2021 NFL Draft: Round 1 Order, Odds and Sleeper Prospects to Monitor

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2021

FILE - In this April 25, 2019, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft in Nashville, Tenn. In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday, April 6, 2020, and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, FIle)
Steve Helber/Associated Press

The 2021 NFL draft is rapidly approaching—Round 1 kicks off on April 29—and the picture at the top is starting to become a little clearer.

The San Francisco 49ers' decision to trade up to No. 3 overall essentially guarantees three quarterbacks will go within the first three selections. The Atlanta Falcons could make it four in a row by either selecting Matt Ryan's successor or trading their pick to a quarterback-needy team.

Most expect Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson to go No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively.

However, we still don't know which quarterback the 49ers are targeting, which teams are willing to trade up for a signal-caller or how the draft order will end up looking on opening night. We've already seen a pair of Round 1 trades, after all, and the draft is still roughly two weeks away.

Here, we'll examine the current draft order, the latest Round 1 odds and some sleeper prospects who could sneak into the first round.

Let's dig in.


2021 NFL Draft Order, Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. New York Jets

3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami, Houston)

4. Atlanta Falcons

5. Cincinnati Bengals

6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia)

7. Detroit Lions

8. Carolina Panthers

9. Denver Broncos

10. Dallas Cowboys

11. New York Giants

12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami, San Francisco)

13. Los Angeles Chargers

14. Minnesota Vikings

15. New England Patriots

16. Arizona Cardinals

17. Las Vegas Raiders

18. Miami Dolphins

19. Washington Football Team

20. Chicago Bears

21. Indianapolis Colts

22. Tennessee Titans

23. New York Jets (from Seattle)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)

26. Cleveland Browns

27. Baltimore Ravens

28. New Orleans Saints

29. Green Bay Packers

30. Buffalo Bills

31. Kansas City Chiefs

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Draft Odds

Odds for the No. 3 Pick

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State: -125 (bet $125 to win $100)

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama: +150 (bet $100 to win $150)

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State: +300

Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young: +2500

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida: +5000


Team to Draft Trey Lance

Denver Broncos: +300

San Francisco 49ers: +300

Atlanta Falcons: +500

New England Patriots: +500

Washington Football Team: +800

Carolina Panthers: +900

Chicago Bears: +1000


Kyle Pitts Draft Position

Over/Under 5.5


DeVonta Smith Draft Position

Over/Under 11.5


Najee Harris Draft Position

Over/Under 30.5


Total Quarterbacks in Round 1

Over/Under 5.5

Draft odds from DraftKings Sportsbook


Sleepers to Monitor

Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

Richie Grant, S, Central Florida

While Central Florida isn't exactly known as an NFL powerhouse and safety Richie Grant isn't widely viewed as a first-round prospect, there's a chance he could sneak into Round 1.

The reality is that the 2021 draft class isn't extremely deep at safety, and there isn't a consensus top prospect at the position. TCU's Trevon Moehrig is the only safety ranked inside the top 50 on Bleacher Report's Big Board 3.0.

While Moehrig may well be the first safety off the board, if he goes in the first round, another safety-needy team could reach at the position on Day 1. Grant has the goods to be the pick.

Listed at 6'0" and 194 pounds, he is a bit light for the position, but that didn't stop him from being a force last season. In nine games, he produced 49 solo tackles, five passes defended, three interceptions and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Perhaps more importantly, Grant has the potential to be a true playmaking back-end defender.

"Overall, Grant needs to iron out some consistency issues, but he has NFL starting-level range, eyes and ball-hawking tendencies," The Athletic's Dane Brugler wrote. "He projects as a single-high or split safety who will compete for starting reps as a rookie."

NFL teams regularly covet safeties who can force turnovers and make plays on the ball. Grant is that type of safety, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him go in the first round.


Davis Mills, QB, Stanford

Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

While Davis Mills isn't considered part of a quarterback group that includes Lawrence, Wilson, Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance—the five widely believed to go in Round 1—it would be wise for draft enthusiasts to become familiar with the Stanford signal-caller.

There's a very real chance that six quarterbacks go in the first round—DraftKings has put the over/under at 5.5 for a reason. Teams are often willing to trade into the bottom of Round 1 to secure the fifth-year option, and a team could trade for Mills.

"I don't know where Mills goes exactly, but the buzz around the league is that he could be a first-round pick and will most likely be the sixth quarterback selected," NFL Media's Peter Schrager wrote.

Schrager has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking the 22-year-old at No. 32 in his mock draft. While Tampa may not be the team, No. 32 could be the position.

Mills carries questions, of course. He's had a series of knee injuries and only played 14 collegiate games. However, the 6'4", 225-pound passer has a good combination of size, athleticism and solid game tape.

He probably won't be a Week 1 starter, but if a team views him as a future high-end starter, that fifth year of team control could make him a first-round selection.


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