There are still three months until the 2021 NFL Draft, and anything can happen in that time. Team needs will change, prospect rankings will fluctuate and many franchisees will be pivoted. Once we draft the night, we may get into some surprises.
We asked our NFL nation journalists to look at some off-the-wall scenarios for teams in the top 10 Might Could be and throw away his draft plans for a loop. These are situations that high-pick teams will need to consider and be prepared for. So after reading what our own Mel Keeper Jr. predicted for each pick, now let’s see what can happen if things go off the rails for Draft Night. Here are 10 scenarios and how the top-10 teams can approach them, which starts with a huge business proposition for the Jaguars.
JAX | NYJ | MIA | ATL | CIN
PHI | Det | Car | Dane | lentils
See: fake draft of Kiper
What would the Jaguars do here if … The Jets offered their two first-round picks (No. 2 and 23) and their 2022 first-rounder for No. 1?
They will say, “Thank you, but no thanks.” The Jaguars cannot afford a pass on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He is considered one of the best QB prospects since Peyton Manning, and there is a huge difference between him and other signal-callers available in the draft. New coach Urban Meyer said Jacksonville’s job to take No. 1 this year was so lucrative. Lawrence changes a lot for this team.
Also, owner Shad Khan said: “What really developed the Jags’ history has become a franchise quarterback. And what I think is unique, of course, is that we now have options.” Has the ability to create, and is going to define. The franchise is moving forward. “Jacksonville takes Lawrence and never looks back. – Michael DiRocco
What would the Jets do here if … He committed to Sam Darnold as their starting quarterback for 2021.
They would offer for the No. 2 pick in hopes of going down for additional draft capital. The Jets have nine picks in the first three rounds, and GM Joe Douglas wants to add at least two more. He has a lot of holes to fill, including offense. If Darnold lives in New York, he needs a better supporting cast, and more draft picks will help the team get there.
But if the Jets can’t find a way to trade down, I’d look for him to pick up an offensive player to help Darnold, whether it’s Oregon offensive offensive tackle Penney Sewell or top-rated wideouts like Alabama’s Devont Smith or LSU Receiver. Ja’Marr Chase. – Amir Seemini
What would the Dolphins do here if … the Jets took DeVanta Smith at No. 2?
The Dolphins will likely strongly consider trade-down offers from QB-needy teams in the top 10. Perhaps a swap with the Panthers at number 8 could return a 2022 first-round pick or several second-round picks, and resources to improve more rosters
If nothing tempts them, they will likely pick Penny Seawell or receiver Ja’Marr Chase from the No. 3 pick. Those moves will either solidify the offensive line around quarterback Tua Tagovelloa or he will find a game-changing weapon on the outside. Of course, Smith would be an ideal fit for the Dolphins and Tagovelloa, but there are other options here. – Cameron Wolfe
What would the Falcons do if … Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zac Wilson go 1-2-3?
Well, they have some options. First, they can run a piece of paper with Pennai Sewell’s name tackling to pick up a building block for the next decade as fast as they can. You can’t do wrong with that decision. Second, they could catch a playwright to help quarterback Matt Ryan. His contract makes it difficult to part with him, so the Falcons can help him as much as possible in this scenario. Those playwrights could include WR Davonta Smith, WR Jaylen Wadle (Alabama) or even Keil Pitts (Florida). One of them, along with Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, would give the offense a big boost.
An additional possibility if it came to this: Will the Bingles offer to move Atlanta up one place and save Atlanta from taking the Seawell? Can the Falcons get some extra draft capital while acquiring one of those offensive weapons? – Michael DiRocco
What would the Bengals do here if … they treated Taylor Moton or guard Joe Thunay aggressively in free agency (and OT Paney is off the Sewell board) in March.
In this scenario, the Bengals would have too many options at No. 5, noting that they already helped quarterback Joe Burrow get the top job of defense. If the requirements are met on the offensive line, a big weapon can be found in a Cincinnati passing game such as the Ja’Marr Chase. Remember, Chase played at LSU with Burroughs. That is the logical step if free agency and draft boards fall like this.
But what fun? How about Kyle Pitts of Florida? He could take the Burrows and Bengals offense to another level and has the potential to be a game-changing tight end for years to come. – Ben Baby
What would the Eagles do here if … wide receiver De Vonta Smith and Jamers Chase are both off the board?
The Eagles certainly require wide receiver assistance, but there are issues elsewhere. Cornerback Patrick Sartain II (Alabama) or Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech) would be breathtaking options. The Eagles struggled to get consistent production from the CB2 spot behind Darius Slay this season. Slay and sartain can mean one or two punches. Otherwise, Philly is always in the market for offensive and defensive lineman, although it is unlikely that Penny Seawell will fall to this.
And if the Eagles still want to go receiver, Jaylen Wadle – another former partner of quarterback Jalan Hurts in Alabama – is the exact type of explosive playmaker the Eagles tend to be. – Tim McManus
What will the Lions do here if quarterback Matthew Stafford trades soon?
The situation opens up some real possibilities. If the Lions become enamored with quarterback Justin Fields or Zach Wilson, they may have to step down from their current position as players. If Detroit stays at No. 7, North Dakota State QB Trey Lance may be the player to watch, especially if the Lions sign a bridge quarterback to sit behind him and learn for a year. Lance has an incredible amount of talent, but is very young – he will turn 20 at draft time – so he is intriguing to a rebuilding team.
The quarterback feels like the way to go for Detroit, but if it doesn’t take one with this pick, players like Penn State inside linebacker Micah Parsons will help jump start the defense. – Michael Rothstein
What would the Panthers do here if … a team already traded to tight end Kyle Pitts?
Start by looking at the best quarterback on the board. Did Justin Fields or Zach Wilson fall? Carolina will have to evaluate whether Fields, Wilson or Trey Lance – who is still available – could be an upgrade on the current Panthers quarterback room of Teddy Bridgwater, PJ Walker and Will Grier.
In addition to QB, this questionable Pennai Sewell would fall to that, and other offensive tackles are not eligible for a top-10 pick. But a linebacker like Micah Parsons might be a good fit. – David Newton
What would the Broncos do here if … Justin Fields or Zach Wilson were still not picked?
Let’s start by saying that we don’t really know what the new general manager George Patan thinks of either player – or current QB Drew Lock. And in the new power structure, Patton’s preferences for the position mean what the team does over the next few months. He says that he has yet to evaluate Locke’s work from this past season, but is confident that Locke can still develop. But he has also said that QB play is one of the biggest components in long-term success and he will consider everything at the position.
So it’s hard to say with certainty right now, because Denver is still doing some evaluation on the lock. But at the end of the day, the Broncos are undoubtedly going to give Fields and Wilson a long look. – Jeff Legold
What would the Cowboys do here if … none of the guards had been raised yet and could they find anyone on the board?
This is a simple answer, but they will take the best available guard. Who it is is not yet clear. Cornerbacks are a big need, so Patrick Sartain II and Caleb Farley would be great options, especially with Chidob Avazi and Jersdan Lewis to become free agents. The Cowboys feel like they’ve been killed on another Alabama corner in last year’s draft, Trayvon Diggs, and Surett have the make-up and feel of the game they yearn for. And Farley has the size, speed, and ability to play.
The bad news for the Cowboys is that there is not a dominant edge ranger or defensive tackle to take at No. 10, and this could happen very quickly for a team like Dallas with Mike as an off-the-ball linebacker. Parsons, even with questions about Jaylon Smith’s future. – Todd Archer