Redrafting the 2021 NFL Draft: 49ers get Trey Lance do-over, Jets land Micah Parsons & Najee Harris, Zach Wilson fall out of Round 1

There was a lot of excitement around the 2021 NFL Draft class, and with good reason. It was supposed to be a strong follow-up to a loaded 2020 quarterback class, as Trevor Lawrence headlined a group of quality quarterbacks looking to stake their claim to NFL roster spots.

Because of the strength of the quarterback class, it was widely anticipated that teams would be willing to move up to select a signal-caller. It was likely that the Jaguars — armed with the No. 1 pick — would take Lawrence. Meanwhile, the Jets were expected to use the second selection at quarterback.

But after that, it was anyone’s game to move up… until the 49ers made the leap up to No. 3 overall.

The 49ers made the jump before deciding which quarterback would be their preferred prospect. They knew Lawrence would be off the board and eventually, it became clear that Zach Wilson would be too.

IYER: Grading all 32 draft classes in 2021 from best (Dolphins) to worst (Raiders)

With those two facts established, San Francisco had a choice to make. Would it take Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones with the third overall selection?

Few knew exactly which passer would be the pick leading into the draft’s final day. Many mock draft analysts pegged Jones as the right fit for Kyle Shanahan’s system while others believed Lance’s upside would entice the 49ers. The only player that seemed to have been ruled out was Fields.

The 49ers ended up drafting Lance, but that ultimately ended up being the wrong move. Lance didn’t pan out for them and just on eve of the 2023 NFL season, he was traded to the Cowboys in exchange for a mid-round pick, ending his time with the team after just four starts.

San Francisco has rebounded after that missed pick thanks largely to its selection of Brock Purdy in the 2022 NFL Draft. Still, many 49ers fans will ponder what would have happened if the 49ers had eschewed Lance for another quarterback — or if they had just used the No. 3 overall pick on one of the top non-quarterbacks in a loaded 2021 draft class.

Of course, many other NFL teams would like mulligans on their first-round choices from 2021 as well. So, what would the 2021 NFL Draft look like if it were held today? The Sporting News breaks it down.

2021 NFL Draft re-draft

Note: All trades that occurred in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft have been left intact. So, the draft order of this re-draft will mimic that of the actual draft.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Re-draft pick: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  • Actual pick: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Lawrence was the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and he has lived up to the hype so far. He endured a poor first season under Urban Meyer but in his first year with Doug Pederson, Lawrence completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

Lawrence led the Jaguars to an NFC South title in 2022, won a playoff game in his first trip to the postseason and has the Jaguars set up to be an AFC contender for at least a few seasons. Suffice to say the Jaguars wouldn’t trade that opportunity for anything, not even a blue-chip defensive player.

2. New York Jets

  • Re-draft pick: Micah Parsons, EDGE, Penn State
  • Actual pick: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

The Jets were hell-bent on taking a quarterback at No. 2 overall in 2021. That seemed like the right move for the franchise at the time, but given the lack of success from the non-Lawrence quarterbacks in this class, they’ll pass on a quarterback with the second selection.

Parsons went 12th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft but he has been the only player to rival Lawrence among the most talented players in this class. Parsons has turned into a fearful presence off the edge, racking up a whopping 29.5 sacks in his first 35 games. And this came despite beginning his career at the linebacker position.

Adding Parsons’ type of speed and edge-rushing ability to the Jets would make their defense even more of a nightmare than it already is. The Jets would gladly take that over the nightmare that has been the Zach Wilson selection.

3. San Francisco 49ers

  • Re-draft pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  • Actual pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Oh, what could have been for the 49ers. San Francisco originally had the 12th selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, a pick that could’ve landed them Parsons had they stayed put. Instead, they traded up to select a quarterback to be Jimmy Garoppolo’s successor. Ultimately, they settled on Trey Lance; he lasted just two-plus years in San Francisco before being shipped to the Cowboys in a mid-round pick swap.

