• February 23, 2024

Live NFL Draft Tracker – The New York Times

April 29, 2021, 11:24 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:24 p.m. ET

Siri, how do you make your just-drafted franchise quarterback happy? By taking his college running back. What a move by Jacksonville drafting Travis Etienne of Clemson, the most dynamic running back in the class. He’s drawn — blasphemy alert! — comparisons to Alvin Kamara of New Orleans for his pass-catching skills and absurd acceleration, making him a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

April 29, 2021, 11:23 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:23 p.m. ET

Curious to see how James Robinson and Travis Etienne share carries in Jacksonville’s backfield. An interesting pick, for sure.

The Jaguars take Travis Etienne at running back.

College: Clemson | Height: 5-10 | Weight: 215

April 29, 2021, 11:18 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:18 p.m. ETNajee Harris was a dynamic running back for Alabama and could help the Steelers establish a ground game.Credit…Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers burst out to an 11-0 start last season but exited in the first round of the playoffs. Defenses learned how to stop their offense, which lacked a potent running game and used passing concepts with short and intermediate routes.

The Steelers tried to fix one of those problems by drafting Alabama running back Najee Harris, the first rusher to be taken on Thursday and the sixth Crimson Tide player. Harris will replace James Conner, who joined the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. In his final two seasons at Alabama, Harris rushed for 2,688 yards and 39 touchdowns.

This is crazy: the 2017 Alabama recruiting class has now produced 8️⃣ 1st round picks.

2020
QB Tua Tagovailoa: 5th
OT Jedrick Wills: 10th
WR Henry Ruggs III: 12th
WR Jerry Jeudy: 15th

2021
WR DeVonta Smith: 15th
QB Mac Jones: 15th
OT Alex Leatherwood: 17th
RB Najee Harris: 24th

— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 30, 2021
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April 29, 2021, 11:12 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:12 p.m. ETChristian Darrisaw will be adding to the offensive line of the Vikings.Credit…Matt Gentry/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings took Christian Darrisaw, a left tackle from Virginia Tech, with the 23rd pick to plug the team’s porous offensive line. Darrisaw (6-foot-5, 313 pounds), played 668 snaps — 293 pass-blocking — last season and didn’t allow a sack or a quarterback hit.

The Vikings had the fourth-best offense in the N.F.L., thanks in part to running back Dalvin Cook. But they also had only the 28th best pass-blocking offensive line. With the focus on quarterbacks and receivers early in the first round, the Vikings traded their 14th pick to the Jets, receiving this pick and two more tomorrow.

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April 29, 2021, 11:12 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:12 p.m. ET

With Najee Harris off to Pittsburgh, that’s now a record five (!) offensive players from Alabama taken in the first round.

The Steelers pick Najee Harris at running back.

College: Alabama | Height: 6-1 | Weight: 232

The Vikings choose Christian Darrisaw at offensive tackle.

College: Virginia Tech | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 322

April 29, 2021, 11:07 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:07 p.m. ETCaleb Farley was the No. 22 pick.Credit…Matt Gentry/Associated Press

All along, a cornerback made sense for the Tennessee Titans, who had released Malcolm Butler and Adoree’ Jackson. And so they picked Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech, who was the first big-name player to opt out of the 2020 college football season, moved by the loss of his mother, Robin, to breast cancer in January 2018.

Farley’s talent isn’t disputed; he has superb short-area quickness and ball skills. It’s his health that raises concerns. Farley — who played quarterback in high school and started out as a receiver with the Hokies — had a microdiscectomy in late March to clean up a back injury he aggravated in February. “If a team wants the best corner in the draft,” Farley said after Virginia Tech’s pro day, “they’ll come find me.” The Titans have.

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The Titans select Caleb Farley at cornerback.

College: Virginia Tech | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 197

April 29, 2021, 11:01 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 11:01 p.m. ETKwity Paye will help Indianapolis’ pass rush.Credit…Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Already set at quarterback after an off-season trade to acquire Carson Wentz, the Indianapolis Colts added a defensive threat by selecting Kwity Paye. Boasting a solid linebacker corps and secondary, the Colts’ pass rush will be expected improve with Paye on the line. If he contributes at a consistent level, he will boost an already playoff-caliber roster.

Paye was born in Guinea after his mother, Agnes, fled Liberia’s civil war and the family later immigrated to Providence, R.I. In 28 games at Michigan, he had 11.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss.

