With the 2020 NFL season close to the center of attention and the Big Ten season close to kicking off to expand the Power 5 action in college football, it’s time for another new draft for 2021.
Since the previous draft from Sporting News in early October, the worst team in the NFL remains the Jets, now also the only winless team in the league with the undisputed number 1. The teams behind them have changed a bit, and the bottom of the NFC East will be next on the clock.
This is what SN now looks like the first round, based on the current draft order of week 7 (courtesy of Tankathon) for the top 18 picks and predictions, and then our planned order of playoff ending for the final 14 Picks.
NFL POWER RANKINGS:
Steelers, 49ers, Titans keep climbing; Patriots, eagles crash in week 7
NFL bill draft 2021
1. New York Jets (0-6)
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (6-6, 220 pounds)
With Sam Darnold collapsing and failing to deliver on his first round promise despite limited help, the Jets will have a hard time passing that talent down to the generation, an inevitable QB prospect in Andrew Luck and Joe Bau’s season. Not only is Lawrence a great passer-by and athlete, he’s an accomplished leader and winner, just like the other two. He can last as long as Eli Manning in New York with greater success.
MORE: The 10 best fit for Trevor Lawrence in the NFL
2. Washington Football Team (1-5)
Micah Parsons, ILB, Penn State (6-3, 245 pounds)
This team may think of quarterback again, but Washington should also consider waiting another round for that position with many needs. Ron Rivera added a groundbreaking defensive jammer in Chase Young, the Edge Rusher of the U.S. state of Ohio, for his rebuilding to # 2 in 2020, and is now once again accessing the Big Ten for Parsons, a ranked, tenacious, and well-covering scavenger Luke Kuechly mold. Before his opt-out from the conference game, which stands by the return of the Big Ten. Parsons had a total of 109 tackles, including 5 sacks, for the Nittany Lions last season.
3. New York Giants (1-5)
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (6-5, 325 pounds)
The Giants may also consider QB, Georgia-based Justin Fields, but it’s less likely they won’t do so with Daniel Jones until his sophomore year despite his ball safety issues. Sewell’s strong and resilient presence would go well with Andrew Thomas, the 2020 first round player, and help better block Saquon Barkley and better protect Jones.
MORE: Any team’s worst NFL draft regret
4. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (6-6, 260 pounds)
With Matt Ryan’s death grossly exaggerated, the Falcons do the wiser in the short term and try to level up their defenses again. They keep having trouble rushing passerby so they should want an upgrade for anyone who trains them in 2021. The ACC and the Hurricanes are playing, but Rousseau, who signed off, didn’t actually have to play after the 5/15 release to add to his stock sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his only significant and final season under defensive head coach Manny Diaz.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5)
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (6-3, 233 pounds)
Fields is getting his desired sophomore college launch season to help build his inventory and advance Lawrence, confirming that the dynamic dual threat is on the blueprint. The Jaguars are starting to see signs that Gardner Minshew isn’t exactly the franchise guy fighting defenses that are better prepared for him. Fields slips through the hometown team into the Falcons and fits well with the solid skill players of the Jaguars.
6. Minnesota Vikings (1-5)
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (6-2, 203 pounds)
Surtain, with his pedigree, size, and ballhawking skills, has the potential to be a true shutdown player in Mike Zimmer’s defense after the free agents exodus at Cornerback, which included Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander . Her high school got too much roasted not to think of the corner first when Fields isn’t on the board.
7. Miami Dolphins (by Texans for Laremy Tunsil)
The Dolphins gave DeVante Parker a new deal and like Preston Williams who works against him on Chan Gailey’s proliferation crime, they are thin behind these players after failing to invest their ample capital in the position in 2020. Chase opting out of LSU action is Joe Burrow (84 catches, 1,780 yards, 20 TDs) has had a big last season and would be an excellent additional big playmaker to pair with Tua Tagovailoa.
8. Los Angeles chargers (1-4)
Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama (6-6, 310 pounds)
The Chargers signed Bryan Bulaga for the right tackle but got stuck on the left with weak Sam Tevi, a pending free agent from 2021. Bulaga is also agine and struggles with more injuries. Leather wood would be a good replacement and upgrade. He is a top athlete who can become a top overall blocker if he continues to work on his strength and technique.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (1-4-1)
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech (6-2, 207 pounds)
The Eagles will be ready to jump on Parsons if he falls from the other two NFC East teams standing in front of them, even if an aggressive trade-up is made if necessary. But getting Farley to upgrade Darius Slay is a pretty good fallback. Farley has grown into a sound cover man, using both his hands and his large frame to play on the ball. He made a wise decision to sign out after a great last season with the Hokies.
