Round One Post NFL Draft Reaction and Grades

Posted by

1 Jacksonville: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson

The only pick Jacksonville was ever gonna make. Lawrence is a special talent, but Meyer and the Jags staff is going to have to build around this young man. Could be generational if he is given the opportunity and time. Urban Meyer has a major rebuild on his hands, but should feel confident in Lawrence leading this team for the next decade or more.

Grade – A+

2 New York Jets: Zach Wilson – QB – BYU

You will not find a bigger riser from the beginning of the year than Zach Wilson. He lit the college football world up this season, but is the biggest risk of all the QBs in this years draft. Has one good season against sub par competition. Wilson has all the tools but we will see if he can put it all together. The Jets might be passing on the better prospect in Justin Fields.

Grade – B-

3 San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance – QB – North Dakota State

Well San Fran didn’t lie when they said Jimmy G would be the starter next year, but Lance has the highest upside of any QB in this draft. The 49ers are playing a bit of a long game here, but the payoff could become exponentially more beneficial. Lance has a lot to learn, but he has an immense skill set. Can’t grade it an A due to him probably not starting this year, but I am excited for 49ers fans.

Grade B+

4 Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts – TE – Florida

Pitts might be the best player by pure talent in this draft. He is a unicorn that can play TE, but will make his money lining up as a receiver. This guy is almost unguardable. Arthur Smith will love having an offensive weapon like Pitts to find new wrinkles in their 12 personal.

Grade – A

5 Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase – WR – LSU

Chase is the best natural receiver in this class. Chase has repiore with QB Joe Burrow. Chase is explosive can be dominant in the NFL. My only issue is this team needs some offensive line help. Not saying Chase was not worth it,  but if Burrow can’t stay upright, Chase cannot be successful.

Grade – B+

6 Miami Dolphins Jaylen Waddle: WR – Alabama

Waddle is the most terrifying receiver in this draft, in a good way. He has speed for days, he can run any route on a route tree, he can return punts and kicks, and finally, he is a game breaker for his old quarterback. Waddle is going to a great situation in Miami and his connection with Tua should make the transition much easier.

Grade – A

7 Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell – OT – Oregon

Detroit is in full rebuild mode. Dan Campbell is looking for knee biters and Sewell fits that to a T. He has dominated all competition at every level and I do not see that changing too much in the future. The Lions need many more pieces to be truly competitive, but Sewell is a great anchor to the offensive line.

Grade – A

8 Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn – CB – South Carolina

Biggest surprise of the night so far has to be Jaycee Horn being thr first defensive player in the draft. Corner is a big need for this team, and horn might be the best man coverage corner in this draft. He has great hip flexibility, great vision on the ball, and plenty of speed to burn. Should Carolina have gone tackle? Maybe, but Horn should be a good shutdown 2 corner and work his way to the number 1.

Grade – B

9 Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II – CB – Alabama

Sutain is the most complete corner in this draft. He has the bloodline, he has the quick release, he can play in any system needed. He might not have the elite height weight speed, but he is the safest off all the prospects at corner. Highest floor, but potentially lowest ceiling of the big three corner prospects. Denver will love this guy.

Grade – A

10 Philadelphia Eagles (via Dallas Cowboys): Devonta Smith- WR – Alabama

Philadelphia made a sizable move to get in front of the Giants and grab the Heisman trophy winner in Devonta Smith. His size can be discussed until we are blue in the face, but Smith just makes plays all over the field. He may have a little more work to do when it comes to the transition from college to the NFL, but he can be a weapon on this Eagles team.

Grade – B+

11 Chicago Bears (via New York Giants): Justin Fields – QB – Ohio State

Chicago might have gotten the steal of the draft. Fields was my number 2 quarterback going into tonight and to get that guy at 11, things have finally gone right in Chicago. Fields is gonna step in day 1 and be the franchise that has been begging for one since the turn of the century. Fields can do it all, I just hope he is given the weapons and time he will need to develop. The Bears get a top 3 guy at 11, and are gonna laugh all the way to the bank with Fields.

Grade – A+

12 Dallas Cowboys (via Philadelphia Eagles): Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State

The Cowboys may not be able to do on the field, but they have even draft heros over the past 5 seasons. Dallas’ defense was beyond awful last year and with the retirement of Sean Lee, Parsons will step right into this team and make an immediate impact. This could be the best defensive player in this draft that Dallas manages to get at 12 and an extra 3rd thanks to the Eagles.

Grade – A

13 LA Chargers: Rashawn Slater – OT – Northwestern

The Chargers stayed patient and got the second best tackle in the class in Slater. His tape against Chase Young screams that he can play. He’s a people mover especially coming out of the Northwestern offense. Slater is also flexible position wise by having played both tackle spots and can play guard. Justin Herbert should be thrilled.

Grade – A

14 NY Jets (via Minnesota Vikings): Alijah Vera-Tucker – OG – USC

The Jets made a huge jump to get some protection for Zach Wilson. Vera-Tucker is an extremely athletic guard who will be a plug and play guy immediately. Zach Wilson should love this pick immensely. Wilson will hope the Jets take some outside help for him, but building inside out is the way Robert Salah knows.

Grade – B

15 New England Patriots: Mac Jones – QB – Alabama

If there is any system Mac Jones could succeed in right away, its with the New England Patriots. He has been compared to Tom Brady a lot, but Jones is much more polished at this point in his career. A year behind Cam Newton should do Jones some good in learning how to play in the NFL. I might not be too high on Jones overall, but he is going to work with the best coach in NFL history.

