2021 NFL Draft – First Round Fun Facts

Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

First round of the 2021 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday April 29th.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

This will be the 30th first round pick in Jaguars’ franchise history – 20 of them have been in the top 10. Including 2021, 13 of their last 14 first round picks* have been in the top 10 (since 2008).

*Excludes #20 pick K’Lavon Chaison, who was drafted with a pick acquired from Rams

2. New York Jets

Since 2015, 5 of the Jets’ 7 first round picks have been in the top 10. This is the third time in four years the Jets are picking in the top 3 (Sam Darnold 2018, Quinnen Williams (2019).

3. San Francisco 49ers

In the modern era, 49ers have only drafted 2 QBs in the first round – Jim Druckenmiller (#26 in 1992) and Alex Smith (#1 in 2005).

In the previous 4 drafts, 49ers picked twice in the top 3 – DE Solomon Thomas (#3 in 2017) and Nick Bosa (#2 in 2019).

4. Atlanta Falcons

Falcons will pick in the top 10 back-to-back years for the first time since 2014-2015, when they drafted LT Jake Matthews #16 in ’14 and LB Vic Beasley #8 in ’15. Last time they picked top 5, was when they drafted Matt Ryan in 2008.

That last part is ironic, since this pick may be used to draft Ryan’s replacement.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

4 straight first round picks and 5 of 6 have been offensive players. This includes 3 offensive linemen (Jonah Williams 2019, Billy Price 2018, Cedric Ogbuehi 2015).

Bengals may still draft another OL at 5 in 2021.

6. Miami Dolphins

6 of their last 9 first round picks played college football in the SEC – Ja’Wuan James (Tennessee), Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss), Charles Harris (Missouri), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn).

Expect Miami to make it 7 of 10 as they will likely draft one of 3 WRs (Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle from Alabama or J’Marr Chase from LSU)

7. Detroit Lions

Third straight top 10 pick (Jeff Okudah #3 in 2020, TJ Hockenson #8 in 2019).

Will they draft a top 10 TE for the second time in three years? Or will they draft a WR? Ironically, last time the Lions drafted #7, they took WR Roy Williams in 2004.

8. Carolina Panthers

Since 2012, 6 of the Panthers’ last 9 first round picks have been DL or LB – Luke Kuechly, Star Lotulelei, Shaq Thompson, Vernon Butler, Brian Burns, Derrick Brown. 3 non-defensive players were WR or RB – Kelvin Benjamin and DJ Moore and Christian McCaffery

This will be the Panthers’ 4th time picking #8 – 1996 RB Tim Biakabutuka, 2003 LT Jordan Gross, 2017 RB Christian McCaffery

9. Denver Broncos

Denver has drafted in the top 10 just 8 times in franchise history and this is only the fourth time since 1990 (LB Mike Croel #4 in 1991, Von Miller #2 in 2011, and Bradley Chubb #5 in 2018).

10. Dallas Cowboys

Since 2007, 9 of the Cowboys’ 13 first round picks (and 5 of their last 7) have made at least one Pro Bowl.

  • Pro Bowlers – Leighton Vander Esch (2018), Ezekiel Elliot (2016), Bryon Jones (2015), Zach Martin (2014), Travis Frederick (2013), Tyron Smith (2011), Dez Bryant (2010), Mike Jenkins (2008), Anthony Spencer (2007)
  • Non-Pro Bowlers – Ceedee Lamb (2020), Taco Charlton (2017), Morris Claiborne (2012), Felix Jones (2008)

11. New York Giants

Between 2012 and 2020, 7 of their last 10 first rounders were on the offensive side of the ball – 3 tackles, 2 running backs (David Wilson in 2012), wide receiver, Evan Engram, and Daniel Jones

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles have picked #12 just one other time – 2012, when they drafted 6x Pro Bowl DT Fletcher Cox, who was also named All-Pro in 2018.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Since 2010, 6 of the Chargers’ 11 first round picks have made at least one Pro Bowl – Derwin James (2018), Joey Bosa (2016), Melvin Gordon (2015), Jason Verrett (2014), Melvin Ingram (2012), Ryan Matthews (2010)

Chargers have had some luck drafting #13. This is their fourth time in this position. Previously, they drafted RB Leon Burns in 1971, OT James FitzPatrick in 1986 and most notably Hall of Fame TE Kellen Winslow in 1979.

14. Minnesota Vikings

Among the Vikings last 13 first round picks, dating back to 2012, 7 of them have made at least one Pro Bowl, including last year’s #22 pick WR Justin Jefferson. Plus, Anthony Barr, Teddy Brigewater, Xavier Rhodes, Cordarrelle Patterson, Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith

15. New England Patriots

Between 2007-2012, 5 of 6 first rounders made a Pro Bowl, while none of the last 5 first round picks have made one – Dont’a Hightower (2012), Chandler Jones (2012), Devin McCourty (2010), Jerod Mayo (2008), Brandon Meriweather (2007).

None of the last 5 first round picks have made a Pro Bowl – N’Keal Harry (2019), Sony Michel (2018), Isaiah Wynn (2018), Malcolm Brown (2015), Dominique Easley (2014).

Patriots have picked 15th once. They drafted QB Tony Eason in 1983. Might another QB be the move here in 2021?

