2021 NFL Draft Round 1 Dynasty Reaction
Hello Heat Seekers, welcome to episode 136 of Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast. I am you host; I am Rob Sullivan. The Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast is a proud member of the RotoHeat family of podcasts.
Episode 136, 2021 NFL Draft Round 1 Dynasty Reaction. I will run thru the first 32 picks and give you my 2 cents. I’ll touch on the defensive selections, but it’s the offensive players specifically the skill positions I am here to talk about. To keep up with all the action from the 2021 NFL Draft visit our RotoHeat website.
If you are looking for more in-depth coverage on the defensive players tune into the RotoHeat IDP live stream over on our YouTube channel, each and every Monday night with Brad Menendez and Kraig Reuth. The draft is an exciting time. It’s exciting for the entire 2021 rookie class, these young men could have their lives changed when their name is called. This is an exciting time for NFL franchises and their fans. The opportunity to add young talent to fill holes on your roster is near mouth-watering. This is also an exciting time for Fantasy mangers, especially Dynasty managers who have rookie drafts right around the corner. The opportunity to add youth with upside is equally as exciting for the dynasty manager as it is for the NFL franchise and their fan base.
It is also exciting for fantasy analysts that have ran out of things to say about this 2021 rookie class. We have draft capital and landing spots, and with those we have plenty to talk about now. So let’s dive into the reac
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence – QB Clemson
No surprise here, Trevor Lawrence has been mocked to this spot since leading Clemson to the 2018 National Title game as a true freshman. Lawrence will operate an offense with potential, DJ Chark who I have been down on for years gets a lift, Marvin Jones gets a lift, and Laviska Shenault gets a big lift if he can stay healthy. The Jags also added a RB later in round one and I’ll get to that in a moment. Lawrence looks like the real deal, a generational talent they say and the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck.
Lawrence remains my top ranked QB and when I complete my SF start-up rankings, he will likely be in the 8-10 range. Like many I am very high on this rookie.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson – QB BYU
Rumoured for months to be the second selection in the draft, BYU QB Zach Wilson goes to the Jets. Wilson had a breakout year last season, ranking second in the FBS in completion percentage. He tossed 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions, and finished No. 10 in the FBS with a 307.7 passing yards per game. Wilson also rushed for 10 touchdowns in 12 starts for the 11–1 Cougars in 2020.
Wilson has a gunslinger mindset, possessing the arm talent to create explosive plays inside and out of the pocket. His strength was on full display during his Pro Day, where every NFL team was present except for the Rams. He threw multiple off-balance passes that went 50 yards. His addition lifts the value of Denzel Mims, Corey Davis, and Jameson Crowder. I expect the Jets to add a RB on Friday and who knows maybe we get something out of Chris Herndon. Wilson was my 4th ranked QB heading into the draft and that is where he will remain. I like the QB, and I believe he’s the second-best real life QB in this draft, but in fnatasy there are three QBs I prefer.
3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance – QB North Dakota State
After all of the speculation and adamant proclamations by analysts that the San Francisco 49ers would use the third overall pick of the NFL draft on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, when the 49ers were on the clock, they selected Trey Lance.
I really like this prospect; in fact, I love this prospect. Make no mistake with all that love comes some risk as well. Lance has only played one game since the 2019 season, but he had a great 2019. During the Bison’s national championship run. He had 28 passing TDs that year, 14 TDs on the ground ran for over 1,000 yards and did not throw a pick. Trey Lance hasn’t lost a start since high school. Lance should bring a dimension to Kyle Shanahan’s offense that Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Jimmy Garoppolo have not. There are those that feel Lance sits a while behind, Jimmy. Personally, I am not one of them. After trading up and paying a huge price for the QB of the future, you make that future now. I had Trey Lance penciled in as my QB2 in this draft, QB2 is now beside his name in ink. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, the entire offense just got a whole hell if a lot better.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts – TE Atlanta Falcons
He’s been touted as the best prospect ever at his position. I’m not sure I’ll go that far, but he’s the best TE prospect I have ever seen. I do understand why some may feel he’s the best ever, being 6-6, 245 pounds with an 83-inch wingspan and a 4.4 40-yard dash, leads to positive thoughts.
