Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order After Sunday's Week 11 Results

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (5) walks off the field after a loss to to the Los Angeles Chargers during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be locks to pick in the top three of the 2021 NFL draft.

However, the real draft conversation involving the two AFC squads is about who will earn the No. 1 overall pick. 

The Jets' loss to the Los Angeles Chargers kept them one game ahead of the Jaguars in the race for the top selection.

Since the Cincinnati Bengals are the only two-win team in the NFL, the Jets and Jags would have to win three games to pick lower than third in April. 

With a combined 1-20 record between the two worst teams in the league, that possibility is one of the unlikeliest across the NFL. 


2021 NFL 1st-Round Order

1. New York Jets

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2. Jacksonville

3. Cincinnati 

4. Dallas

5. Washington 

6. Los Angeles Chargers

7. New York Giants

8. Miami (from Houston)

9. Atlanta

10. Carolina

11. Detroit

12. New England

13. Minnesota

14. San Francisco

15. Denver

16. Chicago

17. Miami

18. Baltimore

19. Philadelphia

20. Arizona

21. Las Vegas

22. Jacksonville (from Los Angeles Rams)

23. Indianapolis

24. Cleveland

25. New York Jets (from Seattle)

26. Tennessee

27. Tampa Bay

28. Buffalo

29. Green Bay

30. Kansas City 

31. New Orleans

32. Pittsburgh 

Order updated after Sunday's results and via Tankathon.com


Sunday may have been the best opportunity for the Jets to claim a victory in 2020—and, in turn, make the competition for the No. 1 overall pick more interesting.

New York's next five opponents possess a combined 32-17 record, and there is a chance the New England Patriots are at, or above, .500 when the AFC East rivals meet in Week 17. 

The Jets' situation could be one of the most fascinating to follow in the offseason since they could be looking for a new coach and potentially a new quarterback. 

If they have the top pick, the Jets have to consider selecting Clemson's Trevor Lawrence as a replacement for Sam Darnold. 

The Arizona Cardinals set the precedent for replacing a young starter with the No. 1 overall pick at quarterback when they took Kyler Murray first overall in 2019 ahead of Kliff Kingsbury's first year as head coach. 

The privilege to make such a decision is still six weeks away, but the Jets are trending in that direction. 

All of their remaining opponents could be fighting for playoff positions, and a possible letdown game from any of those teams seems unlikely with so much at stake. 

The Jaguars are the other team that could be in for a new coach-quarterback combination in 2021 if Doug Marrone is let go and Gardner Minshew II is not deemed the starter by the potential new head coach. 

Jacksonville has not won since its Week 1 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts, and it could finish the season on a 15-game losing streak. 

Five of Jacksonville's final six foes are in the top eight of their respective conferences. Minnesota is the only one that is not in that spot and it is in ninth place in the NFC.

If the Jaguars continue to lose, they could be in position to land the top pick if the Jets miraculously pull off a win. 

Cincinnati sits in an ideal position at the moment to improve its talent around Joe Burrow. The Bengals should not go after a quarterback, like the Jets and Jaguars, so it could land Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell.

If that is the case, the protection around Burrow would significantly improve, and it would help him avoid a massive amount of pressure in every game when he returns from the torn ACL he suffered on Sunday. 

If the Bengals lose out, they would be locked into the No. 3 pick. Dallas, Washington and the Chargers all won their third game in Week 11, as did the Houston Texans, whose first-round pick belongs to the Miami Dolphins.