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2021 NFL Draft race for No. 1 pick: Adam Gase’s old team a temporary road block in Jets quest to get top pick

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Adam Gase is 1-2 against the Miami Dolphins as coach of the New York Jets. But if the Jets find a way to upset his old team on Sunday, it may actually come back to haunt Gase if he is back in New York for the 2021 season. 

The 0-10 Jets remain in the driver’s seat to receive the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft. But while they are the NFL‘s only winless team, the Jaguars are just 1-8 and, like the Jets, are expected to use their first-round pick on a quarterback. The 2-7-1 Bengals, after losing 2020 No. 1 pick Joe Burrow during last Sunday’s loss to Washington, are also a serious contender to acquire the first overall pick for a second straight year. Each of these teams are included in this week’s slate of games that may likely determine who gets the coveted No. 1 overall pick. 

Before we get to the games, here’s my top-10 draft pick predictions based on the current draft order. A mini-mock draft of sorts if you will.

1. Jets – QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson 
2. Jaguars – QB Justin Fields, Ohio State 
3. Bengals –  OL Penei Sewell, Oregon
4. Cowboys – CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
5. Washington – OL Wyatt Davis, OL, Ohio State
6. Chargers –  DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami 
7. Giants –  CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
8. Falcons – QB Zach Wilson, BYU
9. Dolphins – OL Wyatt Davis, OL  
10. Panthers – QB Mac Jones, Alabama  

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Dolphins at Jets 

1 p.m. ET (CBS, stream on CBS All Access)

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After losing his first start as the Dolphins quarterback, rookie Tua Tagovailoa will surely be motivated to get back in the win column after seeing their five-game winning streak come to an end in Denver. While Sam Darnold’s shoulder injury has kept him on the bench, the Jets’ offense, led by veteran Joe Flacco, has scored 27 and 28 points in their last two games. New York’s issue as of late has been a defense that has allowed 99 points in its last three games. The Jets have specifically been bad against the pass, something that should bode well for Tagovailoa and the Dolphins’ offense. 

Browns at Jaguars 

1 p.m. ET (CBS, stream on CBS All Access)

NFL teams probably won’t overreact to Justin Fields’ three-interception performance during Ohio State’s win over Indiana last Saturday. That being said, there may be an added emphasis on obtaining the No. 1 overall pick if Fields’ struggles carry over into this weekend’s game against Illinois. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have their work cut out for them after Pro Bowl linebacker Josh Allen was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Jacksonville’s defense, 24th in the NFL against the run, will be up against arguably the league’s best running back duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt

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Giants at Bengals 

1 p.m. ET (Fox, stream on Fubo TV, try for free)

While they would surely like a top-five draft pick, it’s safe to say that Joe Judge would rather clinch a playoff berth during his first season in New York. A top-10 pick and a playoff berth are certainly in play for the Giants, who are just a half-game behind the Eagles for first place in the NFC East. The Giants, who are likely targeting either an offensive lineman, a cornerback or a receiver in the first round, have just two games remaining against teams with losing records. One of those teams is the Bengals, who should be in position to select the highest-rated offensive lineman in this year’s draft. 

Washington at Cowboys 

Thursday, 4:30 p.m. (Fox, stream on Fubo TV, try for free)

Like the Giants, Washington and Dallas are also just a half game behind the Eagles for first place in the East. Washington, who is coming off of a 20-9 win over the Bengals, has four games remaining against teams with winning records. Dallas, who is also coming off a win after defeating the Vikings last Sunday, also has four games left against teams with losing records. Washington is hoping to duplicate its success the first time these teams faced off back in Week 7. Led by rookie Antonio Gibson (128 rushing yards and a touchdown) and receiver Terry McLaurin (seven catches, 90 yards, one touchdown) and two sacks by Montez Sweat, Washington breezed past Dallas, 25-3. The Football Team’s offense will look a little different this time around, with Alex Smith preparing to make his third start of the season. 

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Chargers at Bills 

1 p.m. ET (CBS, stream on CBS All Access)

The Chargers finally won a close game last Sunday, as Los Angeles defeated the visiting Jets, 34-28. Los Angeles has enjoyed a prolific season from quarterback Justin Herbert, who on Sunday became the first rookie in NFL history to throw at least three touchdowns in five different games. The Chargers will likely continue to find themselves in this series of stories, however, as Los Angeles has four games remaining against teams with winning records. That includes this Sunday’s game against a 7-3 Bills team that is coming off a bye. 


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