Pitts won the Mackey Award winner as college football’s top tight end in 2020. Pitts scored 12 TDs among his 43 catches, (in eight games) and should be an instant red-zone threat. He’ll line up between WRs Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones (presumably) and for a coach, Atlanta’s recently hired Arthur Smith, who favors double-tight sets. Pitts, who’s also a willing blocker, could be a weapon on the order of Travis Kelce or Darren Waller if he fulfills the hype. Pitts surpasses Denver’s Riley Odoms (fifth overall in 1972) as the tight end picked earliest in the common draft era.
Pitts is not only my top TE, he’s my top ranked rookie in 1QB leagues, I haven’t landed on where to [place him in my SF rankings, but it will be within the top 5. No player is a sure thing, but with his abilty to line up all over the field and basically be a WR, he’s the closest there is in this class IMO.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase – WR LSU
I like Ja’Marr Chase, he is my top WR in this class, but with all due respect to Mr. Chase, this was the wrong pick for Cincinnati. The pick should have been used on Penei Sewell hell even Rashawn Slater made sense here. Protect your franchise QB, don’t draft his BFF.
In 2019, Chase established himself as the best wideout in college football. Widely regarded as the premier receiver in this draft, Chase’s built-in chemistry with Burrow could take this offense up a few notches given what Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, both very capable targets themselves, already provide. This is a hit on Higgins but not a massive one, all I know is there isn’t a team in the NFL today that can support three starting fantasy WRs and the Bengals won’t either.
6. Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle – WR Alabama
It’s reunited and it feels so good night apparently. We have Chase joining Burrow and now Jaylen Waddle joining Tua Tagovailoa in Miami. If Jaylen Waddle hadn’t missed the majority of the 2020 season with an ankle injury, I don’t think anyone would question this selection. Ankle injury or not I’m fine with Waddle going here.
His addition makes this an interesting fantasy offense. Waddle and WR Will Fuller will give Miami speed to burn on the outside, and Waddle could also greatly enhance the Dolphins return game. DeVante Parker benefits, as does Mike Gesicki, and the biggest benefactor of all is Tua. We will see what Tagovailoa, brings us as a fantasy QB in 2021. Waddle was my WR4 entering the draft, and he will be moving up when I release my updated rankings next week.
7. Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell – OT Oregon
Excellent OT that should take over at left tackle which is great news for Jared Goff and De’Andre Swift.
8. Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn – CB South Carolina
Somewhat surprised that Horn went ahead of Patrick Surtain, but I really like what the Panthers are doing with this defense the past two seasons. With tom Brady and Matt Ryan in division, Horn should be busy in his rookie season.
9. Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II – CB Alabama
Surtain is viewed as one of the safest bets in this draft given his technical acumen, 4.46 speed and intelligence. The pick was a bit of a surprise given Denver signed veteran CBs Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller in free agency. Many felt this could have been a QB selection. I like this pick for Drew Lock most of all.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: DeVonta Smith – WR Alabama
Philadelphia traded out of the 6th spot earlier this offseason back to 12 and moved back up to 10 on draft day. They used the 10th overall selection on Devonta Smith. The Heisman Trophy winner heads to Philly, where he’ll play with fellow Tide alum Jalen Hurts. Smith set SEC career and single season records in 2020 and was last seen roasting Ohio State in the College Football Playoff title game for 12 catches, 215 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.
He’ll definitely be a No. 1 receiver, in this offense and should take some pressure off of second year WR Jalen Reagor. This is a great pick for the Eagles and a great pick for the fantasy values of Smith, Reagor, and Dallas Goedert IMO.
11. Chicago Bears: Justin Fields – QB Ohio State
Four years after their disastrous draft trade for QB Mitchell Trubisky, whom GM Ryan Pace selected instead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, they take trade up again to take another big swing on Fields by giving the Giants a future first-rounder to get up to pick 11. This is a self-preservation move for Pace and Matt Nagy, its win now or you’re toast time for those two in Chicago.
Fields is mobile, highly accurate (68.4% completion rate in a college career split between Georgia and Ohio State) and has all the tools to be a superstar. He is also the best QB WR Allen Robinson has ever played with, hell we said the same thing about Andy Dalton. In addition to Robinson, Darnell Mooney benefits and perhaps we finally see the potential of Anthony Miller. Good trade for the Bears, and Chicago finally has some hope at the QB position.
