Look, we all know Trevor Lawrence is going to the Jaguars at No. 1, right? But that doesn’t mean the 2021 Draft won’t be a thriller.
The top quarterbacks available are all potential game changers, and nobody’s entirely sure what will happen after the former Clemson quarterback lands in Jacksonville with the top pick. The link between former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson and the Jets seems pretty strong, and they’re basically guaranteed to snag a quarterback after trading Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. But they could shake things up and grab Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, or even pull a bit of a stunner and go with Alabama’s Mac Jones instead.
Same thing with the Niners. They pulled off a massive trade to move up to the No. 3 spot, giving up loads of draft capital in the process. Typically teams don’t give up that much if they’re not moving up for a player they believe can be a long-term franchise quarterback. They’ve been linked to Fields and to Jones, and while I suspect the pick will be Fields, who knows? Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch may be dreaming of the mayhem they could cause by putting former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts on the field with tight end George Kittle.
The Falcons are a real mystery at No. 4, too. They’ve been rumored to be considering the top quarterback prospects — not a terrible idea, considering Matt Ryan is nearly 36 years old — but Ryan’s contract makes him too expensive to cut for the next year or two. If the Falcons do take a quarterback, it’ll likely be a player who could benefit from learning behind the 2016 MVP for a year or two. Maybe they decide to snag a major playmaker like Pitts, or maybe they trade back and gather more picks to shore up some of the many weak spots on the roster.
It doesn’t get much clearer from there on out. There are loads of excellent players available, and every team has various needs to fill.
We won’t have any clue how the first round, beyond the very first pick, will shake out until it’s all said and done on Day 1 of the NFL Draft, but that won’t stop us from giving you our best guesses. Welcome to the 15th annual SB Nation writers’ mock draft.
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