Day Two of the 2021 NFL Draft has just ended, and many teams angled to get better and also stock up on Day Three picks and also future draft picks as well. Many pundits say the draft is really won and lost on Day Two, so lets take a look at some of the team that stood out on Friday.
Jaguars swing for the fences
For a team that was bad everywhere, the Jaguars needed to stock up on talent and potential on Day Two. To me, they did that fairly well, adding DBs Tyson Campbell and Andre Cisco and OT Walker Little. Cisco and Little have serious injury concerns, and Campbell is a fantastic athlete, but the Jaguars are prioritizing traits over the other questions. Campbell is a tough, physical CB who is a good fit for a man heavy scheme, and Cisco is a ballhawk who had 12 interceptions in two years. Little hasn’t played football in two years, but he has the athleticism and pedigree (former 5-star recruit) to warrant his draft position. These are big gambles for Jacksonville, but they’re likely to pay off.
Chargers and Bears continue to win the draft
I am convinced that Tom Telesco is a wizard. The LA Chargers GM saw Rashawn Slater fall right into his lap at 13, then saw a top DB in Asante Samuel Jr. fall into his hands at pick 47. Samuel may only be 5’10, but he plays feisty and is very good in press and off coverage. New Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley is the former Rams defensive coordinator, and had guys such as Jalen Ramsey, John Johnson III and Troy Hill in his secondary. By adding Samuel to a group that already has Derwin James, he is well on the way to remaking that.
If you were to tell me before the draft that the Chicago Bears would end up with Justin Fields and Teven Jenkins in the first two days, I would have laughed in your face. However, the Bears were able to snag Fields after trading up in the first round, then added his bookend tackle in Jenkins at pick 39. If there were any player I would want with me in a back alley brawl it would be Jenkins. He plays football with a mean disposition and is more technically refined than people would believe. He can play either tackle position and provides the Bears with an elite bodyguard for Fields. Bears GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy came into this draft on the proverbial hot seat due to their roster mismanagement. This draft should buy them some time.
Bengals confuse me with their OL process
I was one of the people who believed that the Cincinnati Bengals should have taken Oregon OT Penei Sewell with the fifth overall pick. They opted for LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, meaning they would look to address an offensive line unit that was poor last season. They opted to take former Clemson OT Jackson Carman with the 46th overall pick. Carman is projected to move inside to guard, but his arm length and technique leaves a lot to be desired. With players such as North Dakota State’s Dillon Radunz available at tackle, and Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis available on the inside, this pick confuses me. If they want to protect their former number one pick Joe Burrow, you would think that addressing the offensive line would be a top priority. Carman doesn’t give you that solution.
The Lions are going to make you eat glass and you will like it
Dan Cambell said in his introductory press conference that the Detroit Lions were going to bite kneecaps. I didn’t think he would mean it literally, but with the players that Detroit is bringing in, they’re building a culture of grit, toughness and effort. Drafting Penei Sewell with the 7th pick solidifies the right or left side of the offensive line for years to come, and then on Day Two the Lions added DT’s Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeil, and DB Ifeatu Melifonwu. Onwuzurike is an explosive, high energy DT who will help the Lions pass rush from the interior. McNeil is a stout run defender who punishes centers at the point of attack. Melifonwu is a 6’2 corner who is physical enough to come up and make tackles and is tailor made for a zone defense. The Lions will be a team run on sweat and Red Bull and I am excited to see it.
The Deshaun Watson Era is likely over in Houston
This feels like a foregone conclusion considering everything that has gone on with Watson, from the trade demands to the multiple sexual harassment allegations he has levied against him. The Texans have very few picks in the 2021 draft thanks to the wonderful work of Bill O’Brien, but they used one of their premium picks on Stanford QB Davis Mills. I don’t believe Mills is a huge needle mover at QB, but with Houston taking him this seems like the Texans are moving on from Watson at this point. Where he goes from here? I have zero clue, and we probably won’t know until after the draft.
Here are some of my superlatives from Day Two of the 2021 NFL Draft:
Biggest Head-Scratcher: LA Rams selecting Louisville WR Tutu Atwell 57th overall
Best Value: New Orleans Saints selecting Stanford DB Paulson Adebo 76th overall
Here are some of the best players left on the board entering Day Three:
- LB Jabril Cox, LSU
- WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
- WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
- DT Daivyon Nixon, Iowa
- OT Stone Forsythe, Florida