2021 nfl draft
Mandatory Credit: David Platt/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The top half of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft should feature a ton of quarterbacks with Trevor Lawrence headlining the class.

There was never any doubt about who was going first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. It was Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville as soon as the Jaguars secured the No. 1 pick.

With the Jets sitting at No. 2 and no quarterback, Zach Wilson is the likely pick. New York recently traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers to make room for the BYU product.

Take a look at the live results of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft:

No. 1 Jacksonville Jaguars — Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Was there ever any doubt about this one? No. This is a pick that draft experts have been predicting for years. Trevor Lawrence is one of the highest-rated quarterback prospects coming into the NFL since Andrew Luck. The Jaguars are pinning the hopes of the franchise on Lawrence.

No. 2 NY Jets — Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The New York Jets are getting an arm talent in Zach Wilson. The BYU product’s draft stock shot up after his remarkable 2020 season. Early on in the draft process, it became clear that the Jets were going to go with Wilson at No. 2. “Patrick Mahomes” is a name that gets thrown around a lot when searching for a player to compare to Wilson. That’s lofty, but it shows the potential in this baby-faced passer.

No. 3 SF 49ers (via Houston Texans) — Trey Lance, QB, N. Dakota St.

This year’s draft started at No. 3 with the 49ers. Trevor Lawrence was the top choice for a long time and Zach Wilson to the Jets seemed like a safe bet early in the draft process. San Francisco traded up to this pick to get their quarterback of the future and they are hoping that Trey Lance is it.

No. 4 Atlanta Falcons — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The Falcons are sticking with Matt Ryan and giving him the best offensive weapon in the entire draft. Kyle Pitts is an absolute beast who can do anything and everything you ask of him. Pitts was regularly triple-teamed in college, but always seemed to find a way to make the catch. Pitts is now the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history.

No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals — Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

This is where things are starting to get interesting. The Bengals could have gone a few different directions with this pick, but they are going with a favorite target of Joe Burrow in Ja’Marr Chase. The two Tigers who won the National Championship together in Baton Rouge will be back together. Cincinnati still has moves to make on offense, but they have their QB-WR tandem.

No. 6 Miami Dolphins (via Philadelphia Eagles) — Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Dolphins are following Cincinnati’s lead here by reuniting their quarterback with a college target. We didn’t see much of Jaylen Waddle in 2020 due to injuries, but he is one of the most athletic players in the draft. He joins a talented receiving corps in Miami.

No. 7 Detroit Lions — Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Penei Sewell ended up dropping in this draft due to the rush at the top to grab quarterbacks and playmakers, but there was no doubt about him going somewhere in the top 10. The Lions need to fill holes in a ton of places, but starting with the offensive line is always a good idea.

No. 8 Carolina Panthers — Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The Panthers are another team that could have gone a few different directions with their first pick. There was some last-second speculation that the Panthers would go with Justin Fields, but they are sticking with Sam Darnold as the guy. They shore up the defense with a ballhawk in Jaycee Horn.

No. 9 Denver Broncos — Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

And the cornerbacks are starting to fly off the board. Patrick Surtain II was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 and a unanimous All-American. He is an explosive athlete who can play in any scheme. Plus, he has an NFL pedigree. His father, Patrick Surtain Sr., was an All-Pro with the Dolphins in 2002 and 2003.

No. 10 Philadelphia Eagles — DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

The Eagles and Cowboys are making a trade? Stranger things have happened. Those sneaky Eagles jump up ahead of the Giants to draft the Heisman Trophy winner. Philadelphia was widely criticized for passing on Justin Jefferson last year, but they weren’t going to let that happen again.

No. 11 Chicago Bears — Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Justin Fields was originally projected to go somewhere in the top five, but he saw his stock slide as the draft approached. The Bears knew they wanted Fields and gave up a haul to go up and get him. The Bears gave up a first-rounder in 2022 plus a 2021 fifth-rounder and a 2022 fourth-rounder.

No. 12 Dallas Cowboys (via Philadelphia) — Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

The writing was on the wall when the Cowboys traded down from 10 to 12—they were locking in on a defensive player. With the two cornerbacks off the board, Dallas felt comfortable moving down a couple of picks. They are taking Parsons to help fill out the middle of that defense and replace the recently retired Sean Lee.

No. 13 LA Chargers — Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Chargers have the quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert. Now they need to figure out how to surround him with enough talent to flourish. Adding one of the best offensive linemen in the draft is a good start. Rashawn Slater fell out of the top 10, but he’s going into a great situation in Los Angeles.

No. 14 NY Jets — Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

General manager Joe Douglas takes an offensive lineman in the first round for the second consecutive year. The Jets gave up two third-rounders to move up nine picks. Alijah Vera-Tucker played tackle at USC, but he is likely going to kick inside as a guard at the next level. This fills a major hole on the line in New York.

No. 15 NE Patriots — Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Mac Jones was rumored to be in the mix for the 49ers at pick No. 3, but he ends up falling all the way to the New England Patriots at No. 15. Bill Belichick and Nick Saban are close friends, so the Mac Jones pick makes sense. Belichick has his Brady prototype to try and start another dynasty.

