The 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone. Yes, it’s been a few days, but it’s better late than never when it comes to naming the winners and losers. Overall, this was a fantastic draft. There were surprise picks, trades and just in general, unexpected moments. That’s all you can ask for when it comes to the NFL Draft. However, it’s time to go over who the winners and losers are of this draft. Despite this draft being one of better ones in recent years, some teams really took a mean L or walked away with a W.
Let’s start off with the winners. These are the teams who overall had themselves a weekend. They will remember this weekend for all the right reasons.
New England Patriots
The Patriots had themselevs a fantastic draft. They got the quarterback they wanted, they beefed up the defensive line and secondary even more, got offensive line help and even drafted a wide receiver who is being considered as a sleeper pick. That’s solid. Obviously the main story here is that Mac Jones is a Patriot. Was it the right choice? Time will tell. But, out of all the quarterbacks, he’s the best system quarterback in the draft and he will fit nicely in New England. The Patriots got their quarterback of the future.
The first surprise pick of the night went to the Miami Dolphins who took Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle sixth overall. A reunion is happening in Miami as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa now has one of his college teammates with him in Miami. What else did Miami do? At pick 18 they took Jaelan Phillips the defensive end from Miami who is a tackle machine. They also improved their secondary by taking safety Jevon Holland from Oregon. They got offensive line help taking two tackles and a tight end, and then a running back to close out their draft. Wow. Miami dominated everyone in this draft. They loaded up to challenge Buffalo in the AFC East next season.
New York Giants
For the first time ever, general manager Dave Gettleman traded down to get the steal of the first round. Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney is heading to New York Giants to join an underrated wide receiving core. Daniel Jones wide receiving core is complete… for now. Other than Toney, the Giants drafted all defense except for one running back. The Giants took first round talent lineback Azeez Ojulari from Georgia. They also selected two cornerbacks and another linebacker. The NFC East is wide open the Giants picked smartly to challenge for that division crown next year.
The Panthers spoiled the Cowboys chances of taking one of the best cornerbacks in the draft when they selected Jaycee Horn at eight. Horn will be a huge help to an ailing secondary in Carolina. The Panthers weren’t done there. They got Sam Darnold help, and a lot of it. Their next picks were wide receiver, offensive tackle, tight end and running back Chuba Hubbard from Oklahoma State. Yes, the Panthers backfield now consists of Christian McCaffrey and Chuba Hubbard. After Hubbard, they took two defensive tackles, a cornerback, another wide receiver and a long snapper. They also took Deonte Brown, offensive guard from Alabama who could be the steal of the draft. Carolina really out did themseleves.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert has protection! Rashawn Slater is considered the second best offensive tackle in this draft and was already being hyped up to have a Hall of Fame career. In the second round they took Asante Samel Jr from Florida State. Samuel had the talent to go in the first round as he was one of the best cornerbacks in this draft. The Chargers got Herbert more protection and wide receiver and tight end and then chose to add more depth to the secondary. Personally, I loved this draft for the Chargers and I’d say overall they had the best. Every team need addressed.
There weren’t as many losers as winners. But these teams really had a regretful weekend and really let their fans down.
Green Bay Packers
This is the look of every Packers fan after this weekend. YIKES! That’s how to describe what happened in Green Bay. Before the draft even started, it was reported that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay for multiple reasons. So what do the Packers do? That’s right, they take a cornerback to start off the draft once again ignoring the biggest need of all, wide receiver. See what Rodgers wants out? Speaking of Rodgers, the Packers did take a receiver, just not until the third round. It’s Amari Rodgers from Clemson. Ironic its the same initals. Rodgers was the only receiver taken. Green Bay mainly went defense and offensive line and then took Kylin Hill, running back from Mississippi State. Yes, another running back. Green Bay once again, fails at drafting.
This was a draft to forget for Houston. Their first selection didn’t even come until the third round where they did take a quarterback. They took Davis Mills from Stanford. Okay, but Houston should have made an attempt to move up if they wanted to go quarterback. The only good thing I can say about Houston’s draft is Brevin Jordan, the tight end from Miami. That’s a great pick and Houston should see success from him. That’s it though. The other picks were wide receiver, linebacker and defensive tackle. Yawn. Boring!
New Orleans Saints
Congrats to the New Orleans Saints for being this year’s ultimate loser in the NFL Draft. You’d think they’d go quarterback early right? Wrong! They took Payton Turner an edge rusher from Houston to start off the draft. This was the worst pick of the first round. They had two picks that could work out for them, that’s it. Pete Werner the linebacker from Ohio State and Ian Book the quarterback from Notre Dame. Other than that, this draft is horrible. A cornerback, wide receiver and offensive tackle is all that’s left for this draft. Not a great start for New Orleans after the Drew Brees era.
The NFL Draft did not disappoint. Overall, it was great to watch and cover the first round! Now that the draft is over, we are one step closer to football being back! Just a few more months until were all screaming at our favorite football teams again every Sunday!
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– Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)