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NFL Draft

5 Best Player-Team Fits In Weissman’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 2.1

  • The Draft Network
  • October 22, 2020
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With a quarter of the season spent and already a few teams buried from playoff contention, mock draft season is in full swing for at least a couple of fan bases—I’m looking at you, metro New York. 

Here at The Draft Network, you can read a new mock draft every Monday and see my review of each mock afterward, with second and third round updates coming later in the week. If you want to do your own mock draft for your favorite team, open our Mock Draft Machine and take control of the reins yourself!

I sat down with Brentley Weissman’s Mock Draft 2.1 and highlighted the five best fits from the second round that he released earlier this week.

Chicago Bears: BYU QB Zach Wilson (Pick 45)

Weissman gave the Bears DeVonta Smith in the first round, trying to solve their wide receiver problem—which will only get worse if Allen Robinson walks in free agency this year. Of course, that’s not their biggest problem on offense: with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky in the room, the Bears don’t have one clear, consistent, trustworthy starter under center.

Wilson may also not end up as that, but he does give you big-play potential. With Foles under contract, you can give Wilson a year to develop if that’s his best route; if you think playing him is the best call, well, Foles has ridden the bench to start the season before. 

A springy athlete with a live arm and a fearless approach, Wilson is a delightful playmaker who has really settled into his accuracy this year. Consistency will remain the key with his evaluation, and the rough edges may leave him out of the first round—as well as his smaller frame—but that will be to the Bears’ benefit here.

San Francisco 49ers: Florida State SAF Hamsah Nasirildeen (Pick 50)

The 49ers’ defense largely withstood the talent drain expected of a Super Bowl team, only losing DeForest Buckner on the defensive side of the football, who they replaced with promising rookie Javon Kinlaw. But further losses could be coming in a secondary that sees every starter and sub-package player save for Jimmie Ward and Tarvarius Moore enter free agency next year.

Of course, the Niners will return some of their corners, but could say so long to Jaquiski Tartt, their supersized safety who rotates between box and centerfield alignments. Nasirildeen offers a similar blend of size and speed, and with Moore and Ward both back for next season, he can initially work as a sub-package player as the Niners acclimate him to their complex coverage packages.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing the Niners love more than light, long, speedy second-level players. That’s Nasirildeen to a T.

Cleveland Browns: Missouri LB Nick Bolton (Pick 54)

I’m a big Bolton fan—I consider him a top-five linebacker in this class as a starting-caliber run-and-chase WILL, and that’s exactly the value at which Cleveland is drafting him. After adding B.J. Goodson to be their base down linebacker following the free agent departures of Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey, the Browns hoped to get development from their 2019 draft picks in Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson.

They haven’t gotten that just yet. Bolton is an explosive and physical player who will be able to take over as the captain of the unit and add some character to the second level. In a division with Lamar Jackson on the schedule twice, it’s prudent to pepper your second level with athletes, and Bolton’s speed and physicality will show up against the Baltimore running game. 

With Goodson on a contract year, the Browns need to hit on a linebacker draft pick. If they’re going to wait until Round 2, this is the sort of player they need.

New Orleans Saints: Michigan LB Cameron McGrone (Pick 60)

Speaking of good linebacker fits!

The Saints are in a similar boat to the Browns: they have Demario Davis on his recent extension, but Kiko Alonso, Alex Anzalone, and Craig Robertson are all on contract years, and third-round rookie Zack Baun has yet to see significant snaps this year.

Unlike the Browns, the Saints definitely have one good starter in Davis, so they can afford someone with a longer developmental arc. McGrone was impressive as a true sophomore for the Wolverines last year, but he’s only a one-year starter who still requires time to grow. Davis is one of the best linebackers behind which to study, especially when you consider that Davis and McGrone win in similar ways as dense, explosive run defenders who win in pass coverage with their recognition.

Baltimore Ravens: Auburn WR Seth Williams (Pick 62)

The addition of Dez Bryant to the practice squad speaks volumes to how the Ravens internally view their wide receiver room: in desperate need of a big body. With Marquise Brown as their WR1 with Devin Duvernay, Willie Snead, and Myles Boykin filling out the rest of the depth chart, the Ravens have struggled to generate a passing game outside the numbers, and when their running game isn’t winning, they can’t dig themselves out of mid-game deficits.

Bryant probably isn’t the solution, nor is betting on a Boykin breakout a sound process. Williams is a bully downfield who erases inaccuracy in contested situations and on late downfield balls. He’s not particularly slow either, so he still fits within the Ravens’ ethos of speed, but brings the physicality their room is currently lacking.

In such a talented wide receiver class, Williams may not end up a Round 2 pick—but a team like Baltimore needs someone like him. The fit is snug.

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