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2021 NFL Draft recap

The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone. It can be difficult for some to follow each pick, and others only watch certain parts of the draft, so here are the picks for each team along with some analysis. Some writers will grade draft classes, but I don't believe in grading them until we see tangible results on the field. Note: The Athletic's Dane Brugler also wrote a piece with different method of evaluating each team.

Arizona Cardinals

  1. Zaven Collins, LB/EDGE, Tulsa

  2. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue

  3. Marco Wilson, CB, Florida

  4. Victor Dimukeje, DE, Duke

  5. Tay Gowan, CB, Central Florida

  6. James Wiggins, S, Cincinnati

  7. Michael Menet, OL, Penn State

The Cardinals defense took some small steps forward in 2020 but lost LB Haason Reddick in free agency. They may have drafted a more versatile version of him with Zaven Collins in the first round. When Reddick was drafted, he had been a pass-rushing linebacker and many thought he had the athleticism to play in the middle of an NFL defense, despite never playing there in college. Collins has all the physical traits of a defensive end to become a solid pass-rusher, and, unlike Reddick, has played in the middle of the defense with decent cover skills and deceptive speed. Speaking of speed, Rondale Moore provides plenty of it as a new weapon for this offense and could become what they had hoped Andy Isabella would. Wilson shouldn't have to take on a big role right away but should slide right in as a top backup at the corner position. Gowan immediately becomes the biggest corner on the roster, which can give him a leg up in camp, while Dimukeje can help improve the pass rush.

Atlanta Falcons

  1. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

  2. Richie Grant, S, Central Florida

  3. Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

  4. Darren Hall, DB, San Diego State

  5. Drew Dalman, OL, Stanford

  6. Ta'Quon Graham, DL, Texas

  7. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame

  8. Avery WIlliams, CB, Boise State

  9. Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

We'll have to wait to see how this class turns out, but teams will definitely have their hands full with this Atlanta offense. It already had Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and a decent tight end in Hayden Hurst. Now, you add Kyle Pitts, who many thought was the best non-quarterback available and can best be described as an "offensive weapon." Head coach Arthur Smith was able to get the most out of his tight ends group as the offensive coordinator for the Titans and adds a special player to his team. Atlanta has also had problems in the secondary and clearly tried to address that. Richie Grant was the first safety drafted this year and should be an almost instant starter, while Hall and Williams will have to develop. The defense also struggled to find impact players up front and added two rotational pieces. Graham can play anywhere on the defensive line and Ogundeji provides a consistent pass-rush. Mayfield can also be an impact rookie.

Baltimore Ravens

  1. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

  2. Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

  3. Ben Cleveland, OL, Georgia

  4. Brandon Stephens, CB, SMU

  5. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

  6. Shaun Wade, DB, Ohio State

  7. Daelin Hayes, DE, Notre Dame

  8. Ben Mason, FB, Michigan

Typical Baltimore toughness with this class. Bateman is a physical big-play receiver and brings size that was scarce on this offense, Wallace is a hard-nosed receiver who can play outside or in the slot and even return punts. He rarely gets stopped on first contact and has speed to run by defenders. Oweh has tons of potential but has yet to reach it. If he does, Baltimore could have another star pass-rusher to replace Matthew Judon. Cleveland adds competition at guard and will likely be a rotational player as a rookie. Mason has his work cut out for him as Patrick Ricard has already become an established fullback in this offense. Hayes brings flexibility on the d-line and can provide a pass rush from various positions. Wade has promise but has work to do based off of last season. Stephens seemed like a reach, but, if they liked him that much, he may have a chance to crack the rotation as a backup.

Buffalo Bills

  1. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami

  2. Carlos Basham Jr, DE, Wake Forest

  3. Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa

  4. Tommy Doyle, OT, Miami (OH)

  5. Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston

  6. Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh

  7. Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin

  8. Jack Anderson, OL, Texas Tech

The Bills added two players to a pretty good defensive line with their first two picks. Rousseau needs to polish his game but has the measurables to become a star pass-rusher, something that had him considered the top d-end in this class going into the 2020 season. Basham is great pass-rusher in his own right and can play either DE or DT on passing downs. That kind of versatility should make the pass rush pretty scary. Buffalo also snagged two much-needed offensive tackles. Brown is very long and has great footwork. The only questionable part of his game is strength in the run game, but he may end up starting as a rookie. Doyle is a depth player, while Anderson has a chance to do the same at guard. Stevenson was a good college player and makes the receiving room very deep, if he can make the team.