The 49ers recovered nicely from the Lance gaffe by landing Brock Purdy at the end of the 2022 NFL Draft. But can you imagine how great their offense would have been if they landed Chase, the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year, and paired him with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle? San Francisco would be even more of a juggernaut than it already is with the LSU product at its disposal.

MORE: What did the 49ers trade for Trey Lance? Examining the players selected with each draft pick

4. Atlanta Falcons

  • Re-draft pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  • Actual pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Pitts had a 1,000-yard receiving season in his first season with the Falcons but has disappointed and failed to live up to his “generational talent” billing since then. As such, Atlanta would probably opt for one of the many quality receivers on the board with this pick, especially considering that they were trying to trade Julio Jones during the 2021 NFL Draft.

Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Amon-Ra St. Brown all stand out as options here, but Falcons GM Terry Fontenot’s modus operandum has been to get smooth offensive playmakers with elite athleticism. That would make Waddle and his game-changing speed the best option here; and he would add a needed speed element to Atlanta’s offense.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Re-draft pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  • Actual pick: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

The Bengals faced a tough question before the 2021 NFL Draft. Would they draft an offensive tackle to fix one of the team’s biggest problem spots, or would they select Joe Burrow’s LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase to make their franchise quarterback happy.

Cincinnati ultimately selected Chase, and the move has panned out, as he has averaged 98 catches, 1,410 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns per 17 games played to date. However, Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times in 2021 and became the most-sacked quarterback to ever reach a Super Bowl.

With Chase off the board, the Bengals can afford to pass on a receiver, plan to extend Tee Higgins and find some other quality depth at the position. The only question is whether they would prefer Sewell or Rashawn Slater, but Sewell has the better size and injury history, so he gets the nod here with all else equal.

6. Miami Dolphins

  • Re-draft pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  • Actual pick: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Dolphins miss out on their Alabama receiver of choice, but they are still able to land a Crimson Tide playmaker. Smith was a top-10 pick after winning the Heisman for 2020 and would provide a smooth route runner and downfield threat for Miami. He may not be as explosive and fast as Waddle, but he still would have entered the league having chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa and would have complemented Tyreek Hill well.

Smith set an Eagles rookie receiving record with 916 yards in 2021 before posting 95 catches and 1,196 yards the following season. He may be lighter than the average receiver at 170 pounds, but he has the talent needed to be a quality NFL starter for a long time.

7. Detroit Lions

  • Re-draft pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
  • Actual pick: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

The Lions miss out on Sewell here, but they land Slater, who has been excellent on the left side for the Chargers. He played in just three games during the 2022 season due to a torn biceps but he made the All-Pro second team as a rookie and finished fourth in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. That’s unheard of for an offensive lineman.

Slater could go higher than this in a re-draft, but his injury and smaller stature (6-3) knock him down below Sewell. Still, there’s no denying that he was a top-10 talent in this loaded draft class.

8. Carolina Panthers

  • Re-draft pick: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabma
  • Actual pick: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The Panthers were in need of a cornerback during the 2021 NFL Draft. They just happened to select the wrong one. While Horn has played well for the Panthers, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Surtain has done both in Denver and became an All-Pro cornerback in his second season. That makes him the easy choice here for the Panthers.

Justin Fields

9. Denver Broncos

  • Re-draft pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
  • Actual pick: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

The Broncos’ pick was a difficult one to project. Would they go for a receiver or offensive line help here with Surtain off the board, or would they swing big on a quarterback?

Fields ends up getting the nod here for a few reasons. While he hasn’t yet been consistent as a passer, Fields became one of just three quarterbacks to run for 1,000 yards in an NFL season. That would give the Broncos a strong rushing attack and a chance to develop Fields in a better manner than the Bears have to date.

The other big part of this selection? It likely wipes out Denver’s acquisition of Russell Wilson. Perhaps the Broncos would have traded Fields as part of a package to get Wilson in 2022, but more likely, the team would have stuck it out with a young quarterback. That would have given them plenty of cap space to continue improving their defense while shaping their squad into a playoff contender.

