The 2021 NFL Draft is officially in the rearview mirror, and now that we’ve had a week to ponder what has happened, it’s time to introduce the 2021 All Draft Team. The All Draft Team is an exercise I started in 2017 trying to figure out who I think would have the best careers in the NFL.
Thats how it works. I pick from each round of draft the one player who I think has the best NFL career. I choose four more players from each round who I think will have good careers as my “bench players”. At the end of each round, I pick five players and highlight my favorite player. This team is not intended to find prospects for every position. You can pick a broad recipient for any selection on your team if you want. It all depends on who you think has the best careers.
The prospects weren’t always my draft crushes, but they were often players drawn in by teams that put their skills to good use. Getting too caught up in your drafts during this exercise can result in bites. That’s what I did in 2019 when I picked Justin Layne as my third choice. I loved Layne as the cornerback of a press man, but he didn’t fit in with Tomlin / Butler’s zoning scheme.
The only other rule is not to be too obvious when choosing the first round. For example, I had Penei Sewell as my number 1 in this class so I won’t be choosing him as my first choice. In other words, avoid players who have been widely considered to be one of the top 5-7 players on the draft. Otherwise, have fun with it!
Here was my team from last year.
Rd 1 – Mekhi Becton – OT – Louisville
Bank: Jerry Jeudy (WR), Isaiah Wilson (OT), Kenneth Murray (ILB), Javon Kinlaw (DT)
Rd 2 – Antoine Winfield, Jr. – S – Minnesota
Bank: Laviska Shenault (WR), Jaylon Johnson (CB), Willie Gay (ILB), Denzel Mims (WR)
Rd 3 – Zack Moss – RB – Utah
Bank: Josh Jones (OT), Julian Blackmon (CB), Neville Gallimore (DT), Lloyd Cushenberry (C)
Rd 4 – Solomon Kindley – G – Georgia
Bank: Saahdiq Charles (OT), Tyler Biadasz (C), Anthony McFarland (RB), Kevin Dotson (G)
Rd 5 Bradlee Anae – EDGE – Utah
Bank: Kindle Vildor (CB), Larrell Murchison (DT), Bryce Hall (CB), Curtis Weaver (EDGE)
Rd 6 – Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR – Michigan
Bank: Bravvion Roy (DT), Netane Muti (G), Hakeem Adeniji (T / G), Prince Tega-Wanogho (OT)
Rd 7 – James Smith-Williams – EDGE – State of North Carolina
Bank: Derrek Tuszka (EDGE), Carter Coughlin (LB), Kenny Willekes (DE), Arlington Hambright (OT)
Undrafted- Chris Orr – ILB – Wisconsin
Bank: Maurice Ffrench (WR), Tyler Huntley (QB), Javelin Guidry (CB), Isaiah Wright (WR)
Becton was on the verge of going too high, but because the Giants took Andrew Thomas instead, he slipped over to the Jets and allowed me to choose him as my first choice. However, my bankers have disappointed me. Antoine Winfield, Solomon Kindley, and Donovan Peoples-Jones were all nice picks, but Zack Moss was a risk that hasn’t been taken as yet.
My best team was the 2017 team when I picked Patrick Mahomes, Larry Ogunjobi and Eddie Jackson as three of my starters. I also had TJ Watt, Carl Lawson, Desmond King, and Adoree Jackson as bank picks. My team for 2018 was probably my worst team. My starters were Rashaan Evans, Anthony Miller, Sam Hubbard, Durham Smythe, Genard Avery, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Greg Stroman, but my bank picks included Josh Allen, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Darius Leonard, Justin Reid, and Dallas Goedert.
You can also play along with this exercise and post your selections in the comments section below. Without further ado, here is my official 2021 all-draft team.
Round 1 – Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State
I would have chosen Jaycee Horn, but because it was higher than expected, I removed it from my list of usable names.
Bank: Christian Darrisaw (OT), Kwity Paye (EDGE), Caleb Farley (CB), Zaven Collins (LB)
Round 2 – Azeez Ojulari – EDGE – South Carolina
Bank: Kelvin Joseph (CB), Pat Freiermuth (TE), Samuel Cosmi (OT), Asante Samuel, Jr. (CB)
Round 3 – Joseph Ossai – EDGE – Texas
Bench: Nico Collins (WR), Aaron Robinson (CB), Kendrick Green (C), Anthony Schwartz (WR)
Round 4 – Jabril Cox – ILB – LSU
Bank: Robert Rochell (CB), Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR), Tylan Wallace (WR), Derrick Barnes (ILB)
Round 5 – Daviyon Nixon – DL – Iowa
Bank: Shaun Wade (CB), Tony Fields II (ILB), Talanoa Hufanga (S), Simi Fehoko (WR)
Round 6: Elijah Mitchell – RB – Louisiana
Bank: Trey Smith (G), Trey Hill (C), Jaylen Twyman (DT), Hamsah Nasirildeen (S)
Round 7: Patrick Johnson – EDGE – Tulane
Bank: Chris Garrett (EDGE), Kary Vincent Jr. (CB), Shaka Toney (EDGE), Michael Strachan (WR)
UDFA: Mac McCain III – CB – North Carolina A & T.
Bank: Paris Ford (S), Cade Johnson (WR), Sadarius Hutcherson (G), Darius Stills (DT)
Two picks for the Steelers made my bench on both days, but they were the only ones around this year. What Steelers Would Your Team Do? Take part in this exercise by sharing what your team would be like in the comments section below!