I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. And again, and again. The NFC West is the toughest division in football. This isn’t to disparage other divisions, as there are many fantastic divisions. However, over the last 7-10 years when you look at the records, how many times the winner of the NFC West has changed, how many times the division has represented the NFC in the Super Bowl… it’s hard to argue against my point.
In my article yesterday, I mentioned how the “rich got richer” when talking about the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFC West. For the NFC West, the entire division got even more competitive… which is saying a lot. Let’s take a look at how each team drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft.
There is seriously tough competition in the AFC West. It is home to the AFC Champion from the last two seasons.
In a division that has one of, if not the, strongest teams in the league, how did the other 3 franchises look to add to their rosters in order to compete with the Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid machine in Kansas City? Pretty well according to many in the business.
Let’s take a look at each team in the division and their draft picks.
Las Vegas Raiders
With the Raiders splitting the season at 8-8 last season, they knew they didn’t need a complete overhaul in order to get better. However, the grades given to this year’s Raiders draft were mostly B’s and C’s, with one D coming in from Vinny Iver from Sporting News.
This isn’t going to be too in-depth. Just a rundown of who got picked. Feel free to refer back to it as often as needed! On another note, it was great to see fans back in an arena. Hoping more of this is coming!
Thank you to the team at ProFootballRumors.com for their very organized list of who got drafted when!
Miami Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier wasted little time shaking up the top 10 picks going into the 2021 NFL draft. The Dolphins held the third overall pick (which they acquired from the Houston Texans) followed by the 18th pick in the first round.
In a trade that rocked the football world, Grier traded the 3rd overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for their 12th pick, a 2021 third-round pick, and first-round picks in 2022 and 2013. Fans were left reeling at the master craftsmanship Grier was pulling off.
Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores addressed the South Florida media Thursday, March 11th to finally discuss the up-and-coming 2021 NFL season.
The season is set to begin on March 17th, highlighted by the start of free agency.
Head Coach Brian Flores
(Opening statement) – “It’s good to see everyone. I hope you and your families are doing well, safe, healthy. Just kind of want to start with a little kind of, let’s call it ‘state of the union’ since we didn’t speak at the Combine this year. A couple quick updates the last couple months – the last time we talked, I want to say at the Senior Bowl and really at the end of the season, I talked about us kind of doing a full evaluation of our team and really, the entire operation – the 2020 season.
To say that Senior Bowl Executive director Jim Nagy pulled this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl off is amazing would be an understatement. With all the covid-19 restrictions and adversities we have all had to face, it was a near miracle.
A great amount of gratitude has to be given to the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers who had to put their entire staff through Covid testing and strict quarantine rules. Many of the coaches were telling me days on the field was the first time anyone had left the team hotel.
As we wrap up the senior bowl practice, there is one question that is always asked. Which player took the most of this opportunity to showcase their talents?
The NFC West is a battleground. In order to win it, you have to beat some of the best in the league in just your divisional games. The 2020 NFL Draft made one of the best divisions even better.
While all four teams got great grades on their drafts, a few players really stood out as fantastic picks. And while there weren’t a lot of holes in this division, each answered a few questions that surrounded their teams.
Let’s take a look at their picks and which draftees should stand out in a division full of stars.
Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft with three picks in the first round, the Miami Dolphins were poised to make some noise. There were rumors swirling all day about the Dolphins moving up to secure a quarterback or offensive lineman. But, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier held fast.
The Miami Dolphins didn’t flinch and grabbed Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. Despite his season ending hip injury he suffered in November 2019, Tagovailoa has been on the Dolphins radar all year. Grier said the team felt comfortable with his health. Coach Brian Flores then added that Tagovailoa was the guy they felt at the end of the day would be the best fit for the Dolphins.
After landing their quarterback, the Dolphins went back to work. Having a left handed quarterback meant that Miami would need a right tackle to protect his blind side. With the 18th pick Miami went with USC tackle Austin Jackson. Interesting fact, in the summer of 2019 Jackson donated bone marrow to his younger sister. Which already speaks volumes of the young man.