Historical Recap of 2021 NFL Draft Round One

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 19: Joe Burrow #9 and Ja"u2019Marr Chase #1 of the LSU Tigers high five each other during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Starkville, Mississippi. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 36-13. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

With the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft officially complete, let’s take a look at some historical notes for some key picks.

Jacksonville Jaguars, with the first pick, drafted QB Trevor Lawrence. It was the 4th time in franchise history they drafted a QB in the first round (previously Byron Leftwich, Blaine Gabbert, and Blake Bortles).

Cincinnati Bengals drafted LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase #5. It’s the 3rd time in 10 years that they drafted a WR in the top 10 and the second time since 2017 (AJ Green #4 in 2011 and John Ross #9 in 2017).

After picking twice in the first round, Miami Dolphins have drafted an SEC player with 7 of their last 11 first round picks. That includes Ja’Wuan James (Tennessee), Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Charles Harris (Missouri), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn), Jaylen Waddle (Alabama).

In the last 5 years, the Arizona Cardinals have only drafted two positions – LB and QB. Linebackers have been drafted back-to-back with Zaven Collins (2021) and Isaiah Simmons (2020), plus Haason Reddick in 2017. At QB, they drafted Kyler Murray #1 in 2019 after drafting Josh Rosen #10 in 2018.

At #24, Pittsburgh Steelers drafted RB Najee Harris. This is the first time since 2012, when the Steelers drafted OG David DeCastro, that they drafted an offensive player. The last 7 first rounders include Devin Bush, Terrell Edmunds, TJ Watt, Artie Burns, Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones, plus 2020 pick was traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Since 2000 and coming into Thursday, 4 teams had no drafted a QB in the first round. That list is now cut to 3, as the New England Patriots drafted Mac Jones #15. It’s the second time in franchise history the Pats owned the 15th pick and both times they have now drafted a QB (Tony Eason in 1983).

Green Bay Packers drafted CB Eric Stokes with the 29th pick. 9 of their last 10 first round picks have been on the defensive side of the ball and the one that wasn’t was 2020’s first rounder, QB Jordan Love.

Four college reunions took place on Thursday

  • Trevor Lawrence (#1) and Travis Etienne (#25) were both drafted by the Jaguars out of Clemson.
  • Cincinnati Bengals drafted WR Ja’Marr Chase #5, reuniting him with his LSU QB Joe Burrow (Bengals also have TE Thad Moss under contract).
  • Dolphins drafted WR Jaylen Waddle #6, who caught many touchdown passes from last year’s first round pick QB Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama.
  • Eagles moved up to #10 to draft DeVonta Smith. Smith previously played with last year’s Eagles second rounder Jalen Hurts, when Hurts was at Alabama before transferring to Oklahoma.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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