HomeFootball#260: 2021 NFL Draft Recap (NFC West with Jeff Barnes)

#260: 2021 NFL Draft Recap (NFC West with Jeff Barnes)

1. 49ers

-The 49ers arguably made the biggest move in the arms race draft-wise. After losing out to the division-rival Rams in the Matthew Stafford sweepstakes, the 49ers went all in on finding their next franchise QB in the draft, trading two future first-round picks to move all the way up to three, where they selected Trey Lance. Before they made the move, Mark Schofield, one of THE best QB minds in the business, told me on this podcast that there was no clearer hand-in-glove scheme fit between prospect and team than Lance and the Niners. Also, many believed that out of the top-four QB’s in the draft, Lance’s ceiling was the highest. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared Trey Lance to Josh Allen, and Lance clearly has far better decision-making and accuracy than Allen did coming out of college. Given the athletic profile, the system he walks into and the talent around him, would it surprise you if Trey Lance is regarded as the best QB from this draft class five years down the line?

-In the second-round the 49ers made an odd selection with Notre Dame G Aaron Banks. What made it so is that Banks isn’t that athletic, pulling guard that is a major requirement in a Kyle Shanahan, zone-based offense. Why do you think the Niners took him?

-The Niners added to their backfield in the third round by trading their fourth-round pick to move up to 88 overall, where they took Trey Sermon. After this pick was made, my friend Carl Dumler, who was on my draft night live-stream at the time said it wouldn’t surprise him if Sermon eventually became the go-to guy at RB in San Francisco at some point this year. Now given the fact that Jeff Wilson may miss the first month of the season due to meniscus surgery plus Raheem Mostert’s inability to stay healthy, can you see Trey Sermon ending up with the lion’s-share of carries for the 49ers this season?

2. Cardinals

-With the 16th overall pick, the Cardinals took Tulsa LB Zaven Collins. Bill Carroll, your colleague at Nuts and Bolts Sports said pre-draft that he thought Collins, not Micah Parsons, was the best off-ball LB in this draft. Did you share his view and regardless, how high are you on Zaven Collins as an explosive, playmaking LB in the NFL?

-The Cardinals were widely believed to want to make a big trade up in the first round for Jaylen Waddle. Obviously, they were unable to do so, but they added to their arsenal in the second round with Rondale Moore. Our friend Bill Carroll described him to be as “the mutant love child of Darren Sproles and Eric Metcalf.” How do you see Kliff Kingsbury using the 2018 Paul Hornung Award winner this season?

3.  Rams

-Despite signing DeSean Jackson in free agency, the Rams wanted a long-term vertical option in their passing offense and they hope they got it with Tutu Atwell. That said, the pick was a bit of a head-scratcher given Atwell’s underwhelming size (he weighed only 155 at the Louisville Pro Day). Do you think we mostly see Atwell on punt and/or kickoff returns this year before earning a larger role in Sean McVay’s offense?

4. Seahawks

-The Seahawks, with their only pick in the first three rounds, took another WR in D’Wayne Eskridge. Eskridge, like Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf brings speed, speed, and more speed. He’s a two-time Indiana state high school track champion FYI. But the reason I personally didn’t like this pick was that it’s hard to find what Eskridge brings to the table that Lockett and Metcalf do not. That said, I’m not a scout. So my question is, do you see a certain skill or attribute in Eskridge’s game that’s not in that of Lockett or Metcalf?



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