Looking at the best of the rest heading into the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft
Here’s my Big Board breakdown of Freiermuth:
23. Pat Freiermuth — TE — Penn State
#87, Jr, 6’5”, 250 lbs
Consensus ranking: 39 (26, 47, 41, 39, 41)
2020 season stats: 23 receptions, 310 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD’s, (4 games)
Ryland B.: Freiermuth is probably the most complete tight end in this year’s class, having impressed as both a pass-catcher and a blocker. Sadly, we didn’t get to see much of him in 2020, as a shoulder injury prematurely ended his Junior season. He has good size for the position and is a plus athlete, although he is not as dynamic as Kyle Pitts. Freiermuth is one of the better blocking tight ends in this class, but that doesn’t make it a huge strength of his. The size and ability are there, and he’s fairly effective, but his technique and power can be a little lacking at times. The upside is there, though, and Freiermuth could be quite the blocker with some good coaching. As a receiver, he’s very good, with soft hands, good route-running ability, and physicality at the catch point. He’s tough to bring down after the catch as well. Kyle Pitts is the best tight end in the class, but Freiermuth’s game is more well-rounded and he still brings a lot of athletic upside.
And Kendrick Green:
132. Kendrick Green – G/C – Illinois
Jr, #53, 6’4”, 315 lbs
Consensus ranking: 250 (NA, 285, NA, 215, NA)
2020 season stats: (8 games, 3 @Center)
Ryland B.: Green is an interesting prospect coming out of Illinois. He has played at both guard and center during his time in college but is still fairly new to the position, having a background on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a powerful, explosive athlete with good mobility, but he’s still developmental all around. The ability is there but the technique is far from perfect, although considering how much has been thrown at Green during his time at Illinois, the best is yet to come. Overall, he’s quite the project, but with some good coaching he could be something special.
But there are still four more rounds to go, and a lot of impactful picks to be made. Below, I’ve listed the top 50 players still remaining heading into the next day of the draft. The rankings are based off of Andrew Wilbar’s top 300, with the analysis and stats being from the BTSC Big Board. I’ve also added some “draft notes” to go along with the prospect analysis with some more up to date opinions on how the draft is falling.
Let’s take a look at the best players remaining in this year’s draft:
30. Trey Smith — G — Tennessee
Sr, #73, 6’6”, 330 lbs
Consensus ranking: 47 (28, 39, 70, 48, 50)
2020 season stats: (10 games)
steelerfan11: Smith played left tackle in 2017 for the Volunteers before having issues with blood clots in his lungs in 2018. The former five-star recruit was able to get the issue resolved in time to play in 2019, but he moved inside to guard, which turned out to be the right move. Smith was much more dominant at guard and became one of the best run-blocking guards in the country while holding his own as a pass protector. In 2020, he was not quite as quick on his feet, and he struggled to win the battle for leverage. However, I like his game as a whole, and I believe he has a chance to be an absolutely dominant run-blocking guard.
41. Daviyon Nixon — DL — Iowa
#54, So, 6’3”, 305 lbs
Consensus ranking: 43 (NA, 27, 61, 42, 43)
2020 season stats: Tackles 45, TFL 13.5, Sacks 5.5, FF 1, (8 games)
Itz JustNoah: In a relatively weak class for defensive lineman, Nixon is a bright spot. He’s not completely pro ready but he shows plenty of potential. He has excellent hands and athletic ability. Despite having 5.5 sacks (which is not bad for an interior lineman) he didn’t overly impress me as a pass rusher but his power as a run stopper is incredible. He has the ideal size and physical tools to be a starting defensive tackle, he just has to learn proper technique as a pass rusher to be really successful. I don’t think he’s a first round talent yet, but if a team wants to take a chance on him the upside is high.
48. Jabril Cox — LB — LSU
#19, Sr, 6’4”, 231 lbs
Consensus ranking: 62 (85, 54, 39, 60, 71)
2020 season stats: Tackles 58, TFL 6.5, Sacks 1, FF 0, FR 1, Int 3, (11 games)
Ryland B.: Cox is quickly becoming one of my favorite linebackers in this draft. He’s built nearly the same as Jamin Davis, and similarly is an excellent athlete who is rock solid in coverage. He has the same big play gene as the Kentucky linebacker as well. But where Davis struggles in navigating traffic, Cox is a heat-seeking missile. He flies across the field and through contact to make tackles, and while he’s still developing as a run defender, he shows all of the required tools and effort. He’ll be excellent value in the second or third round.
Draft notes: Cox is my favorite linebacker remaining. And the Steelers love to draft linebackers. Cox could be an playmaking defender to pair next to Devin Bush in 2021, although it will be interesting to see how much farther he falls.
53. Amon-Ra St. Brown — WR — USC
#8, Jr., 6’1” 195 lbs
Consensus ranking: 62 (58, 68, NA, 61, 60)
2020 season stats: 41 receptions, 478 receiving yards, 7 receiving TD (6 games)
steelerfan11: St. Brown has the bloodlines and the talent that warrant a first round selection, and he has a skill set to complement that. He is very quick and clean in and out of his cuts, he runs decent routes, has good body control and sideline awareness, has solid speed, and displays reliable hands week in and week out. Former USC receiver Juju Smith-Schuster is a reasonable comparison here as well, but I honestly think St. Brown’s game is a little more complete and a little better in terms of overall upside. While he isn’t dominant in any one area, he is very good in almost every category. If he isn’t a WR1 for some team, he will most certainly be one of the best #2 receivers in the league. He is a high floor prospect with a reasonably high ceiling.
