The Bengals will be without Joe Burrow for the rest of the 2020 season, but that could be exactly what Cincinnati needs to find ample help for Burrow in the 2021 NFL Draft.
After losing Burrow to injury in Week 11, the Bengals lost to the Washington Football Team to fall to 2-7-1 on the season and move to the No. 3 overall pick in the updated 2021 NFL Draft order. That result also knocked the WFT out of the top five, and it’s now got the three non-playoff teams in the NFC East all tied with 3-7 records.
Speaking of 3-7 records: That’s where the Falcons sit after losing Sunday to the Saints. They haven’t picked in the top 10 since 2015, but Atlanta’s looking at the possibility of doing that in 2021. With Matt Ryan and Julio Jones under big contracts, that could be the best thing to happen to a team needing a major infusion of talent (especially defensively) to contend once again.
Below is the latest NFL Draft order for 2021, updated before Week 11’s Sunday night game.
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NFL Draft order 2021
- New York Jets (0-10)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)
- Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)
- Dallas Cowboys (3-7)
- Washington Football Team (3-7)
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-7)
- New York Giants (3-7)
- Miami Dolphins (via 3-7 Houston Texans)
- Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
- Carolina Panthers (4-7)
- Detroit Lions (4-6)
- New England Patriots (4-6)
- Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
- San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
- Denver Broncos (4-6)
- Chicago Bears (5-5)
- Miami Dolphins (6-4)
- Baltimore Ravens (6-4)
(Picks 19-32 are held by teams currently in the NFL playoff picture.)
With both the Jets and Jaguars looking like potential landing spots for quarterbacks (probably Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields), Cincinnati could be in the optimal spot to prevent Burrow injuries in the future. Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell is regarded as the best non-QB in this draft, and the Bengals would likely be happy to grab him to have the best shot at keeping Burrow healthy down the line.
While there was speculation for the early portion of the year that a third quarterback could go in the first five picks, most of the teams that high in the order still have some sort of investment in quarterback. As it currently sits, the Washington Football Team would likely be the next team to consider a quarterback, potentially North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Alabama’s Mac Jones, Florida’s Kyle Trask or BYU’s Zach Wilson.
At No. 8, the Dolphins could be a candidate for LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to help out Tua Tagovailoa, and behind them at No. 9, the Falcons could target whichever of the following defensive players make it to them: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II, Penn State LB Micah Parsons, Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, or Ohio State CB Shaun Wade.