The 2021 NFL Draft will commence either as a virtual event or a live event with fans in attendance. Be honest, no one wants to see Roger Goodell in his basement again. The draft class itself is an interesting one, to say the least. Between opt-outs and canceled seasons, many players missed out on a year of crucial playing time. Some players still got to play a “roughly” full season though.
There are going to be a ton of risky picks this year and many could be busts. Now that Tom Brady has won the Lombardi (makes things seem normal almost actually), we can focus all attention towards the upcoming draft and prospects.
As we know, the NFL Draft spans over three days. Even the biggest pigskin nut (pun intended) couldn’t sit through over 12 hours of straight draft coverage. There’s too much downtime between picks and there’s so much packed into the draft.
This year’s NFL draft is on Thursday, April 29th, Friday, April 30th, and Saturday, May 1st. With three days committed to the event, you don’t feel burnt out and the media reaps the benefits.
The start times for each night of the NFL draft shouldn’t differ too much from last year. Thursday is the first round of the draft and usually starts at 8 pm eastern and usually ends around midnight (depending on the time between picks). Rounds 2 and 3 are on Friday and start around 7 pm. The remaining 4 rounds are all on Saturday and usually begin around noon and commence all day and evening.
It may seem like too much for one day but the time allowed for a pick decreases throughout the draft:
- Round 1- 10 minutes
- Round 2/3- 7 minutes
- Round 4/5/6- 5 minutes
- Round 7- 4 minutes
As mentioned earlier, the 2020 NFL Draft was held virtually in Commissioner Roger Goodell’s home. It was different, but we at least got to see the top prospects’ reactions in their own homes. Fingers are crossed for a live event in 2021 where fans are allowed in person.
The predetermined location for 2020 was Las Vegas, who now gets to host in 2022. Cleveland was named the host city for this year and all signs point to a semi-normal draft weekend. It will likely still be a limited capacity crowd, mostly draft prospects and their families with a mix of fans and cardboard cutouts.
One way or another, anyone can watch the NFL draft spectacular on several different platforms:
- NFL Network
- ESPN Deportes
- ESPN Radio (audio)
- NFL App
- NFL Network website
2021 NFL Draft Prop Bets
- RB Travis Etienne being 1st overall pick: +50000 (Best odds- QB Trevor Lawrence -5000
- RB Travis Etienne or Najee Harris going in the top 5: +25000 (Best odds- QB Zach Wilson -171
- Odds to be first RB selected: Travis Etienne -200, Najee Harris +125, Javonte Williams +700, Michael Carter +3300, Kenneth Gainwell +4000, Trey Sermon +4000, Chuba Hubbard +5000
Vegas Odds Tips
- RB Travis Etienne is the Vegas favorite to be taken as the first RB (-125) but this is one of the few moments where Vegas is wrong. RB Najee Harris will be the first taken off the board and all signs point towards this. Harris is +125 and a solid easy bet.
- WR DeVonta Smith won the Heisman Award, usually solidifying you as the first player selected from your position group. Instead, LSU WR Ja’Marr is the favorite to go first (-150) and Smith is likely to go next (+125). There is a chance his teammate Jaylen Waddle (+700) even jumps him.
- QB Trevor Lawrence is the landslide favorite to be the first QB and first overall pick. DraftKings has gone as far as to have him at -10000. Still, it would be wise to just bet on Lawrence as a part of a parlay for a quick hit. No point in getting fancy and praying to hit on Zach Wilson (+800) or Justin Fields (+1600).
- The over/under for the number of QBs taken in the first round sits at 4.5. The favorite sits with the over, meaning five or more will be selected. Those names would likely be Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. The first three are a given and at one point were labeled as a favorite to go first. Lance and Jones are risky bets that a team could gamble on in the first round, even though they would be more suited to going in the second round. The expert opinion would be to take the under, as there likely won’t be too many teams willing to risk it on Lance and/or Jones.
2021 NFL Draft RB Preview
Everyone is aware of all the QBs in this year’s class, as they tend to hog most of the limelight. A rather underrated position is RB, as there are several top-level players and hidden gems. It’s hard to tell where any of them will land, but this scout has a professional opinion on the first 10 to be selected.
Najee Harris- Alabama- Miami Dolphins- 1st Round
Myles Gaskin is a good player but Harris is on another level right now. Harris is a starting three-down back out of the gate and has comparisons to Derrick Henry. He can catch, block, and run with speed and power.
Travis Etienne- Clemson- NY Jets- 2nd Round
Frank Gore is the current RB1…enough said. Etienne has been in the conversation as potentially being the best RB in the class. Ball security and control makes him second-best to Harris but he is dangerous as a check-down receiver.
Javonte Williams- North Carolina- Atlanta Falcons- 2nd Round
Todd Gurley hasn’t panned out as Atlanta had hopes and there’s a major roster change in the team’s future. Williams has some major buzz behind him as power and physical workhorse. He can break tackles with ease and is a pure ground and pound runner. The Falcons can use him for quick points in goal-line situations.
Kenneth Gainwell- Memphis- Pittsburgh Steelers- 3rd Round
Gainwell can replace James Conner and be more productive as a rookie. He could be the featured back and pair well with Anthony McFarland and Benny Snell. There’s a need to get stronger and more physical for the NFL but he can still be dynamic despite limited college playing time.
Michael Carter- North Carolina- San Francisco 49ers- 3rd Round
Carter has been labeled as an undersized rotational runner and that should spark interest from the 49ers. With Raheem Mostert, they could be a nice 1-2 punch that once took this team to the Super Bowl.
Jaret Patterson- Buffalo- Houston Texans- 4th Round
David Johnson will still be the starter but he could use some additional support though. Jaret Patterson can be a nice RB2 who can be versatile and adapt his game to his opponent. He’s not the fastest but can extend plays to gain important yardage.
Demetric Felton- UCLA- Las Vegas Raiders- 4th Round
Felton won’t be a featured back but can be a “package” player, playing RB and WR. Get him outside and he can take off for big yards. He lacks ideal size but can be a deep threat slot WR.
Trey Sermon- Ohio State- Seattle Seahawks- 4th Round
Whether Chris Carson resigns with Seattle or not, Sermon can be the early-down back paired with Carlos Hyde. He wasn’t used heavily in college and can take a beating if need be.
Rhamondre Stevenson- Oklahoma-Green Bay Packers- 4th Round
If Aaron Jones is indeed done playing with Green Bay, Stevenson’s services are needed. AJ Dillon has to step up into a bigger role or else Stevenson will likely take his spot behind Jamal Williams. Dillon and Stevenson have similar skillsets and can push the other to be better.
Khalil Herbert- Virginia Tech- Jacksonville Jaguars- 5th Round
James Robinson had a nice break-out season but the Jaguars need better depth. Herbert is not much of a pass catcher but more of a pure runner with great fundamentals. If he can improve his blocking and catching, Herbert and Robinson could be an underrated duo in the league.