Draft notes: St. Brown is the type of receiver that the Steelers would be interested in. But the team doesn’t really need a receiver this year.
63. Shaun Wade — CB/S — Ohio State
#24, Jr, 6’1”, 195 lbs
Consensus ranking: 100 (144, 66, 108, 98, 86)
2020 season stats: Tackles 35, TFL 1, PD 1, Int 2, (8 games)
steelerfan11: Wade had a fantastic year in 2019 when Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette were manning the outside, but Wade struggled mightily when he was asked to be a boundary corner in 2020. Wade made a few decent plays, but he struggled for the most part. However, literally whenever Ohio State moved him to the slot for a few plays, he was his old self and was blanketing receivers. Ty Fryfogle of Indiana absolutely torched Wade all day when he was playing on the outside, but on the few occasions he was put in the slot, he did well against Whop Philyor and the other Indiana receivers. As a prospect, I like Wade’s athleticism and upside, and I think the 2020 season was just a fluke. Some think that he will move to safety, but I honestly think playing the nickel is what he does best. If he can be an inside-only corner for a team, he could be a potential pro-bowler down the line.
Draft notes: Cornerback is perhaps the biggest need that the Steelers haven’t addressed yet in this draft. Wade struggled last year but has first round caliber talent in the slot.
64. Trey Hill — C/G — Georgia
Jr, #55, 6’4”, 330 lbs
Consensus ranking: 113 (148, 123, NA, 88, 91)
2020 season stats: (8 games)
steelerfan11: If you ever read my comments about my hopes for the Steelers this offseason, Trey Hill has probably been mentioned at some point in time. Hill just turned 21 and still has a lot of room to grow as a prospect, but he could start from day one if the Steelers needed him to be. He gets good leverage, uses his hands well, and maintains a low pad level. He has excellent power and is an absolute mauler in the run game, and I believe his ability to get to the second level of the defense is way better than what your average scouting report on him will say. While he has sufficient mobility and has shown the ability to pull as either a center or guard, he isn’t super light on his feet. If he remains at center, he may want to drop a couple pounds, but I would love to see Hill next to Kevin Dotson on that offensive line. I believe that Hill is one of the most underrated players in this draft. If he is still there on day three, some team is getting an absolute steal.
Draft notes: It looks like the Steelers got their center in Kendrick Green. But if they see Green as a guard, Hill is the best remaining center.
66. Tylan Wallace — WR — Oklahoma State
#2, Sr., 6’0”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 53 (62, 50, 60, 72, 67)
2020 season stats: 59 receptions, 922 receiving yards, 6 receiving TD (13 games)
Ryland B.: Tylan Wallace has been consistently productive as a three-year starter at Oklahoma State, racking up nearly 3,500 receiving yards in his career as a contested-catch specialist. Wallace doesn’t have great size or speed, and his lanky frame limits his agility and quickness. However, he’s a good football player, period. Wallace has really great hands and tracks the ball well, and despite not being the biggest guy, he wins a lot of jump balls. He’s a scrappy, physical receiver who is an excellent blocker and tough to bring down after the catch, fighting hard for yardage every time. He also sells out for the ball when it’s in the air, fighting through the defender and contorting his body to find a way to make the catch. Wallace was an excellent college receiver, but his athletic profile may hinder his transition to the NFL.
70. Dylan Moses — LB — Alabama
#32, Sr, 6’3”, 240 lbs
Consensus ranking: 59 (76, 48, 54, 62, 53)
2020 season stats: Tackles 80, TFL 22, Sacks 6.5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 4, Int 1, (13 games)
Necksnation: Once considered a potential top 10 pick, an underwhelming 2020 caused Moses to plummet on draft boards. He is an above average tackler who is very athletic, although it isn’t always evident in his film. Moses’ awareness is a reason for concern. In the film I watched, he was frequently getting fooled by read options, and it sometimes looked like he didn’t know where the ball was. His coverage skills could also use some work, as he only registered two interceptions and four pass breakups in his three seasons at Alabama. However, if he can return to his 2018 form, Moses has the potential to be a quality starter for an NFL team.
Draft notes: Another athletic linebacker who the Steelers could be interested in.
74. Cameron McGrone — LB — Michigan
#44, Jr, 6’1”, 236 lbs
Consensus ranking: 88 (121, 69, NA, 83, 79)
2020 season stats: Tackles 26, TFL 2, Sacks 4.5, FF 1, FR 0, PD 1, Int 0, (5 games)
steelerfan11: Familiar with Devin Bush? McGrone has a similar profile but has a smaller sample size. He has the same size, speed, and blitzing ability that made Bush a top ten pick, but we did not see it week in and week out. However, much of that may have been because of Michigan’s inconsistent play as a unit. When Aidan Hutchinson went down with a season ending injury, Michigan’s defensive line struggled to get consistent pressure, which made Josh Ross’ And McGrone’s job more difficult. McGrone had an injury of his own in 2020, but he displayed amazing toughness and played through it. He is excellent in man coverage, but his ability to play zone coverage is an unknown at this point because of how rarely Michigan employed zone philosophies. If he reaches his full potential, he’s Devin Bush 2.0, but the Steelers already have the real Devin Bush. I expect them to find someone who would be more of a complement to Bush’s skill set.
Draft notes: McGrone would give the Steelers two athletic Michigan linebackers at the center of their defense. There’s still a good chance the team picks a linebacker at some point, and McGrone is likely near the top of their list.
