The first day of the 2021 NFL Draft came in and began as expected. Trevor Lawrence was selected with the first overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Three quarterbacks taken with the first three selections. The expected picks continued with Kyle Pitts being the first non-quarterback taken, selected by Atlanta at fourth overall. From there, however, things got a bit wild as players fell further than expected.
Justin Fields and Mac Jones, both once considered worthy of being the second pick, dropped to 12th and 15th picks. Fields is headed to the Windy City with the Bears, and Bill Belichick gets his guy in Jones for the Patriots. When the first draft was said and done, those two would be far from the most surprising drops. First-round talents like Alabama’s Christian Barmore and Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. were still on the board, turning Day 2 of the NFL Draft into a must watch.
Second Round Surprises
It took much longer than expected, but Barmore and Samuel were eventually drafted in the second round. Barmore became the first defensive tackle selected in the draft when the New England Patriots traded up with the Cincinnati Bengals. Their second pick from Alabama in this draft, Barmore is a stud that they didn’t want to miss at 38th overall. On the other hand, Samuel’s wait continued until the 47th overall pick when the Los Angeles Chargers felt they had an obvious selection on their hands.
For the most part, the second round of the draft wasn’t shocking, as teams drafted to fill definite needs. Five teams made solid additions at receiver, and a bulk of teams picked up offensive linemen and safeties. These are key positions that tend to drop off after the first 64 picks.
There was one pick that many may not have expected so early. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Kyle Trask out of the University of Florida with the last pick in the second round. The heir-apparent to Tom Brady is now in the building. Whenever the six-time champion decides to end his career, the Bucs hope Trask learns a thing or two first. While Trask could be heavily considered as the best quarterback available at 64th overall, one has to wonder if the Belichick / Jones hype pressured the Bucs to respond quickly on Day 2.
Houston Texans Enter the Draft in Round 3
As the 2021 NFL Draft entered the third round, the Houston Texans finally got to join the party. Houston entered the draft with no picks in the first or second rounds.
Without a doubt, the Houston Texans have had the hardest last few years of any team. There’s the DeAndre Hopkins trade, Bill O’Brien firing, Will Fuller IV PED suspension, J.J. Watt release, and of course the Deshaun Watson drama. So when the Houston Texans were on the clock in the third round, the new front office was presented with the chance to repair some of the damage done, and they started… kind of.
Whether it’s a statement pick of moving forward, or just best player available, the Texans took quarterback Davis Mills out of Stanford with the third pick of the third round. Rated as a “good back-up who can become a starter” by NFL.com, Mills will likely be behind Tyrod Taylor, whether Watson is an option this season or not. Still, not a sizzling pick for a flat franchise. It could be wondered if it was a response selection to Texas native Kellon Mond being selected by the Minnesota Vikings a pick earlier.
If the Texans in fact missed their guy in Mond, they weren’t risking it again. They traded up to 89th overall to take Nico Collins, a wide receiver out of Michigan. With the loss of Hopkins last year and Fuller’s leaving during the offseason in free agency, this selection makes more sense. It will be interesting to see how the front office continues to work on Day 3. The team currently doesn’t have a selection in the fourth round but has five picks in rounds five through seven.
Other Notes from NFL Draft Day 2
- The Minnesota Vikings appear to be preparing for life after Kirk Cousins with the selection of Kellon Mond. There isn’t real reason to expect Mond to unseat Cousins this year. The pick, however, does give the team time to develop another option behind Cousins. The fanbase may push to see the more athletic Mond sooner than later, depending on how the season starts.
- Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers got their quarterback in the first round in Trey Lance. They continued to build the offense into the third round, selecting running back Trey Sermon out of Ohio State. The pick is such a Shanahan selection.
- The Aaron Rodgers a trade request on Thursday was shocking. That the Green Bay Packers surprisingly responded by drafting a cornerback in the first round is ridiculous. They must have realized their error, and spent the next two rounds on offense. Josh Myers, a center, and Amari Rodgers, a Clemson wide receiver are a decent start.