It won't be long before former college players hear their name be called and their lives will change forever. For 32 NFL franchises, they hope to strike gold by drafting the next superstar. In this blog, we will predict the first 5 picks of the 2021 NFL draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB - Clemson
Unless Jacksonville knows something we don't, there shouldn't be much mystery with the top overall selection this year. Lawrence has solidified his position as the number one overall pick for nearly two years. Even though he underwent left shoulder surgery a few weeks ago, many believe there shouldn't be any setbacks when camp starts. At 6'6", 220lbs, Lawrence has all the tools to be a superstar in the NFL. He can make all the throws and has the mental fortitude to elevate himself and those around him. Newly hired Head Coach Urban Meyer has been given a layup to start his NFL tenure. Hopefully, he [& Jacksonville] won't blow it.
**Trade** : Atlanta says the time is now and moves up to get QB at No. 2 from New York Jets**
2. Atlanta Falcons - Zach Wilson, QB - BYU
After blowing a 28-3 to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady in 2017, the Atlanta Falcons have been trying to climb out of a dark hole. Matt Ryan is aging and is too expensive to keep around and given his recent play over the past two seasons, Arthur Blank is looking to make a franchise-changing move this offseason. Juilo Jones window of elite play is dwindling and if the superstar wide-receiver ever hopes to get a ring, both he and the Falcons need to make the most of the time they have left together. While most would admit Zach Wilson wasn't a name many were familiar with a few seasons ago, the former BYU quarterback will become the face of a franchise in just a few short weeks. Having been compared to Patrick Mahomes, Wilson posses many of the traits seen in today's superstar players. A strong arm and elite athleticism, Wilson gives a team the necessary mobility at the quarterback position. Although Atlanta has many areas of concern, nabbing a talent like Wilson is a great place to start.
3. Miami Dolphins (From Houston) - DeVonta Smith, WR - Alabama
It's our belief if there wasn't so much uncertainty for NFL teams at the quarterback position, DeVonta Smith could argue himself as the best player in the draft. Smith is a rare talent. His ability to run precise routes and posse breakaway speed is a cornerback's nightmare. He's going to earn himself a lot of money in the NFL and give defensive coordinators headaches week after week. For the Miami Dolphins, a player of Smiths' caliber is a piece that takes them from pretenders to legitimate contenders as one of the best teams in the NFL. Miami's defense played like a top-five defense at times last season and their offensive made strides. Head Coach Brian Flores has done a remarkable job turning around a franchise that has been on the outside looking in for quite some time. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa showed he's capable of being a quality player, but Miami isn't mincing their position in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes either. Regardless of what happens, Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith will be a staple for years to come.
4. New York Jets (via mock trade with ATL) - Kyle Pitts, TE - Florida
Kyle Pitts is a wide receiver disguised as a tight-end. With 43 receptions and 12 touchdowns for 770 yards for the Gators last season, Pitts poses a number of problems for defenses, especially in the red zone. Players like San Francisco's George Kittle or Travis Kelce in Kansas City have shown the importance of the position and the added dimension they bring to offenses. For the New York Jets, any help they can get will go a long ways in improving their roster and Pitts checks all the boxes. If you believe Sam Darnold is a quarterback worth standing by, drafting a player like Pitts can ease the pressure and provide a target he can rely on (are you listening Philadelphia?). On the other side of the coin, New York is a team still in play for Deshaun Watson. Can you imagine Deshaun Watson having a weapon like Kyle Pitts? JETS! JETS! JETS!
5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT - Oregon
How do you keep Joe Burrow clean and on his feet? Protect him and a great place to start is filling gaps in the offensive line by drafting a player like Penei Sewell. Although he opted out of the 2020 season, Sewell could be a franchise-changing player for years to come. The winner of the 2019 Outland Trophy, Penei Sewell has the physical ability to have a lasting impact on games and for a franchise who has suffered multiple consecutive losing seasons, wins have been hard to come by. Drafting a elite offensive tackle like Sewell can only increase Cincinnati's win probability.
San Diego Union Tribune
The Draft Wire - USA Today
Dallas Morning News