Section: Sports

Collegian editors, Lords football predict NFL draft results

Collegian Editors

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson University

Trevor Lawrence will undoubtedly be the first name off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence is a generational talent and the highest-rated quarterback to enter the league since Andrew Luck in 2012. The Clemson product will immediately step into the limelight and become the face of the Jaguars franchise, which has lost 10 or more games in nine of the past 10 seasons. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound quarterback will join legendary coach Urban Meyer and attempt to right the ship in Jacksonville. 

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young University

The Jets are in the midst of a complete overhaul of their organization. This offseason alone, the Jets replaced embattled head coach Adam Gase with the well-respected Robert Saleh, and traded away the No. 3 overall pick from 2018, quarterback Sam Darnold. Now enter Zach Wilson. A one-year wonder from Brigham Young University (BYU), Wilson has a rocket for an arm, and has out-of-the-pocket playmaking abilities comparable to some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today. 

3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State University

While no one is quite sure which quarterback San Francisco will take, we believe they will select Trey Lance. In addition to his arm strength, the FCS product provides an appealing running element to the quarterback position for head coach Kyle Shanahan. If the 49ers elect to keep Jimmy Garoppolo, look for Lance to be used in a Taysom Hill-like role. With 60% of his snaps coming from under center with the Bison, Lance is ready to show Shanahan he is NFL-ready.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida State University

Referring to Kyle Pitts as solely a “tight end” is a disservice to his ability. He is an offensive juggernaut and a potential nightmare for opposing defenses to cover on Sundays. At his pro day, Pitts was measured at 6-foot-6, weighed in at 240 pounds, and ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash — numbers comparable to all-time great wide receiver Calvin Johnson. His production is there too: He caught 12 touchdowns this past year for the Gators. 

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, University of Oregon

Sewell opted out of this past season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still a dominant prospect worthy of being taken in the first five selections. Pro Football Focus gave Sewell a 95.8 rating in his 2019 season — one of the best grades they’ve ever given a prospect. It’s clear that the Bengals need to protect their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, and Sewell is a seamless fit at left tackle. 

6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles): Ja’marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State University(LSU)

After an up-and-down rookie season for quarterback Tua Tagavailoa, the Dolphins have looked to bolster the weapons around him this offseason, signing WR Will Fuller. Miami will continue to ease the pressure on Tagovailoa with this selection. Chase opted out of last season, but was absolutely electrifying at LSU in their run to a national title, with 1,785 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. He will make an immediate impact for the Dolphins’ offense opposite Fuller and Davante Parker. 

7. Detroit Lions: Devonta Smith, WR, University of Alabama

To put it bluntly, the Lions franchise has been irrelevant for a while now. While they could use upgrades at just about any position, they’d be remiss to pass on the Heisman Trophy winner. While Smith’s size is a concern — he is only 6-foot-1 and 166 pounds — his production last year was off the charts: He reeled in 117 receptions for 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. 

8. New England Patriots (proposed trade with Carolina Panthers): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State University

After an unprecedented offseason of spending for GM and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots will again send shockwaves across the league and trade up to grab Justin Fields. Despite the expected high cost for Fields, the Ohio State product has too much upside to pass up on. Fields’ athleticism, intelligence and arm strength speak for themselves. He has demonstrated his mental and physical toughness in battling through a number of injuries throughout his college career. As Tom Brady continues to enjoy his retirement in Florida, a new era has begun in Foxboro with a revamped Belichick roster set to reconquer the division. 

9. Denver Broncos: Mac Jones, QB, University of Alabama

The Broncos have been looking for consistent quarterback play since Peyton Manning retired. Jones demonstrated his ability as a traditional pocket-passer with the Crimson Tide, which suits Denver. With speedy weapons on the outside in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, Broncos management is just looking for someone to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers. Jones had plenty of experience with that last season, throwing to likely first-round picks Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. 

