NFL free agency is coming, and all 32 teams’ rosters will look a bit different in a couple of weeks. Positional needs will shift, and each franchise’s approach to Round 1 of the 2021 NFL draft will become clearer.
But for now, teams are starting to get a good idea of which draft prospects might fit into their plans and what they might do when they are on the clock in just under two months’ time. It’s a very different pre-draft process than we are used to seeing, but the prospect group is packed with talent. That, of course, begins with a generational quarterback talent atop the class.
So what will happen on April 29? Here are my current predictions for how the first round of the 2021 NFL draft will play out, beginning with the Jags’ franchise-altering addition at No. 1. Just as I did in my last mock, I project two trades that could mix up the top 10. And for all 32 selections, I invited our NFL Nation reporters to offer their analysis on how each player can fit into the roster for 2021 and beyond. For more, check out our Mock Draft 3.0 SportsCenter Special, airing on Friday night at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2). OK, let’s get into the picks.
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Jump to: Trade 1 | Trade 2
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
I might start beginning my mock drafts with the second pick, because Lawrence heading down to Jacksonville to become new coach Urban Meyer’s franchise QB is about as close to a lock as you can have in early March. The Jaguars’ quarterback room has ranked among the league’s worst in Total QBR over the past three seasons, finishing no higher than 26th over that time. But Lawrence has elite traits in just about every area of his game.
Michael DiRocco on his fit with the Jaguars: Lawrence would start out of the gate even if the Jaguars do sign Alex Smith, which seems to be the trendy rumor considering his time with Meyer at Utah. Play the kid and start the rebuild.
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
The logic here stands from my last mock draft: I expect Wilson to be the No. 2 overall pick, whether or not it is the Jets making it. Projecting this pick isn’t necessarily suggesting they should or will move on from Sam Darnold, but if they do, Wilson is the obvious next move. If they don’t, watch for a QB-needy team to trade up to take him here. Wilson is creative and can extend plays, he can hit the deep ball and his toughness in the pocket stands out.
Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: If it is the Jets taking Wilson, that would mean the end for Darnold, who would be traded — and perhaps before the Jets are even on the clock. I think New York would look to acquire a “bridge” quarterback to ease the transition for Wilson, but it also needs to find some playmakers to put around him.
Trade: Carolina jumps the QB line
All of a sudden, we are all about the mock draft trades. But to be fair, this class is nearly impossible to predict without some movement. I’m sticking with this Miami-Carolina swap again, which gives the Panthers a chance to land a difference-making QB. The Dolphins originally acquired this pick in a 2019 deal with Houston, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving: The Dolphins would likely haul in a big package that could include the No. 8 pick, Carolina’s second-rounder (No. 39) and a future 2022 first-rounder.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Carolina is closer to competing than its 5-11 record suggested, and a real game-breaker under center would go a long way toward getting the Panthers there. Teddy Bridgewater was more of a game manager last season, especially down the stretch, throwing only four more touchdowns than interceptions. Fields can make off-schedule throws or tuck it and run, but he has shown poise when he hangs in the pocket too. Accuracy pops on his deep balls.
David Newton on his fit with the Panthers: Even if Bridgewater isn’t traded and remains on the roster, Carolina likely would throw Fields into the starting lineup and grow with him as it did with Cam Newton in 2011. You trade up like this only if you believe that player will be your franchise quarterback and can make an immediate impact. Bridgewater’s deal runs through 2022, but there is a potential out after this season.
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The QB run is on, and Lance to Atlanta makes it four signal-callers in the first four picks — that has never happened. I like Lance’s field vision, pocket presence, arm strength and mobility. He needs time to learn and develop — he started only 17 games at North Dakota State — but Atlanta offers him the chance to do so with Matt Ryan under contract through 2023. There’s no guarantee that the Falcons will be drafting this high again any time soon, and they shouldn’t be planning on it. Take the opportunity to find Ryan’s heir now.
Michael DiRocco on his fit with the Falcons: Lance would sit and learn behind Ryan in 2021 and maybe even for at least part of the 2022 season. Ryan is still playing at a high level, and his contract makes it hard for the Falcons to move on, at least this year.
