NFL Draft Review: Day 1

April 30, 2021

Well, the night started the way everyone expected, but once we hit pick number three we were twisting like Chubby Checker coming back from the dead.

While the national media tried to convince us that the 49ers would take Mac Jones, they were rational and selected North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. It’s a nice fit and with only 17 collegiate starts under his belt, this gives him time to learn behind Jimmy Garoppolo.

The top three wide receivers went at picks 5, 6, and 10 and all were reunited with their college quarterbacks. Fantasy-wise this works out well because now establishing a rapport won’t take any time hardly at all.

Then we get to big story. The Chicago Bears traded up to No. 11 to take Ohio St. quarterback Justin Fields. Bears Nation has been raking General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy over the coals since the season ended. All might not be forgiven, but this was a good faith down payment. Fields will take the job from Andy Dalton sooner rather than later and given his strong arm and ability to run, he’s an enticing asset to roster.

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A look at all of Chicago after last night’s pick

On the backside of the Bears deal, the Giants took Kadarius Toney from Florida with the 20th selection. I have zero confidence that OC Jason Garrett knows how to use his skillset, so this is a stock down situation for me.

The fifth quarterback off the board was Mac Jones, who slid to New England at No. 15. I don’t know if that’s the person that the Patriots coveted, but perhaps they were not interested in moving additional assets to move up to acquire someone better. The Jets (THE JETS) leapfrogged team hoodie to steal the best guard in the draft. It’s not often New York out-maneuvers their division rival, so this came as a surprise.

At the back end of the round, the Steelers took Najee Harris from Alabama. He steps in as the No. 2 overall rookie draft pick behind Ja’Marr Chase in 1QB leagues and should be considered an RB1 in redraft. Travis Etienne was taken by Jacksonville at 25, killing both his and James Robinson’s value in a matter of moments. Jags coach Urban Meyer called him a “third-down back” after the draft, so that’s fun.

The last fantasy notable taken on the night was Minnesota wideout Rashod Bateman by the Ravens. Baltimore has a plethora of talent at receiver, but no one has stepped up to the alpha spot yet. There are points galore to be had if he can jive with Lamar Jackson.