2021 NFL Draft grades, analysis for every sixth-round selection from the Chargers to Bears

2021 NFL Draft grades, analysis for every sixth-round selection from the Chargers to Bears


The sixth round of the NFL Draft has drawn to a conclusion. Want to know what I think of every pick made in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft? You can follow along throughout the day Saturday as I grade all the Round 6 picks below. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the night to get the latest grades. You can keep track of all the picks for the entire draft and my grades in our draft tracker

Grades: Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5 • Round 6Round 7 

185. Chargers, Nick Niemann, LB, Iowa

Grade: B 

Tested like one of the best athletes at LB in this class. Didn’t quite see that type of short-area quickness and speed on film. Diagnoses in a flash and plays very under control. Minimal ball production but does have the smoothness to develop in that regard.

186. Jets, Hamsah Nasirildeen, FSU, S

Grade: B 

Fits the mold of the modern-day SS/LB hybrid. Just wish I saw more urgency and play-making ability on film. Plays the run well, especially when he can tap into his range. Developmental type in coverage at this stage.

187. Falcons, Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

Grade: B+ 

Athleticism galore on film. Dynamic running routes and has serious juice down the field. The only question — why wasn’t he more productive in college.

188. Patriots, Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri

Grade: C+

Short-area quickness type at the safety spot who can cover short routes, but doesn’t have the acceleration and hip smoothness to stick down the field with WRs or TEs. 

189. Eagles, Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC

Grade: C- 

Thick, power-based defensive lineman with heavy feet. Can win battles in a phone booth because of his musculature, but provides little as a rusher up the field.

190. Bengals, Trey Hill, C, Georgia

Grade: C+

Squatty, run-blocking specialist at center. His power is derived from his low center of gravity but needs to get a sturdier anchor in pass pro. I like his quickness off the ball. Will execute combos well. Lacking length to control longer blockers.

191. Eagles, Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina

Grade: B-

Uniquely shaped EDGE who can kick inside if need be. Bricks for hands and the bull rush is shocking at times. Average athletic traits. Very productive against lesser competition in 2020. Nice depth for Philly’s front.

192. Cowboys, Quinton Bohanna, DL, Kentucky

Grade: C  

Another wide-body NT who has some athleticism to get up the field. Pocket pusher only. Not a sustained speed or pass-rush move type.

193. Panthers, Deonte Brown, OL, Alabama

Grade: B+ 

Gargantuan human being who plays low and is impossible to bull rush. Controlled movements to the second level in the run game and is a solid athlete for how large he is. No recovery skills if beaten in pass pro but very strong hands to control rushers. 

194. 49ers, Elijah Mitchell, RB, Lousiana 

Grade: C+ 

Speedy, zone-blocking runner with decently thick lower half who’ll power through weak arm tackle attempts. Fits the Shanahan mold. But is there a need for another back? 

195. Texans, Roy Lopez, DL, Arizona

Grade: C

Pocket pusher built low to the ground with adequate burst but light feet through the line of scrimmage. Can get cleared out of run plays quickly but has the center of gravity power to be successful in one-on-one situations on occasion. 

196. Giants, Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona

Grade: B+ 

Thick, explosive back who’s better accelerating away from defenders than making them miss in space, but his feet aren’t slow or clunky. North-South speciality who’ll power through contact on a regular basis. Nice RB depth this late.

197. Patriots, William Sherman, OT, Colorado

Grade: C+  

Played tackle in college, will be a guard in the NFL. The short-area quicks are impressive, but he tends to play a little out of control. Needs to dial that back a little, especially in pass pro, so he doesn’t lunge.

198. Chargers, Larry Rountree, RB, Missouri

Grade: C+

Has the feet and multiple-cut ability to be a quality RB2 in the NFL. But the vision and patience are severely lacking. Cranked up to 100 mph on every run. Sometimes that’s good, other times it’s not. Lot of bodies in the RB room with Chargers. 

199. Vikings, Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pitt

Grade: B+

NFL-veteran type hand work. Has all the moves you need to win in the trenches. Thicker body type and while his first step is good, the speed subsides considerably after that. Vikings love and need more interior rushers. Good value here. 

200. Jets, Brandin Echols, CB, Kentucky

Grade: B

Coverage sharpness isn’t there quite yet, but he exploded at the Kentucky pro day with freaky figures, and they show on the field. Keep pumping more defensive backs into that secondary.

201. Giants, Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma St. 

Grade: B

Very clean film on the outside. But measured in a little smaller than expected. Older prospect who’s assignment-sound and plays the football in the air consistently. Love his mirroring ability too. 

202. Bengals, Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

Grade: B- 

Strange career at Michigan. Best season was 2016. Has the springiness, shiftiness, and acceleration to be a low-level RB2 in the NFL. 

203. Bills, Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston

Grade: A

Electric wideout who pops the lid off the defense on a routine basis. Smaller. Deceptively sharp route runner but keep him on the vertical route tree and on jet sweeps. Big-time return abilities too. Exactly what Buffalo needed. 