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Protecting quarterback Joe Burrow should be Cincinnati’s primary concern this offseason, after the Bengals’ line allowed 48 sacks in 2020. Burrow was pressured or hit on nearly 30% of his dropbacks before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 11. Sewell is the top offensive lineman in the class despite opting out last season, and he’d help keep the Bengals’ franchise QB upright for years to come.
Ben Baby on his fit with the Bengals: Sewell represents long-term stability at left tackle that should help solidify an offensive line that still needs to address the interior. If Sewell comes aboard, that likely means Jonah Williams will slide to right tackle.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Despite the Eagles’ glaring weakness at wide receiver, I’m mixing it up with Pitts at No. 6. It’d be the 10th time a tight end has been drafted before the first wide receiver off the board, and only four other tight ends have ever been taken in the top six. But here’s the thing: Pitts is more than just a tight end. He’s a matchup nightmare who can line up all over the place, and his great speed, hands and 6-foot-6 size make him extremely difficult to contain. Philadelphia should add receiver help in free agency, but a Pitts-Dallas Goedert pairing is a dream for any offensive coordinator.
Tim McManus on his fit with the Eagles: With Zach Ertz expected to be traded or released, Pitts would immediately assume a co-starter role alongside Goedert. The Eagles used two-tight end sets a league-high 35% of the time last season — a number that would skyrocket toward their 2019 totals (52%) with Pitts in the fold.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
It’s tough to favor either Chase or Alabama’s DeVonta Smith over the other, but the former might have an edge thanks to better physical traits. Perhaps his opt-out season has some forgetting that Chase posted 20 touchdowns and close to 1,800 receiving yards in 2019. The Lions’ wide receiver corps is expected to see major turnover over the next few weeks, and new Detroit GM Brad Holmes needs to find some playmakers for the recently acquired Jared Goff.
Michael Rothstein on his fit with the Lions: Wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and Jamal Agnew are set to be free agents, and questions loom about whether or not Detroit will tag Kenny Golladay or let him walk. Detroit signed veteran Tyrell Williams this week, but the Lions are obviously seeking playmaking cornerstones for their rebuild. Chase fits in that mold perfectly.
Mel Kiper dives into who should go first in the NFL draft between Devonta Smith and JaMarr Chase and discusses his high expectations for Kyle Pitts.
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Miami GM Chris Grier has to be happy with this outcome. First, the Dolphins trade back a few spots for extra picks. Then one of the top two wide receivers is still there when it is their turn to pick. Giving quarterback Tua Tagovailoa one of his favorite targets from his Alabama days would surely improve his QBR when throwing to wide receivers, which ranked No. 31 of 33 qualified QBs last season (60.8). Smith, fresh off a Heisman-winning, record-breaking season in Tuscaloosa, is super explosive and shows savviness in his route running.
Cameron Wolfe on his fit with the Dolphins: Smith would immediately become the team’s most explosive offensive playmaker. He would be a starter opposite DeVante Parker, likely playing both outside and slot receiver, and would slide the talented but oft-injured Preston Williams to the No. 3 receiver role.
Trade: The Niners skip ahead for a QB
In my last mock, I had San Francisco moving down. Now the Niners slide the other direction, jumping into the top 10. Denver is looking to address a bunch of areas of its roster, including the defense. Considering zero defensive players have come off the board to this point, a move down for more assets is a safe gamble; someone will be there at No. 12. And in the process, the Broncos could add something along the lines of an extra second-rounder (No. 43) and perhaps a 2022 first- or second-rounder, in addition to that No. 12 pick this year. It’s tough to tell at this point just how eager the Niners will be for a quarterback.
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Five quarterbacks in the opening nine picks would beat the previous record of five in the first 12 selections (1999). Jones doesn’t have the rushing ability of the other four QBs, but he processes quickly, has excellent ball placement on short-to-intermediate throws and shows the ability to anticipate. He’d mesh nicely with the Niners’ quick game and could bring more balance to an offense that has run on the sixth-highest percentage of plays in the NFL since coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017.
