2021 NFL Draft 1st Round Winner

Danika!!!! The queen herself... 

Jim Rome
April 30, 2021 - 9:19 am

USA Today


After months of preparation and mock drafts, the actual draft started last night. And of course, there wasn’t going to be a surprise at the top of the draft. It was going to be Trevor Lawrence and then Zach Wilson. Everyone who knew, knew that the draft didn’t actually start until the Niners jumped on the clock with the third pick.

So the heady play, the smart play, would’ve been to tune in a little late because the 3rd pick was really the first pick last night.

But I didn’t do that. That’s not what I’m about. I run out every ground ball and every fly ball. And last night, I sure as hell was glad I did, because who did I see up on stage to start the draft.

The commissioner, Jarvis Landry, Bernie Kosar, Joe Thomas, and DANIKA?!?!?!

Like, I knew she was in Cleveland because she told us. Just as she told us she was going to ruin some Cleveland tenderoni’s when she got there. Remember, the team had sent her there as their fan of the year. And she was all about it, living the Duvall dream, tweeting out pics of herself in Cleveland and videos of her pre-gaming before the draft.

But I’m sorry, what?!? I couldn’t tell if that was real or I was hallucinating?  To quote that kid in the dental chair: is this real life...did me really just see the commissioner, Jarvis Landry, Bernie Kosar, and Danika?!?  The commish, three Cleveland legends and the queen herself???

Did I just see a clone on stage at the NFL Draft before the first pick? And not only going on the stage, but being invited onto the stage.

This isn’t like some clone who was sauced sprinting across the stage and getting tackled by security. That wasn’t a moment that needed Kevin Harlan shouting “the guy is drunk, but there he goes!”

Then again, this was not just any clone, this was the Queen. And she was being invited on stage by the commissioner to sit in his chair. You know, the chair from his basement from last year’s Covid draft.

Did someone replace my mushroom powder with real magic mushrooms in my coffee: because I could have swore I saw famous clone, posted up, up on stage of the NFL draft before the first pick: something I’ve never seen before, and will never see ever again: did that bleep really just happen? 

This is the same gal who tweeted: Hey Jaguars family...what a night. Not only for me but for our franchise. I hope I made you proud. I brought the whole of Duval with me. I felt that. It felt GOOD!

Work not done. Back again tomorrow. Can I get a #DUUUVAL !!!!



After the Queen turned that chair into her throne, I’m not sure if they needed to keep up the bit of letting fans from each team sit in the seat. Nobody was going to live up to the Queen’s rep and the bit got a little tired after a while.

Then again, it did give Roger Goodell a moment to attempt to be a normal human being. And that went terribly.

I’m not saying that the other commissioners of the other sports are the smoothest cats in the world, but man, it’s remarkable how awkward Roger Goodell is when it comes to reading names and greeting guys. You have a full year to prep for this and you’ve had years of doing this and it is still awkward as hell.

Who was hosting the draft last night? Was that Roger in Cleveland or Matt in Cleveland?

Damn  Rog. I’m not looking for the guy to be Jimmy Kimmel, but mix in a Toaster master’s International meeting or two. 

But the draft isn’t about Roger Goodell and his awkwardness, it’s about the players. And last night, it was all about the 49ers and what they would do with the third pick. Would they go with Mac Jones as damn near everyone on the planet had been claiming in their mock drafts? After all, he’s a pocket passer, he looks and plays like a lot of the guys that Kyle Shanahan has had success with.

And yes, Niner fans would’ve been pissed if they gave up everything they gave up to get Mac Jones at three when for months he had been expected to be there in their  original spot, but in Kyle you trust, right? You know the guy can coach, you know he can scheme, so let him pick his quarterback.

And his pick was….

Psych! You were expecting Mac Jones, weren’t you? You may have even put money down on it. Or you said, I’m not biting on the play-fake, I’m expecting Justin Fields.

And then the Niners go and take Trey Lance.

That is brass as hell. That is so brass and so impressive to take a guy who played one game in the last year. And who’s played a total of 17 games and did it at the FCS level. It is a hell of a move to take a guy who was lighting up the Western Illinois Leathernecks and throw him in against Aaron Donald, JJ Watt, and Jamal Adams.

But the 49ers did it and I love it. I absolutely love it. And if you don’t understand why, go back to my interview with him on Wednesday. Listen back to that interview. And you tell me you don’t want to buy stock in that guy. That is a 20-year-old talking. And he sounds like a 50-year-old.

You don’t come across 20-year-olds with that level of maturity, wisdom, and thoughtfulness. This is a guy who’s reading The Inner Game of Tennis and he’s doing it at this age? That is a guy who is wanting to grow, wanting to learn, he wants to get better in every facet.  And he has the freaky athletic ability to match an unbelievable mindset

And he has the arm that he has, the head that he has, and the game that he has? You have all that in a guy who had 42 touchdowns in the air and on the ground in 2019 and zero interceptions? And he's spent a lot of time under center and running a ton of play-action?

If I’m Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, that’s not a yes. That’s a hell yes.

No wonder Shanahan wasn’t looking to tell you that he was taking Lance instead of Jones. Why would he? And I’m sure the league appreciated that as well, because if you already knew who the first three picks were, you wouldn’t have tuned in and you would’ve missed the Queen.

So yes, I like that pick for the 49ers and for Lance.  The is a big ass, bad ass swing: I’m not guaranteeing it’s going to play, I’m saying that’s about as a brass move as you could possibly make and I couldn’t respect it more than I do. And when the Niners say they’re not in a rush to trade Jimmy G., I believe them. Because the market has completely dried up: the teams that needed help at qb, got help at qb, so there’s not going to be some bidding war for Garopppolo or some crazy market for him. But know less, you don’t give up what they gave up to get lance to have sit for the entire year, after he just sat out most of last year. That doesn’t make any sense; just like giving up everything gave up just to select Mac Jones never really made any sense. I love that pick, and I love a lady clone kicking off the draft by sitting in the commissioner’s chair. I just wish she had announced all the picks instead of the wooden and laconic old man himself.