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What are your bold predictions for the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 19 Big Ten Championship Game - Northwestern v Ohio State Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here at Turf Show Times, we rarely get to talk about the first round of the NFL Draft. That is unfortunate because as a longtime draft fan, I already rank 2021 as one of the best and most dramatic iterations of the event of my lifetime.

  • The Texans pre-traded away a draft pick that might have saved their franchise this year, as well as an early second rounder for Laremy Tunsil.
  • The 49ers traded two first firsts to move up to three, guaranteeing that three quarterbacks will make up the first three picks of the draft.
  • Despite this, there is still more talk about two quarterbacks presumed not to go in the top-three.
  • There was no real NFL Scouting Combine for the first time in a long time.
  • There is far less certainty about what will happen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday because of the pandemic leading to college opt outs and countless canceled NCAA games. Less game film, fewer medical reports, a lot more split opinions.
  • The pool of draft talent has shrunk from nearly 2,000 prospects to under 700.
  • The Dolphins traded down from three to 12, then immediately moved back up to six in a deal with the Eagles.
  • The Jaguars and Jets own the top-two picks but also additional first round picks courtesy of NFC West teams.
  • The Ravens also own two first round picks, 27 and 31, after trading Orlando Brown to the Chiefs.
  • Speculation that there might not be any defensive players taken in the top-ten is defensible.

That’s just a fraction of what is going on this week and what could happen on Thursday. Many of you probably know this already but you couldn’t be blamed for only paying attention to what the Rams might do on Friday. What might they do?

We need to get through Thursday first.

Are there any bold predictions or regular-sized predictions that you’d like to get on the record prior to Thursday? Thoughts on the 49ers next quarterback or the Cardinals’ plan at 16? (Arizona’s rumored plan is “WR or CB or LB or RB” and they might trade up or trade down, so good luck with that.)

Here are 10 sample bold predictions via me:

  • USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker doesn’t make it past the Eagles at 12.
  • The Jaguars will trade up for Jaelan Phillips.
  • The Saints will trade up for Caleb Farley.
  • Justin Fields will make it past the Broncos, and then some.
  • The Patriots and Cowboys are secretly fighting over Patrick Surtain II, the actual player that New England wants to trade up for.
  • The Raiders will draft Trey Lance — and they might not have to do it at pick 17.
  • Bears are bidding against themselves for Fields.
  • The Packers were not expected to draft a quarterback in the first round last year. This year, the Ravens and Colts should be sleeper teams to draft a quarterback in the first round.
  • Baltimore won’t draft a receiver in the first round.
  • The Chargers are the true pivot point in the draft and Tom Telesco will get a lot of phone calls for that pick when they’re finally on the clock. If the offensive lineman they want isn’t there, LA moves down and maybe moves down by a lot.

What are you thinking?