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

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2021 NFL Draft First Round: Picks 13-20

14. New York Jets (from Minnesota)

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: OT/OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC (13th overall CFN ranking)

There’s no arguing with this, but … the Jets didn’t need to trade up to get him. Vera-Tucker is a fantastic talent who can fit at either guard spot after being tried out at tackle.

A guard might be boring, but you protect the franchise No. 2 overall pick however possible. Vera-Tucker is a top 15 all-around talent, and 14 is obviously a solid spot at a strong value.

The Vikings could’ve – and probably should’ve – taken Vera-Tucker.

Here comes the Mac Jones moment. The Patriots have to. If they don’t, the fan base is going to be really, really, really ticked.

15. New England

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: QB Mac Jones, Alabama (22nd overall CFN ranking)

It absolutely had to be done. It’s an amazing value pick – he could’ve easily had gone to San Francisco at the 3 – he’s ready from Day One, and just like Chicago making a franchise-pivot with Justin Fields, here you go.

It’s amazing value, and there’s really no pressure now. He’s the fifth quarterback taken, the 15th pick is actually around the right spot for him, and now the position is settled.

Why did the Jets have to trade up to get one pick ahead of the Patriots? Had someone else traded with the Vikings to get Mac Jones, that would’ve been an all-timer of a whiff by New England – it obviously wanted the QB.

16. Arizona

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa (41st overall CFN ranking)

I’m not that big a fan, but I get it. Collins is a freakish talent who has unparalleled instincts. Put him in the same linebacking corps as Isaiah Simmons, and yeeeeeeesh.

The Cardinals needed a cornerback more, and I’d like to have seen them make a big call and go running back with Najee Harris, but again, I get it. Collins has special upside.

Now comes the fun of the Las Vegas pick. I thought all along that one of the big five quarterbacks wouldn’t slip past here, but there are plenty of other needs to fill … like linebacker.

I called it earlier that it would be Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Oramoah, but guessing Collins was at least part of the discussion.

17. Las Vegas

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama (51st overall CFN ranking)

Oh Raiders … value, schmalue.

You’re never all that wrong to go with an offensive lineman, but Leatherwood is a second rounder and could’ve been had much, much later than the 17.

The NFL Network guys SO want to rip on Mike Mayock, but won’t/can’t do it. Again, it’s nothing against Leatherwood, but this is bad drafting. Know the value. Read the room.

18. Miami

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: DE Jaelen Phillips, Miami (20th overall CFN ranking)

Good for you, NFL. Absolutely nothing against Kwity Paye or the other pass rushers, but Phillips was the best outside presence of the bunch. He’s not the lightning fast guy that Jayson Oweh is, but he’s exactly what the Dolphins need.

They got the wide receiver, and they got the pass rusher. This is going well for Miami.

The offensive line has to be addressed at some point, but not in the top 18 with the value gets it was able to draft.

With that said, taking Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore or Purdue’s Rondale Moore to go along with Waddle would’ve been a mic drop moment.

Right here has been my Davis Mills call to Washington for a while, which means there’s no chance it’ll happen. Think offensive tackle or linebacker …

19. Washington

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky (36th overall CFN ranking)

No argument. Linebacker is a need pick, and the Football Team just got a 6-4, 234-pound guy who can run a 4.4.

He’s probably more of an early second rounder – he’s still more prospect than proven – but it’s not a crazy call to get more athletic and more dangerous. The Football Team has some ballers.

I’ll say it. The Football Team might be the best nickname in sports.

The Giants traded down to this next spot and there are pass rushers right there for the talking. It’s possible to go wide receiver or offensive tackle, but no matter what, it’s a good value spot for them.

20. New York Giants (from Chicago)

CFN Best Available Player: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Pick: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida (8th WR CFN ranking)

Ehhhhhhhh, okay, but one year. Toney runs a sub-4.4, and he’s got the size to be interesting, but he really only had one year of huge plays after three years of mediocre production.

I had Tennessee taking Toney at the 22, so it’s not that crazy, but …

Elijah Moore. That’s the wide receiver to take there, and I love Rondale Moore, but it’s hard to argue too much with the speed and upside of Toney. However, this is the 20th pick in the draft. He had better be special and he had better be a game-wrecker.

The Colts need a pass rusher, and several are available with a few good options to choose from. I like Jayson Oweh, but it’ll be Kwity time.

NEXT: 2021 NFL Draft First Round: Picks 21-32

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