No. 16 Arizona Cardinals — Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

If there is one thing that the Cardinals seem to value in linebackers, it’s versatility. They drafted the most versatile defender in the draft in Isaiah Simmons last year and they are coming back for more with Zaven Collins in 2021. Collins is a linebacker who can play inside or outside depending on the scheme. Arizona is looking to solidify its defense in a division with incredible offenses.

No. 17 LV Raiders — Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Alex Leatherwood is the fifth member of the Crimson Tide to go in the first round. Although Leatherwood is going a little higher than many mock drafts projected, the Raiders are banking on Leatherwood developing into a stud tackle. Adding a cornerstone to the offensive line might not be a sexy pick, but it’s effective

No. 18 Miami Dolphins — Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

Jaelan Phillips won’t have to travel very far to join his NFL team after finishing his college career at the University of Miami. The Dolphins added some flash to the offense with their first pick and are doing the same on defense. Phillips racked up 8.0 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss during the 2015 year.

No. 19 Washington — Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats are turning into a familiar face in the first round of the NFL Draft. Jamin Davis has the speed to not only survive in the NFL but thrive as a defensive playmaker. He has a nose for the ball and will fit in nicely on a deep Washington defense. The Football Team adds another stud to the defense.

No. 20 NY Giants — Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

The Giants may have missed out on DeVonta Smith due to the sneaky tricks of the Cowboys and Eagles, but they still managed to add an offensive weapon. Kadarius Toney is a versatile receiver who can run the deep route, catch balls out of the slot, or take handoffs to the house. General manager Dave Gettleman took lemons and made lemonade by trading down and picking up a first-round pick in 2022.

No. 21 Indianapolis Colts — Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

We’re starting to see more pass rushers clear the board as Kwity Paye goes to the Indianapolis Colts. Paye is a high-upside pass rusher who could turn into one of the NFL’s premier pass rushers. However, his production was not as high as other EDGE rushers with first-round grades.

No. 22 Tennessee Titans — Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley would have gone much higher in the draft if not for injury concerns. He missed time after undergoing multiple back surgeries and he also opted out of the 2020 season. There isn’t a ton of tape on Farley, but if he hits his ceiling, he’ll be a dominant corner for years to come.

No. 23 Minnesota Vikings (via NY Jets) — Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

It’s back-to-back Hokies in the first round. The Jets traded up to take an offensive lineman while the Vikings traded down for one. Christian Darrisaw is a big-bodied tackle who excels in both pass protection and run blocking. He might go through some growing pains as he adjusts to the NFL, but he has a bright future.

No. 24 Pittsburgh Steelers — Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the first team to crack on a first-round running back. Although drafting a running back this high is generally frowned upon, Najee Harris is as good as it gets in this draft class. The Alabama product should be able to come into Pittsburgh and make an immediate impact in the running game.

No. 25 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LA Rams) — Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The theme of college quarterbacks reuniting with a skill position player continues. The Jaguars snag Lawrence’s running mate in Clemson, Travis Etienne. He’s a terrific downhill runner who should be able to learn on the fly with Lawrence in Jacksonville.

No. 26 Cleveland Browns – Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

The Browns are in a really good place entering next season. Although they don’t have a ton of holes to fill on the roster, drafting a plug-and-play cornerback was necessary. Greg Newsome II should be able to come into Cleveland and be a day one starter.

No. 27 Baltimore Ravens — Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

The Ravens are a deep enough team where they can take a chance on Rashod Bateman here. Bateman is a big, physical receiver who could develop into a No. 1 receiver in the right system.

No. 28 NO Saints — Payton Turner, DE, Houston

Payton Turner seems to fit the mold of what kind of defensive lineman the Saints want. He’s an athletic freak who will relentlessly pursue the ball, but he will likely need some runway before he is an every-down player. The Saints can afford to ease him into the defensive line rotation.

No. 29 GB Packers — Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

Ironically, this pick ended up being one of the most intriguing selections of the night. Reports of Aaron Rodgers seeking a way out of Green Bay put all eyes on what the Packers were doing here. Would they add a wide receiver in an attempt to placate Rodgers? Nope. The Packers snag one of the cornerbacks from this deep class. Eric Stokes fills a major hole for the Packers on defense.

No. 30 Buffalo Bills — Greg Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

Anyone drafted at this point in the first round is going to a good situation and Greg Rousseau is no different. The raw EDGE rusher is traveling north to Buffalo to join an impressive defense. His long, athletic frame should give him an advantage as a pass rusher.

No. 31 Baltimore Ravens (via KC Chiefs) — Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The EDGE rushers are flying off the board and the Ravens are taking a project in Jayson Oweh. He has all the physical tools to become a beast in the NFL, but he will definitely need some time before he’s ready to make a major impact. It’s a great developmental pick for the Ravens, a team that can afford to take a chance on Oweh.

No. 32 TB Buccaneers — Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington

It took the Buccaneers all of five seconds to make their pick. They are bringing back all 22 starters on offense and defense and thus, they could use this pick on almost any position. There’s no such thing as too much pass rushing in the NFL. The Bucs finish the first-round flurry of EDGE rushers with Joe Tryon out of Washington.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.