Here are Marcus Mosher’s 2021 NFL Draft Round 1 Best & Worst Picks, including QB values and reaches on defense.
Keep tabs on all 2021 NFL Draft picks with our 2021 NFL Draft live tracker.
2021 NFL Draft Round 1 Best & Worst Picks
BEST ROUND 1 PICKS
1. Chicago Bears: QB Justin Fields, Pick 11 Overall
Chicago!!! They had no future with Andy Dalton. But now, their future couldn’t be any brighter.
Justin Fields is an elite quarterback prospect, and Chicago didn’t have to trade up inside the top 10 to land him. Fields couldn’t be a better fit in Matt Nagy’s offense and will be the team’s Day 1 starter. They were easily my biggest winner of Round 1.
2. San Francisco 49ers: QB Trey Lance, Pick 3 Overall
Despite all of the misinformation regarding Mac Jones, the 49ers got the pick right. (I also did in my 2021 Round 1 NFL Mock Draft.) Trey Lance is a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and offers a ceiling higher than any other quarterback in this class.
The 49ers were bold, but I love it. Smart move here.
3. Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts, Pick 4 Overall
The Falcons could have gone in a bunch of different directions at No. 4, but they stayed put and took a generational talent in Kyle Pitts.
With the top three quarterbacks off the board, Atlanta made the best decision available to them. Pitts, with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley, gives the Falcons one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.
WORST ROUND 1 PICKS
1. Carolina Panthers: CB Jaycee Horn, Pick 8 Overall
I really like Jaycee Horn, but the Panthers passing up Justin Fields (and Mac Jones) … it’s tough.
Sam Darnold has just one year left on his deal and hasn’t shown enough to pass on an elite quarterback prospect. Horn is a plug-and-play starter at cornerback for Carolina, but passing on Fields might be a huge mistake in hindsight.
2. Dallas Cowboys: LB Micah Parsons, Pick 12 Overall
Yes. Getting a third-round pick in a trade down is good. Picking an off-the-ball linebacker at No. 12? Bad. Especially one with severe off-the-field issues.
I couldn’t hate this pick anymore. This one doesn’t make any sense, especially when you consider Rashawn Slater was still on the board. Ugh. I’m sick.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Najee Harris, Pick 24 Overall
I know the Steelers needed a running back, but Najee Harris at No. 24 with Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins on the board doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Pittsburgh might have the worst offensive line in the NFL and didn’t address it in Round 1. We all know the value of running backs, and taking a 23-year old runner with a ton of college work is a pretty rough move.