top of page

7 Up, 7 Down: 2021 NFL Draft Edition

(image credit: John Kuntz /

Written by: Joseph Yun

The 2021 NFL Draft has been done and dusted for a couple of weeks and newly minted rookies took part in rookie minicamps this past weekend. Which organizations had a class that will go down as one of the better ones in team history? Which ones need some work to get there?

Welcome to the new series where I’ll take a look at some of the hottest league wide topics in stock market view. Who were the key players in a bull market? Which teams led the bear market? Are there any “dogecoin” teams waiting to burst onto the scene? Can the bear market teams rebound or will they go the way of current energy stocks?


1. Minnesota Vikings

1.23 Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech

3.66 Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M

3.78 Chazz Surratt LB North Carolina

3.86 Wyatt Davis iOL Ohio State

3.90 Patrick Jones EDGE Pittsburgh

4.119 Kene Nwangwu RB Iowa State

4.125 Camryn Bynum CB Cal

4.134 Janarius Robinson EDGE Florida State

5.157 Ihmir Smith-Marsette WR Iowa

5.168 Zach Davidson TE Davidson

6.199 Jalen Twyman DL Pittsburgh

- The Vikings had a home run draft overall. I really liked how they managed to snag their Riley Reiff replacement in Darrisaw even after trading down numerous spots. They won the third round with the three selections. Mond likely won’t start for a year or two but he’s pro ready learning under Jimbo Fisher and a value pick after he was talked about a round earlier. Wyatt Davis was graded out to be the top true guard in the class. There’s immense value up and down the class. Robinson is a twitchy and long armed pass rusher who didn’t click at FSU but has physical tools. To get the Pittsburgh pair is a steal. They’ll thrive under Coach Zimmer and co. The only quibble I have is the Nwangwu pick.

2. Cleveland Browns

1.26 Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern

2.52 Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame

3.91 Anthony Schwartz WR Auburn

4.110 James Hudson OT Cincinnati

4.132 Tommy Togiai DL Ohio State

5.153 Tony Fields II LB West Virginia

5.169 Richard LeCounte S Georgia

6.211 Demetric Felton WR / RB UCLA

- Cleveland had a solid no nonsense offseason and the draft was a continuation of that. They added to an intriguing secondary with Newsome II and got a likely steal of the draft in JOK. Some serious firepower was added to the receiver room with Schwartz and the electric playmaker Felton who will convert back to receiver but will get some carries. Baker Mayfield has no excuses with the weaponry assembled for him in his all crucial fourth season. Fields II should’ve gone at least round higher as he screams future green dot commander. LeCounte only adds to the secondary depth. Togiai adds to an impressive defensive line room that features the likes of superstar EDGE and every tailor’s worst nightmare Myles Garrett plus Jadaveon Clowney. Much will be expected of Cleveland in 2021. Can they rock and roll to the AFC North title and beyond?

3. Carolina Panthers

1.8 Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina

2.59 Terrace Marshall WR LSU

3.70 Brady Christensen OT BYU

3.83 Tommy Tremble TE Notre Dame

4.126 Chuba Hubbard RB Oklahoma State

5.158 Daviyon Nixon DL Iowa

5.166 Keith Taylor CB Washington

6.193 Deonte Brown iOL Alabama

6.204 Shi Smith WR South Carolina

6.222 Thomas Fletcher LS Alabama

7.232 Phil Hoskins DL Kentucky

- The Panthers searched high and low for their quarterback of the future this offseason, eventually trading for one Samuel Darnold. They are well set up for the quarterback, regardless of who it may be in 2021 and beyond. Horn is obviously the headliner but there’s depth in this class to help supplement an already emerging roster. Marshall and Smith should be contributors behind DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. Christensen will likely compete for the backup swing tackle job. Tremble has a pathway to meaningful reps behind such luminaries like Ian Thomas and Dan Arnold. Hubbard will likely earn RB2 snaps behind the all world Christan McCaffery. Carolina’s draft class in totality makes sense to fill in the gaps on the two deep. They nailed it during the offseason. While they won’t win the NFC South, they will put a mighty scare into the reigning Super Bowl champions.

4. Los Angeles Chargers

1.13 Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern

2.47 Asante Samuel Jr CB Florida State

3.77 Joshua Palmer WR Tennessee

3.97 Tre McKitty TE Georgia

4.118 Chris Rumph II EDGE Duke

5.159 Brendan Jaimes OT Nebraska

6.185 Nick Niemann LB Iowa

6.198 Larry Rountree III RB Missouri

7.241 Mark Webb CB Georgia

- The Chargers do the smart thing and surround their new franchise quarterback with a young talented tackle to grow up with. Slater was rated as the best tackle prospect on the board by some services and could have gone a bit higher in a different year so the Chargers got a steal. He should start day one as the left tackle. Samuel was being touted as a potential first round selection so the team got a corner who only adds to a secondary that awaits the return of star Derwin James. He should start as the team’s nickel corner. Palmer and McKitty are weapons of the future once its aging (Keenan Allen) or underdeveloped (Mike Williams) core of receivers transition out. Both guys were severely underutilized or subject to horrid QB play (Palmer) in college so their best days are likely ahead of them. Los Angeles did it right by surrounding a promising Justin Herbert with young offensive stars while balancing defensive depth needs.

