The Winners and Losers of The 2021 NFL Draft


Gregory Shamus

The New York Giants selected Florida Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney with the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jack Bailey, Staff Writer

The 2021 NFL Draft began on April 29th and continued until May 1st. From Trevor Lawrence going first overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars to Grant Stuard, aka “Mr. Irrelevant”, being drafted 259th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this year’s celebration was filled with many highs and lows. As with every draft, there were certain teams who did better than others. Here are the winners and losers of the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s clear that one winner from the draft was the Miami Dolphins, who drafted the best players of need available. Thanks to a recent trade with the Houston Texans, the Fins were able to draft Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle with the 6th pick, and Miami defensive end Jaelan Phillips with the 18th pick. These were both positions that they needed help with, and even better, they went above and beyond with their remaining picks in the draft. From Notre Dame o-lineman Liam Eichenberg to Oregon safety Jevon Holland, the Dolphins are setting up for a great future. Expect them to be serious contenders in the AFC for years to come.

Arguably the biggest loser in the previous couple of NFL Drafts were the Las Vegas (formally Oakland) Raiders, and this year is no exception. General Manager Mike Mayock is known for drafting players in the first round that were projected to be second or even third-round selections, and this year that player was Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood is a solid offensive tackle who can pay off for years to come, but considering that other players at the same position such as Liam Eichenberg and Creed Humphrey were available, it causes many to scratch their heads. Why not draft 2x Big Twelve Offensive Lineman of the Year Humphrey in the first round, and pick another great player in the second round? The Raiders have made yet another questionable pick, but that isn’t anything new considering recent memory.

The Cleveland Browns’ success from the 2020 season has carried over to the draft, as they are one of my winners. The pick that has made headlines is the steal of Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who was drafted 52nd overall in the second round. JOK was projected to be picked in the mid-teens, but due to a heart issue and questions about how he’ll translate to the big leagues, he fell to the second day. The Browns had great selections beside JOK, as Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II and Ohio State defensive lineman Tommy Togiai will help further that elite defense. Cleveland is looking scary for the 2021 season.

The Seattle Seahawks are a loser not because of who they selected, but rather because of how many picks they had. The Seahawks drafted the second-fewest number of players since the common draft era began in 1967, as they had three picks throughout the seven rounds. I don’t know how the higher-ups in Seattle didn’t think this through when making trades over the past couple of years (ahem… Jets), but I hope they have something in mind to make this seem logical. Besides their number of picks, I like how they’re working to improve their offensive line. By drafting Florida o-lineman Stone Forsythe in the sixth round, the Hawks are showing they care about protecting star Quarterback Russell Wilson. Still, I just don’t understand the miniscule amount of picks.

The rookies will report to training camp on Tuesday, July 28th. Make sure to pay attention to see how your rookies will do in the upcoming season.