2021 draft: first round reactions
A few we expected, a few surprises, and a late ass night -- the first round of new talent in the NFL has found their new homes. My reactions to each pick:
01. Jacksonville Jaguars: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence - Everyone knew this was coming, and now that it's here, it's beautiful. Lawrence has the ability to completely rejuvenate and transform the franchise.
02. New York Jets: BYU QB Zach Wilson - Another one that wasn't a surprise whatsoever. I don't think he's the franchise-transforming QB Lawrence is, but I still think he'll turn out just fine.
03. San Francisco 49ers: NDSU QB Trey Lance - I would have taken Justin Fields with this pick. I don't think Lance is an immediate starter.
04. Atlanta Falcons: Ohio State TE Kyle Pitts - Still ignoring the gaping hole at the quarterback position. But Pitts is a player you can't exactly pass up. Immediate game-changer. Now we can talk about how once again Matt Ryan is surrounded with extreme talent and yet can't win shit.
05. Cincinnati Bengals: LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase - I would have preferred them go offensive lineman here, since Joe Burrow got beat up every Sunday last year, but this isn't a bad pick. And you don't have to worry about them not having a connection.
06. Miami Dolphins: Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle - One of Tua Tagovailoa's biggest problems last season was his lack of weapons.
07. Detroit Lions: Oregon OL Penei Sewell - This is who the Bengals should have taken, but this works here too.
08. Carolina Panthers: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn - They're really sticking with Sam Darnold I guess.
09. Denver Broncos: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II - First things first, Surtain was my pick for Best Dressed. Surtain was my favorite corner in this draft class, and they will for sure need him going up against Mahomes twice a year.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Alabama WR DeVonta Smith - Finally a weapon for Joe Flacco. It only took him four teams.
11. Chicago Bears: Ohio State QB Justin Fields - Other than Lawrence and Wilson, Fields is the best QB in this draft class. The Bears gave up a lot for him, so they must think he's The Guy. I think so too.
12. Dallas Cowboys: Penn State LB Micah Parsons - The Cowboys' linebackers were not great last season. Parsons is an immediate upgrade.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater - The happiest person regarding this pick is definitely Justin Herbert.
14. New York Jets: USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker - They're already making moves to protect their new star quarterback, which is very un-Jets like. Good for them.
15. New England Patriots: Alabama QB Mac Jones - The Patriots have their quarterback of the future (unless he isn't). I was starting to feel bad for him when he started to fall, but he fell right into Bill Belichick's lap. Not a bad spot to be.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins - One of my "Perfect Fit" picks. Arizona has a ton of talent on offense, and this adds some on the other side of the ball.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood - No quarterback for Vegas, either. This was the lone "what's going on" pick of this round for me. I don't get this one at all.
18. Miami Dolphins: Miami (FL) DE Jaelan Phillips - Talented guy, but the medical history worries me. Interesting choice.
19. Washington Football Team: Kentucky LB Jamin Davis - I like this pick a lot for Washington. Dan Snyder must be locked on his yacht again.
20. New York Giants: Florida WR Kadarius Toney - Daniel Jones should be bouncing off the walls with this pick. An immediate starter that adds to an offense that improved last season without their biggest asset (Saquon Barkley was injured).
21. Indianapolis Colts: Michigan DE Kwity Paye - Probably the best "story" of this draft. Not a bad pick, fills a need, but not sure he's an immediate starter.
22. Tennessee Titans: Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley - I heard this guy was in danger of falling because of his injury history. That's pretty much what it boils down to. Without that, it's a great pick.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Virginia Tech OL Christian Darrisaw - Fills probably one of the biggest needs for the Vikings and might be the best tackle in this draft.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alabama RB Najee Harris - This kid is a good player, but I don't understand taking him here. Maybe that's just the anti-Steelers in me talking.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Clemson RB Travis Etienne - Another pick I don't really understand, because James Robinson is great already, but it makes sense with Trevor.
26. Cleveland Browns: Northwestern CB Gregory Newsome II - Good player, but I feel like they have bigger holes than corner. Andrew Berry is a wizard though, so I'll trust him on this one.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman - Almost would have preferred an offensive lineman here, but now the Ravens have zero excuses. I better not hear the "Lamar Jackson doesn't have enough weapons" excuse ever. Again.
28. New Orleans Saints: Houston DL Payton Turner - This was probably the Saints' biggest need, but I am just unsure of the player here.
29. Green Bay: Georgia CB Eric Stokes - I almost forgot this pick even happened, because of all the Aaron Rodgers drama. I like this pick though, and the fit.
30. Buffalo Bills: Miami DE Gregory Rousseau - I think the Bills got a steal here. He fell because he opted out. If he gets back into his groove, he'll be an impact player. Rich get richer.
31. Baltimore Ravens: Penn State DE Jayson Oweh - Zero sacks.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Washington DE Joe Tryon - The Bucs got their entire Super Bowl team back together so it honestly didn't matter who the hell they drafted here. Defensive end is a position they could afford some depth and to get younger at.
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