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2021 NFL draft guide: Top prospects, draft order, how to watch, what to read and more

Here’s everything you need to know before the 2021 NFL draft kicks off Thursday night in Cleveland.

What time is the draft, and how can I watch it?

The first round gets underway Thursday at 8 p.m., with Rounds 2-3 beginning Friday at 7 p.m. and Rounds 4-7 starting Saturday at noon. Coverage of all three days will be broadcast on ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network.

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What is the draft order?

After some big trades in the past few weeks involving the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and the Ravens, the first round looks as follows: (Here’s the full order of all 259 picks)

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. New York Jets
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans)
  4. Atlanta Falcons
  5. Cincinnati Bengals
  6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles)
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. Carolina Panthers
  9. Denver Broncos
  10. Dallas Cowboys
  11. New York Giants
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers)
  13. Los Angeles Chargers
  14. Minnesota Vikings
  15. New England Patriots
  16. Arizona Cardinals
  17. Las Vegas Raiders
  18. Miami Dolphins
  19. Washington Football Team
  20. Chicago Bears
  21. Indianapolis Colts
  22. Tennessee Titans
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)
  26. Cleveland Browns
  27. Baltimore Ravens
  28. New Orleans Saints
  29. Green Bay Packers
  30. Buffalo Bills
  31. Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City Chiefs)
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Who are the top prospects?

The class is headlined by the quarterbacks, with the possibility of four being taken with the first four picks for the first time in NFL history. According to ESPN, the earliest that five quarterbacks have ever come off the board during the common draft era (since 1967) was the opening 12 picks in 1999.

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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, with BYU quarterback Zach Wilson likely going No. 2 to the New York Jets. After the San Francisco 49ers traded up to No. 3, it’s still uncertain which quarterback they prefer, with reports suggesting Alabama’s Mac Jones or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.

Here’s more on some of the top players at each position, including video highlights, stats and an analyst’s take:

Quarterback

Wide receiver

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Running back

Tight end

Offensive linemen

Cornerback

Safety

Linebacker

Edge rusher

Defensive linemen

What about the Ravens? What do they need?

The Ravens have nine picks in the draft, including two in the first round:

  • Round 1, No. 27 overall
  • Round 1, No. 31 overall (via Chiefs)
  • Round 3, No. 94 overall (via Chiefs)
  • Round 3, No. 104 overall (compensatory)
  • Round 4, No. 131 overall
  • Round 4, No. 136 overall (via Chiefs)
  • Round 5, No. 171 overall
  • Round 5, No. 184 overall (compensatory)
  • Round 6, No. 210 overall

After the trade of Orlando Brown Jr., offensive tackle, edge rusher and wide receiver are the team’s biggest needs. The Baltimore Sun previewed those positions and several others:

Here’s a look at what 32 mock drafts have the Ravens doing in the first round:

Here are two divergent views of how the Ravens should spend their nine picks:

And here are some of the biggest Ravens storylines entering the draft:

Are there any local players who could get picked?

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

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