The 2021 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away. As the draft order and projected picks become clearer after recent trades including early draft picks and franchise quarterbacks, it is important to consider possible draft-day scenarios that fans may see play out in late April.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are in the market for a franchise quarterback to grow alongside first-time NFL head coach Urban Meyer. Lawrence is the draft’s top player and passer. The Jaguars’ coaching staff have hinted that the Clemson signal-caller will be the selection.
2. New York Jets
The Jets recently traded away 2018 third-overall pick Sam Darnold. To replace him, they will select Wilson. The BYU passer had a meteoric rise in 2020 and will work with new head coach Robert Saleh to rebuild the Jets.
3. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have been rumored to be interested in several quarterbacks since trading for the third selection of the draft. That said, Fields has a track record worthy of the first overall pick in most years. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers staff were present at Ohio State’s April Pro Day to watch Fields throw.
4. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons will likely look to groom a young passer behind Matt Ryan. Lance is the best quarterback available and could reasonably go earlier than this pick. The North Dakota State product may have the highest ceiling of any signal-caller in this class. He is a promising quarterback for new head coach Arthur Smith to build around.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have been widely rumored to be interested in a wide receiver with this pick. Nonetheless, the organization should have seen its future flash before its eyes when franchise passer and 2020 first overall pick Joe Burrow went down with an injury that ended his rookie season. Sewell is the best lineman in the class. He will help keep Burrow on his feet for years to come.
6. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins’ rookie quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, had an up-and-down rookie season. To help his development, Miami must surround him with talented pass-catchers. There is no better receiving threat in this class than Pitts. He is an excellent athlete with the size and speed to win at every level. He is also an underrated blocker.
7. Detroit Lions
The biggest hole in the Lions’ depth chart is at wide receiver. The team lacks a true No. 1 option. Waddle is an immediate three-level threat who adds a currently missing speed element to Detroit’s receivers room. He also has excellent hands and is one of the most dangerous receivers in the draft after the catch.
8. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers famously took only defensive players in the 2020 NFL Draft. With their first pick, they continue that trend. Horn is the best defensive player in this class. While he is a versatile talent, he will thrive in a press-man scheme. Horn answered questions about his athleticism with an incredible performance at his Pro Day.
9. Denver Broncos
The Broncos’ linebacker room is full of middling players and expiring contracts. Parsons is an elite athlete with the potential to become a star linebacker in the NFL. While he is a work in progress, his athleticism grants him a serviceable floor.
10. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys’ secondary was the team’s biggest weakness in 2020. Surtain is a top-10 player in this class who can start immediately in Dallas. His Pro-Day performance should mitigate concerns surrounding his athleticism. Surtain may be the first cornerback taken come draft day.
11. New York Giants
The Giants filled some of their biggest needs in free agency. One still-present hole in their depth chart is at linebacker. Owusu-Koramoah is one of the most versatile players in the 2021 class. He will fit in alongside other “position-less” defenders to improve upon an already impressive defense under a creative defensive coordinator.
12. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were rumored to have moved back in the draft because they expected their top target to be unavailable at No. 6. In this scenario, that player is still on the board at 12. While Chase is already an impressive receiver with great hands and after-the-catch ability, he is also an excellent athlete who will only improve with NFL coaching.
13. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have a glaring need at tackle and Darrisaw is one of the best players available. He should start immediately in Los Angeles. Furthermore, he has guard-tackle versatility.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Versatility and the ability to fill multiple roster spots are valuable traits. Slater legitimately has the potential to start at all five offensive line positions. Minnesota has holes and expiring contracts across its entire offensive line. Slater can help wherever the team needs him.
15. New England Patriots
The Patriots were hindered by a lack of pass-catching talent in 2020. Bateman is arguably the draft’s top receiver. He is an excellent route-runner with consistent hands. What’s more, his 33-inch arms confirm the impressive catch radius present on tape and should allay concerns about his smaller than expected frame at his Pro Day.
16. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals were sorely lacking cornerback talent even before long-time starter Patrick Peterson left in free agency. Newsome is one of the draft’s top corners. A scheme versatile option, the Northwestern product is at his best in off-man or zone coverage. Moreover, he has the traits to succeed in press man.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders need help along the defensive front. In a defensive line class that largely lacks top-end talent, Las Vegas brings in the draft’s top defensive tackle. Barmore is worthy of the 17th selection. He has an extremely high ceiling.
18. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins were rumored to have been interested in multiple running backs in free agency. Harris is the draft class’s best running back. Miami, in this scenario, chooses to reunite the Crimson Tide star with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Harris has a high-level blend of power, balance, hands and quick feet. He should be an impact player immediately.
19. Washington Football Team
Washington needs help at tackle and Cosmi fits both need and value. He is an impressive athlete and should improve with NFL coaching. He can be a high-level starter in the NFL.
