Before the 2021 NFL Draft kicked off on April 29 in Cleveland, Ohio, The Whit’s own Jennifer McGraw made her predictions on who the first ten players picked would be
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence – QB, Clemson
McGraw: Reported by ESPN as the “most polished QB since Andrew Luck,” it’s no secret that the Jaguars need to fix their offensive line. The solution? None other than Trevor Lawrence to save the day. Lawrence should be one of many in the NFL draft to fix the Jaguars offense.
- New York Jets: Zach Wilson – QB, BYU
McGraw: The New York Jets have had their eyes on Wilson since March, doing what they can to make sure they lock in on him during this year’s draft. Like with the Jaguars, the Jets desperately need an offensive boost for the upcoming season.
- San Francisco 49ers (from Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans): Justin Fields – QB, Ohio State
McGraw: Like the first two teams of this year’s draft, the 49ers are no strangers to needing a rebuild at offense. I would not be surprised if they took a look at other offensive prospects, but it may make the most sense for the 49ers to take a shot at a QB while they can.
- Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts – TE, Florida
McGraw: The Falcons have Matt Ryan, so I think by now it wouldn’t make much sense to try to get a QB pick in the draft. That being said, it would be nice to see the Falcons build around Ryan. Pitts, a tight-end out of Florida, would be a perfect choice for Ryan’s abilities.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell – OL/OT, Oregon
McGraw: The Bengals need – well, a lot – but they specifically need to build protection around 2020 first-round QB pick, Joe Burrow. What better option than Penei Sewell, and offensive lineman who also played left tackle at Oregon? If the Bengals want to be successful next season, it would be best to do right by Burrow and build around him – with protection and flexibility.
- Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles): Ja’Marr Chase – WR, LSU
McGraw: Trading up, thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles, is a huge boost for the Dolphins, allowing them to select Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver out of LSU. It’s also possible that Chase could go to the Bengals and reunite with Burrow, however, the Dolphins just as badly need a wide receiver and are likely to pick one in their first round, sixth pick.
- Denver Broncos (from Lions): Trey Lance – QB, North Dakota
McGraw: I think it’s very likely that the Broncos will pick a QB in their first round. They need one, and I’m forever an advocate for the idea of younger talent mixed in with iconic, seasoned veteran players. It’s likely that with the other QBs going earlier, Lance will be left and the Broncos will pick him, and that Lance will most likely fit in.
- Carolina Panthers: Rashawn Slater – OT, Northwestern
McGraw: I think the Panthers are going to be another wildcard. Like the Broncos, they could definitely benefit from anyone at this point considering the big-name quarterbacks will be picked sooner. I do think they could go with someone more specific, such as Caleb Farley, cornerback from Virginia Tech, should he be available.
- Detroit Lions (from Broncos): Jaylen Waddle – WR, Alabama
McGraw: The Lions need a wide receiver, and Jaylen Waddle’s impeccable talent and skill set could definitely provide some threats to the Lions offense. They are one of the few teams I could see trying to trade up to get better options, but trading from the Broncos was not a good start. Waddle is most likely going to be available, and the Broncos should jump on this opportunity.
- Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II – CB, Alabama
McGraw: The Cowboys have had a rough season this past year with its conference being the worst in the league and Dak Prescott’s devastating injury ending his season. Because I believe Prescott will be coming back in the next season, I don’t see an issue with building around him. Patrick Surtain, the cornerback out of Alabama, is going to provide the skills and protection needed that I know Prescott is going to enjoy.
For comments/questions about this story, tweet @TheWhitOnline.