83. James Hudson — OT — Cincinnati
Jr, #55, 6’5”, 310 lbs
Consensus ranking: 111 (115, 180, 40, 110, NA)
2020 season stats: (10 games)
Ryland B.: Hudson is an athletic, raw prospect at offensive tackle coming out of Cincinnati. It’s easy to see why people like him so much on tape, as he’s big, powerful, and a fluid athlete. He plays with good aggressiveness and drive, and his mobility really shines on some reps. There are some pretty glaring issues though, as Hudson’s technique can be all over the place. Sometimes he plays too high, and he can sometimes reach too much instead of mirroring. He seems to be a bit grabby too. Hudson certainly has the potential to fix all of these issues and be a very good starter in the NFL, but don’t expect him to start day one.
Draft notes: The Steelers still need a tackle, and it’s a surprise that Hudson has fallen this far. He’d be a great option in the fourth round.
85. Kenneth Gainwell — RB — Memphis
#19, Sophomore, 5’11”, 191 lbs
2020 season stats: Opted out
2019 season stats: 1,459 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 6.3 YPC, 51 receptions, 610 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Ryland B.: A versatile athlete, Gainwell can play both out of the running back position and in the slot — and he was successful in both during his breakout 2019 season. Gainwell has good speed and is a shifty, elusive runner. He isn’t the biggest back out there, but is a surprisingly powerful rusher even though he might want to bulk up in the NFL. As a receiver, Gainwell has good hands and runs solid routes. His versatility and speed are great assets that will make him an exciting addition to any backfield in the next level, although scouts might want to take into account that he opted out of the 2021 season.
87. Elijah Mitchell — RB — Louisiana
#15, Senior, 5’11”, 218 lbs
2020 season stats: 878 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 6.2 YPC, 16 receptions, 153 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
steelerfan11: Mitchell was part of a good backfield at Louisiana, but he was the best runner of the guys in that backfield. He displays good awareness as a runner, and his balance through contact is impressive as well. He also has good short area quickness and decent footwork. While he did not have a ton of production as a receiver, he has shown excellent hands, which he displayed at the Senior Bowl. He slimmed down to 201 pounds to run a fast 40 at his pro day (ran a 4.38), but I expect him to regain that weight and play around 220 pounds in the NFL, which was about what he played at in college. He is a big sleeper in this class and will provide excellent value to a team that waits until day three to select a running back.
88. Patrick Johnson — EDGE — Tulane
#7, Sr, 6’3”, 255 lbs
Consensus ranking: 229 (NA, 244, NA, 214, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 39, TFL 14.5, Sacks 10, PD 2, FF 2, FR 0 (11 games)
steelerfan11: Johnson is a versatile pass rusher who lined up all over the place for Tulane. While he did not always play against elite competition, he was successful in every aspect of his game for Tulane, whether it was rushing the passer, dropping into coverage, or stopping the run. He has tremendous hand usage and a good repertoire of pass-rushing moves, but his biggest strength may be his ability to process information quickly as a run defender. He plays bigger than his 240 pound frame suggests, and that is evident based on how well he sets the edge in the run game. Johnson will be able to step in immediately as a 3rd or 4th outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and could fight for a starting job on a team as early as year two.
Draft notes: The Steelers really need a third edge rusher, and Johnson is the best remaining.
89. Michael Carter — RB — North Carolina
#8, Senior, 5’8”, 199 lbs
2020 season stats: 1,245 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns, 8.0 YPC, 25 receptions, 267 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
Ryland B.: Carter was sharing a backfield with the talented Javonte Williams in 2020, but still managed to set career-highs in nearly every statistical category, rushing for over 1,200 yards with a whopping 8 yards per carry. Carter is compactly built with a fast, explosive running style. His 40 time wasn’t great but turn on the tape and you’ll see a much faster player on game days. He’s a smooth runner with excellent footwork who navigates through traffic well, often out-maneuvering defensive backs once he gets to the second level of the defense. He’s not the greatest at getting through contact, but shows good effort and has solid balance. He wasn’t used as a pass-catcher a lot at North Carolina, but he can catch, and has the potential to be a dangerous receiver out of the backfield in the NFL.
Draft notes: Some have thrown around the idea of the Steelers drafting another running back to complement Najee Harris. Not saying this a good idea or the way the Steelers will go, but Carter would be a great second option.
90. Robert Rochell — CB — Central Arkansas
#9, Sr, 6’0”, 195 lbs
Consensus ranking: 149 (NA, 188, 82, 177, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 27, TFL 1, FF 1, FR 1, PD 3, Int 0, (7 games)
Ryland B.: The small school could be a concern, but I really liked what I saw of Rochell’s tape. He’s an athletic, physical corner who is well-suited for the outside. He has good ball skills, is good in press coverage and playing off, and is solid in run support. However, he’s not the most agile or the smoothest mover, despite his impressive athletic profile. Ultimately, Rochell is the stereotypical outside press/man corner, but he does have more upside and versatility than most.
92. Simi Fehoko — WR — Stanford
#13, Jr., 6’4”, 227 lbs
Consensus ranking: 423 (NA, 423, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: 37 receptions, 574 receiving yards, 3 receptions TD (6 games)
steelerfan11: Have you ever heard of a guy named Chase Claypool? Fehoko isn’t quite as strong as Claypool, but there are some similarities. At 6’4 and over 225 pounds, he has the ability to win the contested catches in tight spaces. While a few drops do show up on tape, he generally displays strong hands needed to haul in the balls that are thrown into heavy traffic. I know that 40 times do not make or break a player, but that time is rather important when evaluating receivers and perimeter skill players. If there was a combine this year, his straight-line speed could probably get him in the 4.3s. He isn’t quite that fast when you see him on tape, but we said the same thing about Claypool after he ran his 4.42 last year. He also has some sneaky wiggle to his game. If he can clean up those occasional drops, he has a chance to be special.
