2021 NFL Draft order: Jets, Giants in top two spots

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2021 NFL Draft heading into Week 6 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
New York Jets
New York Jets
0-5 · .542 strength of schedule

Biggest needs: WR, edge rusher, CB

This week's game: at Dolphins


While Sam Darnold isn't to blame for the Jets' problems, we all realize they're likely to start over at QB if they end up with one of the first couple picks in the draft. Right now, their two remaining games against the Dolphins -- the first of which is on Sunday -- look like their best opportunities to avoid an 0-16 season. Aside from those contests and a November date with the Chargers, every other remaining Jets opponent has a record of .500 or better.

Pick
2
1
New York Giants
New York Giants
0-5 · .667

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, WR

This week's game: vs. Washington Football Team


This is still the NFL's worst offense, even after showing some signs of life against the atrocious Dallas D on Sunday. Part of the problem is the offensive line -- currently the league's worst pass-blocking unit -- and Daniel Jones' continued struggles, but so is constructing a team with so little explosiveness at the skill positions beyond Saquon Barkley.

Pick
3
1
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
0-5 · .750

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, S, CB

This week's game: at Vikings


If Atlanta goes full-blown rebuild under a new head coach and GM in 2021 -- and that appears to be a real possibility -- the needs list for this team could look very different come March. For now, it's worth noting that the Falcons rank second-to-last in pressure rate since the start of last season (22.5%) and three of their top five producers in QB hits (Takk McKinley, Charles Harris, Steven Means) are scheduled to hit the market this offseason. This pass defense, which failed to sack Teddy Bridgewater on Sunday, is going to need an infusion of talent no matter what the future holds for Matt Ryan.

Pick
4
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars
1-4 · .479

Biggest needs: OT, CB, DL

This week's game: vs. Lions


Cornerback replaces receiver on the needs list this week because while the looming 2021 free agency for Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook is a concern for a team that has scored 14 points or fewer in two of the last three weeks, there's more of a foundation at that position than there is at CB. Only one Jaguars CB (2020 first-round pick CJ Henderson) is rated in PFF's top 85 players at the position.

Pick
5
4
Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers
1-4 · .580

Biggest needs: Interior OL, TE, WR

This week's game: On bye


Are the Bolts bound to draft inside the top 10 for the second year in a row? It's possible given their struggle to close out games, but I wouldn't go there yet. This badly beat-up group keeps battling with Justin Herbert's sensational play as a spark, and it has some highly winnable contests coming up against the Jaguars (Week 7), Broncos (Week 8) Dolphins (Week 10) and Jets (Week 11).

Pick
6
4
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE HOUSTON TEXANS


Texans' record: 1-4 (.583)

This week's Texans game: at Titans


See Pick No. 14 for analysis of the Dolphins' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Texans' needs.

Pick
7
1
Washington Football Team
Washington Football Team
1-4 · .660

Biggest needs: QB, WR, interior OL

This week's game: at Giants


Forcing a young quarterback to play for three different head coaches with one good wide receiver over 11 career starts isn't exactly fair to the passer, but Ron Rivera believes Kyle Allen gives Washington a better chance to win than Dwayne Haskins, which tells me this team is going to be back in the QB market this offseason. 

Pick
8
2
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
1-4 · .739

Biggest needs: OL, DT, S

This week's game: vs. Falcons


There's no denying the Vikings have a problem at cornerback right now, but I'm not sure getting even younger at the position is the way to fix it. We are discussing draft needs here, after all. Such a move might be a necessity (from a cap perspective) at safety, however, with starters Anthony Harris (2021) and Harrison Smith (2022) scheduled to reach free agency in consecutive years.

Pick
9
1
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
1-3 · .611

Biggest needs: OT, CB, S

This week's game: at Patriots


Safety moves up a spot on the needs list this week after Denver shored up its D-line a bit by signing Mike Purcell to a three-year extension last week. Justin Simmons, playing on the franchise tag in 2020, is due to hit the market this offseason, and fellow starting safety Kareem Jackson is just a year away from doing the same.

Pick
10
2
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
1-3 · .737

Biggest needs: WR, DL, LB

This week's game: at Jaguars


The only team that has pressured QBs at a lower rate than the Falcons since the start of last season? It's the Lions! Matt Patricia's defense has a league-worst pressure rate of 19 percent over that span, per Next Gen Stats. If Detroit isn't able to get its season back on track with games against the Jaguars and those woeful Falcons in the next two weeks, ownership might join Atlanta in pondering a full teardown.

