By Sawyer Hicks, Senior Draft Analyst
Trevor Lawrence | Clemson, QB
The most obvious pick and best prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. This is a no brainer, which will set up Urban Meyer up for the next decade plus.
Zach Wilson | BYU, QB
Wilson was one of our favorite players in CFB last year and lit up his completion. Although he didn’t play top level talent, he proved that he is an elite prospect that can turn a franchise around in the right situation.
Penei Sewell | Oregon, OT
Sewell might be the best tackle prospect in over a decade due to his dominant 2019 season and incredible physical attributes. He might be the safest bet out of Lawrence to be a yearly Pro Bowler. Plus, the Dolphins will be trying to save face with their Tua pick and need to protect the fragile QB as much and as soon as possible.
Justin Fields | Ohio State, QB
New Falcons GM Terry Fontenot has said repeatedly that he always takes the best player available approach to the draft and Fields definitely fits that mold. He would sit behind Matt Ryan for a year or two due to Ryan’s albatross contract, but Fields gives Arthur Smith an ideal prospect for him to mold into his perfect quarterback that utilizes play action passes exceptionally and is also a threat on the ground.
Ja’Marr Chase | LSU, WR
If Chase falls this far into the Bengals laps, they would be ecstatic. He is the best WR prospect and already has a great repertoire with Joe Burrow from their time at LSU. It would give Burrow a true number 1 outside receiver to light up the league.
DeVonta Smith | Alabama, WR
Smith and Chase are neck and neck for the top WR in the draft and far ahead of their competition. Smith would be a jumpstart to the putrid Eagles receiving core and help them atone for their sins of drafting Reagor over Jefferson last year.
Gregory Rousseau | Miami, Edge
The Lions are in an interesting spot here because they also need receiver help, but with such a steep drop-off in talent after the top two WR’s they go best player available. Rousseau can pass rush from anywhere and gives them much needed flexibility and an anchor for their defense.
Kyle Pitts | Florida, Tight End
In the 2020 draft, the Panthers used all of their picks on defensive players, so now they can target a game changing receiving prospect in Pitts. Although the Panthers have the lowest TE target share in the NFL, it has to do more with their lack of talent at the position rather than anything else. Pitts would help complete the offense by having skill players all across the board being able to beat you all over the field.
Mac Jones | Alabama, QB
Elway and the Broncos go QB here due to the up and down play of Lock last year. The team is growing impatient with lackadaisical play from the position since Manning retired and take the best QB available in Jones. This would be a perfect situation for him because of all the offensive weapons the Broncos would be similar to his Alabama offense, which he showed he can thrive in.
Patrick Surtain II | Alabama, CB
The Cowboys need help across the board on defense, but especially in pass coverage. They get Surtain here because of his proven body of work locking down opposing receivers in the SEC. He has the potential to be Dan Quinn’s next Richard Sherman on defense.
Micah Parsons | Penn State, LB
If Parsons falls this far, the Giants would be foolish to not take a prospect with his talent level this late in the draft. He would give the Giants a young, elite linebacker that could be a Pro Bowler for years if he pans out. The reward is too high not to take him.
Caleb Farley | Virgina Tech, CB
With the impending free agency of Richard Sherman looming over the offseason, the 49ers will need pass defense help and will find it in the Virginia Tech corner who is neck and neck for the spot of top corner in the draft.
Rashawn Slater | Northwestern, OT
Slater is still an underrated prospect, but had an incredible season at Northwestern. The Chargers have found their QB of the future in Herbert and will try to invest in protecting his as much as possible by taking the best tackle prospect available.
Christian Barmore | Alabama, DT
The Vikings defense continuously got gashed by the run in 2020 and this pick would help anchor the line tremendously. Barmore displayed incredible power and strength throughout Alabama’s season, helping fuel them to a championship.
Trey Lance | North Dakota State, QB
The Patriots offense was abysmal last year and it is expected that Cam Newton will not be coming back, so it is the time for the team to invest in a QB with unchecked levels of potential. This could give Belichick his next Brady.
Jaycee Horn | South Carolina, CB
The Cardinals defense needs all the help they can on their defense and adding help to the pass defense to replace future HOF’er Patrick Peterson would be a huge step. Horn is a talented corner with tons of potential and will be great for the team to have to send out against all of the talented receivers in the NFC West.
