The Jets were one -- ONE! -- defensive stop away from winning their first game of the season, and in the process, guaranteeing they, for one week, anyway, would fall to No. 2 in the draft order. That would mean the Jaguars would have the top pick, which we can all agree would be Trevor Lawrence. The Jets defensive-coordinator-at-the-time Gregg Williams had other ideas, however, and on the most important play of the Jets season called an all-out blitz and the Raiders promptly scored the go-ahead touchdown with seconds on the clock.
Long story short: The Jets remain the worst team in football -- but remain the frontrunners for Lawrence! -- and hours after Williams' ill-fated play call he found himself out of a job.
In other draft-related news, four QBs go in the top 10 (again) this week while the woeful Eagles land the top wideout in the class, which will hopefully benefit whomever ends up under center in 2021. Keep reading to see how the rest of the first round unfolds. And remember, the draft order is based on team record, strength of schedule and the subsequent tiebreakers.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Clemson • Jr • 6'6" / 220 lbs
Former Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made sure the Jets remained in pole position for Trevor Lawrence. While he won't be around for it, he may have set the organization's course for the next 10-15 years.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'3" / 227 lbs
Fields remains our QB2, though he'll likely have some competition from Zach Wilson and Trey Lance as we get through the draft process, but this isn't a bad consolation prize for the Jaguars, who will be looking for a new GM in the new year.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Penei Sewell OL
Oregon • Jr • 6'5" / 335 lbs
Same as last week, and likely to remain unchanged as long as the Bengals have the No. 3 pick. Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 11, which reinforced the idea that Cincy has to protect the future of their franchise. The team should draft several O-linemen this spring because Burrow took a lot of hits as a rookie.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Northwestern • Jr • 6'4" / 315 lbs
This is as high as we've had Slater going. He opted out for 2020 but he was dominant at times last season, and more than held his own when he faced off against Ohio State and Chase Young. Slater can play tackle or kick inside to guard, though we feel he's a Day 1 starter on the outside.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 202 lbs
The Cowboys are sort of in no-man's-land here -- too high perhaps for a cornerback or edge rusher, and with Sewell already off the board. Ideally they'll find a QB-needy team as a trade partner. Still, Dallas desperately needs help in the secondary and Surtain, who has been solid this season for Alabama, is our CB1.
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Carson Wentz was benched last week but it's not all his fault. There have been problems up and down the roster, many of them injury-related. Last April the Eagles passed on Justin Jefferson but they won't let this LSU wideout get past them in Round 1. Chase opted out this season but he was arguably the best WR in the country last season.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Trey Lance QB
NFL Draft • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
Trey Lance does everything well. He's athletic, strong-armed, smart, and is a leader. The problem is that he didn't play this season (save one showcase game) and only has one season playing FCS football. But if you're a patient organization with a succession plan in place (like, say Teddy Bridgewater on the roster and playing well), Lance will be an attractive option, even inside the top 10.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Zach Wilson QB
BYU • Jr • 6'2" / 214 lbs
Zach Wilson is the biggest draft riser since the start of the season and, like Lance, the biggest knock against him is the level of competition. But if we're willing to make concessions for Jordan Love, who faced similar competition a year ago for Utah State -- and struggled mightily while doing so -- then certainly there's room for a Wilson-is-a-legit-first-rounder conversation.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 9
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
Kamu Grugier-Hill and Elandon Roberts will be free agents next spring and Parsons has the type of freakish athleticism that we've come to expect in NFL linebackers -- Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Devin White and Devin Bush just to name first-rounders from the last two drafts -- and he'll impact the Dolphins D from Day 1.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Kwity Paye DL
Michigan • Jr • 6'3" / 265 lbs
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 11
Kyle Pitts TE
Florida • Jr • 6'6" / 245 lbs
With the way Logan Thomas played against the Steelers on Monday night maybe Football Team is fine at tight end. But Pitts is basically Darren Waller so you can line him up anywhere -- even out wide -- and he'll make plays.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 170 lbs
Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are all in the final year of their deals. And while the Lions will almost certainly keep Golladay, adding Smith would be smart. For an idea of how good Smith is, consider this: he was probably the best wideout on the Crimson Tide's roster last season, and that roster included Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy and Jaylen Waddle.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Mac Jones QB
