RCF 2021 NFL Mock Draft: On the clock...

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Falb7

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With the 119th pick in the 2021 RCF mock draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

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Height: 6’1
Weight: 232


The Vikings need LB reinforcements to better flank Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr and this former Wolverine is ideal for their rotation.

Mike Zimmer continues his overhaul of his defense in a potential swan song as coach. Minnesota feels McGrone has the overall size and weight to play in a 3 down NFL role. He possesses solid athletic ability that is highlighted by his quick ability to accelerate, his good change of direction skills as well as his closing burst.

THEDRAFTNETWORK PROFILE

Cameron McGrone projects as a starting MIKE linebacker at the professional level. McGrone is just a redshirt sophomore who enters the NFL draft process with just 19 games and 15 starts at Michigan under his belt—a significantly small sample size that will leave teams needing a little extra clarity in order to decipher his ceiling within their respective defensive systems. McGrone claimed the Wolverines' starting MIKE LB position in 2019 after injuries forced the team to shuffle around their defensive depth chart and McGrone never looked back as a redshirt freshman. He was tremendous throughout the course of the 2019 season and while he did not quite play to that same caliber or level in 2020, he clearly has all of the physical tools needed to become a dynamic defensive playmaker for an NFL franchise as the heartbeat in the middle. McGrone operated as the MIKE in Dom Brown’s blitz-heavy defensive scheme, which has groomed McGrone to offer an NFL defense ample value on third downs and obvious passing situations. There’s not a great deal of exposure to more pure coverage reps, although he was afforded a handful of opportunities to pick-up back releases in man coverage or go flexed out wide against tight ends (Indiana 2020). McGrone also showed admirable toughness this past season, playing with a cast on his hand and continuing to play with a twitched presence who wasn’t afraid to lock horns with offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. McGrone’s value stems from an explosive athletic profile and three-down value for the NFL game—meaning he should get a chance to crack a starting lineup fairly early on despite his lack of experience at the college level.


The New England Patriots and my old friend @CBBI are on the clock.
 

CBBI

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With the 120th pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select...

KENNETH GAINWELL
RUNNING BACK
MEMPHIS

Gainwell.jpeg


From Dane Brugler: A one-year starter at Memphis, Gainwell was the featured weapon in former head coach Mike Norvell’s RPO spread offense, lining up in the backfield and out wide. A dual-threat quarterback in high school, he made a seamless transition to running back for the Tigers (allowing Antonio Gibson to stay at receiver), becoming the only FBS player in 2019 to rush for at least 1,000 yards and post more than 500 yards receiving. With his vision and cutting skills, Gainwell feels developing blocks, especially outside, which allow him to hit the crease and use his shiftiness at the second and third levels. He proved himself as a productive pass catcher in college, but his blocking leaves a lot to be desired. Overall, Gainwell lacks ideal size and body power which leads to durability and usage concerns, but he is a versatile rushing/receiving threat with instinctive playmaking skills and projects as a scheme-versatile offensive weapon.

From Lance Zierlein: One-year starter with underwhelming size but overwhelming production. Gainwell is a challenging study as a slasher with average burst and speed but excellent change-of-direction talent. His propensity for taking on monster contact as an inside runner should be a concern based on his frame. He does an excellent job of reading blockers/defenders and makes buttery smooth cuts to change his rush track while keeping his feet ready if another quick cut is needed. His willingness in pass protection and talent out of the backfield should help him find a home as a backup running back with third-down value.

Why? Because fuck you, that's why. Damien Harris and Sony Michel form a solid 1-2 punch, but both guys have struggled with injuries. Beyond that, Michel and James White are each heading into the final year of their contracts. Running back isn't a massive *need* for the Patriots, but the value is too good at 120 to pass up. He might not contribute a ton year one, but he should work his way into a committee role with Harris in 2022.


15. MAC JONES, QB, Alabama
46. NICK BOLTON, LB, Missouri
96. AMON-RA ST. BROWN, WR, USC
120. KENNETH GAINWELL, RB, Memphis


@CosmoKramer and the Raiders are on the clock.
 
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CosmoKramer

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With the 121st pick the Raiders select Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

Las Vegas keeps adding talent to their secondary and takes another versatile player that's lined up all over the field in college. Wade was viewed as a potential first rounder going into the season but ends up being a midround pick.

After an outstanding 2019 season lining up in the slot Wade struggled as an outside corner in 2020. The former five-star recruit has good size and ball skills for the position - he'd immediately compete with last year's fourth round pick Amik Robertson for snaps for LV.

@Out of the Rafters at the Q and the Houston Texans are on the clock.
 

Jordan

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Sorry for the delay! I have been at a conference all day.