Maybe selecting Fields puts the Broncos in no better of a spot than the Bears, and pairing Fields with Nathaniel Hackett could have proven disastrous for the third-year pro. But again, if this pick helped to undo the Wilson trade, Broncos fans would probably be fine with it. And it’s fun to imagine what Denver’s team might look like had they been able to use the first-round picks that became Charles Cross and Devon Witherspoon.

MORE: NFL players vote that Justin Fields is better than Trevor Lawrence ahead of 2023 season

10. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Re-draft pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
  • Actual pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Here’s another like-for-like swap for the Eagles. Smith doesn’t quite make it to them in this re-draft, but St. Brown — who was a fourth-round pick in 2021 — does.

St. Brown has been a reception machine for the Lions, averaging 101 catches, 1,068 yards and six touchdowns per 17 games played while being the clear-cut No. 1 pass-catching weapon for the Lions. He may not see as many targets in a loaded Philadelphia receiving corps, but he should have more open space with teams having to cover both him and A.J. Brown at receiver.

Plus, having Brown and St. Brown as the top receivers for the Eagles was simply too fun an opportunity on which to pass.

11. Chicago Bears

  • Re-draft pick: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
  • Actual pick: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Yes, the Bears are still trading up in this mock draft even if it’s not for a quarterback. They could consider Mac Jones here, but Darrisaw is the best player on the board and fills a massive need for the Bears.

Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, Chicago’s left tackle was Charles Leno, who they cut on eve of the season in favor of second-round pick Teven Jenkins. That hasn’t worked out, as Jenkins had to move to guard at the NFL level and has had trouble staying healthy.

Conversely, Darrisaw has been a stalwart at left tackle for the Vikings and graded as one of Pro Football Focus’ top tackles for the 2022 NFL season. Stealing him from Minnesota would be an added bonus for Chicago.

12. Dallas Cowboys

  • Re-draft pick: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  • Actual pick: Micah Parsons, EDGE, Penn State

The Cowboys knew that Parsons wasn’t going to make it back to them in this re-draft, but it’s still a heartbreaking loss for their defense. Luckily, there were a couple of strong offensive players left on the board that would be upgrades for Dallas.

In the end, the idea of giving Pitts to the Cowboys was simply too intriguing to pass up. Dak Prescott has loved throwing to his tight ends over the years, be it Jason Witten, Dalton Schultz or Jake Ferguson, so giving him a generational talent who produced 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie could make the Dallas offense unstoppable.

That’s something that the team would ned to have happen if they didn’t have Parsons on defense.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Re-draft pick: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
  • Actual pick: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern

The Chargers miss out on Slater but they grab a rock-solid starter at guard to help make up for it. Smith was a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft but quickly earned a starting job with the Chiefs. At 6-5, 329 pounds he is a massive blocker who would provide a lot of help to the Chargers’ lackluster running game.

Either way, this pick almost has to be an offensive lineman. After all, Chargers signed four new starters during the 2021 NFL offseason and drafted a fifth in Slater. And Smith would be a better long-term starter than then-left guard Oday Aboushi, so Smith is a sensible choice.

14. New York Jets

  • Re-draft pick: Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  • Actual pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC

Yes, the Chiefs ended up with two non-first-round offensive linemen who would have been top-15 picks in a re-draft. Well done, Brett Veach!

Anyway, the Jets have a solid starting center in Connor McGovern, but Humphrey has top-tier athleticism at center and is one of the best at his position league-wide. The Jets could select Humphrey, move McGovern to either guard spot and start building a terrific offensive line with this pick.

Humphrey should probably go earlier than 14 in a re-draft, but the lacking positional value of guards and centers drops him to this range. Even at this point, he could end up being a steal.


15. New England Patriots

  • Re-draft pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  • Actual pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Look, this is a boring re-draft, but can the Patriots really be that upset with Mac Jones? He had a strong rookie season — completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions — before cratering in his second year under the guidance of offensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

The Patriots have lost twice out of the gate in the 2023 NFL season, but Jones hasn’t been the root of the problem. He may not have the biggest arm or the greatest athleticism, but he is accurate and has, largely, made it work on offense despite lacking a true No. 1 receiver and being behind a porous, banged-up offensive line.

