For NFL fans, Thursday was like Christmas Day as the first round of the 2021 draft got underway. Optimism is high for teams around the league as the future stars of the NFL are drafted.
With so much excitement around the draft, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories around the league.
Three Picks, Three Quarterbacks
Unsurprisingly, quarterbacks ruled the first round as there were five taken in the first 15 picks, including each of the first three picks.
The top overall pick was unsurprising as the Jacksonville Jaguars took Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson. Last season, Lawrence threw for 3,153 yards, 24 touchdowns, and five interceptions in ten games.
With the second pick, the New York Jets took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Last season, Wilson threw for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
The third pick went to the San Francisco 49ers, who took North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. Lance was a fascinating pick, given that he didn’t play last season due to COVID concerns and really had only one full season of play in college. In 2019, he threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns, and no interceptions while rushing for 1100 yards and another 14 scores.
The rest of the top ten went as follows:
- 4th – Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts (tight end)
- 5th – Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase (wide receiver)
- 6th – Miami Dolphins – Jaylen Waddle (wide receiver)
- 7th – Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell (offensive lineman)
- 8th – Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn (defensive back)
- 9th – Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain (defensive back)
- 10th – Philadelphia Eagles – DeVonta Smith (wide receiver)
- Bears Move Up To Get Their Guy
The fourth quarterback drafted went to the Chicago Bears. In a draft-day trade, the Bears traded away their 2021 first and fifth-round picks, as well as their 2022 first and fourth-round picks to the New York Giants to move up to the 11th overall pick.
With that pick, the Bears took Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Last season, with the Buckeyes, Fields threw for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns, and just six interceptions in eight games. He also rushed 81 times for 383 yards and another five scores.
Of course, the Bears are hoping this pick works better than the last time they traded up for a quarterback. That pick was for Mitch Trubisky, a selection made while both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were both on the board.
That is a mistake that general manager Ryan Pace is still trying to atone for. With murmurs of both his and head coach Matt Nagy’s jobs being on the hot seat, they are hoping that the Fields pick will help solidify the position moving forward.
It will be interesting to see who gets the week one start as the Bears also signed Andy Dalton to be the starter. Regardless, Bears’ fans are hoping that Fields will give consistency to a position that has had anything but for years now.
Could Rodgers Be On The Move?
One of the biggest stories prior to the draft on Thursday also included a quarterback. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay.
As soon as this report came out, it was met with a flurry of rumors in regards to potential deals. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that Rodgers would like to be traded to one of the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, or the Las Vegas Raiders.
Despite having won the MVP last season, Rodgers appears to be disgruntled with the Packers. This could possibly even stem all the way back to the last offseason when Green Bay used their first-round pick to draft a potential replacement in Jordan Love.
While no deal has been made as of yet, and the Packers are denying they have any interest in moving him, it is certainly something worth monitoring as the two sides seem very far apart right now.