The 2021 NFL Draft kicked off live from Cleveland on Thursday, April 29. I offered live reactions to all 32 picks, and you can catch up on that here. With Day Two on Friday, April 30, we got the second and third rounds. Below is a recap of all the Fantasy Relevant players (quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends) that were taken.
In the Second Round, with 32 picks, a quarterback, a running back, five receivers and a tight end were taken. In the Third Round, with 42 picks, two quarterbacks, a running back, five receivers and three tight ends were selected. Below are the players taken listed by position in order of selection with the Draft Slot in parenthesis.
- Kyle Trask (Pick 64), Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers closed Round Two by making Trask, out of Florida, the sixth quarterback off the board. In 2020, in an offense featuring First Round picks Kyle Pitts and Kadarious Toney, Trask threw for 4,283 yards and 43 TDs. It’s an interesting pick as Trask will work with offensive guru and Buccaneers’ Head Coach Bruce Arians. With Tom Brady in town, Trask won’t see the field in 2021 unless there’s an injury, but he could be a decent stash moving forward.
- Kellen Mond (Pick 66), Minnesota Vikings: Mond was the seventh quarterback off the board, coming just two picks after Trask. Mond was a divisive prospect heading into the draft out of Texas A&M. In four years, he threw for 9,661 yards and 71 TDs. Mond lands in Minnesota, where Kirk Cousins is the entrenched starter. Mond won’t see the field, barring injury, in 2021, but could be a prospect the team grooms as a QB of the future.
- Davis Mills (67), Houston Texans: The Texans didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds, so the team used its first pick in the 2021 draft on Mills, the Stanford quarterback. Mills is another prospect that had a wide range of ratings from experts, starting eight games in 2019 and five games in 2020. Mills threw for 3,468 yards and 18 TDs. The Texans have franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson on the roster, though he has legal issues and requested a trade. The team also signed veteran Tyrod Taylor to a one-year deal. So, Mills is unlikely to see the field in 2021, but could be viewed as a quarterback of the future by the Texans and new coach David Culley.
- Javonte Williams (Pick 35), Denver Broncos: Williams was my No. 2 running back heading into the draft, and this is a great landing spot. While the Broncos have Melvin Gordon and former Third Round pick Royce Freeman on the roster, both are in the final year of their contracts. Williams could easily be the best running back on the roster right now, and figures to at worst split with Gordon in 2021. Williams ran for 1,140 yards and 19 TDs in 2020, adding 25 receptions for 305 yards and three TDs. Najee Harris should be the top back in rookie drafts after going to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 24 pick, but I like Williams ahead of Travis Etienne who went to the Jaguars at pick No. 25.
- Trey Sermon (88), San Francisco 49ers: Sermon, the talented back from Ohio State, found a plumb landing spot in the Third Round with the 49ers. Sermon transferred from Oklahoma to Ohio State in 2020, rushing for 870 yards and four TDs in eight games. The 49ers have had a string of successful running backs in recent years, and return Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, Jr., this season. Sermon has a chance to mix in and rise to the top in a backfield that produces fantasy value. He could provide sneaky value in fantasy drafts.
- Elijah Moore (Pick 24), New York Jets: The first skill position player taken on Day 2 was Moore, the third pick for the Jets in the 2021 draft. He is part of a re-building of the team’s offense that included quarterback Zach Wilson and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker taken in Round One and the signing of Corey Davis this off-season. Moore caught 86 passes for 1,193 yards and eight TDs in 2020 at Ole Miss. He was the sixth receiver off the board, and joins a group that includes Davis, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole and second-year receiver Denzel Mims. I like Moore’s talent, and I suspect he’ll eventually become a top option for the Jets, but there will be a crowd at the position in 2021 with a young QB at the helm.
- Rondale Moore (Pick 49), Arizona Cardinals: The other Moore was drafted by Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals to become a new weapon for Kyler Murray. Moore has been a tough nut to crack, but I loved his upside going into the draft, ranking him as my No. 5 receiver. He’s a quick, small and shifty weapon. In 2018, he caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 TDs. He’s only played in seven games in the two years since, but part of that is a result of COVID. This feels like a great NFL move, but for fantasy it could be tricky. The Cardinals have DeAndre Hopkins as a No. 1 receiver, added veteran A.J. Green this off-season and still have Christian Kirk in the mix, among others. That could cap Rondale Moore’s upside is capped.
- D’Wayne Eskridge (56), Seattle Seahawks: Eskridge is an interesting receiving prospect. He spent five seasons at Western Michigan after a collarbone break cut his fourth season short in 2019. COVID limited his team to six games in 2020, but Eskridge made the most of it, catching 33 passes for 768 yards and eight TDs. In Seattle, he could have a chance to compete right away. The Seahawks have Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf as starters, but third receiver David Moore signed with Carolina this off-season. The question will be volume, if the Seahawks sling it with Russell Wilson or decide to lean more heavily on Chris Carson and the run game.
