2021 NFL Draft: Round 1 Recap


Aidan Garvey

A photo edit created by Aidan Garvey, portraying Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence.

Aidan Garvey, Sports Editor

PICK #1: Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence: QB, Clemson: 

Lawrence has been the top prospect in the FBS since he arrived in Clemson as a freshman. In his three years with the orange and purple, Lawrence has 3 ACC Championships, and 1 National Championship. The strong-armed Quarterback can also escape out of the pocket and make the defense move around. However, he is unproven with a lackluster roster. Clemson has been loaded with star power for his entire tenure; however, Jacksonville is not proven to be a star filled team just yet, so his effectiveness in that organization will have to be proven.

PICK #2: New York Jets

Zach Wilson: QB, BYU:

Wilson proved at his pro day that he was one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the draft. His sheer arm strength mixed with this speed and elusiveness allows Wilson to showcase himself as possibly a future top ten quarterback. Wilson however has an issue with shoulder injuries, but that might not be enough to deter him from a successful NFL career. The New York media has been known to crack young QB’s; however, Joe Douglas (GM) and Robert Saleh (HC) were pleased enough by his film and workouts to make him the highest selected Jets quarterback since Joe Namath.

PICK #3: San Francisco 49ers 

Trey Lance: QB, North Dakota State:

Trey Lance is an impressive player physically. To the naked eye he is a 6’4” quarterback, who is very strong and tough. He couples an impressive arm with solid athleticism to promote his high football IQ. The main question mark for Lance is his inexperience. He only has 1 season of starting experience in college, and only went to college through his sophomore year. This inexperience also pairs with a lack of competition he has played against in 2020. Regardless, with good coaching and a solid organization like San Francisco, Lance will most likely blossom into a great quarterback…. even if it takes him a couple of years.

PICK #4: Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts: TE, Florida:

It isn’t often when a 6’6”, 240 lbs athlete can run a 4.44 second 40- yd-dash. However, when encountering the Florida tight end, the sheer athleticism of Pitts left Atlanta with no choice but to select him. Pitts creates an instant mismatch for defensive backs with his size and speed. He is excellent on the receiving end of the football; however, he is not a forceful blocker, despite his size.

PICK #5: Cincinnati Bengals

Jamar Chase: WR, LSU:

A speedy and elusive wideout, Jamar Chase led LSU to a national championship in 2019 along with Joe Burrow. However, after sitting out the 2020 season, Chase declared for the draft as a top receiver prospect. The speedy and elusive wide receiver, is great in the open field along with off the line. He is on the shorter side, standing 6’0”, and is rusty after not playing for a year. But with proper coaching and guidance, Jamar Chase should make waves in the NFL in no time.

PICK #6: Miami Dolphins

Jaylen Waddle: WR, Alabama

Waddle leaves Alabama after displaying to every scout that he is the real deal. A speedy and elusive wide receiver who is great at getting past defensive backs within seconds. He often brings contested catches down in his favor, despite being only 5’9”. On the downside he is easily brought down by defenders…. That is if they can catch him of course.

PICK #7: Detroit Lions

Penei Sewell: OL, Oregon:

Penei Sewell has been a star Left Tackle at Oregon, and entered the 2021 draft as the top OL prospect. The 6’4” left tackle will have to continue his dominance at the next level. Sewell has quick feet, and excels against speedy edge rushers. However he has excellent stability and can fight off bigger rushers as well. Scouts are concerned with his stamina and overall strength. Regardless of these complaints, those flaws can be easily fixed by some offseason conditioning.

PICK #8:  Carolina Panthers

Jaycee Horn: CB, South Carolina

Horn excels as a man-coverage corner. He preferably plays outside, and his long frame looks to shut down the top receivers in the NFL. The negatives come off the ball. Missed tackles pepper the film tape, as Horn lacks in weight. Off-man coverage is lacking to put it nicely. Although these can be improved by proper coaching, Horn has a decent way to go before he can be regarded as a staple corner in the NFL.

PICK #9: Denver Broncos

Patrick Surtain II: CB, Alabama

Surtain provides Denver with a physical defensive back that shuts down receivers before they even get 5 yards downfield. He is explosive, can get vertical to defend passes and quarterbacks rarely target him. Surtain often gets too explosive however and can be beat by hesitation moves along with other fakes. He is much better in coverage when facing the play and that can be an issue when playing against receivers who tend to run more vertical routes.

PICK #10: Philadelphia Eagles

Devonta Smith: WR, Alabama

Devonta Smith enters the 2021 Draft with an impressive resume; Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion. Smith shows that size doesn’t matter, weighing in at only 175 lbs. The physical disadvantage doesn’t deter Smith however as he was outstanding in 2021 with Alabama. He is a quick and shifty wideout, while also being a disciplined route runner. The main concern with Smith is his size. However a summer in the weight room can change a lot, and Philadelphia believes he will be very successful in the NFL.

