NFL Draft Live: First-round report card

The 2021 NFL Draft’s first round has kicked off and Rivals.com National Columnist Mike Farrell offers his thoughts and grades for each of the picks.

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

FARRELL’S TAKE: Trevor Lawrence is a franchise QB and the best I’ve seen out of high school and college. He’s a generational talent and I don’t use that term lightly.

GRADE: A+

*****

2. NY JETS: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

FARRELL’S TAKE: Zach Wilson to me is a reach at No. 2 with other quarterbacks obviously more experienced and who take fewer chances. Not sure he can succeed with the Jets.

GRADE: C

*****

3. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

FARRELL’S TAKE: Trey Lance is a very interesting pick here but I think the 49ers are reaching here and he has boom-or-bust potential.

GRADE: C+

*****

4. ATLANTA FALCONS: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Falcons could have traded down but addressed a huge need with Kyle Pitts as a big target for Matt Ryan.

GRADE: A

*****

5. CINCINNATI BENGALS: WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

FARRELL’S TAKE: I love Ja’Marr Chase here for the Bengals as a future superstar. I would have gone Penei Sewell but you can’t fault this.

GRADE: A

*****

6. MIAMI DOLPHINS: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Dolphins could have traded back but decided to go with Jaylen Waddle, which to me is a reach this high. They could have gotten WR value trading back.

GRADE: B

*****

7. DETROIT LIONS: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

FARRELL’S TAKE: Detroit needs defensive help badly and also needs wide receivers, but it couldn’t pass on the elite tackle Penei Sewell. This is a bit of a surprise but a great pick.

GRADE: A

*****

8. CAROLINA PANTHERS: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Panthers wanted a corner or offensive lineman, but Justin Fields was tempting. Jaycee Horn was their top defender on the board and they jumped. Good pick.

GRADE: B+

*****

9. DENVER BRONCOS: CB Patrick Surtain, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Broncos passed on quarterback for defense which doesn’t make sense to me. But you can’t really hate on picking Patrick Surtain, who is an elite cornerback.

GRADE: B

*****

10. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: DeVonta Smith is going to be great despite his lack of size and the Eagles had to move ahead of the Giants to get him. Solid pick and move.

GRADE: B+

*****

11. CHICAGO BEARS: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

FARRELL’S TAKE: A great move by the Bears to be aggressive and take my No. 2 QB on the board. Fields has a chance to be great in Chicago.

GRADE: A+

*****

12. DALLAS COWBOYS: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Cowboys have many needs but once the top two corners were gone it was time to trade back and still get help with LB Micah Parsons. He will be elite in that defense.

GRADE: A+

*****

13. LA CHARGERS: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Chargers are thrilled to see Rashawn Slater slide down to them as protecting Justin Herbert is key.

GRADE: A

*****

14. NY JETS: OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Jets traded up to land help along the offensive line with guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, who is talented but perhaps a reach at 14.

GRADE: C+

*****

15. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Patriots waited patiently and landed the QB they wanted with Mac Jones. This is a very good pick at 15.

GRADE: B+

*****

16. ARIZONA CARDINALS: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

FARRELL’S TAKE: I like Zaven Collins a lot but this is perhaps a bit high for him. The Cardinals have not drafted well and this could be another questionable pick.

GRADE: C

*****

17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Raiders need defensive help and they reached in a big way here for OT Alex Leathewood. He’s good but they missed on defensive needs.

GRADE: C

*****

18. MIAMI DOLPHINS: DE Jaelan Phillips, Miami

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Dolphins needed help along the OL and DL and Jaelen Phillips was supposed to be gone by now so this is a solid pick.

GRADE: B+

*****

19. WASHINGTON: LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Washington Football Team made a risky pick here to many but I love Jamin Davis out of Kentucky. This could be the sleeper of round one.

GRADE: A

*****

20. NY GIANTS: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Giants traded down and still got solid value with WR Kadarius Toney. I think edge might have been a better move with such a deep WR class.

GRADE: B

*****

21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: DE Kwity Paye, Michigan

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Colts could use help on either line and edge was important. Kwity Paye was a great value here but he has boom-or-bust potential.

GRADE: B-

*****

22. TENNESSEE TITANS: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Titans loved Caleb Farley from the start and he’s the best corner on film but injury questions linger. This is risky but I like it.

GRADE: B+

*****

23. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Vikings needed OL help and get a great value here at 23 as I have Darrisaw ahead of Slater.

GRADE: A

*****

24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: RB Najee Harris, Alabama

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Steelers made one of the best picks of the NFL Draft with Najee Harris as he fits a huge need.

GRADE: A+

*****

25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Jaguars need defensive help but decided to go running back and help Trevor Lawrence with his teammate Travis Etienne. But James Robinson was a rookie last year right? Weird.

GRADE: C+

*****

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS: CB GREG NEWSOME, Northwestern

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Browns go corner here with Greg Newsome, who is a solid value at this stage.

GRADE: B

*****

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Ravens need offensive weapons for Lamar Jackson so taking a WR is not a surprise. Rashod Bateman was WR4 for many so this is a good pick.

GRADE: B+

*****

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: DE Payton Turner, Houston

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Saints need help in their front seven and Turner is an interesting value here but perhaps a reach in the first round.

GRADE: C+

*****

29. GREEN BAY PACKERS: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Packers have Aaron Rodgers problems but they go defense and speed in Eric Stokes? He’s fast but has issues and can be beaten.

GRADE: C+

*****

30. BUFFALO BILLS: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Bills could have gone OL but focused on defense with DE Greg Rousseau who was at one point DE1. This is good value.

GRADE: B+

*****

31. BALTIMORE RAVENS: LB Jayson Oweh, Penn State

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Ravens added a second first-rounder for a reason and went on the physical freak of the draft in Oweh. But to me he has a bigger chance to bust than boom.

GRADE: C

*****

32. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS : LB Joe Tryon, Washington

FARRELL’S TAKE: The Bucs could go best available and went with an edge rusher in Joe Tryon, who is long and can get after the passer.

GRADE: B

*****

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*****

Source: Rivals.com

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