Carolina Panthers

  1. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

  2. Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU

  3. Brady Christensen, OT, BYU

  4. Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame

  5. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

  6. Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa

  7. Keith Taylor, CB, Washington

  8. Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama

  9. Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina

  10. Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama

  11. Phil Hoskins, DT, Kentucky

The Panthers took all defensive players in 2020 then opted for more variety this year. Corner was perhaps the weakest position on their defense, and Horn gives them an eventual No.1 corner who may be a starter opening week. He's long, physical, and has a knack for making plays while using those traits to his advantage. It would not surprise me if he becomes a top corner in the league eventually. They also double-dipped at the position with a similar type of player with a lower floor in Taylor. Carolina also needed to add more weapons to the offense. While Christian McCaffrey and Robby Anderson will be the leaders on this team, Marshall is a legitimate WR2 and could have been picked in the first round. Smith was one of the most underrated players in the draft and could become a good player in the slot. Tremble enters an almost wide open tight end competition with a chance to contribute as a rookie, while Chuba Hubbard makes perfect sense to backup McCaffrey. I also like the addition of Christensen as the team tries to find a tackle opposite Taylor Moton, although he may have been drafted a little too early. He can also provide insurance if Moton leaves in free agency after the season. Nixon is also a notable selection as many had him being selected earlier. The college production is really only there for one season, but he brings athleticism and quickness on the interior.

Chicago Bears

  1. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

  2. Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

  3. Larry Borom, OL, Missouri

  4. Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech

  5. Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina

  6. Thomas Graham Jr, CB, Oregon

  7. Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU

Chicago got its do-over at quarterback, which may buy Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace some time. They've been saying that Andy Dalton is still the starter, but Fields brings a skill level that can transform this offense. The Bears also landed a good offensive tackle in Jenkins and an excellent late round value in Newsome. Herbert may be able to surprise some people and plays much like Tarik Cohen. I think Borom will be a better guard, but they drafted him as a tackle.

Cincinnati Bengals

  1. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU

  2. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson

  3. Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas

  4. Cameron Sample, DL, Tulane

  5. Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU

  6. D'Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina

  7. Evan McPherson, K, Florida

  8. Trey Hill, C, Georgia

  9. Chris Evans, RB, Michigan

  10. Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State

The Bengals passed up on offensive line to grab the best receiver in the draft in round one, and came back to get the protection they needed in round two. They also did a solid job improving the defensive front. Ossai can play OLB and DE as a premier pass-rusher. Sample adds some flexibility and can play all along the line. Shelvin is a great run-stuffer and has some quickness up front if he can stay healthy. Hubert is a high-motor pass-rusher who can carve out a role on the team. They also added some late-round pieces who could be hidden gems on offense.

Cleveland Browns

  1. Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern

  2. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame

  3. Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn

  4. James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati

  5. Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State

  6. Tony Fields, LB, West Virginia

  7. Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia

  8. Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA

Cleveland needed to find a corner to play opposite Denzel Ward and may have found that in Newsome. Newsome is always in a good position and has been among the best in the country in breaking up passes. He sticks out on tape and has many of the makings of a shutdown corner. In Round 2, the Browns landed a first round talent in Owusu-Koramoah. JOK played linebacker at Notre Dame but could make the transition to safety because of his size. Regardless, he's an excellent player to have in coverage situations and can be used in a variety of ways. Schwartz was a reach to me, but his speed should take some pressure off of the other receivers and they can use him as a returner. Hudson further shores up the offensive line, while Togiai fits a need after the release of Sheldon Richardson. Togiai was underappreciated in this process and was the best Buckeye d-lineman I saw in 2020, particularly toward the end of the season.

Dallas Cowboys

  1. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

  2. Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

  3. Osa Odighizuwa, DL, UCLA

  4. Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa

  5. Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State

  6. Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

  7. Josh Ball, OT, Marshall

  8. Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford

  9. Quinton Bohanna, DT, Kentucky

  10. Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina

  11. Matt Farniok, OL, Nebraska

The Cowboys defense was abysmal in 2020 and tried to address it in this draft. In many ways, they succeeded--landing the top linebacker in the draft, a sleeper defensive lineman, and stealing the best cover linebacker in this class in the fourth round. They also added a late round tackle, who could've been taken earlier if not for off the field issues. That's the good. The rest of Dallas's picks were all reaches. The pick with the best upside is Joseph, but, with limited college experience, that's a big chance to take in the second round.