Nick Wagoner on his fit with the 49ers: Jones would likely arrive as the understudy to incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo. I expect a setup similar to what the Chiefs did when they had Alex Smith and drafted Patrick Mahomes in 2017. The goal would be to allow Jones to learn and develop for at least a season while Garoppolo continues to start and bolsters his value back to a point where the 49ers would have a difficult decision to make after the 2021 season.
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
All this jockeying for QB talent has left Dallas in a pretty great spot. The latest that a draft class’ first defensive player has ever come off the board was No. 7 in 1999, when Champ Bailey went to Washington. But the Cowboys are even luckier here; they need defense, and they have every option on that side of the ball available to them at No. 10. Surtain is an instinctive shutdown cornerback who can help shore up a secondary that allowed 10.4 yards before first contact per reception last season, along with 34 passing touchdowns (both among the NFL’s worst). Pass rush is another area to watch, but value and need line up with Surtain.
Todd Archer on his fit with the Cowboys: Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are set to hit free agency and might see better offers elsewhere. Surtain would walk in as a day one starter, just like former Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs did when he was the Cowboys’ second-round pick last year.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
The Giants have to give this offense more to work with. They were one of four teams to average fewer than five yards per play last season, and their 5.9 yards per pass attempt ranked No. 29. However, Waddle’s 18.9 yards per catch over the past two seasons ranked eighth in the country. There isn’t a more dangerous player with the ball in his hands in the draft class, thanks to excellent top-end speed, vision and elusiveness. And I hope Nick Saban has been glued to his TV because that’s four straight Alabama players off the board, including two first-round receivers for the second time in two years.
Jordan Raanan on his fit with the Giants: Waddle can immediately slot into the Giants’ three-receiver sets alongside Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. He would essentially step into the role that the recently released Golden Tate played last season but provide a big-play ability that the offense was missing. Plus, Waddle would contribute immediately on special teams as a returner.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
In this scenario, the Broncos opt to stick with Drew Lock, pass on Mac Jones and move back for more draft capital. We still don’t know what new GM George Paton will do at quarterback, but we do know his defense needs some playmakers. What will become of Von Miller, and could Denver target an edge rusher here? Is Justin Simmons returning or might TCU safety Trevon Moehrig be in the cards? The Broncos have a lot of questions to answer, but Farley — another 2020 opt-out — can make plays for a group that managed only 10 interceptions last season (tied for third fewest).
Jeff Legwold on his fit with the Broncos: Cornerback is certainly one of the biggest need positions. The Broncos already released A.J. Bouye, and Bryce Callahan just finished a second straight season on injured reserve. An early run on quarterbacks would push quality defensive players down the board, and Farley has walk-in starter potential.
Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Justin Herbert took 32 sacks last year, which wasn’t a lot relative to most of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks. But he did see pressure on a high percentage of his dropbacks (33.5%), and that’s not a good thing when you’ve invested in a franchise QB. Free agency is approaching either this year or in the near future for most of the Chargers’ offensive linemen, so adding someone like Slater makes a lot of sense. He has versatility, shows good body control in pass protection and displays a feel for angles as a run-blocker.
Shelley Smith on his fit with the Chargers: The Chargers are desperate on the line, and Slater — who sat out 2020 — can play all five positions. He would start immediately wherever the team needs him most, potentially at tackle opposite right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
It has been nearly a decade since the last time that the first 13 teams all passed on pass-rushers (Seattle took Bruce Irvin at No. 15 in 2012). But the Vikings are seeking more impact players on the edge, and while Paye hasn’t necessarily piled on production stats at Michigan (8.5 sacks over his past 16 games), he can slip blocks and has some power. Minnesota’s 23 sacks were the NFL’s fifth fewest last season.
Courtney Cronin on his fit with the Vikings: Paye could slide in immediately opposite Danielle Hunter at defensive end. If Minnesota doesn’t want to rely solely on the Michigan rookie, it could use a combination of D.J. Wonnum — who proved to be one of the Vikings’ best Day 3 picks from 2020 — and Paye at right defensive end, which would allow for Ifeadi Odenigbo to return to the rotational role where he thrived two seasons ago.
