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2021 Draft Grades
Published at 5/4/2021 4:52:58 PM

I will be grading each pick in the 2021 draft.

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Round 1

1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, Quarterback, Clemson

Grade = A+
Everyone knew this would be the pick and it was the correct one. Lawrence is not only the top QB in this draft but the top QB of the last few years.

2. Jets: Zach Wilson, Quarterback, BYU

Grade = C
I don't like this pick at all. I had Justin Fields constantly as my #2 QB in this draft. Fields has better size, mobility and winning history. Wilson had one good season against bad teams. The only good team BYU played (Costal Carolina) they lost too. Fields lead Ohio State to the playoffs two years in a row. This reminds me of when I said Deshaun Watson should be a higher pick because he lead Clemson to back to back national championship games and completely destroyed Alabama defenses with 1st round picks both times even though the team lost. The Jets will regret passing on Fields by the end of their rookie contracts.

3. 49ers: Trey Lance, Quarterback, North Dakota State

Grade = F
This is the same as pick two but it's worse because the 49ers traded draft capital to pick the #4 rated QB over the #2 in my opinion. The 49ers traded the #12 pick and a 3rd rounder in 2021, 1st rounder in 2022 and in 2023. This is absolutely WAY too much draft capital to give up for any QB that would be available at this point, even Fields. Now if this was for the #1 pick and Lawrence maybe. Now, I think that Lance has a chance to be better than Wilson because of his elite athleticism and arm strength. But Lance is going to need at least a year or two before he is ready to lead a team. I just can't imagine passing on Justin Fields for Lance.

4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, Tight End, Florida

Grade = B
The only reason this isn't an A is because the Falcons could have taken Justin Fields and had the successor for Ryan. As far as Pitts is concerned he is an A+ prospect that will provide immediate and long term contributions for the Falcons. But will Pitts really take this team to the Super Bowl or even the playoffs? This team has too many holes and needs to focus on rebuilding. Imagine if they draft Fields, let him sit for a year then take over? They already have a solid offense. This pick is a B because they will still have to do a complete rebuild in 2-3 years and find a franchise QB when they could have already had one.

5. Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, LSU

Grade = A
I love this pick, especially over Sewell because playmakers add more value to your team than offensive lineman. They are also reuniting a tandem of players that dominated on the college football scene which is a plus. The only reason this isn't an A+ is because I feel Chase is a similar style of receiver to Boyd and Higgins. I personally think that Waddle or Smith would have been a better choice because it adds a different element to the team. But still a great selection.

6. Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Grade = D
Miami traded back from the No. 3 pick to No. 12, the Dolphins traded up to No. 6 with the Eagles -- who will receive the No. 12 overall pick, No. 123 overall pick (fourth-round pick) and a 2022 first-round pick. Miami will receive the No. 6 pick and the No. 156 overall pick (fifth round). Now most will give this pick a much better grade but my grade has nothing to do with the player. Giving up a 1st round pick to move up 6 places to take a WR is not worth it. Not when there are other quality receivers on the board nor in general. No one player, except franchise QB's, are worth 2 first round draft choices. Now, as a player, I love Waddle I think he is a great player and will have an amazing impact on the game. Now, if Waddle has 10 Pro Bowl seasons and is the next Tyreek Hill than maybe but if you have given up two high class starters for one player then that player must perform at an All Pro level every season to make up the difference.

7. Lions: Penei Sewell, Offensive Tackle, Oregon

Grade = A
I love Sewell as he is the best OT to come out of the draft in several years. He will be a day one starter and high caliber player for years to come. The only reason this isn't an A+ is because playmakers have more value then offensive lineman. The Lions lost the top 2 WR's and Smith is still on the board. I would have taken Smith over Sewell. But I won't harp on it too much.

8. Panthers: Jaycee Horn, Cornerback, South Carolina

Grade = F
This once again has nothing to do with the player. The Panthers are really under the impression that Darnold is better than Fields????? How does a top QB fall into your lap and you pass? This makes no sense to me. Now, I like Horn and I think that he will be a great CB. I also like teams improving the pass defense as it's a key factor to success. But, the Panthers play mostly zone and Horn is a dominate press man coverage CB? The scheme fit seems odd.

9. Broncos: Patrick Surtain, Cornerback, Alabama

Grade = A+
This grade only is an A+ if the Broncos do trade for Aaron Rodgers. Because if they passed on Justin Fields for nothing than I will give them an F like the Panthers. I had not been mocking a QB to the Broncos because I always had the top 4 QB's off the board so in my mind Mac Jones was no clear upgrade of Drew Lock. Surtain is a stud CB with size, speed, experience and performance on the field for the best team in college football. I love teams improving their secondary.

10. Eagles: DeVonta Smith, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Grade = A-
The Eagles traded pick #84 to move up 2 spots to get Smith. That is the only reason this isn't an A+. I love Smith, I think he is dynamic and has torched college football for 2 seasons now including winning the Heisman Trophy last year. I am not concerned about his size because of his level of success at the #1 college program. The other reason this isn't an A+ is because Smith and Reagor seem very similar to me and I am not sure how they fit together. Regardless, it is still the right move and picking playmakers is essential for a good team.

11. Bears: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Ohio State

Grade = A-
In the deal, Chicago received the 11th pick in this year's draft, and sent the No. 20 pick to the Giants, along with a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 fourth-round pick and a fifth-round pick for 2021. I love this move! Finally a team realizing that Fields is falling and taking advantage of it. Fields to me is a clear cut franchise QB and worth 2 first round picks. Fields can come in from day one and make this team a playoff contender with their strong defense. Fields has all the tools needed for success. I personally believe this will be the STEAL of the draft. Multiple teams will regret passing on Fields.

12. Cowboys: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Penn State

Grade = A+
The Cowboys probably wanted Surtain or Horn but will both of them gone they traded back to pick up extra draft capital and still took the best defensive player available. Parson does come with some off the field concerns but on the field, he is a monster. He is super athletic and is best feature may be edge rusher on 3rd downs. For a defense that was mercilessly exposed last year this is the best pick available.

13. Chargers: Rashawn Slater, Offensive Guard, Northwestern

Grade = A+
The Chargers have already had a great off season by improving the offensive line. They still had a hole at LT and Slater fell into the lap and they pounced on him. Perfect scenario to give Herbert even more improvement. Imagine what he can do with having something better than the 2nd worst offensive line according to PFF?

14. Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Offensive Guard, USC

Grade = F
New York sent the 23rd, 66th, and 86th overall picks in the 2021 draft to Minnesota in exchange for the 14th and 143rd selections. Again, not as much to do with the player as the team. Tucker is a solid offensive lineman but with other quality OL in this draft giving up so much draft capital for one player is RIDICULOUS. Especially when you have one of the worst rosters in all of the NFL and you needed those picks to improve your team. I think Tucker is a day one starter and like him as a player. He will help Wilson have better protection.

15. Patriots: Mac Jones, Quarterback, Alabama

Grade = A
I like this pick. The Patriots need a long term answer at QB and Jones is the best available. I like Jones more than some. I don't think had value at #3 overall but at #15 with the other QB's gone this is a natural choice. Jones can sit under Newton and learn the Belichick for a year and then take over. Jones deserves a shot after having an incredible year.

16. Cardinals: Zaven Collins, Outside Linebacker, Tulsa

Grade = B+
This might be a tad too high for Collins as he is a great overall linebacker but not a clear dominant trait. I think is a much better fit in a 3-4 like the Cards run and as an outside linebacker that spends more time rushing the passer. This is a solid but unspectacular pick. I think Darrisaw at LT would have been better.


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