Todd McShay 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Wilson, Lance and Fields Go Top 4 After Trade

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2021

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance celebrates the touchdown run by Hunter Luepke against Central Arkansas in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Fargo, N.D. North Dakota State won 39-28. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

Todd McShay of ESPN projected a run on quarterbacks and a major trade at the top of the first round in the 2021 NFL draft.

In his most recent mock draft Wednesday, McShay had the Jacksonville Jaguars taking Clemson star Trevor Lawrence, and BYU star Zach Wilson went off the board at No. 2 to the New York Jets. 

Then, the Carolina Panthers traded up to take the Miami Dolphins' place at No. 3 to grab North Dakota State signal-caller Trey Lance. The Atlanta Falcons rounded out the QB flurry with Ohio State's Justin Fields.

Lawrence is a clear lock for Jacksonville. After that, the first few picks are up in the air.

The Dolphins and New York Jets are by far the biggest wild cards because they seem to be the most likely to trade for Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson. Miami can build a package around 2020 first-rounder Tua Tagovailoa and the No. 3 pick, while New York has a lot of draft capital since it owns the Nos. 2 and 23 picks, as well as two first-rounders in 2021.

The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reported Jan. 23 that Watson would prefer to play for the Jets after they hired Robert Saleh as their head coach. The Dolphins would be his No. 2 destination.

Of course, that's all predicated on the Texans dealing the three-time Pro Bowler. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday they "continue to tell any team that calls that they are not trading [Watson]."

If they can't swing the blockbuster move, opting for Wilson or Fields would be the Jets' best course of action.

Sam Darnold is still only 23, but he and the team would probably benefit from a fresh start. According to Schefter, New York is getting interest in Darnold, but Brian Costello of the New York Post reported the front office is undecided on his future.

Regarding the Dolphins, they can simply continue building the offense around Tagovailoa if Watson is unattainable. Trading down would allow them to collect another valuable pick or two, but staying at No. 3 would likely mean having the opportunity to land LSU star receiver Ja'Marr Chase.

"Tagovailoa needs another target opposite DeVante Parker, and Chase gives the quarterback a second top option," wrote B/R's Brent Sobleski in his newest mock draft.

Sobleski also had Lance going to Carolina, but the Panthers remained at No. 8. Perhaps they can adopt a conservative approach and still land their quarterback of the future. As the draft nears, general manager Scott Fitterer might start feeling more pressure to act more aggressively.