New England could take someone like Talanoa Hufanga here or look at a much-needed offensive line upgrade, but for what? If they did, they would be staring down another season of Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham battling for the starting job. That wouldn’t have worked well at all.

All that’s to say that keeping Jones isn’t sexy, but his selection is lower down on the list of things Bill Belichick would like to change since Tom Brady’s departure. Jones isn’t among his most glaring mistakes — at least not yet.

16. Arizona Cardinals

  • Re-draft pick: Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC
  • Actual pick: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

Hufanga has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2021 NFL Draft, as the fifth-round pick has developed into a consistent playmaker at safety for the 49ers. He has a knack for finding the ball — as evidenced by his four-interceptions All-Pro season in 2022 — and he helped the 49ers win a key playoff game after the 2021 season with a punt block on special teams.

Indeed, Hufanga can do a bit of everything, which is what the Cardinals were hoping Collins could provide them. The team already had Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson on the squad at safety, but drafting Hufanga to pair with Baker long-term would give Arizona arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL.

17. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Re-draft pick: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
  • Actual pick: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Leatherwood was better regarded in NFL circles than he was among NFL draft analysts, but he turned out to be a bust here, nonetheless. So too did the Raiders first-round pick in 2020, Damon Arnette. The team selected him to be their No. 1 cornerback but he was released by the team in 2021 after repeatedly brandishing a gun on social media.

The Raiders would like a re-do with this selection, and while they would probably hope that Hufanga made it to this pick, Campbell is arguably the top defensive player on the board. The Jaguars second-round pick has made six interceptions during his NFL career, tied for the most in the class along with Surtain. Campbell would add a ballhawk and a strong starting cornerback to a Vegas defense that still sorely needs one.

18. Miami Dolphins

  • Re-draft pick: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
  • Actual pick: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami

The Dolphins landed Holland in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but they won’t have the luxury of doing that again. He comes off the board amid a run on defensive backs and will continue to play a Swiss Army role in the Miami defense.

Holland has done a bit of everything through two years with the Dolphins, averaging 64 tackles, nine pass defenses, two interceptions and two sacks per 17 games played. He won’t turn 24 until March, so he still has plenty of time to continue to grow his well-rounded game.

19. Washington Commanders

  • Re-draft pick: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
  • Actual pick: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky

The Commanders probably don’t have too many qualms about ending up with David at this juncture, but Bolton has performed a bit better than the Kentucky product to date.

Bolton racked up 180 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions in his second season with the Chiefs and helped the defense win a Super Bowl. He combination of elite speed, strong instincts and nose for the football would make him a threatening force behind Washington’s excellent defensive line.

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Cowboys, Dolphins top NFL entering Week 3 

20. New York Giants

  • Re-draft pick: Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
  • Actual pick: Kadarius Toney, Florida

Landon Dickerson may not be the flashiest pick for the Giants here, but there’s little doubt that he is an effective starter. He made 30 starts in his first two seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl after seamlessly replacing Brandon Brooks on the Eagles’ stellar offensive line. He would be a plug-and-play starter for the Giants and would look great working in tandem with left tackle Andrew Thomas.

And the Giants may be best served in avoiding flashy picks here. Toney qualified as one of those and he fizzled out in New York after just a season and a half. His performance in Kansas City this season hasn’t been too good either.

21. Indianapolis Colts

  • Re-draft pick: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
  • Actual pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan

Paye has been a fine pick for the Colts but it’s hard to imagine them choosing him over Phillips in this re-mock. Phillips recorded 15.5 sacks in his first two NFL seasons and has proven that he can stay healthy after having concussion concerns in college. His athleticism and speed fit what Colts general manager Chris Ballard looks for in an edge rusher.

