With the draft here and gone, it’s time to look at post 2021 NFL draft futures. The new season has already started, with several teams already in the process of holding rookie mini-camps. From there it’s on to team mini-camps and OTAs (organized team activities).
Soon, we’ll be headed to training camps in July and the 2021 season will be upon us. Before we get there, it’s time to assess how the draft impacted teams’ NFL futures odds.
Some teams’ draft picks had a much greater impact than others. Here’s a look at the post 2021 NFL draft futures.
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The Biggest Shifts – Post 2021 NFL Draft Futures
Prior to the draft, Denver, which finished 5-11 last season, was given +5000 odds to win Super Bowl LVI. Post draft, those numbers have shortened to +2000, the biggest shift of odds among all 32 NFL teams.
The Broncos went defense first and picked up a future star in Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. He’s a big (6-2, 208), fast, athletic, and is the son of a former All-Pro. Head coach Vic Fangio feels you can never have too many athletic corners and Surtain should make the Broncos defense even better.
Third-round pick Baron Browning is a 6-3, 245-pound sideline-to-sideline linebacker that can play Sam, Mike, or Will. Denver also picked up RB Javonte Williams in Round 2 and interior offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz of Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater in Round 3. Both should contribute early.
The other big shift came in Atlanta where the Falcons went from +6600 to +5000. The big part of that shift can be attributed to Atlanta’s first pick which was Florida TE Kyle Pitts. The 6-6, 245-pound Pitts is a game-changer. He’s got outstanding speed and athleticism which gives QB Matt Ryan another target to go along with Calvin Ridley (1,374 yds., 9 TDs).
Atlanta added S Richie Grant, OL Jalen Mayfield, and CB Darren Hall in their first four picks. All should contribute early and help the Falcons build on last year’s 4-12 campaign.
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The Biggest Shifts II
Not every team’s draft had a positive net effect on their Super Bowl futures. In Carolina for example, the Panthers odds shifted from +5000 to +6600. What do you think caused this drop in post 2021 NFL draft futures odds?
Carolina picked South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn with their first pick. Horn should be a Day 1 starter for Carolina. The Panthers also got WR Terrace Marshall out of LSU on Day 2.
It wasn’t an awful draft, but the Panthers QB situation – Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Darnold – as well as other teams passing them by is likely why Carolina’s odds jumped.
The Jets landed their quarterback of the future in BYU’s Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. They also got a Day 1 starter on the offensive line in Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. After that though, the Jets draft was so-so.
That plus their history of underachieving led to a shift from +6600 to +8000 to win this season’s Super Bowl.
Two teams that drafted quarterbacks in Round 1 and saw their Super Bowl odds impacted immediately. The Chicago Bears got Justin Fields with pick No. 11 overall.
Chicago had signed veteran Andy Dalton in the offseason and actually saw their odds worsen from +5000 to +6600.
With the drafting of Fields, the Bears Super Bowl odds have shifted to +4500. He will play at some point as a rookie and the Bears have just enough offense – WR Allen Robinson, RB David Montgomery – and the defense to make a playoff run in 2021.
The other team impacted by its selection of a quarterback in Round 1 was San Francisco. The 49ers already have Jimmy Garoppolo, but many are tired of his injury issues.
The 49ers took North Dakota State product Trey Lance, a big athletic quarterback with plenty of upside. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan loved Lance’s football IQ as well as his physical tools. The 49ers starting quarterback battle should be one to watch and the addition of Lance shifted the 49ers Super Bowl odds to +1150.
The Longshot Bet – Post 2021 NFL Draft Futures
Based solely off of their draft, the Tennessee Titans make for the most intriguing Super Bowl pick in 2021. Tennessee went 11-5 last year and won the NFC South. They’re an interesting team to follow when looking at post 2021 NFL draft futures.
To their already solid roster, they added a likely Day 1 starter at corner in Caleb Farley who will play opposite Janoris Jenkins.
The Titans added pass rusher Bud Dupree from Pittsburgh in the offseason and added some pieces to the puzzle on offense. OT Dillon Radunz will probably start at right tackle and WR Dez Fitzpatrick will compete for a starting job at wide receiver.
With the NFL’s best running back in Derrick Henry (2,027 yards, 17 TDs) and a defense that keeps getting better, the Titans are an interesting Super Bowl longshot at +3500.