Round 3, pick 81: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
There are few talented linebackers in all of college football than Missouri Junior linebacker Nick Bolton; potentially only two in Penn State’s Micah Parsons and Alabama’s Dylan Moses. How he fell to the third round here is a mystery, but nonetheless the Browns capitalize and get a day-one starting MIKE linebacker with the 81st pick in this 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
He is as technically sound as they come, providing the basis of teaching tape from his 2019 film. A converted safety, Bolton has the athletic ability to make plays at the second level on an NFL scale as well. An absolute thumper, Bolton is as disciplined to his run fits and responsibilities as anybody in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
In his first year as a full-time starter for the Tigers, he racked up 74 solo tackles, eight tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception. In fact, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranks Bolton as his 20th overall prospect as we get set to enter the 2020 season.
While the Browns have Phillips, a promising rookie, Mack Wilson is set to miss significant time this season after struggling as a rookie, Sione Takitaki could not sniff the field a year ago, and B.J. Goodson is only in Cleveland on a one-year deal. The Browns land their future star linebacker here in the third round.