Denver Broncos

  1. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

  2. Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina

  3. Quinn Meinerz, OL, Wisconsin-Whitewater

  4. Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State

  5. Caden Sterns, S, Texas

  6. Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana

  7. Seth Williams, WR, Auburn

  8. Kary Vincent Jr, CB, LSU

  9. Jonathon Cooper, DE, Ohio State

  10. Marquiss Spencer, DL, Mississippi State

Corner may not have been an immediate need for Denver, but it needed some depth since Kyle Fuller is only on a one-year deal and there was no clear-cut No. 2. Luckily, the Broncos landed one of the best in this class in Surtain and he was the best player on the board when it happened. Surtain could start right away and will be a good player in the NFL. After letting Philip Lindsay go, there was really no legitimate RB2 on this roster. Williams had a prolific college career in that same role at North Carolina-- running for over 2,000 yards in his career and scoring 22 touchdowns in 2020. He can eventually be a No. 1 running back and forms a good 1-2 punch with Melvin Gordon. Meinerz is an easy guy to become a fan of and a very powerful player. Although he played at the Division III level, he absolutely destroys anyone in his path on tape and held his own against Division I competition at the Senior Bowl. He can play both guard at center and should push last year's rookies Dalton Risner and Lloyd Cushenberry at the very least. Browning is a big, athletic linebacker who can play any of the spots. He probably played best in college as an outside backer near the line of scrimmage, but Ohio State used him in several different roles. Browning could use some development with his coverage skills, so the line of scrimmage role may be best for him as a rookie. Williams is their most intriguing late-round selection. He made plenty of plays at Auburn, but there are some concerns about effort and character.

Detroit Lions

  1. Penei Sewell, OT, Orgeon

  2. Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

  3. Alim McNeill, DT, North Carolina State

  4. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

  5. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC

  6. Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue

  7. Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State

Detroit is starting a rebuild and this draft is a good start. They have at least attempted to fill some positions that were blatantly ignored under the Quinntricia regime. Sewell is thought to be the best offensive lineman in this class and a possible future Hall-of-Famer by many. His selection gives Detroit a starting offensive line group that is all under 27 years old and solidifies four of the five starting positions for the foreseeable future. The lone remaining hole there is at right guard. The Lions have also been missing interior pass rushers and grabbed two in the middle rounds. Barnes adds an athletic linebacker that actually makes plays that this team hasn't had in years. St. Brown is an upgrade at receiver, but they will need to continue to address the position going forward. Melifonwu adds a tall and athletic secondary player, who can play both corner and safety. Jefferson may have the inside track on the RB3 role now that Kerryon Johnson has been waived.

Green Bay Packers

  1. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

  2. Josh Myers, C, Ohio State

  3. Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

  4. Royce Newman, OL, Ole Miss

  5. Tedarrell Slaton, DT, Florida

  6. Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State

  7. Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin

  8. Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College

  9. Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State

Huge news broke out of Green Bay on draft day as reports surfaced that Aaron Rodgers has been telling people he is done with the Packers. I'll have more on that once it plays itself out, but they didn't do much to help the situation in the draft. Eric Stokes had mid-round grades from most people and is probably a rotational corner at best; not quite enough of an upgrade. Myers slides right into the starting lineup after the departure of Corey Linsley. Rodgers will be a perfect slot receiver for this offense and has an extremely high ceiling. Slaton may find a role on a defensive line that uses many former late-round picks, while Jean-Charles will be best suited as a slot/nickel. Hill was a great value in the final round and could have a future as a receiving back.

Houston Texans

  1. Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

  2. Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

  3. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami

  4. Garrett Wallow, LB, TCU

  5. Roy Lopez, DT, Arizona

The talk of this draft is easily the Davis Mills pick. With everything surrounding Deshaun Watson this offseason, it appears the Texans have finally admitted that they may need to move on from him sooner rather than later. Mills isn't the same kind of mobile quarterback as Watson and has little experience as a starter, but teams apparently fell in love with his upside throughout this process. The selection gives Houston a backup plan at the position. Collins brings size to a receiving room that lacked it severely, which should help near the redzone. He can also create more mismatches for opponents. Wallow is a faster linebacker with good instincts, He's probably a special teamer to start with a chance to become a contributor in year two.

