2021 NFL Draft Order: Updated Selection List After Divisional Round
With only two more rounds remaining in the NFL playoffs, the order of the 2021 draft is nearly set.
That isn't the only big draft-related development from this past week as Alabama hammered Ohio State 52-24 in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Depending on how the next few months unfold, that may have been the last opportunity for members of the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes to prove themselves in a meaningful way.
Here's a look at where things stand with the first round of the draft heading into the AFC and NFC conference title games, courtesy of Tankathon.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. New York Jets
3. Miami Dolphins (via Texans)
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Philadelphia Eagles
7. Detroit Lions
8. Carolina Panthers
9. Denver Broncos
10. Dallas Cowboys
There was plenty of movement during the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, but the first pick to change hands was the No. 13 overall selection. And that deal saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers move up only one spot.
The top of the 2021 draft could prove to be a little busier.
The Houston Texans already sent their first-rounder to the Miami Dolphins as part of the Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills trade in August.
The volume of teams that could feasibly be targeting a quarterback may increase the activity at the top of the board. The Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys could all have a QB on their list of priority positions this offseason.
The Jets in particular could cash out in a big way. They already have Sam Darnold, and giving him at least one more season makes sense since he's still only 23.
Were New York to make the No. 2 pick available, it may have a lot of takers because the wide consensus around Trevor Lawrence as the best quarterback available puts a premium on the guys right behind him.
The Athletic's Dane Brugler projected BYU's Zach Wilson to land with the Jets but acknowledged they have a lot of options. Of Wilson, Brugler noted his "accuracy and off-platform playmaking skills are why several around the league think he is the favorite at No. 2."
Ohio State's Justin Fields is bound to be in the mix, too, despite a forgettable showing in the CFP title game.
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
Speaking of the title game, no player may have helped himself more during the playoff than Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
The redshirt junior was an efficient 25-of-30 for 297 yards and four touchdowns in a Rose Bowl win over Notre Dame. Then he set a record with 464 yards, the most in an official national championship, while throwing for five touchdowns against Ohio State.
Jones made the most of his first full season as the starter, finishing with 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns to just four interceptions. His 203.1 passer rating was a single-season FBS record, and he may have enjoyed the best year of any Alabama quarterback in history.
There's no question the 22-year-old benefited from his supporting cast, though. Playing in an offense with Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris, John Metchie III and Jaylen Waddle would make life easier for any quarterback.
But his numbers are also a reflection of his talent to some extent, too. Joe Burrow had no shortage of help in 2019 as LSU won a national title, and that didn't prevent him from going No. 1 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jones is widely considered a first-round prospect, with a clear gap between him and the pair of Wilson and Fields. In the coming months, perhaps he can bridge that divide and enter the top-10 conversation.
19. Washington Football Team
20. Chicago Bears
21. Indianapolis Colts
22. Tennessee Titans
23. New York Jets (via Seahawks)
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams)
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Baltimore Ravens
28. New Orleans Saints
The Chicago Bears are on the clock with the No. 20 pick.
Much to the consternation of many fans, Bears chairman George McCaskey confirmed general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy will be back for the 2021 season.
670 The Score's Chris Emma noted 12 lead executives across the league have remained in their current role since 2015. Pace is one of two who has failed to oversee a postseason victory. The other guy can't be fired because he's Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown.
Losing in the playoffs is never enjoyable. One small positive from Chicago's Wild Card Round exit is the result made it impossible to mask the glaring problems surrounding the team. The Bears finished with 239 yards of offense, and Mitchell Trubisky was 19-of-29 for 199 yards and one touchdown.
After that and everything he has done to this point, Trubisky probably isn't the long-term solution at quarterback.
With Texans star Deshaun Watson clearly disgruntled, perhaps Pace will have a shot at redemption after famous passing on Watson to take Trubisky in the 2017 draft.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. Buffalo Bills
31. Green Bay Packers
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Over the past 10 years, here's a few of the notable stars selected in the final four picks of the first round: T.J. Watt, Lamar Jackson, Travis Frederick, Harrison Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, Doug Martin and Cameron Heyward.
And that's to say nothing of the players who slipped out of the first round altogether.
Assuming you didn't trade back to get into this spot, your first pick is usually this late into Day 1 because you already have a strong roster as is. That allows you to emphasize value over need.
The Kansas City Chiefs, for example, have a number of avenues by which they can continue to maintain a championship-caliber squad around Patrick Mahomes.