What if scenarios for the 2021 NFL Draft
One thing I have learned from watching the NFL Draft every year and the movie Draft Day, nothing is guaranteed. I have read my fair share of mock drafts this year. Lets be honest for a second...none of us really know what we are doing. We are all making predictions of what we think is going to happen, but no one really has a definite answer to all 255 draft picks. Once we make our mock drafts, people comment on your mock saying you are crazy and then explain their thought process. I wanted to create some conversation for everyone. Since the draft is so unexpected and anything can happen, there has to be some crazy what if scenarios, a team may have to face during the draft.
What if Trevor Lawrence has a Bo Callahan moment and starts dropping? What if a video leaks the day of the draft of Penei Sewell wearing a gas mask smoking a bong? What if the Chiefs offer Patrick Mahomes for the first overall pick? There are so many crazy what if scenarios teams need to keep in mind. Lets have some conversation on what teams should do in these what if scenarios for the top 10 picks.
**These are not predictions of what I think will happen. These are just "what if" scenarios that could take place in the draft. This is an opportunity spark some conversation and friendly debate!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
What if the Jets make a solid realistic offer for the first overall pick?
Hypothetical trade: New York trades 1.02 and 1.22 and a 2022 1st for the first overall pick in 2021. Urban Meyer would get much needed draft capital in a rebuild ,and would still get a new franchise QB that is not named Trevor Lawrence. What does Urban Meyer value more, the top rated QB or draft capital?
If this scenario happened, I believe Urban Meyer sticks with Trevor Lawrence. He is the best player in this draft and will be a star in Jacksonville. They already have pick 1.25, so I believe they will keep the first pick and use their later pick to get other help. The hype with hiring Urban Meyer is unbelievable, the best way to continue the hype is to select the biggest name player.
2. New York Jets
What if the Jets sign a veteran QB (Dalton, Fitzpatrick) in the off-season?
The Jets are a young football team who are missing their franchise QB. Lets say Sam Darnold plays else where in 2021. There are a decent amount of veteran QBs who will be free agents this off-season. The two who come to mind are Andy Dalton and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Lets say one of these two players signs with the Jets. Both players would bring some much needed experience to the QB room and be an upgrade. However, neither player is the long term solution. What do the Jets do with the second pick if this happens?
If the Jets sign a QB in the off-season, they need to use the 2nd overall pick to draft DeVonta Smith or Ja'Marr Chase. Use a pick later in the draft to draft a young QB. By having a veteran QB on the team, it gives your new young WR and QB a chance to learn and develop better. My guess, the Jets would draft Ja'Marr Chase!
3. Miami Dolphins
What if Miami signs Allen Robinson or Chris Godwin this offseason, who do they pick?
There are plenty of wide receiver talent this free agency class. Miami needs to get some help in this area. They could look to sign one or two big name receiver. There is talk they would use this pick to draft one. If they sign a big name receiver like Robinson or Godwin, would they still take a WR or would they get help elsewhere.
The obvious pick would be Penei Sewell from Oregon. Miami has a need a OT and they need to protect Tua. Tua is not fully healthy and protecting him to avoid further injuries should be a top priority. My guess is, they would look to trade back. There are teams who need a QB and are willing to trade up to get their choice. If Miami signs a receiver, they should look to move this pick to add some much needed capital.
4. Atlanta Falcons
What if the only QB off the board is Trevor Lawrence?
It is no secret that the Falcons will be looking for a new QB very soon. If Zach Wilson and Justin Fields are all still on the board. Do the Falcons find their new QB of the future.
The Falcons are a good offensive football team. Matt Ryan still has some fire left in the tank. Their defense needs some major attention. If the Falcons fix their defense, they can make a playoff run next season. If Justin Fields and Zach Wilson are both still on the board, I think they still take Patrick Surtain or Caleb Farley. In a dream scenario in Atlanta, both Fields and Wilson are taken by the 4th pick. By having both of those players unavailable, they would be forced to pick a defensive player ,and there will be no controversy of them passing on them.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
What if the Bengals sign new offensive lineman and Sewell is already taken?
If the Bengals have addressed the offensive line during free agency and the best OT is off the board, they have a few options. Either Chase ,Smith, or both should still be on the board. Do they draft a WR, draft an OT (much higher than they should be picked), or do they shock the world with their pick and draft Micah Parsons or Kyle Pitts?
