NFC Draft Grades
NFC Draft Grades
Let’s dive right in and take a look at how each NFC team fared in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Arizona did a lot in this draft to beef up their secondary with taking two corners and a safety as day 3 picks. Zaven Collins was a good value here at 16th overall and Rondale Moore will be a decent 2nd-3rd option for Kyler Murray. While they did not draft a running back, I believe they can use Moore into those short dump-off type routes as more of their pass catching RB. Keep a close eye on Moore as he could see volume come to him late in the year.
Dwayne Eskridge is a dart throw and could compete for the wide receiver 3 role on the depth chart. He is more of a depth piece and my belief is Seattle could have done more to help protect Wilson in this draft. They did draft one OT in the 6th at 208 Stone Forsythe out of Florida, but he might not even make the team, let alone the starting rotation. Was not really a lot of draft capital here and their one day 2 pick was used on a WR.
Los Angeles Rams
Rams do not have a first round pick until like 2027 but I do believe they did the most with what they had to work with. I would have loved to see them grab another offensive lineman in the 2nd-3rd instead of taking Tutu Atwell in the 2nd, he will probably not be fantasy relevant year one and I would imagine he is 4th-5th option on the depth chart and will have a great opportunity to learn under DeSean Jackson in which will most likely be his last woo-rah in the league. They did do a lot to add depth pieces behind their defensive starters and for that I commend them slightly.
San Francisco 49ers
Not saying this just because I am a big fan of Trey Lance, but the 49ers did exactly what should be done during a draft if you draft a rookie quarterback. In the second they draft Aaron Banks to keep their quarterback of the future upright. They grabbed RB Trey Sermon in the 3rd round who even with the up-and-down college production I currently am valuing him as the rookie RB4. CB Ambry Thomas was also a need for them to replace Richard Sherman.
Washington Football Team
Not sure how big of a fan I am of the LB Jamin Davis pick at 19, but I think The Football Team more than made up for it in my mind with the OT Samuel Cosmi pick in the 2nd round. Dyami Brown should operate mostly as a deep threat and is just another dynamic playmaker for Rivera to have at his disposal. They addressed both sides of the ball evenly and boosted their already top 5 defense.
All their day 1 and 2 picks were made on defense and it is probably the smartest move this team could have made. I absolutely love the steal of Micah Parsons at 12. WR Simi Fehoko out of Stanford will be a name to watch out for incase of injuries on the receiving depth chart and he could take a leap to that 3rd WR role in 2022 if Michael Gallup walks away in FA. I wished they could have done more to improve their offensive line, but the Cowboys traded back and let the draft fall to them.
New York Giants
WR Kadarius Toney at 20 after the trade back with The Chicago Bears was to me meh. Speed kills and I get that you want to replace that playmaking ability that Golden Tate was supposed to give this offense. I am just not a big fan of the player and thought Rondale Moore would have been a better fit here. They did address their defense to a degree, but my biggest issue with this draft is who is their pass rusher? That is the one thing this team is missing. You cannot be giving offenses 5-6 seconds to make decisions and throw. Dak Prescott and Ryan Fitzpatrick will tear this defense up in 2021.I will give a slight bump for the future assets acquired in the trade though.
I really do like what I see on paper here with what this team did with their draft. Heisman winner Devonta Smith drafted after moving up to 10 in the trade with Dallas after Dallas did not get one of their coveted corners to fall to them. The beautiful thing is Dallas did not get that game changing corner and Philly got a burner to torture the Cowboys for the next decade. Center Landon Dickerson from Alabama is a smasher and will make a huge difference in the trenches for years to come also. I do not expect the Eagles to do a whole lot wins wise this year, but I like the direction this team is heading.
New Orleans Saints
Saints did everything like what Dallas did and upgraded a lot throughout their defense. DE Payton Turner from Houston at the end of the first was a little bit more of a surprise to most. LB Pete Warner and CB Paulson Adebo in the 2nd and 3rd respectively are all good players. I never question the greatness of Sean Payton to extract maximum value out of most of his picks. It is nice to see an already good defense attack all three levels of a defense during a draft. It would have been nice to see them grab a receiver early, but the right guy just did not fall to them.
