The teams with a need at the quarterback position atop the projected 2021 NFL Draft order are obvious. Minimally, three quarterbacks should be off the board in the first three picks. It gets interesting is the second half of the first round where a handful of teams with veteran quarterbacks will be presented with the chance to address the future. Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Indianapolis are three teams that fall into that category.
As discussed on the Pick Six podcast this week, there are some players at the position elevating their stock.
The draft order is based SportsLine Super Bowl odds after Week 10.
Let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 228 lbs
Jacksonville has a need at the quarterback position. The Jaguars have not had an identity since the AFC title run a few years back. The addition of Justin Fields will give them a face to the franchise and some hope to inspire their rebuild.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Round 1 - Pick 4
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Mike Williams has one year left on his rookie contact. The Los Angeles offense has excelled when it has had a fast complementary piece to Keenan Allen. Without a true left tackle worthy of this selection, the Chargers find another way to help Justin Herbert.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 244 lbs
It will be interesting to see what happens with Von Miller this offseason. Nonetheless, Micah Parsons would be a great fit in that defense alongside another blue chip talent like Bradley Chubb. Cornerback could also be a position that they entertain early.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Jr • 6'3" / 210 lbs
Washington is not moving forward with Dwayne Haskins or Kyle Allen so it is imperative that they find that franchise quarterback. Zach Wilson, who is the best prospect on the board, offers great mobility and a strong arm.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 7
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Sr • 6'4" / 272 lbs
Emmanuel Ogbah is not the dominant edge rusher that his numbers have suggested this season. Kwity Paye is closer to an elite edge rusher. The team does not have to move on from Ogbah quickly though, as there will be scenarios that both are on the field at the same time.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 203 lbs
Carolina has invested a lot of assets into the defense but the cornerback position still needs to be addressed. The talent level at the bottom of the roster continues to rise as the Panthers add talent at each position.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'7" / 265 lbs
Atlanta needs pass rush help, so Gregory Rousseau fits the bill. The team is in the market for a new head coach and that person will have an independent idea on what the team should do with a top-10 selection.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
New York has James Bradberry playing at a high level but 27-year-old cornerbacks have not typically maintained that excellence. Best-case scenario, the team has two lockdown cornerbacks. Worst-case scenario, the Giants rely on Caleb Farley to lock down one side of the field.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Jr • 6'6" / 240 lbs
Dak Prescott will almost certainly return next season. The offensive line is a concern, but Dallas has the chance to load up on offense and can turn its focus to the defense with later picks. Kyle Pitts is a mismatch nightmare.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Sr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
It is unknown whether Detroit will place faith in Matt Patricia for another season. If he returns, I could see the team placing an emphasis on improving up the middle of the defense. Dylan Moses is a player that carries high expectations and will not settle for less than anyone's best.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Kyle Shanahan has openly said that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team's quarterback next season. What do you expect him to say? The Chargers were telling everyone that Tyrod Taylor was their quarterback weeks before the draft. Trey Lance has room to grow as a passer but his athleticism would allow Shanahan to be even more creative on offense. San Francisco has already added Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, so they are moving toward an offense that features a lot of versatility.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Wyatt Davis OL
Ohio State • Soph • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Chicago's offense is lackluster to say the least, and it has struggled along the interior offensive line. Wyatt Davis is not going to fix all of the Bears' issues but no single player would fix all of their issues. The Bears should build a foundation where they can insert a new quarterback when the timing is right.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'1" / 215 lbs
Jeremiah Owusu-Koromoah excels in coverage, while Nate Gerry has been caught in some uncomfortable positions downfield this season. Owusu-Koromoah is more adept at handling that role.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 182 lbs