MORE: The largest busts in NFL Draft history
10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)
Shaun Wade, CB, State of Ohio (6-1, 194 pounds)
Wade is a nice size and like Buckeyes’ former teammate Jeffrey Okudah, he is active and instinctive in reporting. He’s reversed his opt-out and will use it to get his stock in the top 10 status. The Bengals have added former Vikings Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to their secondary education in the free agency, but must consider replacing the disappointing 2016 first division club William Jackson who was not signed for 2021.
11. Detroit Lions (2-3)
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (5-9, 180 pounds)
The Lions must get another young playmaker to achieve a sporting disparity with Kenny Golladay, a tall and quick recipient. Hockenson and dynamic running back D’Andre Swift joined Matthew Stafford in 2021 under what is likely to be a new, offensively minded coach. Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola faded to become free agents, Moore, who once again decided to make more big games for the Boilermakers, is a versatile athlete and an explosive catch or carry waiting to be happened.
12. New England Patriots (2-3)
Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State (6-5, 311 pounds)
The Patriots need a strong, eclectic line of defense to help Bill Belichick over the next off-season when starters Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler step into the free hand. Wilson could easily have come out and gone in the first round of this year after having had an extremely disruptive five-sack season for the Seminoles. He has a sack and 10 tackles in five games this season.
13. Denver Broncos (2-3)
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (6-3, 225 pounds)
Are the Broncos sold to the often injured and not improve Drew Lock? John Elway should consider a real franchise QB as the passing battles continue. While Lance’s 2020 one-game showcase for the bison doesn’t go as planned, the formidable physical and athletic skills he demonstrated in his first full promotional season (2,786 yards passing, 28 TDs, zero INTs, 1,100 yards rushing, 14) more TDs). His name differs only a few letters from Trevor Lawrence and he has an extremely high ceiling.
14. Miami Dolphins (3-3)
Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh (6-5, 260 pounds)
The Dolphins also need a little more help with Brian Flores’ front line to get after the quarterback. With his speed, upward trend and numerous moves, Jones has shot up the boards with his outstanding start to the 2020 season for the Panthers with seven sacks in six games.
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15. Carolina Panthers (3-3)
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (6-5, 239 pounds)
Panther offenses increase, and Robby Anderson helps D.J. Moore and a healthy Christian McCaffrey make this a dangerous reception trio. But offensive coordinator Joe Brady could use another super sports hard-to-cover target to help Teddy Bridgewater. Pitts dominated the SEC game this season with 17 catches for 274 yards and 7 TDs in just 3 games.
16. San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia (6-2, 185 pounds)
The 49ers have five cornerbacks who will go into unrestricted free hands in 2021, including Richard Sherman and security Jaquiski Tartt. Secondary should be the primary target, followed closely by the offensive line. Campbell is a very quick, athletic prospect for his frame with the ability to develop into a technically solid cut-off guy.
17. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
Kyle Trask, QB, Florida (6-5, 240 pounds)
Trask was up to the task of mastering a sizzling Gators passing game with his arm, accuracy, and athleticism to get into the first round. He has increased his efficiency and seems to fit well with Sean Payton’s offense as Drew Brees’ true successor to Jameis Winston and, yes, Taysom Hill.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama (6-3,310 pounds)
The Raiders were well positioned on the defensive end and in the cornerback and invested heavily in linebackers in the free hand. The missing ingredient is a pivotal point before the run. Combining strength and power with great technique, Barmore is someone to watch to keep shooting on the board.
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-4)
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina (6-1, 205 pounds)
Horn, the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, gets what he deserves as a big corner for Will Muschamp’s defense. His big two-interception game against Auburn caused a stir as he was the best player on the field in that game. The Cowboys will be desperate for cornerback help after reporting without Byron Jones in 2020. Horn is good size, length, athleticism, and physicality to remind her of Jones.
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20. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest (6-5, 275 pounds)
The Colts must tackle their onslaught of passing in Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 with Justin Houston and Denico Autry as outstanding free agents to add to DeForest Buckner inside. The explosive basham builds on his 10 sacks and 18 tackles against the Demon Deacons last season with 4 sacks in the first 4 games of this season.