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April 29, 2021, 10:53 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:53 p.m. ETKadarius Toney was an excellent tackle-breaker at Florida.Credit…Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Giants took receiver Kadarius Toney of Florida with the 20th pick to bolster the league’s second-worst offense. Toney (6 foot, 193 pounds) gives quarterback Daniel Jones an additional target downfield. Toney averaged 14 yards on his 70 catches last season, scoring 10 touchdowns. He is an elite tackle-breaker once he has the ball.

The Giants felt comfortable trading their 11th pick to the Chicago Bears in return for the 20th and additional picks later in the draft. General Manager Dave Gettleman, who’s been on the hot seat because of picks in previous years, had signaled his willingness to trade down: “Honest, I’ve tried to trade back, but it’s got to be value,” he told reporters last week. “I’m not getting fleeced. I refuse to do it. If somebody wants to make a bad trade back, God bless them.”

Giants fans seemed perplexed by the pick, but they can check the video to get up to speed on their new receiver.

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The Colts take Kwity Paye at edge rusher.

College: Michigan | Height: 6-2½ | Weight: 261

April 29, 2021, 10:47 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:47 p.m. ET

Giants fans, soothe yourselves by watching Kadarius Toney highlights. I promise, they’re worth it.

The Giants pick Kadarius Toney at wide receiver.

College: Florida | Height: 6-0 | Weight: 193

April 29, 2021, 10:43 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:43 p.m. ETJamin Davis was the No. 19 pick.Credit…Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Footballers took one of the draft’s total athletic freaks in 6-foot-4, 234-pound linebacker Jamin Davis of Kentucky. He destroyed his pro day, finishing in the 99th percentile in the 40-yard dash (4.41 seconds) and the broad jump (11 feet) and in the 100th in the vertical jump (42 inches). Another reason he’s a good fit for Washington? He harbors dreams of becoming a NASCAR driver. It just so happens that the former Washington coaching icon Joe Gibbs owns a NASCAR team.

#IDP – New Washington linebacker, Jamin Davis’ numbers from 2020:

🔹 7.0% missed tackle rate (2nd among SEC LBs)
🔹 Led all draft-eligible players in total tackles (109)
🔹 81.6 overall @PFF grade (1st among SEC LBs)
🔹 87.5 run defense grade (T-4th among P5 LBs)#FFIDP pic.twitter.com/bcJChOoIPA

— Jon Macri (@PFF_Macri) April 30, 2021

April 29, 2021, 10:40 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:40 p.m. ETJaelan Phillips, center, was an elite defensive player at Miami but has an injury history.Credit…Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, via Associated Press

After filling its need for an offensive weapon with the No. 6 pick, the Miami Dolphins added to their defense by choosing end Jaelan Phillips at No. 18. Coach Brian Flores, a disciple of New England Coach Bill Belichick, is known for his aggressive mind-set on defense, sending constant blitzes. Phillips, who will not have to move far from his college campus in Miami, will give Flores options with exotic pressures, or by allowing the team to simply rush four down linemen. But Phillips will need to stay healthy. Injuries forced him to medically retire at his first college, U.C.L.A.

Washington chooses Jamin Davis at linebacker.

College: Kentucky | Height: 6-3½ | Weight: 234

April 29, 2021, 10:37 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:37 p.m. ET

Draft prospects are asked a lot of probing questions by N.F.L. scouts. Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood told NFL Network about a particularly divisive one he fielded before being picked by the Las Vegas Raiders.

He said an unnamed team asked if he was a dog or a cat person, to which he unequivocally responded: “Dogs. Who likes cats? Those are demons.”

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April 29, 2021, 10:35 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:35 p.m. ETOffensive lineman Alex Leatherwood was a surprise pick for the Raiders.Credit…Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

The Las Vegas Raiders, eager to replenish their offensive line, took Alex Leatherwood of Alabama at No. 17. Last year, Leatherwood (6-foot-5, 312 pounds) won the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman in college football, after allowing just five sacks in 1,400 pass-block snaps. Yet the pick was something of a surprise, because higher-rated linemen were still available.

The Raiders lost Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson this off-season, so they were looking for a lineman to help protect quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders had the 10th best offense in the league last year.

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The Dolphins select Jaelan Phillips at edge rusher.

College: Miami (Fla.) | Height: 6-5½ | Weight: 260

April 29, 2021, 10:28 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:28 p.m. ETZaven Collins was selected at No. 16. Credit…Mark Lomoglio/Associated Press

Cardinals Coach Kliff Kingsbury covets more playmakers, and he got one — on defense. At 6-foot-4, 259 pounds, Zaven Collins from Tulsa is a hybrid-type linebacker — though not quite like last year’s first-round pick Isaiah Simmons — who can run and cover. And the Cardinals, playing in a division with Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garopposhanahan, need to bolster that side of the ball.

