So, the 32 First Round Picks of the 2021 NFL Draft are in the bag and as always, there were a few surprises to be had in the draft this year, and of course the Raiders gave everybody the customary “they did what?!” moment when they announced their pick.
Here’s how the First Round panned out:
NFL Draft 2021 First Round Selections
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB) Clemson
- New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB) BYU
- San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance (QB) NDSU
- Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts (TE) Florida
- Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase (WR) LSU
- Miami Dolphins – Jaylen Waddle (WR) Alabama
- Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell (OT) Oregon
- Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn (CB) South Carolina
- Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain II (CB) Alabama
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Cowboys) – DeVonta Smith (WR) Alabama
- Chicago Bears – Justin Fields (QB) – Ohio State
- Dallas Cowboys – Micah Parsons (LB) Penn State
- Los Angeles Chargers – Rasshawn Slater (T) Northwestern
- New York Jets (via Vikings) – Alijah Vera-Tucker (T) USC
- New England Patriots – Mac Jones (QB) Alabama
- Arizona Cardinals – Zaven Collins (LB) Tulsa
- Las Vegas Raiders – Alex Leatherwood (T) Alabama
- Miami Dolphins – Jaelan Phillips (EDGE) Miami (Fl)
- Washington Football Team – Jamin Davis (LB) Kentucky
- New York Giants – Kadarius Toney (WR) Florida
- Indianapolis Colts – Krity Paye (EDGE) Michigan
- Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley (CB) Virginia Tech
- Minnesota Vikings – Christian Darrisaw (T) Virginia Tech
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris (RB) Alabama
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Travis Etienne (RB) Clemson
- Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome (CB) Northwestern
- Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman (WR) Minnesota
- New Orleans Saints – Payton Turner (EDGE) Houston
- Green Bay Packers – Eric Stokes (CB) Georgia
- Buffalo Bills – Gregory Rousseau (EDGE) Miami (Fl.)
- Baltimore Ravens – Jayson Oweh (EDGE) Penn St
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joel Tryon (EDGE) Washington
The first round of the #NFLDraft is complete.
How did your team do? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZbGrZeCvGT
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) April 30, 2021
NFL Draft First Round Winners
Many experts felt the Bengals needed to protect Joe Burrow with a pick at tackle here, but instead, they snagged the best WR in the draft and Burrows former LSU teammate in Chase. Furthermore, with a number of quality Tackles left available in the second round, they can address that issue there. Nice move by the Bengals.
With three quarterbacks off the board in the first three picks, the Bears made their move, coming in at number 11 to snag Justin Fields. For many the second best quarterback in the draft and for some, a better prospect than Trevor Lawrence. The Bears snagged their quarterback of the franchise and a player who will make a big impact for them and very soon.
I don’t think there is any better feeling in the draft than when you trade down, pick up some great value picks and then still snag the player you wanted in the original spot. I am pretty sure that is what transpired with the Vikings who would have selected Darrisaw at no 14, but instead traded down, picked up two third-round picks and still landed their man with the 23rd pick. Nice work.
NFL Draft First Round Losers
I get why the Panthers went for a Cornerback, they’ve invested in Darnold at QB and want to give him a chance, however Horn didn’t really fit their scheme and they had the best two corners in the draft Patrick Surtain II and Caleb Farley available.
Las Vegas Raiders
You can always rely on the Raiders for a head-scratching moment in the draft and they didn’t disappoint once again. Alex Leatherwood was ranked as the ninth best lineman on most boards, likely to go in the 2nd round. This is another BIG reach by the Raiders.
Green Bay Packers
I don’t know whether the news on Aaron Rodgers wanting out addled the minds of the Packers War Room team, but Eric Stokes is a massive reach. Many had him outside the top ten corners in the draft and he was projected to go as low as the fourth round. Packers needed a corner to slot in alongside Kevin King, but there looked to be better options than Stokes available.
Wait, what did I just say? The Jaguars? But they picked Trevor Lawrence! Yes I agree, Lawrence was the correct pick at Number 1 for the Jags, but they also had another first round pick and snagged Lawrence’s Clemson team mate, running back Travis Etienne. I do feel for James Robinson who had a great year at RB for the Jags as an undrafted free agent, chalking up over 1,000 yards in a team that won one game.
The Jags have needs all over the field, running back wasn’t one of them. Etienne wasn’t even the best running back on the board at this time (Najee Harris was still available) and this pick does smack of another present to their incumbent new quarterback to make him feel right at home.
The problem is the Jags don’t have the quality in other areas of the team to be able to afford to do that with a first round pick on a player that would likely have been available in Round 2.
Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne were both selected by the Jaguars. This is the first time in the Common Draft Era that a QB and RB from the same school went to the same team in first round. pic.twitter.com/10mJilWjTz
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 30, 2021
Intriguing Pick Of The NFL Draft First Round
Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley (CB)
Farley has had serious health issues with his back and ACL in recent years, otherwise he would have likely been a top ten pick in this draft. The Titans made a similar move with Jeffrey Simmonds a couple of years back as he recovered from an ACL and that worked out for them, certainly better than picks for players with behavior issues (Pacman Jones, Isiah Wilson).
If Farley can get healthy, this could be a brilliant bargain pick at a position of real need.
Join us on Monday next week when we will take a look at all picks of the 32 teams and give you our view on which teams will be celebrating a solid draft this year, and which teams’ fans will be scratching their heads and wondering why their teams picked who they did.