The Washington Football Team Selects: Monty Rice, LB, Georgia

The Washington Football Team needs a linebacker. Hell, the Washington Football Team needs a shitload of linebackers. Rice is a linebacker. Rice is a linebacker that fills up a stat sheet. He also is a linebacker that falls because he is not a playmaker in coverage and bites on play action.

PROs:
-Really good technically. Wraps up offensive players well, stays low to the ground, elite hand movement, and developed every game.
-Only missed 5.7% tackles, which is one of the top-ten numbers for a linebacker in the country.
-Great at scanning a field. Reactive, but elite at reaction.
-Elite playing speed.

CONs:
-Nagging injuries (knee injury and foot sprains)
-Very much reactive. Will not be able to call defensive plays for awhile.
-Really poor playmaking in coverage and bites on play-action.

@Falb7 is on the clock
 

Falb7

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With the 125th pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select: Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

Height: 5'8
Weight: 155
Age: 21
Miami, FL


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Analysis: Atwell comes to the Vikings at what we feel is an outstanding value for one of the more explosive WRs in a deep draft with them. Small in stature but huge in playmaking ability, Atwell adds a unique new component to the Vikings already productive (>4000 yards, 35+ TD in 2020) passing attack.

Atwell transitioned from 4-year high school QB and track star for his high school in Miami to consistent success as a wideout at Louisville, reeling in 116 catches and 19 TD the last two seasons. Atwell possesses blazing yet smooth (4.35 40) speed along with soft hands and crisp route-running. This at minimum spells the aging Adam Thielen and causes another concern for defenses already assured to be preoccupied by budding superstar Justin Jefferson. Size and usability will always come into question, but only Philadelphia's Devonta Smith (170lbs) had more YAC in the most recent full 2019 season.



Dane Brugler of The Athletic:

BACKGROUND: Chatarius “Tutu” Atwell Jr. grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami and started playing football at four years old. He attended Northwestern High School, earning Honorable Mention All-County honors as a freshman and sophomore. After capturing a district title in 2016, Atwell as a senior led Northwestern to the 2017 Class 6A state championship, the school’s first state title since 2007. He earned Miami-Dade
County Player of the Year as a senior and finished his prep career with more than 4,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards. Atwell was also a member of the Northwestern track team, setting personal bests in the 100 meters (10.84) and 200 meters (22.21).
A three-star recruit out of high school, Atwell was the No. 57 athlete in the 2018 class and the No. 110 recruit in the state of Florida. He received more than a dozen scholarship offers, but only two came from Power-5 programs (Illinois and Louisville). He followed in the footsteps of Teddy Bridgewater, another former Miami Northwestern quarterback, and signed with the Cardinals, although Atwell did so with the expectation that he would move to wide receiver. His father (Tutu) played wide receiver at Minnesota (1994-97) and set the school record for catches, spending time in a few NFL camps after going undrafted. Atwell elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

STRENGTHS: Runs like the wind with top-end speed that looks different than everyone else on the field…dangerous vertical threat with his ability to consistently win over the top…shows one-step burst to quickly release or separate in his route breaks…effective with his double-moves…tracks the ball well over his shoulder, slowing or accelerating as needed…big-play threat with the ball in his hands destroys pursuit angles as a ball carrier, shifting gears and running circles around defenders…accounted for nine receptions of 50-plus yards in his career…scored a touchdown every 6.6 times he touched the football in college…led team in receptions the last two seasons.


Vikings haul: T Orlando Brown (acquired from BAL), S Trevon Moehrig, LB Cameron McGrone, WR Tutu Atwell

The Tennessee Titans and @Amherstcavsfan are on the clock.
 
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Amherstcavsfan

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The Tennessee Titans select

Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia

Tre’ McKitty aligned as the “move tight end” for the Bulldogs offense. He has good athleticism, as evidenced by his good body control and agility. In the run game, he is willing to stick his face in the trenches and block. He will not be a vertical mover, nor will he create a new line of scrimmage, but he has adequate blocking ability. He is dynamic as a pass-catcher due to his outstanding “un after catch ability. He had a knee scope just before the start of the season and it is unknown how healthy he was playing in 2020.

Ideal Role: No. 2 tight end with starting potential.

Scheme Fit: Any passing offense.
 

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With the 127th pick in the NFL Draft, the Indy Colts select...Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

he’s a physical player who does well when able to get his hands on the receiver and upset the timing of patterns. Thomas also flashes quite a bit in shallow spaces as a flat defender in zone coverage; showcasing good awareness of plays developing underneath to drive back to the football.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and @PITCavsFan are on the clock
 

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With the 128th pick the the RCF NFL Mock Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select...
Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt

Steelers invest in their defensive future with a risky, but very high upside pick in the 4th. A recent Achilles injury led to him falling down boards, and he may not even be able to play at all in 2021.

