The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. One of the most interesting trends in this year's draft was watching what teams who picked a first-round quarterback did with their next few selections.
Four of the five instantly turned around and used a first- or second-round pick on an offensive lineman. Each of those four teams also added at least one skill-position player with one of their first three non-QB selections. The lone exception to these rules was the New England Patriots, who did most of their offensive retooling via free agency.
But the takeaway here is pretty clear. Organizations are trying to surround their young QBs with as much offensive talent as possible. The front office doesn't want to give these kids any excuses or be the reason that a highly touted QB fails. With that in mind, let's take a look at the three quarterbacks who were helped the most in the 2021 NFL Draft.
3. Lamar Jackson
The Baltimore Ravens had a quietly great draft. They lucked out with Rashod Bateman, one of the most polished, all-around WRs in this class, falling to No. 27. He's going to step in and play a big role from day one, as the big-bodied Bateman (6'2") brings a very different skill set to the table than incumbents Marquise Brown (5'9") and Devin Duvernay (5'11"). Baltimore also picked up one of the most highly touted guards in the class with Georgia's Ben Cleveland, and the Ravens stole Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace in Round 4. All told, the Ravens added three players in the first four rounds who will be huge helps to Jackson this season, with Bateman being the type of WR fans have been clamoring to see for years.
2. Zach Wilson
Joe Douglas wasn't shy about his goals this offseason: surround Zach Wilson with talent. He arguably overpaid, but Douglas' first move after the Wilson selection was trading up for USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. He was viewed as the safest OG in this class and could be an All-Pro talent for the next decade. Then in Round 2, with clear needs on defense and fewer picks to address them, Douglas quadrupled down and took WR Elijah Moore, an electric prospect who most believed would go in Round 1. If Wilson fails, it's not going to be because of his supporting cast. That is a great shift from what we just saw happen to Sam Darnold. From 2018-19, NYJ never drafted a wide receiver and only picked one offensive lineman. Being the quarterback to turn around the New York Jets has been an impossible task for a while now, but no one has ever been better equipped to do it than Zach Wilson.
1. Patrick Mahomes
Including Patrick Mahomes on this list is a bit of a cheat, since the Chiefs' biggest addition came a few days ahead of the draft. But Kansas City did use its first-round pick (No. 31) to acquire Orlando Brown Jr., so we'll count it. Brown, a 25-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler, is going to lock down Mahomes' blindside for years to come. The whole world pretty much expected KC to use that No. 31 overall selection on an LT, but none of those rookies would be as effective as Brown is right now. And most will likely never get to his level. Kansas City then doubled down by selecting Oklahoma's Creed Humphrey, one of the best interior O-Linemen in the class, in Round 2. Kansas City completed its total overhaul of the O-Line in the draft, turning its biggest weakness from last year into a serious strength for 2021. That's a huge victory.
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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.