Indianapolis Colts

  1. Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan

  2. Dayo Odeyingbo, DE, Vanderbilt

  3. Kalen Granson, TE, SMU

  4. Shawn Davis, S, Florida

  5. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

  6. Mike Strachan, WR, Charleston (WV)

  7. Will Fries, OL, Penn State

Indy decided to address the pass rush as its veterans get older. Paye is a great story and has a high ceiling because of his incredible athleticism and power. Odeyingbo is a good player but is coming off a torn ACL, which will likely keep him out all season. That's too much risk in the second round. There were better tight ends on the board, but Granson provides a receiving threat if he can eliminate some untimely drops. Davis will likely take on a backup safety role as a replacement for Tavon Wilson, while Ehlinger provides a dual threat backup to Carson Wentz. Strachan has a chance as a big body in a scarce receiving corps. I thought they could have used a linebacker after Anthony Walker signed with Cleveland, and many of these picks are reaches at this point.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

  2. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

  3. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

  4. Walker Little, OT, Stanford

  5. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse

  6. Jay Tufele, DT, USC

  7. Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB

  8. Luke Farrell, TE, Ohio State

  9. Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech

Decent class that also feels like Urban Meyer got some guys he missed in recruiting while at Ohio State. Lawrence is considered a generational talent and will start from day one. His college teammate, Etienne, is one of the leading rushers in Clemson history. He's a balanced back with good speed and deceptive power and can also be effective in the passing games. Campbell is great at staying with receivers but needs to make more plays on the ball. Little underachieved in college but this staff should be able to develop him more. He's a powerful guy who may need to tune up his footwork. Cisco gives them a playmaker on the back end of the defense, while Tufele provides quickness to the d-line. Smith is one of the longer players in this draft and has a future as a pass-rush specialist.

Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

  2. Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma

  3. Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State

  4. Noah Gray, TE, Duke

  5. Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson

  6. Trey Smith, G, Tennessee

Kansas City didn't have a pick until late in the second round and still landed an arguable first round talent. Nick Bolton is somewhat small for the linebacker position, but he doesn't play small. He can hit you hard and is fast with great instincts--immensely desired traits for today's league. The Chiefs also landed heralded interior offensive lineman Creed Humphrey. Humphrey is a little light as an offensive lineman but is extremely athletic and powerful. The rest of this group should make solid depth, and Trey Smith specifically good become a late round gem.

Las Vegas Raiders

  1. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

  2. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU

  3. Malcolm Koonce, DE, Buffalo

  4. Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech

  5. Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri

  6. Nate Hobbs, CB, Illinois

  7. Jimmy Morrissey, C, Pittsburgh

I think Leatherwood was a bit of a reach, but they made up for it with Moehrig in the second. He is the best safety in this draft, especially covering deep. GM Mike Mayock told NFL Network he sees Leatherwood as a right tackle, which perfectly suits his game. At this point, Leatherwood is more of a power player, which tends to be trait in right tackles. Vegas clearly believed it had an issue at safety and drafted three players at the position. Deablo is a large player for a safety and can fit the backup strong safety or even coverage linebacker role. Gillespie has upside but is probably a special teams player right now. Morrissey, a former walk-on, is a scrappy offensive lineman on the interior. He's a little light and should add weight to his frame. Great player to take a chance on late.

Los Angeles Chargers

  1. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

  2. Asante Samuel, CB, Florida State

  3. Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee

  4. Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia

  5. Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke

  6. Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska

  7. Nick Niemann, LB, Iowa

  8. Larry Rountree III, RB, Missouri

  9. Mark Webb, S, Georgia

The Chargers landed a franchise tackle in the first round and finally have a decent offensive line. Slater should slide right in as the offensive tackle opposite Bryan Bulaga. Michael Davis had a solid rebound season in 2020, but the Bolts needed to find a CB2. They landed a pretty good one with great NFL bloodlines in Asante Samuel Jr. I still think Samuel is better suited for the slot, but, with Chris Harris already filling that role, it looks like they will use him on the outside. The rest of the draft was full of reaches. Plenty of people liked Palmer in the draft process, but his college production did not warrant a 3rd round selection. The same can be said for McKitty, who had just six catches at Georgia last year and only 568 yards in his career. Rumph fits in as a rotational pass rusher, while the others will fight to make the team. The one area I would have liked to see them address was defensive tackle. They don't have a ton of depth there and could be in trouble with Linval Joseph entering free agency after the season.

