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Best and Worst Drafts from the NFC

As we all witnessed the 49ers nail their 2021 draft there was quite a few teams who also had great draft days and a few who left us thinking what is happening in that draft room?

Let’s start with some teams who almost made the love list and had a very solid draft.

Honorable Mentions:

Chicago Bears – Notable Additions: Justin Fields, QB and Tevin Jenkins, LT

The Chicago Bears finally have a quarterback! I was personally not as high on Fields as everyone else but still a GIGANTIC upgrade for Chicago and their fans after years of suffering with Mitch Trubisky and clearly Andy Dalton was not a long-term solution. A trade up candidate pre-draft jumped at the opportunity to go get their Franchise QB. It wasn’t their only time trading up, as they move up again in round 2 and selected Teven Jenkins, the LT out of Oklahoma State. In both mocks I had him going in round 1 so great value to grab him in round 2. They clearly believe in him as they cut long time LT Charles Leno right after the draft. Getting a franchise QB and LT will make for a great draft every time, who knows, it may even be enough to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace’s job (probably not). A top heavy draft as the later round selections shouldn’t make much of an impact but these two great moves give fans a reason to be excited in the windy city.

Grade: B

Tompa Bay Buccaneers – Notable Additions: Joe Tryon, EDGE, Kyle Trask, QB and Robert Hainsey, OT

The rich get richer. The most complete team in the NFL and the defending champs really didn’t have any major holes entering the draft and were able to select an excellent EDGE rusher with the last pick of round 1. If he hadn’t sat out this year, Tryon would have been a top 20 pick and a great future replacement for JPP. The Florida QB stays in Florida with the Bucs getting Kyle Trask in round 2. A perfect fit for a productive college QB who comes in and gets to learn from the great Tom Brady for a few or 20 years as Brady seems to want to play until he is 60. To top it off, they get an offensive tackle who was a 3-year college starter out of O-line university, Notre Dame. Hainsey will never turn into the next Orlando Pace but could develop into a solid starter in the NFL. And oh, did I mention the Bucs already have two great offensive tackles? As a depth piece, Hainsey will be one of the best in the league.

Best Drafts from the NFC (excluding the 49ers)

New York Giants – Notable Additions: Kadarius Toney WR, Azeez Ojulari DE, Aaron Robinson CB, Bears 2022 first round pick

I absolutely loved what the NY Giants did on draft day(s). In round one they traded back with the Chicago bears securing extra picks, including the Bears 2022 first round pick. That move right there may have been the best thing they did all draft. Now as I mentioned earlier, I liked the move for Chicago to go get Fields but that does not mean I think Chicago is a contender this year. In a division where everyone except the Packers got better, I don’t see the Bears as a playoff team and predict them to be in the top 10 of next year’s draft. That pick could turn into an All-Pro player for the Giants. Selecting Kadarius Toney at #20 was a bit early for my liking but he is a great playmaker and for a team who has a true #1 wideout in Golladay, he will be a great piece to ensure they get the most out of Daniel Jones. The best pick form the Giants came in round 2 when they selected edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. I couldn’t believe he fell out of the first round let alone all the way to #50. Getting an outside pass rusher was their biggest need coming in and I think they got one of the best in the class. To top it off, in round 3 the Giants got a long and speedy corner in Aaron Robinson who will contribute this year. Loved the Giants’ draft and believe the players they got put them in a nice position to win the weak NFC East.