PICK #11: Chicago Bears

Justin Fields: QB, Ohio State: 

Fields cemented himself as a top prospect in the 2021 draft in his semifinal game of the CFP against Clemson. Remember?…. He passed for 6 touchdowns and 385 yards in a 49-28 win… just in case you didn’t watch. Fields’ game however is highlighted by his athleticism and running ability. This running ability allows Fields to be a dual threat against defenses, reminding NFL fans of Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson. These steep comparisons provide Fields with some steep expectations to live up to. However Chicago believes he can.

PICK #12: Dallas Cowboys 

Micah Parsons: LB, Penn State

Micah Parsons is a great physical football player. He is explosive to put pressure on the offense, and enforces turnovers via. hard hits. However Parsons lacks in his football instincts. He is often delayed when reading the play in front of him and regardless of his physical stature, his athleticism alone can not always get the job done solo.

PICK #13: Los Angeles Chargers

Rashawn Slater: OL, Northwestern

Although listed as a tackle, Rashawn Slater can also line up as a guard. He is highly efficient in a pass-blocking scheme, and relies on his agility and quickness to deter pressuring linemen. He is less effective in run blocking though, as he seems to encounter difficulty when moving linemen backwards to create gaps for a running back.

PICK #14: New York Jets

Alijah Vera-Tucker: OL, USC

Tucker is a very solid offensive lineman for the Jets. After selecting Zach Wilson at no.2, it was necessary to add to his protection. Tucker excels in run blocking, which the Jets were awful in last year. He will most likely be used at guard to help with interior support as Meckhi Becton has the LT position locked down.

PICK #15: New England Patriots

Mac Jones: QB, Alabama:

Mac Jones’ final season in Crimson skyrocketed his draft stock. Previously projected to be a mid-round pick, Jones’ enticing campaign in the CFP, raised his draft stock to a first round draft pick. A traditional pocket passer, Jones lacks the athleticism to do much outside of the pocket. He will benefit from Coach Belechik’s expertise, but like lack of athleticism is concerning.

PICK #16: Arizona Cardinals

Zaven Collins: LB, Tulsa

Zaven Collins serves as a dual threat linebacker. He can play in coverage as well as joining the pass rush. His versatility should allow him to crack the starting lineup in the Arizona desert right away. However, he is not terrifically quick, which hinders his ability to chase down quicker skill players.

PICK #17: Las Vegas Raiders

Alex Leatherwood: OL, Alabama

Leatherwood was the first “reach” of the 2021 NFL Draft. There was still a 60 percent chance that Leatherwood would still be available when Vegas came back around in round 2. They chose not to chase a more high profile offensive lineman, and went for Leatherwood. Despite being drafted early, Leatherwood contains great qualities like size, and athleticism. Although he tends to be on the weaker side for a lineman and he also has faced trouble when finishing blocks.

PICK #18: Miami Dolphins (2)

Jaelan Phillips: Edge, Miami

Another fundamental player, Phillips exploded onto the scene this past year in South Florida when Gregory Rousseau opted out due to COVID-19. It was then when he gained scouts attention and is now an NFL’er. Phillips puts pressure on the offensive line fast off the snap and works well when moving laterally. He struggles tackling larger opponents and has a past of injuries (minor), along with concussions. Despite this negatives, Phillips will be a star in the NFL if he is properly inserted into the right scheme for him, which I believe will happen in Miami.

PICK #19: Washington Football Team

Jamin Davis: LB, Kentucky

Jamin Davis is an extremely aggressive and smart linebacker who emerged onto the scene this year. Grant it, that is one of the main concerns, he only started to excel, THIS YEAR. I personally believe another year at Kentucky would have been better for his development as a player. I also believe he will do big things in D.C. this coming fall.

PICK #20: New York Giants

Kadarius Toney: WR, Florida

Kadarius Toney has talent for sure, although he begins the separation between “great” and “good” on the draft board. He is fast and elusive but his exclusive talents finish off there. He is a very vanilla receiver, he needs space to be efficient and as a result will be borderline ineffective against man coverage. This inconvenience could cause Toney trouble in the NFL, but only time will tell if Toney can blossom into the receiver that thinks he can become.

PICK #21: Indianapolis Colts

Kwity Paye: Edge, Michigan

Page is an explosive edge rusher who can pressure quarterbacks with ease. His change of direction is elite and his speed plays to his benefit. He is lacking in bulk, which hinders his ability to challenge OT’s with a larger frame. Regardless of his physical attributes he has a great attitude and work ethic from a rough upbringing and translates that onto the field.

