The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft Thursday evening saw several teams reach for players that we didn’t have pegged to go in the first round.
This also means that squads selecting early in Round 2 will find some absolutely huge steals. From a potentially dominant interior defensive lineman to an electric wide receiver, we look at the five most-likely Day 2 steals in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Christian Barmore, defensive tackle, Alabama
The defensive tackle position in the 2021 NFL Draft is seen as incredibly weak. That’s why most expected this former Alabama star to find himself selected in Round 1. In fact, Barmore headed to Cleveland to be in the green room for the annual event. As oddsmakers predicted, he was the last prospect in said room standing.
This comes on the heels of some pre-draft chatter indicating that the 6-foot-5, 310-pound interior lineman was hard to coach up and “resistant to structure,” whatever that means. What we do know is that Barmore is an absolute force in the trenches. He’s agile for his size, plays with great pad level and can be dominant at the point of contact. A team like the New York Jets selecting at the top of Round 2 could get a steal here.
Elijah Moore, wide receiver, Mississippi
Small. That’s the biggest knock on the 5-foot-9 pass catcher. He’s also going to be limited to the slot once everything is said and done. With that said, we’re talking about a truly elite playmaker who gains immediate separation at the line and surprises opponents with strong hands. Moore also recorded a whopping 86 receptions for 1,193 yards for Mississippi a season ago.
Certain teams love to focus on slot guys. The San Francisco 49ers were linked to Moore leading up to the NFL Draft. They also have a need in the slot for recently-drafted quarterback Trey Lance with the likes of Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk starring on the outside. Selecting higher in the second round, the Jacksonville Jaguars would also make sense.
Teven Jenkins, offensive line, Oklahoma State
The Las Vegas Raiders’ decision to draft fellow offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood in the first round threw many people for a loop. It also led to Jenkins, our 23rd-ranked prospect, falling completely out of the first round. That’s going to be music to the ears of offensive line-needy teams once Round 2 gets going Friday evening.
Boasting an ability to play tackle and guard out of the gate, the 6-foot-6, 317-pound former Oklahoma State star already has great upper-body strength and technique from both positions. He’s a Day 1 starter with Pro Bowl upside. Selecting 35th overall, the Atlanta Falcons could make some sense after they added generational tight end prospect Kyle Pitts in Round 1.
Asante Samuel Jr., cornerback, Florida State
It was absolutely crazy to see the Green Bay Packers take Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes ahead of Samuel Jr. at the end of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Any objective observer would conclude that Samuel Jr. is a better pro prospect. He flashed elite-level cover skills with Florida State a season ago and can be a shutdown guy from the slot position.
Our 34th-ranked prospect heading into the NFL Draft, Samuel Jr. was hampered due to the fact that he’s likely limited to the slot. With that said, he’s going to be an absolute steal. The New York Jets seem to be a fit under defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh. An argument can also be made that the Philadelphia Eagles might look to add him to the mix.
Trevon Moehrig, safety, Texas Christian
A natural centerfielder and single-high safety, Moehrig was our 27th-ranked prospect leading up to the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, teams didn’t seem to value at safety position in Round 1. That’s going to lead to one squad getting an absolutely dynamic cover guy with a wide level of range in the defensive back end.
As for a fit, any of the teams selecting within the top 10 in the second round Thursday night would make sense. However, we absolutely love the Miami Dolphins picking at 36 as a fit.