The Raiders take Alex Leatherwood at offensive tackle.

College: Alabama | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 312

April 29, 2021, 10:23 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:23 p.m. ET

Surprised Arizona didn’t go cornerback. Zaven Collins is a solid pick, though.

The Cardinals pick Zaven Collins at linebacker.

College: Tulsa | Height: 6-5 | Weight: 259

April 29, 2021, 10:19 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:19 p.m. ETMac Jones was the last of the highly touted quarterbacks to be selected.Credit…Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The New England Patriots watched from home as Tom Brady, their starter of 20 years, won his seventh Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a blatant reminder that they needed to find a long-term solution at quarterback.

That’s why they selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who was projected to be the third overall pick but ended up at No. 15. Though Cam Newton, who is an effective runner, re-signed with the Patriots on another one-year deal, Jones is an accurate pocket passer, which mimics Brady’s skill set.

Per ESPN, this is the first time Coach Bill Belichick has selected a quarterback in the first round. Jones was the fourth Alabama player to be picked tonight.

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April 29, 2021, 10:17 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:17 p.m. ET

Patriots draft a QB without having to trade up for one. Good to see things finally working out for them.

April 29, 2021, 10:15 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:15 p.m. ET

Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots have never drafted a quarterback in the first round. The highest they had previously gone was Jimmy Garoppolo at No. 62.

April 29, 2021, 10:15 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:15 p.m. ETAlijah Vera-Tucker was the second pick in the first round for the Jets.Credit…Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Jets have taken offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker from U.S.C. with the 14th pick to help protect quarterback Zach Wilson, whom they chose with the second pick. The Jets acquired the 14th pick from the Vikings, who received the Jets’ No. 23 pick and several others.

Vera-Tucker (6-foot-4, 308 pounds) played left tackle last season, allowing just eight hits, pressures or sacks in 305 pass-block snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He is likely to shift to guard when he joins the Jets.

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The Patriots choose Mac Jones at quarterback.

College: Alabama | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 217

After trade, the Jets take Alijah Vera-Tucker at guard.

College: Southern California | Height: 6-4½ | Weight: 308

April 29, 2021, 10:07 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:07 p.m. ET

The Jets trading up to No. 14 suggests, to me, that they’re going to take an edge rusher. None have been taken, and that position has bedeviled the Jets almost as much as QB.

April 29, 2021, 10:04 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:04 p.m. ETRashawn Slater during his pro-day workout at Northwestern.Credit…Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

As slap-your-head obvious a choice as there’s been tonight, by the Chargers at No. 13. A protected quarterback is a happy and productive quarterback, so wise move by GM Tom Telesco to continue upgrading the offensive line in front of Justin Herbert, happily taking Rashawn Slater from Northwestern.

Already this off-season the Bolts signed center Corey Linsley away from Green Bay and guard Matt Feiler away from Pittsburgh. Now Slater — who mauled Chase Young in 2019 during the Wildcats’ matchup with Ohio State and whom some draft analysts consider the best lineman in the draft — adds more immediate help.

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April 29, 2021, 10:02 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 10:02 p.m. ET

Rashawn Slater becomes the highest-drafted player from Northwestern since 1983, when the Broncos took tackle Chris Hinton at No. 4. I’m sure no one in journalism will be writing about that tonight.

The Chargers take Rashawn Slater at offensive tackle.

College: Northwestern | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 304

April 29, 2021, 9:58 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 9:58 p.m. ET

Parsons makes a lot of sense with Sean Lee retiring and Leighton Vander Esch struggling with injuries. The Cowboys’ defense still needs help, but it should be a little bit better now.

April 29, 2021, 9:58 p.m. ET

April 29, 2021, 9:58 p.m. ETMicah Parsons was selected 12th by the Dallas Cowboys to help their defense.Credit…Barry Reeger/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys fielded one of the worst defenses in the N.F.L. last season, demonstrating a need that team owner Jerry Jones addressed by drafting Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.

With quarterback Dak Prescott recovering from a severe ankle injury, and an offense loaded with talented receiving options, the defense will be expected to perform better. Parsons, who is 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds, should help. Though he opted out of the 2020 college season, he was an All-American in 2019 and ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash during his pro day workout. He will join a linebacker corps that has struggled with injuries.

Cowboys land Micah Parsons, who team was interested in taking at No. 10. And get Eagles’ third-round pick to boot.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2021
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