Riley’s 2021 NFL Draft Grades

Cover Photo taken from & All Logos were taken from

Just like that the NFL Draft has come to an end. Some players fell, some were taken early, while some went exactly where we thought they would. Here are my official Draft Grades for each team.


Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals logo

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Zaven Collins – LB | RD2: Rondale Moore – WR | RD4: Marco Wilson – CB | RD6: Victor Dimukeje – OLB | RD6: Tay Gowan – CB | RD7: James Wiggins – S | RD7: Michal Menet – IOL

Overall, very solid draft class by Arizona. They were able to land Zaven Collins and Rondale Moore, who will be immediate impact players for them. Maybe a little early for Marco Wilson but the added depth across the board rounds out their draft.

Atlanta Falcons

Draft Grade: B

RD1: Kyle Pitts – TE | RD2: Richie Grant – S | RD3: Jalen Mayfield – OT | RD4: Darren Hall – CB | RD4: Drew Dalman – IOL | RD5: Ta’Quon Graham – DT | RD5: Adetokunbo Ogundeji – DE | RD5: Avery Williams – CB | RD6: Frank Darby – WR

As great of a pick as Kyle Pitts was, you can not undermine how bad the Falcons defense was last year. Maybe targeting a defensive player in the first round should have been the way they went. Never the less, Pitts and Grant will be day one starters and Mayfield will back-up and eventually take over either Tackle spot from Jake Matthews or Kaleb McGary.

Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens logo

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Rashod Bateman – WR | RD1: Jayson Oweh – OLB | RD3: Ben Cleveland – IOL | RD3: Brandon Stephens – CB | RD4: Tylan Wallace – WR | RD5: Shaun Wade – CB | RD5: Daelin Hayes – OLB | RD5: Ben Mason – FB

The Ravens went out and got a true no. 1 receiver with Bateman who I like a lot. Oweh has all the physical tools to be great but is still very raw, but with the right coaching he could become dominant. I liked the Tylan Wallace and Daelin Hayes picks as they were great value. Good draft class in Baltimore.

Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills logo

Draft Grade: B

RD1: Gregory Rousseau – DE | RD2: Carlos Basham – DE | RD3: Spencer Brown – OT | RD5: Tommy Doyle – OT | RD6: Marquez Stevenson – WR | RD6: Damar Hamlin – S | RD6: Rachad Wildgoose – CB | RD7: Jack Anderson – IOL

The Bills clearly wanted to address their pass rush. Rousseau was my top pass rusher in this years class and adding Carlos Basham to the mix could be dangerous. Tight End remains a need in Buffalo, maybe a trade for a guy like Zach Ertz is on the way?

Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers logo

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Jaycee Horn – CB | RD2: Terrace Marshall Jr – WR | RD3: Brady Christensen – OT | RD3: Tommy Tremble – TE | RD4: Chuba Hubbard – RB | RD5: Daviyon Nixon – DT | RD5: Keith Taylor Jr – CB | RD6: Deonte Brown – IOL | RD6: Shi Smith – WR | RD6: Thomas Fletcher – LS | RD7: Phil Hoskins – DT

Very good draft class for second-year Head Coach Matt Rhule. Receiver may not have been a huge need but how can you pass up on a talent like Terrace Marshall Jr? Adding guys like Nixon, and Brown only reinforcement this great class.

Chicago Bears Chicago Bears logo

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Justin Fields – QB | RD2: Teven Jenkins – OT | RD5: Larry Borom – IOL | RD6: Khalil Herbert – RB | RD6: Dazz Newsome – WR | RD6: Thomas Graham Jr – CB | RD7: Khyiris Tonga – DT

Well we knew Chicago could look to move up for a Quarterback, and they got their guy. Let Fields sit for the year and learn behind Andy Dalton and he will be great. Teven Jenkins is a road grader who I love and Tonga was a nice pick-up in the last round.

