2021 NFL Draft Order: Updated Selection List After Wild Card Weekend

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2021

2021 NFL Draft Order: Updated Selection List After Wild Card Weekend

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Now that the first weekend of the postseason is done, the 2021 NFL draft order has a new look with the top 24 picks in the first round set.

    With all of the attention on the teams still competing for the Super Bowl, the clubs whose season has come to an end have an eye on their future.

    One game of significance for those franchises at home will take place Monday night when Ohio State and Alabama play for the College Football Playoff National Championship in a star-studded matchup featuring two rosters loaded with NFL talent.

    Looking ahead to this year's draft, here is the updated selection order for the first round from Tankathon.

Picks 1-10

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    1. Jacksonville Jaguars

    2. New York Jets

    3. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)

    4. Atlanta Falcons

    5. Cincinnati Bengals

    6. Philadelphia Eagles

    7. Detroit Lions

    8. Carolina Panthers

    9. Denver Broncos

    10. Dallas Cowboys

               

    There seems to be little drama at the top of the draft. Trevor Lawrence is widely regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. The Jacksonville Jaguars are fully immersed in a rebuild after losing 15 straight games to end the 2020 season.

    The New York Jets are going to have a new coaching staff that will need to decide if they want to move forward with Sam Darnold or use the No. 2 pick on a quarterback such as Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson.

    It's possible that as many as eight of the 10 teams picking in the top 10 will be looking for a new quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa would seem to be safe after just one season with the Miami Dolphins, but it was only two years ago that the Arizona Cardinals replaced Josh Rosen, the No. 10 pick in 2018, with Kyler Murray (No. 1 overall in 2019).

    Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford could be trade candidates. Both are over the age of 30 and play for teams that will have a new head coach and general manager in 2021.

    Beyond the top quarterbacks in the class, there's a potential franchise left tackle in Oregon's Penei Sewell, two elite-level wide receivers in Alabama's DeVonta Smith and LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, and defensive standouts like Penn State's Micah Parsons and Alabama's Patrick Surtain II.

Picks 11-18

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    11. New York Giants

    12. San Francisco 49ers

    13. Los Angeles Chargers

    14. Minnesota Vikings

    15. New England Patriots

    16. Arizona Cardinals

    17. Las Vegas Raiders

    18. Miami Dolphins

            

    Because the top 10 is loaded with teams that either need a quarterback or could look to upgrade the position, teams in this range may find themselves out of luck for one of the top options.

    The New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots all seem like they will have at least some level of interest in a new quarterback for 2021.

    Teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals and Las Vegas Raiders, who seem stable under center, can focus their attention on a position of need. They could also be in a prime position to land a top-10 talent who falls due to the number of teams looking for a quarterback.

    Tight end Kyle Pitts had a breakout 2020 season at Florida with 770 yards and 12 touchdowns in eight games. He has the potential to go very early but would make a nice addition for a team like the Vikings or Cardinals.

Picks 19-24

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    19. Washington Football Team

    20. Chicago Bears

    21. Indianapolis Colts

    22. Tennessee Titans

    23. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks)

    24. Pittsburgh Steelers

                  

    Here is where the first round of postseason losers find themselves. Even though their dreams of winning a Super Bowl have come to an end, they are all in a good position to compete for a championship on a yearly basis because of the foundation they have in place.

    It also helps them that this draft class looks loaded with talent. ESPN's current draft rankings list 22 players with a first-round grade (90 or above) and eight others right on the cusp with an overall grade of 89.

    Someone like Mississippi wide receiver Elijah Moore doesn't get the same hype as Smith, Chase or Jaylen Waddle, but he racked up 2,043 yards and 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons combined playing for a team that didn't have anywhere near the same caliber of quarterback as those three did.

Picks 25-32

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)

    26. Cleveland Browns

    27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    28. Baltimore Ravens

    29. New Orleans Saints

    30. Buffalo Bills

    31. Green Bay Packers

    32. Kansas City Chiefs

                  

    Finally, we arrive at the NFL's elite eight. These are the teams still focused on hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, though their scouting departments have also been keeping a close watch on the bowl games.

    Of course, the Los Angeles Rams won't have their top pick as a result of the Ramsey trade. Given how well he played against DK Metcalf in Saturday's win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams aren't likely to be upset about not having the 25th pick.

    Late in the first round is also a time when the draft can get wacky. The Green Bay Packers seemingly drafted their quarterback of the future last year by trading up for Jordan Love at No. 26 overall, only for Aaron Rodgers to respond with arguably the best season of his career in 2021.

    Three years ago, the Baltimore Ravens found an opportunity to get their quarterback of the future by trading back into the first round to select Lamar Jackson with the final pick of the first round.