Updated April 27, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2021 NFL Draft is just two days away! Here are some rumors that I have heard from sources with the draft quickly approaching.
There is a lot of talk of some teams trading down from the top 10, including the Falcons, Lions and Panthers. In speaking with sources from a few of those teams, however, they say that moving down is going to require good packages in return and they won't trade down at a discount. Multiple sources from those teams say this is not a very good draft overall, so getting a lot of extra picks on Day 2 and in the mid-rounds while passing up on an elite player is not intriguing. First-round picks from future drafts will probably be needed to entice those teams to move down.
The 2021 NFL Draft is known to be a weak year for defensive line talent, especially on the inside of the line, but one player who team sources have said has had a late rise is Houston defensive end Payton Turner. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder has excellent size and strength along with surprising quickness. He manhandled some offensive linemen last year going against a weak schedule, but teams like the athletic upside that he has. Multiple team sources say they think Turner will go in the second round and won't slip to the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft.
In the realm of stating the obvious, team sources with the Jets say that the organization has decided on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Ultimately, Jets general manager Joe Douglas wanted to reset the contract by going with Wilson and moving on from Sam Darnold. Douglas also wanted a clear-cut quarterback in place as the leader of the franchise for the team to build around with their new coaching staff. The only regret was Douglas not making the decision earlier because, as reported by NFL reporter Cecil Lammey, the Jets turned down the 49ers' first-round pick for Darnold. The Jets would have had picks No. 2, 12 and 23 in the first round had Douglas taken that deal.
Darnold landing with the Carolina Panthers came in part because the team believed the quarterbacks they liked would be off the board. Those signal-callers are Zach Wilson and, to a lesser extent, Justin Fields. The Panthers knew Wilson was a lock to go in the top three after the San Francisco trade, and many assumed Fields would go third overall or would not make it to their pick at No. 8.
Sources say Carolina does not like Trey Lance and does not feel he is a good fit for Joe Brady's offense. They also don't believe Mac Jones has the skill set to justify being a high first-round pick. There is some debate in the building about Justin Fields, with some liking him and others being skeptical. Those feelings about the different quarterbacks led to the trade with the Jets, and with Darnold in the fold, the Panthers are likely to target a cornerback or left tackle at No. 8, provided they do not trade down.