Cincinnati Bengals

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Ja’Marr Chase – WR | RD2: Jackson Carman – OT | RD3: Joseph Ossai – DE | RD4: Cameron Sample – DL | RD4: Tyler Shelvin – DT | RD4: D’Ante Smith – OT | RD5: Evan McPherson – K | RD6: Trey Hill – IOL | RD6: Chris Evans – RB | RD7: Wyatt Hubert – DE

Joe Burrow got his guy. Seeing Burrow and Chase together again will be exciting to watch. Have to give a shoutout to Evan McPherson for being the first and only Kicker drafted this year. Solid draft for Cincy and I expect each of their draft picks to make the 53-man roster.

Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns helmet

Draft grade: A-

RD1: Greg Newsome II – CB | RD2: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB | RD3: Anthony Schwartz – WR | RD4: James Hudson – OT | RD4: Tommy Togiai – DT | RD5: Tony Fields II – LB | RD5: Richard LeCounte III – S | RD6: Demetric Felton – RB/WR

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah might have been the steal of the draft, landing him in the second round was huge. The Browns got faster on offense with Schwartz and Felton. While Anthony Schwartz ran the fastest 40 of the year at his Pro Day, I do not see that same speed on the field when watching tape. I think you could have gotten him on day 3.

Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys logo

Draft Grade: B

RD1: Micah Parsons – LB | RD2: Kelvin Joseph – CB | RD3: Osa Odighizuwa – DL | RD3: Chauncey Golston, DE | RD3: Nahshon Wright – CB | RD4: Jabril Cox – LB | RD4: Josh Ball – OT | RD5: Simi Fehoko – WR | RD6: Quinton Bohanna – DT | RD6: Israel Mukuamu – CB | RD7: Matt Farniok – IOL

Definitely did not think the Cowboys would go Linebacker with their first pick. But, it never hurts to land the best Defensive prospect in the class. Parsons brings speed and physicality to Dallas’ Defense. In the second round adding Kelvin Joseph to the secondary was a nice pick-up. I just hope he keeps his head straight and doesn’t get into any off field issues. Cox was a good value pick rounding out what looks to be a great Linebacker corps in Dallas.

Denver Broncos Denver Broncos logo

Draft Grade: 

RD1: Patrick Surtain II – CB | RD2: Javonte Williams – RB | RD3: Quinn Meinerz – IOL | RD3: Baron Browning – LB | RD5: Caden Sterns – S | RD5: Jamar Johnson – S | RD6: Seth Williams – WR | RD7: Kary Vincent Jr – CB | RD7: Jonathon Cooper – OLB | RD7: Marquiss Spencer – DE

It is hard to find any negatives in Denver’s draft class. They moved up and down throughout the draft and landed some of the best players available. Surtain II was my top Cornerback prospect so adding him to a secondary of Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan will be nice. Javonte Williams was one of my favorite prospects this year which makes me excited to see what he can bring to that Offense. Lastly, Denver was probably the best landing spot for Quinn Meinerz as he gets to learn from Hall of Famer Mike Munchak. I know Denver fans are pleased with new GM George Paton.

Detroit Lions

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Penei Sewell – OT | RD2: Levi Onwuzurike – DT | RD3: Alim McNeil – DT | RD3: Ifeatu Melifonwu – CB | RD4: Amon-Ra St. Brown – WR | RD4: Derrick Barnes – LB | RD7: Jermar Jefferson – RB

Detroit definitely got more physical between the trenches. Their draft room was jumping when they were able to select Penei Sewell and right fully so. With him and Taylor Decker holding down the Tackle positions on the Offensive Line, Detroit is starting to take over that Dan Campbell persona.

Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers logo

Draft Grade: C+

RD1: Eric Stokes – CB | RD2: Josh Myers – IOL | RD3: Amari Rodgers – WR | RD4: Royce Newman – IOL | RD5: Tedarrell Slaton – DT | RD5: Shemar Jean-Charles – CB | RD6: Cole Van Lanen – IOL | RD6: Isaiah McDuffie – LB | RD7: Kylin Hill – RB

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Packers Draft and I can’t imagine a certain Quarterback was either. Eric Stokes shouldn’t have gone in the first round and there were several better options available. Myers and Rodgers will most likely be immediate impact players for Green Bay but the rest of the class was weak.

