Written by Carter Weissenfluh
With the NFL draft approaching in a few weeks, I wanted to share my insights and opinions about the incoming draft class. Here are my top 10 projections for the 2021 NFL Draft:
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson): If the Jaguars don’t take him with the first pick the NFL world will go crazy. To me, this is the easiest pick for any team to make with the first overall pick since the Colts took Andrew Luck. Trevor Lawrence is the exact guy the Jaguars need to turn their franchise around.
- New York Jets – Zach Wilson (QB, BYU): This pick is pretty much a lock considering the Jets just traded their former 3rd overall pick, Sam Darnold, to the Carolina Panthers. With a big market like New York, the Jets will need a playmaker and a box office attraction. Especially with his style of play drawing comparison to Patrick Mahomes, he’s the guy the Jets need right now.
- San Francisco 49ers – Trey Lance (QB, North Dakota State): When the 49ers came out of nowhere and traded with the Dolphins, it was clear they are looking for a new face of the franchise at quarterback. Some have the 49ers taking Justin Fields, while I have the 49ers getting Trey Lance. Considering they made this trade the day after his pro day, it seems like this is the direction the 49ers are headed in.
- Atlanta Falcons – Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State): While there will be no mock trades in this list, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons were to trade out of this pick. However, if they keep this pick, I have them taking Justin Fields because Matt Ryan doesn’t have much left in the tank. Having Fields sit behind Matt Ryan for a season wouldn’t be bad at all. I don’t see the Falcons having another chance at a top-prospect quarterback like Fields in the future.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell (LT, Oregon): While this isn’t a flashy pick, it will fill the Bengals’ needs on their offensive line. Many might want to see the Bengals reunite Joe Burrow with Ja’Marr Chase, but considering what happened to Joe Burrow with his nasty knee injury and considering that he was running for his life on just about every play, the Bengals need to protect their franchise quarterback and Penei Sewell is the man for the job.
- Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU): The Dolphins continue to build around Tua Tagovailoa with this pick, and they do so by taking the best wide receiver prospect in this draft class. While Ja’Marr Chase opted out of the last college football season, he is still the top wide receiver prospect after what he and Joe Burrow accomplished together at LSU.
- Detroit Lions – Devonta Smith (WR, Alabama): With the Lions losing their top 2 wide receivers to the free agency, they need to provide Jared Goff with some weapons. Picking the Heisman winner with this pick would be very useful for a team that doesn’t have much depth at wide receiver right now.
- Carolina Panthers – Kyler Pitts (TE, Florida): With the Panthers recently acquiring Sam Darnold, they look to add another weapon for Darnold and should take the best player available. With the Panthers taking Pitts here, they would look to have a scary offense on paper, and Sam Darnold would have weapons everywhere for him to be successful.
- Denver Broncos – Rashawn Slater (OT, Northwestern): While the Broncos addressed their cornerback needs in the free agency, they have been rumored to be going after a quarterback. The top 4 QBs are off the board here and I don’t see them reaching to take Mac Jones. Rashawn Slater would be an instant starter for the Broncos and would be able to protect Drew Lock’s blindside.
- Dallas Cowboys- Patrick Surtain II (CB, Alabama): With the Cowboys defense struggling to stop a nosebleed last season, it is key that they address that side of the ball with this pick. Considering Surtain II is the top cornerback prospect it only makes sense that the Cowboys take him where they need an elite-level corner.