22. Tennessee Titans

  • Re-draft pick: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
  • Actual pick: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

Caleb Farley was supposed to fix the Titans’ problems at cornerback. However, he hasn’t stayed healthy enough to do that at the NFL level. Many will say the same about Horn, but his track record is a bit better than the Virginia Tech product.

As mentioned earlier, Horn has performed well when on the field for the Panthers. That just hasn’t happened, as he played in just 16 games over his first two seasons. But in those 16 games, he has totaled 61 tackles, eight pass defenses and four interceptions, so the potential is undeniable. Some team would take a chance on him — and perhaps that would come earlier than this — but Tennessee would be happy to add him to serve as the team’s No. 1 cornerback.

23. Minnesota Vikings

  • Re-draft pick: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
  • Actual pick: Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech

The Vikings replace one Christian with another here, as Barmore is among the best options available for the team. Barmore has been a solid interior pass rusher for the Patriots, posting four sacks in his first two seasons and faring well against the run.

Minnesota could also consider adding a cornerback here given that none of their young players at the position ultimately panned out. But the prospect of pairing Barmore with Dalvin Tomlinson for a couple of seasons is too good to pass up here.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Re-draft pick: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
  • Actual pick: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Harris looked like a good selection for the Steelers during his rookie season, but he has regressed since then. In fact, Jaylen Warren has looked better than him at times, so the team is better served looking at the offensive line and secondary to fix what remain two of its biggest weaknesses.

Newsome may seem like a strange pick to some given that he doesn’t have an interception yet in his career. That said, he has flashed high upside and sticky coverage skills, so it’s worth wondering what he could have accomplished within the structure of the Steelers’ defense.

Either way, Newsome would have been an upgrade over Justin Layne and could have emerged as a quality successor to Joe Haden as his NFL career wound down.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Re-draft pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  • Actual pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

The Jaguars could go in another direction with this selection, but it’s hard to fault the logic used in making it. The team needed to add an explosive element to the offense and could have used a higher-upside running back as well. Etienne checked both boxes and had chemistry with Lawrence, so choosing him was sensible.

Etienne didn’t get to play during his rookie year thanks to a foot injury, but he totaled 1,441 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns with the Jaguars in his second season. At just 24, he should continue to grow with Lawrence provided that he can avoid the health issues that plague NFL running backs.

26. Cleveland Browns

  • Re-draft pick: Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
  • Actual pick: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

The Browns end Paye’s slight fall with Newsome off the board in this re-draft. Paye has been a solid edge presence for the Colts, as he totaled 10 sacks in his first two seasons and was generally good against the run. He has room for growth and he certainly could have achieved that across from Myles Garrett.

Either way, the Browns were searching for a quality complement to Garrett, so perhaps Paye would have allowed them to avoid the roller coaster that was the Jadeveon Clowney experiment.

27. Baltimore Ravens

  • Re-draft pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
  • Actual pick: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

The Ravens took a high-upside edge rusher with one of their two first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. They would do it again two years later if given the opportunity to do so.

Rousseau was once considered to be a potential top-10 pick but he fell to the end of the first round due to concerns about his consistency. He has ironed those out at the NFL level, recording 12 sacks in his first two seasons and using the length on his 6-6 frame to be disruptive at the point of attack.

Rousseau would be a good, long-term starter for the Ravens’ defense and is a candidate to rise in this redraft with a good 2023 NFL season.

28. New Orleans Saints

  • Re-draft pick: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
  • Actual pick: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston

Pop quiz: Who was listed as New Orleans’ starting tight end when the 2021 NFL Draft came around? I’m sure very few people had Nick Vannett as the answer to that question. As such, the Saints would probably be happy to take Freiermuth here, in retrospect.

Freiermuth, a Penn State product, averaged 65 catches, 653 yards and five touchdowns per 17 games played over his first two seasons and would give New Orleans a reliable, middle-of-the-field target for its offense. That’s something that the team is currently lacking.

