Through five weeks of the NFL season, tiers are starting to develop. It is clear which teams are going to struggle to attain victory and which teams are going to be in the hunt for a Super Bowl appearance. Some teams have regressed and others have taken a step forward.
Each team shares one thing in common: their paths have been paved, for better or worse, through the NFL Draft. The decisions made on one weekend in April could dictate levels of success for the better part of a decade. Who will be the next college football star to alter a team's course? CBS Sports pulled back the curtains in an effort to identify some of the top talent and match it to each selection.
The draft order below was determined using SportsLine's reverse Super Bowl odds following Sunday's Week 5 action.
Let's kick this thing off!
Round 1 - Pick 2
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'6" / 330 lbs
New York would likely trade down if it was in the position to potentially take either Justin Fields or Trey Lance. Ja'Marr Chase and Penei Sewell make the most sense but the Giants just drafted a left tackle early. Andrew Thomas could be moved inside or potentially as a right tackle project.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Justin Fields could be an option as well, but it is realistic to think Trey Lance might be a fit for Ron Rivera in Washington.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Round 1 - Pick 5
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
There are bigger needs for this Cincinnati team but let's envision A.J. Green and John Ross gone next season. The team would return Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Auden Tate in that scenario. Joe Burrow is at his best when the Bengals are playing four or five wide and spreading the field. The familiarity with Chase certainly does not hurt.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'7" / 265 lbs
With all of the top quarterback prospects off the board, Atlanta motions to improve their pass rush. Gregory Rousseau will create some buzz for himself as his training work starts making the rounds next year.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 9
Round 1 - Pick 10
Florida State • Sr • 6'5" / 305 lbs
Marvin Wilson would be a Matt Patricia special and, let's be honest, he will probably not be the team's head coach next season. For the time being, the selection is made as though he will return, and Wilson is an upgrade over Danny Shelton in the middle.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 1 - Pick 12
Round 1 - Pick 13
The end was drawing near for Russell Okung even before he began to battle with injuries. Carolina is building and there is no place for a 32-year-old at one of the game's premier positions. The edge rushers only get faster each year and Okung gets slower.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Round 1 - Pick 15
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Sr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Linebacker and wide receiver are two of the most pressing needs for Philadelphia. There is an argument to be had about the offensive line but it will likely be fine when everyone is healthy. At some point, long-term replacements have to be addressed.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Christian Barmore would replace Johnathan Hankins in that defense. They have Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell, so plug Barmore in next to Maurice Hurst and Las Vegas has a formidable front.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Clemson • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Derion Kendrick is a really flashy cornerback. I associate that swagger with Dallas. They need some playmaking ability at all three levels on the defense but the secondary is addressed in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Quincy Roche DL
Miami (FL) • Sr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
Cleveland tried to trade for Yannick Ngakoue and sign Jadeveon Clowney. Neither worked, but it is clear that the team has identified a need at edge rusher opposite Myles Garrett. Quincy Roche would come in and fill that hole immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 175 lbs
I really do not want to keep giving New England a wide receiver but, do you get excited when you look at the group they have rostered? I don't. Cam Newton or whoever is going to be the Patriots quarterback needs some weapons. Devonta Smith is easily the best on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oregon State • Sr • 6'4" / 235 lbs
Justin Houston is not getting any younger. The Indianapolis defense is stout up front and disciplined in their run fits but a dynamic edge rusher would suit them well. The secondary gets hidden a bit more when additional pressure is applied so maybe the team can get a few more years out of Xavier Rhodes.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 24
Florida State • Sr • 6'4" / 220 lbs
Tashaun Gipson is gone. Ronnie Harrison is gone. Jacksonville needs some new blood in that secondary now that they have added C.J. Henderson. It is a rebuild from the studs -- and there are very few -- up. Hamsah Nasirildeen is a rangy, big safety that can bring some attitude to Duval.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Alabama • Sr • 6'6" / 312 lbs
Tampa Bay drafted Tristan Wirfs to man the right side and he has been nothing short of incredible. By adding Alex Leatherwood on the other side, they are set for however long Tom Brady elects to reside in Florida.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Shaun Wade CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Pittsburgh's secondary has not been what everyone expected this year. The front seven has been terrorizing but the secondary has been lackluster. Shaun Wade would give them a difference maker capable of taking advantage of that pressure generated by T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree.
Round 1 - Pick 27
North Carolina • Sr • 6'3" / 225 lbs
Chazz Surratt is the often forgot linebacker in this 2021 draft class. The former quarterback has a high football IQ and would endear himself to that locker room quickly. The Bills' defense has not risen to the challenge yet this year and Surratt would only help that young core.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 259 lbs
Fans are likely witnessing the final year for Drew Brees in the NFL. It is not difficult to imagine Jared Cook's time in New Orleans might be drawing to a close as well. Pat Freiermuth can occupy that position in the event that Adam Troutman can not.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Michigan • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The right tackle experiment without Bryan Bulaga has not gone as well as Green Bay had hoped. Jalen Mayfield is still a bit raw but the traits are there for him to become a dominant player. A capable offensive line has been a staple of the Packers franchise for decades so I envision them investing heavily in that group when necessary.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'5" / 307 lbs
Cornerback is a big need for Kansas City after watching Charvarius Ward get beat for multiple big plays down the field against Las Vegas. However, the interior offensive line also needs to be glued back together. The Chiefs add the top center prospect to block for Patrick Mahomes and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 31
Round 1 - Pick 32
Pittsburgh • Sr • 6'5" / 260 lbs
Patrick Jones II is more of the big bodied pass rusher that Baltimore has come to adore. The Pittsburgh product already has seven sacks this season and only continues to improve. Baltimore has a replacement for Matt Judon in the event that they are unable to retain him.