Grade: A-

Minnesota Vikings – Notable Additions: Christian Darrisaw OT, Kellen Mond QB, Chazz Surrat LB, Wyatt Davis OG

It was tough for me to decide who had a better draft between the Vikings and the Giants. The Giants extra first rounder next year put them over the top, but man were the Vikings close. Moving down in round 1 grabbing two extra third rounders from the NY Jets and still getting a stud at their biggest position of need, LT, was a huge win. Darrisaw reminds me a lot of Trent Williams with his size and athleticism and personally I liked him more as a LT than Rashawn Slater. Rumor had it, the Vikings would have went Justin Fields if he fell to 14 so no surprise, they ended up picking a QB and I loved the Kellen Mond selection in Round 3. A three-year starter who continued to get better and brings more athleticism to the position than Kirk Cousins ever could. Mond should sit for a year but if Cousins struggles and the Vikings miss the playoffs, I expect Mond to be the starter in 2022. While Darrisaw was a huge steal at #23, Wyatt Davis falling to round 3 was equally surprising. Pre-draft he was regarded by some as the top OG in the class and will instantly be a starter for the Vikings. I expect the Vikings to return to the playoffs, led by a great offensive line blocking for Dalvin Cook.

Grade: B+

Washington Football Team – Notable Additions: Jamin Davis, LB, Samuel Cosmi, OT, Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Dyami Brown, WR

Who needs a QB when you got Ryan Fitzmagic! The Washington Football team filled all major needs on the roster in this draft except...a young QB. But I am sure they have a plan for that. In round 1, they added a supreme athlete at the middle linebacker position in Jamin Davis to complete a terrifying defense filled with first round talent. In round 2, they selected Sam Cosmi another great Left Tackle prospect I was surprised to see fall, which was a steal for the Washington Football Team. A team that loves defense continued to get good players by grabbing Benjamin St-Justse in round 3. In a previous blog I wrote about St-Juste as I was hopeful the 49ers would get him. He is a long and fast corner and will currently be #3 on the depth chart in Washington, good luck throwing on that defense. Now they may not have invested in a franchise QB but boy oh boy does Fitzmagic have some serious weapons to throw to. Coming in to the draft with a great receiver room with McLaurin, free agent signee Curtis Samuel, and big bodied tight end Logan Thomas, adding Dyami Brown who is a big-time deep threat out of North Carolina with adequate size and good deep ball production. I expected him to go late in round 2 so they found good value here in round 3. Overall a great draft, although they will eventually need to address the long-term answer at QB, expect Fitzmagic to have some big numbers this year.

Grade: B

Worst Drafts

Green Bay Packers – Notable Picks: Eric Stokes, CB, Josh Myers, C, Amari Rodgers, WR

This team does not fail to disappoint. I can’t imagine the draft room in Green Bay, but I have to assume that it’s filled with a lot personnel that are disappointed each and every year. This year was no different. Selecting Eric Stokes in round 1 was a shocker to everyone. Most had Eric Stokes as a late 2/early round 3 pick; he wasn’t even considered the best cornerback on his own team at Georgia, that honor belonged to fellow Bulldog Tyson Campbell, who went in round 2. While corner was a position of need, the player and the timing of the pick did not make much sense with much better talent still on the board. Selecting Josh Myers was a need pick after losing the best center in football, Corey Linsley, to the Chargers this offseason and was just not a good pick. I had a much higher grade on Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma who was selected the following pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers finally went wide receiver in round 3, but Amari Rodgers is a slot receiver at best, and I don’t see him making a major impact to this offense. The Packers continue to pass on great talent at receiver and they will regret not picking Elijah Moore, Ronald Moore, or Terrace Marshal Jr. in round one. I don’t blame you Rodgers I would want out too!

Grade: C-

New Orleans Saints – Notable Picks: Payton Turner, DE, Pete Werner, LB, Paulson Adebo, CB

Not sure what the Saints were thinking in this draft as they reached for players multiple times with much better talent still on the board. Selecting Payton Turner in Round 1 was a head scratcher to say the least. While Payton is a fine prospect, he was not on the same level as Joe Tryon, Azeez Ojulari, or Odafe Oweh who were selected after Payton. In round 2, I figured they would go WR but instead picked a middle linebacker in Pete Werner, even though Demario Davis is one of their best defensive players. Dyami Brown, the wide receiver out of North Carolina, would have filled a much larger need for this team. Paulson Adebo was probably the only salvageable pick as corner was an area of need but passing up on too much talent too early on left for an overall bad draft for the Saints.

Grade: D+

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