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Mel Kiper chooses thefts, sleepers and favorite 2021 classes from all 32 teams



One of the NFL’s most intriguing draft classes I’ve come up with in my 43 years since I finished Saturday and it’s time for one of my favorite and most grueling exercises every year.

Before we get into my NFL design estimates, here are a few planes that I found interesting in this class from 2021:

  • Offensive players were taken with each of the project’s first seven selections, the last time the first defender left the board in the overall draft era (since 1967).

  • Eight quarterbacks in the first three rounds were the most in the overall draft era.

  • And this was the first time there were at least five wide receivers in each of the first three rounds.

This speaks to how the NFL is changing and shows that there are no special defenders in this class. However, I do not think that this will be the norm in the future.

So, you want grades, I know. Same rules as always: I rank the classes of all 32 teams, using my own ranking as a prism to assess how effectively each of them deals with key holes in the staff and how efficient each of them is in maneuvering the board and adding additional photos or future assets.

We will start with the best grades and move on to the worst ones, with teams that have identical grades listed in alphabetical order. Here we are:

Transfer to a team:
ARI | ATL | BALL | BUF | CARS CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA MY
NO | NO | New York New York PHI | INCOME SF
SEA Tuberculosis TEN | WSH

Basic needs: OT, CB, OLB:

The first two needs of chargers aimed at this project were clearly defined: a left-handed Justin Herbert protection tool and a starting caliber angle. General manager Tom Telesco hit both early and didn’t have to reach.

Rushaun Slater, 13, was popular for bogus drafts and there were some teams that had a higher score than him than Peney Sewell. It has the potential to handle the All-Pro left. Now, with additions to the free agency of Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler, this offensive line is suddenly one of the top 10 in the league; Last season, Herbert was pressed an incredible 217 times. I said it on Thursday – this choice is a dream come true for chargers. I thought Asante Samuel Jr., 47, would leave earlier than him, but he could play in the slot or outside as a rookie. Los Angeles, upgraded with both choices.

The lost Josh Palmer, 77, averaged 21 yards per catch in 2018, and his numbers would have been better if he had constant throwing quarterbacks to him. At the close end, Tre ‘McKitty, 97, wasn’t used much as a successor in his lonely season in Georgia, but he could block a bit. Universal backback Chris Rumf II (118) was one of my most popular prospects for Day 3 and I’m curious where he will fit in the defense of Brandon Staley. Larry Runtry III, 198, my eighth-ranked runner back, took 3720 yards for a career in Missouri.

Again, Telesco failed to fill two large cavities, making this class one of the best of the year. This team has absolutely improved.


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