NFL Draft Grade 2021: NFC West
San Francisco 49ers
Pick 1.3: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State (A)
Pick 2.48: G Aaron Banks, Notre Dame (B)
Pick 3.88: RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State (C-)
Pick 3.102: CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan (C-)
Pick 5.155: OL Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan (B-)
Pick 5.172: DB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon (A)
Pick 5.180: S Talanoa Hufanga, USC (A-)
Pick 6.194: RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana-Lafayette (A+)
The San Francisco 49ers saved themselves from embarrassment on Day 1 by grabbing the obvious choice at number 3, Trey Lance. There had been rumors that the pick was going to be McCorkle “Mac” Jones, but in the end, it was the guy who it should have always been, Trey Lance. Lance will fit perfectly into Shanahan’s system from the start, he processes the football field at an extraordinarily fast rate, and he can hit the easy throws that will be required of him. I love this fit for the 49ers and Lance himself.
However, that is where the praise ends. While I like some late-round pickups like Deommondore Lenoir from Oregon and the speedy Elijah Mitchell at running back, the middle of the draft was not good for the 49ers.
The team traded up to get another running back, which just did not make sense. I like Trey Sermon, but the team had much more pressing needs in the secondary. Then, the 49ers reached on Ambry Thomas, who was just not the best player available for them at that pick. The trade-up for Sermon should have gone to Ifeatu Melifonwu or one of the plethoras of great safeties at that point in the draft.
Weighted GPA of Selections: 3.01 (B)
Overall Class Grade: B
Pick 1.16: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa (A)
Pick 2.49: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue (C-)
Pick 4.160: CB Marco Wilson, Florida (C)
Pick 6.210: DE Victor Dimukeje, Duke (A)
Pick 6.223: CB Tay Gowan, UCF (A)
Pick 7.243: S James Wiggins, Cincinnati (A)
Pick 7.247: C Michal Menet, Penn State (B)
The Cardinals continue to have weird drafts. Let us start with the positives. The team did fantastic in the later rounds, grabbing tons of value with Tay Gowan and James Wiggins, two guys in many top-100 big boards. They also added Victor Dimukeje, who has a lot of upside. I also love their first-round selection in Zaven Collins. Yes, the team needs secondary help, but speedy cover linebackers are the future of the NFL. Zaven Collins is a great player who is drastically going to help this team by being able to cover freak mismatches, like Kyle Pitts.
Kliff Kingsbury continued to show that he has no idea what he is doing as a talent evaluator when it comes to wide receivers. He drafted several of them in his first draft as head coach, none of which panned out. Now, he drafts the most overrated one in this draft, Rondale Moore. This is the pick that should have been spent on the secondary, or at least a complete WR. Moore is a glorified gadget player who is not going to be worth the second round capital it cost to get him. Furthermore, Moore needs an accurate passer, and he does not have one with Kyler Murray.
Weighted GPA of Selections: 3.01(B)
Overall Class Grade: C
Pick 2.56: WR D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan (B)
Pick 4.137: CB Tre Brown, Oklahoma (B)
Pick 6.208: OT Stone Forsythe, Florida (B)
All of the Seahawks’ selections were simply decent. I like all three players they drafted, and they drafted them at a slight value according to how I graded them out. However, the team needed to trade back out of the second and collect some third and fourth-round picks. Simply put, this team as a whole is not good, and these picks will not change that.
The players they chose were fine, but the draft as a whole is going to do nothing for the team in helping them compete this year or filling out depth for the future. With the poor free agency and the very small draft class, I fail to see how in the world the Seahawks compete in the NFC West with such better teams in the division.
Weighted GPA of Selections: 3.0(B)
Overall Class Grade: C-
Los Angeles Rams
Pick 2.57: WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville (F)
Pick 3.103: ILB Ernest Jones, Southern Carolina (B-)
Pick 4.117: DT Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M (B+)
Pick 4.130: CB Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas (A-)
Pick 4.136: TE Jacob Harris, UCF (B-)
Pick 5.174: DT Earnest Brown IV, Northwestern (B)
Pick 7.223: RB Jake Funk, Maryland (C+)
Pick 7.249: WR Ben Skowronek, Notre Dame (C)
Pick 7.252: OLB Chris Garett, Concordia College St. Paul (?)
The Los Angeles Rams had to wait a while to get their draft started, and they did so with two selections that I was not in love with. The better of the two was Ernest Jones, who I think was a bit of a reach, but at least it was at a position of need for this Rams defense. The Tutu Atwell selection was a waste of a second-round pick. The team did not need a wide receiver, and they especially did not need a wide receiver who is just a poor man’s DeSean Jackson, especially since they have Jackson on the team! A very poor selection by the squad.
Day Three was much better, with the team getting solid value with Bobby Brown, Robert Rochell, and Earnest Brown IV. I like all of these picks and think that they will be future contributors to the roster. However, that poor Day Two is going to come back and bite the Rams. They did not target the positions of true need, which were offensive line, pass rusher, and secondary, and instead wasted it on a luxury selection. Except, that luxury pick was for a guy who should have gone on Day Three, anyway.
Weighted GPA of Selections: 2.34(D+)
Overall Class Grade: D+