The 2021 NFL Draft is an event that requires months of preparation and then it boils down to knee-jerk reactions after the dust has settled. Several picks made sense while others left more questions. Here are the 10 best and most questionable fits to come from the three days of pick making:
Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Selected: Round 1, Pick 19
Washington already had a terrifying defensive line to apply pressure on the quarterback. With the addition of Davis, they now have a sideline-to-sideline linebacker that is able to diagnose and destroy the few capable of getting to the second level. Head coach Ron Rivera has always valued smart, tough linebackers and he got that in the form of Davis.
Ravens: Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Selected: Round 1, Pick 31
Baltimore loves length so it was no surprise to see them take a flier on the Penn State product in the first round. Oweh is the Tyson Campbell of the defensive line. He does everything right up to the most critical moment and needs to improve his finishing skills. The Ravens are a perfect operation to bring that out of him. They have already shown a rich history of developing traitsy edge rushers like Za'Darius Smith, Matt Judon, Pernell McPhee and more.
Chargers: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
Selected: Round 2, Pick 47
Samuel was a perfect fit for what head coach Brandon Staley wants to accomplish on defense and the value was just as good. It could not have worked out better for the first year head coach. Samuel understands route distribution and does a good job getting his eyes back to the quarterback.
Cardinals: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Selected: Round 2, Pick 49
The idea of Arizona taking another wide receiver being a 'good fit' seems strange but, in this case, it is. Moore will be able to draw in the defense underneath and allow for opportunities down the field to DeAndre Hopkins. Everyone is looking for a Tyreek Hill-type player and Arizona might have found theirs.
Giants: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia
Selected: Round 2, Pick 50
New York had built this formidable rotation of interior defenders but they lacked pass rush. Ojulari represents great value at a position of need if able to stay healthy. He has the versatility to stand up and drop into coverage or play hand in the dirt. It is a great complement to that defensive line.
Buccaneers: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Selected: Round 2, Pick 64
It is fair to have some doubts about Trask as a potential starter in the NFL but few would argue that there was a better position for him to land. He stays in the Sunshine State to learn from offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady; few get that kind of tutelage in any profession.
Panthers: Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Selected: Round 3, Pick 83
Tremble was overlooked in the pre-draft process. He is a solid blocker with underrated pass-catching traits. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady will find creative ways to use him and there should be ample opportunity. Carolina has so many offensive weapons with Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore and Terrace Marshall Jr. that it will be impossible for any team to roll coverage elsewhere.
Packers: Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson
Selected: Round 3, Pick 85
Outside of being an A. Rodgers going to Green Bay when the star quarterback is in a feud with the team, the Clemson product landed in a great role. If the quarterback stays, then he will have a Randall Cobb-type player to alleviate some pressure from Davante Adams and create some underneath windows.
Broncos: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
Selected: Round 3, Pick 105
Head coach Vic Fangio has always had impactful linebackers in his defense. The Von Miller-Bradley Chubb duo may not be together for several years but it is together for the time being. Similar to the situation in Washington, by dropping an athletic linebacker into the situation and allowing him to naturally make plays, it elevates the play of the entire defense.
49ers: Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Selected: Round 6, Pick 194
Mitchell is a plant and cut runner with good burst. There was no better spot for him to land than an outside zone running scheme, which Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers employ. In general, there is no better coach to play for as a running back than a Shanahan. San Francisco has been able to get more out of less at the running back position but the sky is the limit after
Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Selected: Round 1, Pick 4
There was no bad fit for Pitts if being honest. He is scheme-proof. However, the fit with Arthur Smith, coming over from the Titans, where he was offensive coordinator, is interesting. With Pitts' skill set, he can be used a lot differently than the way Tennessee used its tight ends last season, so there will be an adjustment.
Giants: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Selected: Round 1, Pick 20
It seems as though general manager Dave Gettleman was dead set on adding a wide receiver to support quarterback Daniel Jones. There were multiple reports linking the Giants to Devonta Smith, who was targeted in a trade up by the rival Eagles. When Smith was gone, it feels like Gettleman took their next highest ranked wide receiver. The problem is that Toney and Smith are very different players.
Jaguars: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Selected: Round 2, Pick 33
Jacksonville drafted C.J. Henderson in the first round last year and signed Shaquill Griffin in free agency. None of them are slot cornerbacks. Unless they are already admitting that the Griffin deal was a poor financial decision, it seems like a stretch even with head coach Urban Meyer's love of defensive backs.
Bears: Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom, OTs, Oklahoma State and Missouri
Selected: Round 2, Pick 39; Round 5, Pick 151
Chicago released veteran Charles Leno Jr. in the aftermath of these selections. They have now put themselves in a position to start two of Elijah Wilkinson, Jenkins and Borom this season. As much as I liked the two rookies, it is a difficult situation to insert Justin Fields considering some projected Borom to move inside and Jenkins played right tackle for most of his collegiate career.
Dolphins: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Selected: Round 2, Pick 42
Eichenberg is athletic and comes from a school with a rich history of producing NFL linemen. However, I have some serious concerns with his technique as a tackle. If he is going to be asked to play right tackle, which would make the most sense considering Robert Hunt was always better suited for guard, then there could be some early growing pains.
49ers: Aaron Banks, OG, Notre Dame
Selected: Round 2, Pick 48
San Francisco runs a wide zone blocking scheme that often encourages athleticism to get out on pull blocks and to seal alleys for the running back, Banks is a monster offensive lineman with a wide base. The fit was strange.
Texans: Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Selected: Round 3, Pick 67
There was no good situation for a rookie quarterback to walk into in Houston. The situation with the Texans is very toxic right now and the talent floor surrounding the player is less than ideal. If Deshaun Watson does not start for the team this season, then it is hard to fathom Mills finding early success.
Raiders: Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo
Selected: Round 3, Pick 79
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are no strangers to making unorthodox selections. They simply do not care how others have players ranked and that is honestly a good approach if it pans out. The issue is that it has not panned out for most. Koonce is more of a stand up edge rusher so one would think his role would be situational even in a base 4-3 defensive set. A third-round pick is rich for a situational player. It honestly feels like they were trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time after hitting on another Buffalo edge rusher -- Khalil Mack.
Cowboys: Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State
Selected: Round 3, Pick 99
Dallas values length but a third-round investment suggests that they see a path for him to potentially play early. I am not alone in thinking that would not be in the player's best interest.
Titans: Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Selected: Round 4, Pick 135
Weaver is a bit of a tweener for what Tennessee likes to do on defense. He is a 4-3 base defensive end and the Titans run a 3-4 base defensive scheme. Every team uses multiple defensive looks but, even in a four down front, the team has Bud Dupree and Denico Autry.