For most of the 2021 season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Texans would use their first-round pick on the quarterback position. But after consecutive wins including Sunday’s 41-29 victory over the Chargers, it appears the Texans may decide to stick with Davis Mills while spending their first pick on another position.
Mills will try to strengthen his case to be the Texans’ starting quarterback in 2022 with a strong finish to the 2021 campaign. And if the Texans ultimately feel content with Mills, that could create some trade opportunities, specifically from teams that are looking to draft a quarterback with their first-round pick. Teams that could try to trade up for a quarterback include the Panthers, Washington and the Falcons. The Saints and Steelers may also be interested in trading up for a quarterback, but given their current positions in the first round, their best option would likely be trading to acquire one of either New York team’s first-round picks if Matt Corral and Kenny Pickett manage to slip past the first few picks in the draft.
Here’s a look at the five Week 17 games that could determine the No. 1 overall pick, along with the current top of the draft order. Click here to check out which player our CBS Sports NFL Draft analysts currently have your team taking in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Current top 10 picks
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13)
2. Detroit Lions (2-12-1)
3. Houston Texans (4-11)
4. New York Jets (4-11)
5. New York Giants (4-11)
6. New York Jets (5-10) from Seattle
7. Carolina Panthers (5-10)
8. New York Giants (5-10) from Chicago
9. Washington Football Team (6-9)
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
Important Week 17 games
Jacksonville at New England
The Jaguars’ odds at landing the No. 1 overall pick for a second straight year will likely increase after this weekend, as they are facing a Patriots team that is hungry to get back on track following last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo. Two of our CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have the Jaguars selecting defensive end Aidan Hutchinson with the top pick in the draft. This year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, Hutchinson is hoping to lead Michigan to a victory over Georgia in Friday’s College Football Playoff Semifinal.
Detroit at Seattle
The safe guess is that the Lions will select Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux if they are able to get the No. 2 overall pick. That would mean that the Lions will spend two high picks in consecutive years on strengthening both of their interiors after selecting former Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell last year. If this year’s quarterback class was stronger, the thought could be that the Lions either select a quarterback or trade out of the pick for capital. As it is, the Lions will probably stick with Jared Goff for another year while using their first pick on a player who can improve a defense that is 30th in the NFL in red zone efficiency.
Houston at San Francisco
If the Texans decided to select a quarterback, they should have their choice between Corral and Pickett, who will enter the draft following decorated careers at Ole Miss and Pitt, respectively. As of now, our experts have the Texans using this pick on either NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu or on LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. A unanimous first-team All-American, Ekwonu has been credited with 154 “pancakes” over the past two seasons. A key cog on LSU’s 2019 national championship-winning team, Stingley excelled at man-to-man coverage during his time with the Tigers.
Buccaneers at Jets
Along with Stingley and Ekwonu, our experts have also linked Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal to the Jets with their first of two first-round picks. A dominant presence at offensive tackle for Alabama, Neal has logged 38 starts for the Crimson Tide entering Friday’s College Football Playoff semifinal game against Cincinnati. He would be a significant addition to a Jets offensive line that has allowed 43 sacks through 15 games.
New York Giants at Chicago
Offensive line, receiver and defensive end are the positions the Giants will likely try to address with their two first-round picks. Our Chris Trapasso has the Giants selecting Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Burks used his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame to catch 118 passes for 1,923 yards and 18 touchdowns during his final 21 games with the Razorbacks. While the Giants’ receivers room is pretty full, Burks would give New York some flexibility in the event that the team parts with Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard this offseason.