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
I’m watching for the Patriots to add a quarterback via free agency or trade this offseason — maybe Jimmy Garoppolo — and potentially take a close look at the Day 2 options at the position. But with the top five off the board, another need matches up with some great value in the form of Parsons. The Penn State do-it-all linebacker opted out in 2020, but he can make plays in coverage, shoot gaps as a run-stopper, chase down ball carriers and even get home on the QB as a pass-rusher. I love his game.
Mike Reiss on his fit with the Patriots: Parsons would have the luxury of learning alongside Dont’a Hightower — who returns from his own opt-out — at the heart of the defense, giving him a cushion in which he wouldn’t be relied upon too heavily initially before hopefully taking over in 2022. It’s a similar situation to what New England did with Jerod Mayo in 2008, when Tedy Bruschi was passing him the torch.
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones spell problems for opposing QBs, but who will be in coverage? Both starting corners are primed to hit free agency this month, and the Cardinals’ pass defense was middle-of-the-pack last year. Horn will get his hands on passes, bringing length and instinctive play to the outside. In just seven games in 2020, he broke up six passes and picked off two.
Josh Weinfuss on his fit with the Cardinals: Horn would come in and compete for a starting job in a secondary that’s thin on cornerbacks. Arizona is set to lose two of its top corners in free agency in Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick, and Robert Alford hasn’t played a down in two seasons. Horn would see action right away.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
The Raiders’ defense allowed 389.1 yards per game last season, the eighth most in the NFL. They managed all of 21 sacks and were gutted for 4.6 yards allowed per carry. They need pass-rushers, linemen, defensive backs and linebackers, and while Owusu-Koramoah will play only one position, he can impact multiple facets of the game. Look for him in the overhang role, dropping in coverage or rushing the QB. He has speed, instincts, suddenness and plenty of strength.
Paul Gutierrez on his fit with the Raiders: Owusu-Koramoah is the dynamic second-level defender that Las Vegas has been lacking. New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley will find a way to use his versatility in his 4-3 base scheme alongside Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton, even if Littleton and Owusu-Koramoah are both Will linebackers. It’s a good problem for Bradley to have.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
We got Tua Tagovailoa a receiver in DeVonta Smith earlier, so let’s now get him some extra protection on the line. Vera-Tucker anchors well in pass pro and has allowed just four pressures over his past two seasons at USC. The Dolphins were among the most blitzed teams in the NFL last season (33.1% of dropbacks), and much like we’ve discussed with the Bengals and Chargers, you need to protect a young quarterback — especially if he has an injury history like Tagovailoa does.
Cameron Wolfe on his fit with the Dolphins: The Dolphins’ offensive line improved in 2020 but still finished in the bottom third of the league in pass and run blocking. An early projection would have Vera-Tucker as an immediate starter at right guard, 2020 second-round pick Robert Hunt staying at right tackle and versatile veteran Jesse Davis moving to the bench.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Toney still needs some refining, but his versatility, explosiveness and nose for the end zone would immediately help an offense that registered the second-fewest yards per play and eighth-fewest points scored in 2020. His skill set will be effective in the quick game, as Washington finds ways to get the ball in his hands.
John Keim on his fit with Washington: Toney would fit well with offensive coordinator Scott Turner, who likes versatility. He can be moved around and even align in the backfield on occasion. Washington might add a free-agent receiver too. After all, Terry McLaurin was targeted 83 more times than the next highest receiver in 2020.
Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Bears still lack an answer at quarterback, and what happens with wide receiver Allen Robinson II over the next few weeks could also impact the direction of this pick. But the line needs shoring up, and Darrisaw is a powerful left tackle who doesn’t give up many sacks and can get to the second level as a run-blocker. Let’s buy whoever starts at QB some more time and open up lanes for running back David Montgomery.
Jeff Dickerson on his fit with the Bears: Offensive tackle ranks near the top of the Bears’ offseason to-do list because the futures of veteran tackles Bobby Massie and Charles Leno Jr. are murky at best. Darrisaw would be counted on to start in Week 1.