93. Rhamondre Stevenson — RB — Oklahoma
#29, Senior, 6’0”, 246 lbs
2020 season stats: 665 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 6.6 YPC, 18 receptions, 211 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
Ryland B.: I hadn’t seen much of Rhamondre Stevenson during his time in college, but when I turned on the tape my first thought was, Wow, he moves FAST for a big guy. For a nearly 250-pound running back, Stevenson looks like the fastest guy on the field at times (it’s worth noting he has recently lost around 20 lbs in preparation for the NFL). He’s big, powerful, and fairly fast and explosive, with more athletic potential than you’d expect out of a power back. He doesn’t have the same level of footwork or shiftiness as some of the smaller backs in this class, but again, for the big runner that Stevenson is, it’s pretty impressive. Stevenson is one of my favorite prospects I’ve seen so far in this draft process, but some off the field issues damper the hype a bit. A failed drug test at Oklahoma, as well as some academic issues earlier in his career, could be a red flag on his NFL resume. However, if Stevenson can prove that it won’t be an issue in the future, there’s a lot to be excited about concerning his NFL career.
94. Jaylen Twyman — DL — Pittsburgh
#97, Jr, 6’2”, 290 lbs
Consensus ranking: 79 (43, 103, 89, 77, 85)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 57, TFL 12, Sacks 11, (13 games)
Ryland B.: An undersized defensive lineman, Twyman still impressed with some incredible production at Pitt. He’s a twitchy athlete with good mobility, and a well-polished pass rusher. Twyman’s size and strength are probably the biggest concerns, as he wasn’t the greatest run defender and often struggled against double teams. Twyman ended up opting out of the 2020 season, which many viewed as a mistake as there were still a lot of questions regarding his play. However, it seems as if Twyman used his time off wisely, bulking up a gaining strength to put on a show at the Pitt pro day (40 reps on the bench!). Twyman’s limitations may hurt his NFL career, but I believe that if he is put in the right system and can continue to gain strength, he could be very successful on the next level.
98. Jordan Smith — EDGE — UAB
#22, Jr, 6’7”, 255 lbs
Consensus ranking: 136 (NA, 150, 133, 126, NA)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 53, TFL 17.5, Sacks 10, PD 1, FF 4, FR 0 (14 games)
Ryland B.: Smith is an interesting prospect simply due to his impressive length at 6’7”. He has a lean, athletic build for a pass-rusher, and while it helps with his agility and overall athleticism, he would still ideally bulk up some more in the NFL. Smith plays with great effort and has excellent physical traits, but his game is still very raw all around. Smith has impressed in coverage though, and could be a versatile 3-4 OLB on the next level. There are red flags though, as Smith was involved in a credit card fraud scheme during his freshman year at Florida. His lack of top competition at UAB may lower his draft stock as well.
99. Talanoa Hufanga — S — USC
#15, Jr, 6’1”, 215 lbs
Consensus ranking: 102 (NA, 74, NA, 130, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 62, Sacks 3, Int 4, PD 1, FF 2, FR 0, (6 games)
steelerfan11: A couple members of BTSC actually brought this guy to my attention, and his tape did not disappoint. When you throw out his testing numbers and look solely at the tape, you see a guy who looks like a young Troy Polomalu. His physical, downhill style of play is fun to watch, as he strikes fear into opposing ball carriers. He can also blitz, cover, and create turnovers all at high levels. This guy is a true playmaking strong safety, but he is not extremely fluid in coverage at this point. He is also not as fast as he looks. He ran a 4.61 at his pro day, but the rest of his testing was not terrible, recording a 36 inch vertical and 6.87 3-cone drill. If he falls to day three, some team may be getting a steal.
Draft notes: We’re at the point in the draft where the Steelers may want to invest in safety depth. Hufanga would be a great option here.
100. Quincy Roche — CB — Miami
#9, Sr, 6’3”, 245 lbs
Consensus ranking: 102 (91, 87, 163, 78, 91)
2019 season stats: Tackles 49, TFL 19, Sacks 13, PD , FF 1, FR 2 (13 games)
steelerfan11: Roche’s quickness off the edge and excellent hand usage give him the upper hand against tackles that only have average athleticism. He lacks the strength to bull rush and is forced to rely on his quickness to beat the tackle around the edge. That lack of strength also hurts him as a run defender, as many tackles were able to push him around at will. However, he is a smart football player that overcomes his lack of strength with good technique. Although he will get pushed around at times, he is still solid against the run. His ceiling is not quite as high as some of the other rush linebackers in this class, but if he can add some weight to his frame, he will provide a team with value on all three downs.
101. Tony Fields II – LB – West Virginia
#1, Sr, 6’1”, 220 lbs
Consensus ranking: 198 (NA, 231, 189, 174, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 88, TFL 4, Sacks 1, FF 0, FR 0, PD 3, Int 1, (9 games)
steelerfan11: Fields was one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects to watch this season. Every time I watched West Virginia, he flew to the ball and continually made plays for the Mountaineer defense. He displayed his speed at his pro day, running a 4.5 flat in the 40. The big concern with him is his size. He is undersized and does not have a gigantic frame to add a ton of extra weight. He is still somewhat inexperienced dropping into zone, but he has the range and awareness to cover tight ends, running backs, and even slot receivers. If he can add about 10 pounds and maintain his speed, I think Fields has a chance to become a starting MACK linebacker in the NFL.
