Head coach: Dan Campbell
Draft grade: B+
Round 1, No. 7: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Round 2, No. 41: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Round 3, No. 72: Alim McNeill, DT, NC State
Round 3, No. 101: (Via L.A. Rams) - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Round 4, No. 112: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Round 4, No. 113: (Via trade with Browns) - Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue
Round 7, No. 257: (Via trade with Browns) - Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon
Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the Lions were rumoured to select a wide receiver with their first-round pick. However, with offensive linemen Penei Sewell falling right into the palms of Detroit at seventh overall, there was no hesitation on their selection. Sewell was graded as the top offensive lineman in the draft, and the Lions draft room erupted with elation after the pick was announced by the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The Lions managed to address a few key positions in this draft; their defensive line, which was one of the worst in the league last season, now gets a boost with two new defensive tackles, but it still doesn’t seem like two defensive tackles, a cornerback and a linebacker will be enough to turn this defense around. Although, it’s a step in the right direction.
Lions fans should pay particular attention to wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown out of USC [Universtiy South California]. With the Lions having such a depleted receiving core, it's not bonkers to think that St. Brown could quickly find himself as a primary option for the Lions and develop into a reliable pass-catching option for Goff.
Overall, the Lions performed well in the draft. They managed to draft quality players and didn’t reach on too many picks. Failure to select more offensive weapons leaves their offense in disarray after losing Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay in the offseason. However, it was still a respectable draft for the Lions.
Head coach: Mike Zimmer
Draft grade B-
Round 1, Pick No. 23: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Round 3, Pick No. 66: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas Tech
Round 3, Pick No. 78: Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
Round 3, Pick No. 86: Wyatt Davis, OG, Ohio State
Round 3, Pick No. 90: Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pitt
Round 4, Pick No. 119: Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State
Round 4, Pick No. 125: Camryn Bynum, CB, California
Round 4, Pick No. 134: Janarius Robinson, DE, Florida State
Round 5, Pick No. 157: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, DT, Iowa
Round 5, Pick No. 168: Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri
Round 6, Pick No. 199: Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh
The Vikings’ draft certainly didn’t go as planned. Draft rumours flooded social media in the days after the draft that claimed the Vikings were interested in the Bears’ first-round pick, Justin Fields. Footage emerged of the Carolina Panthers getting a call from the Vikings who were trying to bump up their draft position in order to select Fields or Rashawn Slater. The Vikings’ offer didn’t tempt the Panthers into a trade. In the end, the Vikings did find a solution to their quarterback crisis. They drafted Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond at 66th overall in the third-round. It’s not their first choice, but Mond has a high ceiling and Minnesota certainly has the offensive firepower to facilitate the growth of a young quarterback.
With Cousins’ contract expiring next season, if Mond impresses in pre-season, he could become the franchise quarterback. Expect to hear the Mond vs Cousins debate a lot this season...
Selecting two offensive linemen within their first four selections, the Vikings didn’t shy away from revealing what their number one priority was in the draft: protecting Cousins! After an abysmal 2020/2021 season for the Vikings' offensive line, new additions at guard and tackle should provide the foundation for a solid offensive line that the Vikings can build on in the future. Selecting offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw at pick 23 was a tremendous steal for the Vikings.
In conclusion, the Vikings had a decent draft and certainly got a few players that should do a great job in filling some of the frail positions on their roster. However, failure to be aggressive in their pursuit of Justin Fields lands the Vikings in an awkward situation as Fields ended up at their fierce rivals: the Chicago Bears. The Vikings’ weak attempt to land Fields could haunt them for many seasons to come.
Head coach: Matt Nagy
Draft grade: A+
Round 1, pick No. 11 (from NYG) – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Round 2, pick No. 39 (from CAR) – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Round 5, pick No. 151 (from CAR) – Larry Borom, OT, Missouri
Round 6, pick No. 217 (from TB through SEA) – Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech
Round 6, pick No. 221 Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina
Round 6, pick No. 228 Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon
Round 7, pick No. 250 (from SEA) – Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU
No team made more headlines after the draft than the Chicago Bears. Their decision to trade up for Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was one of the gutsiest moves of the whole draft. It's no secret that the Bears have struggled at quarterback, and it looked like there would be no long-term solution to their quarterback problem after they recently signed Andy Dalton who was coming off his stint as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback after Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in week 5.
The quarterback situation in Chicago was flipped on its head as soon as the Bears traded their 2021 first-round pick (pick 20) , 2021 fifth-round pick (pick 164) and first and fourth rounders in 2022 to the New York Giants in order to move up to the Giants’ first-round pick, where they selected quarterback Justin Fields at 11th overall.
It was a move that threw every draft analyst and NFL fan into a frenzy. The Bears might finally have the solution to what seems like a never-ending problem at quarterback. The sky is the limit for Fields, and with the right coaching and advice, Fields and the Bears could set the NFL on fire this season.
It's not just the Bears’ first-round selection that made their draft so impressive, but the selection of Teven Jenkins in the second-round was arguably one of the bargains of the draft. Jenkins was projected to go in the first-round of the draft, but he slipped into the second-round, which allowed the Bears to snatch him up.
In conclusion, the Bears got their star quarterback for the right price and their draft selections following their trade with the Giants only provided Fields with more opportunities to become a star in the windy city.
Green Bay Packers
Head coach: Matt LeFleur
Draft grade: B-
Round 1, Pick No. 29: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Round 2, Pick No. 62: Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
Round 3, Pick No. 85: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Round 4, Pick No. 142: Royce Newman, OT, Ole Miss
Round 5, Pick No. 173: Tedarrell Slaton, DT, Florida
Round 5, Pick No. 178: Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State
Round 6, Pick No. 214: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
Round 6, Pick No. 220: Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Round 7, Pick No. 256: Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
With Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay looking a little uncertain, it was paramount that the Packers had a good draft. The Packers usually find some way of surprising the NFL in the draft. Like trading up to select a quarterback Jordan Love in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
However, this year, Green Bay had adequate draft that consisted of no major shocks. Although Rodgers and Packers fans have been calling for another elite wide receiver, the Packers turned their attention to the cornerback position in the first-round and selected Eric Stokes at 29th overall. The Georgia cornerback will pair up nicely alongside All-Pro corner Jaire Alexander. However, Stokes may take some time to adjust to a new scheme as he played a press man scheme in Georgia, but the Packers play a zone-heavy defense.
With All-Pro centre Corey Linsey signing a four-year deal with the Chargers, finding a replacement at centre was vital. The packers drafted centre Josh Myers out of Ohio State in the second-round. Meyers will need to hit the ground running in Green Bay and will likely make his NFL debut for the Packers’ week one encounter against the Saints.
Brian Gutekunst [the packer's general manager] saw something in Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers that he felt was worth trading up for. Rodgers will be competing with Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St.Brown for the number two option at wideout. It appeared as if selecting three offensive players in three straight rounds was a peace offering from the Packers to Aaron Rodgers in an effort to keep the 2020 league MVP in Green Bay, but it could be too little too late.
The Packers managed to add depth to some of their weakest positions and provide Rodgers with some protection on his offensive line and improve his receiving core. However, the Packers still managed to revert to their old ways by ignoring the wide receiver position until the later rounds of the draft. Failure to select an elite pass-catching prospect could result in the same Packers offense we saw last season. An offense fully dependent on Davante Adams, Robert Tonyan and Aaron Jones that falls short due to their inability to find other reliable receivers for Rodgers.