As the 2020 NFL regular season is playing out, it is becoming apparent that multiple teams with a young quarterback will be in a position to potentially take one of the best available quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft: the Jets, Giants, Bengals and Washington Football Team. Would any of those teams make the controversial decision to move on from the incumbent starter? It is a thought-provoking exercise that was analyzed in this week's mock draft.
The draft order below was determined using SportsLine's reverse Super Bowl odds following Sunday's Week 3 action.
Without further ado, let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Clemson • Jr • 6'6" / 220 lbs
The Jets will likely be bringing in a new head coach, and it's increasingly likely that coach wants to start fresh with his or her own quarterback. Drafting Trevor Lawrence and trading Sam Darnold seems like the most likely outcome in New York right now.
Round 1 - Pick 2
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
It is probably too soon for the Giants to consider taking a quarterback, but the Cardinals made the same decision in much less time. The odds suggest that they hold tight and look to surround Daniel Jones with some pieces that could potentially inspire his success.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'6" / 330 lbs
There are only a handful of players that look like elite prospects in this class. Cincinnati has some intriguing linebackers so that is on the backburner for now. In an ideal scenario, the team would not move Jonah Williams around, but it has to be done. The offensive line play has been putrid in Ohio's Queen City, so move Williams to guard or right tackle and select Sewell.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 228 lbs
It is probably too soon to give up on Dwayne Haskins long-term but Washington should consider moving on if it gets a chance to select Justin Fields or Trey Lance. Haskins stares down his receivers and is often stumped by linebackers in coverage. Historically, those two traits do not stand a strong chance of being developed in the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Caleb Farley DB
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Caleb Farley is still learning the position but has the size and traits to be a difference maker on the boundary. Jacksonville continues to build out its young defense. Micah Parsons could be a consideration despite signing Joe Schobert to a big deal in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 244 lbs
Carolina was supposedly torn between Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown so they selected Brown and swung back around to take the versatile Jeremy Chinn in the second round. Chinn is moved all over the field so the selection of Parsons will not impede his development. Matt Rhule gets one of the elite prospects still available.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Miami invested a lot into its front seven in free agency but those are average pieces that will need to be replaced in short order. The Dolphins select Barmore with the plan to plug him in opposite Christian Wilkins.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Injuries and opt-outs plagued an already depleted Denver offensive line unit. Garett Bolles has not played well enough to secure his starting role.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 9
Wyatt Davis OL
Ohio State • Soph • 6'4" / 313 lbs
The dead salary cap space might make this difficult to replace Ereck Flowers but protecting Tua Tagovalia is priority No. 1 so take a great player and figure out where to play everyone later. Ted Karras is playing out his one-year deal.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'7" / 265 lbs
Rousseau is not the polished prospect that 15.5 sacks might suggest. He has a lot to learn but the measurables are exciting. Atlanta has a lot of issues right now. Although they are middle of the road in sacks, they rank low in regards to quarterback rating.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'5" / 307 lbs
Mike Pouncey, 31, is on injured reserve and amidst the final year on his contract. Los Angeles needs to upgrade their offensive line if they hope to keep Justin Herbert upright and confident.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Waddle is arguably the fastest player in college football. Alabama is churning out polished route-runners with Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy and Devonta Smith. If Waddle also shows improvement in that area, there is no way he is kept from the first round. It won't be cheap but Philadelphia could theoretically get out from under DeSean Jackson and, less likely, Alshon Jeffery's contracts this coming offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Las Vegas has to see that there is a ceiling with Derek Carr at quarterback. The team is improving and they are slipping further and further away from having a shot at one of those early quarterback selections.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 19
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 259 lbs
Tyler Eifert has been healthy and productive through three weeks but Jacksonville can not count on that continuing. There are several directions that the team could take this selection as they rebuild that franchise.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Shaun Wade CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Xavier Rhodes has tapped into the fountain of youth. Indianapolis is getting great value but, as a franchise, you would rather be prepared with his eventual replacement in the event that trend flips downward.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Dallas has to go defense. The linebackers can not stay healthy. The defensive line has battled injuries and league suspension. The secondary remains a problem. They take the highest rated defensive prospect on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Purdue • Soph • 5'9" / 180 lbs
Cole Beasley is not getting younger. Buffalo has made it abundantly clear that it intends to surround Josh Allen with as much talent as necessary. Stefon Diggs has taken to the Bills offense like a duck to water but just imagine Moore working underneath. Terrifying.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 188 lbs
It is hard to envision Drew Brees being the starting quarterback next season. New Orleans found success selecting a wide receiver from Ohio State once; they could return to the well in 2021 and provide another weapon for the next quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Clemson • Jr • 6'5" / 335 lbs
Tristan Wirfs, the first-round selection in 2020, was thrust into the starter's role at right tackle and has thrived. Donovan Smith has struggled out of the gate. It would not be a surprise to see the Buccaneers add Carman to solidify the bookend tackles for a decade-plus.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Nick Bolton LB
Missouri • Jr • 6'0" / 232 lbs
Rashan Gary has looked really good this year. The defensive front, with Za'Darius and Preston Smith, should be cooking when Kenny Clark returns to the lineup. By adding Bolton, a free-range linebacker, the Packers get a player capable of cleaning up all those running backs that slip through the narrow gaps created by the Green Bay defensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oregon • Jr • 6'1" / 201 lbs
Baltimore had star power in their secondary last year with Tony Jefferson and Earl Thomas. Both players are gone and have turned over their respective starting roles to under-appreciated youngsters. Holland is a smart, versatile player that can offer a higher ceiling.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Ohio State • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Ohio State ran a lot of stretch plays with J.K. Dobbins last year. Kansas City has similar intentions with rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs opt to upgrade their interior offensive line by selecting the Buckeye.