20. Chicago Bears
The Bears are likely in the market for a quarterback with only Andy Dalton and Nick Foles on the roster. Jones is widely rumored to be taken earlier than pick 20. In this scenario, though, Chicago takes him in the back half of the first round. Jones has starter upside.
21. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are in desperate need of an immediate contributor at tackle. Jenkins is the most pro-ready option available and meets the value attributed to the 21st pick
22. Tennessee Titans
The Titans need to add a receiver to complement A.J. Brown. In this scenario, Tennessee lands one of the draft’s top pass-catchers. Smith is an NFL-ready receiver thanks to his athleticism, route running and hands. While concerns about his size are valid, his stellar film indicates he may be an outlier among past small NFL receivers.
23. New York Jets
The Jets lack proven starters at cornerback. Farley is a hyper-athletic corner with the potential to be a scheme-versatile star in the NFL. He is worth this selection despite his being the subject of various injury concerns.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
The Steelers were the team to beat early in the 2020 season. To maintain that level of success, they bring in an NFL-ready center to bolster their offensive line. Humphrey had an excellent career at Oklahoma. He proved himself against high-level competition once again at the Senior Bowl. Furthermore, his impressive Pro-Day numbers should allay concerns about his athleticism.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have a glaring hole on their depth chart at tight end. Freiermuth was widely considered a first-round talent entering the 2020 season. Despite some injury concerns, he is still the second-best tight end in the class. The value for this pick is reasonable; what’s more, there is a notable drop-off at tight end after Freiermuth. Jacksonville fills a need with this pick.
26. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a strong overall roster and Collins would be an immediate upgrade at linebacker. He has an excellent combination of size and speed for the position. Moreover, he is one of the top coverage linebackers in the class.
27. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens choose to bet on this class’s depth at wide receiver and address another need. With its first pick, Baltimore takes the draft’s top pass rusher. Ojulari is an incredibly bendy pass-rush specialist who is also severely underrated in run defense.
28. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have an unclear future at quarterback for the first time since bringing in Drew Brees in 2006. What’s more, the team has lacked consistent receiving threats outside of Michael Thomas for years. Moore is an excellent athlete and an underrated route-runner. What’s more, he is one of the best receivers in the class after the catch. He should mesh well with either of the quarterbacks most likely to take over in New Orleans.
29. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have famously never brought in a first-round receiver for future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. In this scenario, that streak is broken. In 2020, Toney proved himself to be more than just a gadget player. He exhibited improved route-running and hands while maintaining his ability after the catch.
30. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are positioned well as Super Bowl contenders for years to come. One of the few holes on the roster is at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White. Melifonwu can fill that need and fit well into the Bills’ secondary. Although he will thrive in press-man at the next level, he is fairly versatile after having gained experience in other schemes at Syracuse.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs released both of their starting tackles from 2020, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. While Kansas City has since brought in unproven second-year player Prince Tega Wanogho to pair with fellow 2020 draft pick Lucas Niang, the organization should add a developmental piece in the scenario that either of those two talented but flawed players does not work out. Brown is one of the most athletic linemen in this class. He has excellent tools and would be best-suited to sit and learn from NFL coaching for one to two years before seeing the field.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers sit at 32 and bring in one of the draft’s top defensive ends. Rousseau has incredible tools and can very realistically develop into a star in the NFL. While he is not NFL-ready, he is athletic enough to eventually fill multiple roles for the Buccaneers.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ar’Darius Washington, FS, TCU
34. New York Jets
Kwity Paye, 4-3 DE, Michigan
35. Atlanta Falcons
Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
36. Miami Dolphins
Jaelan Phillips, 3-4 OLB, Miami
37. Philadelphia Eagles
Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
38. Cincinnati Bengals
Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
39. Carolina Panthers
Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
40. Denver Broncos
Milton Williams, 3-4 DE, Louisiana Tech
41. Detroit Lions
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
42. New York Giants
Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
43. San Francisco 49ers
Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
44. Dallas Cowboys
Trevon Moehrig, FS, TCU
45. Jacksonville Jaguars
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
46. New England Patriots
Alex Leatherwood, T, Alabama
47. Los Angeles Chargers
Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
48. Las Vegas Raiders
Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
49. Arizona Cardinals
Jackson Carman, OL, Clemson
50. Miami Dolphins
Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama
51. Washington Football Team
Andre Cisco, FS, Syracuse
52. Chicago Bears
Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan
