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2021 NFL Draft Predictions: What will be the biggest surprise of Round 1?

The only guarantee you can make about the NFL Draft each and every year is that there will be surprises.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is always, and I do mean ALWAYS, full of things that no one predicts will happen. We see it every year. The draft boards from the 32 teams are not only wildly different from each other, but they’re often nothing like what the analysts in the media or online draftniks have on their boards. NFL teams rank guys based on different criteria and they always have oodles of more info than anyone else grinding tape or working sources do.

Plus there’s always a flood of “sourced” B.S. going around this time of year, because draft season is lying season.

  • Psst... I heard at least half the league took that guy off their board completely for character concerns.
  • Psst... did you hear what his collage position coach said about him?
  • Psst... that guy played all year with an undisclosed injury that will require surgery at some point.
  • Psst... I hear the Bears are desperate for a QB.

Okay, that last one is probably true, but you get the point.

So every time someone tells you, ‘There’s no way that player will fall that far,’ or ‘That guy isn’t a first rounder,’ or ‘the Chicago Bears would never take that prospect,’ understand that some of these boisterous blowhards that like to speak in absolutes will stay far away come draft day lest run the risk of some receipts being throw in their faces.

We asked our staffers to give us a prediction on the biggest surprise of round 1 and here’s what they had to say.

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: I’ll list a few, but with the unpredictability surrounding draft day, not everyone will consider them surprises.

The 2021 NFL Draft will match the 1983 draft with 6 quarterbacks taken in the first round when some team trades back into the first to get a QB with a 5th-year option. There will be no defensive linemen picked on Thursday. Mac Jones will be QB that ends up falling out of the top 10 and no one will trade up for him.

Ken Mitchell: Kyle Pitts drafted by whichever tight end needy team near the top of the draft trades up into the 4 spot held currently by Atlanta.

Robert Zeglinski: Ohio State’s Justin Fields will slide to the Patriots at No. 15, who will not have to trade up to nab him, and Bill Belichick will have his new star quarterback of the future. Great job, everyone, letting that happen.

Jeff Berckes: Patriots trade up with the Lions at Pick 7 for Justin Fields.

Aaron Leming: Despite what my mock draft says, I think that Mac Jones has a real chance of dropping out of the Top 10 if San Francisco goes the Trey Lance route. My other “big” surprise is that not a single defensive player will be selected before No. 10 overall. Drafts are always unpredictable but I think with how many quarterbacks are flying off the board and how offensive heavy this first round is, we’re bound to see a bit more craziness than usual on Thursday night.

Josh Sunderbruch: There will be less movement at the top than draftniks are calling for. With the quarterbacks out of the way early, the chances to trade back will be few and far between except for those driven by anxious newbie GMs (and Ryan Pace).

Jack R Salo: With Trevor Lawrence thanking Jaguars fans on social media, donating to Jacksonville charities, and Jacksonville residents painting murals of him already, wouldn’t it make for a superbly fascinating sports story if Jacksonville took Zach Wilson #1 overall? No, I don’t think that will happen. Packers trade out of round 1 and take a quarterback in the 2nd round, just to keep Aaron Rodgers pissed off.

Patti Curl: The Packers draft another quarterback in the first round. Presumably, it’s the only way to ensure Rodgers plays at an MVP level.

We also threw this question out on Twitter and here are some of the responses we got from there.

Now it’s your turn, what do you think that Pace and the Bears will do?