JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars will select No. 1 overall for the first time.
The Jaguars on Sunday secured the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, losing to the Chicago Bears on the same day the New York Jets beat the Cleveland Browns. The two results assured the Jaguars of holding the rights to the No. 1 selection entering the offseason.
The Jaguars' 41-17 loss to the Bears at TIAA Bank Field became final around 4:04, giving them their franchise-record 14th consecutive loss and dropping them to 1-14 for the season.
The Jets, who had been without a victory this season until upsetting the Los Angeles Rams last week, clinched a 23-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns about 4:20. The Jets' victory improved them to 2-13. If the teams finish tied for the worst record in the NFL – which could happen if the Jets lose to New England next Sunday and the Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts in the teams' regular-season finales – the Jaguars would select No. 1 overall because their 2020 strength of schedule would be worse than that of the Jets.
The Jaguars have selected No. 2 overall in three previous drafts – 1995 (left tackle Tony Boselli), 1996 (linebacker Kevin Hardy) and 2013 (left tackle Luke Joeckel). They never have held the No. 1 overall selection.
Many NFL observers believe the first player selected in the 2021 NFL Draft will be Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone after Sunday's game lauded the play of running back Dare Ogunbowale, who rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries in his first NFL start. Ogunbowale started because rookie running back James Robinson missed the game with ankle injury sustained in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week. "I thought he did a nice job; I really did," Marrone said of Ogunbowale. "He averaged about five yards a carry and had a nice 25-yard run. He was running hard. It would have been nice to see if the game was close and now all of a sudden he's at 20 or 25 [carries] – how he would have done there. I thought he did a nice job going in there."
Mike Glennon starting at quarterback for the Jaguars Sunday marked the team's fourth quarterback change of the season, with Gardner Minshew II starting the first seven games, rookie Jake Luton starting the next three, Glennon starting three after that and Minshew starting one before Glennon returned to the lineup Sunday. Glennon completed 24 of 37 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns Sunday and his 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. tied the game 10-10 with 8:21 remaining in the first half. But Bears linebacker Roquan Smith intercepted Glennon at the end of the first half and in the third quarter, with those interceptions leading directly to 10 points and keying a run of 31 consecutive Chicago points. "Was there a point where I'm like, 'Hey, should I put Gardner in there?''' Marrone said. "I was thinking about it, but there weren't enough possessions [remaining to rally].' I didn't want to put him in there in that type of situation."
Marrone: "These guys, they care about each other. They're consoling each other in the locker room. It's difficult. But again: You're not getting a lot of people pointing fingers. You're not getting people that want to take themselves out of the game. You're getting guys who are going in there and trying."
Marrone: "I'm trying to win football games with the guys we have. That's my job. That's what I'm working on."