Pick
11
2
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals
1-3-1 · .460

Biggest needs: OT, WR, CB

This week's game: at Colts


Bengals fans just have to hope outings like Sunday's don't have a negative long-term impact on first overall pick Joe Burrow. He was sacked seven times by the Ravens in his worst performance thus far. Cincinnati has allowed more sacks this season (22) than any other team. Fix. The. O-line.

Pick
12
7
Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
1-3-1 · .521

Biggest needs: WR, OG, LB

This week's game: vs. Ravens


Former practice-squad member Travis Fulgham has emerged as Carson Wentz's go-to guy. It's undoubtedly a welcome development for the Eagles to see their struggling QB have success connecting with one of his wide receivers, but it's also a statement about Philadelphia's continued desperation at the position.

Pick
13
1
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
2-3 · .260

Biggest needs: OL, CB, S

This week's game: vs. Rams


The Niners weren't expecting to flirt with a top-10 pick five weeks into the season, but here we are. It's not going to get any easier for this squad, either. Each of San Francisco's next seven opponents has a winning record, and an O-line that ranks 29th in the league must tangle with NFL sack leader Aaron Donald on Sunday. 

Pick
14
3
Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
2-3 · .583

Biggest needs: WR, ILB, interior OL

This week's game: vs. Jets


There was premature talk just a few weeks ago, when the Dolphins and Texans were both 0-2, that Miami could end up with two picks in the top five next year. While that's still a possibility, the Dolphins are a win over the 0-5 Jets away from going into their bye week at .500, which is a heck of an accomplishment for a team with the 27th-ranked defense and 28th-ranked offensive line.  

Pick
15
3
New England Patriots
New England Patriots
2-2 · .700

Biggest needs: Interior OL, DL, WR

This week's game: vs. Broncos


Of the six Patriots defenders who have recorded more than two QB hurries this season, only one (Chase Winovich) is under contract beyond this season. Bill Belichick is going to have some interesting decisions to make this offseason when it comes to building in the trenches.

Pick
16
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers
3-2 · .400

Biggest needs: OT, interior OL, WR

This week's game: vs. Bears


Carolina has a good thing going with Teddy Bridgewater, but who's going to be protecting him in 2021? Center Matt Paradis is the only starting offensive lineman under contract beyond this season.

Pick
17
4
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
3-2 · .400

Biggest needs: CB, edge rusher, OT

This week's game: vs. Bengals


We're getting dangerously close to moving QB onto the needs list for the Colts, and I understand why some might feel it should already be included. Can Philip Rivers bounce back against the Bengals and Lions in his next two outings (with a bye week wedged between them)? If he doesn't, Frank Reich has to be prepared to turn to a different option under center.

Pick
18
4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3-2 · .500

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DT, WR

This week's game: vs. Packers


The Bucs' D-line depth is being tested after the massive loss of Vita Vea, and this will be a storyline that follows them into the offseason. Vea's replacement, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, is due to become a free agent, as is starting DL Ndamukong Suh.

Pick
PL
12
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
2-3 · .520

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, S

This week's game: vs. Cardinals


While there's plenty of intrigue about Dallas' long-term plans at quarterback, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones says Dak Prescott is still the team’s future even after his ankle injury. As for the team's recent past, the defense was slightly less bad against the league's worst offense in Week 5. Going to be a fascinating several months ahead in Big D between rebuilding the defense and rehabbing the star QB.

Pick
PL
5
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
3-2 · .292

Biggest needs: CB, edge rusher, interior OL

This week's game: at Cowboys


Arizona's need for a pass-rushing complement to Chandler Jones was already impossible to miss, but barring some magical scheming from defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, it could sink the Cardinals' season. Jones, who is signed through 2021, is out for the season after injuring his biceps during Sunday's rout of the lowly Jets.

Pick
PL
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints
3-2 · .522

Biggest needs: QB, S, DL

This week's game: On bye


Trey Hendrickson picked a good time to break out. The fourth-year defensive end, in the final season of his rookie deal, already has matched a career high with 4.5 sacks. He could price himself out of New Orleans.

