2021 NFL Draft: Biggest Winners and Losersby Alex Barbour May 3, 2021 0 comments
The 2021 NFL Draft was one of the most entertaining in recent memory. Many superstars fell, and extreme reaches were flying left, right, and center. Let’s delay no longer and get into selecting the biggest winners and losers of the draft!
Denver Broncos (A+)
Selections: Patrick Surtain (B), Javonte Williams (A), Quinn Meinerz (A+), Baron Browning (A), Caden Sterns (A-), Jamar Johnson (A+), Seth Williams (A+), Kary Vincent Jr. (A), Jonathan Cooper (A), and Marquiss Spencer (C).
The Denver Broncos had by far the best draft. Almost every pick was amazing value. Even Surtain was a great pick whose impact will be felt next year when Kyle Fuller most likely will leave. The Broncos had a steal at every turn, and their team is loaded because of it. Add a competent quarterback, and Denver will hold the Lombardi trophy once again.
Chicago Bears (A+)
The Bears’ draft gave their fanbase hope once again. With a new quarterback and tackle, the future looks bright for this offense. Newsome will replace Anthony Miller, who may be replaced for more draft capital. Graham will have a day-one impact in the slot, and Tonga will make his presence felt on passing downs. The Bears were one of few to ace the draft.
Seattle Seahawks (A)
The Seattle Seahawks had very few picks in this draft, but they made the most of them. All three of these picks, none of which were in the first round, will most likely start one day. Eskridge will start most likely in the slot, Brown will start day one, and Forsythe will be an amazing swing tackle with the potential to start. It is noteworthy that Tamorrion Terry and Cade Johnson signed in free agency to add depth to this receiving corps.
Philadelphia Eagles (A-)
Selections: DeVonta Smith (C+), Landon Dickerson (A-), Milton Williams (A-), Zech McPhearson (B), Kenny Gainwell (A), Marlon Tuipulotu (B+), Tarron Jackson (B), JaCoby Stevens (A), and Patrick Johnson (A).
The Philadelphia Eagles focused heavily on defense later in this draft after targeting offense with the top picks. The board fell in a way that allowed them to acquire talent at a great value for positions of future need. The trade-up for Smith may have been at the cost of Ifeatu Melifonwu, who may have started for the Eagles. McPhearson has a chance to start at a high level, but those chances are not great.
Carolina Panthers (A-)
Selections: Jaycee Horn (B-), Terrace Marshall Jr. (A), Brady Christensen (D+), Tommy Tremble (A-), Chuba Hubbard (B+), Daviyon Nixon (A+), Keith Taylor Jr. (A+), Deonte Brown (A), Shi Smith (A-), Thomas Fletcher (B-), and Phil Hoskins (F).
The Panthers were very hit-or-miss when it came to their picks. Luckily for Carolina, the hits were on day-one impacts. Marshall replaces Curtis Samuel in the slot seamlessly, and Horn will be a major addition in a year’s time. Do not forget Taylor, who can also start someday. Many of these picks look like they will not just make the roster but one day make a starting lineup.
Miami Dolphins (C)
The Dolphins reached on every pick. Only three will start, but at what cost? Eichenberg is a great talent, but it is hard to understand his role. He may be talented, but the Notre Dame product is not talented enough to change an entire offensive line’s positions like Penei Sewell would have. Holland was not the best safety in the class, yet he was picked first. Long seemed to be picked just to match the Patriots and their tight-end corps. This draft needed to be a major hit, yet it was a major whiff.
Los Angeles Rams (C)
The Rams are in win-now mode. Atwell was beyond a reach for a gadget player with an extremely low floor. Apart from Rochell, Jones was the best pick, but he is extremely raw and will not, or should not, start year one. The Rams needed impact players, yet they got none essentially. Harris will be a nice Gerald Everett replacement, but he is unproven as a tight end. This certainly lowers any hope of a Super Bowl for Los Angeles.
Indianapolis Colts (C+)
The Colts desperately needed to fix their defensive and offensive lines. The defensive line was completed, albeit Odeyingbo was a reach, but the offensive line was not. There still is a major hole at left tackle. Fries cannot start day one, especially if Carson Wentz wants to survive. This draft certainly halts any hope of a major playoff push with their new signal-caller.
San Francisco 49ers (C+)
The 49ers lost an enormous amount of draft capital to acquire their franchise quarterback. Apart from Lance, not many of these players are much to write home about. Banks was a reach at a position of need, Sermon was unnecessary, and Lenoir was a reach on a player that they did not originally want. Moore was solid value, but he is a backup. Hufanga is a great value but will not have much of a role for now, and Mitchell is a solid value but will have a very limited role. These picks lack impact. When San Francisco loses their top draft picks, the impact is the one thing that they needed to prioritize.
Tennessee Titans (C+)
On paper, the Titans draft is not too shabby. They got some excellent value at positions of need. The issue lies in the vacancy at wide receiver. Fitzpatrick and, especially McMath, were both reaches that will most likely have zero impact on this roster. The secondary and the receiving corps were desperate for filling, yet only one was. Ryan Tannehill cannot work with only A.J. Brown, who was seen crying when Elijah Moore was taken by the Jets. Derrick Henry will have even more of a load to carry without much talent on the offensive side beside him.