5. Washington Football Team

1.19 Jamin Davis LB Kentucky

2.51 Samuel Cosmi OT Texas

3.74 Benjamin St. Juste CB Minnesota

3.82 Dyami Brown WR UNC

4.124 John Bates TE Boise State

4.163 Darrick Forrest S Cincinnati

6.225 Cameron Cheesman LS Michigan

7.240 William Bradley-King EDGE Baylor

7.246 Shaka Toney EDGE Penn State

7.258 Dax Milne WR BYU

- While the WFT didn’t land the quarterback that they desperately needed, they managed to land a class that filled a ton of needs. Jamin Davis was a late riser up the boards and ended up a first round selection. He will likely start from the word go at the outside linebacker spot. Cosmi was slated to compete for the starting job at left tackle prior to the signing of veteran Charles Leno. He’ll likely compete for the gig in 2022 if things aren’t squared away ahead of him. St. Juste will be the nickel corner in all likelihood. Brown will probably settle in as the WR4 but can move up to WR3 behind the big ticket signing Curtis Samuel and emerging star Terry McLaurin. The EDGE pair will compete for backup jobs on an already talent laden defensive line. If Washington can land a quarterback within the next couple of years, we can expect a competitive playoff roster for years to come.

6. New York Jets

1.2 Zach Wilson QB BYU

1.14 Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC

2.34 Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss

4.107 Michael Carter RB UNC

5.146 Jamien Sherwood S Auburn

5.154 Michael Carter II CB Duke

5.175 Jason Pinnock CB Pittsburgh

6.186 Hamsah Nasrildeen S Florida State

6.200 Brandin Echols CB Kentucky

6.207 Johnathan Marshall DL Arkansas

- GM Joe Douglas did something prior regimes failed to do: build a solid support system around the quarterback (Wilson in this case). The AVT pick was a solid one to reinforce the offensive line but I’d have liked if they drafted him as a tackle instead of guard. Elijah Moore might make veteran Jamison Crowder expendable as the primary slot receiver. Wilson will have hardly any excuses this year as he has a veritable treasure trove of assets and a QB friendly system. The Jets also stole the draft’s meme factor by picking both Michael Carters. What’s interesting is that the team announced Hamsah Nasrildeen as a linebacker shortly after the draft.

7. New England Patriots

1.15 Mac Jones QB Alabama

2.38 Christian Barmore DL Alabama

3.96 Ronnie Perkins EDGE Oklahoma

4.120 Rhamondre Stevenson RB Oklahoma

5.177 Cameron McGrone LB Michigan

6.188 Joshuah Bledsoe S Missouri

6.197 William Sherman OL Colorado

7.242 Tre Nixon WR UCF

- The Patriots had a compelling draft class outside of the Mac pick. Barmore reportedly fell due to off field character concerns but no coach is more plugged into Nick Saban’s program than Bill Belichick. Perkins will likely compete for backup reps at EDGE behind Matt Judon, Anfernee Jennings, and Lawrence Guy. Bledsoe is probably the heir apparent to longtime Patriots stalwart Devin McCourty. McGrone makes it onto the roster as a backup and special teams ace. All eyes will obviously be on when Jones takes over for Cam Newton. Could Nixon force out bust N’Keal Harry?


1. New Orleans Saints

1.28 Payton Turner EDGE Houston

2.60 Pete Werner LB Ohio State

3.76 Paulsen Adebo CB Stanford

4.133 Ian Book QB Notre Dame

6.206 Landon Young OL Kentucky

7.255 Kareem Baker WR South Alabama

- The Saints made some curious decisions in their draft class, beginning on Day 1 with Turner’s selection when there were better EDGEs on the board. Werner might be their opening day starter at one of the linebacker positions alongside Demario Davis. The Adebo selection is a defensible choice on some level as they need to build depth behind all world Marshon Lattimore and veteran Patrick Robinson. With that said, the selection that made them a laughingstock is taking Ian Book in the fourth round when he was clearly a subpar prospect that would’ve been lucky to get drafted in the sixth round. They somewhat recovered from their hilarious and grievous error in the sixth round to take Landon Young to build their OT depth. Not the most stellar class during the Sean Payton / Mickey Loomis regime.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers

1.24 Najee Harris RB Alabama

2.55 Pat Freiermuth TE Penn State

3.87 Kendrick Green OL Illinois

4.128 Dan Moore, Jr OT Texas A&M

4.140 Buddy Johnson LB Texas A&M

5.156 Isaiahh Loudermilk DL Wisconsin

6.216 Quincy Roche EDGE Miami

7.245 Tre Norwood S Oklahoma

7.254 Pressley Harvin III P Georgia Tech

- Najee Harris is a great prospect no doubt but the Steelers selection is viewed as a luxury pick when they could ill afford such a move. The same goes for Freiermuth at his position. At best, he can be the TE2 behind the always interesting Eric Ebron. Harris makes sense as the lead back after the departure of James Conner. The Steelers should’ve built the offensive line to help prop up the rapidly deteriorating Ben Roethlisberger more. Several of their latter selections are viewed as reaches but the Quincy Roche pick could be their typical breakout sensation. One good pick: Pressley Harvin, the people’s punter who could double as a defensive lineman (kidding, sort of).

