2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective


2021 NFL Draft First Round: Picks 7-12

7. Detroit

CFN Best Available Player: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
Pick: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon (2nd overall CFN ranking)

Yeah you hi-five and hug, Detroit. A top wide receiver would’ve been nice, but Sewell is a fantastic value get at the seven. There’s your cornerstone franchise blocker.

The biggest knock on Sewell? He has a few immature streaks … HE WAS 19 WHEN HE WAS THE BEST BLOCKER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Give him just a little bit, and he’s going to be a dominant force.

The Lions need defensive back help, too, and now a slew of them there for Carolina.

8. Carolina

CFN Best Available Player: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina (28th overall CFN ranking)

I thought the Panthers would go with a top offensive lineman available, but after going all defense in last year’s draft, they start with D again.

It’s hard to argue with Horn – he’s got all the speed and all the tools – but he’s a call. This is a loaded class of cornerbacks, and taking one at the 8 is a big statement.

6-1, 205, 4.3 speed. That’s what you want in a corner, and now he’s Carolina’s lockdown guy right away.

9. Denver

CFN Best Available Player: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick: CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama (5th overall CFN ranking)

Dallas just broke something tasteful. You know it wanted Surtain or Horn.

Interesting. There’s no arguing whatsoever with taking Surtain in the top ten – he’s one of the best players in this thing, probably top five – but with Mac Jones and Justin Fields there, the Drew Lock experience lives for a little while longer.

Surtain doesn’t have any real NFL prospect flaws. He’s big, can fly, and he’s like a quarterback at corner. He’s everything you want in a corner, and now Dallas is hosed. The Cowboys needed a cornerback, and …

Trade WOW. Dallas traded its pick to Philadelphia.

Are the Eagles going after one of the quarterbacks? I don’t think so, but you know they HAVE to want DeVonta Smith here with Chase and Waddle gone.

Dallas got pantsed. There’s no way it thought it wouldn’t get one of the top corners here, but grabbling Caleb Farley wouldn’t have been that bad a call. However, they have the 12 – it can get a better value.

Philadelphia going offensive lineman would be smart, but that doesn’t seem like the type of thing it would’ve done to move up a few slots to get ahead of the Giants.

The Eagles don’t seem like they’re going receiver here. Micah Parsons makes sense, but again, if you’re trading up with Dallas – or all teams – there’s obviously one specific guy it wants.

10. Philadelphia (from Dallas)

CFN Best Available Player: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama (9th overall CFN ranking)

I don’t think the Giants go DeVonta, but why mess with it? The Eagles wanted the Heisman winner, and they went and got him.

With his size, is Smith really a No. 1 NFL receiver who can be a volume catcher? Nope, but he’s so good, so unstoppable, and so quick and … he’s DeVonta Smith. Now he gets to work with Jalen Hurts, and the new quarterback has the superstar target the offense needed.

11. Chicago (from New York Giants)

CFN Best Available Player: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State (12th overall CFN ranking)

WOW. Justin Fields to Chicago? That’s a thing.

Denver still has Drew Lock. Carolina still has Sam Darnold. They had better be right on their cornerback picks.

Whether or not this works, Chicago made the call of calls. With one pick, the entire tone and attitude of the franchise with one massive selection. That’s just good draft.

He was my fifth QB in the bunch, but whatever. The Bears got a guy who could’ve gone at the 2 with the 11, it made a reasonable trade to do it, and now it’s Game On.

12. Dallas (from Philadelphia from Miami from San Francisco)

CFN Best Available Player: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Pick: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State (3rd overall CFN ranking)

It’s going to go under the radar with all the big QB picks, but Dallas just nailed the pick getting Micah Parsons there AND it got a sweetner to do it.

The guy is a do-it-all linebacker who’s a disruptive force and can fit right in as one of the stars of a Dallas D that desperately needs defensive help. He’s one of the five best players in this draft – maybe top three – but he somehow slipped.

Yeah, you’d like to have had one of the top corners if you’re the Cowboys, but you’re very, very, very, very happy right now.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern (17th overall CFN ranking)

You HAVE to. It would’ve been drafting malpractice to not take a top offensive lineman to protect Justin Herbert, but Slater is just the start. There will be more O linemen coming to beef up the line.

Slater is a true left tackle, but he’s got the versatility to play in a variety of ways. He’s the one who’ll eventually be the pass rushing eraser on the outside.

Yeah, a wide receiver here would’ve been fun, but that’s coming. Getting Slater here is massive for the franchise, and the Chargers didn’t have to move up for it.

Minnesota trading out of the 14. Translation: “OOOOOOPS, we should’ve traded up to get Slater.”

Jets are absolutely going after Alijah Vera-Tucker. He’s so versatile that he can find an instant spot on the front five.

NEXT: 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Picks 13-20

More College Football News