3 First-Round Picks Teams Will Regret From 2021 NFL Draft
For once, most fanbases seem pretty happy with how their team's NFL Draft turned out. That represents a huge change from drafts in years past, when 20-year-old kids would spend the best moment of their lives getting booed off stage by angry New Yorkers in Radio City Music Hall.
But sometimes, those angry fans had a point. Not all 32 of these 2021 first-round picks are going to workout. With that in mind, here are three first-round picks that teams will come to regret.
3. Eric Stokes, CB, Green Bay Packers (No. 29 Overall)
Another year, another head-scratching selection from Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst. The Packers' decision-maker spent a first-round pick on Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes, who was believed to be more of a second- or third-round value. He might not even be the best Georgia CB in this class with most viewing Tyson Campbell as the superior prospect. And in order to reach for Stokes, Gutekunst had to pass up on a wide receiver for the second consecutive season. Someone like Elijah Moore, who is essentially a supercharged version of the receiver GB landed in Round 3 (Amari Rodgers), would've been a much better value. Stokes is a freak athlete who fills a need, but making him the fifth-CB drafted is definitely a reach, especially when there was so much talent left on the board.
2. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 24 Overall)
Najee Harris is a great prospect. He's probably going to turn into a great player. But if he does, it'll be in spite of the Pittsburgh Steelers, not because of them. Pittsburgh's offensive line is downright atrocious. The Steelers' O-line received the league's second-worst run-blocking grade from ProFootballFocus in 2020, generating the NFL's fewest rushing yards (1,351). And that unit only got worse this offseason, losing two decent starters in Maurkice Pouncey and Matt Feiler. Picking a first-round running back while you have that many holes along the offensive line is not going to fix this running game. Mix in some concerns about Ben Roethlisberger's deep ball and teams should be able to load up the box and contain the Steelers' rushing attack once again in 2021. As great as Harris is, it'll be hard for him to overcome the problems on this offense.
1. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Denver Broncos (No. 9 Overall)
This is not a knock against Patrick Surtain II whatsoever. He was pretty much the consensus best cornerback in the class and seems like a very safe bet to be a high-level NFL starter. But the Denver Broncos' roster was already pretty loaded. That's even true at cornerback after landing Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency. This team's most obvious need is at quarterback, and Denver had to pass up on two very intriguing QB prospects in order to pick Surtain. If either Justin Fields or Mac Jones hits, Denver could regret this pick for years to come. Things could get ugly at Mile High when Drew Lock throws his first interception of 2021.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.