12. Dallas Cowboys: Micah Parsons – LB Penn State
Dallas likely had their sights set on Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn, but grabbing the best LB in the draft at 12 is a solid additional for a defense desperate for talent. With Sean Lee retiring and LB Leighton Vander Esch possibly entering his final season the Cowboys reload at linebacker. Parsons might arguably be the most impactful defender in this draft, and this is a fantastic pick by Dallas.
13. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater – OT Northwestern
I was hoping Slater would fall one more pick to my Minnesota Vikings, but it was not meant to be. Slater in my opinion shouldn’t have made it past pick 8, but here we are. Slater likely plugs in as offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert’s on the blind side. He has the talent to play anywhere on the O line, but the Chargers need is at LT and this move shows the Chargers value their starting QB, something the Bengals failed miserably to do with pick 5.
14. New York Jets : Alijah Vera-Tucker – OL USC
Considered one of it not the best interior linemen in the class, Vera-Tucker goes to the Jets after a draft day trade with Minnesota. He is a nice addition to the Jets line that added Mekhi Becton a year ago. Good news for Zach Wilson and the Jets offense.
15. New England Patriots: Mac Jones – QB Alabama
Another draft and another former Alabama player to Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Rumoured to be coming off the board at three to San Francisco, Jones falls all the way to pick 15.
Jones’ trademark is his accuracy and decision-making after completing 77.4% of his passes in 2020 for 4,500 yards and 41 TDs. When he starts remains to be seen. Belichick has no problem letting the rookie sit, watch, and develop, and he also no longer has the best QB of all-time under center. Cam Newton will falter at some point in 2021, and when he does Jones likely gets a shot. Jones was my 5th ranked QB coming in and he remains there as of today.
16. Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins – LB Tulsa
This one was a bit of a surprise according to the RotoHeat team in our war room on night 1. He’s massive 6’5 and 259 pounds. The kid is also smart, he was the valedictorian of his high school class. Hopefully, his addition will benefit Isaiah Simmons who I was extremely high on a year ago.
17. Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood – OL Alabama
This was a reach for the Raiders, who were desperately in need on offensive line help after basically getting rid of the entire line form a season ago this offseason. Leatherwood is the 5th member of the Crimson Tide to be selected in the first round of this draft.
18. Miami Dolphins: Jaelan Phillips – DE Miami
The Dolphins had options here, after adding Waddle with pick six, there was thoughts the Dolphins could go RB with this pick or shore up the offensive line. Grabbing Phillips here is a solid move for the Dolphins who continue to rebuild like masters in their class.
19. Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis – LB Kentucky
Davis’ 4.37 speed and 42-inch vertical show he’s and athlete. This defense in Washington is potentially the tops in the league.
20. New York Giants: Kadarius Toney – WR Florida
After trading out of the 11th pick and adding a 2022 first round pick from Chicago, The G-men select Florida WR Kadarius Toney. For the record I hate this pick. Toney is a WR that I was planning on steering clear of this spring and this location solidifies it for me. WR was not a need for the Giants, offensive line was. Toney has bust written all over him IMO and all this does is clog up the targets for all other pass catchers in New York. Dave Gettleman traded back for the first time in his nice drafts as a NFL GM, and after this move it is unlikely, he does it again anytime soon. This was the worst pick of the first round.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye – DE Michigan
Paye (6-3, 261) is an explosive athlete. He had 12½ tackles for losses and 6½ sacks in 2019. His back story is amazing, and this is a kid I will be cheering for. Solida add at this stage of round one for the Colts.
22. Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley – CB Virginia Tech
Good addition for a team desperate for defensive help. He comes with a lot of risk, however. He opted out of the 2020 season and he has undergone multiple back surgeries in the past. Hopefully, he can stay on the field as the kid is talented.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Darrisaw – OL Virginia Tech
My Vikings got lucky. They failed to cash in when trading back Imo, the trade sucked. That said they landed a good one here that slide down the board more than he should have. The All-ACC selection should replace departed Riley Reiff on QB Kirk Cousins’ blind side for a line that allowed 39 sacks in 2020.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris – RB Alabama
The Pittsburgh Steelers ranked last in the league in rushing in 2020. Was that a result of a stale backfield or a poor offensive line, we should soon find out. Harris becomes the first RB selected and lands in one of the only true 3-down RB roles available.
