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The NFL Draft As It Happened With Alex

it:s 1:08AM, it’s going to be a long night, but the adrenaline will keep me going. I’ll get the thoughts and feelings of the team as we go through round 1, with time stamps, instant reactions, and the general thoughts towards each pick. So if you miss the draft, or you fell asleep, or you simply love our content so much that you need to know how we felt all night long as it unfolded… you’re in the right place.

#1 Pick – Jacksonville Jags – Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson

Nobody is surprised, but there’s your first view of Trevor Lawrence as a Jaguar. Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence out here about to create something special. But let’s be honest, we all wanted this pick out of the way so the real draft can start. Here we go New York!

The pick is in for the Jets!

#2 Pick – New York Jets – Zach Wilson QB BYU

And we’re two of two! Suddenly the Jets are interesting. That’s going to be a fun team to pay attention to this upcoming season with Zach Wilson absolutely playing week 1. Surely.

Tom: ‘Poor Zach Wilson, enjoy following Sam Darnold out of New York when you want your career to begin!’

Initial thoughts, he’s going to be better than Daniel Jones, and it’s going to be obvious in New York very quickly. That could get awkward for Daniel Jones and the Giants.

Adam: ‘Has to be Fields here at 3…’

#3 Pick – San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance QB NDSU

HELL YEAH TREY LANCE. Love this pick. Now that’s exciting. Trey Lance walks into a Super Bowl ready roster and gets to work with Kyle Shanahan, one of the best young talented minds in the NFL. Shanahan finally gets a guy he wants to run his offence, and Trey Lance couldn’t land in a much better situation. Looking forward to seeing Trey Lance in that red and gold for the Niners. Very exciting spot.

Adams pretty fired up that Trey Lance will be in the NFC, and not the AFC. Might be a force for years to come.

Now I have no idea what’s going on here at four. Maybe a trade? No trade, pick is in. Fields or Pitts? I really can’t see how the Falcons go in any other direction here.

#4 Pick – Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts TE Florida

This kinda hurt. But it’s okay. The Falcons will continue to heave the ball all over the field on offence. There are better situations for Pitts to land in, but he will come into his own in the Falcons air raid offence. The question now is what happens with Julio Jones? Atlanta should have dropped down, and have failed to do so, in a year where they should have been accumulating picks. The defence needs a tonne of work, so I guess that starts in round two!

Now Cincy, pick a freaking offensive lineman. Joe Burrow (and me) are begging you.

#5 Pick – Cincinnati Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU

Great weapon. Best receiver in the class. Means nothing if your QB can’t stand upright. This is a real Bengals thing to do. Got yourself a great QB by default (picking 1 overall), and within two years you’ll break him because you made bad decisions with the rest of your picks. I love Ja’Marr Chase, but I’m not convinced the Bengals needed him, or should have taken him. We better see offensive line in round two!

#6 Pick – Miami Dolphins – Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama

I am absolutely fine with it. In fact, I can feel myself falling in love with him already. Great pick for the Dolphins, great pick for Tua. The Dolphins are finally adding some weapons giving their offence some excitement. Buzzing as a Dolphins fan, gives us something to be really excited about offensively.

MORE: Rookie Profile – Jaylen Waddle

Now the Lions have made their pick, and once again should have traded down. But here we are. Are we about to see one of the QBs off the board? Offensive line? Devonta Smith maybe, so the Lions fans can be remotely excited about the upcoming season?

Ad: ‘Sewell here surely, he can’t slide any further than this…’

#7 Pick – Detroit Lions – Penei Sewell OT Oregon

Okay Detroit this was smart. it’s not fun, but it’s smart. Penei Sewell is the beginning of the trenches you’re building for the future of your franchise. Nothing glamorous, but it’s well needed. Devonta Smith is still on the board!

With the Panthers now on the board, the clock is ticking right down to almost zero. Maybe a trade? The Saints have been trying to come up all day. Maybe a corner? I like Surtain here. Waddle would have made sense but Smith is not the type of receiver you need.

#8 Pick – Carolina Panthers – Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina

Wow. That’s somewhat of a shock that Horn is the first corner off the board. I like the bold move here though. Jaycee Horn has the potential to be the best corner in this draft, without a doubt, and the Panthers clearly believe in that notion. They go Jaycee Horn over Patrick Surtain in the top 10. Surtain will now drop perfectly into the Cowboys hands at 10.

Now give Justin Fields to the Broncos. That offence needs somebody like him, and it’s a great opportunity for Justin. Make it happen!

