The 2021 NFL Draft

Winners and Losers


Pike Temple, Reporter

Miami Dolphins-Winners: Jaylen Waddle may have been the most explosive wide receiver in the draft. He was a do it all wideout for Alabama and has experience playing with Tua Tagovailoa. Jaelen Phillips could have gone a lot earlier than pick 18, but due to medical issues, he fell to Miami who should be thrilled to have him. The only red flag would be his limited experience in college, but the gamble is worth it. Jevon Holland, the safety out of Oregon, was surprisingly the first safety off the board, but he brings excellent coverage ability in both man and zone coverage, filling a gaping need for the Dolphins. Tackle Liam Eichenberg was another solid pick from day two. Out of Notre Dame, Eichenberg should fill in nicely to help protect Tua Tagovailoa.

Chicago Bears-Winners: Chicago smartly traded up to get Justin Fields. The Bears front office finally made it up to the fans after passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson for Mitchell Trubisky. Fields easily could have been the third quarterback drafted except San Francisco took Trey Lance as the third pick overall. The Bears also addressed the offensive line by taking Tevin Jenkins out of Oklahoma State in the second round. Jenkins could have easily gone in the low twenties in round one. Chicago drafted based on needs almost every round, addressing offensive line, wide receiver, and cornerback. The Bears added offensive tackle Larry Borom from Missouri in the fifth round, wide receiver Dazz Newsome from North Carolina in the sixth round, and selected cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. from Oregon in the sixth, who could have gone earlier if he hadn’t opted out of the 2020 college season.

New York Jets-Winners: The Jets took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick. Wilson has the arm talent NFL franchises covet in a starting quarterback. New York then traded up to get offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC to add another piece to a young offensive line that should do a fine job protecting their new franchise quarterback, Zach Wilson. The Jets also took first-round caliber prospect Elijah Moore from Ole Miss, bolstering their receiving corps and giving Wilson a reliable weapon in the slot. New York addressed their need at running back and drafted North Carolina Tarheel, Michael Carter. Carter put up impressive numbers at UNC and should make an immediate impact in the Jets’ backfield.


Las Vegas Raiders-Losers: Alex Leatherwood, the offensive tackle out of Alabama, was at best, projected to be drafted in the late first round. There were better tackle prospects at pick seventeen. However, the Raiders did fill a position of need. However, getting Trevon Moehrig in the second round at pick 43 was a steal. Moehrig will greatly improve the Raiders’ secondary, but he is the only great value pick made by Las Vegas. Malcolm Koonce out of Buffalo was a reach, but the edge rusher has some good traits to his game. The head-scratcher was doubling up on safety in rounds three and four. Many draftees will have to exceed expectations to really help Las Vegas win games in 2021.

Seattle Seahawks-Losers: The Seahawks had a total of three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. In the second round, Seattle drafted wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge out of Western Michigan. The Seahawks reached on Eskridge, however, he is a good route runner and brings some serious speed to the Russell Wilson led offense. In the fourth round, Seattle took cornerback Tre Brown from Oklahoma. Brown may be slightly undersized, but his aggressive play style makes up for the lack of height. Brown performed well at the Senior Bowl and should be a nice addition to Seattle’s secondary. Brown is a great pick for a team needing some help covering the slot and Brown brings good value at pick 137 overall. The Seahawks’ made the best out of their situation, but the lack of draft picks and therefore fresh talent label the Seahawks as a draft loser.

Houston Texans-Losers: Houston’s first pick came in the third round, drafting Stanford quarterback Davis Mills. Why the Texans targeted a quarterback is quite obvious, the whole Deshaun Watson incident is still unsettled, but quarterback could have been a position to target early in the draft next year if Watson’s stint in Houston goes south. Mills has a good arm and gets the ball out fast, but his lack of mobility and experience will likely hurt his chances of becoming a starter in the NFL. Wide receiver Nico Collins underwhelmed at Michigan, but has an opportunity to come in and show what he can do. With a quarterback such as Deshaun Watson, Collins’ productivity should improve. Tight end Brevin Jordan from the University of Miami will be a nice addition to the Texans’ receiving room and gives Watson another pass-catcher with some after-the-catch ability. Sadly, there is simply not enough new talent that would make a huge impact on an already poor Houston team. The Texans are draft losers.