Azeez Ojulari | Georgia, Edge
The Raiders need help across their defense and Ojulari could be the perfect piece to build around. He has incredible physical tools and would provide the Raiders with a potential edge rusher to pair with young defenders Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell.
Jaylen Waddle | Alabama, WR
The 2nd of the Dolphins 1st Round picks depends entirely on what direction they go at 3 In this scenario they take Sewell first and draft Waddle due to his explosive career at Alabama (and his obvious connection with Tua). If Waddle falls this far, and I expect him to, the Dolphins will be ecstatic at this selection in getting such an electric receiver and returner for the team.
Alex Leatherwood | Alabama, OT
The WFT has a huge, Trent Williams sized hole to try to replace on the offensive line and Leatherwood is already a solid player and could fit right in. Regardless of who is playing QB for the team, this would help shore up the OL if there is not an elite QB available at their pick.
Rashod Bateman | Minnesota, WR
With it likely that Allen Robinson will leave in free agency this offseason, the Bears find their Allen Robinson clone in Bateman to continue to give their poor passing attack a true number 1 receiver on the outside.
Dillon Radunz | North Dakota State, OT
Although their signal caller Phillip Rivers retired, the Colts are drafting for need/best player available after Anthony Castonzo also retired this offseason. They draft OT here since all of the other top QB prospects are taken earlier.
Quincy Roche | Miami, Edge
The Titans had next to no pressure on the edge this past season and were last in the league in sacks. They take the best edge rusher available here to try to help fix their major issue on defense.
Terrace Marshall | LSU, WR
The Jets have a ton of holes on their team, but they decide to give new franchise QB Zach Wilson a top target at receiver to help his development. We saw how beneficial it can be for a rookie QB and a rookie WR to develop chemistry together, such as how the Bengals drafted Burrow and Higgins this past year.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah | Notre Dame, LB
The Steelers love drafting defensive players in the 1st Round based off of them taking 5 defensive players in the last 7 drafts that they have had a selection, so they take the best defensive player available in Owusu-Koramoah. This gives an already dominant defense even more firepower.
Christian Darrisaw | Virgina Tech, OT
Urban Meyer and the Jaguars want to give the best player in the draft and franchise cornerstone some protection, so they take the best offensive tackle available in Darrisaw. Look for the Jags to be aggressive in attempting to set up Lawrence and the offense for success early in the draft’s first couple of rounds.
Eric Stokes | Georgia, CB
The Browns need help in their secondary and Stokes would be a great addition to play across from Denzel Ward.
Kwity Paye | Michigan, Edge
The Ravens will have some replacing to do on their defensive line and would jump for joy at the opportunity of drafting Paye. Although he is a project of a prospect, he has gobs of potential and the perfect player for the Ravens to gamble on this late in the 1st.
Kyle Trask | Florida, QB
With the impending retirement of franchise QB Drew Brees, the Saints take their QB of the future. Trask showed how he can dominate an offense and spread the ball around. Taysom Hill and Jameis are not the answer for the franchise at QB. Trask would most likely sit for a year behind Taysom Hill and learn the offense and get adjusted to the NFL.
Wyatt Davis | Ohio State, IOL
Regardless of Rodgers’ future with the team, the Packers solidify their interior line with this selection. They have plenty of offensive weapons across the board and their line has dealt with injuries this year that really hurt the team. With this selection, they get a little younger and gives both Love or Rodgers more protection for years to come.
Zaven Collins | Tulsa, Edge
The Bills continue adding talent to their defense with this selection. Offense is less of a concern for the Bills after Josh Allen’s emergence to stardom. The Bills are just looking to keep getting better and better to get over the proverbial hump.
Nick Bolton | Missouri, LB
With Lavontae David increasing in age and nearing free agency, the Bucs move towards a younger player with tantalizing upside in Bolton to help terrorize offenses in the NFC South.
Tyson Campbell | Georgia, CB
The Chiefs have young corners who have played well this year, but the team continues to add talent with this selection of a proven winner and a player with a lot of upside to grow within their system.