Alabama • Jr • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Mac Jones is the best deep-ball passer in college football and he could very well work his way into the first round by next spring. Yes, there are questions about his athleticism, and him constantly throwing to wide-open WRs, but he's also incredibly consistent, which is exactly what the Bears need right now.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Caleb Farley CB
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'2" / 197 lbs
We've had cornerbacks mocked to the 49ers for much of the mock-draft season and this week is no different. San Francisco has five cornerbacks headed for unrestricted free agency (including Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett) and two more as exclusive rights free agents. Farley, who opted out for 2020, is our CB2 behind Surtain.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Jaycee Horn LB
South Carolina • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Johnathan Joseph are in the final year of their current deals, and Kendrick, who is still learning the position, has been a standout on the Tigers defense in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • Jr • 5'10" / 185 lbs
The Patriots could be in the market for a quarterback or a tight end too. But Waddle, who missed most of the 2020 seaswon with an ankle injury, might be the best deep threat in this class -- and oh by the way, he's also a threat in the return game. The Pats have to upgrade the wideout position and Waddle could be special.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Alabama • Jr • 6'6" / 333 lbs
This is Landon Dickerson's first appearance in this space but the former Florida State transfer has been dominant for the Crimson Tide. And the 6-foot-6, 325-pound center can also play guard, which means he could step into a starting role on Day 1 for the Ravens.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'2" / 221 lbs
Owusu-Koramoah is a special talent who can line up just about anywhere. He's been a playmaker for the Fighting Irish and his athleticism would be an asset in Paul Guenther's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Joseph Ossai LB
Texas • Jr • 6'4" / 263 lbs
The Giants need help along the offensive line but they also need to be able to pressure the QB, something they've struggled with this season. Ossai is having a fantastic 2020 campaign and his high motor and tenacity make him a legit first-round talent.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Round 1 - Pick 23
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Xavier Rhodes is having a strong 2020 campaign but he's on a one-year deal. Kendrick is still learning the position but has the athleticism and playmaking skills to be a top-flight NFL corner.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
This has been a popular pick during our weekly mock drafts because it makes a lot of sense. Not surprisingly, 2019 first-rounder Jeffrey Simmons has been really good to start the season but he could use some help on the interior. Barmore, who flashed often this season, was a part-time player a year ago and has the type of potential that could see him work his way into the first-round conversation.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 25
Minnesota • Jr • 6'1" / 197 lbs
If Trevor Lawrence is the Jets future he'll need some weapons. Rashod Bateman needs to continue to prove that he can consistently win at the line of scrimmage. He put a lot of first-round reps on tape last season and he's a really good player who looks like an NFL wideout.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 26
Virginia Tech • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
It's not a sexy pick but it's a necessary one after the Jags used their first first-rounder on QB Justin Fields. Darrisaw and 2019 second-rounder Jawaan Taylor will serve as bookends on the O-line and protect the team's latest franchise passer.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Nick Bolton LB
Missouri • Jr • 5'11" / 237 lbs
Bolton is one of the best players no one talked much about heading into the SEC season and he's quietly been very good in 2020 too. Imagine his speed and explosiveness alongside Tremaine Edmunds.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Round 1 - Pick 29
LSU • Jr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Marshall played in the shadow of Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson a year ago but he's a legit prospect. He has 48 receptions and 10 touchdowns in seven games this season, and he's averaging 15.2 yards per catch. Imagine Rodgers having Davante Adams and Marshall on the field at the same time.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Greg Rousseau EDGE
Miami (FL) • Jr • 6'6" / 266 lbs
Rousseau, who opted out before the season, came out of nowhere in 2019, logging 15.5 sacks for the Hurricanes. He's new to the position but there's a lot to work with and he'd give Kansas City a much-needed spark off the edge.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Fr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Moses has been tentative at times this season as he recovers from an ACL injury that kept him on the sidelines for 2019. But when he returns to form he's one of the best defensive players in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Patrick Jones II EDGE
Pittsburgh • Jr • 6'4" / 264 lbs
Jones has quietly had two very good seasons for the Panthers and with Bud Dupree out for the season and possibly headed for free agency, the Steelers will be in the market for their next playmaking edge rusher.