The 2021 NFL Draft is under way. As the draft goes on, teams will be graded on how they have done. Here are the 2021 NFL Draft Grades.
Note: This post will be updated through draft weekend.
Buffalo Bills: A
Draft Picks: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, EDGE Carlos Basham, OT Spencer Brown, OT Tommy Doyle, WR Marquez Stevenson, S Damar Hamlin, CB Rachad Wildgoose, OG/C Jack Anderson
The Bills got great value and filled a need in the picking of Rousseau, who had great production in 2019. Getting another edge rusher in Basham in round two was good value, but getting two of them with other needs may not have been the best call. Brown can be a really good, athletic developmental tackle.
Miami Dolphins: A
Draft Picks: WR Jaylen Waddle, Edge Jaelan Phillips, S Jevon Holland, OT Liam Eichenberg, TE Hunter Long, OT Larnel Coleman, RB Gerrid Doaks
Waddle will reconnect with his college quarterback, which also will give the team a dynamic slot receiver. The Phillips’ pick is very risky with his injury history, but he presents good value with healthy. Holland can help at the back end of the defense, but the Dolphins may have waited too long to help the offensive line. Luckily, they got Liam Eichenberg with their next pick, who was a great pass blocker at Notre Dame. Long can be a solid second tight end behind Mike Gesicki.
New England Patriots: A
Draft Picks: QB Mac Jones, DL Christian Barmore, EDGE Ronnie Perkins, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, LB Cameron McGrone, S Joshua Bledsoe, OT William Sherman, WR Tre Nixon
New England sat back and waited and got their quarterback in Jones in the first round. The Patriots drafted the best interior defensive lineman in the class in Barmore to continue to get more value. Things continued to go well in the third when they got a steal in Ronnie Perkins.
New York Jets: A
Draft Picks: QB Zach Wilson, OG/C Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Elijah Moore, RB Michael Carter, S Jamien Sherwood, CB Michael Carter, CB Jason Pinnock, S Hamsah Nasirildeen, CB Brandin Echols, DL Jonathan Marshall
The Jets could’ve taken Justin Fields with their first pick, but Wilson was still solid. Alijah Vera-Tucker is a good interior lineman, but they traded up nine spots to get him. Drafting a weapon like Moore in the early second gives Wilson a chance to succeed
Dallas Cowboys: B
Draft Picks: LB Micah Parsons, CB Kelvin Joseph, DL Osa Odighizuwa, EDGE Chauncey Golston, CB Nahshon Wright, LB Jabril Cox, OT Josh Ball, WR Simi Fehoko, DL Quinton Bohana, CB Israel Mukuamu, OG/C Matt Farinok
Dallas picked a great player in Parsons, who can be a game-changer, but they already have a lot of linebackers they have picked over the last several years. Joseph gives them a starting-caliber corner from round two. The Odighizuwa pick cemented Dallas’ dedication to fix the defense, even if he was taken a little too early. Golston was also a reach. They drafted Wrigth too soon, but he can be a good press corner.
New York Giants: A
Draft Picks: WR Kadarius Toney, EDGE Azeez Ojulari, CB Aaron Robinson, EDGE Elerson Smith, RB Gary Brightwell, CB Rodarius Williams
The Giants received a king’s ransome to trade down and then got another weapon for Daniel Jones in Toney. If Ojulari’s medicals check out, he presents extremely good value for the Giants. Robinson can develop into a decent man to man corner at the next level.
Philadelphia Eagles: A
Draft Picks: WR DeVonta Smith, OG/C Landon Dickerson, DL Milton Williams, CB Zech McPhearson, RB Kenneth Gainwell, DL Marlon Tuipulotu, EDGE Tarron Jackson, S JaCoby Stevens, EDGE Patrick Johnson,
While it took a trade up to get him, the Eagles got a true weapon for Jalen Hurts to grow with. Dickerson is a versatile player who can bolster their offensive line. Williams gives them a versatile defensive lineman.