21. Cleveland Browns (4-2)
Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama (6-3, 235 pounds)
The Browns have done their best to replace Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey on the second level, but with other positions being prioritized this year, they should be in the market for an active, senior playmaker next year. Fiery, instinctive, and ideal for defending Joe Woods, Moses would have gone easily in the 2020 first round without the knee injury that obliterated his entire 2019 season at Tuscaloosa. This season, with 37 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 4 games, Moses stopped where he left off in 2018.
22. Arizona Cardinals (4-2)
Wyatt Davis, G, State of Ohio (6-4, 315 pounds)
The Cardinals must replace J. R. Sweezy, a pending vacant agent from 2021, to further build the offensive line ahead of Kyler Murray and Kenyan Drake. Ideally to be an elite right-keeper alongside Josh Jones, Davis has already shown a lot to pave the way for the Buckeyes’ productive attack before deciding to return to the season.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars (by Rams for Jalen Ramsey)
Jevon Holland, S, Oregon (6-1,200 pounds)
The Jaguars have some of the worst safety games in the NFL, not far from the great combination of Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church. Holland has had a very impressive season in which he had 4.5 tackles due to loss and four interceptions. It’s a nice size and has a well-rounded ability to play around both courses.
24. Buffalo Bills (4-2)
Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (6-4, 235 pounds)
Jerry Hughes stands up and fades away Trent Murphy is a pending free agent for Sean McDermott. Roche can give you a solid all-down player. The transfer had 13 bags in its final season at Temple. He proves himself without Rousseau in Miami with 2.5 sacks in five more games. Roche also has a nose for the ball and cover if necessary.
25. Chicago Bears (5-1)
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (5-10, 182 pounds)
It becomes clear that Allen Robinson won’t sign on the team again in 2021. The bears then need more pop on their offense and it would be difficult to pass waddle on as they are likely trying to move their offense forward with a new QB.
26. Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan (6-4, 277 pounds)
Paye is back in Ann Arbor and ready to start his season and build on his 6.5 sacks in 2019. He is tall, strong and powerful in his movements to match his speed. The Ravens should be interested in an edge rusher in this area as Matthew Judon is tough to sign in the long run. Here John Harbaugh gets a strong presence from his brother Jim’s defense.
27. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU (6-3, 200 pounds)
LSU keeps producing the big NFL receivers, with Chase playing earlier and Justin Jefferson being an instant first-round hit for the Vikings. A great combination of size and speed, Marshall can line up anywhere as the great complementary distance runner to Davante Adams that Aaron Rodgers is looking for. With Chase not playing, Marshall added 21 catches for 424 yards and 7 TDs in just three games.
28. Tennessee Titans (5-0)
DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The titans just got A.J. Brown took a big whiff with upcoming free agent Corey Davis though. Smith and Waddle will be Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III in the first round next year. Smith has retired from his senior season, making 68 catches for 1,256 yards and 14 TDs. With that he has his big share of big games all over the field in another invited reception corps. He has 38 catches for 483 yards and 4 other TDs this season.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh (6-2, 290 pounds)
The Bucs are getting another season from the aging and still effective Ndamukong Suh, but they must remember to get a younger explosive, disruptive presence at the position. Twyman, with some Aaron Donald on Pitt’s head, tore offensive lines for 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles due to loss in 2019 before being eliminated in 2020.
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30. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0)
Creed Humphrey, G / C, Oklahoma (6-4,312 pounds)
The Steelers have to ponder their inside line alongside David DeCastro as Matt Feiler goes free and Maurkice Pouncey ages. Humphrey combines sportiness with a mean handshake. He remains a top notch after making the decision to return to school.
31. New York Jets (by Seahawks for Jamal Adams)
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S., Florida State (6-4, 220 pounds)
The Jets can get their redress by beating the playmaker for Adams on the draft after they traded him. Nasirildeen is a great size like an extra linebacker, is great to handle and has some advantages in terms of coverage too. This season for the Seminoles he has 61 tackles and 2 interceptions in five games.
32nd Kansas City Chiefs (5-1)
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (6-2, 210 pounds)
The Chiefs will seek full help to support Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman for Patrick Mahomes with Sammy Watkins and DeMarcus Robinson who were unsigned for 2021. Coming back for 2020, Bateman put up 60 catches for 1,201 yards and 11 TDs working against Buccaneer’s draft pick Tyler Johnson in 2019. He will be looking for a big year without Johnson to help Tanner Morgan in 2021.