Houston Texans Houston Texans logo

Draft Grade: C-

RD3: Davis Mills – QB | RD3: Nico Collins – WR | RD5: Brevin Jordan – TE | RD5: Garret Wallow – LB | RD6: Roy Lopez – DT

Houston we have (HAD) a problem. The Texans are clearly addressing the writing on the wall that Deshaun Watsons playing days as a Texan are over. Brevin Jordan was a nice pick-up in the fifth round but I would like to give the entire Texans front office a shake.

Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts logo

Draft Grade: B-

RD1: Kwity Paye – DE | RD2: Dayo Odeyingbo – DE | RD4: Kylen Granson – TE | RD5: Shawn Davis – S | RD6: Sam Ehlinger – QB | RD7: Mike Strachan – WR | RD7: Will Fries – IOL

Kwity Paye was a nice pick who will replace Justin Houston on the edge. Some other solid picks with Odeyingbo in the second round and Ehlinger in the sixth, who I believe will serve as a great back-up. Very surprised that they did not address the glaring need at Left Tackle. I am not excited to see Sam Tevi start at that position come week-1.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Draft Grade: B+ 

RD1: Trevor Lawrence – QB | RD1: Travis Etienne – RB | RD2: Tyson Campbell – CB | RD2: Walker Little – OT | RD3: Andre Cisco – S | RD4: Jay Tufele – DT | RD4: Jordan Smith – DE | RD5: Luke Farrell – TE | RD6: Jalen Camp – WR

Urban Meyer sounded pretty happy with the players they selected post-draft. Trevor Lawrence was a home-run but I do not see the value of adding Travis Etienne in the first round when they had a rookie Runningback coming off a thousand yard season. Tyson Campbell will be a solid player but I think there were some better players available who didn’t get picked in the first round.

Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs logo

Draft Grade: A

RD2: Nick Bolton – LB | RD2: Creed Humphrey – IOL | RD4: Joshua Kaindoh – DE | RD5: Noah Grey – TE | RD5: Cornell Powell – WR | RD6: Trey Smith – IOL

Smaller class but the Chiefs hit on a lot of these picks. They addressed every major need and landing Trey Smith with their last pick was great value. The Chiefs Offensive Line went from a disaster in the Super Bowl to one of the best.

Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders logo

Draft Grade: B-

RD1: Alex Leatherwood – OT | RD2: Trevon Moehrig – S | RD3: Malcolm Koonce – DE | RD3: Divine Deablo – S | RD4: Tyree Gillespie – S | RD5: Nate Hobbs – CB | RD7: Jimmy Morrissey – IOL

Let’s pretend they selected Moehrig in the first round and Leatherwood in the second. The Raiders always seem to reach on players in the draft and once again that can be deemed true. I am a big fan of Morrissey and I am excited to see what he does after Vegas recently blew up their Offensive Line.

Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Chargers logo

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Rashawn Slater – OT | RD2: Asante Samuel Jr – CB | RD3: Josh Palmer – WR | RD3: Tre’ McKitty – TE | RD4: Chris Rumph II – DE | RD5: Brenden Jaimes – OT | RD6: Nick Niemann – LB | RD6: Larry Rountree III – RB | RD7: Mark Webb – S

The Chargers addressed their major needs and added depth to nearly every position. Slater may be the best Offensive Lineman in this years class and Samuel Jr will bring tenacity to that Secondary. Justin Herbert now has some more weapons and I am sure he is excited to get to work with his new teammates.

Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams logo

Draft Grade: C

RD2: Chatarius Tutu Atwell – WR | RD3: Ernest Jones – LB | RD4: Bobby Brown III – DT | RD4: Robert Rochell – CB | RD4: Jacob Harris – WR | RD5: Earnest Brown IV – DE | RD7: Jake Funk – RB | RD7: Ben Skowronek – WR | RD7: Chris Garrett – DE

Average Draft at best for the Rams. Bobby Brown III will be a good player filling in for the departed Michael Brockers but overall, a couple misses for the Rams. Maybe they are better off trading away picks.

