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2021 NFL Draft order: QB a priority for 12 teams entering offseason – NFL.com

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With the 2020 NFL season officially in the books, the order for the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft is set. Now the work of figuring out who will fill those slots takes center stage in an unusual offseason that includes a different format for the NFL Scouting Combine. Trades will alter the board, but in the immediate aftermath of Super Bowl LV, here’s the current order for Round 1 of the 2021 draft, which kicks off on April 29 in Cleveland.

The order for picks 1-18 is determined by record, using strength of schedule as a tiebreaker. The order for playoff teams (19-32) is determined by https://operations.nfl.com/the-players/the-nfl-draft/the-rules-of-the-draft/” target=”_blank” >the results of postseason play, with SOS as the tiebreaker.


Jacksonville Jaguars
1-15
·
.549 strength of schedule

Biggest needs: QB, OT, CB

There’s no real suspense about what the Jaguars will do at No. 1, but Urban Meyer does have three other picks in the top 45, including No. 25 (via the Rams). He might be in the market for a new left tackle (Cam Robinson is a pending free agent).

New York Jets

New York Jets
2-14
·
.594

Biggest needs: QB, edge rusher, CB

Will the Jets spend a top-five pick on a quarterback for the third time in 13 years? There are areas of need at almost every spot on Gang Green’s roster.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS

Texans’ record: 4-12 (.541)

See Pick No. 18 for analysis of the Dolphins’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Texans’ needs.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons
4-12
·
.551

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, QB

Owner Arthur Blank is confident Matt Ryan will be with the Falcons in 2021. That shouldn’t stop Atlanta from picking the QB1’s eventual successor this year, even though there are more glaring needs on defense.

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals
4-11-1
·
.529

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB

Protect Joe Burrow and make opposing quarterbacks a lot more uncomfortable. That’s the mission for 2021 in Cincinnati. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles
4-11-1
·
.537

Biggest needs: WR, CB, LB

It’s rare to see a team draft a wide receiver in the first round in consecutive years, but such a move could be pretty tempting for Howie Roseman no matter who’s under center for Philly

Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions
5-11
·
.508

Biggest needs: WR, edge rusher, LB

There will be a hole or three at wide receiver with contracts expiring for Danny Amendola, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. The Lions’ new brass must also repair a defense that sank to the bottom of the league on Matt Patricia’s watch.

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers
5-11
·
.531

Biggest needs: QB, OL, CB

It’s no secret Carolina is looking for an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater. There’s still much work to be done elsewhere on the roster, from the offensive line to cornerback to linebacker to tight end.

Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos
5-11
·
.566

Biggest needs: QB, CB, OL

The Broncos were in on the Matthew Stafford trade talks, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. So, it appears Denver is open to replacing Drew Lock as the QB1 if the right opportunity comes along. New GM George Paton could be shopping for a new right tackle and help in the secondary, too.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys
6-10
·
.471

Biggest needs: CB, S, OL

Dallas has to plug holes in a defense that was the franchise’s worst since 1960 in points allowed per game and shore up the injury-plagued offensive line. 

New York Giants

New York Giants
6-10
·
.502

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, WR, OL

Big Blue still has a gaping void off the edge, and Daniel Jones deserves a shot to play with a true WR1.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers
6-10
·
.549

Biggest needs: CB, OL, QB

It seems like a near lock that the 49ers will be eyeing cornerbacks early in the draft, with the vast majority of the team’s CBs scheduled to become free agents next month.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers
7-9
·
.482

Biggest needs: OL, TE, CB

It will likely be worth investing at least one or two early picks in the offensive line, and tight end could end up as a priority if Hunter Henry isn’t re-signed.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings
7-9
·
.504

Biggest needs: OL, DT, edge rusher

GM Rick Spielman’s mission should be pretty clear this offseason: Fix the O- and D-lines. The Vikings ranked third to last in pressure rate allowed (34.4%) and second to last in defensive pressure rate (19.9%), per Next Gen Stats.

New England Patriots

New England Patriots
7-9
·
.527

Biggest needs: QB, WR, DL

Bill Belichick is charged with breathing life into the passing game, and he might also have to fill voids in the trenches. Four of the Patriots’ top five defensive linemen are due to hit the market.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals
8-8
·
.475

Biggest needs: WR, edge rusher, CB

Arizona made a big splash to land DeAndre Hopkins a year ago. Now it’s time to find Kyler Murray a complementary deep threat with the ability to take the offense to the next level.

Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders
8-8
·
.539

Biggest needs: DT, edge rusher, S

Vegas’ defensive woes predate GM Mike Mayock’s arrival — the Raiders have ranked in the top half of the league in yards allowed only once in the past decade — but those problems aren’t going away without upgrades at all three levels. 

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins
10-6
·
.467

Biggest needs: WR, OL, LB

Adding more talent around Tua Tagovailoa has to be the top priority, especially at the receiver position. The Dolphins ranked near the bottom of the league in explosive plays in 2020.

Washington Football Team

Washington Football Team
7-9
·
.459

Biggest needs: QB, WR, OL

Washington’s hunt for a long-term answer at quarterback continues. Whoever ends up with that job could use a complement for Terry McLaurin and a better situation at left tackle.

Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
8-8
·
.488

Biggest needs: QB, OL, WR

If the Bears do end up acquiring Carson Wentz (or even if they ultimately turn to a different veteran QB), the question then becomes how do they improve the offensive line — after giving up some valuable draft capital to get that QB, presumably — and are they able to re-sign Allen Robinson?

Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts
11-5
·
.443

Biggest needs: QB, OT, WR

There are some significant voids to fill for a team that was built to win now. The Colts lost their quarterback and left tackle to retirement, with free agency set to potentially poke holes at edge rusher, wide receiver and cornerback.

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans
11-5
·
.475

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, WR, interior DL

GM Jon Robinson is faced with fixing one of the league’s worst pass rushes and might have to replace WR Corey Davis, who’s headed for free agency after a career year.

New York Jets

New York Jets

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks’ record: 12-4 (.447)

See Pick No. 2 for analysis of the Jets’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks’ needs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers
12-4
·
.475

Biggest needs: OT, QB, RB

It’s time to create a succession plan behind Ben Roethlisberger and give him the pieces he needs to make one more run, which will be no small task given the list of pending free agents for the Steelers.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS

Rams’ record: 10-6 (.494)

See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Jaguars’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams’ needs.

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns
11-5
·
.451

Biggest needs: LB, edge rusher, CB

There are needs at every level of a defense that allowed 30 points or more in nearly half of its games last season (including playoffs).

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints
12-4
·
.459

Biggest needs: DL, DB, QB

Sean Payton sounds like he’s very interested in moving forward with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston — assuming Winston does decide to re-up with the Saints — at quarterback in 2021. So, the position moves down (but not off) the list of offseason priorities for a team that appears set for a new era under center.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers
13-3
·
.428

Biggest needs: CB, OL, DL

Green Bay is likely to be in the cornerback market with Kevin King‘s deal expiring. The depth up front on offense takes a hit if Corey Linsley walks in free agency.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills
13-3
·
.512

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB

The Bills have four offensive linemen ticketed for unrestricted free agency, and “blockbusters” aren’t on the way to address needs. The draft takes on even more importance in Buffalo this offseason.

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs
14-2
·
.465

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, WR

The interior O-line is the more immediate need right now, but keep in mind that OTs Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, whom the Chiefs badly missed in the Super Bowl, are a year away from free agency.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11-5
·
.488

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DL, LB

GM Jason Licht will have a hard time keeping the defensive core together for another title run with Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David and Ndamukong Suh among the Bucs’ pending free agents.

TEAMS WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK

Houston Texans

Houston Texans

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS

Biggest needs: WR, CB, edge rusher

As you can see, QB remains off the needs for now because the Texans say they have no interest in trading Deshaun Watson. One of his favorite targets, however, is due to reach the market (Will Fuller) and Houston does not have a pick in the first two rounds.

Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, LB, OL

With no first-round pick and limited salary cap flexibility, the Rams will be turning to Day 2 and 3 picks to help replace starters who could depart in free agency, including Leonard Floyd.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS

Biggest needs: OL, CB, edge rusher

The Seahawks have only one pick in the first three rounds, but they have to figure out a way to give Russell Wilson better protection, especially against the division-rival Rams. He was sacked 16 times in his three games against L.A. (including the playoffs).

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