In what could be the most anticipated draft for years, we are going to be grading the draft as the team's picks come in. It kicks off Thursday evening in Cleveland, Ohio. The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the No. 1 overall pick and officially go on the clock at 8 p.m. ET. ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network will air coverage of the first day.
The pandemic has led to the cancelation of the NFL's spring ritual, the NFL combine. It's been replaced with a series of college Pro Days, which happen typically with less fanfare, but this year they are the only way to objectively measure the college prospects. This extra need for these pro days has led to them being attended to a much greater level by NFL scouts than you would normally see. We have now completed the majority Pro Days and with that, the numbers are in, and helpfully provided below.
The AFC North has home to some of the stronger teams in the NFL over the past decade but it’s a time of change with Big Ben nearing retirement and the Browns moving out of the basement and the Bengals starting to improve with a promising quarterback at the helm.
The AFC West is a relatively strong division – especially given the presence of the Chiefs who look to be one of those teams that is a lock in for the post season for the foreseeable future (provided Mahomes is healthy) and the Chargers also have to feel like they have a bright future given the success of Herbert early on – the Raiders feel like they are at a bit of crossroads and the Broncos remain in search of a true franchise QB to take them to the next level.
The AFC East is entering an interesting new phase as the Patriots dynasty comes to an end – the Bills look best placed to dominate the division for the next few years, but every team has needs heading into free agency and the draft (teams in order of 2021 standings).
The AFC South must be glad that the NFC East exists which stops it being the most bizarre division in the NFL. There are a number of teams in this division with series issues to address (and that is assuming that Watson stays in Houston).