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We take an early look at who will get taken first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft

NFL Draft 2021 - Number One Draft Pick

PICK: Penei Sewell, OL Oregon @ +400

The 2020 NFL Draft is barely over and we're already looking forward to the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, Ohio. The big question is who gets taken first and the sportsbooks have already opened the betting markets.

Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson @ -305

Lawrence is de-facto number one and has been considered the first overall pick for the 2021 NFL Draft since his freshman year at Clemson, in which he lead the Tigers to the National Championship having been named the starter in week 5.

It's worth remembering that at this stage in 2019 we'd have expected Tua Tagovailoa would be taken first in 2020, only for injury and an extraordinary Joe Burrow, to be taken by the Bengals, with Tua dropping to fifth.

Lawrence, despite a sophomore year which didn't show a huge leap, is still the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck and should be taken first.

Justin Fields, QB Ohio State @ +300

As Lawrence grew slowly in 2019, the same wasn't the case for Justin Fields. Fields exploded with 41 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions, and a 67% completion percentage. Even more impressive to NFL scouts will be the 484 yards and 10 touchdowns he managed on the ground, showcasing his dual-threat ability.

Penei Sewell, OL Oregon @ +400

As it stands right now, Peni Sewell is the best player likely to be drafted in 2021. He's a truly elite offensive line prospect and could slot straight into left tackle on nearly any offense in the NFL, and certainly all of those likely to be picking first. If he continues to develop then it's very possible he upsets the applecart and gets picked first.

D'Eriq King, QB Miami @ +1600

In January of this year, King transferred from the University of Houston. Last season King played four games before redshirting the rest of the year, having only just recovered from the serious non-contact knee injury he sustained in 2018. 

Before that injury in 2018 he was flying. In the eleven games he managed before the injuries he'd passed for 2982 yards, 36 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, as well as rushing for 14 more. Only Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, both first-round picks in 2019, had a higher total of touchdowns that season. 

King seems to be flavor of the month among analysts with some predicting him to do a 'Joe Burrow' and be the unexpected player who could rise to the top of draft boards.

Micah Parsons, DE Penn State @ +2500

Parsons is the best end in college now that Chase Young has gone pro. He's not as Young's level but he has almost limitless potential and if the team who pick first need an edge defender then he's surely the pick.

Oddschecker Verdict

I can't look beyond Trevor Lawrence and barring a major injury, he surely has to be taken first overall. He has every physical attribute that a franchise would be looking for, and given how coachable he is, is surely the most sensible.

At such a short price I can't in all good faith suggest betting on him. A far better bet, and where I'll be putting my money, is on Oregon's Penei Sewell. A top tier tackle is something that every team will be looking at, with this year's run of tackles being evidence of their importance in the league. 

Like everything it depends who ends up with the pick. The Bengals and Dolphins wouldn't take another QB, I'm not convinced the Redskins, Jets or Lions would either. Leaving only the Jags and Panthers, amongst my favorites to get that pick, who couldn't turn down Trevor Lawrence. I like the odds there and Sewell would make sense for any of those teams who don't have a need at QB if they secure the first pick and don't want to trade out of it.

Article Author

A lifelong football and basketball fan with years of experience in the sports gambling industry, Sam is known for his incredibly deep knowledge of all things NFL and NBA.


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