Los Angeles Rams

  1. Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

  2. Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina

  3. Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M

  4. Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas

  5. Jacob Harris, WR, Central Florida

  6. Earnest Brown IV, DE, Northwestern

  7. Jake Funk, RB, Maryland

  8. Ben Skowronek, WR, Notre Dame

  9. Chris Garrett, EDGE, Concordia St. Paul

The Rams once again did not have a pick until the third round. They used that pick to add a weapon for new QB Matthew Stafford. Louisville's Tutu Atwell can absolutely fly and torch defenders. However, he is incredibly small-- weighing in at 155 lbs. If he can bulk up and keep his speed, LA becomes even more dangerous. The Rams certainly needed some depth at linebacker, and Jones is a guy who can push for a starting job. He was taken a little early, but he's a smart player with the nose for the football and the kind of guy the Rams have been able to develop. Harris has been an intriguing prospect over the last couple of months. He wasn't the go-to guy for UCF, but teams reportedly love his size and some even think he can switch to tight end. At 6'5", he can easily be used as a redzone threat. Bobby Brown should be in the rotation at nose tackle, while Earnest Brown IV has promise as a situational pass-rusher. Rochell is one of the top small school prospects and looks like the No.4 corner already on this roster.

Miami Dolphins

  1. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

  2. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami

  3. Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

  4. Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

  5. Hunter Long, TE, Boston College

  6. Larnel Coleman, OT, UMass

  7. Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati

The first thing Miami did was reunite QB Tua Tagovailoa with college teammate Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is another player who can absolutely fly and is and outstanding route runner. His familiarity with Tua should allow him to get up to speed quickly. The Dolphins also landed the drafts best pass-rusher with Phillips and a versatile, ball[hawking safety with Holland. Phillips rose quickly up boards after a great season and will look to bring that to the league. Holland is a safety by trade and can play against slot receivers if needed. Eichenberg was a standout on an incredible offensive line at Notre Dame and should challenge for a role from day one. I really like the addition of Long. The Dolphins had Mike Gesicki at tight end, but he is more of a receiver than blocker. Long has both blocking and receiving ability, which will allow Miami to use Gesicki in a more natural receiving tight end role and keep Long in line. The two can also cause quite the challenge for defenses when used together.

Minnesota Vikings

  1. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

  2. Kellen Mond, QB, Minnesota

  3. Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina

  4. Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State

  5. Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh

  6. Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State

  7. Camryn Bynum, DB, Cal

  8. Janarius Robinson, DE, Florida State

  9. Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa

  10. Zach Davison, TE, Central Missouri

  11. Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh

As has been a common occurrence under GM Rick Spielman, Minnesota had a bevy of picks this year. After trading down in the first round, the Vikings made another investment in the offensive line with Christian Darrisaw, who is in line to start Week 1. In the third round, the team surprised some by taking quarterback Kellen Mond. Some analysts twisted this into a Kirk Cousins story, but the reality is Mond is just upgraded competioton on the depth chart. I have always said I don't see Mond as an NFL QB, so they could be right back here once Cousins's contract ends. Chazz Surratt is a developing linebacker and will need patience. He has only played two years at the position since switching from quarterback, yet has great traits for a three-down outside linebacker. Davis is a further improvement for an offensive line that has had plenty of struggles. Jones and Robinson will be welcome additions for depth on the d-line since there really isn't much behind starters Danielle Hunter and Stephen Weatherly. Twyman is good value in the 7th. Prior to opting out of 2020, he was considered a fringe first rounder. If he still plays the same way, he should have no problem making the team and even cracking the rotation.

New England Patriots

  1. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

  2. Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama

  3. Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma

  4. Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma

  5. Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

  6. Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri

  7. William Sherman, OT, Colorado

  8. Tre Nixon, WR, Central Florida

Many thought New England was a prime candidate to trade up for a QB, particularly as rumors swirled of Mac Jones landing in San Francisco. Instead, the Pats stayed put and the player they wanted feel to them at 15 overall. The offense just didn't run well enough with Cam Newton last year, and, while there's a chance Newton may be the starter at the beginning of the season, Jones fits this offense perfectly as the heir apparent. Bellichick's offense doesn't really on uber-athletic, fast quarterbacks. It is much more designed for pocket passers, which is what Jones does best. They also beefed up the defensive line with Barmore and Perkins. Barmore was the best DT in the draft and is a great pass-rusher form the interior while being extremely athletic for his build. The key in his professional development will be motivation and effort. Perkins can play d-end or outside linebacker and fits the mold the Pats like in that position. Stevenson could become the short yardage back in the backfield by committee approach the team usually uses. McGrone will add competition to a somewhat suspect linebacker group, while the rest will hope to become the latest late-round gem developed by this staff.

