This article is part of our NFL Draft series.
Here's my last guess at the first two rounds. The draft always features a few surprises so I threw in a few wackier picks to hopefully simulate the likely incoming chaos.
There are six trades.
-LAC trades No. 13, No. 77 and No. 118 to DET for No. 7 and No. 154
-NE trades No. 15 and 2022 first-round pick to CAR for No. 8
-CLE trades No. 26 and No. 110 to CHI for No. 20
-GB trades No. 29, No. 135 and No. 142 to TEN for No. 22
-NE trades No. 120, No. 122 and Stephon Gilmore to CLE for No. 59
-PIT trades 2022 third-round pick to JAC for James Robinson
1. Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Lawrence is not Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck – the more appropriate comparison would be LeBron James.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Not sure why the Jets were so quickly and so resolutely committed to a 210-pound small school quarterback who played 500 all year throwing to over-aged receivers, but the Jets are historically a well-reasoned franchise so we should probably just assume they know what they're doing.
3. San Francisco (from HOU via MIA) – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Mac Jones is apparently the other possibility here, and given Kyle Shanahan's uniquely poor talent evaluation skills it can't be ignored.
4. Atlanta – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
There's no room in the Arthur Smith offense to justify this selection unless the Falcons trade Julio Jones, but the reporting at this point seems emphatic that Atlanta isn't looking at Justin Fields. Pitts doesn't play any tight end position Smith used in Tennessee, so he'll have to make his presence at receiver since Smith generally looks to field two receivers rather than three. But Pitts is definitely a monster.
5. Cincinnati – Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
6. Miami (from PHI) – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Will Fuller is only on a 15-game deal, and Waddle might be even more explosive yet.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (from DET) – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
The Chargers should have a fully-loaded offensive line if they get a left tackle in this draft, but in the meantime there's a concerning void at the position. Brandon Staley's zone sensibilities should minimize the significance of Sewell's below-average reach and amplify his rare movement/strength.
8. New England (from CAR) – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
The Patriots built their offense in free agency to look like a very Cam Newton-friendly offense, but Newton obviously isn't their long-term solution. What suits Newton about this offense should suit Fields as well.
9. Denver – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
This guy seems kind of nuts but football coaches often appreciate that, not to mention Parsons' remarkable athletic gifts. I originally had this pick being Mac Jones before the Bridgewater trade – perhaps Denver still takes Jones in this scenario.
10. Dallas – Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
Seems like it has to be a corner for Dallas.
11. New York Giants – Jayson Oweh, DE/OLB, Penn State
This would perhaps be a reach, but Oweh has remarkable upside and wouldn't be pressured into an early role since the Giants have some stopgap material already laying around on the edge. I assume the Giants want Parsons, so I'd make him the pick if he's available here.
12. Philadelphia (from SF via MIA) – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The Eagles might have a need at left tackle, but they'll almost definitely have a need at at least one of left tackle or guard. Slater provides insurance and upside at both.
13. Detroit (from LAC) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
14. Minnesota - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Jeff Gladney is probably on the way out.
15. Carolina (from NE) – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Offensive line or cornerback seem like the bet for the Panthers in this scenario.
16. Arizona – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
The Cardinals are small and slow at corner – Stokes is neither.
17. Las Vegas – Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
18. Miami – Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, USC
19. Washington - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Left tackle is still an issue.
20. Cleveland (from CHI) – Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
Paye could very well be the first defensive lineman drafted, so Cleveland might need to move up if they want to keep him from Indianapolis or the Jets.
21. Indianapolis – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Anthony Castonzo needs a replacement.
22. Green Bay (from TEN) – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Tennessee needs to reach for need, so they might be looking to trade back. Green Bay might need to move up to this range if they want Collins.
23. Jets (from SEA) – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame
Something of a Jamaal Adams replacement.
24. Pittsburgh – Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Pittsburgh is expected to take Najee Harris here, but putting Harris behind a bad offensive line doesn't seem as smart as building the offensive line early and acquiring a cheaper running back another way.
25. Jacksonville (from LAR) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Urban Meyer is probably dumb if he doesn't want James Robinson, but Etienne is very good.
26. Chicago (from CLE) – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The next Aaron Rodgers? Just kidding, Bears fans.
27. Baltimore – Landon Dickerson, G/C, Alabama
The Ravens need interior line help. Dickerson or Humphrey make a lot of sense.
28. New Orleans – Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Move Tre'Quan Smith outside and let Moore take over in the slot.
29. Tennessee (from GB) – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
The Titans still need a right tackle, so they might be compelled to reach for one.
30. Buffalo - Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
Buffalo's defense will take off if they add speed at corner and just a bit more talent at defensive end.
31. Baltimore (from KC) – Azeez Ojulari, DE/OLB, Georgia
Baltimore needs to address the departure of Matthew Judon.
32. Tampa Bay – Joseph Ossai, DE/OLB, Texas
This would probably be a great pick for the Buccaneers, so hopefully they look elsewhere.
33. Jacksonville – Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
34. Jets – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
35. Atlanta – Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
If Harris falls to this pick then Atlanta probably takes him.
36. Miami (from HOU) – Joe Tryon, DE/OLB, Washington
The Dolphins are in the midst of a linebacker rebuild, and Tryon can play the edge looks.
37. Philadelphia – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
38. Cincinnati – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Top corner talent, but Farley's back issues are kind of concerning.
39. Carolina – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Phil Snow could prove a good defensive coordinator if he had more talent to work with.
40. Denver – Alex Leatherwood, OT/G, Alabama
Denver could still use help at right tackle.
41. Detroit - Carlos Basham, DE, Wake Forest
Perhaps a bit redundant to Trey Flowers, or perhaps there's no such thing as redundancy with the versatility between them.
42. Giants – Jaelan Phillips, DE/OLB, Miami (FL)
If Phillips falls this far it would only be due to his concussion history. For the Giants it would be a win to emerge from the draft with two potential standout starting edge rushers, as they have few needs otherwise.
43. San Francisco – Quinn Meinerz, C/G, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Seems like this guy has to go in the second round somewhere.
44. Dallas - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Dallas appears rather sour on both Leighton Vander-Esch and Jaylon Smith. Nice drafting!
45. Jacksonville (from MIN) - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
Urban Meyer appears to be a bit of a Speed Dummy so Toney should intrigue him.
46. New England – Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
Marshall would compete for WR1 distinction right away in New England, even with Nelson Agholor around.
47. Chargers - Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
Adderley doesn't look very good at one safety spot, and Derwin James sometimes plays positions other than safety even when healthy.
48. Las Vegas – Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa
49. Arizona – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Ask Kyler Murray: No matter how short and fast you are there's no escaping Kliff Kingsbury's incompetence. Good luck to whoever is the next prospect to gas themselves running useless Kurls for Kliff in 2021 and beyond.
50. Miami – Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
The Neo of the 2021 draft lands in an environment that suits him: splitting carries behind a 200-pound starter.
51. Washington – Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
Washington might seek an athletic outside corner so that the otherwise strong Kendall Fuller can move into the slot in nickel formations.
52. Chicago - Nico Collins, WR, Michigan
53. Tennessee – Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
We love our undersized blocking tight ends, don't we folks.
54. Indianapolis – Payton Turner, DE, Houston
If Indianapolis settles its offensive line in the first round then edge defender would be a reasonable target in the second.
55. Pittsburgh – Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
Huge guy to attempt an Alejandro Villanueva impression.
56. Seattle – Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
Nixon would be an outrageous steal here, but reporting implies he's not in huge demand.
57. Rams – Ben Cleveland, G/OT, Georgia
The Rams need some prospects for the offensive line, anywhere really. If Cleveland has to stick at guard that's fine.
58. Kansas City (from BAL) – Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
The Chiefs could use a receiver who navigates traffic well to make plays underneath when the defense sits deep on Tyreek Hill. Demarcus Robinson does not qualify as such, desperate as Andy Reid might be to believe otherwise.
59. New England (from CLE) – Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
We're getting the band back together.
60. New Orleans - Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
61. Buffalo – Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (FL)
Rousseau is a bit lanky but if he can harness his frame well he should have the skill element well accounted for.
62. Green Bay – Jalen Mayfield, G/C, Michigan
Ted Thompson (RIP) had a recurring practice of taking college tackles and moving them to center – perhaps Mayfield is a candidate for that after testing poorly with short arms at tackle.
63. Kansas City – Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Backup picks aren't exciting but Long can give the Chiefs a lot of quality reps even if Travis Kelce si healthy, and if Kelce were to miss any time Long would offer a stabilizing presence for the passing game.
64. Tampa Bay – Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Seems like Trask might go somewhere in this range and Tampa makes as much sense as any other location.