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2021 NFL Draft: Best and Worst Pick for Every Team

2021 NFL Draft: Best and Worst Pick for Every Team

2021 NFL Draft: Best and Worst Pick for Every Team

All 259 picks have been made and the 2021 NFL Draft is officially in the books for all 32 franchises. Ask any executive or coach around the league at this point, they'll be sure to tell you they found that missing piece and are thrilled with the group they got getting them over the hump to the Super Bowl.

While it's too soon to say exactly how every draft pick will pan out, we can look at the value teams got from certain picks and which ones caused a few head scratches around the league. With that in mind, here are the best picks from each team and, of course, their worst.

Arizona Cardinals

Best pick: Michael Menet, C, Penn State (7th round, 247th overall)

Worst pick: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (2nd round, 49th overall)

The Cardinals got a lot of value in the later rounds, highlighted by a potential starting corner in Marco Wilson (4th round), an athletic safety with upside in James Wiggins (7th round), and a steal in Menet who should have gone earlier on Day 3. He provides cover for the newly acquired Rodney Hudson and has a chance to perhaps crack the starting lineup at either guard spot. The issue for the front office might be the early picks, including a slight reach for top pick Zaven Collins when they could have moved back. Moore is fantastic and a dynamic playmaker but his injury history and size make him a huge risk in the second round. He's also the third wideout on the roster now 5-foot-9 or under. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray have a bit of a track team going on but they'll need the Boilermaker to stay on the field for this top-50 pick to pan out.

Atlanta Falcons

Best pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (1st round, 4th overall)

Worst pick: Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DL, Notre Dame (5th round, 182 overall)

It was easy to select Pitts as the best pick because nabbing the best overall positional player in the draft with the fourth pick is terrific value. But don't discount nabbing offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield in the third round either as his aggressiveness fits with what Arthur Smith wants to do and was a potential first-round talent taken just inside the top 70. If Frank Darby can make the team, that's a pretty nice deep threat added to the rotation. Both he and fifth-rounder Avery Williams should be dynamite additions on special teams. Atlanta overdrafted Ogundeji though as he's somebody that needs a lot more seasoning to crack the defense's current rotation.

Baltimore Ravens

Best pick: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State (4th round, 131st overall)

Worst pick: Ben Mason, FB, Michigan (5th round, 184th overall)

Lamar Jackson has to like the offseason additions, especially the rookie wideouts who have a tremendous catch radius and are capable of making some tough grabs along the sidelines or over the middle. Getting Shaun Wade in the fifth round could be the steal of the draft as he'll be able to play more slot early while learning the DB craft from vets like Marcus Peters. Fellow corner Brandon Stephens was a reach in the third round but at least guard Ben Cleveland is a very on-brand pick for what this offense wants to do. You wonder if the Mason selection was a nod between the Harbaugh brothers because there's no way in today's NFL that a fullback should be taken in the fifth round, much less with the team's final pick in the draft.

Buffalo Bills

Best pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (1st round, 30th overall)

Worst pick: Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin (6th round, 213th overall)

Strange to see the Bills picking so late in each round but they nailed their early draft picks, getting tremendous value in Rousseau (a top-10 talent) in the first and Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. at the end of the second. If Stefon Diggs can adopt Marquez Stevenson as his little brother and help him develop, that could be a Day 3 steal on top of his return value. The Wildgoose pick has a boom/bust factor to it as there are enough negatives to his game to the point where the sixth round is a bit rich for his talent.

Carolina Panthers

Best pick: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa (5th round, 158th overall)

Worst pick: Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama (6th round, 222nd overall)

There's a ton to like about the Panthers' draft class, especially as they decided to actually select a few offensive players this time around. Terrace Marshall Jr. reunites with his old college OC in Joe Brady and can be a nice weapon both inside or out for new QB Sam Darnold. Don't be shocked if he has a more productive career as a second option in the pros than in college (along with TE Tommy Tremble). Deonte Brown and Brady Christensen bring a ton of size up front and could develop into nice starters. Nixon in the fifth round is a theft of the highest order as he was more in line with a Day 2 guy and the second-best interior lineman on some folks' boards. The lone negative is using a sixth-rounder on a long snapper because it's using a sixth-rounder on a bleeping long snapper.

