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OK, so who’s still available in the NFL Draft 2021?
It’s the question diehard fans – and teams – started asking around midnight, when the rush of the first round was complete. Open those heavy eyelids because there are some names worth a look.
Here is a list of The Post’s 10 best available players when the draft resumes at 7 p.m. Friday night for the second and third rounds.
Note that the number in parentheses before each name is the player’s ranking on reporter Ryan Dunleavy’s Top 100 big board before any picks were made:
1. (17) LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame, 6-1, 221 pounds:
Biggest surprise by far considering he won the Butkus Award. He makes sideline-to-sideline tackles, covers tight ends and is high character. Is he small to play NFL linebacker? If so, he’s not as valuable as a safety.
2. (25) EDGE Azeez Ojulari, Georgia, 6-2, 249 pounds:
Some mock drafts had him as high as No. 11 to the Giants after he led the SEC in tackles for loss (12.5), sacks (8.5) and forced fumbles (five). Best suited as a stand-up linebacker a 3-4 front. Teams reportedly backed off over knee injury concerns dating to a torn ACL in high school.
3. (29) DT Christian Barmore, Alabama, 6-4, 310 pounds:
Named Defensive MVP of the 2021 National Championship Game, finishing the best stretch of his career. Explosive first step but was a late-bloomer in high school and a one-year starter for the Tide. No defensive tackles were picked in the first round.
4. (30) S Trevon Moehrig, TCU, 6-1, 202 pounds:
Jim Thorpe Award winner for nation’s top defensive back in 2020. Versatility is the top asset coveted for NFL safeties right now and Moehrig has it. Reliable tackler in the box, good instincts in the deep post and speed to cover in the slot. No safeties were picked in the first round.
5. (31) RB Javonte Williams, North Carolina, 5-10, 212 pounds:
Looks thick and runs behind his pads between the tackles, drawing Nick Chubb comparisons. Highlights stand out because of how often he runs through tacklers. Two running backs went ahead of him, but early second round is traditionally a sweet spot.
6. (32) OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State, 6-6, 317 pounds:
Prototypical NFL frame with good tape at the four non-center positions (mostly right tackle). Wouldn’t win the Combine Olympics because of short arms, but handles a bull rush. Only three offensive tackles went in the first round when as many as six were projected.
7. (33) DT Levi Onwuzurike, Washington, 6-2, 290 pounds:
Needs to turn the corner from pass pressures to sacks. Opted out of the 2020 season and was limited by injury at the Senior Bowl. Undersized, but can be dominant in a weak draft class. Could leapfrog Barmore as DT1.
8. (36) WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU, 6-3, 205 pounds:
Marshall didn’t explode as expected in his only season playing without the help of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Uses his length and physicality well in 1-on-1 vertical routes and in the red zone. Cluster of receivers battling to go next includes Elijah Moore and Rondale Moore.
9. (37) OT/OG Jalen Mayfield, Michigan, 6-5, 326 pounds:
Played in just 18 games, including two last season, so this is a pick based on potential. You can’t teach his toughness, but he is going to need to be taught some fundamentals. Bengals and Dolphins should be looking offensive tackle in the early second round.
10. 38 CB Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State, 5-10, 180 pounds:
Of the four cornerbacks who are NFL legacies, he moves most like his father. Is he as good of a ballhawk? Dad had 51 NFL interceptions. Junior had three picks (24.7 yards per return) and two fumble recoveries in 2020. Slipping behind Eric Stokes was a surprise. Expect a run on second-round cornerbacks similar to 2019.
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