roster spot.
202nd overallCincinnati Bengals (from Miami Dolphins through Houston Texans)Chris Evans5'10 219/RB-Michigan293/4th RoundSmooth. Deceptive. Capable of stopping his charge to plant laterally when the ball has been cupped by the defense.
Evans catches the ball, does not have a lot of mileage on his tires and fumbled just four times in school. Can he beat out Samaje Perine or Trayveon Willliams for the backup spot?
235th overallCincinnati Bengals (from Detroit Lions through Seattle Seahawks)Wyatt Hubert6'2 265/DE-OLB-Kansas State186/3rd RoundAthletic bloodlines. Has some dawg in him. Will talk noise to the opponent. Instinctive. Plays at one speed. Positive knee bender. Spins back to regain contain if he loses it initially. Finished his career with 20 QB sacks and 33 TFLs. Can he earn the third or fourth pass rusher’s role in Cincinnati?
Cleveland Browns
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
26th overallCleveland BrownsGreg Newsome II6'1 190/CB-Northwestern64/2nd RoundNewsome’s technique goes along with smooth on-field movement. The Browns now have three cornerbacks to match up with the AFC’s fast-paced offenses.
52nd overallCleveland Browns (from Chicago Bears)Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah6’1 220/LB-Notre Dame24/2nd RoundOwusu-Koramoah plays the game as if blockers aren’t on the field. His skill at triggering allowed him to overcome some lower body stiffness. We thought he was the best special teams player we saw on film (see Georgia ‘19).
91st overallCleveland BrownsAnthony Schwartz6’0 186/WR-Auburn297/4th RoundSchwartz displayed all of the foot speed (4.28) and flashes to get NFL teams excited if they project him as a gadget-type prospect. We think he can be used in fly motion on speed sweeps, speed shovel passes and even on end-arounds. Despite not doing it collegiately, he could be an option as a kickoff returner.
110th overallCleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)James Hudson6'4 313/OT-Cincinnati80/3rd RoundIn 2020, the first-team All-AAC selection performed like a seasoned veteran. He displayed easy feet in pass protection, aggressiveness as a run blocker and positive down-to-down intensity. The former Michigan Wolverine is somewhat over-aggressive in some of his movements, but he naturally compensates with quickness winning to the spot.
132nd overallCleveland BrownsTommy Togiai6’2 300/DT-Ohio State362/5th RoundMaintaining his original gap control was something he did with far more consistency as a junior, but are there still some questions about his overall anticipation of blocking schemes. It seemed as if he made a decision in 2020 to sit down and play with increased torque.
153rd overallCleveland Browns (via Detroit Lions)Tony Fields II6’1 222/LB-West Virginia, Arizona306/4th RoundDurable. Started all 47 games of his college career at two different stops. Lines up all over the field as an edge rusher, ILB and OLB. Communicates to line up defensive personnel in the pre-snap. Instinctive. Fields II has to be productive on special teams to beat out some of the Browns current linebackers.
169th overallCleveland Browns (from Los Angeles Rams)Richard LeCounte III5’11 190/S-Georgia151/3rd RoundIt has been slightly hit-or-miss -literally- for LeCounte III as a tackler in the film viewed. We do, however, think it is an area he improved in 2020. There are some instances (see Notre Dame ‘19, 4th QTR; Kentucky ‘20) where he wraps with the correct intent. A midseason motorcycle accident hurt his charge. LeCounte III adds depth in the team’s safety room and will compete for the third or fourth safety spot.
211th overallCleveland BrownsDemetric Felton5’9 184/All-Purpose-UCLA207/4th RoundBall security. Fumbled just twice in 358 combined touches in school. Former WR with excellent toughness running in-between the tackles as a dot RB. Carries his pads well.
His meal ticket in the NFL will be as an all-purpose performer. The key for the All-Pac-12 performer is to have his game day field speed from college translate to the NFL. Can he beat out D’Ernest Johnson for the kickoff return role?
Pittsburgh Steelers
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPositionSchoolNotes
24th overallPittsburgh SteelersNajee Harris6’1 231 RB-Alabama11/1st RoundThe Steelers get the former five-star recruit whose game continues to grow, both as a receiver and blocker. They get one of the better prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
55th overallPittsburgh SteelersPat Freiermuth6’5 251 TE-Penn State85/3rd RoundFreiermuth, the 2020 Big Ten Tight End of the Year, earned the honor despite missing over half of the year due to a shoulder injury. Prior to that, he averaged nearly six catches and 78 receiving yards per game.
87th overallPittsburgh SteelersKendrick Green6'2 305/OL-Illinois48/2nd RoundGreen is one of the top interior offensive lineman available in this year’s class due to his combination of speed and pad level. The All-Big Ten guard excels with a low and balanced approach; particularly on combination blocks. He exhibits a level of savvy to cut-off backside defenders on run action away.
128th overallPittsburgh SteelersDan Moore, Jr.6’5 309/OT-Texas A&M148/3rd RoundMoore did not have to be an outstanding technician in school. He was a good enough as an athlete to get away with setting short corners. He often used his width to widen defensive ends over the top of the pocket. Now with that said, we felt he played much better in 2020 than he had in 2019, where he was inconsistent in the film viewed.
140th overallPittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)Buddy Johnson6’0 228/LB-Texas A&M71/2nd RoundThe former high school quarterback is a natural leader with very good football awareness and instincts. He usually offers up one highlight film worthy hit per game in inside-out pursuit or in the box.
156th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Miami Dolphins via Dallas Cowboys through Philadelphia Eagles)Isaiahh Loudermilk6’6 274/DE-Wisconsin325/4th RoundIn sub-packages, he may be able to provide an occasional change-up by working at a zero-technique because his width can make the pocket cloudy for the quarterback. The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman uses his prep level All-State basketball skills to bat passes as well as anyone in this year’s draft (nine career pass deflections).
216th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)Quincy Roche6’2 238/DE-OLB-Miami (Fla.), Temple128/3rd RoundThere may be some questions about Roche’s size, but his activity should not be underestimated. Keep in mind that this is a prospect with 54 career tackles for loss to go along with 30.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and three blocked kicks.
245th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Miami Dolphins)Tre Norwood6’0 189/DB-Oklahoma360/5th RoundNorwood is a hard-working player who concentrates on his technique and attempts to be where he is supposed to be down-to-down. There is a level of detail in his play that is commendable. The big question comes down to how NFL teams view his upside. Is he quick enough to be a full-time nickel? Does he have the necessary bulk to move inside to free safety full-time?
254th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Baltimore Ravens)Pressley Harvin III5’11 263/P-Georgia Tech215/4th RoundWhat a year it was for Harvin III. He made history by becoming the first African American to win the Ray Guy Award and it was not even close. Consider this. Harvin III’s 44-yard net punting average as a senior would have been tied for fifth with Buffalo Bills punter Corey Bojorquez in the NFL. The accomplished musician’s touch on pooch punts is equally impressive, mainly due to his superb ability to execute drop punts. He’ll compete with Jordan Berry for a roster spot.