Miami Dolphins

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Jaylen Waddle – WR | RD1: Jaelan Phillips – DE | RD2: Jevon Holland – S | RD2: Liam Eichenberg – OT | RD3: Hunter Long – TE | RD7: Larnel Coleman – OT | RD7: Gerrid Doaks – RB

Miami needed a playmaker at Receiver and they got their man by reuniting Tua with his college teammate Jaylen Waddle. They drafted four arguably first round talent players with their first four picks. I expect Miami to be a very competitive team in the AFC this season.

Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings logo

Draft Grade: A+

RD1: Christian Darrisaw – OT | RD3: Kellen Mond – QB | RD3: Chazz Surratt – LB | RD3: Wyatt Davis – IOL | RD3: Patrick Jones II – DE | RD4: Kene Nwangwu – RB | RD4: Camryn Bynum – CB | RD4: Janarius Robinson – DE | RD5: Ihmir Smith-Marsette – WR | RD5: Zach Davidson – TE | RD6: Jaylen Twyman – DT

The Vikings had a fantastic draft. Darrisaw, Surratt, Davis, Jones II, and Twyman were great picks and great value. Although I am not a fan of Kellen Mond, the rest of this class is one of the best. Who knows, I could be very wrong about Mond.

New England Patriots New England Patriots logo

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Mac Jones – QB | RD2: Christian Barmore – DL | RD3: Ronnie Perkins – DE | RD4: Rhamondre Stevenson – RB | RD5: Cameron McGrone – LB | RD6: Joshuah Bledsoe – S | RD6: Will Sherman – OT | RD7: Tre Nixon – WR

Well not only does it look like the Pats have a type at QB, but it also looks like they got their Quarterback of the future. I like the fit for Mac Jones, and believe he will have a nice transition from Nick Saban to Bill Belichick. Barmore was the first Defensive Lineman taken and deservedly so. I also like the McGrone pick, he reminds me of Kyle Van Noy.

New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints logo

Draft Grade: C

RD1: Payton Turner – DE | RD2: Pete Werner – LB | RD3: Paulson Adebo – CB | RD4: Ian Book – QB | RD6: Landon Young – OT | RD7: Kawaan Baker – WR

I am not a fan of what New Orleans did this past weekend. I had a fourth round grade on Payton Turner and do not think they needed to reach so early for him. Pete Werner and Paulson Adebo were both guys who might have been available in the next round. Ian Book is a carbon copy of Drew Brees’ body type so maybe he can turn into their next great Quarterback under Sean Payton.

New York Giants See the source image

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Kadarius Toney – WR | RD2: Azeez Ojulari – OLB | RD3: Aaron Robinson – CB | RD4: Elerson Smith – OLB | RD6: Gary Brightwell – RB | RD6: Rodarius Williams – CB

Nice group of Draft picks here. Not a huge fan of taking Toney so early, but after trading back it was a nice addition to the Offense. Azeez Ojulari was a great pick in the second round as I thought he would have been long gone by pick 50. The Giants have a very underrated Defense and they only improved through the draft.

New York Jets

Draft Grade: A

RD1: Zach Wilson – QB | RD1: Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL | RD2: Elijah Moore – WR | RD4: Michael Carter – RB | RD5: Jamien Sherwood – S | RD5: Michael Carter II – CB | RD5: Jason Pinnock – CB | RD6: Hamsah Nasirildeen – S | RD6: Brandin Echols – CB | RD6: Jonathan Marshall – DT

The Jets front office should be ecstatic with how their Draft played out. The Offense will look incredibly different next year compared to last year, and for the better. The duo of Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker on the left side will be dominant and the Jets now lead the league in players named Michael Carter!

Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Grade: B-

RD1: DeVonta Smith – WR | RD2: Landon Dickerson – IOL | RD3: Milton Williams – DT | RD4: Zech McPhearson – CB | RD5: Kenneth Gainwell – RB | RD6: Marlon Tuipulotu – DT | RD6: Tarron Jackson – DE | RD6: JaCoby Stevens – S | RD7: Patrick Johnson – DE

Well the Eagles needed a playmaker on Offense and they got him. If DeVonta can play half as good as he did last year at Alabama the Eagles Offense will explode. Landon Dickerson was the best Center in this years draft class but his injury history is a concern. Hopefully he can leave his injuries at college.

Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers logo

Draft Grade: A-

RD1: Najee Harris – RB | RD2: Pat Freiermuth – TE | RD3: Kendrick Green – IOL | RD4: Dan Moore Jr – OT | RD4: Buddy Johnson – LB | RD5: Isaiahh Loudermilk – DE | RD6: Quincy Roche – OLB | RD7: Tre Norwood – CB | RD7: Pressley Harvin III – P

Overall, very pleased with the Steelers Draft class. Najee Harris was born to be a Steeler and will do everything Leveon Bell did, possibly better. Pat Freiermuth was a very underrated pick. Tight End might not have been the biggest need on this roster but the Steelers have had a revolving door at the position since Heath Miller retired. They added the best move Center in the class and Quincy Roche was a huge steal in the sixth round. Very excited to see these players hit the field.

San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers logo

Draft Grade: B

RD1: Trey Lance – QB | RD2: Aaron Banks – IOL | RD3: Trey Sermon – RB | RD3: Ambry Thomas – CB | RD5: Jaylon Moore – OT | RD5: Deommodore Lenoir – CB | RD5: Talanoa Hufanga – S | RD6: Eli Mitchell – RB

With the biggest question of the draft, the 49ers got their Quarterback of the future in Trey Lance. He has the size and all the tools to be an All-Pro. Lance has the potential to be phenomenal while the rest of their picks add nice depth around their roster.

Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks logo

Draft Grade: C+

RD2: D’Wayne Eskridge – WR | RD4: Tre Brown – CB | RD6: Stone Forsythe – OT

Well the Seahawks made the best out of their three selections. D’Wayne Eskridge was very underrated coming out and now that he has Russell Wilson throwing him the ball, I expect big things. Tre Brown and Stone Forsythe will both compete for starting spots.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo

Draft Grade: B

RD1: Joe Tryon – DE | RD2: Kyle Trask – QB | RD3: Robert Hainsey – OT | RD4: Jaelon Darden – WR | RD5: K.J Britt – LB | RD7: Chris Wilcox – CB | RD7: Grant Stuard – LB

The Buccaneers really didn’t have any holes on their roster. Joe Tryon will be a good rotational pass rusher and Kyle Trask will get the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all-time. The others picks will provide depth and will fight for roster spots.

Tennessee Titans

Draft Grade: B+

RD1: Caleb Farley – CB | RD2: Dillon Radunz – OT | RD3: Monty Rice – LB | RD3: Elijah Molden – CB | RD4: Dez Fitzpatrick – WR | RD4: Rashad Weaver – OLB | RD6: Racey McMath – WR | RD6: Brady Breeze – S

Several teams were scared of Farley because of some back issues he has dealt with but I strongly believe the Titans were happy to add him to their team. He and Dillon Radunz will be day-one starters and Elijah Molden will be a big contributor as well.

Washington Football Team Washington Football Team logo

Draft Grade: A-

RD1: Jamin Davis – LB | RD2: Samuel Cosmi – OT | RD3: Benjamin St-Juste – CB | RD3: Dyami Brown – WR | RD4: John Bates – TE | RD5: Darrick Forrest – S | RD6: Camaron Cheeseman – LS | RD7: William Bradley-King – DE | RD7: Shaka Toney – DE | RD7: Dax Milne – WR

Good draft by the Football team (I hope they choose a name soon). Jamin Davis has Defensive Player of the Year potential. Day two was good day for Washington, as they brought in a starting caliber Left Tackle and playmakers at Receiver and Defensive Back. Long-Snappers are people too and each player drafted in the later rounds were good value picks.


Share This Article