NFL Draft: Mystery Solved

April 30, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

The 2021 NFL Draft was getting ready to start, then Adam Schefter dropped a bombshell (see below). It was a long five hours of draft coverage to solve the most “mysterious” draft in recent memory. Day 2 is coming. We’re just getting started.

Letter Rip!



Aaron Rodgers informs the Packers he doesn’t plan to return to Green Bay next season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Read More



Winners, Losers & Key Storylines

Photo: Name / Getty Images

Quarterbacks Go 1-2-3, But QB Justin Fields (11) and QB Mac Jones (15) Slide Out of the Top-10


Did that go the way you thought it would? The 2021 NFL Draft was an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride on Thursday. It was full of mystery, but in an unusual draft year without a scouting combine, the obvious slam-dunk picks rose to the top. The first round started with seven offensive players in a row, and it ended with five straight defensive picks. Our mock draft earlier in the week correctly picked seven of the first ten picks, including six of the first seven.


The Quarterback Storylines

After all the hype, history wasn’t made after all with a run of quarterbacks to open the draft. Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars)Zach Wilson (Jets) and Trey Lance (49ers) went 1-2-3 before Justin Fields (Bears, Pick 11) and Mac Jones (Patriots, Pick 15) slid out of the top-10. Chicago and New England have to be ecstatic that the two quarterbacks in the CFB National Championship Game fell all the way to the teens.

Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Reunited & It Feels So Good

The theme of the first round was the reunions of top wide receivers and their former college quarterbacks. The Bengals drafted LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase (Pick 5) to rejoin QB Joe Burrow in Cincinnati. One pick later (Pick 6), the Dolphins selected Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle as a familiar weapon for QB Tua Tagovailoa. And after trading up to the 10th pick, the Eagles took Heisman-winning Alabama WR DeVonta Smith to pair with his once-upon-a-time teammate QB Jalen Hurts. Want a bonus reunion? The Jaguars also added Clemson RB Travis Etienne (Pick 23) to join his Tigers teammate QB Trevor Lawrence (Pick 1) in the Jacksonville backfield. Clemson fans just became Jacksonville fans.


Alabama Ties 1st-Round Pick Record (6)

It looked like Alabama was going to break the 2004 Miami team’s record for 1st-round draft picks on Thursday night, but they stalled after tying that mark at six. The Crimson Tide had three in the top-10, five in the top-20 and six total.


1st-Round Position Breakdown

Quarterbacks: 5

Receivers: 5

Cornerbacks: 5

Offensive Linemen: 5

Linebackers: 5

Defensive Linemen: 4

Running Backs: 2

Tight Ends: 1


Round 1 Winners & Losers

Winners: Jets, Jaguars, Bears, Dolphins, Eagles, Cowboys & Ravens

Losers: Raiders, Saints, Texans, Chiefs & Packers

Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Round 1: Pick-by-Pick


Picks 1-10

1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)

2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)

3. 49ers: QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State)

4. Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)

5. Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)

6. Dolphins: WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

7. Lions: OT Penei Sewell (Oregon)

8. Panthers: CB Jaycee Horn (S. Carolina)

9. Broncos: CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)

10. Eagles: WR DeVonta Smith (Alabama)


Picks 11-20

11. Bears: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)

12. Cowboys: LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)

13. Chargers: OT Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)

14. Jets: OG Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC)

15. Patriots: QB Mac Jones (Alabama)

16. Cardinals: LB Zaven Collins (Tulsa)

17. Raiders: OT Alex Leatherwood (Alabama)

18. Dolphins: DE Jaelan Phillips (Miami)

19. Washington: LB Jamin Davis (Kentucky)

20. Giants: WR Kadarius Toney (Florida)


Picks 21-32

21. Colts: DE Kwity Paye (Michigan)

22. Titans: CB Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)

23. Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech)

24. Steelers: RB Najee Harris (Alabama)

25. Jaguars: RB Travis Etienne (Clemson)

26. Browns: CB Greg Newsome II (Northwestern)

27. Ravens: WR Rashod Bateman (Minnesota)

28. Saints: DE Payton Turner (Houston)

29. Packers: CB Eric Stokes (Georgia)

30. Bills: DE Gregory Rousseau (Miami)

31. Ravens: LB Jayson Oweh (Penn State)

32. Buccaneers: LB Joe Tryon (Washington)


NFL Draft Schedule

Rounds 2-3 (Tonight, 7:00 pm ET)

Rounds 4-7 (Tomorrow, Noon ET)