AJ Green is not getting any younger, and the Bengals WR core could use some help. DeVonta Smith and JaMarr Chase are too good to pass up. If they addressed the offensive line in free agency and don't have the chance to take Sewell, they have to take the best receiver available. There is no other OT in the draft that warrants a Top 10 pick. Give Joe Burrow a new offensive weapon, and a new receiver a chance to learn under AJ Green.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
What if the nightmare scenario happens and Devonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase, and Jaylen Waddle are all off the board?
This would be the biggest nightmare for Eagles fans. The Eagles need some major help at receiver. The Eagles have the 6th pick and should be set up to select one, however what if the 3 big name receivers are all off the board? They are super thin at linebacker and every other defensive position. Kyle Pitts could replace Zach Ertz who is expected to be playing elsewhere next season. Many different options, but still a massive nightmare for Philly.
My guess is they would pass on Kyle Pitts and give their defense some much needed attention. They would have their choice at any defensive player in this draft. There are reports of character and off the field issues surrounding Micah Parsons. Looking at the Eagles opponents in 2021, they will need some CB help. However, Howie Roseman is making the selection ,and he does not care about off the field issues...Micah Parsons welcome to Philadelphia.
7. Detroit Lions
What if every single pick before 7 is a defensive player?
This is an absolute nightmare scenario for Detroit. With them already moving on from Matthew Stafford and trading for Jared Goff, their main focus would be on defensive players. However, what if picks 1-6 are all defensive players. The Lions would have their pick at any QB or WR.
If only defensive players were taken before them, and they had their choice of any QB or WR, I see them fixing that WR position. Jared Goff is 26 and under contract for a few more seasons. The Lions are in the start of a massive rebuild, and they have a veteran QB. Keep the veteran QB and focus on other positions. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr are both free agents, and both to not be in Detroit next season. If Ja'Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith are available, Detroit should take the player who they feel best fits their team.
8. Carolina Panthers
What if all the QBs ,WRs,and Kyle Pitts are all off the board?
The Panthers need this draft is going to be QB. However, there is a really good chance that Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson are all taken before them. They could then look to take a WR to give them more depth, but there is a chance Ja'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith, and Kyle Pitts are all taken as well. Do the Panthers take Jaylen Waddle to give depth at WR or look to booster their defense?
My guess is Carolina would select Micah Parsons. In my first mock draft, this is who I have them taking. They really missed Luke Kuechely last season. Micah Parsons will immediately fill in and be an instant impact player for them. The Panthers are a dark horse team to make a run next season, and Parsons would help them make that run.
9. Denver Broncos
What if Justin Fields and Zach Wilson are still available?
The Broncos main focus this draft is not QB, however it is an area of concern. Drew Lock is a decent QB, however the ability to stay healthy is a struggle. Fields and Wilson would both be an instant upgrade from Lock. In his first draft with Denver could George Paton look to make a big splash or stick to the initial draft plan.
If Justin Fields or Zach Wilson is available at 9, I feel Denver has to take advantage of the opportunity. Drew Lock has had a roller coaster of a career. He has trouble staying on the field, and I personally do not feel he is the future of this franchise. If Justin Fields or Zach Wilson is available at 9, you have to take one of them. Denver can get a great franchise QB at 9, that sounds like a steal. Even if one of them sits behind Lock for their rookie season, they can develop and take over the job in 2022!
10. Dallas Cowboys
What if Dak Prescott is traded/signs with a different team?
The Cowboys are all out of sorts. Their defense was historically bad last season, Dak suffered a very heartbreaking injury, and Zeke showed the world he is not the best RB on the team. All of this happened and Dak was not signed to a much deserved contract extension. What if he is not a Cowboy next season? I really can not picture Dak playing for another team next season. Jerry Jones is unpredictable, and there is always a chance he lets Dak walk.
If I am Jerry Jones and Dak is no longer in Dallas, I would stick to the original plan and focus on defense at 10. When you are as bad as Dallas on defense, draft capital is super important. Do not get give up assets to move up. Do not give up 4 draft picks to get one. Remember Dak was selected in the 4th round, find yourself a sleeper during Day 3 of the draft. If Jerry Jones is smart, he takes the best defensive player available.