NFL Draft 2021: Final Mocks, Odds, Rumors and News for 1st-Round Order and PicksApril 29, 2021
NFL Draft 2021: Final Mocks, Odds, Rumors and News for 1st-Round Order and Picks
The 2021 NFL draft is finally here.
After weeks of speculation about which teams will select which top prospects, we will find out the final decisions from Thursday to Saturday in Cleveland.
The San Francisco 49ers' pick at No. 3 has been the subject of recent draft talk since the first two selections seem to be locks. Most experts believe the New York Jets will land Zach Wilson after the Jacksonville Jaguars make Trevor Lawrence the No. 1 overall pick.
San Francisco's positional target is clear, but the reports in the week building up to the first round have the 49ers linked to three different quarterbacks: Justin Fields, Mac Jones and Trey Lance.
As you go further down the draft order, there is plenty of speculation regarding other moves that will shape the first round, including potential trades up for quarterbacks.
You can wager on a handful of draft items at DraftKings Sportsbook, but the props are only available in certain states.
2021 1st-Round Order
2. New York Jets
3. San Francisco (from Miami via Houston)
6. Philadelphia (from Miami)
11. New York Giants
12. Philadelphia (from Miami via San Francisco)
13. Los Angeles Chargers
15. New England
17. Las Vegas
23. New York Jets (from Seattle)
25. Jacksonville (from Los Angeles Rams)
28. New Orleans
29. Green Bay
31. Baltimore (from Kansas City)
32. Tampa Bay
49ers Likely Going After Mac Jones
According to Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com, the 49ers' intention when they initially traded up to No. 3 was to select Mac Jones but Justin Fields and Trey Lance have been mentioned in the final days of draft preparation.
"There have been discussions in the building about whether Lance or Fields might be the better pick, and Shanahan has kept an open mind and listened to others in the organization make their cases. This could go all the way to Thursday without a true reveal," Fowler and Graziano noted.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com and the ESPN NFL beat writers' mock draft both had the 49ers landing Jones at No. 3, but Pro Football Focus' expert mock draft predicted Fields would be the selection over Lance and Jones.
No matter which direction the 49ers go on Thursday, it will send the rest of the quarterback-hungry teams into a frenzy to land the other two names on the board.
The Denver Broncos are the next team in the order with an immediate quarterback need at No. 9, but they may be inclined to wait after trading for Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday.
The New England Patriots will be the team to watch on the quarterback market since they could use a younger option to Cam Newton who can either learn under him for a year or take the reigns in 2021 to help the team back up the AFC East ladder.
Washington and Chicago could be in play as well, but both would likely have to trade up from No. 19 and No. 20, respectively, if they wanted one of the top five signal-callers.
Carolina Reportedly Exploring Trade Back from No. 8.
Fowler and Graziano also reported the Carolina Panthers are looking into a trade back from No. 8:
"Carolina, which owns the No. 8 pick, is angling to trade back, a signature Seahawks move that new general manager Scott Fitterer—a long-time John Schneider lieutenant in Seattle—can implement in the NFC South. The Panthers have seven picks now, would like to have more, and believe they can get a premier player—like one of the top cornerbacks, for example—just a few spots back."
The No. 8 pick could be a prime position for a team with a quarterback need to trade up and land one of the two players who do not go to San Francisco.
Atlanta, Miami, Cincinnati and Detroit likely won't be seeking a signal-caller as they look to land offensive weapons to support their quarterbacks.
The Falcons could land Kyle Pitts, Cincinnati could add either Ja'Marr Chase or Penei Sewell, Miami should take a wide receiver to help Tua Tagovailoa, and Detroit could go in a few directions, including wide receiver to replace Kenny Golladay.
If the Panthers are not targeting a quarterback at No. 8, they could move down a few positions to collect more draft assets and then make a first-round selection.
Jeremiah projected the Panthers to land Patrick Surtain II if they hold at No. 8, while the ESPN writers predicted Caleb Farley would land there.
In Matt Rhule's first draft as a head coach, the Panthers took all defensive players, and they may be inclined to take another player from that side of the ball if the top three cornerbacks are still on the board when they are on the clock.