NFL Draft: Players selected in the first round

Sports

FILE – Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against Ohio State during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. About the only certainty in the confounding 2021 NFL draft is Trevor Lawrence going to the Jaguars with the first overall pick Thursday night in Cleveland. This year’s NFL draft is like none other because teams weren’t able to meet face-to-face with the pool of prospects outside the lucky few who got to play in the Senior Bowl after a season that was marked by opt outs and cancellations. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

—-

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence, QB, 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, Clemson

Breakdown: Lawrence has been the presumptive No. 1 pick in this draft since his freshman season. Prototypical size, top-notch speed and athleticism and rare arm talent. Want to pick some nits? His delivery is a little long and deep ball accuracy could be more consistent.

Facts: First overall No. 1 from Clemson. Fourth straight overall No. 1 to be a quarterback and sixth in the last seven seasons. Lawrence is the fourth QB taken in the first round by the Jaguars, joining Byron Leftwich (2003), Blaine Gabbert (2011) and Blake Bortles (2014).

2. New York Jets

Zach Wilson, QB, 6-2, 214, BYU

Breakdown: Can throw accurately and with zip from multiple arm angles. Quick feet and hands made him especially effective with RPOs and play action. Made a big jump last season when BYU was playing a schedule low on top-flight competition.

Facts: Wilson is the third quarterback selected by the Jets in the top five since 2009 (Mark Sanchez, fifth overall) and the second in the last four seasons (Sam Darnold, third overall). It is the first time in NFL history a team has selected a QB twice in the top-three in a span of four drafts.

3. San Francisco 49ers (from Houston through Miami)

Trey Lance, QB, 6-4, 224, North Dakota State

Breakdown: Athletic, with good arm strength and the ability to decipher defenses before the snap. Not a lot of film. Lance is 20 years old and has played just one full season against FCS competition, a total of 17 starts.

Facts: First time the Niners have taken a quarterback in the first round since Alex Smith went first overall in 2005. Lance is the second North Dakota State QB taken in the top three in five years, along with Carson Wentz (second overall) in 2016.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Pitts, TE, 6-6, 245, Florida

Breakdown: Became an impossible matchup last season, too big for the fast players and too fast for the big players. Rarely lets a pass he can get his hands on get away. The blocking needs work, but maybe he’s just a super-sized wide receiver.

Facts: Pitts is the highest selected tight end in NFL draft history, going one spot higher than Riley Odom to Denver in 1972. Before the merger, Mike Ditka was also drafted fifth overall by Chicago in 1961.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase, WR, 6-0, 201, LSU

Breakdown: Good burst to get separation and consistently comes down with contested catches. Plays like a bigger receiver, despite lack of great length. Opted out of last season but was an All-American in 2019, setting SEC records with 1,780 yards receiving and 20 TD catches.

Facts: Chase is the third receiver Cincinnati has taken in the top 10 since 2011, joining A.J. Green (2011) and John Ross (2017).

6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia)

Jaylen Waddle, WR, 5-9, 180, Alabama

Breakdown: Blazing speed and elusive after the catch. Was a dangerous return man with the Tide. Size could limit him to playing mostly in the slot. Played in only six games last season because of a broken left ankle.

Fact: First receiver drafted in the first round by the Dolphins since 2015 (DeVante Parker, 14th overall) joins teammate Tua Tagovailoa, who was selected No. 5 overall by Miami last year.

7. Detroit Lions

Penei Sewell, OT, 6-5, 331, Oregon

Breakdown: Elite size-athleticism combination. Gets off the ball quickly and violently and will search for defenders to block downfield. There are some technique issues, but he doesn’t turn 21 until October and has all the upside you’d want. Opted out of last year’s delayed Pac-12 season.

Fact: For the first time in NFL draft history, the first seven players taken were on offense. Sewell is first offensive lineman drafted in the top 10 by Detroit since Lomas Brown in 1985 at six.

8. Carolina Panthers

Jaycee Horn, CB, 6-1, 205, South Carolina

Breakdown: Physical cornerback who has shown the ability to play outside and in the slot. A little too physical at times and had only two career interceptions. Father is former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn.

Fact: Carolina drafted only defense with its seven picks last season, its first under coach Matt Rhule.

9. Denver Broncos

Patrick Surtain II, CB, 6-2, 208, Alabama

Breakdown: Technically sound, tall and fast. He moved into the starting lineup as a freshman with the best program in college football and never left. Could use to be more physical against bigger receivers. His father and namesake was a Pro Bowl cornerback who played 11 seasons with Miami and Kansas City.

Fact: First defensive back selected in the first round by Denver since Bradley Roby in 2014 and fourth Alabama cornerback taken in the first round since 2011.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (from Dallas Cowboys)

DeVonta Smith, WR, 6-0, 170, Alabama

Breakdown: The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner has reliable hands, quick feet and sharp route runner. His size is far from ideal, but he’s such a good technician it helps him avoid getting locked up by defenders who want to bully him. Productive lining up inside or out.

Fact: He is the second straight receiver picked in the first round by the Eagles, who took Jalen Reagor No. 21 last year. He joins former Alabama teammate QB Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

11. Chicago Bears (from New York Giants)

Justin Fields, QB, 6-3, 227, Ohio State

Breakdown: Strong arm, blazing speed, sturdy build and willing to take a big hit to make a play. Tendency to hold the ball too long, leading to sacks, but his playoff performance against Clemson was probably the best game a college quarterback played last season.

Fact: After not taking a quarterback in the first round for 17 years, Chicago took a QB in the first for the second time in five drafts (Mitch Trubisky, 2017).

12. Dallas Cowboys (from Philadelphia Eagles through San Francisco via Miami)

Micah Parsons, LB, 6-3, 246, Penn State

Breakdown: Parsons only needed two seasons at Penn State to show off his sideline-to-sideline range and ability to disrupt an offense from all angles. A defensive end in high school, he could be deployed more as a pass rusher in the pros. He is still learning the nuances of playing linebacker. All-American as a sophomore in 2019 and opted out of last season when it appeared the Big Ten would not play.

Fact: Second time in four seasons Dallas has drafted a linebacker in the first round (Leighton Vander Esch, 2018).

13. Los Angeles Chargers

14. Minnesota Vikings

15. New England Patriots

16. Arizona Cardinals

17. Las Vegas Raiders

18. Miami Dolphins

19. Washington Football Team

20. Chicago Bears

21. Indianapolis Colts

22. Tennessee Titans

23. New York Jets (from Seattle)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)

26. Cleveland Browns

27. Baltimore Ravens

28. New Orleans Saints

29. Green Bay Packers

30. Buffalo Bills

31. Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City)

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

___

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Trending Stories

12SportsZone Twitter