2021 NFL Draft


Kyler Zhou, Online News Editor

It’s that time of year again: football fans from every corner of the country gather together to watch the NFL Draft, an event where all 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) select new players for the upcoming season. As the pinnacle of the football offseason, many fans were left ecstatic and jumping in joy, while others were left disappointed and distraught.  

The first round of the NFL Draft made history, with the first three picks made by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets, and the San Francisco 49ers being quarterbacks (QB). Sophomore Harry Bernardi, a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys, says that “these teams desperately needed new QBs, and they got outstanding draft picks.” Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, widely regarded as the new Peyton Manning, was picked first by the Jaguars; BYU’s Zach Wilson was picked second by the Jets, and NDSU’s Trey Lance, the winner of the Walter Payton Award in 2019, was picked third by the San Francisco 49ers. Out of these three draft picks, fans approved most of the Jaguar’s first overall pick. Sophomore Nico Cucchi, a self-proclaimed superfan of the New York Giants, believes that “by picking Trevor Lawrence first overall and reuniting him with his former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne, the Jaguars’ offense is going to be dangerous next year.”

Like many other events this year, the 2021 Draft was like no other, as the COVID-19 pandemic upended college football games and created restrictions that limited scouting and recruitment. Ja’Marr Chase, regarded as the top-rated wide receiver of the 2020-2021 school year, even chose to skip out on the upcoming football season in fear of the virus.

Still, the players chosen this year have “lots of potential,” says Cucchi. When asked to identify the player he is most excited about, Cucchi said that “DeVonta Smith, last year’s Heisman Award winner,” stood out to him. Yet, to his dismay, Smith ended up being drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles, the long-time rival of the Giants. Cucchi claims that “Eagles fans at PDS will likely torture us [Giants fans] twice a week for the foreseeable future.” Another player with “an extraordinary potential” is tight end Kyle Pitts, who was drafted to the Atlanta Falcons. Bernardi asserts that “his impressive build of 6’6’’ and 245 pounds makes him a one-of-a-kind tight end that the Falcons really need.” Senior Bruno Cucchi, who–like his brother–is also a Giants superfan, strongly disagreed with Bernardi, stating that “the Falcons picking a tight end that early in the draft” is something that he “cannot get behind,” and adds that the Falcons missed out on other players that would “actually be integral to Atlanta’s pending rebuild.”

The 2021 NFL Draft proved to be a true spectacle of entertainment, with crazy draft picks that kept football fans on the edge of their seats. With everything going on in the world, the 2021 Draft drew people together instead of dividing them apart. Bruno Cucchi believes that with this year’s successful and impressive Draft, “the passion for sports in America is slowly regaining its momentum, and football fans are here for it 100%.”