The best way to stream the 2021 NFL Draft is on fuboTV. This year might be one of, if not the most, offensive heavy first-rounds in NFL Draft history. It is a near certainty that there will be three quarterbacks picked at the top of this draft. That hasn't happened since 1999. The crazy thing is that we could easily see four QBs go in the first four picks which has never happened. Don't miss a moment of the 2021 NFL Draft starting April 29 - May 1. The first round starts on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, NFL Network and ABC. All networks are available on fuboTV. Try fuboTV for free today.
If you watched any of the 2020 NFL season, you knew two things for certain. That the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars were terrible and that the narrative was that Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields would go to each team respectively. Then the Jets started doing something crazy and winning games. Once the season closed it became clear that the Jags would have the rights to their first-overall pick in franchise history to draft the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. Don't miss a single pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on fuboTV.
2021 NFL Draft Schedule
Thursday, April 29
Start time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
*ABC will have a College GameDay draft focus with in-depth player profiles from their days at the collegiate level.
Friday, April 30
Start time: 7 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
Saturday, May 1
Start time: 12 p.m. ET
TV: ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes
2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top-10 Picks Mock Draft
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: QB - Trevor Lawrence - Clemson
This pick is a no-brainer. It's the reason Urban Meyer came out of retirement. The former collegiate coach has a knack for developing great offensive talent and this scenario shouldn't be any different. Sports Illustrated did a great profile on Lawrence showcasing his desire to just play football and prove nothing else. Even with all of the unwanted bright lights that come with the number one pick. If the Jets had this first overall pick, it might have been hard to avoid that in the country's biggest media market. Not to mention the dysfunctionality that the Jets have had for decades, Jacksonville may be a blessing in disguise for Lawrence.
While the Jags have plenty of dysfunction of their own, Lawrence will fit in well in that southern market not too far from Clemson South Carolina. He will also have more time to develop without as much media scrutiny. With his arm and mobility, Lawrence is about as ready as you can be coming out of college and is the most heralded QB prospect since Andrew Luck. He went 34-2 at Clemson including a resounding national championship win over Alabama in 2019. Jacksonville needs to get better at many other positions losing 15 games last year, but they'll fill their most important need. This is the first-ever first-overall pick for the Jaguars and the choice couldn't be easier. They've never had a transcendent quarterback in franchise history and that projects to end come draft day.
2. New York Jets
Pick: QB - Zach Wilson - BYU
Most of the year, the consensus No. 2 pick regardless of the team who was drafting was Justin Fields. The Ohio State QB had some down games notably against Indiana and Northwestern but more than made up for it trouncing the Lawrence-led Tigers and played fairly well even though Alabama beat the Buckeyes pretty badly in the title game. But more on Fields later.
It wasn't always clear that the Jets would be picking a QB in this draft after they dropped to the No. 2 selection. They drafted Sam Darnold with the third pick in 2018 and even though he was rated as one of the worst passers in the league, the consensus is that former head coach Adam Gase and company ruined the former USC standout. The new regime under new head coach Robert Saleh had the option of trading down and getting skill players to finally give Darnold a legitimate shot at succeeding. Instead they decided to trade him to Carolina which is probably best for both parties to get the fresh start they need.
As for the pick, Wilson had a great year at BYU leading the Cougars to an 11-1 season and skyrocketed up draft-projections lists once the NFL season was over. He's really been slotted to go to the Jets in cement for the past month just as much as Lawrence is to the Jaguars. His pro day really impressed and his mobility and great arm has a chance to finally get the Jets out of laughing stock territory.
The pick is still risky though as Fields arguably does what Wilson can do but better and the OSU QB faced much much better competition. Also, it should be considered how well Wilson can transition from the Utah media market to New York City. Both Lawrence and Fields will be better in front of the camera and under intense scrutiny. Bucking the trend doesn't seem to be in the benefit of the Jets or Wilson. He's going to be put in the pressure cooker almost immediately and expected to win. Hopefully the Jets have a transition plan in place for Wilson to succeed that wasn't afforded to Darnold.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: QB - Mac Jones - Alabama
This is another scenario between what the pick should be and what is likely to be. According to many many reports, Mac Jones is the reason the Niners traded up for the Dolphins pick. For Miami, this means that they are likely to actually give Tua Tagovailoa an opportunity to succeed. He had a better rookie year than Josh Rosen statistically and look how that turned out for Buffalo. Anyways, this is about San Francisco.