3. Los Angeles Rams

2.57 Tutu Atwell WR Louisville

3.103 Ernest Jones LB South Carolina

4.117 Bobby Brown III DL Texas A&M

4.130 Robert Rochell CB Central Arkansas

4.141 Jacob Harris WR UCF

5.174 Earnest Brown IV EDGE Northwestern

7.233 Jake Funk RB Maryland

- The Rams had the most confounding draft class with their first selection being the diminutive Atwell chosen over other receivers. Perhaps Les Snead was trying to be that GM who acts like he’s smarter than everyone else in the room by taking niche selections. I just don’t know what the Rams were thinking with this class.

4. Green Bay Packers

1.29 Eric Stokes CB Georgia

2.62 Josh Myers C Ohio State

3.85 Amari Rodgers WR Clemson

4.182 Royce Newman OT Ole Miss

5.173 Tedarrell Slaton DL Florida

5.178 Shemar Jean-Charles CB Appalachian State

6.214 Cole Van Lanen OT Wisconsin

6.220 Isaiah McDuffie LB Boston College

7.256 Kylin Hill RB Mississippi State

- Amari Rodgers puns aside, this was a good but not ideal class when all the hullabaloo surrounding the Aaron Rodgers fiasco was overshadowing the Packers war room. The Stokes pick seems completely reactionary to the Kevin King disaster in the 2020 NFC title tilt. Newman can be seen as an eventual successor to Billy Turner’s right tackle spot. The class in general is a transparent lesson in what not to do when your star quarterback is feeling a bit grumpy with management. Hill will have some difficulty in making the roster due to the guys ahead of him. Myers was a solid pickup in a different light. I have a feeling that the salacious offseason rumor mongering drama that is the Aaron Rodgers tragicomedy will have a couple more twists and turns yet.

5. Las Vegas Raiders

1.17 Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama

2.43 Trevon Moehrig S TCU

3.79 Malcolm Koonce EDGE Buffalo

3.80 Divine Deablo S Virginia Tech

4.143 Tyree Gillespie S Missouri

5.167 Nate Hobbs CB Illinois

7.230 Jimmy Morrissey C Pittsburgh

- Speaking of teams that march to their own drumbeat, the Raiders! Leatherwood was viewed as an overreach as he was slated to go in the third round but hey if you like your guy, you take him. He makes sense as a right tackle and could eventually move inside to guard. Moehrig was a steal at his selection. If the top two picks were flipped, there wouldn’t be as much grumbling but alas, the Gruden era. Koonce is an interesting pickup as he will compete for backup reps at EDGE behind star Yannick Ngakoue and the disappointing Clelin Ferrell. Can this former University of Buffalo pass rusher emulate his predecessor? In a vacuum, Deablo didn’t make sense at the time but he since has been moved to linebacker. Gillespie is excessive when there’s still Karl Joseph and Jonathan Abrams still on the roster. We will see if the mad scientists in Las Vegas can come up with an award winning experiment worthy of permanent membership or having to vacate the infamous Strip.

6. Seattle Seahawks

2.56 Dwayne Eskridge WR Western Michigan

4.137 Tre Brown CB Oklahoma

6.208 Stone Forsythe OT Florida

- Seattle, unlike their counterparts in the land of cheese, successfully evaded the disgruntled franchise QB minefield (for now) this offseason. They only had three selections but made the most of them. Eskridge will fit in nicely as a WR3 behind star Tyler Lockett and emerging stud / Olympic track hopeful DK Metcalf. Forysthe can be the heir apparent to longtime veteran tackle Duane Brown in time. He could also flip to the right side where a path to more playing time could be had. What downgrades the Seahawks class is the serious lack of selections to retool their roster with.

7. Houston Texans

3.67 Davis Mills QB Stanford

3.89 Nico Collins WR Michigan

5.147 Brevin Jordan TE Miami

5.170 Garret Wallow LB TCU

6.195 Roy Lopez EDGE Arizona

- The Texans’ offseason has been an utter disaster to say the least and the bill for such hilarity under the Bill O’Brien regime has come due. Mills might end up being the starter opening day depending on how they feel about Tyrod Taylor and Deshaun Watson’s unresolved situation. He walks into the lions’ den either way. Collins will probably end up getting some reps should the talent above him fail to deliver even if he isn’t ready. Jordan will likely end up as the best selection in this subpar class. HC David Culley is in an unenviable position trying to shepherd this moribund crew to mediocrity.

bottom of page