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Christian Darrisaw might be an option if still available, filling in Anthony Castonzo’s spot at left tackle, or the Colts might take a long look at Trevon Moehrig (TCU) at safety. But it’s hard to ignore the need for pass-rush depth, especially as Indy deals with free-agency concerns on the edge. Rousseau hasn’t played since 2019, but he had 15.5 sacks in that season and can overwhelm blockers with his power. He’d help keep an elite defense at the top of its game.
Mike Wells on his fit with the Colts: Pass-rusher is the Colts’ most important area to address this offseason, especially with veteran Justin Houston being a free agent and the team looking to get younger there. Sliding in alongside DeForest Buckner, Rousseau would have an opportunity to be a day one starter if Indy doesn’t re-sign Houston, especially if Kemoko Turay’s struggles continue.
Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
Tennessee absolutely has to address the pass-rush problem. Teams with Super Bowl hopes can’t finish No. 30 in the league in sacks with 19, especially considering four of those came in Week 17 against a bad Houston offensive line. They can’t have zero players reach six sacks and just one record more than three. Phillips had eight last season at Miami, and his suddenness would give opponents something to worry about off the edge.
Turron Davenport on his fit with the Titans: Phillips will be an immediate contributor for the Titans even though they’ll likely add a free-agent pass-rusher before the draft. His effectiveness both against the run and as an impact pass-rusher will get him early-game reps as a strongside linebacker when the Titans use an odd front. But also look for his hand in the dirt when Tennessee uses a four-man front.
Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
The Jets landed a quarterback at No. 2, so let’s pivot to defense here. They need someone who can get home on the QB besides Quinnen Williams, who led the team with seven sacks in 2020. Ojulari is a pass-rush specialist of sorts, showing good speed, bend and first-step quickness. As for the lack of playmakers on offense to support Wilson, keep an eye on free agency this month and then Day 2 at the draft, where numerous high-end receivers and running backs will be available.
Rich Cimini on his fit with the Jets: The Jets haven’t had an explosive edge rusher in 15 years. The question with Ojulari is scheme fit, and at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, he could be a tweener for the Jets’ new 4-3 front.
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Ben Roethlisberger is now under contract for 2021, and he has plenty of weapons. But with James Conner heading toward free agency, the run game could use a punch. Harris is that and more, showcasing speed, size, decisiveness and ball security as a rusher, as well as upside as a receiver and pass-protector. Pittsburgh’s offense fell off a good deal in the second half last season, and the top back still on the roster is Benny Snell Jr., who managed just 3.3 yards per carry last year. Harris averaged 6.0 over four seasons at Alabama, and his 26 rushing touchdowns in 2020 led college football.
Brooke Pryor on his fit with the Steelers: For a team that started 11-0, the Steelers have a laundry list of needs in the 2021 draft, and running back is in the top tier of that wish list. Harris would be an instant starter on a team likely to part with Conner in free agency. The Steelers badly need to rejuvenate the run game and actually stick with it this season. Adding Harris is the first step.
Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
At No. 1 overall, the Jaguars landed the top quarterback in the class. Now they get the top safety with their second first-rounder. Moehrig had six interceptions over his last two collegiate seasons and is a strong tackler. If not safety, defensive tackle — maybe Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike or Alabama’s Christian Barmore — would be a position to watch.
Michael DiRocco on his fit with the Jaguars: Jarrod Wilson has started 28 games at free safety over the past two seasons and has been a steady player, but the Jaguars need playmakers in the secondary. Plus, Josh Jones is a pending free agent. Moehrig might not be a starter immediately, but it would be a surprise if he didn’t finish the season as one.
Zaven Collins, OLB, Tulsa
I’ve now placed Collins with Cleveland in three straight mock drafts, and it just makes sense. If the Browns truly want to contend for a Super Bowl, they need another pass-rusher opposite Myles Garrett, and Collins has a stellar closing burst. And he can cover, as evidenced by his four interceptions last season. I could also see Cleveland looking at safety if Trevon Moehrig is still available.
