NFL draft top-5 snapshot: Could Zach Wilson overtake Justin Fields for QB2?

Eric Edholm
·3-min read

Every week until the final 2021 NFL draft order is set, we’ll take a look at how the top five picks are shaping up — and provide a mini-mock draft. Think of it as a snapshot of how the top of the draft is looking.

Picks No. 1 through 4 overall remain unchanged from last week, with the Jacksonville Jaguars almost beating the Cleveland Browns but settling for their 10th straight loss.

Jacksonville, which also owns the Los Angeles Rams’ first-rounder (No. 25 overall now), remains in the driver’s seat for the second overall pick. Unless Mike Glennon can somehow screw that up by playing well, which would be … extremely Jacksonvillian.

The Los Angeles Chargers jump back into the five hole, which is where they were two weeks ago. We gave them a darned good player in that spot, but trading back would have to be on their plates if the order remained this way and some other team was eager to move up for QB3.

Rounding out the top 10 are the Philadelphia Eagles (losers of three straight) at 6, the Carolina Panthers at 7, Washington Football Team at 8, the Detroit Lions at 9 and the Atlanta Falcons at 10

The Houston Texans winning two straight has hurt the value of their first-round pick, which is owned by the Miami Dolphins. Miami also has its own first-rounder, which currently comes in at No. 22.

A quick look at how the top five picks of the 2021 NFL draft are shaping up entering Week 13. (Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
A quick look at how the top five picks of the 2021 NFL draft are shaping up entering Week 13. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

1. New York Jets (0-11)

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence

How good of a prospect is Lawrence in terms of recent history? The Jets’ eventual head-coaching hire — and how much noise it makes — should give us an idea. Having the top pick has to be GM Joe Douglas’ best sales pitch for the gig.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10)

Ohio State QB Justin Fields

The only change this week: There will be a new GM selecting in this slot, following Dave Caldwell’s canning. This might be a fairly attractive opening, with the Jags owning five of the top 66 overall picks as of now.

And we wouldn’t count out BYU QB Zach Wilson leapfrogging Fields, depending on who the next GM and coach are. For now, though, Fields retains QB2 honors.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1)

Oregon OT Penei Sewell

Sewell allowed one sack in 21 games. Joe Burrow took 32 sacks in 10 games this season. We think this makes too much sense. Put Sewell at left tackle and slide Jonah Williams to left guard or right tackle, both of which he played in college.

4. Dallas Cowboys (3-8)

Alabama CB Patrick Surtain Jr.

Three Bama corners on the roster? Why not? In his past 14 games, Surtain has allowed 25 catches for 317 yards, with two picks, six passes defended and one penalty. The Cowboys have four interceptions (30th in the NFL) and 28 passes defended (32nd) this season.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (3-8)

Penn State LB Micah Parsons

Tough call here, and as we said above, a trade down would be in play. Assuming they stay at No. 5, the offensive line is bad and not many teams go LB in Round 1 back-to-back years. But I could see Parsons in essence supplanting Melvin Ingram, even though they’re different types of players.

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