By the time the 2021 NFL season is complete, all 32 teams will have regrets about one move or another. Even before Week 1, it’s safe to say some team executives might already be regretting some moves.
They won’t admit that, of course. Nor should they. That’s where we come in. As of now, here are five moves that teams will regret:
Panthers passing on Justin Fields
They took cornerback Jaycee Horn with the eighth overall pick instead. The jury is still out on new Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold, but Fields may very well be a franchise QB. It’s not a matter of getting too excited about what Fields has done in three preseason games. It’s simply a matter of potential. The Panthers aren’t the only team that passed on Fields, but they may regret it the most.
Jaguars passing on OL
Even before rookie running back Travis Etienne suffered a season-ending injury this preseason, we questioned that pick in the draft. After taking Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, Jacksonville took Etienne at No. 25 overall. Etienne is a nice player, but not drafting an offensive lineman at that spot was a mistake. It’s looking as if the Jaguars may have the worst offensive line in the NFL this season. That’s bad news for Lawrence.
Bengals not building around Burrow
Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow looked good last season before going down with an ACL injury. Bengals fans are excited for his return, but the team has not done much to help him. In contrast, the Chargers went to great effort this offseason to build up their offensive line in order to protect 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert. The Bengals have done nothing of the sort for Burrow. In fact, over the past two seasons, the Bengals have spent more than $82 million in guaranteed dollars via free agency. Less than 8% of that money was used to address the offensive line. Eight of their top nine free agent signings in terms of AAV have gone to the defense.
Bears moving on from Charles Leno Jr.
Chicago cut veteran left tackle Charles Leno Jr. shortly after drafting his replacement, Teven Jenkins, this year. But Jenkins injured his back, forcing the Bears to sign veteran Jason Peters. While Leno is not elite, he would have been their best option at left tackle. Peters’ injury and durability concerns could be an issue.
Lions drafting Penei Sewell
It’s not so much that Detroit used seventh overall pick to take the Oregon offensive tackle. It’s that they immediately moved him from left tackle to right tackle. Switching from left tackle to right tackle would be enough of a challenge if not for the issues Sewell has shown in the preseason with playing high and not getting depth in his pass set. Sewell allowed 1 sack, 4 pressures and was beaten by his defender 3 times in 47 pass blocking snaps. This gave him the 6th worst PFF pass blocking grade out of all OTs in the preseason (over 20 pass blocking snaps).