Biggest Steal from Each Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

This year’s draft saw many players slip farther than expected with plenty of questionable choices selected early on. This led to many teams getting great bargain picks without having to trade up or if trading up, not having to do as much as they originally expected for the player they came out with. In this article, we’ll break down the biggest steal from each round of the draft and who made out as big winners as a result. 

1st Round: Christian Darrisaw – Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings snagged Darrisaw with the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft. Darrisaw was a great pick up for the Vikings at #24 and one of the best offensive lineman in this draft class. Darrisaw brings reliable blocking to an offensive unit that needs more protection. With the selection of Mond later on as a potential future replacement to Cousins, this will make an early impact on the success of either. Darrisaw excelled in college and was exactly what the Vikings needed in the draft. 

2nd Round: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – Cleveland Browns

The best linebacker in this class outside of Micah Parsons, Owusu-Koramoah slid down to the 2nd round. Arguably one of the best defensive players in all of college football, many teams passed on JOK due to his size, but they will end up regretting it as the Cleveland Browns picked up a player who should have been drafted in the 1st round. Another player in the 2nd round who was a great pick up was Christian Barmore to the New England Patriots. JOK edged out Barmore due to the fact that JOK should’ve been a top 16 pick in the draft, but yet another player who gets devalued due to physical limitations who will end up being an absolute steal for the Browns. The Browns didn’t need another linebacker, but he was the best available and well worth the pick. 

3rd Round: Ifeatu Melifonwu – Detroit Lions

The Syracuse product is one of the most versatile cornerbacks in this draft class. The Lions needed to fill a hole in many positions as the future of their franchise is in shambles with plenty of uncertainty. Ifeatu Melifonwu is listed as a cornerback, but can easily make the transition to safety as he is great in different coverage schemes. With this ability to adapt to whatever is needed of him, this makes one of the only good things that the Lions have done in recent years. 

4th Round: Jabril Cox – Dallas Cowboys

Perhaps, one of the biggest losers of the draft, Jabril Cox slipped all the way down to the 4th round unfortunately. Cox was one of the top linebackers available, yet the doubts surrounding recent injuries caused him to fall down so far. The Cowboys who are dealing with injuries to their own linebacking corps come out as big winners with this A-Plus selection. The Cowboys most likely had Cox higher on their boards, but picked based on biggest needs earlier and then were pleasantly surprised for Cox to land here. 

5th Round: Daviyon Nixon – Carolina Panthers

One of the better defensive tackles available, Nixon probably didn’t expect to wait until day 3 to hear his name called. The Iowa standout was a force to be reckoned with for opposing quarterbacks and running backs. He is a physical juggernaut who can break through blockers with ease making him a dangerous weapon. The Panthers are in an interesting place with defense being one of their biggest areas of improvement which they capitalized on with taking Daviyon Nixon in the 5th round. 

6th Round: Khalil Herbert – Chicago Bears

Khalil Herbert was one of the top rushing leaders in all of college football yet didn’t end up getting taken until the 6th round. Herbert was ranked higher than most other running backs in this class on our list and for good reason. Herbert dominated the ACC running game alongside the UNC Duo and Etienne at Clemson. The Bears had one of their best bargain rounds in the 6th round with multiple picks and Herbert was the biggest steal of the 3 they had. 

7th Round: Dax Milne – Washington Football Team

Zach Wilson’s number one target, Dax Mile was taken in the 7th round by the Washington Football Team. How fitting that the #2 overall pick had his #1 guy went 2nd to last overall. The wide receiver class this year was one of the deepest we’ve seen in a long time. If this was any other year, Milne would have gone much higher due to the sheer amount of connections that he had with star quarterback Wilson at BYU. Milne was almost Mr.Irrelevant in this year’s draft and is an absolute steal where he was picked up at. Washington earned someone who can be a significant role player throughout the season and develop into a potential starter over the next couple years especially as they get their quarterback situation figured out. Milne is someone they want to keep on board for the long haul.

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