Chicago Bears

Best pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (1st round, 11th overall)

Worst pick: Larry Borom, OL, Missouri (5th round, 151 overall)

The Bears' front office has not exactly endeared themselves to the fan base with the moves they've made but moving up to nab Fields will change that stance a bit. Not only are all the Big Ten fans in the city thrilled at this move, but he's legitimately the most exciting QB to head to the Windy City since… Jim McMahon? Teven Jenkins had a first-round grade by some and addresses a need along the offensive line too. It wouldn't be shocking if Dazz Newsome finds a home on the roster given his versatility but the team did reach quite a bit with Borom. Given the lack of picks in this draft, the Bears should have moved back if they wanted to take him since he's a bit of a project moving to guard and not much of a scheme fit for what Matt Nagy tries to do.

Cincinnati Bengals

Best pick: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas (Round 3, 69th overall)

Worst pick: Evan McPherson, K, Florida (Round 5, 149th overall)

There were more than a few confusing selections in this Bengals draft. Reuniting Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase was understandable but waiting until the fourth round to take a swing tackle was not. Trey Hill could be sneaky good at the interior spots but was still somewhat of a reach in the sixth round. Cincinnati's best value pick might have been their last in Wyatt Hubert, who has the motor and production of a guy who winds up playing for seven-plus years even if he's not a starter. McPherson may well have been the best kicker to enter the league from the college ranks but nobody at the position has proven to be worth a fifth-rounder for a team that still has to rebuild quite a bit.

Cleveland Browns

Best pick: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (2nd round, 52nd overall)

Worst pick: Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia (5th round, 153rd overall)

Browns' GM Andrew Berry had a heck of a week, welcoming his third kid before the first round started and then landing value after value as the draft progressed. Newsome should contend right away to start and Owusu-Koramoah was a top-15 talent many had mocked to the team in the first round that they wound up with late in the second. Demetric Felton should allow Kevin Stefanski to find a number of fun roles for him all over the field and OL James Hudson has all the tools to provide backup value as a rookie before turning into a potential starter at two or three spots. If there is one thing to nitpick, it might be reaching for Fields in the fifth round given both his limitations and Owusu-Koramoah filling a similar role.

Dallas Cowboys

Best pick: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU (4th round, 115th overall)

Worst pick: Nashon Wright, CB, Oregon State (3rd round, 99th overall)

Wright was labeled by some as a seventh-round pick so to take him inside the top 100 is a massive reach. Yes, he fits the new scheme but Jerry Jones' focus on reforming the defense whiffed badly with this one no matter the need. On the flip side, Cox is one of the best cover backers in the draft and could by a theft in the fourth round. Between him and Micah Parsons, the linebacking corps has seen a significant upgrade in athleticism and probably won't miss Sean Lee on the field at all as a result. The character concerns alone allow one to question the Josh Ball selection in the fourth round. Don't sleep on sixth-round CB Israel Mukuamu helping at a position of need and it certainly feels like WR Semi Fehoko is going to have a way better career in that explosive Dallas offense than he did in college.

Denver Broncos

Best pick: Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana (5th round, 164th overall)

Worst pick: Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State (3rd round, 105th overall)

Everybody got distracted by the Aaron Rodgers rumors but new GM George Paton had himself an excellent first draft in Denver. Surtain is a drop-in corner who can make several Pro Bowls early in his career and Williams can star in that offense on all three downs. Quinn Meinerz is a fan favorite already even if he might need a year to crack the lineup and those late-round picks from Seth Williams to Kary Vincent have a chance to hit big time. Johnson was PFF's third-ranked safety in the draft yet the Broncos got him in the fifth round, which is sure to bring a smile to Vic Fangio's face. Browning has a chance to be a good player but feels like a really big reach for a likely backup in the third round.

Detroit Lions

Best pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (1st round, 7th overall)

Worst pick: Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue (4th round, 113th overall)

Lions fans might not be wrong in thinking this is one of Detroit's best draft classes overall in several years. Sewell is a potential All-Pro in short order and the additions of Levi Onwuzurike (a first-round talent) and Alim McNeill address a huge area of need from the get-go. Amon-Ra St. Brown is just the kind of tough slot receiver that Jared Goff thrives with and if Jermar Jefferson makes the team, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him form a nice tandem with D'Andre Swift for the next few years. The lone misstep might be overdrafting Barnes by a few rounds.