53. Tennessee Titans
Hamsah Nasirildeen, SS, Florida State
54. Indianapolis Colts
Jayson Oweh, 4-3 DE, Penn State
55. Pittsburgh Steelers
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
56. Seattle Seahawks
Quinn Meinerz, C, Wisconsin-Whitewater
57. Los Angeles Rams
Osa Odighizuwa, 3-4 DE, UCLA
58. Baltimore Ravens
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
59. Cleveland Browns
Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
60. New Orleans Saints
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
61. Buffalo Bills
Quincy Roche, 4-3 DE, Miami
62. Green Bay Packers
Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
63. Kansas City Chiefs
Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dillon Radunz, T, North Dakota State
65. Jacksonville Jaguars
D’Ante Smith, T, East Carolina
66. New York Jets
Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia
67. Houston Texans
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
68. Atlanta Falcons
Shaka Toney, 4-3 DE, Penn State
69. Cincinnati Bengals
Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
70. Philadelphia Eagles
Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
71. Denver Broncos
Tyree Gillespie, SS, Missouri
72. Detroit Lions
Richie Grant Jr., FS, UCF
73. Carolina Panthers
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
74. Washington Football Team
Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State
75. Dallas Cowboys
Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
76. New York Giants
Ronnie Perkins, 3-4 OLB, Oklahoma
77. Los Angeles Chargers
Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
78. Minnesota Vikings
Joshuah Bledsoe, FS, Missouri
79. Las Vegas Raiders
James Hudson II, T, Cincinnati
80. Las Vegas Raiders
Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina
81. Miami Dolphins
Liam Eichenberg, T, Notre Dame
82. Washington Football Team
Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
83. Chicago Bears
Jevon Holland, FS, Oregon
84. Philadelphia Eagles
Payton Turner, 4-3 DE, Houston
85. Tennessee Titans
Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
86. New York Jets
Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU
87. Pittsburgh Steelers
Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota
88. Los Angeles Rams
David Moore, G, Grambling State
89. Cleveland Browns
Jay Tufele, DL, USC
90. Minnesota Vikings
Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois
91. Cleveland Browns
Dax Milne, WR, BYU
92. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Robinson, CB, Central Florida
93. Buffalo Bills
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
94. Kansas City Chiefs
JaCoby Stevens, SS, LSU
95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cameron Sample, 3-4 DE, Tulane
96. New England Patriots
Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
97. Los Angeles Chargers
Carlos Basham Jr., 4-3 DE, Wake Forest
98. New Orleans Saints
Daviyon Nixon, DL, Iowa
99. Dallas Cowboys
Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington
100. Tennessee Titans
Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
101. Detroit Lions
Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin
102. San Francisco 49ers
Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville
103. Los Angeles Rams
Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
104. Baltimore Ravens
Jimmy Morrissey, C, Pittsburgh
105. New Orleans Saints
Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia
New York Giants: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Trey Smith, Ronnie Perkins
Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, Trevon Moehrig, Brevin Jordan, Levi Onwuzurike
Washington Football Team: Samuel Cosmi, Andre Cisco, Pete Werner, Shaun Wade
Philadelphia Eagles: Ja’Marr Chase, Cameron McGrone, Kelvin Joseph, Payton Turner
New England Patriots: Rashod Bateman, Alex Leatherwood, Kellen Mond
New York Jets: Zach Wilson, Caleb Farley, Kwity Paye, Tre’ McKitty, Kary Vincent Jr.
Buffalo Bills: Ifeatu Melifonwu, Quincy Roche, Jabril Cox
Miami Dolphins: Kyle Pitts, Najee Harris, Jaelan Phillips, Landon Dickerson, Liam Eichenberg
Chicago Bears: Mac Jones, Jalen Mayfield, Jevon Holland
Minnesota Vikings: Rashawn Slater, Joshuah Bledsoe, Josh Imatorbhebhe
Green Bay Packers: Kadarius Toney, Jamin Davis, Aaron Robinson
Detroit Lions: Jaylen Waddle, Nick Bolton, Richie Grant Jr., Rachad Wildgoose
Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, Anthony Schwartz, Hunter Long
Cleveland Browns: Zaven Collins, Eric Stokes, Jay Tufele, Dax Milne
Pittsburgh Steelers: Creed Humphrey, Javonte Williams, Benjamin St-Juste
Baltimore Ravens: Azeez Ojulari, Terrace Marshall Jr., Jimmy Morrissey
New Orleans Saints: Rondale Moore, Davis Mills, Daviyon Nixon, Tony Fields II
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gregory Rousseau, Dillon Radunz, Cameron Sample
Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, Wyatt Davis, Shaka Toney
Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn, Josh Myers, Seth Williams
Houston Texans: Amon-Ra St. Brown
Tennessee Titans: DeVonta Smith, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Elijah Moore, Tyson Campbell
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, Pat Freiermuth, Ar’Darius Washington, Travis Etienne, D’Ante Smith
Indianapolis Colts: Teven Jenkins, Jayson Oweh
Los Angeles Rams: Osa Odighizuwa, David Moore, Monty Rice
Seattle Seahawks: Quinn Meinerz
Arizona Cardinals: Greg Newsome II, Jackson Carman
San Francisco 49ers: Justin Fields, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Dez Fitzpatrick
Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Darrisaw, Elijah Molden, Dyami Brown, Carlos Basham Jr.
Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Barmore, Baron Browning, James Hudson II, Chazz Surratt
Kansas City Chiefs: Spencer Brown, Asante Samuel Jr., JaCoby Stevens
Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, Milton Williams, Tyree Gillespie
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