2021 NFL Draft Gives Teams Opportunity To Rebuild

Sam Haswell, Staff Writer

Every year the top prospects from college football participate in a seven-round draft, where 32 different NFL teams get to select what players they need. This year, the draft consisted of 259 prospective players, all of them college students who had to spend a mandatory three years in college before being eligible for the draft. 

The order for the draft is decided by the team’s record. For example, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the worst record in the 2020 season, finishing the season 1-15,  so they got the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Another aspect of the draft is the compensatory picks, which are picks that are given to teams after they lost a significant player to free agency. This year 37 picks were awarded to 17 different teams across 3 rounds according to the NFL. 

With the first pick in this year’s draft, Clemson quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lawrence, a 5 star quarterback out of high school, won the College Football National Championship as a freshman in 2018. He has been seen as one of the best recruits ever, with CBS Sports ranking him as the best quarterback prospect in the last 40 years. Along with this, Lawrence has never lost a regular season football game in his high school or college football career. With the second pick in the 2021 draft, the New York Jets selected quarterback Zach Wilson, who has been playing college football at Brigham Young University (BYU). Wilson, who is of Hawaiian ancestry, was named Co-Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. The third player selected in the draft was another quarterback, North Dakota State University’s Trey Lance. Lance, born in 2000, is only 20 years old and is younger than some player’s whole career. 

Junior Dylan Lancaster, thinks that the Miami Dolphins had the best draft this year. “The Dolphins had 2 first round picks and selected Jaylen Waddle and Jaelan Phillips, who were both good in college,” Lancaster said. Jaylen Waddle, a wide receiver from the University of Alabama, only played in 4 regular season games this year due to a broken ankle, but still had at least 120 receiving yards in each of those 4 games. Jaelan Phillips, an edge rusher from the University of Miami, had 8 sacks in 10 games last year. 

Junior Daniel Lee, thinks that the Lions had a good draft, “The best pick in the draft was Penei Sewell to the Lions at 7. Sewell is generational talent and for a player like him to fall to pick 7 was a steal for the Lions”. Sewell, an offensive tackle from the University of Oregon, was named a unanimous All-American in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft.