NFL Draft

Austin Gatlin

May 7, 2021

The 2021 NFL Draft is completed. From Thursday night to Saturday afternoon college stars took the next step in their athletic journeys as their names were called on the big stage.

Dreams came true April 29th - May 1st during the 2021 NFL draft. 259 collegiate players were taken in the draft this year with more taken as undrafted free agents after the draft. Players from number one overall pick, QB Trevor Lawrence and 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, WR DeVonta Smith, to division three lineman Quin Meinerz and this draft's Mr. Irrelevant, Grant Stuard, were taken up and down the draft sheet. Once again the NFL draft proved that it doesn’t matter where you came from or what rank you were coming out of High School, if you can play you will get noticed and hard work pays off. This proved true with the number three overall pick, QB Trey Lance, who played NCAA Division two yet still proved worthy of a top three pick, and D3 lineman Quin Meinerz who burst onto the scene during the senior bowl this offseason and was drafted in the third round. New Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris was picked 24th overall and watched the draft from a special place while giving back to a community that means so much to him. Growing up Harris and his family spent many years homeless. For many of those years they lived in a homeless shelter in Richmond, California. Harris and his family made a return to that shelter to hold a draft party and bring smiles to the residents and children there. Harris brought food and resources and spent time with the kids doing his best to bring smiles and happiness to the community. While many players did choose to watch the draft with family and friends, which is normal, the draft was in-person and took place in Cleveland, Ohio. Fans were in attendance, and commissioner Roger Goodell was traditionally booed. Many players who were not drafted will still get their shot at the next level as they are free to be signed by any team as undrafted free agents. In fact, many already have signed to teams including a few international players. Nonetheless the NFL draft did what it does every year. It makes dreams come true. Now about 300 young men have a shot at the future they always wanted and have worked so hard to get. The upcoming season couldn’t be more exciting.