One of the most popular group break formats is the divisional draft. With the NFL season upon us, you’re going to want a good idea of how the divisions stack up before you buy into a break. Otherwise, you might end up drawing dead before the break even starts.
I am going to break down the top rookies for each division, and rank them in my preferred order for 2021 NFL divisional group breaks.
1. AFC South
This is really just a Trevor Lawrence pick. People are buying into the idea that he could be a generational player, as he’s far outselling all other rookies in this class. None of the other teams in the AFC South drafted anyone that would be really valuable, but Lawrence more than makes up for it.
After Lawrence, his Clemson and Jacksonville teammate Travis Etienne would be the best pull in a break. The Colts and Titans each took defensive players early and the Texans mortgaged all their draft picks for Laremy Tunsil. One sleeper for this division could be Nico Collins, the Texans third-round WR from Michigan.
2. AFC East
It already gets interesting at the second pick spot. I went with the AFC East because it has some great depth of players that should have value this year. The second overall pick, QB Zach Wilson, headlines the group. The Patriots snagged Mac Jones in the first round and he is already competing for the starting job. Additionally, Jaylen Waddle should be an immediate impact player for an exciting Dolphins team.
3. NFC West
Depending on how high you are on Trey Lance (extremely high in my case), you could take the NFC West with the second pick. The 49ers gave up a ton of picks for Lance and it’s only a matter of time until he starts. He is dynamic running the football, so he will definitely put up stats. Unfortunately though, there isn’t much in the division after Lance.
The next best hit would probably be Rondale Moore, the speedy WR from Purdue. Rondale Moore has a ton of talent, but he is in a crowded wideout room in Arizona. The only other potential hit from this group would be Tutu Atwell for the Rams.
4. NFC North
Justin Fields was long considered the second best prospect in the class. I was shocked by his drop in the draft. He had a couple of tough games, but still led his team to the title game. After Fields, the next best hit it probably Penei Sewell for the Lions. If an OL is good, he can hold value. The only other potential hit is Amari Rodgers for Green Bay.
5. AFC North
The AFC North probably has the best skill position potential. Ja’Marr Chase is a stud and was the first WR drafted. Najee Harris is going to get fed the rock for the Steelers and was the first RB drafted this year. A lot of draftniks were high on Rashod Bateman as well and he landed on the Ravens who are desperate for a No. 1 WR.
6. NFC South
Kyle Pitts is supposed to be a generational talent at the tight end position. With the Falcons trading Julio Jones to the Titans, Pitts is in line to get a lot of targets right away. In addition to Pitts, you still have the GOAT, Tom Brady, and his cards are always a hit. I am also pretty high on Terrace Marshall for the Panthers.
7. AFC West
The automatic first division drafted in 2020 finds itself way down on the list this year. As far as rookies go, Patrick Surtain II is probably the best hit. The only reason this division isn’t last is because you still have Patrick Mahomes and second year Justin Herbert cards.
8. NFC East
For a division that is typically exciting, it was a pretty quiet draft for the NFC East. The best player to get would be Devonta Smith, the Heisman Winner from 2020 who was drafted in the first round by the Eagles. Additionally, the Cowboys took Micah Parsons who is the Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite.