The second and third round of the 2021 NFL Draft were quite eventful; some surprising picks, a few interesting trades and a few surprise selections were made. On that note, let’s take a look at the 2021 NFL Draft’s winners and losers after Day 1.
NFL Draft Winner: Zach Wilson
The New York Jets decided to take Elijah Moore from Ole Miss to give their #2 overall pick an explosive weapon.
Going into the 2021 NFL Draft, Elijah Moore was extremely underrated despite his extreme production in the SEC, which is an NFL cornerback farm. Moore should provide Wilson with a reliable #1 option as he begins his NFL career.
NFL Draft Loser: Pittsburgh Steelers
Going into the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a huge need at the O-Line.
Instead, they chose to take a running back in the first and a tight end in the second before finally addressing their need with a third-round pick used on Illinois’ Kendrick Green.
The Steelers missed out on the best available talents to take Najee Harris and Pat Freirmuth. Offensive lines are the foundation of an offense, but the Pittsburgh Steelers chose accessory items rather than reinforcing their foundation.
NFL Draft Winner: Kyle Shanahan
The 49ers' selections of Aaron Banks and Trey Sermon on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL draft scream Kyle Shanahan.
Banks is a rotation guard right now and could eventually develop into a starter, while Sermon is an absolute monster when he has his A game.
During a three-game span late in the season for OSU, Sermon had 70 carries, 636 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He is a traditional one cut-back who thrives in the open space. He could be a go-to rotation piece early for Kyle Shanahan.
NFL Draft Losers: Amari Rodgers and The Green Bay Packers Front Office
A day after franchise QB Aaron Rodgers requested a trade, the Green Bay Packers took Clemson Wide Receiver Amari Rodgers in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Rodgers (the receiver) is a promising prospect who could turn out to be a great #2 receiver, but if their star QB is traded away, he’ll just be a reminder of what once was.
The Green Bay Packers front office seemed tense in every interview, as they got hounded with questions concerning star QB Aaron Rodgers. The Front Office clearly didn’t expect a trade request so late in the season or during such a vital squad-building event.
NFL Draft Winners: The Chicago Bears and GM Ryan Pace
The Chicago Bears' Round-2 selection of Teven Jenkins was one of the best picks on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Jenkins plays with an edge one just can’t teach, and he could help upgrade one of the NFL’s worst rushing units immediately. Picking Teven Jenkins continues Ryan Pace’s impressive draft week, as he continues to fill vital needs for the Chicago Bears and has brought new life to the franchise.
NFL Draft Losers: The Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow
The Cincinnati Bengals had a major need at tackle going into the NFL draft. But rather than address that, they chose to take a bonafide #1 receiver rather than a potential Hall Of Fame tackle.
Their selection of Jackson Carman out of Clemson is a decent pick, but they are placing the health of star QB Joe Burrow in question just for a few 'wow' plays here and there.
NFL Draft Winners: Sam Darnold and Joe Brady
Sam Darnold has experienced a mind-boggling jump in offensive talent, going from the Jets to the Panthers.
The selection of LSU WR Terrace Marshall Jr. only adds to what was already a stacked weapons room. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady experienced a lukewarm first season as a play caller, but an upgrade at QB and WR could provide him with a strong foundation to take off in year 2.
NFL Draft Loser: Kyle Trask
It’s such an odd fit for Kyle Trask in Tampa.
First, it is well established that he will not start, and if he does, he would be stepping into the shoes of arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, quite an ask for a kid straight out of college.
The second concern is that if, in a few years, Bruce Arians retire as expected, would the new HC even want Kyle Traskin Tampa Bay as his starter?