During last NFL season I wrote for a few different websites and had the pleasure of meeting Matt Riser and Kevin Coleman on Twitter who both Podcast and write for other respective outlets. I consider them both colleagues and value they’re passion for content creation as well as the positivity they bring to the toxic space that is Twitter. I wanted to do a collaborative piece to recap this years draft and they were eager to help. Here are our three mini draft recaps to get the most bang for your buck in one place.
Draft Day Disappointment
Last Thursday kicked off the first serious NFL event for the 2021 season. My team the Raiders made an unorthodox pick in the first round by taking offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood that many graded with a second round value. I at first was shocked but after I looked into it Leatherwood a 4 year starter at Alabama, all the measurables adding up (6’6 312), and not to mention the #1 rated run blocker in the entire draft I became content with the “reach.” The TV talking heads hated the pick but at the end of the day there were a lot of picks that didn’t make sense. Here are three picks that I disagreed with.
New York Giants
Round 1, No. 20 overall Kadarius Toney
Explosive Florida Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney has a highlight reel that makes your pupils dilate but for me he is more of a project than a finished product. Though he had an amazing 43 broken tackles during his 120 catches last season he still leaves a lot to be had in the route running department. Also he is leaving a team where he played with the pound for pound best college player from last season in Kyle Pitts who garnered a lot of defensive attention. I don’t hate the Giants going for Wide Receiver as much as I disliked them not picking a more pro ready prospect in Rashod Bateman, Rondale Moore, or an Elijah Moore who were all still on the board when the Giants were on the clock.
Round 1, No. 5 Overall Ja’Marr Chase
Last year Joe Burrow was sacked on 8% of all of his drop backs which before his horrific injury was 32 times, not to mention his was hit 72 times total during the span of 10 games which resulted ending his rookie season early to a torn ACL and MCL. After taking an abnormal amount of punishment the Bengals still chose to pass on protection of one of their most important assets and invest rather in a flashy new weapon who played with Joe last season at LSU in Ja’Marr Chase. Chase is widely known as one of the best if not the best talents in this draft but if Burrow can’t stay up the Bengals potential will surely be capped. Cincinnati picked up Riley Rieff from the Vikings to sure up their tackle position and took a Guard (Jackson Carman) in the second round but they had a chance to add two possible long term staples to that Offensive line in Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater who could have protected Burrow for years to come.
Round 1, No. 9 Overall Patrick Serrane II
I want it to be noted that in the unlikely event that Aaron Rodgers goes to the Broncos that this will change from one of my least favorite picks to one of my favorite picks but that has been yet to be seen and here we are. Denver is a well run organization with a lot of history and winning tradition that has dated back for most of my lifetime. The past couple seasons they have been strong at every position except the most important one in football in Quarterback. They have failed year in and year out to find a replacement for Peyton Manning leaving a hold that Case Keenum, Trevor Simiean, Brock Oswieler, Paxton Lynch, Drew Lock, or Jeff Driskal couldn’t fill. At number 9 they had a chance at the most disrespected player in this draft in Justin Fields who I had ranked as the #2 Quarterback prospect in the entire class. If Denver enters camp without Rodgers and its a competition between newly acquired Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock I expect the Broncos to miss the playoffs again. No cornerback can change a team’s trajectory as much as an exceptional quarterback in the likes of Justin Fields.
The Best Draft Picks From Each Florida Team
By Matt Riser
Jacksonville Jaguars: New sheriff in town
Round 1, No. 1 overall: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
My Take: Ever since the expansion days in Jacksonville with Mark Brunell, this Franchise has
waited tirelessly for a QB to take them to the next level, Trevor is a player as polished as
Andrew Luck and the pieces are in play for this team to come out guns blazing.
Miami Dolphins: The South Beach Connection
Round 1, No. 6 overall: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
My Take: A former teammate of Tua, The Freak Athlete that is Jaylen Waddle may have landed
in the perfect spot. A player with raw upside and quite possibly the highest ceiling of any player
may be just the spark Miami needs to ignite this offense. Tua time anyone?!?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hits on Repeat
Round 1, No. 32 overall: Joe Tryon, OLB, Washington
My Take: When you are coming off a Super Bowl win and returning every starter on both
sides of the ball, you take Best player available. A raw player with little experience that has all
the tools to become a impact player on the next level. Tyron will contribute right away on Special
teams and could be a force as early as this season!
America’s Team Gambles on Defense
By Kevin Coleman
The Dallas Cowboys went into the draft needing to improve their defense. That was apparent as their first six picks all came on from that side of the ball, and in total, they used eight picks on defensive players. As far as their first two selections, LB Micah Parsons and CB Kelvin Joseph, both have a ton of potential but come with character concerns. So basically, the Cowboys did what they always do and are betting on big talents to reach their full potential; something that has burned them time and time again. They also failed yet again to draft a safety which has been a position of need for them the last ten seasons, if not longer. My three favorite picks were WR Simi Fehoko, LB Jabril Cox, and CB Israel Mukuamu. Those three players were excellent selections and can provide much-needed depth at their respective positions. But the Cowboys draft as a whole just felt uninspiring and filled with reaches across the board. If their selections don’t max out their potential, the Cowboys could be looking at another disappointing season leading to another top ten draft selection.