Jake Trotter on his fit with the Browns: The Browns have utilized first-round picks in recent years to build their young core at quarterback (Baker Mayfield), defensive end (Garrett), cornerback (Denzel Ward) and left tackle (Jedrick Wills Jr.). Grabbing Collins would give Cleveland an anchor at linebacker who could be a starter and playmaking difference-maker from day one.
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Baltimore finished dead last in WR receiving yards last season with 1,729. In fact, that was more than 300 fewer than the total of the next worst team. Marquise Brown had 58 catches for 769 yards, but no one else in the wide receiver group broke 450. Adding a guy like Marshall, who can make catches in traffic and create after the catch, might help quarterback Lamar Jackson return to MVP form and balance an offense that was the only one in the NFL to run more than it passed in 2020.
Jamison Hensley on his fit with the Ravens: Willie Snead IV and Dez Bryant aren’t expected to return, and Marshall’s 6-foot-3 size pairs nicely with the speed of Brown, providing Jackson with a bigger target on the outside.
Joe Tryon, DE, Washington
I considered Missouri’s Nick Bolton here to fill the inside linebacker role, but the edge rush could also use some support. The Saints did have 45 sacks last year, but age concerns and free-agency exposure might flip this unit sooner rather than later. Tryon opted out in 2020, but he’s versatile and quick on the edge. He had 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2019.
Mike Triplett on his fit with the Saints: The Saints are expected to lose starting defensive end Trey Hendrickson in free agency, but edge rusher is an issue even if they find a way to keep him. Cameron Jordan turns 32 in July, and Marcus Davenport hasn’t quite broken out yet.
Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Sure, Green Bay could look at receivers Elijah Moore (Ole Miss) or Rashod Bateman (Minnesota), or even Clemson running back Travis Etienne if it were to lose Aaron Jones to the open market. But the Packers have continued to look elsewhere in Round 1 during the Aaron Rodgers era, which suggests they might do so again. And lining up Onwuzurike (another opt-out) next to Kenny Clark on that defensive line forms a problem for opponents.
Rob Demovsky on his fit with the Packers: It’s not enough to just change defensive coordinators. The Packers now have to give Joe Barry some players. They have done that recently when they’ve changed DCs. Dom Capers got B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews when he arrived in 2009, while Mike Pettine got Jaire Alexander in the first round when he came here in 2018.
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The missing piece of this offense is an elite running back. Buffalo didn’t have a single player break 700 rushing yards last season, and its running backs found pay dirt just eight times on the ground. But Etienne scored 70 times over his college career and is a home run hitter in space. This offense could be dangerous.
Marcel Louis-Jacques on his fit with the Bills: If the Bills’ loss to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game taught them anything, it’s the importance of elite speed. Etienne provides that not just as a runner but also as an accomplished receiver out of the backfield. He would join Devin Singletary and Zack Moss to form a solid group of rushers.
Nick Bolton, ILB, Missouri
Offensive line might be the move (perhaps Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield or Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins), and the defensive back group is also accepting reinforcements. But this pick offers great value and brings a fast, versatile matchup component to the second level of the defense to pair with Anthony Hitchens. Bolton is a tackling machine with great instincts and solid coverage ability.
Adam Teicher on his fit with the Chiefs: Bolton would fit the pattern, as the Chiefs have tried to become more athletic at linebacker. He might not be a regular immediately — defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is demanding of rookies — but he should eventually be an upgrade in an area where the Chiefs have struggled.
Jamin Davis, ILB, Kentucky
Tampa Bay can replenish a front seven that could look a lot different in Week 1 than it did on Super Bowl Sunday. Davis could potentially be considered a reach here, but he’s very underrated, and I love his tape. If the Buccaneers can’t hang on to Lavonte David, Davis — who made 102 tackles and picked off three passes last season — could slide into his role alongside Devin White. Someone like Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore also makes some sense here.
Jenna Laine on his fit with the Buccaneers: The inside linebackers are the stars of Todd Bowles’ defense. David is a free agent and just turned 31, and even if Tampa Bay brings him back, Davis could make sense for the future. He can line up in different spots, which Bowles asks his inside guys to do, and he gives the Bucs length that they lack there.