Should they have taken Justin Fields could be the question they could be asking themselves over the next 10 years. I do however feel the team made the right call in sticking with Matt Ryan for the near future at least. Kyle Pitts is being touted as a generational talent and if he lives up anywhere close to the hype, this was then a slam dunk pick by the team. Pitts could receive enough volume year 1 to be a top 5 TE in fantasy especially if the Julio trade rumors come to fruition. They did address their horrible secondary to a degree with the S Richie Grant pick in the 2nd. One player who I believe was an absolute steal in this draft was OT Jalen Mayfield all the way in the 3rd round. He will be a bruiser in the trenches for them for years to come.
CB Jaycee Horn at 8 was probably one of the biggest surprises in a lot of people's mocks to start off the first round. He is a physical defensive back who could maybe develop into a player to give receivers Mike Evans, Julio Jones, or Michael Thomas some fits. I really like the style of player he is, and I think it was the right call for this team to obtain him here at 8. WR Terrace Marshall is a big-bodied wide receiver that a lot of this draft class was lacking in. I have already heard of them possibly placing him into the slot year one which could pay off beautifully for Sam Darnold and Co. There is one player who they got all the way down in the 5th round who I really love. DT Daviyon Nixon out of Iowa who I had a second-round grade on early in the draft season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Super Bowl champs seemed like they were able to go with all luxury picks here and that is exactly what they did starting off with LB Joe Tyron at 32. They brought back all 22 of their starters from 2020 and decided to run it back. They snagged Quarterback Kyle Trask at the end of the 2nd to get their QB of the future, even if that does not pan out until 2035. Otherwise, they got mostly depth pieces behind their 22 starters and should be a force to be reckoned with again in 2021.
Green Bay Packers
Unless the Packers got super aggressive to move into the top 10, I am not so sure they would have been any better reaching for a player that is not such a sure thing in the first. Green Bay drafted mostly by need and they needed another corner to oppose offenses opposite of Jaire Alexander who is quietly the second-best corner in the league in my opinion. They did what they needed to do to replace Corey Linsley and drafted C Josh Myers out of Ohio State in the 2nd. Amari Rodgers is probably not the most polished prospect of this class, but he should help take the top off of defenses and he is also a good slot presence much in the same way Randall Cobb was for them early in his career (something they were hoping MVS could materialize into but just never came to be.) We now play the waiting game on Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay to see if a player like Amari Rodgers can become something more than just another guy in the offense. Even with all the criticism out there about last year's draft this one was a lot better.
I really like the OT Christian Darrisaw pick which is a player they probably would have drafted at 14. So, moving back here and picking up the draft capital was a very smart move by Rick Spielman. Kellen Mond is a project quarterback who has that modern day mobility of what NFL teams are wanting from their quarterback position. A good backup for Cousins who is arguably coming off his best year as a starter. Also like The Packers I believe this team filled a lot of their needs throughout their roster.
OT Penei Sewell dropping all the way down to 7th in the Lions lap was the biggest blessing this team could have received. This Lions team does not figure to be very good in 2021, but this at least gives them a huge boon along that offensive line. Sewell makes pancake blocks like it's his business. Where this team’s strongest suit is among that line and I think this is big news for De’Andre Swift owners who have also gotten Kerryon Johnson out of his way. It's looking more and more like a one man show in that backfield. They beefed up the defensive line as well with two big hoss players Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill. With the lack of pass catchers there keep an eye out for a possible break-out WR in Amon-Ra St. Brown who I like to compare to Robert Woods and who will also be playing with Jared Goff.
Oh, my goodness we got Justin Fields! While I am beyond excited on what this kid can do for us, I am limiting my expectations to a degree. I think this at least signals hope for The Bears fans and the organization. It might seem like a lot to trade those picks including next year’s first, but I have seen this team over the years give up a lot more for less. This should at least keep Allen Robinson at bay for the time being and giving him the same hope that he will have a halfway competent quarterback to get him the ball. OT Tevin Jenkins was a steal in my opinion as I had him as the 3rd best OT in my rankings as well. Dazz Newsome all the way down in the 6th could see opportunity year one and could be the starting slot guy for Chicago.
What are your thoughts on your team’s haul? Let us know in the comments!
Join TSF Memorabilia Slots on Facebook to start building your mancave now!