#9 Pick – Denver Broncos – Patrick Surtain CB Alabama

Back to back corners, and I am stunned that the Broncos passed on the QBs. Justin Fields? Even Mac Jones? Are the Broncos really settling for Teddy Bridgewater/Drew Lock? It literally fell perfectly for them, and they had a CHOICE of two QBs, but took the corner. Bizarre. There was a real opportunity there and it feels like a miss.

That being said, Surtain is excellent, and really improves that Denver secondary. It’s a great pick for their defence, but a strange pick for the future of their franchise. Average season incoming, you’re not making the playoffs with Lock or Bridgewater.

TRADE!

The Eagles jump the Giants to 10… which is odd. For Devonta Smith? Do you really need to jump the Giants to do that? Micah Parsons makes a lot of sense her. I’d understand the trade more if it was Parsons. We’ve talked about this before, these middle linebackers with crazy speed are becoming more and more valuable in defences across the NFL.

Giving up a 3rd round pick to a division rival, to jump one team… you better be sure!

#10 Pick – Philadelphia Eagles – Devonta Smith WR Alabama

Well that is a bit odd. I’m not at all convinced the Giants were going to take Smith there anyway… and you’ve given a division rival a third round pick in the process. Strange. Could have got him at 12. Okay Howie, you must have really wanted him! It does make sense to draft him, but this screams panic to me.

TRADE!

Struggling to keep up the last 10 minutes has been nuts! The Bears are coming up to 11 and trading with the Giants. QB surely, but Fields or Mac Jones. I like this move for the Bears! It’s a bold final swing of the bat by Ryan Pace, but it’s nice to see the Bears being active on day one. Go bold Chicago!

#11 Pick – Chicago Bears – Justin Fields QB Ohio State

Great business. Love it for both teams. The Bears pair a great defence with an exciting new QB who will take over from Andy Dalton with the first 5 weeks of the season. The Bears go from being dull and uninteresting to one of the most exciting rosters in the league, add a couple of weapons now and I’m watching Bears games all season. And THIS is why we love the NFL Draft.

#12 Pick – Dallas Cowboys – Micah Parsons LB Penn State

Not the pick we thought it would be, i was thinking maybe Caleb Farley. But Micah Parsons is going to be great in the Cowboys defence. Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Micah Parsons is a pretty good linebacker group. Good pick for the Cowboys, we’ll see a corner taken later on in the draft for them.

#13 Pick – LA Chargers – Rashawn Slater OT

It was always going to be offensive tackle. The Chargers get a great one here to protect QB Justin Herbert. Slater might be the best offensive lineman in this draft so the Chargers sitting pretty at 13 and getting him… great business.

TRADE!

The Jets are coming back up. Now to me this is Robert Saleh coming up to get himself a stud defence. Kwity Paye? Caleb Farley?

#14 Pick – New York Jets – Alijah Vera-Tucker IOL USC

Interesting business! Get your quarterback and then build a wall around him. I respect it from the Jets. This is patient roster building. Not necessarily a splash pick, but, a smart one for the future of the Jets. Bengals take notes.

#15 Pick – New England Patriots – Mac Jones QB Alabama

Amazing. We know how much I dislike Mac Jones, and here we are. He’s now a New England Patriot. In all seriousness, he’s got a very strong opportunity to lead the new look New England Patriots into the future. He’ll get supreme coaching, and won’t have to be rushed onto the field.

#16 Pick – Arizona Cardinals – Zaven Collins LB Tulsa

Interesting pick for the Cardinals! Not where I’d have expected them to go here but with Hasaan Reddick leaving in the off season, it does make sense. The Cardinals go defence as expected, but not in the secondary! I’d have liked Caleb Farley, or an edge rusher maybe. But Collins is going to add some great tackling ability to their defence. It’s a tad early for him, that’s all I’m saying.

#17 Pick – Las Vegas Raiders – Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama

Leatherwood will replace Trent Brown who was allowed to leave this off season. Does he fit better at guard? Good addition to the offensive line, but again with the Raiders, it feels like a reach. There are better linemen available here, or a trade back would have made sense too!

#18 Pick – Miami Dolphins – Jaelen Phillips Edge Miami

Okay a versatile edge rush makes sense. But it’s a tad disappointing that this isn’t a running back. We have to really hope that one of the top three is available in the early second because we cannot go another year without a talented running back. Absolutely not. Phillips, if he checks out medically, could be a very good value pick.