Washington Football Team: B
Draft Picks: LB Jamin Davis, OT Sam Cosmi, CB Benjamin St. Juste, WR Dyami Brown, S Darrick Forrest, LS Camaron Cheeseman, EDGE William Bradley-King, EDGE Shaka Toney, WR Dax Milne
Washington has a well-built team and took a position of need in the first round. Davis is a very athletic player who can grow into a really good linebacker. Cosmi fell to Washington in round two and fills a need. St. Juste has some injuries in his past to worry about, but provides good length. In Brown, Washington will have a deep threat for Ryan Fitzpatrick to utilize.
Baltimore Ravens: B
Draft Picks: WR Rashod Bateman, EDGE Jayson Oweh, OG/C Ben Cleveland , CB Brandon Stephens, WR Tylan Wallace, CB Shaun Wade, EDGE Daelin Hayes, FB Ben Mason
Getting Bateman late in the first was great, but Oweh may have been a slight reach. They also failed to address their need for an offensive tackle on the first day. Cleveland can give the offensive line a jolt of power. They may have reached on Stephens in the third.
Cincinnati Bengals: C+
Draft Picks: WR Ja’Marr Chase, OT Jackson Carman, Edge Joseph Ossai, EDGE Cameron Sample, DL Tyler Shelvin, OT D’Ante Smith, K Evan McPherson, OG/C Trey Hill, RB Chris Evans, EDGE Wyatt Hubert
Cincinnati reunited Chase with his college quarterback in Joe Burrow. The duo will likely be very productive, but they left Penei Sewell on the board, who could have helped protect the quarterback better. While they traded down, the Bengals still reached for Carman. Ossai is still learning how to be an effective edge and could produce situationally in 2021.
Cleveland Browns: A
Draft Picks: CB Greg Newsome, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, WR Anthony Schwartz, OL James Hudson, DL Tommy Togiai, LB Tony Fields, S Richard LeCounte, RB Demetric Felton
Newsome is a great man to man corner when he can stay healthy. The Browns desperately needed depth in the secondary. Getting Owusu-Koramoah to boslter a bad linebacker group is a dream come true for Cleveland. Schwartz can give the offense way more speed next season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C
Draft Picks: RB Najee Harris, TE Pat Freiermuth, OG/C Kendrick Green, OT Dan Moore, LB Buddy Johnson, DL Isaiahh Loudermilk, EDGE Quincy Roche, CB Tre Norwood, LB Pressley Harvin,
The Steelers got their running back, but they had bigger needs on the offensive line and at edge rusher. Freiermuth was drafted with good value, but they have completely neglected the offensive line. Pittsburgh finally got a decent lineman in this draft in the selection of Green in the third round.
Chicago Bears: A
Draft Picks: QB Justin Fields, OT Teven Jenkins, OT Larry Borom, RB Khalil Herbert, WR Dazz Newsome, CB Thomas Graham, DL Khyiris Tonga
Taking Fields was a good pick, but the Bears gave up a lot to move up to get him. They need to make the most of Fields immediately. Getting Jenkins in the second round presented good value and will help the Bears keep Fields healthy.
Detroit Lions: A
Draft Picks: OT Penei Sewell, DL Levi Onwuzurike, DL Alim McNeill, CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, LB Derrick Barnes, RB Jermar Jefferson,
Sewell is an offensive tackle talent that doesn’t come around very often. The Lions improved on the offensive line, even though that wasn’t a huge weakness. Onwuzurike will help bolster a below average defensive line. Taking two defensive linemen was a bit much, but McNeill did well even when he was played out of position in college. Melifonwu could end up starting across from Jeffrey Okudah.
Green Bay Packers: C+
Draft Picks: CB Eric Stokes, OG/C Josh Myers, WR Amari Rodgers, DL Tedarrell Slaton, CB Shemar Jean-Charles, OT Cole Van Lanen, RB Kylin Hill,
Although Stokes fills a need, the Packers have failed to adequately get Aaron Rodgers help. They drafted poorly in 2019 and still haven’t given him a day one receiver to utilize along with Davante Adams. There were better interior linemen on the board when the team took Meyers, but he will likely replace Corey Linsley in day one. Rodgers got a weapon in the third round and Rodgers is a solid pick, but they should’ve addressed it earlier.