New Orleans Saints

  1. Payton Turner, DE, Houston

  2. Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State

  3. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

  4. Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame

  5. Landon Young, OT, Kentucky

  6. Kawaan Baker, WR, South Alabama

Turner's draft stock skyrocketed in the offseason and New Orleans took him late in the first round. His impressive 6'6", 270 lb build fits perfectly at defensive end in the NFL, and he will challenge for a starting spot opposite Cam Jordan. Werner is a linebacker who fits well in this scheme because of his ability to cover. He's bigger than he looks and moves well for his size. He would be a good fit at outside linebacker in most schemes and should be the top backup for Demario Davis. Adebo gives them more length at corner and could take over at CB2. Corners take time to develop, but there is not a ton of depth there on this roster. Book is drawing size and playing-style comparisons to the recently retired Drew Brees. He's in a great situation to develop, but will be behind Taysom Hilll and Jameis WInston. If it doesn't work out with those two over the next couple of seasons, Book could have a chance to become the starter.

New York Giants

  1. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

  2. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia

  3. Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida

  4. Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa

  5. Gary Brightwell, RB, Arizona

  6. Rodarius Williams, CB, Oklahoma State

The Giants continue to give Daniel Jones every chance to succeed. After signing Kenny Golladay in free agency, they added a speed receiver in Toney, who may have been the faster player in this class. Although small in stature, Toney can be used in many ways-- as a receiver, as a running back, and as a kick returner-- and is incredible at making defenders miss in the open field. He should really be considered more of an offensive weapon than receiver, and his skillset brings even more to a suddenly loaded offense. Ojulari fell to them perfectly in the 2nd round and they snatched up a premier pass-rusher. Smith has the potential to reach that mark as well, but he is more raw at this point. Williams should have been drafted earlier. He had an incredible year at Oklahoma State and was the only FBS corner to allow no more than 10 catches in over 240 snaps.

New York Jets

  1. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

  2. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

  3. Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss

  4. Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

  5. Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn

  6. Michael Carter II, S, Duke

  7. Jason Pinnock, CB, Pittsburgh'

  8. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

  9. Brandin Echols, CB, Kentucky

  10. Jonathan Marshall, DT, Arkansas

The Jets used their first few picks to improve the offense, even with a defensive head coach. Obviously, Wilson has high upside and the front office is giving him what he needs to succeed. Vera-Tucker played tackle in college but was drafted as a guard and should start instantly. Moore adds a deep threat and speed that has been missing. Carter should have every chance to compete in a backfield that disappointed last season. The remaining picks are all high ceiling but dangerously low floor defenders.

Philadelphia Eagles

  1. Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

  2. Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama

  3. Milton Williams, DL, Louisiana Tech

  4. Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech

  5. Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis

  6. Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC

  7. Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina

  8. JaCoby Stevens, S, LSU

  9. Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane

The Eagles got a weapon for Jalen Hurts and a true No.1 receiver. Heisman trophy winner Devonta Smith is about as complete of a receiver as you can find and was the THIRD taken in this draft. He'll have to answer some questions about his size through his play on the field, but he's exactly what Philly needed. Dickerson would have been the top interior offensive lineman in this class without his injury and can start at guard immediately before taking over for Jason Kelce at center when he decides to retire. I've read some good things about Milton Williams, but the Eagles clearly wanted another player at that spot. Nonetheless, he can slide right into the rotation as a top backup at defensive tackle. Pass coverage has been an issue for a while in Philadelphia. McPhearson will likely play in the slot but could even push Avonte Maddox for a starting spot due to the lack of depth. It'd be easy to say they should have addressed that earlier, but the other players they picked certainly improved the team.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

  2. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

  3. Kendrick Green, OL, Illinois

  4. Dan Moore Jr, OT, Texas A&M

  5. Buddy Johnson, LB, Texas A&M

  6. Isaiahh Loudermilk, DL, Wisconsin

  7. Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami

  8. Tre Norwood, CB, Oklahoma

  9. Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech

This looks like a Steelers draft. Najee Harris is as perfect a running back for this offense as you can make. Freiermuth adds more to the offense in the mold of a lesser Heath Miller. Green and Moore were slight reaches, while Loudermilk, Johnson, and Roche seem like stereotypical Steeler defenders-- built with immense size, strength, and toughness.

