There's no other way to put it: Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa struggled on Sunday in the most important game of their season. And when you take the broader view and compare his 2020 performance against fellow first-rounders Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, then it's fair to wonder if Miami will consider taking a QB with the third-overall pick. If you're going to press us, no, we don't expect them to because a) they clearly liked Tagovailoa enough to draft him No. 5 overall, and b) the Dolphins have other holes to fill and that played a non-trivial role in why they came up short in Week 17.
Still, the fact that we're talking about this means Tua needs to make a big leap in Year 2 or we'll be right back here having this same conversation.
Keep reading to see how the rest of the first round unfolds. The draft order for non-playoff teams has been set, while the rest is based on team record, strength of schedule and the subsequent tiebreakers.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 335 lbs
Ultimately, we think the Jets may try to trade down to accumulate draft picks, but for now they get Sam Darnold some much-needed help along the offensive line. Sewell would bookend last year's first-rounder, Mehki Becton.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 3
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Soph • 6'2" / 214 lbs
OK, let's get weird. Do I think this happens? No, probably not. Should the Dolphins consider every option, especially in light of the season Tua had? Yep, absolutely. Remember, Cardinals GM Steve Keim took heat for drafting Kyler Murray first overall a year after selecting Josh Rosen with the No. 10 pick and, well, it was the right decision. i'm not saying this is that, but compared to Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, Tua's game needs to make a big leap this offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • Soph • 6'3" / 227 lbs
The Falcons are also looking for a new coach and GM, and while Matt Ryan is still playing at a high level, the new regime will have to decide if Ryan will remain the franchise QB. Fields, who outplayed Trevor Lawrence over the weekend, still needs to improve his pocket presence and decision-making, but he does a lot of things well and could spend the year on the bench behind Ryan before taking over the job in '22.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Soph • 6'0" / 170 lbs
The Bengals would love to get Sewell but with him long gone they'll "settle" for the best WR in college football. There are questions about Smith's size but he plays like the biggest dude on the field. He can take over games with his route running and playmaking ability.
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 201 lbs
The Eagles really wanted the No. 6 pick and with it they take Chase, a game-changing WR for whomever ends up under center next season. (By the way, what if the Eagles wanted the No. 6 pick because they love a QB -- like, say, Trey Lance, who played at North Dakota State just like Carson Wentz? This is all speculation and conspiracy theory but it's something to think about.)
Round 1 - Pick 8
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Soph • 6'2" / 197 lbs
Donte Jackson and Rasul Douglas were solid at times in coverage this season, but Jackson will be a free agent after 2021 and Douglas hits free agency in the spring. And Caleb Farley, a former WR, has big-play potential.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Soph • 6'3" / 265 lbs
John Elway says the team will be looking for a new GM, which will raise concerns about whether the Broncos might be looking for a QB here. If not, you can never have enough pass rushers. And while Von Miller will be back in 2021 he'll also be 32 years old. Plus, Miller, Bradley Chubb and Malik Reed all have contracts that expire after the '22 campaign. Paye, meanwhile, is an athletic marvel who has shown vast improvement since the '19 season.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 202 lbs
A month ago, the Cowboys had the No. 4 overall pick and there may have been little value in taking a CB that high. Now selecting 10th, it makes a lot more sense, especially since Dallas desperately needs help in the secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 11
USC • Soph • 6'5" / 308 lbs
The Giants need pass rush help, but bolstering the offensive line may take priority. Andrew Thomas got better as the year progressed, but Vera-Tucker proved in 2020 that he can play either guard or tackle and excelled while doing it.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 224 lbs
Kyle Shanahan said recently that Jimmy Garoppolo is his QB for 2021, but that doesn't mean the team can't (or won't) plan for the future. Trey Lance has the athleticism and arm strength to be a legit NFL QB, he only lacks experience. But if anyone can get the most out of his abilities it's Shanahan, who did just that with Robert Griffin III during his rookie year in Washington back in 2012.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Round 1 - Pick 14
Northwestern • Soph • 6'4" / 315 lbs
The Vikings have needs along the interior offensive line and Slater, who was dominant at left tackle during the 2019 season -- and he played right tackle the two seasons before that -- has the versatility to line up anywhere. In fact, his future may be inside at guard or even center.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • Soph • 6'3" / 214 lbs
Same as last week. Jones may not be as athletic as Lawrence, Wilson, Fields or Lance, but he's legit. He's proven it week in and week out for Alabama. Jones has been a lethal deep-ball passer all season and he always makes good decisions with the ball. It's probably fair to say that the Patriots won't be signing Cam Newton to a long-term deal, and meanwhile Jones is generating buzz around the league.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Soph • 6'5" / 251 lbs
Chandler Jones will be a free agent after the 2021 season, and the Cardinals could use an explosive young pass rusher. Oweh, one of the best athletes in this draft class, fits the description.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Soph • 5'10" / 182 lbs
The irony here, of course, is that while Tua is reunited with his Alabama teammate, the Dolphins just drafted a QB. Waddle is a TD waiting to happen from anywhere on the field -- including as a returner -- and he gives Miami a legit deep threat at wide receiver.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Virginia Tech • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Football Team obviously needs a long-term answer at QB after cutting ties with Dwayne Haskins, and perhaps they'll be better positioned to do that should they end up missing the playoffs. As it stands, they're atop the NFC East and for now they're upgrading the O-line with one one the most athletic linemen in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Florida • Soph • 6'0" / 193 lbs
The Bears find themselves in the playoffs and effectively out of the running for one of the top QBs in this class. Which means they could be rolling with Mitch in '21, so why not get him some weapons. Toney is coming off an explosive campaign for the Gators and his draft stock will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 21
Round 1 - Pick 23
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Owusu-Koramoah is listed as a linebacker but you can find him all over the field -- and he may eventually end up at safety at the next level. He can come off the edge and has the athleticism, speed and change of direction to be an asset in coverage,
Round 1 - Pick 24
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'5" / 263 lbs
The Titans' pass rush can kindly be described as pathetic and upgrading the position is a huge offseason priority. Phillips, who shined at The U this season, has the potential to be special.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Injured Vita Vea will be back in 2021 but there won't be much depth behind him and adding an interior presence like Barmore, who is one of the most athletic defensive linemen in this class, will only make an already young and physical defense even more so.
Round 1 - Pick 26
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • Soph • 6'2" / 200 lbs
it was somewhat curious that Marshall opted out before the Alabama game but there's no doubting his playmaking ability. He's a big downfield target, one the Jets desperately need in a post-Trevor Lawrence world.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Ojulari ended his career with a standout performance in Georgia's bowl game and while he hasn't drawn the national attention of Kwity Paye or Jaelan Phillips, he's a legit terror off the edge.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Najee Harris RB
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 242 lbs
Alvin Kamara isn't going anywhere but Latavius Murray is 30 years old. And if there's no QB here that the Saints like, why not bolster the RB position in much the same way the high-powered Chiefs did with their 2020 first-round pick?
Round 1 - Pick 30
Tulsa • Soph • 6'4" / 260 lbs
For the season Collins had four sacks, four interceptions (including two pick-sixes) and two forced fumbles. At 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he looks more like a defensive end but moves with the fluidity of the modern day inside linebackers that have become so prevalent around the league.