Minnesota Vikings: A
Draft Picks: OL Christian Darrisaw, QB Kellen Mond, LB Chazz Surratt, OG/C Wyatt Davis, EDGE Patrick Jones, RB Kene Nwangwu, CB Camryn Bynum, EDGE Janarius Robinson, WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, TE Zach Davidson. DL Jaylen Twyman
The Vikings traded down, got good value and filled a need by taking Darrisaw at 24. Taking Kellen Mond in the third round leaves a lot of good players on the table who can help them compete now. Surrat presented good value and will have to sit and learn behind some good linebackers in Minnesota. They got great value in Davis to further improve their offensive line. Minnesota needed an edge for a long time and finally addressed it with the selection of Jones in the third round.
Houston Texans: F
Draft Picks: QB Davis Mills, WR Nico Collins, TE Brevin Jordan, LB Garrett Wallow, DL Roy Lopez
Houston has already traded away their future and it looks like they will be going through a major rebuild. Mills has limited experience and can learn behind Tyrod Taylor, but it might be a few years before the Texans can compete. Collins has some upside with his measurements and athleticism.
Indianapolis Colts: B-
Draft Picks: EDGE Kwity Paye, EDGE Dayo Odeyingbo, TE Kylen Granson, S Shawn Davis, QB Sam Ehlinger, WR Mike Strachan, DL Will Fries
Paye was a decent value, but the Colts could’ve picked an offensive tackle to replace Anthony Castonzon in the first round. Doubling down on edge rushers probably wasn’t the best idea with different needs still on the board.
Jacksonville Jaguars: B
Draft Picks: QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, CB Tyson Campbell, OT Walker Little, S Andre Cisco, DL Jay Tufele, EDGE Jordan Smith, TE Luke Farrell, WR Jalen Camp
Lawrence was the slam dunk pick. Etienne doesn’t fill a position of need, but will at least give Lawrence some familiarity. Getting an athletic corner like Campbell on day two gives them two young corners to build upon. Little moves well for a tackle, but hasn’t played in two seasons. Safety was a need and Cisco his a boom or bust type of player with his aggressiveness.
Tennessee Titans: A
Draft Picks: CB Caleb Farley, OT Dillon Radunz, LB Monty Rice, CB Elijah Molden, WR Dez Fitzpatrick, EDGE Rashad Weaver, WR Racey McMath, S Brady Breeze
Even though he is injured, Farley is the best cover corner in the class and fills an area of need for the Titans. Radunz will step in for Isaiah Wilson, who was a bad pick last season. Rice is a smart linebacker who could develop into a solid starter. Molden doesn’t have the greatest athleticism, but he has great instincts and versatility.
Atlanta Falcons: B+
Draft Picks: TE Kyle Pitts, S Richie Grant, OT Jalen Mayfield, OG/C Drew Dalman, DL Ta’Quan Graham, EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji, CB Avery Williams
They needed more defense, but Pitts is a unicorn at tight end and can make the Falcons more dynamic. In the second round, the Falcons traded down and selected Richie Grant, but they left Trevon Moehrig on the board. Mayfield provided good value in the third round and could step into the starting lineup at guard or tackle if asked.
Carolina Panthers: B
Draft Picks: CB Jaycee Horn, WR Terrace Marshall Jr., OT Brady Christensen, TE Tommy Tremble, RB Chuba Hubbard, DL Daviyon Nixon, OG/C Deonte Brown, WR Shi Smith, LS Thomas Fletcher, DL Phil Hoskins
Horn is a very physical corner who can be great in Carolina. After losing Curtis Samuel in free agency, they got a solid replacement in Marshall Jr. The Panthers waited on offensive line a little bit later than they should have, but Christensen was taken within the right range. Tremble loves to block and is athletic, so he can develop into a really good tight end.
New Orleans Saints: D
Draft Picks: EDGE Payton Turner, LB Pete Werner, CB Paulson Adebo, QB Ian Book, OT Landon Young, WR Kawaan Baker
The Saints had huge needs at wide receiver and cornerback. They decided to reach in the first round for Turner. Werner doesn’t have athletic upside, but is a solid linebacker. The Saints needed a corner and got solid value in Adebo, but waited too long to draft one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: D
Draft Picks: EDGE Joe Tryon, QB Kyle Trask, OT Robert Hainsey, WR Jaelon Darden, LB K.J. Britt, CB Chris Wilcox, LB Grant Stuard
The Bucs don’t have any needs. Tryon sat out the 2020 season and needs to play with more aggression. Trask wasn’t the best quarterback on the board, but could be the eventual Tom Brady successor. The Bucs reached to take Hainsey.