102. Brevin Jordan – TE – Miami (FL)
#9, Jr, 6’3”, 245 lbs
Consensus ranking: 66 (47, 85, 71, 64, 65)
2020 season stats: 38 receptions, 576 receiving yards, 7 receiving TD’s, (8 games)
Ryland B.: Brevin Jordan is an elite athlete at the tight end position, with really good speed and excellent yards-after-catch ability. He’s a little more compactly built than some of the other TE’s in the class, but he still has decent size. As a pass-catcher he’s dynamic, probably only second to Kyle Pitts in receiving ability in this class. He has a good speed and agility combination for someone his size, and his hands are good and consistent for the most part, but he isn’t the greatest in 50/50 ball scenarios. I wouldn’t necessarily call blocking a strength, but he’s solid in that area and shows excellent effort. Overall, Jordan is a great receiving tight end who should be able to contribute right away to an NFL offense. I wouldn’t call him starter material just yet, but he has the work ethic and upside to be something special.
103. Jay Tufele – DL – USC
#78, Jr, 6’2”, 310 lbs
Consensus ranking: 69 (71, 43, 99, 68, 64)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 42, TFL 6.5, Sacks 4.5, FF 0, (13 games)
Ryland B.: Tufele can be a lot of fun to watch. He’s a great athlete, with some of the best burst I’ve seen from a lineman in this class. Tufele’s first step is insanely good, and overall he has excellent mobility and his explosiveness can lead to some highlight reel worthy hits. His rugby background certainly shows up on the football field. He has great size and plays powerfully as well. Tufele’s main problem is consistency, as he can play too high or disappear from plays sometimes. Deciding to opt out of the 2020 season might hurt his draft stock as the consistency questions were certainly not answered.
104. Chris Rumph III – EDGE – Duke
#96, Jr, 6’4”, 235 lbs
Consensus ranking: 107 (94, 120, 63, 150, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 53, TFL 12.5, Sacks 8, PD 1, FF1 , FR 1 (11 games)
steelerfan11: Rumph’s stock seems to be headed in the right direction. I am not the biggest fan of his, but he may be the beneficiary of what most people consider to be a poor class at outside linebacker. My biggest concern with Rumph is his size. I think that he can get stronger once he is in the NFL, but his frame is very small. This allowed opponents to have their way with him in the running game, as he was oftentimes unable to set the edge. He lined up all over the place for Duke and showed his versatility, but he will need to settle into one position in the NFL. He is best suited for a team that plays a lot of subpackage defense and moves their linebackers around.
105. Kary Vincent, Jr. – CB – LSU
#8, Sr, 5’10”, 189 lbs
Consensus ranking: 152 (136, 189, 158, 125, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 9, TFL , PD 1, Int 0, (4 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 59, TFL 2, PD 5, Int 0, (13 games)
steelerfan11: Vincent is a great athlete who has the chance to be an exceptional slot corner at the next level. He has very good speed, loose hips, and great ball skills. While Vincent has the tools to succeed in any coverage, he needs to get better at reading defenses and route combinations better. His size could also be an issue. It does not affect him much in coverage, but he is not a very good run defender, and he needs to become a better tackler. He struggled to wrap up bigger running backs and receivers. There is no denying that he has some things to work on, but the ceiling is very high.
Draft notes: Another popular slot corner option for the Steelers.
107. Tamorrion Terry – WR – Florida State
#5, Jr., 6’4”, 210 lbs
Consensus ranking: 107 (78, NA, 129, 116, NA)
2020 season stats: 23 receptions, 289 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD (6 games)
steelerfan11: Terry has dropped significantly on big boards on national sites, but I am not totally sure why. Terry is not the most sure-handed receiver in the world, but I think a lot of his drops are because of poor concentration and adjusting to the football a bit late. I think he can and will improve in that area. Terry’s size and speed make him incredibly difficult to cover on the boundary one-on-one, and his ability to high-point the ball make him an excellent contested catch receiver. His length allows him to create separation vertically, and his agility and footwork make him dangerous after the catch as well. He is raw, but guys with this much size and speed are not usually available in the middle rounds. If he can solve some of the technical issues in his game, he has a chance to be special.
108. Daelin Hayes – EDGE – Notre Dame
#9, Sr, 6’3”, 266 lbs
Consensus ranking: 142 (NA, 163, 77, 185, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 17, TFL 6, Sacks 3, PD 0, FF 2, FR 1, Int 1 (12 games)
steelerfan11: Hayes is the 4-3 version of Joseph Ossai, except he does not have the high ceiling that Ossai has. He is a natural pass rusher and looks very fluid coming around the edge, but his athleticism is not eye-popping. He never eclipsed three sacks in one season at Notre Dame, but he had a good Senior Bowl week which was highlighted by a strip sack in 11-on-11 drills. He is a solid run-blocker and sets the edge well, but there are still questions as to whether he can be a three-down player in the NFL.
Draft notes: Hayes is someone who the Steelers have shown interest in throughout the draft process. He’s a viable option for the third edge rusher spot.
110. Keith Taylor, Jr. – CB – Washington
#8, Sr, 6’3”, 191 lbs
Consensus ranking: 191 (NA, 138, 247, 188, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 9, TFL 0, Sacks 0, FF 0, FR 0, PD 1, Int 0, (3 games)
Necksnation: The depth of this year’s cornerback class will likely push Taylor into Day 3, but there’s a lot to like about the former four-star recruit. He’s a good tackler, and can develop into a great run defender if he can get off blocks with more consistency. In coverage, he plays best in man, and is very good in press. Taylor ran a 4.41 40 yard dash at his pro day, but also only recorded a 33 inch vertical. If he develops, Taylor could be a solid outside corner at the next level.
