Bears and Patriots to applause: Niners, Packers and Saints, how many doubts …

Chicago with Fields and New England with Jones may have caught the taste of the future. San Francisco, forcing with Lance at 3. Green Bay, discharged by Rodgers, takes a cornerback

Massimo Oriani


Never before has the NFL draft sparked the interest of everyone, media, fans and professionals like this year. Maybe because there were 5 quarterbacks fought over by many. And in fact they were called with the top 3 picks (Lawrence, Wilson and Lance), 11 (Fields) and 15 (Jones). Let’s see who have been winners and losers of this first round.


Chicago Bears: They went up from 20 to 11 to pick the quarterback they wanted, Justin Fields of Ohio State. And it is likely that they will immediately entrust him with the keys to the team, sending Andy Dalton and Nick Foles respectively to the bench and the grandstand. There were doubts on the eve because when he played Georgia he had been preferred Jake Fromm. But that was a subjective choice of coach Smart who probably thought the latter more suitable for his game system. He had no other flaws.

New England Patriots: the thousand voices on the eve that gave them even to the 4 (from Atlanta) or on the contrary downhill giving up the 15, in the end were denied. Thanks also to the good fortune that saw Mac Jones, their goal n.1, fall to 15 after the Niners preferred to bet on Trey Lance at 3. But everyone around Foxboro is happy. Will he leave the owner? Difficult to understand now despite Belichick saying that Cam Newton is the qb1. He could certainly become the quarterback of the future.

Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater (Northwestern) fills the glaring hole as left-wing tackle that left Justin Herbert’s blind side exposed. According to ESPN super expert Mel Kiper, many rated it even higher than Oregon’s Penei Sewell, who went to the Lions with the 7. They grabbed it with the 13.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence at 1 was drawn. Good to have joined his teammate in Clemson, Travis Etienne with the 25, talented running back. Two pieces around which to build the future of the franchise.

Miami Dolphins: after giving the third pick to the Niners, at 6 they took the shoulder of the winner of the Heisman Trophy, the Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle, extraordinary kick returner. And then, with 18, Jaelan Phillips, home defensive end (Miami Hurricanes), perhaps the best pass rusher in the draft. The reconstruction continues fast.


Las Vegas Raiders: ok, the offensive line had more holes than the Emmenthal, but taking Alex Leatherwood from Alabama with the 17, when everyone gave him as a second-round player, seems like a move dictated by panic.

San Francisco 49ers: go up to 3 to catch a Division II player (FCS to call it by its exact wording) who missed the last season (not by choice, the Bisons are now playing it due to Covid) instead of playing it safe with Mac Jones or Justin Fields (as far as you can be safe in the draft …) has all the air of a sensational forcing. True there is a precedent, Carson Wentz, same college, MVP candidate before injuring Phila. But the doubts are many.

Arizona Cardinals: they left two weapons that would have been useful to Kyler Murray, two slot receivers like Elijah Moore and Kadarius Toney, preferring linebacker Zaven Collins (Tulsa) with the 16. Good player, but more was needed.

Green Bay Packers: it seems they do it on purpose. On the day when news goes public that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have the slightest intention of playing another down for the Packers, what do they do? Do they take a receiver to try to change his mind? No, a cornerback, Eric Stokes from Georgia with the 29. Who is the cause of his pain …

New York Giants: Kadarius Toney (Florida) was considered one of the best receivers available on the first round. The Giants got him at 20 after selling 11 to the Bears. Next to Kenny Golladay he will form an excellent couple for Daniel Jones. So far, so good. But the G-Men mainly needed to reinforce the defense. A level receiver was also found on the second lap.

New Orleans Saints: perhaps the most incomprehensible choice of the first round, Payton Turner (Houston), defensive end called with the 28. It was given on the 2nd-3rd round. And the primary needs were in other roles, as a receiver or defensive back.

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Bears and Patriots to applause: Niners, Packers and Saints, how many doubts …

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