After the Super Bowl and before the NFL Combine is the appropriate time to take in everything we witnessed during the NFL season and re-examine the 2021 NFL Draft.
Careers aren't made or broken after one season, but factoring in rookie years and projecting forward, let's piece together a redraft for the 2020 class.
Some redraft guidelines:
- All rookies from the 2021 class (including undrafted free agents) have been removed from their respective NFL rosters and are free to be selected.
- If a rookie is not included in the top 32 here, they would revert back to the round in which they were originally drafted and to the team that picked them. Original first-rounders not included in this first round would stay with their current teams too.
- All veteran transactions made during the 2021 season are intact.
- The below selections are what I would do as the GM of every team (while considering coaches' schemes, etc.), not what I think the GMs of each teams would do.
- The draft order is based on the real order on April 29, 2021, before the draft began.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Zach Wilson QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 214 lbs
Everything that applies to Lawrence applies to Wilson. His rookie season did not set a foundation upon which to build. But the arm talent and improvisational capabilities are too enticing.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 226 lbs
Lance has All-Pro upside running Kyle Shanahan's offense. The jury is still out on him, but given Shanahan's history with quarterbacks and Lance's talent, the 49ers should be fun offensively in 2022 and beyond.
Round 1 - Pick 4
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 201 lbs
The Falcons didn't hate the season they got from Kyle Pitts in 2021. But Chase was the runaway Offensive Rookie of the Year. This is a rather easy pick.
Round 1 - Pick 5
NFL Draft • 5'10" / 182 lbs
With Chase off the board, the Bengals go with the turbo wideout who can win down the field and after the catch with explosiveness.
Round 1 - Pick 6
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Slater stepped onto an NFL field last September, and now he's a top 10 offensive tackle. No-brainer for Miami here, especially with Chase and Waddle gone.
Round 1 - Pick 7
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Lions have to get more ferocious rushing the passer, and Parsons turned in an all-time rookie season as an Edge.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Penei Sewell OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 331 lbs
Sewell turned it up down the stretch in Detroit, and in this redraft, the Panthers decide to fortify their left tackle position instead of going with a quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 9
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Newsome was fantastic down the sideline for the Browns as a rookie, and the Broncos opt to go with him over Patrick Surtain in this redraft.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Kyle Pitts TE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'6" / 245 lbs
The Cowboys are ecstatic to land Pitts to place him down the seam for Dak Prescott.
Round 1 - Pick 11
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 309 lbs
The Giants have to get better in the trenches, and Humphrey's powerful presence would be a piece of an offensive turnaround.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Trey Smith OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'6" / 329 lbs
The Eagles are going to have some needs on the interior of their offensive line, and Smith played with veteran-caliber strength and steady balance as a rookie.
Round 1 - Pick 13
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 170 lbs
The Chargers likely will have a need at receiver this offseason, and while Smith didn't set the NFL on fire as a rookie, he looked the part of a future star in some outings.
Round 1 - Pick 14
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 202 lbs
Surtain was nearly impossible to beat over the top as a rookie, and the Vikings need to reconstruct their secondary this offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Davis Mills QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 225 lbs
The Patriots go with Mills over Jones because of the Texans quarterback's upside.
Round 1 - Pick 16
NFL Draft • 6'0" / 197 lbs
St. Brown caught 90 passes in 2021. That's a lot! I don't care how bad the offense was as a whole. The Cardinals have to get more weapons around Kyler Murray.
Round 1 - Pick 17
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 202 lbs
The Raiders should be smitten with Moehrig at safety. He ranges from the deep middle and tackles well in the open field.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Elijah Moore WR
NFL Draft • Soph • 5'10" / 178 lbs
Moore got injured late but would be a fantastic consolation prize for the Dolphins after missing out on Jaylen Waddle earlier.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Mac Jones QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'3" / 217 lbs
Jones goes later than expected, because as the season progressed, it was made more obvious that he was being held up by a very conservative Patriots offense in 2021. He certainly had an encouraging rookie season though, so the Commanders can't pass on him here.
Round 1 - Pick 20
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'3" / 227 lbs
The Bears land Fields again, and frankly, are happy about it. There's plenty of upside to his game because of his arm and athleticism.
Round 1 - Pick 21
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'1" / 196 lbs
Holland was everywhere for the Dolphins in 2021, and the Colts roster needs pieces everywhere. This is a best player available selection.
Round 1 - Pick 22
NFL Draft • 6'5" / 308 lbs
Vera-Tucker has to iron out some subpar pass-blocking efforts, but his run-blocking performance was stellar as a rookie, making him an ideal fit in Tennessee.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Eric Stokes CB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Stokes lands with the defensive back needy Jets. He can play inside and out and turned in a quality first year in the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Samuel Cosmi OL
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'6" / 309 lbs
Cosmi had his ups and downs as a rookie, but his athleticism is immense, and he's a long-term value selection for Pittsburgh here.
Round 1 - Pick 25
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
To give Lawrence a legitimate pass-catching option over the middle, the Jaguars go with Freiermuth, who was a monster a third downs for the Steelers.
Round 1 - Pick 26
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Owusu-Koramoah was so fun to watch in his rookie season, the Browns don't hesitate to make him their pick in the redraft.
Round 1 - Pick 27
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
The Ravens have to get better on the interior given Calais Campbell's age. Barmore was the best rookie defensive tackle in 2021.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Odafe Oweh EDGE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'5" / 251 lbs
Oweh had a fair share of his pressures schemed for him in Baltimore, but the raw ability is through the roof.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Nate Hobbs CB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Hobbs flew under the radar all season on a susceptible Raiders secondary, and would be welcomed to Green Bay with Eric Stokes off the board.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'6" / 266 lbs
Rousseau quietly had a strong season in Buffalo, although he wasn't a tremendous pass-rusher. But the Bills knew there'd be an longer acclimation progress with Rousseau.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Kwity Paye EDGE
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 261 lbs
Paye wasn't sensational as a rookie. He was solid against the run and as a pass rusher. The Ravens need more juice around the corner.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Ernest Jones LB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'2" / 230 lbs
Jones sneaks into Round 1 after a strong rookie campaign on the Super Bowl winning Rams. Jones can be the heir apparent to Lavonte David.