113. Darius Stills – DL – West Virginia
#56, Sr, 6’1”, 285 lbs
Consensus ranking: 96 (57, 130, NA, 102, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 25, TFL 7.5, Sacks 3.5, FF 1, Int 1, PD 3, (10 games)
steelerfan11: Stills is similar to Jalen Twyman in that nobody seems to be sure where he will fit as an NFL defensive tackle. He is probably best suited as a 3-Technique, but his quickness could allow him to become a solid 5-Tech. His quickness off the snap and violent hands help him to get penetration as a pass-rusher. He also does a good job of winning the battle for leverage and maintaining a good pad level. He has good overall awareness and is very consistent at finishing tackles in the backfield, but he will occasionally take himself out of a play by getting upfield too quickly and overrunning plays that are in obvious rushing situations. Overall, I like the upside he brings and find him to be worth the risk if he is still available on day three.
119. Chuba Hubbard – RB – Oklahoma State
#30, Junior, 6’0”, 208 lbs
2020 season stats: 625 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 4.7 YPC, 8 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown.
Ryland B.: I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Hubbard, but you don’t just run for 2,000 yards in a single season (which Hubbard did as a sophomore) without some talent. But that stellar production faded in 2020, leaving the overall impression of Hubbard as somewhat average. Hubbard’s greatest strength as a runner is his vision, but he also has great speed and elite burst. Hubbard isn’t a very powerful runner, however, and plays smaller than his size, which is always a concern with running backs. He can avoid contact sometimes, running out of bounds instead of trying to gain a few more yards, and doesn’t seem to invite contact the way the other top running backs in this class do. He isn’t great in pass protection or pass-catching, either. All of this isn’t to call Hubbard a bad running back or soft football player, but he just simply isn’t on the same par as some of the other backs this year. Still, his impressive sophomore year shows that Hubbard can be a dynamic weapon, and he’ll definitely be worth a pick at some point in the middle rounds of the draft.
120. Hamsah Nasirildeen – S – Florida State
#23, Sr, 6’4”, 220 lbs
Consensus ranking: 71 (53, 64, NA, 81, 85)
2020 season stats: Tackles 13, Sacks 0, Int 1, PD 1, FF 0, FR 0, (2 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 101, Sacks 1, Int 2, PD 3, FF 3, FR 1, (12 games)
Ryland B.: Nasirildeen is certainly a “tweener” on defense, but it’s likely he’ll still find success in today’s NFL. He’s a big, athletic player who played everywhere from free safety to inside linebacker while at Florida State. What pops up first on tape is Nasirideen’s run-stopping ability. He’s good at diagnosing run plays and getting himself in position to make the hit, and when he does make contact he’s a very physical player. He doesn’t wrap up too well but it’s a fixable issue. And despite being a defensive back, he rarely looked outmatched when playing up near the line of scrimmage. In coverage, Nasirildeen is very athletic but not the most fluid mover, although it is impressive for someone of his size. He’s very effective against tight ends though, who I think he’ll be matched up against a lot in the NFL. Nasirildeen has a very interesting skillset, and if used correctly he could be a very successful defensive weapon in the NFL.
121. Shaka Toney – EDGE – Penn State
#18, Sr, 6’3”, 252 lbs
Consensus ranking: 143 (NA, 166, 138, 126, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 31, TFL 7.5, Sacks 5, PD 4, FF 4, FR 1 (9 games)
steelerfan11: Toney was expected to be overshadowed by Yetur Gross-Matos in 2019 and Jayson Oweh in 2020, but both seasons Toney was the more consistent and more productive player. He has elite quickness off the line of scrimmage, but much like Rumph and Roche, he does not have a big frame. If he is going to become a three-down linebacker, he will have to add weight to help him set the edge better as a run defender. Nonetheless, he will be a good situational player who can excel as a speed rusher.
Draft notes: A Penn State edge rusher who makes a lot of sense for the Steelers with one of their fourth round picks.
123. Derrick Barnes – LB – Purdue
#55, Sr, 6’1”, 245 lbs
Consensus ranking: 249 (NA, 316, 248, 183, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 54, TFL 5.5, Sacks 0, FF 0, FR 0, PD 1, Int 1, (6 games)
Ryland B.: Barnes is a physical, run-stuffing linebacker with more of an old-school feel than the others in this class. He’s a decent athlete, but far from a sure thing in coverage like the others in his class. However, Barnes’ size and intensity make him a force defending the middle of the field, and his sound tackling and short-area explosion are strengths as well. His attitude and ability to defend the run and blitz make Barnes an ideal buck linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. His game is similar to that of Vince Williams, and similarly Barnes could be a valuable mid to late round pick.
Draft notes: Barnes is an old-school linebacker who the Steelers have shown some interest in during the draft process.
124. Seth Williams – WR – Auburn
#18, Jr., 6’3”, 211 lbs
Consensus ranking: 90 (95, 97, NA, 83, 86)
2020 season stats: 47 receptions, 760 receiving yards, 4 receiving TD (11 games)
Ryland B.: Seth Williams is very similar to Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace as a receiver. Williams isn’t the fastest, and has a hard time gaining separation on routes. However, he excels at tough catches and tracking the ball well to go along with his vise-grip hands, even through contact. Williams has better size than Wallace, though, and I think he can be a good contested catch/red zone target in the NFL.