From Draft Network:

Dayo Odeyingbo has played DE, he's reduced down to a 3-technique, and has even played NT in subpackages. He has exceptional reactive athleticism, as evidenced in his body control and agility as a pass rusher. He has outstanding length and uses it to extend, disengage, and get to the football against the run. In the passing game, he is raw but has outstanding athleticism. He demonstrates excellent closing quickness to the QB, but could afford to develop a more refined pass rush approach. He has the athleticism to play in an even or odd front scheme. He can play 4-3 DE, 3-4 OLB, or 3-4 DT. His versatility is ideal for today's NFL and his best football could be ahead of him in the NFL.
Ideal Role: Eventual starting EDGE defender.
Scheme Fit: He can play OLB in a 3-4 or 4-3 DE.


From PFN:

Positives: Explosive defensive line prospect with outstanding physical skills and a large upside. Plays with consistent knee bend, fundamentally sound, and very effective with his hands. Fires off the snap with a terrific first step and rushes the edge with speed. Sets the edge and occupies blockers. Intense. Easily gets down the line of scrimmage and out into space to make plays, chases the action hard, and is rarely off his feet. Remains disciplined with assignments and does more than pin his ears back and rush up the field.
Negatives: Out-positioned from the action by a single blocker. Must improve his playing strength. Suffered a significant injury prior to the Senior Bowl and may not be ready for the season.
Analysis: I believed Odeyingbo was one of the most underrated defensive linemen in this year’s draft prior to his injury in January, and he’s a three-down defender with great upside. He’ll only get better as he physically matures, but now has the additional hurdle of returning from injury. While I initially graded him as a top-75 selection, Odeyingbo could fall through the draft and end up a Day 3 steal.
 

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With the 129th pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select...

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Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

The Seahawks entered this draft with a dearth of picks and huge needs at several positions, with wide receiver being particularly thin. After DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who just locked up a massive extension with the team, here's a quick look at the rest of the wide receiver room:

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Enter Seth Williams. Williams is a guy who checks a lot of the boxes you want potential stud receivers to check. He's got the size at 6'3" and 4.5 speed. He broke out his freshman year in the SEC, earning SEC All Freshman honors and leading the conference with 20.5 yards per catch. He was the focal point of his college team as well, with a 38.9% dominator rating.

So why is he a day three pick? Well, he's been flagged as having a lack of effort at times. To me, that's exactly the type of guy an organization like the Seahawks should gamble on in the fourth when they have such a need at WR. He's got the potential to be a great NFL player, but just needs to land somewhere stable that can motivate him. Well, the Seahawks are a stable, generally competent organization that also happens to employ one of the league's best quarterbacks in Russell Wilson. Williams will also have a chance to contribute immediately as the team's WR3, replacing the gap left by David Moore's departure in free agency.

@AZ_ and the Jags are back on the clock.
 

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With the 130th Pick in the 2021 RealCavsFans Mock Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select:

Garret Wallow - LB - TCU



Garret Wallow is a former safety that converted to linebacker. He has remained a loose mover and it’s easy to see that he’s a former defensive back. An outstanding blitzer, he has the closing speed in order to finish plays in a hurry by bringing targets down to the ground. Wallow’s speed to the ball is slightly above average and he has the speed necessary to chase down ball-carriers. His instincts are still developing, but he shows an understanding of concepts being developed in front of him. One of his greatest assets is his athleticism in all types of coverage. He’s proven to have the awareness to play zone, but also the elusiveness in order to sustain in man coverage. A consistent tackler, he runs his face and chest through rushers and has lots of hitting power behind his body. Wallow isn’t shy at all with showing up in run support. Naturally, Wallow is still feeling his way out at the position even though he’s had experience at the WILL (weak-side) spot. He still often takes false steps and there are periods of guessing rather than reading and reacting to the actions that are presented in front of him. Wallow has plenty of promise, but he remains raw in many important elements. Listed at 230 pounds, he could serve to add some more weight onto his frame and possibly even make the switch to the strong side as he gains more second-level experience. For now, he’s at his best on the weak side where his strengths and athleticism can be utilized the most.

Ideal Role: Developmental WILL linebacker.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 or 4-2-5 weak-side linebacker.


Jags Draft:

1 - Trevor Lawrence - QB - Clemson
2 - Joseph Ossai - DE - Texas
2 - Tommy Tremble - TE - Notre Dame
2 - Elijah Moore - WR - OleMiss
3 - Richie Grant - S - UCF
3 - Tommy Togiai - DT - Ohio State
4 - Brady Christensen - OT - BYU
4 - Garret Wallow - LB - TCU



The Baltimore Ravens (@Rookie) are on the clock...
 