It would not be a surprise to see New England take the next best quarterback or attempt to move up for the right to select one of the top players at the position. As the board falls, Bill Belichick adds Jaylen Waddle, who can be a deep threat for whichever quarterback winds up under center.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Minnesota nearly allowed their starting left tackle to walk before the start of the 2020 regular season, and that is rarely a good sign. Cleveland did something similar the prior year with Greg Robinson and then allowed him to leave in the offseason. Christian Darrisaw is an ascending talent who is confident and controlled.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 175 lbs
Preston Williams might have been Tua Tagovailoa's favorite target in the limited sample size that has been seen with the two of them. Devante Parker has developed into a big-time player, but Miami may look to acquire a more reliable outlet at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jayson Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Soph • 6'5" / 253 lbs
The Browns could look to add a cornerback, but it also would not be a surprise to see them replace Odell Beckham Jr. with a cheaper prospect that is not coming off an injury. However, the leader in the clubhouse for biggest position of need is edge rusher. The Browns have made it clear that they are not satisfied with the play that they have received opposite Myles Garrett.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Las Vegas' interior offensive line has been sensational this season. There is no need to replace those players unless Mike Mayock wants to shed some salary cap space. With that in mind, they address the interior defensive line with the selection of Christian Barmore, who has not been as dominant as anticipated but knows how to use his hands and uses his strength to push the pocket.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Round 1 - Pick 22
Clemson • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain II have put themselves in a position to be the first two cornerbacks drafted but Derion Kendrick deserves more respect in this process. He is a gifted athlete that could become the latest Clemson cornerback to hear his name called early.
Round 1 - Pick 23
North Carolina • Sr • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Chazz Surratt is a smart, rangy player that could become the glue guy for that defense. Buffalo has struggled on that side of the ball relative to expectations so the hope is that Surratt rights the ship.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 259 lbs
Pat Freiermuth is a more balanced tight end that can either seal the edge for Kyler Murray or leak out for a big play down the field. Murray's "break glass in case of emergency" tool has been his ability to escape the pocket, but Freiermuth would give him another outlet.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 25
Oklahoma State • Sr • 6'0" / 185 lbs
Jacksonville can not wait around for its wide receivers to become more consistent. The Jaguars already added a franchise quarterback in Justin Fields so the focus turns to surrounding him with talent.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 26
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'5" / 307 lbs
Trevor Lawrence is the franchise quarterback in New York. Joe Douglas believes in building great protection for his quarterback before worrying about other pieces to the puzzle. The Jets attempted to fill some of those holes last offseason with some veterans but it proved to be little more than a Band-Aid. Mekhi Becton is a top-10 left tackle in this league long-term so there is at least one piece to build around.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 188 lbs
Chris Olave is a reliable wide receiver who can be trusted to be in the right place at all times. Lamar Jackson is not an elite passer so it is important to have pass catchers who know their role and understand expectations placed upon them.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Tristan Wirfs has been the most consistent rookie offensive tackle. The right side of Tampa Bay's offensive line has been locked up but the left side remains a concern. Tampa Bay could theoretically plan for a future without Ndamukong Suh and/or Jason Pierre-Paul as well.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Nick Bolton LB
Missouri • Jr • 6'0" / 232 lbs
Green Bay's defense has regressed this season and linebacker play is one reason for its struggles. Preston Smith has not made the type of impact that the organization had come to expect from him last season.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Northwestern • Jr • 6'3" / 305 lbs
Rashawn Slater may not have prototypical size but neither do New England's starting offensive tackles. If a lineman can play and hold up on the edge, then there is no reason to move him. Slater can hold up on the edge and become an immediate upgrade at right tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Eli Apple was obviously not the answer at cornerback for New Orleans. Janoris Jenkins is not a long-term fit either. The Saints went all in this season so the treasure trove of assets is a bit bare. They will have to shed some salary cap space this offseason so it would not be a surprise to see them exchange a high-priced veteran for a younger talent on a rookie contract.
Round 1 - Pick 32
USC • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Alijah Vera-Tucker made the decision to play this season after initially considering an opt-out. He has been playing left tackle for the Trojans but his future will likely carry him inside. Kansas City needs to improve their interior offensive line and Vera-Tucker would go a long way in accomplishing that task.