The primary spherical of the 2021 NFL Draft wrapped up on Thursday night time, and it got here with its share of surprises. The San Francisco 49ers did not take Mac Jones, bitter division rivals the Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles made a commerce (to dam one other rival, the New York Giants), and the Bears made an enormous transfer to attempt to take away the unhealthy style of the 2017 NFL Draft. In all, a complete of 13 offensive talent place gamers had been chosen, together with 5 quarterbacks, two working backs, 5 extensive receivers, and a decent finish.
With at the least a part of the 2021 roster puzzle now not a thriller, let’s check out the fantasy affect of a first-round that noticed some good, some unhealthy, and a few ugly picks.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Everybody knew Lawrence was going to the Jaguars, and now he’ll have an opportunity to be a hero in Duval County. Perhaps one of the best quarterback prospect to come back out of the collegiate ranks since Andrew Luck, Lawrence is an athletic participant with an correct arm who will probably be below heart in Week 1. It’s going to be robust to anticipate a Justin Herbert stage of manufacturing, however Lawrence has top-15 potential. He’ll additionally make the entire Jaguars’ move catchers, together with D.J. Chark and Marvin Jones Jr., extra enticing in fantasy drafts.
2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Wilson was large in his remaining collegiate season, throwing 33 landing passes with simply three interceptions and speeding for 10 scores. He had only one nice season although, and the Jets haven’t got nice weapons on the offensive aspect of the ball. That would hinder his improvement right into a viable fantasy choice. New York traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers, so Wilson will take over because the No. 1 quarterback for Gang Inexperienced in 2021. The query is, will he endure the identical destiny as many Jets first rounders?
3. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The Niners moved as much as third general to seize a quarterback, and Lance was the decide after weeks of Mac Jones hypothesis. Regardless of taking part in in opposition to lesser competitors, his numbers in his remaining full collegiate season (2019) had been bananas good. He threw for 28 touchdowns with no single interception, and his 1,100 speeding yards had been spectacular. He won’t have a ton of redraft worth if the Niners ease him right into a beginning function behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, however his fantasy (dynasty) future is brilliant certainly.
4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Falcons did not want a decent finish, however Pitts is a generational expertise. A wideout in a decent finish’s physique, he produced over 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns in his remaining two seasons at Florida. He won’t have elite fantasy worth as a rookie in a crowded Falcons move assault, however Pitts ought to emerge into one of many 5 greatest tight ends in fantasy soccer as soon as he is within the prime of his profession. He’ll be picked as a borderline No. 1 tight finish in 2021 drafts, however I might mood expectations in Yr One regardless of the expertise.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The final time we noticed Chase on the gridiron, he put up 84 catches, 1,780 yards, and 20 touchdowns at LSU. Oh, and he was on the receiving finish of some correct Joe Burrow passes. Guess who’ll be throwing him the soccer on the subsequent stage? That is large, as the 2 already possess an amazing rapport that makes Chase the favourite to steer all Bengals wideouts in targets as a rookie. I am undecided he’ll be Justin Jefferson, however Chase is with out query the highest fantasy wideout in re-drafts and dynasty codecs.
6. Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Waddle will get to reunite with Tua Tagovailoa, his former Alabama teammate, in South Seashore. He was a dynamic playmaker with the Crimson Tide, averaging almost 19 yards per catch whereas splitting targets with studs like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and DeVonta Smith. Waddle won’t make a serious affect as a rookie with DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, and Mike Gesicki within the passing assault, however he will probably be value a center to late decide in re-drafts and a first-rounder in most dynasty codecs.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (commerce with Cowboys): Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Eagles traded up with the Cowboys (of all groups) to land Smith, who may need gone to the Giants in any other case. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner does not have nice measurement however might nonetheless produce large totals throughout his collegiate profession. I feel he’ll come proper in and begin reverse Jalen Reagor, and I would not be shocked if Smith is the primary Eagles wideout picked in re-drafts. He’ll even be a first-round decide in dynasty drafts.
11. Chicago Bears (commerce with Giants): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Bears thrilled their followers by transferring up the draft board to amass Fields, who many noticed because the second-best quarterback on this class. An correct passer in faculty who also can discover success on the bottom, Fields has the instruments to make an actual fantasy affect on the subsequent stage. Even when he opens subsequent season behind Andy Dalton, it should not be lengthy earlier than Fields will get his shot to take the reins of the Bears’ offense. My No. 2 rookie subject basic, his presence below heart is sweet for Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney.
15. New England Patriots: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Jones had been linked to the 49ers and Patriots, however he fell into New England’s lap when San Francisco took Lance. It could be a superb factor, as Jones could have a shot to be the franchise quarterback for coach Invoice Belichick. A particularly correct passer, he accomplished 77 p.c of his makes an attempt whereas throwing 44 touchdowns with simply 4 picks final season. Cam Newton’s presence atop the depth chart might preserve Jones from being picked in re-drafts, however he’ll be a preferred dynasty draft and stash below Belichick.
20. New York Giants (commerce with Bears): Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The collection of Toney could be peculiar for the reason that Giants simply signed Kenny Golladay to an enormous deal and now have Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton at extensive receiver. The Florida product was a dynamic playmaker in faculty, recording almost 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns final season because the Gators’ principal slot receiver. His 70 catches had been tied for the seventh-most within the nation, too. Nonetheless, constant targets could possibly be robust to come back by as a rookie, so do not anticipate Toney to be value rather more than a late rounder.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
From a fantasy perspective, this was one of the best decide of the primary spherical. A 3-down again, Harris averaged almost six yards per try in his remaining collegiate season and put up a ridiculous 26 speeding touchdowns. That led the nation. He additionally proved he might deal with a featured workload, seeing 251 carries and almost 300 touches. The Steelers do have many questions on their offensive line, however Harris initiatives to start out and will develop into the following nice runner within the Metal Metropolis. He’ll be value a top-30 decide in re-drafts and could be very prone to be the primary rookie working again off the board in all long-term fantasy codecs.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Fantasy followers love Harris going to the Steelers, however Etienne touchdown in Jacksonville is not as interesting. In spite of everything, James Robinson got here out of nowhere to provide an RB7 12 months whereas averaging almost 18 fantasy factors a recreation in 2020. Consequently, Etienne will not have a transparent path to touches as a rookie. What’s extra troubling is that coach City Meyer stated he envisions Etienne as a third-down again behind Robinson and Carlos Hyde. That’s an odd quote for a participant you took within the first spherical, however in the end I see Etienne rising because the Jaguars’ high runner in a projected committee in 2021. He’ll be a troublesome participant to mission till the summer season months, however his ceiling does not look nice.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Ravens run the soccer a ton, and their extensive receivers ranked lifeless final in routes run and targets a season in the past. That is unhealthy information for Bateman, who lands in a crowded Baltimore move assault. Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Devin Duvernay stay on the roster, and the crew additionally added Sammy Watkins into the combo. Oh, and let’s not overlook the goal machine, Mark Andrews. I would not anticipate a lot when it comes to manufacturing from Bateman as a rookie, however he’ll be value a late-round look in dynasty drafts.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy soccer analyst on Sports activities Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports activities Writers Affiliation (FSWA) Corridor of Fame. You may comply with Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the entire newest breaking fantasy soccer information and one of the best evaluation within the enterprise!
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