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NFL 2021 Draft Hits and Misses

by | May 18, 2021 | NFL Draft

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Hits:

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Chicago Bears Pick 11: Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)

Moving up in the 2017 draft to number 2 to select Mitchell Trubisky, bypassing DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, has to be one of the biggest blunders in draft day history.  Trying to atone for the miscue four years later, the Bears sent a slew of picks to the Giants to move up to number 11.  According to the draft NFL odds, Fields, ranked one of the top two or three quarterbacks, threw for over 5700 yards and 86 touchdowns at Ohio state and threw for 385 yards and six touchdowns in the 2020 CFB Playoff game against Clemson. The Bears have landed a true franchise quarterback.

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Dallas Cowboys Pick 12:  Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)

After finishing near the bottom of the NFL in team defense in 2020 and the retirement of Shawn Lee, the Cowboys needed to address the defense.  The 6’ 3”, 245-pound Parsons is an elite athlete that posted a sub-4.4 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine.  With wide receiver speed in a linebacker’s body, Parsons had 191 tackles, six forced fumbles, and 6.5 sacks at Penn State. Parsons will have plenty of chances to make plays and joins an already excellent group of linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.

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Misses:

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Jacksonville Jaguars Pick 25: Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)

Etienne came out of college as one of the top running backs on the board. In addition, it would appear that Etienne would be right at home in Jacksonville, teaming up again with Trevor Lawrence, who the Jaguars selected first overall. The problem is that the Jaguars starting running back in 2020, James Robinson, is coming off a 1070-yard season with 10 touchdowns.  Sure, Etienne adds depth to the position, but a more glaring need to fill early was the defense that allowed over 30 points per game. A defense back would have been the smart choice. Adding depth at running back could have been accomplished later in the draft.

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Los Angeles Rams Pick 57: Tutu Atwell, WR (Louisville)

The Rams wasted no time this offseason shaking things up by trading Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford.  He could have a career season with the likes of Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Robert Woods, and recently acquired veteran speedster DeSean Jackson to throw to. With no first-round picks, it would have made sense to address help defensively or along the offensive line.  The pick of a diminutive wide receiver in Atwell was a real head-scratcher.  There were at least two linebackers and several offensive linemen on the board to better fill a pressing need.  To select an undersized wide receiver when the team is loaded at the position made no sense at all.  Atwell may make the team as a special-teamer, but is that what you want out of pick 57? That’s highly unlikely.

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