Who saw that one coming? OK, everyone. But the 2021 NFL Draft had a very exciting first round.
The 2021 NFL Draft has officially started, with the first round now complete. The best talents from College football have now been selected, and will start their NFL journey later this year.
There were a number of interesting selections, including a couple that no one saw coming. Let’s take a look at the first 32 selections of the 2021 NFL Draft.
The NFL 2021 Draft First Round
1. Jacksonville Jaguars | Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
The easiest pick to start the Draft, with Trevor Lawrence heading to Jacksonville. There’s not much more needed to say.
2. New York Jets | Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
After moving on from Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson is the new face of the Jets. There is potential, and he will be starting in week 1 of the new season, come September.
3. San Francisco 49ers | Trey Lance, QB (North Dakota)
Moving up to three overall made it clear that the 49ers were going to draft a QB. However, we weren’t sure which one, with a lot of discussion around this pick, but Trey Lance will work with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense.
4. Atlanta Falcons | Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
Kyle Pitts is a generational talent of this year’s Draft class. The addition of Pitts to Atlanta’s offense – as well as Julio Jones – will cause problems for any secondary in the league.
5. Cincinnati Bengals | Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU)
Described as the best wide receiver of the Draft, Chase has been added to Cincinnati’s offense, giving young QB Joe Burrow a new weapon for the season. The Bengals have taken two first-round receivers from the last two Drafts.
6. Miami Dolphins | Jaylen Waddle, WR (Alabama)
The Dolphins want Tua Tagovailoa to succeed in Miami, and are giving him plenty of options to do just that. Waddle will add to the widely-talented receiver corps in the Dolphins camp.
7. Detroit Lions | Penei Sewell, OL (Oregon)
Arguably the best tackle in the class of 2021, the Lions filled one of their many problem areas adding Penei Sewell to their protection. Expect him to start straight away in the season.
8. Carolina Panthers | Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
In the build up to the Draft, Jaycee Horn was one college talent that progressed through the ranks late, and was considered one of the best talents around. Now, the Panthers have their man to benefit their secondary.
9. Denver Broncos | Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)
Widely regarded as one of the best defensive players of the 2021 Draft class, the Broncos selected Surtain to build a relationship with star safety, Justin Simmons. Now they have sorted their QB position, trading for Teddy Bridgewater, they were able to snatch up the corner.
10. Philadelphia Eagles | Devonta Smith, WR (Alabama)
After trading just two spots up, to NFC rivals Dallas, the Eagles selected the Heisman Trophy winner of 2020 – who surprisingly went at 10 after three other receivers. Smith will definitely be a weapon for Jalen Hurts.
11. Chicago Bears | Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)
The Bears traded up on the night to get their hands on one of the top five QBs in the Draft, and cut a deal with the Giants to do just that. It’s unclear whether Fields will start straight away, but he is definitely one for the Bears’ future.
12. Dallas Cowboys | Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)
Micah Parsons is definitely a linebacker that will fit right in at Dallas, and will immediately help with their defensive problems. Having the presence of Parsons in there will be a problem for QBs.
13. Los Angeles Chargers | Rashawn Slater, OL (Northwestern)
Many thought Slater would go in the top 10, as an explosive and athletic lineman. However, the Chargers were able to snap him up to protect Justin Herbert going into his sophomore season in the NFL.
14. New York Jets | Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL (USC)
Using their first-round pick gained from the Jamal Adams trade in 2020, the Jets were able to trade up. A deal with the Minnesota Vikings meant they could select a lineman to protect the new star in New York.
15. New England Patriots | Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
A number of NFL fans saw Jones landing in San Francisco, but as they opted for Trey Lance, and no one else was after a QB, the Patriots took their chances on the Alabama QB, who every Patriots fan wants to be the next Tom Brady.
16. Arizona Cardinals | Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
After landing JJ Watt’s signature in the offseason, the Cardinals were able to add a defensive weapon from the Draft class in Zaven Collins. The Cardinals will be tough to beat with an explosive defense.