204. Panthers, Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina

Grade: B+

Skinny, aggressive slot type. Not as dangerous after the catch or as a route runner as expected. Flashed high-point skill.

205. Titans, Racey McMath, WR, LSU

Grade: C+ 

Size-speed combination who doesn’t provide much more than acceleration on the field route tree.

206. Saints, Landon Young, OT, Kentucky

Grade: C+  

Good-sized tackle with the quicks needed to deal with athletic types on the inside. Much more schooled in the run game than pass pro. Latter needs work in the latter.

207. Jets, Jonathan Marsall, DT, Arkansas

Grade: A-

One of my favorite disruptive nose tackles. Has burst, sustained speed and some hand work to win on more than just first and second downs. He’ll contribute early for the Jets.

208. Seahawks, Stone Forsythe, OL, Florida

Grade: B- 

Classic Seahawks pick late in the draft. Forsythe looks like an enlarged tight end on the field. Super tall and lean. Effortless power. Crazy long. The pass-protection fundamentals are far from perfect at this stage. High upside but he is an older prospect. 

209. Jaguars, Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech

Grade: B- 

Another size/athleticism specimen from Georgia Tech. Serious speed flashes. Just raw running routes coming from the run-heavy offense.

210. Cardinals, Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke

Grade: C+

High-motor rusher with a developed arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Just lacks length and the overall athletic traits to be a consistent contributor on the outside.

211. Browns, Demetric Felton, RB, UCLA

Grade: B+  

Slender RB who converted from WR and still has slot WR nuance running routes. Fun gadget type in that backfield. 

212. Bills, Damar Hamlin, S, Pitt

Grade: A-

Smooth-hipped safety with light feet who plays bigger than his lanky frame. Zone savvy and flashes good speed down the field. Well-rounded type. Good long-term depth for the safety spot.

213. Bills, Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin

Grade: B-

Big-time twitch out of his breaks to make plays on the football. Played man but best when he can watch the QB. Can be a little grabby. Very inexperienced. Good flier this late.

214. Packers, Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin

Grade: C+

Best film came in 2018. Regressed the past two years. Probably needs to kick inside to guard, where his run-blocking skill can be accentuated. Good hand work but limited athleticism. More OL help. 

215. Titans, Brady Breeze, S, Oregon

Grade: B- 

Flashes instincts in coverage. Plays with reckless abandon. Doesn’t play to his timed athleticism. Free and strong safety versatility. After how bad the secondary was in 2020, smart for Tennessee to add more defensive backs. 

216. Steelers, Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami

Grade: A-

Similar to last year’s pick of Alex Highsmith. A little on the smaller side but hand-work master who can win around the edge with some speed and bend. If he was bigger, he would’ve been picked much earlier. 

217. Bears, Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

Grade: A- 

Bouncy, contact-balance monster who can piece together multiple cuts to make defenders miss. Lacks long speed. No clue how he was still available. Nice RB depth for Chicago.

218. Colts, Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

Grade: C-

Ehlinger is an incredibly experienced, tough QB. But doesn’t have NFL arm or pocket presence. Good at running around when things break down.

219. Broncos, Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

Grade: B-

Big, rebounder type with a good frame for that role. Body control and high-point skills are impressive. Not a consistent separator and could play more physical in his route. 

220. Packers: Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College

Grade:B+

Short-area quickness is impressive. Range and hitting skill too. Reliable tackler and brings it as a blitzer. Has the athletic traits to become a good coverage linebacker. Green Bay had to add to its LB room. 

221. Bears: Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

Grade: A

Sudden, return specialist who’s skills there translate into the slot. Separates and is dynamic after the catch. Speed allows him to power through tackle attempts. Some drops on film. 

222. Panthers, Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama

Grade: D

The Panthers could use their draft capital on more valuable players than a long snapper. But of course Alabama had one of the best long-snappers in the country. 

223. Cardinals, Tay Gowan, CB, UCF

Grade: B+

2020 opt-out who had a productive 2019 as a smooth, plant-and-drive off coverage cornerback. Measured in with slightly shorter arms than expected. Good athletic traits.

224. Eagles, JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

Grade: B+

Big recruit who never fully met expectations but is an attacking in the box safety type with serious range. Some plays in coverage, but his rawness there led to the late-round selection.

225. Washington, Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan

Grade: C-

The consensus top LS in the class. Not great draft capital allocation. 

226. Chiefs, Trey Smith, G, Tennessee

Grade: A-

Tremendous value here with an NFL strong blocker who’s been on the draft radar for years. Doesn’t play to his athletic workout but is a masher in the run game and is a long, wide body with plenty of experience in the SEC. 

227. Cowboys, Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina

Grade: B+

Super tall, lengthy outside corner with a gigantic pass disruption radius. Not super stiff but won’t be able to track sudden WRs in the NFL. Could even play some safety at the next level.

228. Bears, Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon

Grade: A+

Not the biggest nor the most athletic, but always around the football. Elite ball production in college and plays bigger than his size at the catch point. Serious zone instincts.

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