126. Tariq Thompson – S – San Diego State
#14, Sr, 6’0”, 200 lbs
Consensus ranking: 177 (NA, 138, NA, 216, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 41, Sacks 0, Int 1, PD 4, FF 1, FR 1, (8 games)
steelerfan11: If you like versatility and physicality, this is your guy. When I watched San Diego State during the season, it seemed like Thompson was always making plays. He has the speed and fluidity to cover a lot of ground in the secondary, and he is not afraid to hit people. He has the ability to play nickel cornerback and either safety position, which would be a huge plus for the Steelers. Considering that depth is needed at safety and nickel corner, Thompson should definitely be on the Steelers’ radar. I think he will go in the fifth round range, but if he were to fall to round six, the Steelers should be elated. He would actually have a chance to capture Mike Hilton’s former role as the nickel cornerback in Keith Butler’s defense.
127. Hamilcar Rashed – EDGE – Oregon State
#9, Sr, 6’4”, 235 lbs
Consensus ranking: 103 (110, 86, 127, 98, 94)
2020 season stats: Tackles 23, TFL 2, Sacks 0, PD 1, FF 1, FR 0 (7 games)
Ryland B.: Rashed’s 2019 season was incredible, as he garnered 22.5 tackles for loss, leading the nation and being named a First Team All-American. But his 2020 season was a big step back. Known for his high motor and production, Rashed showed neither in 2020, often looking disinterested in the game and spending more time than usual on the sidelines. He only recorded two tackles for loss the entire season, and his lack of polish really showed. Still, there’s reason to hope that Rashed can regain top form in the NFL, as he has incredible athletic upside and has shown the capacity to be both effective and productive when defending the run and rushing the passer. The other major concern with Rashed is his weight, listed only at 235 lbs. However, Rashed has the frame to bulk up and size was never a huge issue for him in college. He’ll probably be limited to a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker, but Rashed has the potential to be an elite pass-rusher on the next level.
128. James Wiggins – S – Cincinnati
#1, Sr, 6’0”, 205 lbs
Consensus ranking: 225 (NA, 265, NA, 185, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 32, Sacks 1, Int 1, PD 7, FF 1, FR 0, (9 games)
Ryland B.: If it wasn’t for the injury concerns, Wiggins would likely be ranked much higher in this class. He tore his ACL in 2019, and despite making a full recovery he suffered some more knee issues later on in the season. When healthy, Wiggins is an excellent athlete at the safety position who is quite the run defender. He tackles well and plays physically. Against the pass, Wiggins has great ball skills and hands, but isn’t the greatest as a free safety despite his athleticism. If injuries don’t derail Wiggins’ career, he has the makings of a quality safety in the NFL.
129. Khalil Herbert – RB – Virginia Tech
#21, Senior, 5’9”, 212 lbs
2020 season stats: 1,182 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 7.7 YPC, 10 receptions, 179 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown.
steelerfan11: Herbert broke out for the Hokies this season, racking up over 1,300 scrimmage yards on 165 touches. He displays good burst and takes excellent angles, but he has not shown the ability to be a good pass protector (he did show improvement at the Senior Bowl, though). He could be a starter down the line, but he needs to show more value on third downs first.
130. Jamie Newman – QB – Wake Forest
#9, Senior 6’4”, 230 lbs.
Consensus Ranking: 149
2020 season: Opted out
2019 season stats (Wake Forest): 2,868 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 574 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns.
steelerfan11: I was disappointed to see Newman opt out of the season, because it would have been interesting to see how he would perform in a pro-style offense. It will take him time to transition to the NFL game, but he has the arm talent and athleticism that will get you excited. He failed to show accuracy on a consistent basis at Wake Forest, which is why he is not ranked higher.
131. D’Ante Smith – OT – East Carolina
Sr, #67, 6’4”, 274 lbs
Consensus ranking: 227 (NA, 333, NA, 121, NA)
2020 season stats: (1 games)
2019 season stats: (12 games)
Ryland B.: The first thing that stands out about Smith is his weight, listed at 274 pounds on most sites. While I think he plays a lot bigger than his listed weight, he’s severely undersized for the position. However, he showed up 20 pounds heavier for the Senior Bowl and played pretty well from what I saw, which is a good sign. On tape, Smith is a mauler who plays with a nasty streak and will block to the whistle. He has good drive and power and a strong initial punch. In pass pro he was solid and showed off some good athleticism. He’s not as technically strong or polished as some of the others in this class, and his smaller school and size could be an issue, but I think Smith is a solid prospect. While trying to find some info on Smith online I came across this interview from The Draft Network with him, which is certainly worth a read.
133. Marquez Stevenson – WR – Houston
#5, Sr., 6’0”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 137 (NA, 214, 99, 97, NA)
2020 season stats: 20 receptions, 307 receiving yards, 4 receiving TD (5 games)
Ryland B.: Stevenson has game-breaking speed, and made a living off of it in college, burning defensive backs consistently for the Houston Cougars for big play after big play. As you can probably guess, his strength is deep routes, where his aforementioned speed would get him plenty of separation while his excellent ball-tracking skills would help him corral deep balls. He has good size for the position as well, and is a dynamic kick returner. Stevenson’s athletic abilities make him a good receiver, but he’s still rather underdeveloped when it comes to his route-running, and he struggles making difficult catches although his hands aren’t much of a concern overall. The other concern with Stevenson is his injury history, as he’s suffered a torn ACL, a broken collarbone, and ankle issues throughout his college career. Still, he’s an incredibly high-upside prospect who could develop into something special at the NFL level.
