Several NFL teams with an aged quarterback will be faced with a decision to potentially add a rookie this offseason. The rise of several quarterbacks, along with the aforementioned storyline, are setting the 2021 NFL Draft up to be one of the most entertaining in recent years. In this scenario, a few teams capitalize on a particularly strong quarterback class and hit the reset button. The Pac-12 is back this weekend and that could spark even more change to first round projections. In the meantime, read the latest installment below.
Remember, the draft order below was determined using SportsLine's reverse Super Bowl odds following Week 8 action.
Let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Clemson • Soph • 6'6" / 213 lbs
It would take a lot for Justin Fields to drive a wedge into the Trevor Lawrence-Jets union. To Fields' credit, he is playing at a really high level to open the season. It still makes sense for the Jets to select Lawrence.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Soph • 6'3" / 227 lbs
NFL teams do not bench their franchise quarterbacks. The doubt has creeped into the Jacksonville franchise and the door has creaked open for Justin Fields. It is the type of jolt that the Jaguars desperately need after parting with so many talented players in recent years.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 335 lbs
Andrew Thomas has not been effective on the left side to say the least. He could be moved to the right side or could slide inside to the offensive guard position. Either way, it seems unlikely that the Giants are going to move on from Daniel Jones this soon, especially if Dave Gettleman is still the general manager.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Greg Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • Soph • 6'6" / 266 lbs
Sam Hubbard is a good player and a building block for that Cincinnati defense. However, it would not hurt to have an explosive edge rusher opposite him. The Bengals are certain to make some changes along their defensive line and Rousseau would be another great addition.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 5
Penn State • Soph • 6'3" / 245 lbs
Miami acknowledges a blue-chip talent left on the board and make the move to select Micah Parsons. Brian Flores wants to win the line of scrimmage and show a variety of fronts. Parsons can uplift that entire defense.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Soph • 6'4" / 224 lbs
Matt Ryan's contract is too expensive to dump immediately so the most likely scenario is Trey Lance backing up Ryan for a season. Atlanta is bringing in a new coach and that coach may not want the future of the franchise to be hamstrung by a 35-year-old quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Soph • 6'2" / 197 lbs
Denver has some veterans and Michael Ojemudia at the cornerback position. There is no guarantee any lock down a starting role entering the 2021 regular season. Caleb Farley is an intelligent and big cornerback.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Wyatt Davis OL
Ohio State • Soph • 6'4" / 315 lbs
The work done to rebuild the defense in the 2020 NFL Draft was remarkable but the offensive line needs some attention. Carolina sounds committed to Teddy Bridgewater, who has played well, so the addition of Wyatt Davis allows the Panthers to strengthen his protection.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • Soph • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Kenny Golladay's future in Detroit has been questioned in recent weeks. Five Lions receivers are scheduled to hit free agency after the season so Jaylen Waddle would find immediate playing time available.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Soph • 6'2" / 214 lbs
There was talk of New England tanking before the season but that word is not in Bill Belichick's vocabulary. He is outside of the range to select either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields but Zach Wilson is a nice consolation prize. He was a solid player last year but has shown more consistency and zip in his throws.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Soph • 6'2" / 261 lbs
Everson Griffen is gone. Yannick Ngakoue is gone. Danielle Hunter is coming off a major surgery. Minnesota is cap strung and has some decisions to make this offseason so the goal is to fill as many of those vacancies possible. Kwity Paye has the ability to take over games and can be one of those center piece edge rushers in Mike Zimmer's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Oklahoma • Soph • 6'4" / 302 lbs
After selecting Micah Parsons earlier in the round, Miami continues to address their offensive line. Three rookies are starting along their offensive line right now and Creed Humphrey would replace Ted Karras.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Trey Smith OL
Tennessee • Soph • 6'6" / 321 lbs
Las Vegas may need to free up some salary cap space and the interior offensive line is one unit that could be trimmed. They dominated Cleveland's defensive front over the weekend but a rookie would come much cheaper.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Odafe Oweh EDGE
Penn State • Soph • 6'5" / 257 lbs
It is a poorly kept secret that Cleveland is unsatisfied with the edge rush production opposite Myles Garrett. Jayson Oweh is a physical freak that should challenge how quickly opposing offensive tackles can get into pass protection.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Round 1 - Pick 19
Georgia • Soph • 6'1" / 195 lbs
San Francisco has gotten more than expected out of their cornerbacks considering the injuries to its defensive line. It would be foolish to assume that will continue. The 49ers add a difference maker at the position.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Fr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
The Eagles were quiet at the NFL Trade Deadline, which means that they still need help at the linebacker position. Dylan Moses is one of the best prospects available, let alone at the linebacker position.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Joseph Ossai LB
Texas • Soph • 6'4" / 263 lbs
In my notes from last season, Texas used Joseph Ossai in more of an off-ball linebacker role, which was not to his advantage. The Longhorns have cut him loose more this season and that has led to four sacks and three forced fumbles in six games. Ossai would replace the ageless wonder Justin Houston.
Round 1 - Pick 22
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 23
Alabama • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Jacksonville needs to rejuvenate a roster that is not far removed from the AFC Championship game. It is a skeleton of that once vaunted roster. Christian Barmore can draw some eyes to the middle of the line and open things up for Josh Allen, K'Lavon Chaisson on the edge.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Round 1 - Pick 26
Purdue • Soph • 5'7" / 180 lbs
The Saints have gone all in on a Super Bowl run in 2020. If you want an idea of what New Orleans might do in the 2021 NFL Draft, you need to look at the players on their roster with big cap hits. They are going to be well over the maximum salary cap threshold and will need to dump players, add cheaper talent.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Nick Bolton LB
Missouri • Soph • 5'11" / 237 lbs
The linebacker position has been a big need for Green Bay. It would help if Kenny Clark were able to stay on the field but the addition of a rangy linebacker like Nick Bolton would add an important element to Mike Pettine's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • 6'1" / 189 lbs
Baltimore is probably tired of the freelancing players that they have added at wide receiver. The roster has bought into the team-first culture and understands what the coaches expect of them. They need help at wide receiver and no one has done a better job of producing pro-ready wide receivers recently than Ohio State.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 29
Northwestern • Soph • 6'4" / 315 lbs
Joe Douglas understands that New York needs to fortify the offensive line, especially with the team's newfound investment in Trevor Lawrence. Yes, wide receiver is a big concern but options can be found on Day 2 and into Day 3.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Clemson • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Pittsburgh's defense has awakened in the past month and is playing at an elite level. The defensive front seven was carrying the water when the secondary was struggling. Derion Kendrick would give them a talent they have not had at cornerback in quite some time.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Virginia Tech • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Full disclosure, I've watched one game of Christian Darrisaw to this point and have capped how high I am willing to place him until I see more. He is built like an offensive guard. I can see the conversation about moving him inside arising. There is no need to move him as long as he can hold up at offensive tackle. How long are scouts going to be resigned to an outdated thought? The Patriots have one starting offensive lineman standing at 6-foot-4 or taller.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Jaycee Horn LB
South Carolina • Soph • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Jaycee Horn was a member of my initial 2021 mock draft in May. He has the ability to be taken on Day 1 but the flashes have to become more consistent. He was a lockdown cornerback against Auburn and Bo Nix.