NFL draft top-5 snapshot: There's a new QB2 following dramatic draft order shakeup

Eric Edholm
·3 min read

Every week until the final 2021 NFL draft order is set, we’ll take a look at how the top five picks are shaping up — and provide a mini-mock draft. Think of it as a snapshot of how the top of the draft is looking.

In one week, our draft worlds were turned nearly upside down.

The top 10 picks of the 2021 NFL draft shifted dramatically in one week’s time with the New York Jets’ first victory of the season, vaulting the Jacksonville Jaguars into the coveted top overall spot with two weeks left in the regular season.

And with Cincinnati’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals guaranteed that the Jaguars and Jets will own the top two picks.

Will it stay Jaguars No. 1 and Jets No. 2? We shall see.

If the Jaguars can run their losing streak to 15 straight (it’s at 13 now), they’ll be on the clock for the next four-plus months.

Cincy remains in the No. 3 slot for now. The Carolina Panthers (from No. 6 to No. 4) and Atlanta Falcons (No. 7 to No. 5) both jumped two slots. Could those division rivals end up jockeying for a quarterback in Round 1?

Dropping down significantly were the Dallas Cowboys, who fell from No. 4 all the way to No. 8, and the Los Angeles Chargers, sliding from No. 5 to No. 9. The Miami Dolphins’ first first-rounder (courtesy of the Houston Texans) dropped two spots, from No. 6 to No. 8.

A quick look at the top of the 2021 NFL draft. (Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
A quick look at the top of the 2021 NFL draft. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13)

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

What a stunning turn of events. If this holds, with Lawrence ending up in Duval County, the Jaguars are potentially set up for a field day in the 2021 NFL draft.

2. New York Jets (1-13)

BYU QB Zach Wilson

On Sunday, Jets fans were despondent. Worst win in franchise history, they said. Then some of them watched Wilson in the whatever-it’s-called bowl against UCF on Tuesday night. Those folks seem to be doing better Wednesday morning.

Is Wilson now the guy at No. 2? We’ll see, but he certainly made a compelling case. This is the first time we’ve had Wilson over Justin Fields, who struggled against a good Northwestern defense, even though we’ve been pondering such a move for about a month now.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1)

Oregon OT Penei Sewell

They’re mentally ready for better blocking up front in Cincy.

How great is this? Seriously, Sewell to The Queen City feels preordained.

4. Carolina Panthers (4-10)

Ohio State QB Justin Fields

We previously suggested the Panthers are likely to look long and hard at the QB options in the draft, and Fields makes sense. With Teddy Bridgewater there, Fields doesn’t need to be rushed.

This past April’s draft was about taking a blue-collar approach to building up the defense. Next year’s haul is likely to have a bit more pizzazz.

5. Atlanta Falcons (4-10)

Florida TE Kyle Pitts

This would be a tricky spot for whomever the new Atlanta general manager is. One easy solution is to take a really good player, needs be damned.

Isn’t “talent” a need? To the “we need defense” people or the “take a QB” crew, we implore you to watch Pitts’ insane skills. Julio Jones is still a great player, but for how long?

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