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Draft 2021: first round dominated by meetings of old acquaintances

The Bengals, Dolphins, and Eagles are some of the teams that managed to reconnect old college football teammates in the 2021 Draft.

Not surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Normal.

Later, with the 25th pick from the same first round, the Jaguars took running back Travis Etienne, who last year in 12 games received 48 passes from the prodigious Lawrence; they connected for two touchdowns through the air.

The running back also rushed for 914 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Now Lawrence is on a mission to lead the Jaguars offense, last season’s 21st in passing yards, while Etienne buttresses the team’s flat backfield, tied for 28th in rushing yards last year.

But it won’t be the only offensive duo to meet in the NFL from college football.

Joe Burrow, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, to meet Ja’Marr Chase, to whom he threw 106 times between 2018 and 2019 and connected for 23 touchdowns, 20 of them in 2019. The Cincinnati Bengals set about assembling this LSU connection by picking Chase fifth overall, a year after taking on Burrow with the 2020 Draft No. 1 pick.

Another organization that bet on old teammates were lThe Miami Dolphins, who used the sixth overall pick to recruit Jaylen Waddle, who played alongside Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama between 2018 and 2019. They combined for 13 touchdowns and 1,408 yards; Waddle had his best season in yardage in 2018.

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t have a 2020 to look back on, at least if you’re looking for good memories. The franchise is under renovation and it falls on the shoulders of Jalen Hurts, who displaced Carson Wentz from ownership. Hurts will have the support of his old friend DeVonta Smith on Phily.

Together, between 2017 and 2018 they combined for 853 yards and nine touchdowns as college teammates. Then, in 2019, Hurts decided to leave Alabama and play for the Oklahoma Sooners. Meanwhile, that same year, Smith surpassed 1,000 yards and in 2020 he scored 1,856 more yards, along with 23 touchdowns, numbers that earned him the Heisman Trophy.

Now, they will try to regain their connection in Philly.

Finally, The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft brought together other former teammates. also from Alabama. Jerry Jeudy will play with Patrick Surtain II again, now for the Denver Broncos. He is not an offensive link like the ones mentioned previously, but they will meet again in training and, each one from their trench, will contribute their skills to get the Broncos out of the bottom of the AFC West.

All of these pairs that grew up and played in college football together have one common denominator: they won a national championship at the college level. Now, a number of professional franchises are betting that second parties can be better.

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