The Tank for Trevor sweepstakes is in full gear.
According to many, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is the most polished, NFL-ready QB the league has seen since Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, leaving teams at the top of the draft order ready to go all out to secure that top pick. To that end, the early goings of the season have shown minimal surprises by way of who is at the top, with whoever landing the No. 1 overall pick likely going all in on the Tigers’ young-buck passer.
The city of New York is in an elite battle for the No. 1 pick, with each team finding new and inventive ways to out-suck the other: Through the first four weeks, the New York Jets have looked wildly non-competitive, while Daniel Jones is fumbling or throwing away games for the Giants and seemingly regressing in his second year. The Falcons are currently sitting at 0-3 heading into their Monday night matchup vs. the Packers, and another loss will leave them crashing NY’s private party.
Whoever ends up with the No. 1 overall pick is going to have their presumed quarterback of the future, and while a lot of Lawrence will be in the NFL is a projection, teams at a crossroads shouldn’t fear the rebuild with Lawrence under center.
Here’s the current NFL top-10 draft order for the 2021 draft, and a little bit on each team therein:
NFL MOCK DRAFT 2021:
Trevor Lawrence goes to Jets; Broncos, Vikings also grab franchise QBs in top five
NFL Draft order 2021
The current top 10 picks for the 2021 NFL Draft are as follows, courtesy of Tankathon (updated Monday, Oct. 5):
No. 1: New York Giants
Current QB: Daniel Jones
The proud and powerful Giants have played a little better than their record indicates, but Daniel Jones’ turnover issues are at the forefront of the offensive woes for Big Blue: Jones has thrown five interceptions and lost two fumbles through five games this year, including a game-sealing pick vs. the Rams on Sunday. Under Jason Garrett, Jones has seemingly taken a step back, though a fair amount of his non-success in 2020 can be attributed to a less-than-good offensive line and questionable skill position cast.
Still, in a hapless NFC East and a surprise win here or there, the Giants will likely take themselves out of the Tank for Trevor sweepstakes, giving New York and Jones another year to figure out which way he’s going as QB.
No. 2: New York Jets
Current QB: Sam Darnold
Questionable coaching, roster-limiting injuries and mediocre quarterback play have all led to a nasty, 0-4 start for the Jets in 2020. While there was a little reason for optimism heading into Year 3 of the Sam Darnold era, the USC product has been hampered by a patchwork receiving corps and Adam Gase, who looks like he’s on his way out of New York. In a matter of weeks, Darnold has gone from franchise savior to one-winged angel.
Still, if the Jets end up with the No. 1 overall pick — a very real possibility, at least at this point in the season — they’re going to face a difficult decision: do they stick with Sam Darnold and trade the No. 1 pick for a franchise-altering haul, passing on Lawrence, or do they take Lawrence and restart the clock on a rebuild and get what they can for Darnold in a trade? The decision isn’t clear — at least not yet. What is clear is that they’ll at least be in the mix come Week 17 this season.
No. 3: Miami Dolphins
Current QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick
While the Dolphins are currently stinking it up, there’s arguably no team set up better for their future than they are.
With Tua Tagovailoa waiting in the wings, the Dolphins have two first-round picks in 2021, and they’re currently both top-10 selections, as well. While Tagovailoa hasn’t seen the field yet in 2020, there’s little room to believe they would opt for Lawrence over Tagovailoa if they were land the No. 1 overall pick. This pick is via Houston, though, so where they select is entirely out of their hands.
NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD:
Top 50 players in the 2021 draft class
No. 4: Atlanta Falcons
Current QB: Matt Ryan
The Falcons aren’t moving on from Matt Ryan anytime soon — have you seen his contract? — but with a (presumably) new head coach in 2021 and a likely top-five pick, Atlanta will have its choice of quarterback for the future.
Let’s play fantasy football: There’s arguably no better fit in Atlanta than Eric Bieniemy as head coach, and imagine pairing him with the limitless talent of Justin Fields a few years down the line. It would be nearly an identical situation to the Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes hand-off in Kansas City, which Bieniemy had a front-row seat for. It sounds all too perfect a scenario for the Falcons — so don’t be surprised when they somehow blow it.
No. 5: Dallas Cowboys
A bit surprising to see the Cowboys falter so early after putting up tons of points and Dak Prescott playing at a very high level, so don’t expect them to sit in this position the rest of the season. Though, it’s a fun world to imagine the Cowboys with the No. 1 overall pick, selecting Lawrence and letting Dak Prescott walk. It won’t happen, but it’s fun to think about.
— No. 6: The heat is on Dwayne Haskins in Washington with the second-year QB under the microscope. It seems unfair to him, for sure; but we’ve seen teams move on from young quarterbacks very, very soon in recent years, regardless of the situation.
— No. 7: Justin Herbert has played very well for the Los Angeles Chargers through his first three career games. It’s difficult to see a world where they take a QB next year.
— No. 8: Is the Matthew Stafford era coming to an end in Detroit? Probably not. At least, not before the Matt Patricia era does.
— No. 9: Hey look, it’s the Miami Dolphins again, this time with their own pick. Should LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase fall — unlikely — Tue and Chase will quickly become best friends. Chase will likely be there for the early pick, depending how the board falls.
— No. 10: The Jacksonville Jaguars were early favorites in the Tank for Trevor, but early on they’re on the outside looking in. Still, a 1-3 start doesn’t inspire much confidence the rest of the season.
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