Denver Broncos: B-
Draft Picks: CB Patrick Surtain, RB Javonte Williams, OG/C Quinn Meinerz, LB Baron Browning, S Caden Sterns, WR Seth Williams, S Kary Vincent, EDGE Jonathon Cooper, EDGE Marquiss Spencer
Denver reportedly picked Surtain II because they have corners with expiring deals at the end of the 2021 season. They left Justin Fields and Micah Parsons on the board. Letting Philip Lindsay walk and drafting Javonte Williams is perplexing, even though he presented decent value. Meinerz can be a powerful and athletic interior lineman for the Broncos. Browning is a good athlete who could end up making an impact at inside linebacker.
Kansas City Chiefs: A
Draft Picks: LB Nick Bolton, OG/C Creed Humphrey, EDGE Joshua Kaindoh, TE Noah Gray, WR Cornell Powell, OG/C Trey Smith
The Chiefs traded their first round pick for Orlando Brown, which will make their offensive line better this year. Getting Nick Bolton in the second was a great pick at an area of need. Humphrey is a day one starter who was drafted late in the second round.
Las Vegas Raiders: C+
Draft Picks: OT Alex Leatherwood, S Trevon Moehrig, Edge Malcolm Koonce, S Divine Deablo, S Tyree Gillespie, CB Nate Hobbs, OG/C Jimmy Morrissey,
Leatherwood is a solid tackle, but the Raiders likely took him too early. Getting the best safety in the class in Moehrig will really help the back of their defense. Koonce was a reach, but Deablo was a solid pick. They just need to find out where Deablo will play, as they already took Moehrig earlier.
Los Angeles Chargers: A
Draft Picks: OT Rashawn Slater, CB Asante Samuel Jr., WR Josh Palmer, TE Tre McKitty, EDGE Chris Rumph, OT Brenden Jaimes, LB Nick Niemann, RB Larry Rountree, S Mark Webb
The Chargers needed to get Justin Hebert some more protection and Slater fell in their laps. In the second round, the Chargers drafted a first-round talent in Samuel Jr. at corner. Palmer can help provide another weapon in between Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. McKitty could be a longterm replacement for Hunter Henry.
Arizona Cardinals: C
Draft Picks: LB Zaven Collins, WR Rondale Moore, CB Marco Wilson, EDGE Victor Dimukeje, CB Tay Gowan, OG/C Michael Menet
In 2020, the Cardinals totally misused Isaiah Simmons. Now they took another linebacker in Collins when there were better players on the board.The Cardinals didn’t need another receiver, but getting Moore in the second is great value.
Los Angeles Rams: B
Draft Picks: WR Tutu Atwell, LB Ernest Jones, DL Bobby Brown, CB Robert Rochell, WR Jacob Harris, EDGE Earnest Brown, RB Jake Funk, WR Ben Skowronek, LB Chris Garrett
Getting Jalen Ramsey for their first round pick is well worth it. In the second round, the Rams took Tutu Atwell, who has good speed, but is very small for the NFL. Jones isn’t the fastest or strongest, he does have a high football IQ.
San Francisco 49ers: B
Draft Picks: QB Trey Lance, OG/C Aaron Banks, RB Trey Sermon, CB Ambry Thomas, CB Deommodore Lenoir, S Talanoa Hufanga, RB Elijah Mitchell
Lance was the correct pick at no. 3, but the 49ers had to trade a lot to move up and get him. They also still have Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster. Banks will help get the running bame going again for the 49ers. Sermon doesn’t really fill a need, but could be a solid contributor like the other San Francisco running backs. Thomas can help in the return game while he develops as a corner.
Seattle Seahawks: C
Draft Picks: WR D’Wayne Eskridge, CB Tre Brown, OT Stone Forsythe
While Jamal Adams didn’t play well last season, the Seahawks likely still got more use out of the first round pick than they have the last few seasons. Eskridge gives them a nice weapon, but they are still failing to protect Russell Wilson.
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