Baird ’22: The first round of the 2021 NFL draft started on Thursday April 29th in Cleveland, Ohio, with the second through seventh rounds occurring Friday and Saturday. The Jacksonville Jaguars held the first pick in the draft followed by the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers. 

With the first pick in the draft the Jacksonville Jaguars selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson. The obvious choice for the Jags, he will help them get back on track. The New York Jets selected Zach Wilson from BYU, and the 49ers took Trey Lance from North Dakota State. The rest of the first round went in this order: 

Atlanta: Kyle Pitts

Cincinnati: Jamarr Chase

Miami: Jaylen Waddle

Detroit: Penei Sewell

Carolina: Jaycee Horn 

Denver: Patrick Surtain II

Philadelphia: Devonta Smith

Chicago: Justin Fields

Dallas: Micah Parsons

LA Chargers: Rashawn Slater 

New York Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker

New England: Mac Jones

Arizona: Zaven Collins

Las Vegas: Alex Leatherwood 

Miami: Jaelan Phillips 

Washington: Jamin Davis

New York Giants: Kadarius Toney 

Indianapolis: Kwity Paye

Tennessee: Caleb Farley

Minnesota: Christian Darrisaw

Pittsburgh: Najee Harris

Jacksonville: Travis Ettiene

Cleveland: Greg Newsome II

Baltimore: Rashod Bateman

New Orleans: Payton Turner, 

Green Bay: Troy Stokes

Buffalo: Greg Rosseau

Baltimore: Odafe Oweh

Tampa Bay: Joe Tryon

No bias in this pick, but the Detroit Lions ended up as one of the winners of this draft. A dream come true, star tackle Penei Sewell fell to them at pick seven. In the second through fourth rounds, the Lions picked only defensive players with DT Levi Onwuzurike, DT Alim McNeil, and CB Ifeatu Melifonwu.  With all of these players able to start from week one, these value picks help Detroit’s demand for defense.Their last three picks, WR Amon-Ra St.Brown, LB Derrick Barnes, and RB Jermar Jefferson, fill several needs for the Lions. Amon-Ra St.Brown fills their need for a big physical receiver, and Derrick Barnes fills their need for a linebacker. They also took a player with a high ceiling in running back Jermar Jefferson.

 Another winner of the draft, the New York Jets, took QB prospect Zach Wilson in round one. Wilson, a highly touted prospect from BYU gives the Jets a change of scenery from old QB Sam Darnold. They also selected guard Alijah Vera-Tucker with pick fourteen because the Jets needed a lineman to protect Wilson. While Vera-Tucker only fills one slot, he seems like a great piece to put at guard with their young line. They continued with taking offense with their next two picks, taking WR Elijah Moore, and RB Michael Carter fell to them in the fourth round. These great value picks for the Jets really  fulfill every offensive position. 

A loser of the draft, the Houston Texans lost their picks for the first two rounds due to the fact that their former GM traded them. New GM Nick Caserio avoided blowing up their future to trade up into the first or second round of the draft. The Texans took QB Davis Mills with their first pick of the third round.  Definitely not the smartest pick because they have superstar QB Deshaun Watson, Houston desperately needs defensive help.

The Packers, another loser of the draft, showed up a lot in the news lately because star quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly wants to play on a team other than Green Bay. The Packers reached for cornerback Troy Stokes when better defensive players remained on the board. The Packers addressed the need for another receiver by taking Amari Rodgers in the third round,  but Green Bay gave almost no help to Aaron Rodgers.

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