Drake London was +250 to be the first wide receiver off the board, the third-best odds for the first wide receiver taken. Ikem Ekwonu first offensive tackle off the board hits, but it was a sweat for bettors considering he fell to the sixth pick.
The NFL Draft provides hope for fans and gives us a good outlook on what teams value and where they think they are in the league hierarchy. Here are my draft grades and odds for each team to win the division. All odds are courtesy of FanDuel.
I was not high on Drake London during the draft process, but if the Falcons scouting staff liked him the best out of all wide receivers, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. After that, the Falcons draft was solid, as Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone are exciting edge rusher prospects. Desmond Ridder in the third round was tremendous value. The Falcons are +1900 to win the NFC South via FanDuel.
Landing Ikem Ekwonu with the sixth pick is a steal considering they desperately needed a long-term answer at left tackle. They were not scheduled to pick until 137, but traded up to get Matt Corral. Walking away with Corral and Ekwonu is a solid draft considering the lack of picks. The Panthers are +1100 to win the NFC South via FanDuel.
New Orleans Saints
This was my least favorite draft out of any team in the league. Yes, they walked away with Chris Olave and Trevor Penning, who are good players, but it was how they got there that was the problem. The Saints traded next year’s first and a 2024 second to get pick 16 this year. The Saints then moved up from 16 to 11, trading Washington a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick. That ultimately landed them Chris Olave. That is a ton to give up for the fourth wide receiver in the draft. This is the definition of bad process.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers traded out of the first round from 27 to 33 and gathered fourth and sixth-round picks. Logan Hall is good value at 33. He is the stereotypical new interior defensive lineman that teams are looking for. Long, athletic, and can get to the quarterback. Cade Otten and Rachaad White were good picks in the later rounds. The Bucs did an excellent job with the little resources they had. The Buccaneers are the favorites at -320 to win the NFC South via FanDuel.
NFC South Draft Grades article from 2021 – May 4, 2021
Oddsmakers clearly have confidence in Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to be just as good in 2021. They are the overwhelming favorites to win the division at +300.
The NFL Draft provides hope for fans and gives us a good outlook on what team values, and where they think they are in the league hierarchy. Here are my draft grades and odds for each team to win the division. All odds are courtesy of BetRivers:
NFC South 2021 Draft Grades
The Falcons could have torn this down and taken Justin Fields, basically signaling the end of the Matt Ryan era. Taking Kyle Pitts and sticking with their current roster is fine considering their current cap situation.
The Falcons focused on the trenches, taking four linemen, and selecting Richie Grant in the second round, who is a player I have had my eye on during the draft process. I like what the Falcons did this weekend. The Falcons are +800 to win the division according to BetRivers.
The Panthers made 11 selections this weekend. Yes, you heard that right. It’s a new era in Carolina. They took Jaycee Horn in the first round, which shows they valued his press-man coverage ability.
Terrace Marshall Jr. in the second round is tremendous value, and the Panthers selected Canadian RB Chuba Hubbard in the 4th round who should see 5-10 touches a game instantly. It’s hard to evaluate this draft considering they had so many late-round picks. The Panthers are +1100 to win the division according to BetRivers.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints continued their aggressive draft strategy, trading up twice. They ultimately ended up with six selections. Payton Turner was a surprise at 28, but he has high upside. I liked that pick more than others.
Trading up for Paulson Adebo was unnecessary. They gave up a third-round pick to do so, which is a strategy I disagree with. Ian Book in the 4th round gives Sean Payton a young quarterback to work with. The Saints are +300 to win the division according to BetRivers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I had the defending champs taking Joe Tryon at 32 in both of my mock drafts. They did just that. He’s an exciting young edge rusher that can learn behind Shaq Barrett. Kyle Trask in the second round was interesting. He is the stereotypical quarterback that Bruce Arians likes.
The rest of their draft was solid. I really like Jaelon Darden. Watch out for him to make some plays for Tom Brady next year. The Buccaneers are the heavy favorites to win the division, sitting at -200.