2021 NFL Draft Recap

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books, and the fans of 31 teams have a reason to feel optimistic about the future.The one exception being the Houston Texans, who didn’t have a pick until the third round, and then promptly used that pick to foretell even more pain for the future.

Get Your Quarterbacks

As expected, the top three picks in the draft were quarterbacks, with the first two — Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the Jets — going as predicted. The 49ers threw a bit of curveball when they drafted Trey Lance.

Break up the Bears, who moved up to grab Justin Fields at 11th overall. Anything can happen in the development of Fields, but we can say with certainty that Chicago will be more fun to watch this season. And Fields spares Bears fans from having to talk themselves into Andy Dalton.

The last of the first-round QBs was Mac Jones, who fell to the Patriots at 15. He had been rumored to be the pick at No. 3 for San Francisco but said that New England is exactly where he wanted to go.

Other Quarterback Picks

Quarterbacks were selected with the first three picks in the draft for the third time in draft history and the first time since 1999. And overall, there were eight quarterbacks taken in the first three rounds for the first time in draft history.

Florida’s Kyle Trask was taken by the Buccaneers with the 64th pick in the draft, instantly making him the heir apparent to Tom Brady. He becomes the 13th different quarterback tasked with pushing Brady to retirement.

The Vikings drafted Kellen Mond from Texas A&M, but analytics suggest that a quarterback taken at No. 66 has just an 11% chance of becoming a starter. So Kirk Cousins remains safe for the time being.

The Houston Texans, with their first pick in the draft, took Stanford’s Davis Mills with the 67th overall pick. Mills made just 11 starts in college, has a history of injuries, and remains a massive project at the quarterback position. The only reason the Texans would make such a pick when so many other needs exist is that they don't see Deshaun Watson playing in Houston ever again.

Biggest Winners

Cleveland Browns

Browns fans got to enjoy hosting the NFL Draft and seeing their playoff team add a number of great pieces to make the team even better.

Their top two picks — Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II and Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah — are huge talents that will give Cleveland’s defense even more speed.

And speaking of speed, the fastest player in the draft, Auburn wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, is now a member of the Browns. If he can become a consistent producer, he will be a nightmare for defenses.

Though they edge closer to success, the Browns still trail the Baltimore Ravens in odds to win the AFC North this upcoming season. The Ravens offer +115 odds compared to Cleveland’s +150.

AFC East

The entire AFC East had a very good draft, and that is shaping up to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.

The Dolphins added Alabama star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to its weaponry. They also got a top pass rusher in Jaelen Phillips and a new right tackle in Liam Eichenberg.

The Jets offense has a new quarterback in Zach Wilson, a potential steal at wide receiver with Elijah Moore, and a top guard in Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Buffalo’s already good defense added a pair of pass rushers with Gregory Rousseau from Miami and Carlos Basham, Jr. from Wake Forest. They also added great depth along the offensive line with tackles Spencer Brown and Tommy Doyle.

The Patriots' big win came at quarterback when they got one of the big five (Mac Jones) without having to make a trade up.

Biggest Losers

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos added a number of good players, but they could have had either Justin Fields or Mac Jones, but they passed. Unless Aaron Rodgers ends up in their lap, either Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater will be their quarterback in 2021.

With a terrible defense in 2020, the Raiders used their first-round pick on an offensive tackle most had slated for the second round.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints went into the draft needing a cornerback but waited until the fourth round to select Paulson Adebo from Stanford. The Indianapolis Colts have a hole at left tackle, and they finished the draft with that hole still there.

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