ALLEN PARK – The Chicago Bears chose not to pick much, but it’s hard to argue against the results of their quality in relation to the quantity method in the 2021 NFL draft.
Chicago landed a potential franchise quarterback in Justin Fields at Pick 11, erasing some of the emotional scars left by the Mitchell Trubisky experience. They sent Pick 20, a fifth round and a first round and fourth round of next year’s draft to the New York Giants for the rights to take Fields. The Bears, not finished moving, moved up on Day 2 to grab a piece for their offensive line. Oklahoma State offensive lineman Teven Jenkins was projected as a potential Day 1
Before running through winners, losers and highlighting the best and worst picks for each team, see below for the full review of each NFC North picks:
Chicago Bears: Ohio State QB Justin Fields (Round 1, Pick 11), Oklahoma St. OL Teven Jenkins (Round 2, Pick 39), Missouri OL Larry Borom (Round 5, Pick 151), Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert (Round 6, Pick 217), North Carolina WR Dazz Newsome (Round 6, Pick 221), Oregon CB Thomas Graham Jr. (Round 6, Pick 228), BYU DT Khyiris Tonga (Round 7, Pick 250)
Green Bay Packers: Georgia CB Eric Stokes (Round 1, Election 29), Ohio State Olympics Josh Myers (Round 2, Election 62), Clemson WR Amari Rodgers (Round 3, Election 85), Ole Miss OL Royce Newman (Round 4, Election 142), Florida DT Tedarrell Slaton (Round 5, Pick 173), Appalachian State CB Shemar Jean-Charles (Round 5, Pick 178), Wisconsin OL Cole Van Lanen (Round 6, Pick 214), Boston College LB Isaiah McDuffie (Round 6, Pick 220), Mississippi State RB Kylin Hill (Round 7, Election 256)
Minnesota Vikings: Virginia Tech OL Christian Darrisaw (Round 1, Pick 23), Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond (Round 3, Pick 66), North Carolina LB Chazz Surratt (Round 3, Pick 78), Ohio State OL Wyatt Davis (Round 3, Pick 86) ), Pittsburgh DE Patrick Jones II (Round 3, Pick 90), Iowa State RB Kene Nwangwu (Round 4, Pick 119), California CB Camryn Bynum (Round 4, Pick 125), Florida State DE Janarius Robinson (Round 4, Pick) 134), Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette (Round 5, Election 13), Central Missouri TE Zach Davidson (Round 5, Election 168), Pittsburgh DT Jaylen Twyman (Round 6, Election 199)
Detroit Lions: Oregon OL Penei Sewell (Round 1, Pick 7), Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike (Round 2, Pick 41), NC State DT Alim McNeill (Round 3, Pick 72), Syracuse CB Ifeatu Melifonwu (Round 3, Pick 101), USC WR Amon-Ra St.Brown (Round 4, Pick 112), Purdue LB Derrick Barnes (Round 4, Pick 113), Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson (Round 7, Pick 257)
Chicago Bears (and Allen Robinson): What else is there to say? Teven Jenkins in round 2 is a fantastic value before considering the Bears landed Justin Fields outside the top 10. Jenkins is an impressive run blocker who improves running back David Montgomery’s prospects while standing as Justin Fields’ potential left tackle of the future with a year left on Charles Leno’s contract. The Bears have been dogged since picking Mitchell Trubisky and dropped to 8-8 in the two seasons since winning the division in 2018.
Let’s also give it up for Allen Robinson, who actually has something to look forward to down the line. Robinson is a true elite receiver who has been brought through wringer with regard to starting quarterbacks. He played some of the best ball of his career for Blake Bortles in, among others, Jacksonville and Trubisky in Chicago over the last seven seasons. He still managed 102 catches for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns last year, so beware.
Lions RB D’Andre Swift: Returning is heading into year 2 with Anthony Lynn as his new offensive coordinator, not to mention one of the better upward offensive lines in the NFL. Swift, last year’s second-round pick, already ran behind Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker. Now he is hiding behind Penei Sewell. This is not the time or place to talk about fantasy football, but it’s safe to assume Swift is picking up a ton of yards this year as he looks to rise up to three-down territory. The volume should already be where the lions did their best to make the dynamic run back life easier. Arrow up for Swift.
The Green Bay Packers: The Packers lost before the weekend started, with the drama of Aaron Rodger’s future dominating headlines. Rodgers has reportedly told teammates and members of the team’s front office that he has no plans to play for the Packers again. Green Bay’s brass has maintained that they are not trading with its reigning MVP / start quarterback, but that does not seem like an easy solution. The Packers traded up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last year, which appears to have been the lit match located near the gas station.
“This is a topic that we’ve been working on for months,” Packers President Mark Murphy said on the team’s website. Brian Gutekunst, Matt LaFleur and I have flown out on a number of occasions to meet Aaron. We are very aware of Aaron’s concerns and have worked with him to resolve them. We remain committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. ”
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: There’s nothing like an early quarterback pick in the third round to put a little heat on the expensive, very malignant starter two years from free agency. Kellen Mond does not knock down the door on day 1 or anything, but this at least recognizes life after cousins. Minnesota has not done much at quarterback in recent years because of the huge salary they pay cousins every season. Cousins carries a cap hit of $ 31 million in 2021 and $ 45 million in 2022 before his deal expires in 2023.
Robert Griffin III, the man who was replaced under downtown Washington when Mond said “represents exactly what he (cousins) is not doing well. Cousins have been collecting checks there in Minnesota for a long time.” Pretty hard!
