Author: Noah Clark
MADISON- The 2021 NFL draft had a lot of excitement and surprises this year. And now that it’s over, it’s time to look at what we learned from teams and their picks.
- The Panthers get Josh Norman 2.0 and help Sam Darnold.
The Panthers this off-season traded for former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and added some talent on the defensive side of the ball. Getting a corner in Jaycee Horn that is physical and can play upon receivers like Josh Norman used to boost. The offense also got better with the additions of Terrance Marshall, Tommy Tremble, and Chubba Hubbard and could make this Sam Darnold trade look excellent and fruitful, and I could see this Panthers team making some noise in the NFC South with the offseason that they just had.
- The next Brady?
The Patriots went all out in free agency to try and make themselves a competitive team for the 2021 season and, in the draft, got themselves a quarterback with Mac Jones and a pass rusher with Christian Barmore. But after that, the rest of the Patriot’s picks were terrible. Only adding one wide receiver is a concern for this offense in year two under Cam Newton and the same with Mac Jones. The development of Jones should be a fascinating one as while Jones was a winner in college, the transition to the NFL could make him a bust as a quarterback in the NFL.
- The Jets might be good again.
The Jets made some huge moves during the offseason bringing in a new head coach in Robert Saleh. Along with the head coach signing, the Jets may have found their Broadway Joe drafting Zach Wilson and getting weapons for this team by picking up Michael Carter and Elijah Moore. I’d give this team a couple of years before they can be competitive, and even with the pieces that they have, Mike Lafleur, the offensive coordinator, can make this offense better than it was last year.
- Bear Down
Please make no mistake about it; the Bears got the steal of the draft by getting quarterback Justin Fields and nabbing some protection for him by getting Teven Jenkins in the second round and a blazing wide receiver in the sixth round with Dazz Newsome. Under Pace and Nagy, this Bears team has been terrible at addressing the offense, and this draft may have extended their stay for another year in the Windy City. The only concern that I would have for the Bears is that they didn’t address the defensive side of the ball after losing some pieces to the squad.
- Packers nailed the draft despite the Rodgers news
The biggest news of the entire draft weekend was the Packers may be losing all-pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and it’s unfortunate because this was a draft that the Packers were going through based on need and getting some real playmakers. The best pick the Packers made during the weekend was in the third round when the Packers traded up to select Clemson wide receiver, Amari Rodgers. I loved this pick, not just for the fact that he is a wide receiver, it’s the fact that he is a playmaker and will immediately make an impact on this offense for the team this season, as he has excellent speed and can line up anywhere at the skill position. The Aaron Rodgers news hurts, but Packer fans should be happy with what they got during the draft.