After the first two weeks of the 2020 NFL season, it appears increasingly possible that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence - the prohibited favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft - could be playing his home games at MetLife Stadium next year.
Is it too early to begin thinking about who could have the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft? Perhaps, but it's not exactly shocking that both the Jets and Giants are off to 0-2 starts and appear to be among the worst teams in the sport. Adam Gase's Jets checked in at No. 32 on our Week 2 RADIO.COM NFL Power Rankings and then proceeded to lose 31-12 to the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants narrowly lost to the Bears in Chicago, but appear as though they lost Saquon Barkley for the season with an torn ACL.
Of course, there's time for both the Jets and Giants to turn their respective seasons around, and perhaps even compete for the postseason. However, neither team was seen as a serious playoff contender entering the season, and the first two weeks suggest they may be even worse than we anticipated. The Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings were playoff teams a season ago and have started 0-2. Will they turn their season around to the point that they can climb back in the postseason race? Maybe not. But is there enough talent on those rosters that they'll play themselves well out of the discussion for the No. 1 pick? Almost certainly.
From here, with Barkley, it was pretty unlikely that the Giants would be bad enough to seriously be in the discussion for the No. 1 pick. Even if Barkley is out for the season, as it appears he will be, Daniel Jones, Darius Slayton and company may be part of a roster that's talented enough to play themselves out of having the No. 1 pick. But their chances of landing the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft certainly increase with Barkley on the shelf for the rest of the season.
The Jets, on the other hand, have perhaps become the favorite to land the No. 1 pick. They traded their best player, Jamal Adams, just prior to the start of the regular season. To this point, there's no indication the second year of Le'Veon Bell in New York will go any better than the first - he's currently on the IR after suffering a hamstring injury in an underwhelming Week 1 performance. Through the first two weeks of the season, Adam Gase's team has been outscored 57-30, and it appears that regardless of where the Jets pick in next year's draft, they'll likely do so with a new head coach.
The two teams that seemingly entered Week 1 as the favorites to land the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft were the Washington Football Team and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Washington, behind Chase Young and an exciting defensive line, upset the Eagles in Week 1. Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars upset the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, and narrowly lost to the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. We're not going to pick either team to go the playoffs based off of two games, but perhaps they aren't quite as bad as we thought - and won't end up with the top pick.
Other than the Jets, Giants and aforementioned trio of 2019 playoff teams, the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons are off to 0-2 starts. Among the teams that are winless in the early going, we might be inclined to take the two New York teams over the field in terms of who is most likely to ultimately finish with the worst record in the NFL and land the No. 1 pick.
Both franchises, of course, have made recent major investments in quarterbacks. The Jets selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Giants shocked the world by taking Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Would the Jets and/or Giants be willing to move off either so quickly? Joe Douglas, the general manager for the Jets, didn't draft Darnold. Dave Gettleman did draft Jones for the Giants, but if the team is in position to have the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it's fair to wonder if he'll still be employed by the team.
The Arizona Cardinals obtained the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and selected Kyler Murray, despite having used a top-10 pick on Josh Rosen the prior season. Both Darnold and Jones have accomplished more in the NFL than Rosen, but Murray also wasn't viewed as a generational prospect in the way that Lawrence is. If you land the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, you're going to take Lawrence and figure out what to do with your current quarterback after.
What would create a more interesting dilemma would be if either the Jets or Giants landed the No. 2 pick. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields tossed 41 touchdowns and ran for nearly 500 yards a season ago and is likely to be picked in that spot. It would be pretty unfathomable for anyone to seriously shop the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But would the Jets or Giants weigh moving the No. 2 pick, allowing someone else to draft Fields and continuing to build around their current quarterback? That at least seems possible, though perhaps still not the most likely scenario.
There's still 15 weeks - and 14 games - for both the Jets and Giants to play themselves out of any of these scenario. But yeah, the possibility of "Broadway Trevor" feels a bit more plausible after the first two weeks of the 2020 campaign.