Pick
PL
5
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
3-2 · .667

Biggest needs: DT, OL, S

This week's game: On bye


The Silver and Black have allowed 30 or more points in all but one game and the only teams keeping the Raiders from having the league's worst coverage grade are the Jets and Cowboys, per PFF. Mike Mayock still needs more playmakers on D.

Pick
PL
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears
4-1 · .292

Biggest needs: QB, OG, S

This week's game: at Panthers


We've now had a chance to see Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky for roughly the same amount of snaps in 2020, and ... neither player is a top-20 QB according to PFF, DVOA and ESPN's QBR. Is the QB the problem in Chicago or is it the offense itself? Or is it a combination of both?

Pick
PL
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS


Rams' record: 4-1 (.340)

This week's Rams game: at 49ers


See Pick No. 4 for analysis of the Jaguars' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams' needs.

Pick
PL
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
4-1 · .458

Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, S

This week's game: at Bills


Kansas City has to get better play from its backend. The Chiefs don't have a safety graded within PFF’s top 50 players at the position this season.

Pick
PL
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
4-1 · .460

Biggest needs: LB, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: at Steelers


One of the biggest challenges for the Browns this offseason might be evaluating their own secondary. Safety Grant Delpit -- a second-round pick in this year's draft -- won't play a snap this season after suffering an Achilles tear in August and cornerback Greedy Williams -- a second-round pick in 2019 -- has yet to play this year due to a shoulder injury.

Pick
PL
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
4-1 · .460

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, DL, interior OL

This week's game: at Eagles


The Ravens have to protect the franchise (Lamar Jackson) at all costs, which means center and right guard could require the team's attention this offseason. The most pressing need for Baltimore in the more immediate future is getting Jackson going in the passing game. He has a 34.8 percent completion rate and 74.7 passer rating on throws of 10 air yards or more in the last two weeks, per Next Gen Stats.

Pick
PL
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
4-1 · .542

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, CB, OT

This week's game: vs. Chiefs


The Bills' vulnerability on defense was exposed on Tuesday night, especially at cornerback with Tre'Davious White sidelined by a back injury and Levi Wallace on injured reserve. Improving the depth at the position figures to be a priority for GM Brandon Beane in 2021.

Pick
PL
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
4-0 · .184

Biggest needs: OT, edge rusher, CB

This week's game: vs. Browns


Kevin Colbert keeps finding gems in the draft, so maybe there's no reason for Steelers fans to worry. All I know is the cap situation for next season seems like it's going to present him with some very difficult choices with seven starters ticketed for free agency.

Pick
PL
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
4-0 · .263

Biggest needs: WR, interior OL, CB

This week's game: at Buccaneers


With Allen Lazard on injured reserve after undergoing surgery, two of the four wide receivers on the Packers' active roster have three career catches or fewer. I know; R-E-L-A-X. This team is 4-0. The franchise has to do better at the position for Aaron Rodgers next year, though.

Pick
PL
New York Jets
New York Jets

PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS


Seahawks' record: 5-0 (.292)

This week's Seahawks game: On bye


See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Jets' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks' needs.

Pick
PL
Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans
4-0 · .368

Biggest needs: Edge rusher, TE, WR

This week's game: vs. Texans


Four members of Tennessee's starting front seven are in a contract year. That includes Jadeveon Clowney, who will be looking to cash in on the multi-year deal he's long sought this offseason.

TEAMS WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK

Houston Texans
Houston Texans
1-4

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS


Biggest needs: WR, CB, edge rusher

This week's game: at Titans


Yes, Houston won the first game of the Romeo Crennel era. Cheer up, Dolphins fans hoping for this to be a top-five pick. The Texans’ next two opponents have yet to lose this season.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
4-1

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS


Biggest needs: OT, interior OL, edge rusher

This week's game: at 49ers


The defense is beating up on overmatched units right now, but it will be interesting to see what GM Les Snead does on that side of the ball this offseason with four starters headed for free agency, limited draft capital and a very dicey cap situation to navigate. 

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
5-0

TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS


Biggest needs: OL, edge rusher, CB

This week's game: On bye


This defense, while allowing yardage at a historic rate, keeps making just enough plays to come out on top each week. It's worth noting in this space that several of the guys making those plays are impending free agents, including starting cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar.

Follow Dan Parr on Twitter @TheDan_Parr.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.