The 49ers were originally supposed to draft 12th. Even after the National Championship that Jones led Alabama to a resounding win, he was not projected to go in the top-10. The rumor was that the Patriots were interested in him with the 15th pick. Even then, many experts said that was a stretch because of his lack of athleticism compared with the other QBs in this class. It also doesn't help that he came from a program where everyone is always wide open. Many wondered how he could handle any adversity in the NFL.
None of that seems to matter for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. To be fair, Shanahan is a QB guru. He got Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo to Super Bowls. If it wasn't for two of the biggest choke jobs in Super Bowl history, both should easily have rings. Instead, Jimmy G is likely in his last season with the 49ers even though their winning percentage with him on the field is astounding. The problem likely is that he can't get on the field enough due to injuries.
But with Shanahan's run-first offensive scheme, it seems like a no-brainer to have Fields or North Dakota State's Trey Lance. Or maybe they just want a reliable and accurate play caller to set up their running game for success. That's exactly what Jones did at Alabama. Time will tell if Jones a smoke screen or not. It certainly feels that way since they likely didn't have to trade up so high to land Jones.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: QB Trey Lance - North Dakota State
We're going with another QB here just to say this draft will set a record and forever be remembered as the draft of the quarterbacks. What Atlanta should do is trade down and collect more picks if they are going to give it one last shot with Matt Ryan. It's reported that Atlanta could possibly move on from their greatest receiver ever Julio Jones before the season starts. If that's the case, then expect them to go with the best player in the draft that's not a QB and that's TE Kyle Pitts.
The Falcons weren't terrible last year because of their offense. They ranked dead last in the league in pass defense and should be looking for corner Patrick Surtain II out of Alabama. But just as a likely a scenario, the Falcons could get their QB of the future. Atlanta just hired Arthur Smith who helped revitalize Ryan Tannahill's career in Tennessee as offensive coordinator.
If they draft Trey Lance, who seems like the scout's consensus third-best QB, then they can give him time to develop behind a likely future hall-of-famer. It's the perfect scenario for Lance who sat out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See what else you have left with the 36-year-old Ryan and when Lance is ready let him move on to earn a much deserved ring.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: OL - Penei Sewell - Oregon
If Joe Burrow didn't go down and tear his MCL and ACL last year, this pick would almost certainly would be for a wide receiver. Specifically his old battery-mate at LSU Ja'Marr Chase now that Bengals legend A.J. Green has signed with Arizona. Actually the speculation is shifting toward Chase being the pick here anyway so don't be surprised if the Bengals add a new weapon along with their new jerseys for 2021.
Here's food for thought though. Did you watch that Super Bowl back in February? The Buccaneers defensive line made the best QB in the game look pedestrian. The Colts only reacted when it was too late and lost Luck to retirement. Russell Wilson is one of the most sacked QBs in history and you see how unhappy he is on the only team he has ever known. Trade down and you will still likely get one of the two top picks at the OL position.
Penei Sewell is the biggest name at the position and the Bengals can't go wrong picking up the tackle out of Oregon. What might be a higher value pick is them trading down not quite out of the top-ten for a QB starved team and pick up Northwestern's Rashawn Slater who low-key could be the best tackle in the draft. When healthy, Burrow can be one of the greatest in this new generation of signal callers. That is if he is protected and able to play.
6. Miami Dolphins
Pick: WR - Ja'Marr Chase - LSU
This is when the Dolphins start giving Tua a shot. Outside of Lawrence, no QB is really projected to be better than the former Alabama standout. While Tagovailoa didn't have a standout rookie season, he was thrown into the mix probably a little too early much to Ryan Fitzpatrick's chagrin. It's ridiculous to think Pitts would still be available at this point (and is most likely going to be picked by Atlanta) but for sake of argument the Dolphins need to focus on someone who straight up catches the ball.