#19 Pick – Washington – Jamin Davis LB Kentucky

Hmm this one feels like a bit of a reach. But Washington needed to plug a hole in a talented defence, and fill that need here with Jamin Davis. The linebacker from Kentucky propelled himself onto the scene this season, and then with a great pro day caught the eye of plenty of NFL scouts. Washington fill a need!

#20 Pick – New York Giants – Kadarius Toney WR Florida

Weapon! I had this happening for the Giants, but at 11 and with Jaylen Waddle. Same thing here, just taking Kadarius Toney to play the same role. Toney can pick up a slant over the middle, and take it 40+ yards every time. He has that big play ability. I like this pick for the Giants, and great business in picking up another first rounder in the process!

#21 Pick – Indianapolis Colts – Kwity Paye DE Michigan

Not where I’d have expected the Colts to go either, but Kwity Paye is a smart selection for the Colts, improving their pass rush in the first round. That defence is really coming into it’s own, and Kwity Paye off the edge is going to make that even better. Offensive line is a need, but in a deep class, the Colts aren’t the only team planning on addressing it later.

#22 Pick – Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech

Farley dropped, somewhat unfairly, and the Titans say that’s enough, and bring him in. I maintain that Caleb Farley has the largest upside of the first round corners, having only played the corner position for a couple of years. I like the pick here, and it certainly fills a need for the Titans.

#23 Pick – Minnesota Vikings – Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech

Excellent business for the Vikings. Trading back in the round and still getting Darrisaw at 23 is a very good outcome for the first round. A hole filled on the offensive line, and I wouldn’t expect the Vikings to be done picking offensive linemen here.

#24 Pick – Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris RB Alabama

Great pick for the Steelers. It might be one of the picks of the round. It’s exactly what they needed and it makes perfect sense. It hurts a little to watch Najee go to the Steelers, but for him, what an opportunity.

#25 Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars – Travis Etienne RB Clemson

Running backs back to back, and as a Dolphins fan this is a real problem. Reuniting Etienne with his QB Trevor Lawrence makes a lot of sense. That’s a pretty nice tandem to roll into town, after watching what they did together at Clemson. Etienne as RB1, and Cam Robinson as a solid 2 back.

#26 Pick – Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome CB Northwestern

Greg Newsome pairs up with Denzel Ward, with the additions of John Johnson from free agency, and last years rookie Grant Delpit, that starting secondary now looks totally stacked. Newsome should win a starting spot in training camp… he’ll need to be careful of penalties, he can be a little hands on. But he’s got great size, great athlete, great pick for Cleveland.

#27 Pick – Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota

Great pick for the Ravens. Elite pass catcher. Elite route runner. Great fit on the outside. Bateman will give the Ravens something a little different at the position, that’s a nice pick for their offence.

#28 Pick – New Orleans Saints – Payton Turner DE Houston

This feels like a bit of a reach and I really expected the Saints to go for a corner, particularly after the rumours about the Saints trading up for one. But Turner will come in and work off the edge for the Saints, prioritising defence. It’s just a slight reach.

#29 Pick – Green Bay Packers – Eric Stokes CB Georgia

Ew. Stokes has great speed, he’s a track star, but that’s about it right now. He’s got a long way to go before becoming a starter in the NFL. Tough pick for the Packers, plenty of other places I’d have rather seen them go here.

#30 Pick – Buffalo Bills – Gregory Rousseau Edge Miami

The Bills take the enormous upside, slight risk pick here in Rousseau. Only one season of tape under his belt. He’s raw, he needs to develop his pass rush moves, but if he gets the right coaching then his athletic ability and size will propel him into the elite levels of the NFL.

#31 Pick – Baltimore Ravens – Jayson Oweh Edge Penn State

Jayson Oweh comes in to work off the edge for the Ravens. Interesting to see they don’t trade down from either of their picks, but instead spend one on the offence, and one on the pass rush/defence. Oweh is a little more raw than a couple of the other players available, but the Ravens will bring him in to develop, with the intention of him becoming a long term starter.

#32 Pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joe Tryon LB Washington

This took the Bucs all of 3 seconds to hand in the card. It was immediately after the Ravens announcement. The Bucs must have seen something they liked and an additional contribution on the defence. Tryon gives them additional power in the front 7, and when the Bucs really don’t need anything at all… I guess you can take who you like!

Check out all the picks and their respective new colours on the NFLs official Instagram!

05:14 … signing out! When I rise it’ll be podcast time, where we’ll analyse the first round in full. Keep an eye out!

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Draft Weekend - This was the 2021 NFL Draft - Undrafted - The Network 2nd May 2021 at 6:20 pm

[…] See Alex’s Round 1 recap here. […]

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