NFL draft winners, losers of Round 1: From Trevor Lawrence to Mac Jones, QBs reign

Day 1 of the 2021 NFL draft was about as dramatic as any in recent memory. 

How many first-round preambles include breaking news that the league MVP wants to leave the team he's called home for 16 seasons? And good luck dredging up an NFL "Player Selection Meeting" that had more quarterback drama once the draft began – especially considering the top two picks were shoo-ins – as this one did starting with San Francisco at No. 3.

Throw in the requisite number of trades and head-scratching picks, and it's little wonder how football player acquisition becomes such gripping theater on an annual basis – and especially this year. 

With that, let's kneejerk some champs and chumps from Thursday night.

NFL DRAFT TRACKER: Analysis on every pick in the first round

MORE: Team-by-team look at all 259 selections

FIRST ROUND: Patriots, Steelers selections among most intriguing picks

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium, (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)


Quarterbacks: Five went off the board in the first round, one shy of the 1983 draft's record. This was also the third time (1971, 1999) when quarterbacks – Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars), Zach Wilson (Jets), Trey Lance (49ers) this year – were picked 1-2-3.

Reunion tours: Quite a few incoming players will be teaming up anew with their erstwhile college teammates. The Bengals grabbed LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase, who set SEC records with QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati's No. 1 pick in 2020. Alabama WRs Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith will be playing with former Crimson Tide QBs in Miami (Tua Tagovailoa) and Philadelphia (Jalen Hurts), respectively. Finally, the Jaguars became the first team ever to draft a quarterback (Clemson's Lawrence) and running back (Travis Etienne) from the same backfield in the same first round.

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