In a post-Divisional Round 2021 NFL mock draft, the Jaguars don’t divert from Trevor Lawrence after hiring Urban Meyer while the Bears, Falcons and 49ers all get in on the quarterback race.
With the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs now in the books, the top 28 picks are set for the 2021 NFL Draft with the Rams (pick owed to the Jaguars), Browns, Ravens and Saints filling in picks No. 25-28, respectively. So that’s where we stand as we embark on another 2021 NFL mock draft — but there is far more going on in the league at this time.
Deshaun Watson trade rumors have been waging and it seems as if he’s not long for the Houston Texans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday the belief is that Watson has “played his last snap” for the franchise. And any Watson trade would dramatically alter the 2021 NFL Draft, not only in filling some team’s need at quarterback but also shifting high-value picks to Houston.
Yet, a trade hasn’t happened yet and, with the playoffs waging on, we’re not ready to project any such trades just yet. So with Watson still in Houston for now, let’s see how the first round could play out with another 2021 NFL mock draft.
Full first-round 2021 NFL mock draft after the Divisional Round
QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
When the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Urban Meyer this past week, there were immediately people ready to make the connection between the former Ohio State head coach and quarterback Justin Fields. There was no shortage of speculation that Meyer could take Fields over Trevor Lawrence.
Here’s the thing about that, though: Meyer has no actual connection to Fields. The quarterback simply played for a program that he once coached but never for Meyer. Subsequently, it would be foolish to assume that the Jaguars would switch course from Lawrence.
While Lawrence’s Clemson career did not end as he’d hoped, he remains tops in the 2021 draft class. His arm, athleticism, decision-making and football IQ make him an obvious franchise quarterback for which Meyer to build a new culture around.
QB, New York Jets
Another head coach hire to speak of, the New York Jets are bringing in former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to man the sidelines for the foreseeable future. And with that, the future of quarterback Sam Darnold remains in flux as no decision has been made as to whether or not the Jets are going to hang onto the former first-round pick or, instead, try and move him.
For me, Darnold is damaged goods in New York. His career could still be salvaged elsewhere but Saleh and the Jets need to find new blood at the position and do a full reset there. So Fields is the obvious choice there. Sure, he was overwhelmed by Alabama but that wasn’t all on the quarterback. His dynamic playmaking with an accurate arm to all levels of the field and great athleticism make him a fascinating prospect with extremely high upside, the type of player New York needs to build excitement.