29. Green Bay Packers

  • Re-draft pick: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
  • Actual pick: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

The left side of the Packers’ offensive line looked good at the time of the 2021 NFL Draft, but the right side was more of a question mark. Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick each proved to be serviceable players, but Green Bay would probably be happy to have a versatile lineman with Vera-Tucker’s upside on that side of the ball instead.

Vera-Tucker has played every position but center during his NFL career and has been a great run blocker. He hasn’t been as strong against the pass, which is why he slips to the end of Round 1, but he still has the talent and upside needed to be a long-term starter, likely at guard. With the Packers, he would have had a more stable home at right guard, so perhaps this fit would ultimately have been better for him than the Jets.

30. Buffalo Bills

  • Re-draft pick: Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
  • Actual pick: Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami

The Bills and the Ravens effectively swapped high-upside edge rushers in this re-done draft. Buffalo is getting the shorter end of the stick, as Oweh has just eight sacks to his name and hasn’t yet become a full-time starter. Still, he is a quality player and started playing football later in life, so his ceiling remains high even after his first two seasons.

31. Baltimore Ravens

  • Re-draft pick: Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
  • Actual pick: Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State

The Ravens could have considered doubling up on edge rushers were Oweh on the board here, but instead, they land Davis, who easily could have been a top-20 pick. Davis started his career slowly but once he emerged as a starter during his rookie season, he became a great downhill playmaker.

Davis has averaged 96 tackles and two sacks per 17 games played during his career. The Ravens certainly would have had an interest in him even a year after selecting Patrick Queen. After all, they didn’t have Roquan Smith yet at the time of the 2021 NFL Draft.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Re-draft pick: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  • Actual pick: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE, Washington

There are plenty of quality players from which the Buccaneers could choose here. Rhamondre Stevenson, Azeez Ojulari and Asante Samuel Jr. stand out among the bunch, but the idea of taking a swing on Lance would be appealing for Tampa Bay.

The Bucs were coming off a Super Bowl win with Tom Brady before the 2021 NFL Draft and knew that their starting quarterback was returning for at least one more season. Still, they wanted a long-term successor and ultimately took a shot on Kyle Trask in Round 2. Trask wasn’t able to beat Baker Mayfield for the starting job in 2023, so it isn’t clear whether he will ever be anything more than a backup.

The same can be said of Lance, but he has considerably more upside than Trask thanks to his arm strength, mobility and limited experience. And perhaps in the right scenario — and with at least a couple of seasons learning behind Brady — Lance would have been better ready to start during his third NFL season.

It’s possible that Lance could just be a bust, but part of the reason for his failure was that the 49ers weren’t the right situation for him. They tried to get him on the field earlier than he was ready and it cost them.

So, at this point in the re-draft, the Buccaneers can take a big swing. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked, but if it did, it could have made the transition to a post-Brady era a bit easier.

2021 NFL Draft results

Below is a look at the 2021 NFL Draft results in order as well as how our re-mock shook out:

Pick Team Player chosen Re-draft choice
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson, QB, BYU Micah Parsons, EDGE, Penn State
3 San Francisco 49ers Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
6 Miami Dolphins Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
8 Carolina Panthers Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
9 Denver Broncos Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
10 Philadelphia Eagles DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
11 Chicago Bears Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
12 Dallas Cowboys Micah Parsons, EDGE, Penn State Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
13 Los Angeles Chargers Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
14 New York Jets Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
15 New England Patriots Mac Jones, QB, Patriots Mac Jones, QB, Patriots
16 Arizona Cardinals Zaven Collins, LB, Cardinals Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC
17 Las Vegas Raiders Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
18 Miami Dolphins Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
19 Washington Football Team Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
20 New York Giants Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida Landon Dickerson, OL, Alabama
21 Indianapolis Colts Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
22 Tennessee Titans Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
23 Minnesota Vikings Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris, RB, Alabama Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
25 Jacksonville Jaguars Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
26 Cleveland Browns Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
27 Baltimore Ravens Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
28 New Orleans Saints Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
29 Green Bay Packers Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
30 Buffalo Bills Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
31 Baltimore Ravens Odafe Oweh, EDGE, Penn State Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, EDGE, Washington Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

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