Students react to 2021 NFL Draft

Students+react+to+2021+NFL+Draft

The NFL draft is a special moment where athletes get to see their years of hard work finally pay off and help their newfound organization. The 2021 NFL Draft took place from April 29 to May 1. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, last year’s NFL Draft was held completely virtually. However, following COVID-19 protocols, the year’s draft was able to bring fans from all over the country for what seemed like a completely normal event. 

Thousands of attendees gathered for three days in Cleveland, Ohio to witness their favorite team choose future prospects.

The filled event saw fans wearing masks, water fountains being blocked off, hand sanitizer stations and NFL Draft staffers making sure everyone followed regulations. 

Another measure that was taken to give fans a fun and safe experience was the NFL Draft’s vaccinated fan zone. Some of these selected fans were fortunate enough to go up the stage and help with their favorite team’s draft pick. 

When the draft finally commenced, the event saw its predictable picks occur with Trevor Lawerence going to the Jaguars and Zach Wilson going to the Jets. 

Viewers saw a surprising turn when the 49ers picked Trey Lance over the expected quarterbacks of Mac Jones or Justin Fields. 

This has been the first time three quarterbacks were picked up in a row since 1999. 

Atlanta Falcons choose with their 4th pick, the impressive tide end, Kyle Pitts, making him the highest selected tight end in history. 

The draft was also a moment of reunions as 5th pick Ja’Marr Chase (LSU) was reunited with his college quarterback Joe Burrow on the Bengals. Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) and Tua Tagovailoa on the Miami Dolphins. Devonta Smith (Alabama) and Jalen Hurts on the Philadelphia Eagles. 

The Eagle’s 10th pick for the Heisman Trophy winner was a moment that made many fans do a double-take. While the Dallas Cowboys were scheduled to pick, the Eagles traded up and were now on the clock. Smith was a pick that brought tons of joy for the entire city of Philadelphia, although angered some.

“The Eagles are snakes I swear,” senior, and New York Giants fan, Nuredin Ahmed said. “We were hoping to pick Devonta Smith.” 

There was debate with the Bengals’ first pick in the draft as they are known for having a weak offensive line, which resulted in 18 sacks for Burrow’s and a season-ending injury. However, with Chase having an impressive career in college and his relationship with Burrow, there is much hope with this decision. 

“I loved the pick,” senior, and Bengals fan, Nicholas Bellem said. “It’s all or nothing.” 

Another surprising moment was Mac Jones from Alabama being selected with New England’s 15th overall pick. Although Jones won his team a National Championship in 2020, many were surprised to see him get picked up so late. 

“It’s a decent pick, I wish we traded up for Justin Fields though,” senior, and Patriots fan, Timothy Sue said.

Washington Football Team’s picks were especially important as a majority of AHS students are fans. The WFT would pick up 10 new players. 

“I feel like our best pick-up was the Texas offensive tackle, Samuel Cosmi,” senior, and WFT fan, Jason Kim said. “After the draft, I’m feeling like a champion just like the GOAT Nav.” 

As many now discuss which team did the best in the draft, it’s sure that all fans hope these new players will become an important factor for their team. 

The NFL regular season is scheduled to begin September 9, 2021, where fans can see the new additions of the league make a name for themselves.