Harris was my RB1 coming in and he remains there with a bullet. The Steelers will need to add to the line in the coming rounds and if they do I love this pick. Harris is an excellent pass catcher for a back his size and should have a top-12 ceiling as a rookie. Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland just received their fantasy value death blow.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travis Etienne – RB Clemson
Another reunited and it feels so good pick. This one, was a stunner. I honestly didn’t see this coming. I am not surprised the Jags drafted a back, but I sure was to see it be Trvis Etienne in round 1.
The selection pairs Etienne with his college QB Trevor Lawrence. Etienne was a 1,600-yard rusher in both 2018 and 2019 but also caught 85 passes over the past two seasons in the Clemson offense. His workload will be interesting. I do not believe that Etienne’s addition kills James Robinson’s fantasy value. What this does hammer home is draft capital matters and it matters a lot, especially to a new management team with no ties to a player like Robinson.
The Jags are building a new offense here and Robinson will have a role in it. The ceiling for both Etienne and Robinson IMO is mid RB2. Carlos Hyde on the other hand holds next to no value at all. Etienne came into the draft as my RB3, behind Najee Harris ,and North Carolina RB Javonte Williams. How day two plays out will dictate when he winds up in my revised rankings. As of now he has moved up to RB2.
26. Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome – CB Northwestern
Newsome becomes the second Northwestern Wildcat selected in the first round after Slater went to the Chargers with pick 13. Newsome should join Denzel Ward and Troy Hill to give Cleveland a very nice nickel package.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Rashad Bateman – WR Minnesota
I know, I know this is a horrible landing spot for Rashad Bateman who entered the draft as my WR2, behind Ja’Marr Chase. But is it as bad as the fantasy community seems to think? I say no. What came first chicken or the egg. Does Lamar Jackson avoid targeting the WRs because of this offense or his skill set, or it is because the WR room in Baltimore is less than decent. After all, Dez Bryant played for this team a year ago.
Bateman can play outside or in the slot and flashed sub 4.4 speed at the Gophers’ pro day. He battled COVID-19 in 2020, which dramatically affecting his conditioning and numbers in 2020. He was exceptional the previous year, totaling 60 catches for 1,219 yards –more than 20 yards per reception – and 11 TDs. Bateman and Marquise Brown should give QB Lamar Jackson an explosive downfield tandem for Baltimore, elevating the value of both WRs, the QB and also helping TE Mark Andrews. Bateman will fall out of my WR2 slot but will remain a first round rookie talent IMO.
28. New Orleans Saints: Payton Turner – DE Houston
Another reach of a pick according to those in the RotoHeat war room last night. He joins a pass rush that already includes perennial Pro Bowler Cam Jordan and 2018 first-founder Marcus Davenport, who’s been a bit of a disappointment after the Saints traded two first-rounders in 2018 to get him. Time will tell if this first rounder pays off for the Saints.
29. Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes – CB Georgia
With your franchise QB publicly claiming he’s not coming back, and a deep deep WR class, the Packers did what the Packers do and ignore the QBs happiness and selected Stokes. This pick solidifies that Rodgers is done in Green Bay for me.
Stokes can fly, that’s all I really know about him, he ran a 4.25 40 at his pro day. Stoles could be a replacement for Kevin King, after all the Packers are exceptional at drafting replacements in round one over current team need.
30. Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau – DE Miami
I had the Bills pegged for a RB here and that back was Travis Etienne. With Etienne off to Jacksonville, the Bills made a wise move here adding to their pass rush.
Rousseau was the ACC defensive rookie of the year after recording 15½ sacks in 2019 before opting out in 2020 as his mother, a nurse, battled COVID-19. It remains to be seen what impact opting out will have on Rousseau, and this entire class of opt outs. On the surface this seems like a nice addition for the Bills this deep in the first round.
- Baltimore Ravens: Jayson Oweh – DE Penn State
Oweh ran a sub 4.40 40 at his pro day and he is 6’5’ tall and weighs in at 257 pounds. He is green but if he is coachable, he fills a need for the Ravens.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon – DE Washington
Hard to predict what the Bucs were going to do here after bringing back basically the entire roster that just won the Super Bowl.
Tryon posting eight sacks for the Huskies in 2019 before opting out last year. He may be able to take over for Jason Pierre-Paul, who’s a free agent after this season, in 2022.
Thank you for listening to Episode 137 – 2021 NFL Draft Round 1 Dynasty Reaction
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