2021 NFL Draft grades: 5 teams that needed moreBy Matt Verderame
The 2021 NFL Draft is in the proverbial books, and we look at five teams who didn’t reach their full potential over the weekend.
5. Houston Texans
The Texans didn’t have either of their first or second-round picks after trading them in the Laremy Tunsil deal. However, when first-year general manager Nick Caserio got on the clock in the third round, he went for Stanford Cardinal quarterback Davis Mills. While the Deshaun Watson situation certainly plays into this, drafting a quarterback with the amount of other needs on this roster seems asinine. Also, the trading fiasco in the fourth round was embarrassing.
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4. Denver Broncos
The Broncos got some good players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Patrick Surtain II will be a nice fit in the secondary and Wisconsin-Whitewater guard Quinn Meinerz has upside in the third round. However, Denver could have completely changed the ceiling of the franchise by nabbing Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who went two picks later to the Chicago Bears. Maybe general manager George Paton thinks he can land Aaron Rodgers at some point, and fair enough, but it was a missed opportunity.
3. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams desperately needed help on the offensive line — specifically at center — and opted to take three wide receivers instead while doing nothing to upgrade the front. Los Angeles already has a pair of nice receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and while making additions is fine, three is overkill. Also, a running back in Jake Funk is a luxury for the Rams considering they also need more at linebacker. Odd draft.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
This is becoming an annual rite of passage. The Raiders selected offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood in the first round when most draft experts believe there were other players at the same position with much better upside. While the second-round choice of safety Trevon Moehrig from TCU is solid, it was surprising to see a lack of aggressiveness towards cornerback and defensive tackle earlier on. Las Vegas could have also used a receiver to pair with John Brown and Henry Ruggs III.
1. New Orleans Saints
It’s fair to give a benefit of the doubt to the Saints, but this is a bizarre draft. On multiple occasions, they drafted a player significantly ahead of where his projected slot was, including first-round edge rusher Payton Turner and second-round linebacker Pete Werner. Also, with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston on the roster, is Ian Book simply coming in to take a spot on the practice squad? Not a bad pick in the fourth, but just seems redundant.