Worst Pick in Each Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

This year’s draft had many questionable picks leaving most fans scratching their heads on several occasions. We can’t explain why teams made the final call to choose who they did, but what we can do is give you our analysis of the worst pick in each round and why. 

1st Round: Alex Leatherwood – Las Vegas Raiders

2021 was not the year that the Raiders would learn how to become remotely decent at drafting. For the last several years, the Raiders haven’t been able to manage a draft for fans to be excited about. This year things didn’t change and for the sake of the Raiders, we only chose one of their picks to make this list, although, you could make the case for multiple. Alex Leatherwood is a top offensive lineman, don’t get us wrong, but there were several other lineman who should have been drafted before him and the Raiders would have been better off trading this pick down to acquire someone who will be a day 1 impact starter. 

2nd Round: Jevon Holland – Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins had a great draft overall, but their 2nd round pick was their worst of the draft and the worst in the 2nd round. With Trevon Moehrig still on the board and Ifeatu Melifonwu available who can transition to safety, we don’t know what their thought process was in selecting Holland. Holland was the first safety taken in the draft, but 2 high-tier playmakers were still available for them to choose from. If Denver didn’t trade up to one spot above the Dolphins and select Williams, the running back from UNC, then the Dolphins would have had a home run of a draft. Denver did and the Dolphins went into panic mode selecting someone who isn’t the best available.

3rd Round: Nahshon Wright – Dallas Cowboys

We are happy to see that the Dallas Cowboys are investing heavily on their defense this draft with two home run picks in Micah Parsons and JOK at linebacker. However, the Wright pick was questionable as other defensive backs were available and the team still has other lingering questions. We don’t think this was the greatest move on Cowboys end, but respect their motives. 

4th Round: Ian Book – New Orleans Saints

The quarterback out of Notre Dame was surprisingly drafted in the 4th round by the New Orleans Saints. In the first year in New Orleans without Drew Brees since his retirement and a long-term quarterback plan in place, we understand why the Saints wanted to draft a quarterback, but question why they selected Ian Book. Book has a similar play style to Taysom Hill who they use as a wild card option currently. Hill isn’t the answer at quarterback and neither is Book. The Saints would’ve been better off using an earlier round pick to select a quarterback like Trask, Mond, or Mills. Book isn’t a great passer and has upside on the run, but in the NFL as we’ve learned time and time again, you need a quarterback who can throw the ball and throw it with precision. 

5th Round: Evan McPherson – Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals did Bengals things and drafted a kicker in the 5th round. Although McPherson was the best kicker available in this draft, the Bengals could have easily got him in the 6th or 7th round of this draft with more teams focused on building their offense and defense rather than special team units. The Bengals should have explored free agency as there were several viable options at kicker rather than wasting one of their mid-round draft picks. 

6th Round: Sam Ehlinger – Indianapolis Colts

This was a questionable move by the Colts after just trading for Carson Wentz in the offseason. The Colts have Carson Wentz and Jacob Eason on their roster which made us question why they drafted another quarterback this season in Ehlinger. If it was based on the best player available, Ehlinger wasn’t the best choice, if it was based on the future, this jeopardizes the future of Eason as the starter of the team. This shows how much trust the Colts have on Eason and Wentz to get the job done in the future for them. 

7th Round: Jake Funk – Los Angeles Rams

The last round of this draft didn’t feature much in terms of questionable choices. Most teams drafted well in the last round from who was available. This round is all about taking minimal risks on lowly scouted players and filling in depth where needed. We wouldn’t list any of the picks in this round as being necessarily bad by any means. If we had to choose one, it would be Jake Funk going to the Rams. We don’t think Funk is a bad player, but injuries and a one-dimensional play style limits what he can bring to the big league. The Rams didn’t necessarily need a running back, but getting one in the last round isn’t bad. We think there were still one or two better options they could have gone with, but not a bad choice overall.

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