17. Las Vegas Raiders | Alex Leatherwood, OL (Alabama)
Leatherwood was not a name considered to be a first-round selection, but the Raiders clearly saw something from the Alabama lineman that will benefit Derek Carr for the next season.
18. Miami Dolphins | Jaelan Phillips, DL (Miami)
With their own first-round pick, the Dolphins selected Phillips to be another presence alongside last year’s Draft pick, Christian Wilkins. Phillips is athletic, and will pressure many QBs next season.
19. Washington Football Team | Jamin Davis, LB (Kentucky)
After adding Chase Young last year, Washington’s defense just got a bit stronger, with Davis coming into the fold. Davis is one who’s good at rushing off the edge, as well as in coverage.
20. New York Giants | Kadarius Toney, WR (Florida)
The Giants moved away from their No.11 spot to give the Bears their chance to get a QB. Toney will make his way up the east coast to join Golladay & Rudolph for Dan Jones to make the most of.
21. Indianapolis Colts | Kwity Paye, DL (Michigan)
The Colts had a number of potential selections on the cards, as they have a few holes to fill on their roster. Opting for Kwity Paye shows that they will put the strong defensive lineman straight into a starting position.
22. Tennessee Titans | Caleb Farley, CB (Virginia Tech)
Farley is an aggressive back that will add a presence in the Titans’ secondary. He’s quick, and will give the quickest receivers in the league a run for their money.
23. Minnesota Vikings | Christian Darrisaw, OL (Virginia Tech)
The Vikings traded down on the night, with the Jets taking their No.14 spot. Darrisaw is a strong lineman that will be very helpful to protect the Vikings QB come the start of the season.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers | Najee Harris, RB (Alabama)
As the first running back to be selected, Najee Harris was selected by the Steelers. Now, the depth of Harris and James Conner at running back will give the Pittsburgh offense even more opportunities to succeed.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars | Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
Reuniting with his college QB, Etienne is one of the quickest athletes in this year’s Draft class. The relationship between him and Lawrence could spark a good-quality Jags’ offense next season.
26. Cleveland Browns | Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)
The Browns were in need of a cornerback, and were happy to see Greg Newsome II still available by the 26th selection. Newsome is an aggressive & athletic corner, which will make him very difficult to beat for the league’s receivers.
27. Baltimore Ravens | Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnesota)
The Ravens are giving Lamar Jackson another offensive weapon, which is already full of talented athletes. Bateman and Marquise Brown will be difficult for a number of secondary’s next year.
28. New Orleans Saints | Payton Turner, DL (Houston)
It was a surprise to see the Saints select a defensive lineman that wasn’t Greg Rousseau, considering he was still available, but Turner is still a solid pass rusher. New Orleans have seen something may we haven’t, yet.
29. Green Bay Packers | Eric Stokes, CB (Georgia)
Despite the large number of reports and rumours of Aaron Rodgers leaving Lambeau, nothing came of it. Stokes is a very fast corner that will be a great addition to the Packers’ secondary.
30. Buffalo Bills | Greg Rousseau, DL (Miami)
The Bills took advantage of the highly-rated Greg Rousseau not being selected by any other franchise. Rousseau will add a huge presence on the line of scrimmage, strengthening the Bills’ already-talented roster.
31. Baltimore Ravens | Jayson Oweh, DL (Penn State)
After trading with the Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens were able to add another first-round pick to their roster with Jayson Oweh. He is an extremely strong, athletic lineman that will cause a number of problems in the league.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Joe Tryon, LB (Washington)
After successfully keeping Brady & Co., the Buccaneers selected an excellent pass rusher to their Super Bowl winning defense. Tryon will definitely be looking to gain a starting position on the defensive side of the ball in the near-future.
Jordan Noble is a writer that really enjoys discussing anything in and around the world of sports. He’s in his element when talking about sports, and has an ever-growing portfolio of sports news, features and reviews. When he’s not writing, you’ll find Jordan playing football – American football, that is.
He knows Manchester United are the biggest club in the world. He says that it’s just straight up facts. He loves a fight, whether that’s inside an octagon, or between the ropes, he’ll be interested.