2021 NFL Draft order: Jaguars No. 1; Eagles in top seven

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2021 NFL Draft heading into Week 16 of the NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind -- teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.

Pick
1
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
1-13 · .548 strength of schedule

Biggest needs: QB, CB, OT

This week's game: vs. Bears


Any given Sunday ... can completely alter the outlook for a franchise, even one suffering through a 13-game losing streak. The Jaguars' GM job was highly attractive even before Jacksonville vaulted the Jets for the top spot in the draft order. Now it's eye candy that should be difficult for any interested candidate to resist, offering four picks in the first two rounds next year, the most cap space in the league and a chance to take the QB of your choice at No. 1 overall.

Pick
2
1
New York Jets
New York Jets
1-13 · .602

Biggest needs: QB, edge rusher, CB

This week's game: vs. Browns


Perhaps Sunday's shocking Jets victory was liberating, in a sense, for GM Joe Douglas. The pressure to take a quarterback with his top pick in 2021 isn't gone, but it's no longer at maximum intensity.

Pick
3
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
3-10-1 · .543

Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB

This week's game: at Texans


The Bengals' offensive line has taken a lot of (deserved) heat for its performance, but credit the front five for an impressive showing against the Steelers on Monday night. More good news for Cincinnati fans: The win didn't push the team down the draft order. 

Pick
4
1
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
4-10 · .500

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DB, QB

This week's game: at Chiefs


After pitching a shutout in the first half against the Bucs, the Falcons' defense offered a reminder that it can lose a game even when Matt Ryan is playing well. Tom Brady completed 21 of 29 passes (72.4%) for 320 yards, two TDs and no INTs in the final two quarters vs. Atlanta. He was pressured on just five of 30 dropbacks in the second half, per Next Gen Stats.

Pick
5
1
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
4-10 · .526

Biggest needs: QB, OL, CB

This week's game: at Washington Football Team


The writing seems to be on the wall with this pick, although Carolina now needs to hire a general manager. Teddy Bridgewater hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in December and his decision-making is drawing criticism from head coach Matt Rhule.

Pick
6
2
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS


Texans' record: 4-10 (.561)

This week's Texans game: vs. Bengals


See the playoff teams section for analysis of the Dolphins' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Texans' needs.

Pick
7
2
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
4-9-1 · .548

Biggest needs: Interior O-line, CB, LB

This week's game: at Cowboys


The Eagles are relying on their backups at corner right now with injuries taking their toll at the position. Cap-strapped Philly likely will be shopping for more depth at the position this offseason with the contracts for Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre'Von LeBlanc expiring.

Pick
8
4
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
5-9 · .462

Biggest needs: OL, TE, CB

This week's game: vs. Broncos


Adding more help for Justin Herbert on the offensive line will be essential, but the Chargers could use some youth at corner, too. They don't have a CB under the age of 31 signed beyond this season.

Pick
9
2
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
5-9 · .495

Biggest needs: CB, OL, LB

This week's game: vs. Eagles


Dallas is celebrating a turnover-fueled win over the Niners, but the Cowboys allowed 30-plus points for the eighth time this season (and they were playing a team led by its backup QB on Sunday). Only the Jets and Raiders have more such games (nine each).

Pick
10
New York Giants
New York Giants
5-9 · .503

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, OT

This week's game: at Ravens


While New York's offense is the bigger issue at the moment (13 points in the last two games), don't lose sight of the fading pass rush. The Giants rank last in the league in the past two games with a pressure rate of 14.5 percent, per Next Gen Stats.

Pick
11
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
5-9 · .505

Biggest needs: WR, DL, LB

This week's game: vs. Buccaneers


How big a task awaits the next Lions general manager? Well, to start with, your leaders in receptions, sacks and interceptions are due to become unrestricted free agents this offseason. You're not exactly brimming with cap space, either.

Pick
12
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
5-9 · .533

Biggest needs: CB, OL, QB

This week's game: at Cardinals


Whether Jimmy Garoppolo returns next season or not, it's time to draft a quarterback with Nick Mullens turning the ball over at an alarming rate.

Pick
13
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
5-9 · .577

Biggest needs: CB, edge rusher, QB

This week's game: at Chargers


We continue to see flashes from Drew Lock. But he hasn't been able to string together the type of performances that instill confidence, posting an equal number of turnovers and touchdowns (16).

Pick
14
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
6-8 · .500

Biggest needs: OL, DT, edge rusher

This week's game: at Saints


Minnesota's weaknesses in the trenches were on display in Week 15. The Vikings couldn't stop a Bears rush offense that entered Sunday ranked 28th in the league, the defensive line failed to get to Mitchell Trubisky and the protection for Kirk Cousins was poor.

Pick
15
1
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
6-8 · .536

Biggest needs: QB, DL, WR

This week's game: vs. Bills


The Cam Newton Experiment failed in 2020, and Bill Belichick hasn't been eager to give Jarrett Stidham a look. Time to hit restart at quarterback?

Pick
16
1
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
7-7 · .500

Biggest needs: QB, OL, WR

This week's game: at Jaguars


Barring some truly surprising development, the Bears seem to have two options at QB1 in 2021: Trade up for one of the draft's best available or give some fresh cash to Mitchell Trubisky, who might want to test the market. Is the franchise tag in his future? Nick Foles (2-5 as a starter this year) is the only quarterback under contract beyond this season.

