The first round of this year’s draft was a whirlwind of action, drama, and surprise.
Some teams made bold moves to get their target players, while others were happy to move back and collect more picks for later in the draft.
Which teams immediately improved and gave their fans hope for the future of the franchise? Take a look at the big winners on day one of the NFL Draft.
The Florida-based NFL franchise has had a wretched record over the past decade. The Jags have had only one winning season in the last ten years. Including an NFL worse 1-15 record in 2020.
Thankfully, all this losing results in getting great draft picks. Jacksonville had the number one and number 25 pick in the first round of this year’s draft.
By selecting Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence as the number one pick, the Jags hope they have found their franchise quarterback for the next ten-plus seasons. Lawrence is the greatest QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012.
He’s a born winner, who can help drag the Jags from cellar dwellers into Superbowl contention. While it was an easy decision for the Jags front office, it should transform the franchise’s future.
Jacksonville followed up the number one pick by selecting another offensive weapon with the 25th pick. They picked explosive Clemson running back Travis Etienne to bolster their attacking options for 2021.
It reunites the two Clemson Tigers stars and gives the Jags a powerful pair of punches to attack NFL defenses with. The Jags have the 33rd pick and plenty more later in the draft to add more quality rookies to their promising squad.
The Chicago Bears made the biggest move of the night, trading up nine spots to pick former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields 11th overall.
Fortune favors the brave and the Bears sacrificed a lot to get their future starting QB. They gave up the number 20 and 164 picks in this year’s draft plus first and fourth-round draft picks in 2022.
The Bears have swung and missed before (Mitchell Trubisky) but Justin Fields was rated by many as the second-best quarterback in the draft. The dual-threat QB has been compared to Cowboys star Dak Prescott.
With Andy Dalton and Nick Foles already on the roster, the Bears can take their time with their rookie quarterback. The long-term future starter could compete immediately if Dalton and Foles struggle in pre-season.
It’s been a tough few years for Bears fans and they will be happy that they have a young QB that they can get behind.
New Englad Patriots
Another big winner of day one of the 2021 NFL Draft was the New England Patriots.
Patience is a virtue and it’s one that Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office most definitely have.
The Pats got their Tom Brady heir apparent in Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th pick of the first round. They didn’t have to trade up or give up any future draft picks to get their long-term starting quarterback.
Jones seems to be a perfect fit for the Patriots offense and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels must be excited to work with the rookie QB.
There’s no rush to throw Jones into the starting lineup with Cam Netwon and Jarrett Stidham on the roster for this season.