Best choice / value for each team:
Chicago Bears: Ohio State QB Justin Fields
Getting Justin Fields on Pick 11, whether he sees significant action next year or not, is just right. With Matthew Stafford out and Aaron Rodgers potentially joining him soon, the Bears suddenly have a way of roasting the division’s top quarterback – an unheard of thought from about a week ago. With Andy Dalton standing as the expected QB1 and possibly Nick Foles on QB2, there is little to no pressure to start the rookie on day 1. Fields has all the physical tools in the world but needs to bring a few aspects of his game together to make it work. His ball does not have the same zipper when rolling out of his pocket compared to when he is able to stand straight, but this is a master class in gaining value at quarterback and perfectly suited to Matt Nagy’s offense.
Green Bay Packers: Clemson WR Amari Rodgers
The new A. Rodgers in town represents the first recipient prepared by Packers since Equanimeous St. Brown in 2018’s sixth round. Amari Rodgers is a versatile wideout who adds another layer of athleticism to Green Bay’s offense. Athletic’s Dane Brugler said there’s something “Deebo Samuel to his game” and it’s hard to see once you think about it. Rodgers could even get a look like a bullet holder out of jet sweeper. This is a third-round pick that greatly enhances Green Bay’s receiver space while delivering a new flavor to the offense.
Minnesota Vikings: Virginia Tech OL Christian Darrisaw
It definitely sounds like the Minnesota Vikings were cool with Darrisaw at Pick 14 before trading back and stacking picks. They landed Darrisaw at Pick 23 and secured Picks 23, 66 and 86 from the New York Jets in the process. Darrisaw allowed only six rushes, no sacks or no hits on 293 pass-blocking snaps last year. It’s a likely starting offensive lineman on Day 1, not to mention three top 100 picks, another knowledgeable move from Rick Spielman and Co.
Detroit Lions: Oregon OL Penei Sewell
Sure, the Detroit Lions let a potential franchise quarterback slip into a divisional competitor in desperate need of one. But it is not as if they are walking away empty-handed. Grabbing Penei Sewell on Pick 7 strengthens the team’s greatest strength with a player described as “transcendent” and “generation”. Sewell allowed a sack through his collegiate career, which happened to start as a 17-year-old left tackle in Eugene. By the way, it’s ridiculous, so it’s also the fact that he’s the first sophomore to ever win the Outland Trophy as college football’s top offensive lineman.
New Lions general manager Brad Holmes was ready to pull the strings down and start handing out belly-to-belly suplex when Sewell fell to the No. 7 team. Sewell fits a need at right tackle, so Tyrell Crosby or Halapoulivaati Vaitai can move inside. The Beginner is a vantage point that gets a good upward move that is going to join a strong offensive line with Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson highlighting this group’s depth with beloved offensive line coach Hank Fraley back for another run .
Worst choice / value for each team:
Chicago Bears: not applicable
Even Chicago’s later elections do not deserve to fall under the scrooge of this section. Larry Borom is an athletic tackle of desirable size that is an equal force on the offensive. The Detroit native has played tackling and guard and measures at 6 feet 6, 332 pounds. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy must have felt the heat of the last two seasons after Trubisky’s period, as this was a wonderfully executed aggressive draft.
Green Bay Packers: Georgia CB Eric Stokes
The Packers no doubt needed another cornerback. It’s more so the reported class in the second to third rounds that most teams had here. The Corner Out of Georgia is an impressive athlete that gives the Packers another chance behind Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. There were a handful of receivers who would have fit well in Green Bay, even without considering Aaron Rodger’s situation. Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore was still on the board and it would have been hard to imagine teams having to account for him, Davante Adams and Aaron Jones in the same field. Looking at this from the other side, it was clear that the Packers needed more corner depth after King showed in the playoffs. Stokes is an athlete who should benefit from finding out things with one of the game’s best by his side in Alexander.
Minnesota Vikings: Iowa State RB Kene Nwangwu
It’s hard to blame Minnesota for taking its favorites when they have so many picks in the middle and later rounds. The Vikings have to think about the return phase with this election, where Nwangwu only rocks 143 in 744 yards and four touchdowns through four seasons in Iowa State. He had 92 kick returns for 2,470 yards and a touchdown, though good enough for an average of 26.8 yards per attempt.
Detroit Lions: Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike
This inclusion is more about the successive choices in the same position than anything else. Detroit has so many roster holes that it’s OK to ask questions by adding two defensive tackles in a class considered weak. This year’s draft has been classified as one of the thinnest defensive line classes in recent memory, so the two defensive tackle choices within the top 72 have earned the little question mark. Alim McNeill (Pick 72) alone would have been a huge choice. It’s just the fact that he was elected in the heels of Levi Onwuzurike with sharp needs on receiver, linebacker and security. Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Pick 52) and TCU safety Trevon Moehrig (Pick 43) were still on the board for those wondering.
On the flip side, for who knows, at this point, it’s hard to dismiss Brad Holmes for having solidified in the middle of his team’s defensive line. Sixth-round rookie John Penisini started the last 12 games by defensive tackling last season, highlighting the team’s lack of consistent or lasting depth. Holmes made it clear that he was thinking of acting on the back of the first round to take Onwuzurike, and in a year with so many unknowns, it’s hard to blame an experienced college scout for chasing his guys. All in all, a solid culture-building draft in Detroit, highlighted by the inclusion of this election here.