The 2020 NFL season hasn’t even started yet, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at what the potential 2021 NFL Draft order will be. After all, we’ve entered ‘record prediction season’ which means, taken in reverse, we can figure out who the early favorites are to pick in next year’s top five.
ESPN analyst Mike Clay shared his 2020 season predictions and conveniently included a 2021 draft order projection, too:
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 4, 2020
If his prediction holds true, the top five picks of the 2021 NFL draft will be: (1) Washington, (2) Jacksonville, (3) Carolina, (4) Miami, and (5) New York Jets.
The most surprising top-10 pick is the Chicago Bears, who just two years ago were a Cody Parkey double-doink away from advancing to the NFC divisional round. If they end up with the seventh pick, as Clay’s model projects, they’ll be in play for either of the top two quarterbacks, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
In addition to Lawrence and Fields, Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase and Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau headline the early cluster of 2021 NFL draft prospects.