The 2021 NFL Draft is in the bag and already we are hearing from the experts as to which teams improved their standing a lot in the draft, while others picks are being questioned as not addressing their needs.
Here’s our view of who did well and not so well in the draft over the weekend and we will look at the latest odds, provided by BetMGM Sportsbook, on who will be the Super Bowl winner next season to see how much they have been affected by the Draft.
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NFL Draft 2021 Winners
Los Angeles Chargers
I love what the Chargers did in this draft addressing clear needs. They got their left tackle to protect quarterback Justin Herbert and then added a quality cornerback too. Rashawn Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. will make an immediate positive impact while Josh Palmer is a good addition to their offense.
The Dolphins had two picks in both the first and second round so should have had a good draft and they did. Jaylen Waddle, Jaelan Phlllips, Jevon Holland and Liam Eichenberg will all be in contention to start while Hunter Long is a perfect complement to Mike Gesicki. The Bills had better watch out as the Dolphins are coming in the AFC East.
For many years, Browns fans used to approach draft day with trepidation. Not any many. Greg Newsome and Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah are two first round calibre picks, while Anthony Schwartz is a great addition to the receiving corps. The lack of an edge rusher pick was puzzling, but even so, the Browns improved once again with this draft and will be in contention in the AFC North.
NFL Draft 2021 Losers
The Steelers don’t rush the ball much and had plenty of needs in the draft and while Najee Harris is a good player, it isn’t a scheme fit in Steeler town. With their salary cap situation, their QB being maybe one season from retirement and needs especially at corner, as an edge rusher and on the offensive line, I am not ure the Steelers managed to nail it with this draft.
New Orleans Saints
Payton Turner is a talented edge rusher, but I don’t think he offers an upgrade on Cam Jordan or Marcus Davenport. Ian Book will, at best, be third choice and of their entire class, I think only Pete Werner at inside linebacker has a chance of starting come week 1 of the new season. With Drew Brees gone, this looks like being a tough year for the Saints.
Most experts agreed that the Colts needed a tackle to replace Anthony Castonzo, so the fact they took. Two defensive ends in the first two rounds was puzzling. Kwity Paye I think will turn out into a decent pick but they reached on Dayo Odeyingbo in Round 2 and I can’t see a huge amount of talent picked in the later rounds either.
BetMGM Sportsbook Super Bowl Odds Post-Draft
Looking at the odds for the Super Bowl next season, not a huge amount has changed at the top of the betting with BetMGM Sporsbook. The Chiefs and Bucs still lead the way ahead of teams like the Bills, Rams, Ravens, 49ers and Browns.
The Packers have drifted slightly in the odds, chiefly due to the uncertainty over Aaron Rodgers future with the team. Re-signing Dak Prescott has seen the Cowboys odds shorten slightly to 25/1 while I am a little bemused that the Broncos are 20/1 as I can’t see where they have made major upgrades either in free agency or the draft.
If you want two teams at longer odds to consider then the Chargers and Dolphins, both at 30/1, are intriguing options but with relatively young quarterbacks at the helm, it may be a season or two early for them both.
If you want a team to break the Chiefs/Bucs stranglehold, then my tip would be those improving Cleveland Browns. They play in a very tough division, but if they can keep their key personnel healthy, then I think they have a team well capable of a Super Bowl run this coming season.