San Francisco 49ers

  1. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

  2. Aaron Banks, OL, Notre Dame

  3. Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State'

  4. Ambry Thomas, CB, Michigan

  5. Jaylon Moore, OL, Western Michigan

  6. Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon

  7. Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC

  8. Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana

The Niners went with the less experienced but more athletic and mobile quarterback in Lance. He will add an element to this offense that Kyle Shanahan has seldom had in his career. It remains to be seen if he will start or spend a year on the bench. Thomas and Hufanga really fit the kind of defenders for which the 49ers and much of the NFC West have become known. Lenoir is a smaller corner, who fits best as a nickel and can even play some safety. Sermon and Mitchell will challenge the running backs after great college careers. Sermon is much more of a power runner, while Mitchell is the quicker of the two.

Seattle Seahawks

  1. D'Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan

  2. Tre Brown, DB, Oklahoma

  3. Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida

Seattle didn't have much to work with this year. Russell Wilson complained about his protection up front, and the Seahawks did not address it until the seventh round. Eskridge will deepen the receiving corps and make the unit even faster with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Brown is a fringe roster player.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  1. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

  2. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

  3. Robert Hainsey, OL, Notre Dame

  4. Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas

  5. KJ Britt, LB, Auburn

  6. Chris Wlcox, CB, BYU

  7. Grant Stuard, S/LB, Houston

Tryon is a good pass rusher and seems like an insurance policy for when they eventually lose Jason Pierre-Paul, who may be nearing the end of his career. Trask gets a lot of flack about his arm strength and lack of athleticism, but sitting behind Brady with this coaching staff is a perfect scenario for a developmental QB with promising upside. Hainsey further shores up the offensive line and Darden adds another weapon with speed to go along with Evans, Brown, Godwin, Miller, Gronk, and the rest of the group. Britt moves well for a big linebacker and is a sure tackler. Wilcox and Stuard will have to battle for special teams spots, which fits Stuard's game perfectly.

Tennessee Titans

  1. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

  2. Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

  3. Monty Rice, LB, Georgia

  4. Elijah Molden, DB, Washington

  5. Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville

  6. Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh

  7. Racey McMath, WR, LSU

  8. Brady Breeze, S, Oregon

Some thought that Farley's recent back surgery would keep him out of the first round, but Tennessee took a chance on the big, physical corner. Farley hasn't played in a year and the surgery will make his return more difficult. While the pick fits a need and has high upside, it was a big gamble to take. Molden can slide into the slot corner spot or play safety if they see him as a better fit there. His height may cause some challenges, but he is great at reading the QB. Radunz should immediately become the team's starting right tackle in the wake of the Isaiah Wilson drama. He is a perfect fit for the position and makes the offensive line better from day one. Veteran Josh Reynolds is suddenly WR2 on the roster, and Fitzpatrick and McMath will have every chance to become WR3 with the lack of depth. Rice fits best in the middle of a defense and is going to a great situation. The Titans already have Jayon Brown, Rashaan Evans, and David Long as inside backers for their 3-4 scheme, so Rice does not have to be an immediate starter. However, he does need to develop quickly as both Brown and Evans are due to hit free agency in 2022.

Washington Football Team

  1. Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

  2. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas

  3. Benjamin St. Juste, CB, Minnesota

  4. Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina

  5. John Bates, TE, Boise State

  6. Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati

  7. Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan

  8. William Bradley-King, EDGE, Baylor

  9. Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State

  10. Dax Milne, WR, BYU

Washington has an elite defensive line, yet needed some upgrades in the back seven. Davis is an immediate upgrade over Jon Bostic at middle linebacker. He is simply more athletic and has better instincts. St. Juste is one of the bigger corners in this class and is already the 3rd or 4th best on this team. His development will be important to the future of this defense. Darrick Forrest could be an influential player there as well. Offensively, Washington needed a second offensive tackle and some more skill players. Cosmi may be a day one starter, and Dyami Brown gives them a good receiving threat to go with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. He should see plenty of passes now that the team doesn't need to solely rely on McLaurin as it has since he entered the league. They also attempted to improve the tight end position with Bates. Looking at the roster, he could already be considered TE2. Going forward, they will need to address the quarterback position and the secondary.

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