135. Shi Smith – WR – South Carolina
#13, Sr., 5’10” 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 191 (NA, 208, 217, 149, NA)
2020 season stats: 57 receptions, 633 receiving yards, 4 receiving TD (9 games)
Ryland B.: Another Senior Bowl riser, Shi Smith might have raised his draft stock a few rounds after a fantastic week in Mobile. He’s not the biggest, but he plays larger than he is and has good, consistent hands. He’s a good route-runner with quickness and great acceleration, getting off of line well on his releases. He has good speed as well, and is fairly elusive after the catch. While mainly used on short and intermediate route concepts in college, Smith is still a above-average deep threat thanks to his speed, while his ball skills have helped him make some circus catches over his career. Despite his smaller size, Smith is quite the receiver and has a lot of athletic upside. He could be a dynamic slot receiver at the next level.
136. Tyler Shelvin – IDL – LSU
#72, So, 6’3”, 346 lbs
Consensus ranking: 84 (104, 55, 78, 90, 93)
2020 season stats: (0 games)
2019 season stats: Tackles 39, TFL 3, Sacks 0, PD 2, (13 games)
Itz JustNoah: Shelvin’s production wasn’t the best in 2019 but he still looked great. He has a lot of power in his push, his hand technique is great and he wraps up well. He may not get after the quarterback but he’s incredible as a run stopper and with proper pass rushing technique he could be very good. I think his upside is high and if the Steelers are looking for a developmental defensive lineman, Shelvin would be great value with one of our 4th round picks.
137. Tyrie Gillespie – S – Missouri
#9, Sr, 6’0”, 210 lbs
Consensus ranking: 182 (133, 204, 239, 152, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 46, TFL 1, Int 0, PD 4, FF 1, (9 games)
steelerfan11: Gillespie is a solid athlete, but the tape is all over the place. He provides solid versatility, but I am not sure if he is good enough at any one position to be a full-time starter in the NFL. He played mostly as a high safety in college, but the results were up and down, and he would have occasional lapses in coverage. He also does not have the greatest ball skills. Gillespie is a good athlete, but I think he is most likely a #3 safety in the NFL.
138. Garrett Wallow – LB – TCU
#30, Sr, 6’2”, 230 lbs
Consensus ranking: 228 (NA, 250, 186, 248, NA)
2020 season stats: Tackles 90, TFL 9, Sacks 3, FF 3, FR 0, PD 1, Int 0, (10 games)
steelerfan11: Wallow is a former safety who has good range but does not have great instincts. He has loose hips and makes zone drops look easy. He has the quickness and change-of-direction skills needed to play man coverage against slot receivers, and he is also an impressive blitzer, which is something that he can provide to an NFL team in year one while he continues to develop the other aspects of his game that are not as polished. While Wallow is a good tackler, he will need to recognize plays faster and process information quicker. That should come with time, but Wallow should still be considered a developmental prospect at this point. I do not see him being a starter in year one, but he can still be useful in subpackages and on special teams.
139. Deonte Brown – G – Alabama
Sr, #65, 6’4’’, 350 lbs
Consensus ranking: 77 (36, 86, 95, 91, 76)
2020 season stats: (13 games)
steelerfan11: Brown has some off-field baggage, and he needs to get his weight under control, but the talent is there. He is an absolute mauler in the run game, displaying excellent strength and awareness. He struggles when he doesn’t lay his hands on the defender first, and he lacks the mobility or agility to get to the second level of the defense. His ceiling is high due to his talent and size, but that size could be a double-edged sword. In my mind, he is a pure boom-or-bust prospect.
140. Kylin Hill – RB – Mississippi State
#8, Senior, 5’11”, 215 lbs
2020 season stats: (Opted out during season) 58 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, 3.9 YPC, 23 receptions, 237 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown.
Ryland B.: Hill opted out to prep for the NFL Draft partway through the 2020 season, which won’t be a big concern if he can prove that he stayed in shape. He’s a strong runner who finishes plays with good power, always looking for contact. He isn’t the fastest or most elusive, but he has good athleticism, jumping over the pile or even hurdling defenders at times successfully. For more of a power back, Hill is a good receiver out of the backfield, and has good hands along with the ability to track the ball well. Hill’s aggressive running style and solid-all-around athletic profile make him an interesting prospect to watch at the running back position.
141. Dazz Newsome – WR – North Carolina
#5, Sr., 5’11”, 190 lbs
Consensus ranking: 138 (66, 101, 273, 110, NA)
2020 season stats: 54 receptions, 684 receiving yards, 6 receiving TD (12 games)
steelerfan11: Newsome was Mr. Reliable for Sam Howell, grabbing 126 balls in the past two seasons combined. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest, but he has good hands, runs good routes, and creates separation late in the route. He also provides some value as a punt returner. Newsome is best suited in the slot, and he will likely be limited to the slot until he can get stronger. His route-running ability and sure hands could make him an immediate contributor though.
142. Jaylon Moore – OT – Western Michigan
Sr, #76, 6’5” 315 lbs
Consensus ranking: 489 (NA, 489, NA, NA, NA)
2020 season stats: (5 games)
steelerfan11: In some ways, I like Moore’s tape better than I liked Chukwuma Okorafor’s, the last big-time tackle from Western Michigan. Moore’s stock is much lower than Okorafor’s was, but part of it could be due to the outstanding depth of this class. He is very fluid in pass protection, and he is an aggressive run-blocker. His athleticism allows him to overpower defenders in the run game, but he does not always finish his blocks. He also lunges too often, creating balance problems in pass protection. There is a lot of potential here, which is why I think he is worth a day three pick as a developmental starter down the line.
There’s certainly a lot of talented players still on the board, and the Steelers should have lots of options with their late round picks.
Who do you think the Steelers will pick on Day 3? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned to Behind the Steel Curtain for more NFL Draft news and analysis.