Rookie

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With the 131th pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select:

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Aaron Banks
  • Position: Offensive Guard
  • School: Notre Dame
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior
  • Height: 6’5 3/8″
  • Weight: 338 pounds
  • Wingspan: 82″
  • Arm: 33 1/8″
  • Hand: 10 1/8″

Tony Pauline’s Aaron Banks Scouting Report:

Positives: Large, explosive lineman who is best suited for a power gap offense. Fires off the snap, blocks with proper lean, and easily controls defenders at the point. Opens up the running lanes, anchors in pass protection, and blocks down on opponents, completely smothering them from the action.

Plays with a nasty attitude, keeps his head on a swivel, and always looks for someone to hit. Jolts defenders with a violent hand punch and easily knocks opponents from their angles of attack.

Negatives: Minimally effective blocking in motion. Cannot slide in space. Struggles to adjust and cannot hit a moving target.

Analysis: Banks is a big, powerful lineman with outstanding size. He plays to his measurables, but is not light on his feet, and will struggle in any system that asks him to move around the field. In the proper system, Banks could start at the next level.

@Hurl Bruce is on the clock
 

Hurl Bruce

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With the 142nd pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the CLEVELAND BROWNS select:

Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia


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  • Height: 6’0 1/4″
  • Weight: 222 pounds
  • Wingspan: 76″
  • Arm: 30 3/4″
  • Hand: 9″

STRENGTHS: Rangy athlete with the speed to make plays at either sideline…quick to process and key versus the run…uses his agility to slither around blocks and find the ball carrier…relies on timing and physicality to strike and shed versus blockers…calms his feet well in space to break down as a tackler…flexible hips and lower body to cleanly change directions…very active in zone coverage, sensing throwing lanes and forcing quarterbacks to go elsewhere…quickly established himself as a team leader and tone-setter once he arrived at West Virginia, according to the coaches…durable and tough, playing through minor injuries and making 45 career starts…highly productive with at least 88 tackles in each of his four collegiate seasons.

WEAKNESSES: Smallish frame and doesn’t have prototypical length or growth potential…struggles to leverage gaps versus blockers and can be eaten up near the line of scrimmage…needs to stay disciplined with his run fits and hold contain…inconsistent finishing strength when his tackling technique isn’t perfect…needs to avoid the mental mistakes (two targeting fouls and a horse collar penalty on three of the 2020 tapes studied)…it is tough for him to work off contact mid-pursuit…will occasionally get too relaxed with his coverage reps, finding himself lost in space.

SUMMARY: A one-year starter at West Virginia, Fields lined up as the middle linebacker in the Mountaineers' 3-3-5 base scheme, previously lining up as a weakside linebacker during his three seasons in Arizona. He was one of the most impactful free-agent signings in college football last offseason, making all the defensive sets and calls for the Mountaineers and averaging 9.8 tackles per game as a senior. With his natural feel for the game, Fields is quick to diagnose and go with the athleticism and toughness to make plays in the backfield or downfield. A better run-around defender than take-on player, it can be tough for him to operate near the line of scrimmage because of his lack of size. Overall, Fields can be too easily engulfed when he isn’t a step ahead of the play, but he is an instinctive player with above-average play speed to be a rangy run-and-hit weakside linebacker in the NFL.

--------------------
The Browns need help at LB, and this is the type of spot where the Browns see value in drafting one. The team has interest in Fields, so I am slotting him here. Although undersized, his speed and instincts should play well in today's NFL. This may have been the Browns' 5th round selection, but they like him, so they take him at the end of the 4th.

The NO Saints and @Stark are on the clock.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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With the 131th pick in the 2021 RCF Mock Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select:

aaron-banks.png


Aaron Banks
  • Position: Offensive Guard
  • School: Notre Dame
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior
  • Height: 6’5 3/8″
  • Weight: 338 pounds
  • Wingspan: 82″
  • Arm: 33 1/8″
  • Hand: 10 1/8″

Tony Pauline’s Aaron Banks Scouting Report:

Positives: Large, explosive lineman who is best suited for a power gap offense. Fires off the snap, blocks with proper lean, and easily controls defenders at the point. Opens up the running lanes, anchors in pass protection, and blocks down on opponents, completely smothering them from the action.

Plays with a nasty attitude, keeps his head on a swivel, and always looks for someone to hit. Jolts defenders with a violent hand punch and easily knocks opponents from their angles of attack.

Negatives: Minimally effective blocking in motion. Cannot slide in space. Struggles to adjust and cannot hit a moving target.

Analysis: Banks is a big, powerful lineman with outstanding size. He plays to his measurables, but is not light on his feet, and will struggle in any system that asks him to move around the field. In the proper system, Banks could start at the next level.

@Hurl Bruce is on the clock
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