PICK #22: Tennessee Titans

Caleb Farley: CB, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley is a wildcard pick. he opted out for 2020, and underwent surgery just a month ago. This means he cannot play football until summer and will miss mini camps and other rookie festivities. I believe he possesses great instincts, but he did not play enough in college to gain the proper experience. He will most likely need to be integrated into the NFL for longer than other cornerbacks.

PICK #23: Minnesota Vikings

Christian Darrisaw: OT, Virginia Tech

Christian Darrisaw is a tackle that excels when protecting the run. He is powerful and uses his strength to create holes for his running back. On top of this, he also if quite effective when protecting the pass, and can deflect rushers, away from his quarterback. He tends to be on the slower side, so he will struggle with quicker edge rushers, and he can have delayed reactions on blitz recognition. Despite this, Darrisaw contains more than enough base skills among tons of potential, which will allow him to excel from his very first game, and onward.

PICK #24: Pittsburgh Steelers

Najee Harris: RB, Alabama

If you are afraid of being run over by a large object, I wouldn’t suggest standing in the way of Najee Harris and an end zone. A power runner, Harris typically takes the straight line to the end zone, disregarding the defenders in front of him by bulldozing them over. He also is great at receiving the ball, which makes him just as more effective. He does not have much creativity in terms of ball carrier moves, but that is not a huge issue for a man of his proportions.

PICK #25: Jacksonville Jaguars

Travis Etienne: RB, Clemson

Etienne excels through his patience and elusiveness. He is a more north-south runner rather than east-west, and this results in him lacking a second gear of speed. He can catch balls efficiently in both the flat and downfield which expands his versatility as a weapon.

PICK #26: Cleveland Browns

Greg Newsome: CB, Northwestern

Newsome looks into his first NFL season as a defensive back who mainly specializes in zone coverage. He possesses the skill set to excel in this department; accurate diagnostic instincts, great positioning and exemplary ball skills. The concern mainly comes into account when Newsome lines up in man coverage, as he is not the fastest defensive back, and will have trouble keeping up with speedy wideouts that he will encounter on a regular basis.

PICK #27: Baltimore Ravens

Rashod Bateman: WR, Minnesota

Despite slowing down in his Junior season, Bateman’s play was exemplary in his Freshman and Sophomore year. These performances earned Bateman enough credit to be selected by Baltimore in the first round, however if that 2020 season starts a trend, Baltimore could be in trouble. He is a fantastic slot receiver, and that will be his main role in Baltimore’s already great offense

PICK #28: New Orleans Saints

Payton Turner: DE, Houston

Turner, listed as a DE, plays more like a DT that could replace Sheldon Rankins who departed for New York during free agency. Turner lacks speed to get around a solid OT. Consequently, He is very strong and can push blockers with ease. I think he could excell as a DT, but as a DE, he just does not have the speed to be successful in the NFL.

PICK #29: Green Bay Packers

Eric Stokes: CB, Georgia

Stokes is a defensive back who excels in his ball playing skills. he unfortunately struggles playing opponents off the line and is prone to taking holding and Pass interference penalties when covering better receivers. Regardless he has the speed to keep up with quicker receivers and his hands are exceptionally when jumping up for contested catches.

PICK #30: Buffalo Bills

Gregory Rousseau: DE, Miami

His mom was busy fighting COVID-19 as a nurse, so Gregory Rousseau decided to opt out of the 2020 season. This decision hurt his draft stock, but not bad enough to have him slip out of round 1. The speedy pass rusher, attacks OT’s and causing panic on opposing quarterbacks. If he adds muscle and fills out his slender frame, he will be a massive force to reckon with.

PICK #31: Baltimore Ravens

Jayson Oweh: LB,  Penn State

An agile pass rusher who often attacks the edge, like Rousseau, Oweh needs to fill out in order to be more successful. His instincts are average at best, but he makes up for it with speed and power. He will most likely be a role player as a rookie, but as he begins to get more reps under his belt, he could develop into a solid starter.

PICK #32: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Joe Tryon: DE,  Washington

Tryon is undersized to play DE, but makes up with it his quickness. He will have to beat OT’s with speed to the outside, at least until he bulks up his frame to take them head on. Until then, Tryon was simply a “best available” pick for Tampa Bay as they attempt to continue their dominance on the NFL.




  • QB- 5
  • RB- 2
  • TE- 1
  • WR- 5
  • OL- 5
  • DE-5
  • LB- 4
  • CB-5


  • Alabama-6
  • Clemson-2
  • Penn State-2
  • Northwestern-2
  • Miami-2
  • Florida-2
  • Virginia Tech-2
  • BYU-1
  • North Dakota State-1
  • LSU-1
  • Oregon-1
  • South Carolina-1
  • Ohio State-1
  • USC-1
  • Tulsa-1
  • Kentucky-1
  • Michigan-1
  • Minnesota-1
  • Houston-1
  • Georgia-1
  • Washington-1