Pete Prisco grades the first 32 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft
By Pete Prisco
Want to know what I think of every pick made Thursday in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft? You can find it all below.
1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Lawrence will change the dynamic of this franchise for the next decade. They will win a Super Bowl.
2. Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
I like him as a player, but I would have taken Justin Fields in this spot. Fields will be a better quarterback.
3. 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, NDSU
I just don’t see trading up with two first-round picks as the price to get a guy who is raw and needs time. Lance has skills, but he will need time.
4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
He is a can’t-miss prospect. He is a mismatch nightmare. Great pick.
5. Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Bengals
Love this player. He will be a big-time pass catcher as he joins former college teammate, Joe Burrow. But I would have taken an offensive tackle here.
6. Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
I think he has the Tyreek Hill type of ability. I think he will help Tua Tagovailoa a ton. It works.
7. Lions: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
They probably thought he wouldn’t be here, so they had to be happy he was. Sewell has a ton of talent and will upgrade that line in a big way.
8. Panthers: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
I liked Patrick Surtain more, but I get it. Horn is a feisty corner who will definitely be a good cover player.
9. Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
I love his game. He is one of those corners who will be sound from the minute he steps on the field. He will be a star.
10. Eagles: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
They needed to get another weapon to help Jalen Hurts, so I like the pick. When the corners went off, they had to be disappointed.
11. Bears: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
They gave up a lot, but they ended up with the second-best quarterback in the draft. It’s a bold move, but necessary.
12. Cowboys: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Do the Cowboys really need a linebacker? I know their linebackers didn’t play as well last year, but this wasn’t a major need.
13. Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
He will be an immediate starter at left tackle, which fills a major need. Justin Herbert will be happy.
14. Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
They need to build the offensive line in front Zach Wilson. With Tucker, who can play guard or right tackle, they add to Mehki Becton from last year. Solid move to go get him.
15. Patriots: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
It’s the perfect situation for him. He fits in the Josh McDaniels’ offense.
16. Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
He will add another big-time playmaker to a defense that needed it. He can run and chase or rush off the edge.
17. Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
I don’t love this pick. They need line help, but he’s more of a second-round pick in my mind.
18. Dolphins: Jaelen Phillips, EDGE, Miami
If his medical stays clean, it’s a good pick. They address a need that had to be filled. He’s loaded with talent.
19. Washington: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
This is one of my favorite picks of the draft. He will be a special player on a talented front seven.
20. Giants: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
He has the tools to really add a big-play threat to the offense. Trading down and getting a playmaker and a first-round pick next year is a good move.
21. Colts: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
This is a kid with a lot of raw talent, but didn’t produce to that level. It will show better as he learns the tricks of the trade better. He fills a need.
22. Titans: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
This is a boom-or-bust pick. If he’s healthy, this is a great pick. But injury concerns are real.
23. Vikings: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
I love this pick. I believe he will be the best tackle in the draft. It fills a need in a big way.
24. Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
I don’t like picking backs in the first round. Good player, but backs should come later.
25. Jaguars: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
He’s my favorite back in this class as a true air back. He will give them the speed they need in the backfield and help the passing game. But he’s still a back in the first round.
26. Browns: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
They’ve spent a lot of draft capital at corner in recent years. Newsome is a good, solid player but they have bigger needs.
27. Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
I know they needed help at receiver, but there are better options down the line.
28. Saints: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
I know they need edge help, but there were better options.
29. Packers: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
He has size and can run and addresses a major need. I like the pick a lot.
30. Bills: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The talent is there, but he didn’t play last year and it hurt his stock. He is a big power player who fills a need.
31. Ravens: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
He is raw and has a ton of talent, but he didn’t produce. He does fill a need.
32. Buccaneers: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
With the entire team back, it makes sense to draft another edge player with Jason Pierre-Paul getting up in the years.