2021 NFL Draft: Top 5 Picks

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Cory Fravel

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The NFL Draft takes place once every NFL offseason. Each team has 1 pick in every round of the draft. In the draft, amateur and semi-professional college football players are chosen to play for an NFL team that chooses them. The NFL teams can choose whichever player that they want that is eligible to be drafted. Usually, picks are based on how good and how bad a team does in the season. For example, if a team gets the most losses in the regular season, they get the first pick and if a team wins the Super Bowl, they get the 32nd pick. Teams can also trade picks for players or other picks. For example, you can trade a first round pick and another player in your roster for a higher first round pick. There are 32 picks in every round and there are 7 rounds in every draft. The 2021 draft had many skilled college players, especially at the quarterback position. The Jacksonville Jaguars had the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Without surprise, with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence, quarterback from Clemson. In the 2020 NCAA season, Lawrence went 231/334 passing, with 3153 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. He went into the draft being one of, if not the best quarterback in this year’s draft. “If this isn’t a moment to enjoy for me and for all the Jags fans, you need more coffee or you need something else,” said Jaguars owner Shad Khan on drafting Lawrence. “This is a great-to-be-alive kind of moment, frankly.”

With the second pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Zach Wilson, quarterback from BYU. In 2020, Wilson went 247/336 passing with 3692 yards passing and 33 touchdowns. The Jets were the worst team in the league until winning the last 2 out of 3 games in the regular season, making their record 2-14 and the Jacksonville Jaguars record 1-15. Many people thought the Jets were tanking to get the number 1 overall pick so it surprised many people when they won those 2 games and moved up to pick 2. For those who don’t know, tanking is when a team loses games on purpose to have some type of competitive advantage for the future. For example, the Jets tried losing games on purpose to get a higher pick in the draft.

With the third pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance, quarterback from North Dakota State. Lance went 192/287 passing in 2019. He had 2786 yards passing and 28 touchdowns. Lance was a good pick by the 49ers and I think he will be a good fit in the niners’ system with their star tight end George Kittle to help him out. This looks like Lance will be replacing the 49ers’ starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who brought the niners to Super Bowl 54. However, the Niners ended up losing the game to the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-20.

The Atlanta Falcons ended up with the 4th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and they selected Kyle Pitts, tight end from Florida. Pitts came into the draft with a 96.2 PFF (Pro Football Focus) grade in 2020, which is the highest they have ever given to a pass-catcher over a single season. In 2020, Pitts had 43 receptions for 770 yards. He scored 12 touchdowns and averaged 17.9 yards per reception. “Pitts is a hybrid tight end/receiver with a rare blend of size, length and top-end speed. He’s a matchup problem whether he lines up in-line, works out of the slot or splits out wide.” -Steve Muench. Pitts was probably the best tight end in the draft. This was definitely a successful pick for the Falcons.

With the 5th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver from LSU. This was a surprise that the Bengals decided to reunite the LSU wideout with his former LSU quarterback, Joe Burrow, who was the number one pick in the 2020 season. Chase opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19. In 2019, Chase had 84 receptions for 1780 yards. He had 20 touchdowns and averaged 5.0 yards per reception.

You may be asking yourself “Well, where did the Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith get drafted to?” Well, Devonta Smith was drafted 10th overall to the Philadelphia Eagles. The eagles originally had the 12th overall pick until they traded with the Dallas Cowboys for the 10th overall pick. The Cowboys ended up taking linebacker Micah Parsons with the 12th pick. This was a great season with many great players making their dreams of playing in the NFL come true. Let’s see what the 2021 rookies have in store for the next season.