- Tutu Atwell (57), Los Angeles Rams: Another NFC West team snags a receiver, as the Rams grabbed Atwell out of Louisville. Atwell caught 139 passes for 2,303 yards and 20 TDs in three seasons. His best was 2019, as he caught 69 passes for 1,272 yards and 11 TDs. In Los Angeles he joins a receiving group led by Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. The team also signed veteran DeSean Jackson this off-season and has second-year receiver Van Jefferson. It’s unclear the role and volume Atwell will receive, but with Matthew Stafford at the helm and Sean McVay calling plays, if he can move up to the team’s No. 3 receiver he could return 2021 value.
- Terrace Marshall, Jr. (59), Carolina Panthers: Marshall, who I had ranked No. 6 headed into the draft, finds a plumb landing spot with the Carolina Panthers. There he’s reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Joe Brady. Marshall, who played at LSU, caught 146 passes for 1,594 yards and 23 TDs in three seasons. During the team’s Championship run in 2019, playing opposite Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, Marshall caught 46 passes for 671 yards and 13 TDs. In just seven games in 2020, he caught 48 passes for 731 yards and 10 TDs. In Carolina, he brings another weapon for newly acquired quarterback Sam Darnold. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson are atop the depth chart, and former Seahawk David Moore was signed in the off-season, but the Panthers’ offense supported three receivers in the Top 25 in 2020 and could well do it again in 2021.
- Josh Palmer (77), Los Angeles Chargers: The first receiver off the board in the Third Round was Palmer, selected by the Chargers. Palmer played four seasons at Tennessee, catching 99 passes for 1,514 yards and seven TDs. It’s a somewhat surprising and interesting pick. Palmer joins a good offense led by second-year starter Justin Herbert, and a receiving corps led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton. It’s hard to see the immediate fantasy value here.
- Dyami Brown (82), Washington Football Team: Washington added the North Carolina receiver to its arsenal in the Third Round. The Team has Terry McLaurin as its No.1 receiver and added Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries this off-season. Washington also has young receivers in Cam Sims and Antonio Gandy-Golden on the roster. But Brown has a chance to move up and make an impact on the field. He caught 51 passes for 1,034 yards and 12 TDs in 2019 and followed that up with 55 receptions for 1,099 yards and eight TDs in 2020. I liked Brown heading into the draft and like the potential to fight his way up the depth chart in Washington.
- Amari Rodgers (85), Green Bay Packers: The Packers finally spend a draft pick getting a receiver, landing the talented Rodgers from Clemson. In 2020, Rodgers caught 77 passes for 1,020 yards and seven TDs. He joins a group that has plenty of opportunity behind Davante Adams, but the big question emerging the past few days is what happens with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. This could be a great landing spot for Amari Rodgers if Aaron Rodgers stays with the team.
- Nico Collins (89), Houston Texans: For their second pick in the Third Round, the Texans bolstered their receiving group with Collins. The Michigan product sat out 2020 but caught 75 passes for 1,361 yards and 13 TDs in 2018 and 2019. He joins a receiver group that includes Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb and Chris Conley, among others. His fantasy value will depend on his ability to get targets, but the Houston offense figures to be a mess in 2021.
- Anthony Schwartz (91), Cleveland Browns: In the Third Round the Browns added to their receiving corps with Schwartz out of Auburn. In 2020, Schwartz produced 54 receptions for 636 yards and three TDs in 10 games. In Cleveland, he joins a receiver group led by Odell Beckham, Jr., Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones on a run-first team. He’s got good speed and could be a deep threat, but that likely won’t return consistent week-to-week fantasy value.
- Pat Freiermuth (55), Pittsburgh Steelers: The second tight end off the board goes to the Steelers, who took running back Najee Harris in the first round. The Steelers get a good passing weapon and decent blocker. As a freshman at Penn State, Freiermuth caught 26 passes for 368 yards and eight TDs. As a sophomore, he caught 43 passes for 507 yards and seven TDs. The limited schedule held Freiermuth to just four games in 2020, but he remains a solid option. In Pittsburgh he joins a deep passing group that includes Diontae Johnson, Juju Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool and James Washington at receiver, in addition to Eric Ebron at tight end. Freiermuth could eventually have a good role in the Steelers’ pass offense, but those who draft him will likely need some patience in 2021.
- Hunter Long (81), Miami Dolphins: Long became the third tight end off the board, going to the Dolphins in the Third Round. Long caught 89 passes for 1,297 yards and nine TDs in three seasons with Boston College. That included catching 57 passes and scoring five TDs in 2020. It’s an interesting landing spot with the Dolphins already having Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen at tight end, and DeVante Parker, Will Fuller V, Preston Williams and First Round pick Jaylen Waddle at receiver. It’s not an ideal fantasy landing spot for Long, who will have plenty of competition for targets.
- Tommy Tremble (83), Carolina Panthers: The Panthers, who grabbed Marshall at receiver in the Second Round, struck again in the Third Round, nabbing the talented tight end prospect Tremble. The Notre Dame product caught 16 passes for 183 yards and four TDs in 2019, following up with 19 receptions for 218 yards in 2020. The Panthers have Ian Thomas, who has never emerged, and free agent signing Dan Arnold at tight end. But Tremble is a good blocker, which could put him on the field in a good offense for Joe Brady.
- Tre McKitty (97), Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers went and grabbed a tight end at the bottom of the third round. The Chargers signed Jared Cook in free agency, and have sleeper Donald Parham, who was great in the XFL, on the roster. But McKitty adds another weapon for Justin Herbert.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.