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2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

That chair doesn’t even look THAT comfortable.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Nature is healing. Roger Goodell is urging fans in Cleveland to boo him.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Jaguars Coach Urban Meyer, left, and the team’s owner, Shad Khan, are ready for the franchise’s moment in the spotlight.
Credit…Agnes Lopez for The New York Times

The Jacksonville Jaguars, who play in one of the smallest N.F.L. markets and have the draft’s first pick, are not wasting their moment in the spotlight.

Like all teams, Jacksonville has 10 minutes to make its selection, time when broadcasters usually sell pricey slots to advertisers. On Tuesday, the team teased the moment on Twitter, daring: “Do it, @NFLNetwork and @ESPNNFL. Go to commercial break during the first overall pick. We dare you.”

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

And it lights up. Just thought you should see it.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Goodell announced 2020 draft picks from his basement.
Credit…Nfl, via Getty Images

One of the most prominent features of the remote N.F.L. draft last year was the weather-beaten brown leather chair in Commissioner Roger Goodell’s basement. Announcing picks in the draft, Goodell sat and eventually slumped in the chair as the rounds wore on, something viewers turned into a meme.

Recognizing the piece of furniture’s star turn, Goodell decided to ship the chair to Cleveland, where this year’s draft will be held with some players and fans in attendance. The chair will make appearances throughout the three-day event, including in the green room where the top prospects wait to hear if they have been drafted.

The chair was a rare glimpse into the personal life of the commissioner, who has watched a lot of football games sitting in it during the 30 years he’s had it. His wife, Jane Skinner, though, apparently isn’t so fond of one of his prized possessions. As one N.F.L. insider noted, “Mrs. Goodell didn’t mind it leaving the house.”

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell was interviewed ahead of the draft on Thursday.
Credit…Matt Shiffler/Associated Press

N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the allegations of harassment and sexual assault that have been made against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were “very concerning” and that the league was continuing its own investigation into the charges, made by 22 women in separate civil suits filed in Houston.

“Obviously, we take that very seriously,” Goodell said on ESPN before the draft, in his first public comments about the case. “Those are very concerning to us, and so we’re obviously following that and obviously looking at that ourselves independently, and there are important steps we’ll be taking obviously as part of our personal conduct policy. So when we get to that point we’ll certainly make a decision.”

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II will probably be one of the first defensive players drafted Thursday. He is the son of a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback.
Credit…Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

This weekend, three N.F.L. draft prospects — Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn and Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. — are projected to be chosen in the early rounds, and they are among the sons of former players who are expected be drafted.

Surtain’s father, cornerback Patrick Surtain, a second-round draft pick in 1998, played 11 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City, and was named to three Pro Bowls. Wide receiver Joe Horn, a fifth-round selection in 1996, played 12 seasons with Kansas City, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, earning four Pro Bowl nods. Asante Samuel, drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 draft by the New England Patriots, played 11 seasons, winning two Super Bowls and was named to the Pro Bowl four times.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick but will not attend the N.F.L. draft in person.
Credit…Richard Shiro/Associated Press

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is expected to be picked first by the Jacksonville Jaguars, will be at his home outside Clemson, S.C., not onstage in Cleveland. Lawrence chose to celebrate in his living room with about a dozen family and friends and forgo the hoopla of a nationally televised bro-hug with Commissioner Roger Goodell, calling to mind last year’s all-remote draft.

Lawrence will be surrounded by his parents, Jeremy and Amanda; his older brother and sister-in-law, Chase and Brooke; his younger sister, Olivia; his wife, Marissa; and his college coach, Dabo Swinney. Other friends may join them in Lawrence’s living room.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Zach Wilson walked the red carpet before the first round of the draft.
Credit…David Dermer/Associated Press

Last year, as the coronavirus pandemic raged, N.F.L. prospects in the draft were welcomed to the league with television cameras in their living rooms. Now, as the N.F.L. stages a hybrid format for the 2021 draft, a limited number of players will be on site in Cleveland, while others will participate remotely.

Twelve players are confirmed to be there. Presumptive No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, a quarterback from Clemson, declined the N.F.L.’s invitation and will watch at home with his wife, Marissa, and other family members. Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, who had originally accepted the invitation, tested positive for the virus and will quarantine at home.

Those in attendance will be:

Brigham Young quarterback Zach Wilson

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance

Louisiana State wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts

Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater

Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore

Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons

Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Aaron Rodgers recently tried out for another job — hosting “Jeopardy” after the death of the quiz show’s longtime star, Alex Trebek.
Credit…Carol Kaelson/Jeopardy Productions, Inc., via Associated Press

According to ESPN, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is fed up in Green Bay. Again. The three-time N.F.L. most valuable player is apparently so unhappy that he does not want to return to the team. Rodgers has expressed dissatisfaction with his coaches and a lack of offensive support, and last year the team sparked his ire by drafting a quarterback, Jordan Love, in the first round.

Rodgers, 38, is likely to stay put. General Manager Brian Gutekunst does not want to trade him, and Rodgers can’t opt out of his current contract until 2022. Rodgers would forgo millions of dollars in bonuses if he sat out this season.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Louisiana State wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase opted out of the 2020 college football season and is expected to be selected early in the N.F.L. draft’s first round.
Credit…Matthew Hinton/FR 170690AP, via Associated Press

More than 100 college football players opted out of the 2020 season because of coronavirus concerns, but some prospects are still expected to become first-round selections in the N.F.L. draft.

Members of the opt-out group — headlined by Louisiana State receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons — spent the majority of the fall and winter training for pro days, their best opportunity to remind N.F.L. evaluators of their talent. Scouting personnel said the situation created an unusual challenge, but they felt that they could complete an accurate assessment of opt-out players through interviews and film review.

2021 N.F.L. Draft: Round 1 Live Updates and Analysis

Brigham Young University’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones headline the quarterback field behind the projected No. 1 pick, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson.
Credit…Photo Illustration by The New York Times, Getty Images, Associated Press

The Jaguars, Jets and 49ers will open the first round by taking a quarterback (trust us). If the Falcons — or a team that trades up — takes one at No. 4, too, that will mark the first time that the first four picks in the N.F.L. draft have been quarterbacks.

Only twice before have quarterbacks been taken with the first three picks: in 1999, with Tim Couch (Cleveland), Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia) and Akili Smith (Cincinnati), and 1971, with Jim Plunkett (New England), Archie Manning (New Orleans) and Dan Pastorini (Houston Oilers).


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