10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, CB, University of Alabama

Surtain fits what Dallas needs and might be the best defensive player in the draft. The Cowboys’ defense last year allowed the most points in franchise history. The 2020 SEC Defensive Player of the Year will rejoin his Alabama teammate Trevon Diggs to form a formidable Dallas secondary. Surtain’s size, length and intelligence allow him to be physical with wideouts while maintaining optimal positioning.  

 

Kenyon Head Football Coach James Rosenbury

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson University

The Jags need a QB and Lawrence is, head and shoulders, above the rest. He has a strong and accurate arm. Great feet in the pocket and has the athleticism to extend plays. Most importantly, a proven winner. This one is a slam dunk.

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young University

The Jets traded away their “franchise” QB in Sam Darnold earlier this year to the Panthers. Enter Zach Wilson and his cannon for an arm. The throws this guy can make are Mahomes-esque. He has a lot to prove being the No. 2 pick and should step in and grab the starting job on day one.  

3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans): Mac Jones, QB, University of Alabama

This is a tricky one. The 49ers traded up to take a QB, but which one? Three stand out as possibilities; Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones. I went with Mac Jones because he fits head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense the best. Jones is incredibly accurate and comes from a pro-style offense at Alabama. They could just as easily pick Lance or Fields here, so expect the unexpected.  

4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida State University

Many have Atlanta taking a QB with the fourth pick. Quarterback Matt Ryan is 35 and toward the end of what is, arguably, a Hall of Fame career. Drafting his successor would make sense. But Kyle Pitts is an elite talent at tight end. He’s 6-foot-6, 240 pounds and ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at his pro day. Pair him with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and you have matchup problems all over the field and a very happy Matt Ryan. 

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT, University of Oregon

The Bengals’ offensive line was bad last year. They drafted their franchise QB in Joe Burrow in the 2020 draft and now they need to protect him. At 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, Sewell is a rare “can’t miss” left tackle that, if healthy, will be protecting Burrow’s blindside for many years to come. 

6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles): Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State University

Another team that got their franchise QB in last year’s draft in Tua Tagovailoa. With an offensive line that is already above average, get your young QB some weapons! JaMarr Chase is part of a loaded wide receiver class in this draft. At his pro day, he posted a 4.38-second 40 and measured 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds. His route running is what separates him from others. 

7. Detroit Lions: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern University

I have no idea what the Lions are going to do with this pick. They have been all over the place with reports that they will take a wide receiver, linebacker or even trade back. As a fan of building a football team from the inside out, you cannot go wrong with a left tackle. Slater is a close second to Sewell for best tackle in the draft. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn, DB, University of South Carolina

This pick is up for grabs as well. Carolina needs a lot of different things. One thing they DO NOT need is a quarterback, which they are reportedly interested in taking at 8. You just traded the farm for Sam Darnold. Build your defense and get an absolute stud that can play on an island against a team’s best receiver. 

9. Denver Broncos: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State University

The Broncos will not be able to help themselves and the QB carousel will continue. 

10. Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Surtain II, DB, University of Alabama

Note: I am a HUGE Cowboys fan. I grew up with Aikman, Emmett, and Irvin. Since then, things have been up and down. Last year’s iteration of the Cowboys were AWFUL defensively, particularly in the secondary. Surtain II was part of the best secondary in the country as he helped Alabama win a national championship. His father is also an 11-year NFL vet so the pedigree is there. This pick makes the most sense. Unfortunately, it’s Jerry Jones making the decisions, so logic could go out the window. 

 

Lords senior offensive lineman Nathaniel Jacobson ’21

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson University

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young University

3. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, University of Alabama

4. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida State University

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State University

6. Miami Dolphins: Penei Sewell, OL, University of Oregon

7. New England Patriots: Max Duffy, Punter, University of Kentucky 

This pick might seem a little crazy, but Billy Belichick likes his punters. Max Duffy has been compared to Ray Guy, who was the only other punter to be drafted in the first round. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Patrick Surtain II, CB, University of Alabama

9. Denver Broncos: Micah Parsons, LB, Pennsylvania State University

10. Dallas Cowboys: Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern University

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