16. Arizona Cardinals

In the last 4 years, the Cardinals have drafted two positions – LB and QB. They drafted LBs Isaiah Simmons (2020) and Haason Reddick (2017) and QBs Kyler Murray (2019) and Josh Rosen (2018).

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders have drafted 5 players in the last two first rounds – Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, Johnathan Abram, Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette

18. Miami Dolphins

Another SEC player? (see above)

Dolphins have picked #18 only one other time – last year! In 2020, Dolphins drafted OG Austin Jackson and he started 12 games for Miami at tackle.

19. Washington Football Team

4 of the last 5 first round picks were defensive linemen, and are all still with the team. The one non-DL pick is no longer with the team – QB Dwayne Haskins.

20. Chicago Bears

Last 5 first round picks have been underwhelming, the last 4 have been top 10 picks, and only one remains on the roster – Roquan Smith (#8, 2018), Mitchell Trubisky (#2, 2017), Leonard Floyd (#9, 2016), Kevin White (#7, 2015), Kyle Fuller (#14, 2014).

21. Indianapolis Colts

Last time Colts picked in first round was 2018, when they drafted Quenton Nelson #6. Last time Colts picked in the 20s, was 2015, when they drafted WR Philip Dorsett.

22. Tennessee Titans

Since 2014, Titans have had 8 first round picks – only 3 of them remain on the roster (Taylow Lewan, Rashaan Evans, Jeffrey Simmons).

23. New York Jets (via Seahawks)

LB Darron Lee in 2016, is the last player the Jets drafted in the first round with a pick in the 20s. Only once since 2012, Jets have picked in the 20s.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Using their 2020 first round pick in a trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick is on brand for the Steelers. Their last 7 first round picks have been used on defensive players – Devin Bush, Terrell Edmunds, TJ Watt, Artie Burns, Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams)

This is the Jaguars’ 31st pick all-time (dating back to 1995) and just the 11th time picking in the 20s.

26. Cleveland Browns

Since the franchise returned in 1999, they have had 8 picks in the 20s – Jeff Faine, Brady Quinn, Alex Mack, Phil Taylor, Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel, Jabril Peppers, David Njoku.

27. Baltimore Ravens

More than half the Ravens’ all-time first round picks (14 out of 26) have been named to at least one Pro Bowl.

Ravens have picked #27 once before – 10 years ago (2011) they drafted CB Jimmy Smith.

28. New Orleans Saints

Saints have picked #28 one other time – like the Ravens above, it was 10 years ago when they drafted Mark Ingram 28th overall.

29. Green Bay Packers

Last year’s pick of QB Jordan Love snapped a streak of 8 straight first round picks used on defensive players. In total, 12 of the last 15 picks have been defense. Since 2006, with the exception of Love the only two non-defense picks have been offensive linemen (Derek Sherrod and Bryan Bullaga in 2010-2011).

Outside of Aaron Rodgers in 2005, the last two skill position players drafted by Packers in round one are WR Javon Walker (2002) and TE Bubba Franks (2000).

30. Buffalo Bills

The Bills’ last four first round picks are all prominent starting players – CB Tre’Davious White, QB Josh Allen, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Ed Oliver.

31. Baltimore Ravens (via Chiefs)

Ravens have picked #31 once – 20 years ago, when they drafted TE Todd Heap. They need a pass catcher, so perhaps they can find one as great as Heap was?

Last time Ravens picked in the 30s in the first round, they drafted 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson #32.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Of the Bucs’ 40 all-time first round picks, only 6 have ever made the Pro Bowl (Mike Evans, Doug Martin, Gerald McCoy, Aqib Talib, Davin Joseph, Warrick Dunn).

Despite winning the 2002 Super Bowl, Bucs have never picked #32. In 2004, their pick belonged to the Raiders as part of a trade for head coach Jon Gruden.

No first round picks

Houston Texans – 2021 is the third time in four years the Texans do not have a first round pick (traded #4 in 2018 as part of deal for Deshaun Watson in 2017 and traded 2020 and 2021 for Laremy Tunsil.

Kansas City Chiefs – Chiefs have only had two picks since 2016 – Patrick Mahomes #10 in 2017 and Clyde Edwards-Helaire #32 in 2020.

Seattle Seahawks – Pete Carroll/John Schneider combination was hired by Seattle in 2010. Since than, they have gone 6 years without a first round pick (including 2022) and have traded back 5 times. Only three times have the Seahawks drafted where they were initially slotted – 2010 Russell Okung #6, 2011 James Carpenter #25, 2020 Jordyn Brooks #27.

Los Angeles Rams –  The Rams’ most recent first round pick was Jared Goff in 2016 and barring a trade, their next pick will be in 2023.

  • 2016 – Jared Goff drafted #1
  • 2017 – traded to the Titans as part of the Goff package
  • 2018 – traded to Patriots for WR Brandin Cooks
  • 2019 – traded to Falcons during draft for additional picks
  • 2020 – traded to Jaguars for Jalen Ramsey
  • 2021 – also traded to Jaguars for Jalen Ramsey
  • 2022 – traded to Lions for Matthew Stafford.

Mike is an alum of the University of Cincinnati and the ultimate sports nerd.

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