The 49ers did not renew contracts for any of their supposed slot receivers this off-season. Rodgers projects well as a slot in the NFL displaying quickness getting in and out of breaks. He won't kill anyone with his long speed or run anybody over (the 49ers have enough of those guys already) but with his ability to also return punts he will give Shanahan one more toy to play with.
Jets take Michael Carter - RB - University of North Carolina
A small player in stature but has the capacity to make some big plays on the field. The Jets have moved towards a running back by committee approach, and have a pretty crowded running back room already. However, Carter offers outstanding quickness and versatility as a pass catching running back, which is something that could set him apart from his peers in the Jets running backs room. Carter won't ever have the physical capacity to carry the load as a number one running back, but other teams have derived value from later round picks (e.g., the Colts and Nyheim Hines). The Jets need to surround their new starting quarterback with as much talent as possible, and Carter should have a role to play on offence early in the season.
Atlanta Falcons select Ar'darius Washington Safety TCU
Ar'darius Washington is not big. At just 5'8" and 185 lbs he is not even average but watch this guy play and you will see he is football player. In my opinion this is the best man coverage safety in the class he is a fluid mover and whilst not overly fast has good route anticipation. In case you didn't know he is small but he plays like a 220lbs bruiser. He's extremely active and plays very physical in run support, he definitely doesn't let people run over him as you would expect. Whether or not that translates to the bigger NFL bodies is the question. His physical traits are damning, his lack of height and length are obvious restrictions and the fact he doesn't have above average speed to counter balance is not great. But his tape is so good that you just need to take a punt that his competitiveness and ability will allow him to be productive.
A small school prospect, Williams's play over the last two seasons has seen him shoot up draft boards. He has good hand technique and defends the run well. The Texans could use a player like Williams to bolster the depth on the defensive line even if he is unlikely to ever be a top line defensive tackle or defensive end. Still, he has appeal to the new regime at the Texans and could see a lot of action in his rookie season if he has a good preseason.
With the 112th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft the Bengals select:
Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Tremble has spent his career at Notre Dame caught behind the likes of Cole Kmet and 2020 freshman star Michael Mayer; he’s been the TE2 who is charged with moving around the set or blocking on the perimeter to set up runs and screens to the outside which brings a lot of flexibility to his role at the Bengals (TE#2).
Tremble completes the Bengals offensive overhaul for this draft with the additions of Ja'Marr Chase and Tremble adding some much needed offensive weapons and OT Samuel Cosmi to solidify the offensive line and provide some protection to the oft sacked Joe Burrow.
Taking a nose tackle might not be a sexy pick, but the interior of the defensive line of the Lions lacks both names or talent on long term contracts. They traded for Michael Brockers during this off-season, but he's only got 1 year left on his deal and he's expected to play more of a 3-tech role, and last year's 6th round pick John Penisi is their only other really NFL-calibre DT. Hence, I'm taking the best remaining DT for them here, who can also be considered BPA given some draftniks have a late-2nd/early-3rd round grade on him and this mock is currently in the early 4th round.
With pick 116 of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys select
Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
Let's be honest, outside the top couple this year's pass rushing class is a dumpster fire with a mix of injuries, opt-outs and potential one-season wonders. But we have a positional need here, and the value and fit of Weaver makes him a pretty good pick a 116.
Dallas needs pass rushing help, and while he's not the guy to eventually replace Lawrence, Weaver can be a good piece, having played on the blind side and open side, having excellent power out of the burst, and great hands that help the run game. And perhaps most importantly - while there's been some talk that he benefited from a really good Pitt D last season - he has the numbers and the tape. I think if you watch Weaver without analysing him too hard, he appears an exciting player.
In the fourth round, there's just as many concerns though, and NFL teams analyse them down to penis size... He did his ACL and missed the 2019 season and, while he came back in 2020 and showed that he was continuing to improve, a 280 pound guy with a history of ACL injuries will always be terrifying to me. Weaver relies almost solely on his power and hands to get to the QB - he's not at all twitchy, and he doesn't use much lateral movement (although this could improve another season after the knee injury)... but that said, I think "twitchiness" is really one of those over-rated buzz words that's come into the NFL vernacular over the last decade. If the guy has power, explosiveness out of the burst, and good hands? A good D-lineman coach is going to show him some tricks to get to the QB that align with his skill set.
I've seen some so-called analysts calling him a 3-4 line backer in the NFL. That's odd to me. He might be effective in Dan Quinn's quasi-hybrid cover 3, but at 6'5 and 280, his success or failure is going to depend on him performing as a 4-3 defensive end, initially as a bit part player whose role increases. (To watch Weaver's highlight video and to see his size, I suspect he develops into a 3-technique rather than a 5-technique in the 3-4.)
"Green split time at both guard and center while playing for Lovie Smith at Illinois, and he excelled while doing so. He became Pro Football Focus’ sixth-highest ranked guard in the nation, playing at an above-average level while earning a run-blocking grade of 92.3 from PFF."
"Explosive, athletic and improving every season of his college career, Green would be a worthy replacement for former Giants’ lineman, Kevin Zeitler. At the least, the team would have a group of young, talented guards if they added the former Fighting Illini to a group that already includes Hernandez and Shane Lemeiux."
Looking at draft needs articles for the 9ers reveals that OG is a potential need they might address in the draft. Smith is an athletic OT who some project to move inside. He is the highest rated OL prospect remaining according to a composite draft board (of 50 different boards) on The Athletic and is rated at 126 overall on that board