Chase does that in spades. It's hard to believe that DeVonta Smith, who is only the fourth receiver ever to win the Heisman Trophy, is not considered the best prospect as his position in this draft. Some are still concerned with Smith's size and Chase went for nearly 1800 yards with Burrow at LSU before opting out last year because of COVID-19.
7. Detroit Lions
Pick: CB - Patrick Surtain II
Much like the Falcons, the Lions were bad last year because of defense. The defensive minded Matt Patricia was let go mid-season and he is already back with the Patriots. In his place, the Lions hired the offensive oriented Dan Campbell. The Lions aren't competing this year and arguable have a downgrade at QB with Jared Goff even though he's very good and has a chip on his shoulder. Matthew Stafford is just better and they still couldn't win with him in over a decade. The Lions should trade down again to a QB starved team and in an offensive heavy draft can get the best defensive player off the board. That's CB Surtain II. For the sake of the Detroit faithful, hopefully they make this pick later in the night.
8. Carolina Panthers
Pick: TE - Kyle Pitts - Florida
If Pitts is available at this spot, it might be the biggest surprise of the whole night. He is a no-brainer and really redefines what it means to be a tight end. He might as well be a huge receiver. He does need to improving his blocking but he could easily be the next Gronk or George Kittle. This would also be a no-brainer because it would finally get Darnold some viable weapons that he never had in New York. If anybody can fix Darnold it's Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
The later won a national title with Burrow and studied under Sean Payton in New Orleans. If he can get it going with Darnold, he will be the first head coach hired after the 2021 season. This pick could be a QB depending on who's available, (they're rumored to like Fields) but two quarterbacks means you don't have one and causes unwanted controversy in a new regime. That would signal that they're not really interested in giving Darnold a chance.
9. Denver Broncos
Pick: LB - Micah Parsons - LSU
Speaking of a team who is interested in (and should probably just draft) Fields are the Broncos. They haven't had the best track record of picking quarterbacks since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after Super Bowl 50. But John Elway stepped down from his general manager role and new GM George Patton will be in charge of the new direction of the team.
Drew Lock has never felt like "the guy" even after the team invested heavily in weapons to surround him. They'll likely start the season with him but sign a veteran backup for insurance. Maybe someone like Nick Foles or Teddy Bridgewater. If this isn't the year for Lock, the Broncos will likely sign their QB of the future next year.
Parsons is the second-best defensive player in the draft and the best linebacker. He will fit perfectly in head coach Vic Fangio's defense. If the Broncos implode this year, it is likely Fangio will no longer be the coach. But Parsons will be a great addition to this aging defense especially as Von Miller's future with the team is up in the air. Sure, this is a safe pick for the Broncos but they need a little more of that after the the past five drafts.
10. Dallas Cowboys
Pick: OL - Rashawn Slater - Northwestern
The Cowboys need a defensive playmaker arguably more than the Falcons and Lions combined. They perpetually got lit up last year and if it wasn't for Dak Prescott, they would have had a top five pick. Jerry Jones has gave Prescott plenty of weapons and the team reported he will back this season "110 percent." But then there is the issue of Prescott staying healthy. He suffered from a gruesome broken leg injury and will need more protection than ever. Over the past decade, the Cowboys have had one of the best O-lines in the business. They are aging though and getting reinforcements will help this offense tick. As mentioned though, their biggest need is defense. If they don't go with Slater, CB Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina would be an excellent pickup.
Bonus: So what about Fields?
Fields could easily be one of the best quarterbacks taken in this draft. It is amazing that he is not being valued higher. If he falls out of the top-10 though, expect him to be picked up no later than the 15th pick. That's where the Patriots were rumored to pick up Mac Jones all offseason until recently. Fields would thrive in a Belichick-led system. Learning behind Cam Newton would be the cherry on top. The Bears are in need of a QB and could trade out of the 20th spot and would likely need to leapfrog the Patriots if New England doesn't trade up higher in the draft.
The 11-14 picks belong to the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings respectively. None of those teams are expected to pick a QB. Let's be real though, the movement and trading is going to start happening after the Miami Dolphins pick their offensive weapon of choice at No. 6. Either way, there will be five QBs off the board in the first half of the night. What else could you want from a draft? This is really when the 2021 season begins. Happy draft day everyone. May it be bright futures for each and every team.