NFL Draft 2021 Order: Team-by-Team 7-Round ListingsApril 29, 2021
In about 10 hours, the Jacksonville Jaguars will officially be on the clock to open the 2021 NFL draft. There's no question about whom they will take with the first selection: Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Things won't be as predictable for much of Thursday night, though, as the first 32 picks of this year's draft unfold from Cleveland. While there's likely to be a run on quarterbacks to begin the night, there's potential for trades to shake up the order, particularly in the top 10.
While many of the best prospects will get drafted in the opening round, there will still be plenty of talented players available at the end of Thursday night. Most of them will then get taken either on Friday, when the second and third round take place, or Saturday, when the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds are held.
Here's a look at the complete order for the seven-round draft, followed by a preview of the opening round.
Complete 2021 NFL Draft Order
How many consecutive quarterbacks will be taken to open the 2021 NFL draft? Well, likely at least three, and potentially more.
Lawrence will go to Jacksonville at No. 1, then it's likely that the New York Jets will take BYU's Zach Wilson at No. 2. The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock at No. 3, and considering they traded up from the No. 12 selection, it's probable they did so in order to acquire a new franchise quarterback.
However, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported during an appearance on Get Up on Wednesday that the 49ers were undecided about who they were going to take as recently as this past weekend. There's been a ton of speculation that San Francisco will take Alabama's Mac Jones, and Schefter said the 49ers "love" him.
But Schefter also noted that the gap between Jones and the other quarterbacks in the class has "narrowed considerably" for San Francisco. So, perhaps it could instead decide to take another QB, such as North Dakota State's Trey Lance or Ohio State's Justin Fields.
The Atlanta Falcons could also be in the market for a quarterback at No. 4. Matt Ryan is still their starter, and that may still be the case throughout the 2021 season, but he's also turning 36 next month. It wouldn't be too early for the Falcons to start thinking about their future under center.
Atlanta could also trade down and acquire more draft capital, especially considering there are likely teams looking to trade up to land a quarterback. Or the Falcons could stay put and take one of the top non-quarterback prospects in the class, such as Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.
General manager Terry Fontenot isn't giving any indication of what the team may be thinking about doing at this point, though.
"We've gone through the different things that can happen," Fontenot said Wednesday, per ESPN's Michael Rothstein. "But you never know what is going to happen at that exact moment, but we know the players that we're talking about."
Whether Pitts is the first non-quarterback drafted or not, he has the potential to be one of the most exciting players from this draft class. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranked the former Gators standout as the No. 2 player on his final big board, behind only Lawrence.
Pitts could be an option for either the Falcons or the Cincinnati Bengals in the top five, or if he falls down the board a bit, there should be plenty of interested teams throughout the top 10. But Kiper doesn't think Pitts will be available that long.
"He's an offensive weapon who will immediately improve a team picking in the top five," Kiper wrote.
There are also quite a few wide receivers who should be drafted early. LSU's Ja'Marr Chase and former Alabama standouts DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are expected to be among the first ones taken. And teams such as the Miami Dolphins (No. 6), Detroit Lions (No. 7), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 12) and more could be potential landing spots.
Regardless of how things unfold Thursday night, there's sure to be some unpredictability and surprises throughout the opening round.