Additional Storylines

B/R: Round 1 Grades for Every Pick

FOX Sports: Top Moments From Round 1

USA Today: After Successful Smokescreen, 49ers Go Bold With QB Trey Lance

FanDuel: The Best Available Players on Day 2 of the NFL Draft



The Run for the Roses 🌹

Photo: HorsePhotos / Getty Images

The 147th Kentucky Derby: Saturday, 6:57 pm ET


Saddle up, and don’t blink! It’s another marquee event on the calendar this weekend, but it won’t last long. “The most exciting two minutes in sports” storms the grounds at Churchill Downs tomorrow night for the 147th Kentucky Derby. The most iconic horse race in the world brings out the style, fashion and chic side of sports. From wide-brimmed hats to mint juleps and high-stakes wagers, the Run for the Roses is finally here.


The Favorite: An undefeated grey colt named ‘Essential Quality’ leads the field as the 2-1 favorite from the No. 14 position, a spot that hasn’t seen a Derby winner in 60 years. The 2-year-old horse was the juvenile Breeders’ Cup winner and will be jockeyed by Luis Saez, the same jockey who rode ‘Maximum Security’ in the 2019 Derby controversy. Could this be redemption?


The Odds

Essential Quality (2-1)

Rock Your World (5-1)

Known Agenda (6-1)

Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)

Highly Motivated (10-1)

Mandaloun (15-1)

Medina Spirit (15-1)

All Other Horses: 20-1 or Below


Race Start: Saturday, 6:57 pm ET (NBC Sports)


Additional Storylines

NBC Sports: Everything to Know About the 2021 Kentucky Derby

CBS Sports: Kentucky Derby Picks: Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie & Known Agenda Predictions



NBA: Kevin Porter Jr. Drops 50 for Rockets

On a night with a number of high-scoring performances in the NBA, Rockets’ guard Kevin Porter Jr. takes the cake. Porter Jr. dropped a career-high 50 points (16-for-26, FG / 9-for-15, 3-PT) in a win over the Bucks (143-136). He became the fourth player under 21 to score 50, joining LeBron James, Brandon Jennings and Devin Booker.


NHL: Pens & Caps Pull the Double Clinch

Never seen this one before. The Penguins beat the Capitals in overtime on Thursday (5-4), but both teams clinched a playoff spot despite the outcome. Jake Guentzel scored the game-winner for Pittsburgh, and both teams are the first from the East Division to secure postseason bids.


MLB: Cards Win 10-Inning Thriller on Wild Pitch

The Cardinals and Phillies entered yesterday both .500 on the season (12-12), and they needed extra innings to find a winner. A wild pitch from Phillies pitcher David Hale allowed Tyler O’Neill to steal home for the game-winning run in the 10th (4-3).


PGA: Keegan Bradley Vaults Atop Valspar

A multitude of low scores were shot in Round 1 of the Valspar Championship on Thursday, but none lower than Keegan Bradley’s 7-under (64). Bradley played bogey-free golf before reeling off a string of five birdies in the last seven holes. Action continues today.



The Must-Watch List

It’s a 2-for-1 weekend of marquee events in the midwest. The NFL Draft rolls on tonight and tomorrow in Cleveland before the 147th Kentucky Derby Saturday in Louisville. We’ve also included a full slate of everything else watch-worthy in the pros, and we’ll run it back on Monday!


NFL Draft

Rounds 2-3 (Fri. 7:00 pm)

Rounds 4-7 (Sat. Noon)


The 147th Kentucky Derby

Saturday (6:57 pm, NBC Sports)



Blazers at Nets (Fri. 8:00 pm)

Jazz at Suns (Fri. 10:00 pm)

Nuggets at Clippers (Sat. 10:00 pm)

Nets at Bucks (Sun. 3:30 pm)

Full NBA Schedule



Mets—Phillies Series

Astros—Rays Series

Dodgers—Brewers Series

Giants—Padres Series

Full MLB Schedule



Jets at Canadiens (Fri. 7:00 pm)

Rangers at Islanders (Sat. 7:00 pm)

Penguins at Capitals (Sat. 7:00 pm)

Blues at Wild (Sat. 8:00 pm)

Full NHL Schedule



EPL: Man. United vs. Liverpool (Sun. 11:30 am)

MLS: Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy (Sun. 9:00 pm)

NWSL Challenge Cup (Saturday & Sunday)


PGA Tour

Valspar Championship (All Weekend)


Formula 1

Portuguese Grand Prix (Sun. 10:00 am)


*All Times Eastern