Pick
17
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
7-7 · .541

Biggest needs: DT, OL, edge rusher

This week's game: vs. Dolphins


Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock invested three of five first-round picks in defenders over the last two years, but the results on that side of the ball are still horrific. The Raiders have allowed 36 points per game since Week 11, most in the NFL over that span.

Pick
18
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
9-5 · .536

Biggest needs: WR, OL, edge rusher

This week's game: vs. Giants


Don't be surprised if GM Eric DeCosta continues to add young pieces to an offensive line that's a year away from seeing Orlando Brown reach free agency.

Pick
PL
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
6-8 · .485

Biggest needs: QB, WR, OL

This week's game: vs. Panthers


Over the last two games, Washington wide receivers not named Terry McLaurin have combined for just 83 yards on 12 grabs (6.9 per catch) and 22 targets.

Pick
PL
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
8-6 · .473

Biggest needs: CB, edge rusher, interior OL

This week's game: vs. 49ers


Arizona could have a much younger secondary in 2021, with starters Patrick Peterson and Dre Kirkpatrick both in a walk year.

Pick
PL
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
9-5 · .431

Biggest needs: WR, ILB, interior OL

This week's game: at Raiders


The upstart Dolphins aren't in danger of losing many key pieces from this year's team in 2021. Adding more explosiveness at receiver and linebacker will be key for the group to take the next step, though.

Pick
PL
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS


Rams' record: 9-5 (.467)

This week's Rams game: at Seahawks


See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Jaguars' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams' needs.

Pick
PL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9-5 · .510

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DT, WR

This week's game: at Lions


The Bucs face some decisions on the resources they're willing to commit to the wide receiver position. Mike Evans is one of the league's highest-paid receivers, with Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown ticketed for free agency in 2021. 

Pick
PL
New York Jets
New York Jets

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS


Seahawks' record: 10-4 (.446)

This week's Seahawks game: vs. Rams


See Pick No. 2 for analysis of the Jets' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks' needs.

Pick
PL
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
10-4 · .452

Biggest needs: QB, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: at Steelers


Philip Rivers continues to play good ball at 39 years old, but the only Colts quarterback under contract beyond this season is rookie Jacob Eason, who has yet to take a snap in an NFL game. 

Pick
PL
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
10-4 · .452

Biggest needs: LB, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: at Jets


Cleveland silenced Colt McCoy and Co. on Sunday night. Yet, defensive positions dominate the needs for a team that allowed 82 points the previous two weeks to playoff-caliber offenses.

Pick
PL
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
10-4 · .472

Biggest needs: QB, DL, DB

This week's game: vs. Vikings


After a brief break, QB returns to the needs list this week. Sean Payton's eagerness to turn things back over to a less-than-100-percent Drew Brees leaves open the question of how confident the coach would be handing the keys to Taysom Hill down the road.

Pick
PL
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
10-4 · .477

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, WR, interior DL

This week's game: at Packers


The price tag on free-agent-to-be Corey Davis keeps going up. He ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yards since Week 11 (509) and averages a league-best 19.6 yards per catch during that span (min. 20 receptions).

Pick
PL
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
11-3 · .411

Biggest needs: WR, CB, interior OL

This week's game: vs. Titans


Green Bay's offensive line has been one of the league's best this season. The Packers probably can't afford to stand pat at the position, though. Center Corey Linsley is due to reach free agency in 2021, while guard Lucas Patrick and tackle Rick Wagner are a year away from doing the same.

Pick
PL
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
11-3 · .441

Biggest needs: OT, edge rusher, QB

This week's game: vs. Colts


With the way 17th-year veteran Ben Roethlisberger seems to be trending, QB finds its way onto the needs list. 

Pick
PL
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
11-3 · .510

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, OL, CB

This week's game: at Patriots


Will the Bills prioritize finding a complement for Tre'Davious White at corner in the 2021 NFL Draft? Josh Norman is playing on a one-year deal, Levi Wallace will be a restricted free agent this offseason (so he'll likely return on a one-year tender) and Taron Johnson's contract expires after next season.  

Pick
PL
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
13-1 · .469

Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, edge rusher

This week's game: vs. Falcons


The Kansas City offensive line isn't operating at full strength and it's playing like it. Patrick Mahomes was pressured on a season-high 37.3 percent of his dropbacks against the Saints and was sacked four times, the most he's been sacked since the Super Bowl.

TEAMS WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK

Houston Texans
Houston Texans
4-10

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS


Biggest needs: WR, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: vs. Bengals


Houston could use more playmakers on both sides of the ball, but the need is especially glaring for a defense that has a league-low eight takeaways (the next-closest team has 12). 

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
9-5

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS


Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, LB

This week's game: at Seahawks


L.A.'s offensive line had turned things around in 2020 until it ran into the Jets on Sunday. Now we'll be watching to see whether the porousness was an anomaly or the start of a trend.

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
10-4

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS


Biggest needs: OL, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: vs. Rams


The Seahawks' offensive line was downright heroic against Washington's ferocious pass rush in Week 15, allowing zero sacks and just three pressures. However, the position tops the needs with three of the five O-line starters from Sunday's game playing on deals that expire in 2021.

Follow Dan Parr on Twitter.

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