Who Were The Key Signings in the 2021 NFL Draft?
The 2021 NFL season is still almost four months away, yet the excitement and anticipation for what is the 102nd season is building rapidly. We should see fans returning to the stadiums as COVID-19 restrictions ease, which is a major boost, but we also get to cast our eye over some of the superstars in the making who were drafted during the offseason.
Some 259 players were drafted during the 2021 NFL draft. Cornerbacks (38), wide receivers (36), and defensive ends (34) made up the bulk of the players drafted, but all eyes were on the three quarterbacks from the ten drafted.
Jacksonville Jaguars Lock Up First Overall Pick
Jacksonville Jaguars found themselves in the envious position of selecting the overall number one pick. They opted to draft quarterback Trevor Lawrence from Clemson, who has a bright future ahead of him. Lawrence threw for 10,098 yards and 90 touchdowns in the 40 games he played for Clemson, drawing comparisons to Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Peyton Manning.
6ft 6in tall Lawrence has all the attributes to take him to the very top. He was named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2018 and the ACC Player of the Year in 2020, among his many accolades. It will not be surprising to see Lawrence take to the field wearing his favored number 16 on Game 1 of the 2021 season.
New York Sets Secure a Talented Youngster
The New York Jets bagged themselves a new quarterback, too, one in the shape of BYU’s Zach Wilson. The second overall pick became the youngest-ever quarterback to start a game for BYU when he faced Hawaii as a freshman in 2018. Wilson’s college career continued blossoming, and he finished with 7,652 yards, 56 touchdowns, and a 162.9 rating from the 30 college games he played.
There is a lot of hype surrounding Wilson, and Jets fans need some excitement in their lives, having watched their team go 2-14 in 2020, including a run of 13 straight defeats.
Third Overall Pick Goes to the 49ers
Trey Lance is the name of the third drafted quarterback that is on everyone’s lips despite the fact he is very inexperienced. Lance only has 318 passes under his belt from his North Dakota State college career, which makes you wonder why the San Francisco 49ers used their third overall pick to secure his services.
Looking at his stats, you can see why the 49ers have taken a chance on the 21-year-old. He completed 65.4% of those 318 passes, which resulted in 2,947 yards and 30 touchdowns. The 49ers have a long history of developing star quarterbacks. Whether Lance gets much game time in his debut season remains to be seen, especially as Jimmy Garoppolo should be fully recovered from the injury that restricted him to only three games in 2020.
Have The Falcons Got The Most Exciting Prospect?
The Atlanta Falcons have themselves the biggest non-quarterback star thanks to their fourth overall pick of Kyle Pitts from Florida. Pitts was incredible for Florida during the 2020 season, receiving 770 yards and 12 touchdowns from his eight appearances.
His performances earned him the John Mackey Award. Previous recipients of this award include Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens, T.J. Hockenson of the Detroit Lions, and Harrison Bryant of the Cleveland Browns. They are now all starters for their respective teams.
There is a lot of pressure on Pitts to succeed, not least because being picked fourth overall makes him the highest-drafted tight end in the National Football League history.