Grade – B

16 Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins – LB – Tulsa

Arizona must love position less players. Collins is a great athlete that can rush the passer and cover tight ends and running backs. Watching him play is special, but I dont know how he fits in a system. Is he a true DE or is he gonna be played as a OLB that has to cover in the open field. Love watching him play, but not sure how he translates to the NFL.

Grade – B-

17 Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood – OT – Alabama

John Gruden has some serious love for blue blood program players. Leatherwood is a very good tackle who will probably translate better as a guard in the NFL. Las Vegas had to get some O Line help, but there were several guys better in that position.

Grade – C-

18 Miami Dolphins: Jaelen Phillips – DE – Miami

Miami has had one of the best drafts tonight getting the fastest receiver and the best pass rusher in this class. Phillips has some red flags around his physical and mental traits but, if he can put it all together, this could be a dominant pass rusher on a defense. They have built the defense from the outside in, and Phillips is a good selection to help immediately.

Grade – A-

19 Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis – LB – Kentucky

Another guy that has really risen up the boards over the past couple months, Jamin Davis is a heat seeking missle. Davis has played the best competition college football has to offer. Ron Rivera has made a living building up linebackers. Davis might not be a great player initially, but this pick could become one of the more underrated picks of this draft.

Grade – C

20 New York Giants (via Chicago Bears): Kadarius Toney – WR – Florida.

Toney is a guy that you need to get the ball in his hands and he will make plays for days. He is a great gadget player that you can run on jet sweeps and give him the ball out of the backfield. He is a sot for sure, and I think this was a little too high especially with guys like Rashad Bateman and Elijah Moore still on the board.

Grade – C+

21 Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye – DE – Michigan

Kwity Paye is a guy with a great story and an even better athlete. He might not have some of the crazy stats others have, but he can get to the quarterback when he wants to. His set up step will put tackles on their back foot quickly and he can beat guys with power or speed. He will be a great rotational piece that will hopefully become a 3 down end.

Grade – B+

22 Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley – CB – Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley should have been the first corner off the board. Then came the medical checks. Two back surgeries and an ACL tear dropped him to this point, but don’t sleep on this guy. If he can stay healthy, he might be the best corner out of this class. This is the epitome of a boom or bust pick.

Grade – B

23 Minnesota Vikings (via New York Jets): Christian Darrisaw – OT – Virginia Tech

Darrisaw is a guy that looked really good on an offense that was very poor. He can move well for a big guy and has the balance to play left tackle in the NFL. The Vikings needed O Line help, and they got it in spades with the selection of Darrisaw.

Grade – A-

24 Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris – RB – Alabama

Harris broke onto the scene this year as the feature back and he made major waves in every game. He had a Derrick Henry look with Mark Ingram type hips and movement. If there was one back that should have gone in the first round, its Najee. The Steelers need to figure out what their plan is post Big Ben, but this guy will make whatever transition much easier.

Grade – B

25 Jacksonville Jaguars: Travis Etienne- RB – Clemson

Well if you wanted Lawrence to feel comfortable, get his running back for the last 3 years into the building. Etienne has the break away speed that very few backs have in this draft. He showed he can catch the football reliably this past year, but he is not a finished product quite yet. He will be given every opportunity to succeed in Jacksonville, but I feel they could have gotten him at the top of the second round

Grade – C+

26 Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome II – CB – Northwestern

Cleveland could not have asked for the board to fall anymore perfectly. Newsome is a long corner with plenty of size to guard bigger receivers. Going to Northwestern and playing for Pat Fitzgerald, he has had some of the best training on and off the field. Newsome will be a good corner if he can show he can stay healthy over a 17 game season.

Grade – B+

27 Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman- WR – Minnesota

Baltimore has needed wide receiver help for several years and they are hoping Bateman can WR1 early. Standing at 6’1, he might not be the biggest guy in the draft, but he was able to put up very good numbers at Minnesota. Yes at Minnesota. Bateman lands on a great team and this kind of player could be the difference in being one and done or going far in the playoffs.

Grade – A-

28 New Orleans Saints: Peyton Turner – DE – Houston

Ummmmmmm well this is a bit of a surprise to say the least. Turner played extremely well at Houston, but I dont understand why they wouldn’t go with a guy like Jason Oweh or Christian Barmore. This seems like a bit of a reach in this position. Good player, just too early

Grade – D

29 Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes – CB – Georgia

Eric Stokes is a guy that was kind of forgotten about as a first rounder as the draft process moved along, then he ran in the 4.3s in the 40. At 6’1, this is a type of player that could easily grow into being a star corner in this draft class. The Packers have enough issues to deal with the Aaron Rogers, but the corner room should get a lot stronger after this selection.

Grade – B

30 Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau – DE – Miami

Edges are starting to come off the board hot and heavy at this point. Rousseau was possibly a top 10 pick last year that did not test well during his pro day. He, like many others, sat out last year due to COVID, and it seemed to affect him physically. He has put up huge sack numbers, but he might take some time to get up to speed.

Grade – C+

31 Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh – LB – Penn State

This pick is all about potential. He is an athletic freak that can run like a gazelle. His first step is great, but he will need to work on some pass rushing moves and not just rely on his natural talent. With some work with a good defense, this guy can be great. He is a bit of a project right now though.

Grade – C+

32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon – LB – Washington

A guy that might have been forgotten about a little bit, Tryon can play off guard and off tackle, but he seems ready made to be a 3-4 rush linebacker. Explosive first step with a ton of talent. He might not be a big name now, but next year he could be the best Tampa Bay has.

Grade – B-

I will do a full reaction on Sunday once all the picks are in. Thank you so much for reading. Give me a follow on Twitter and Happy Draft Season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s