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QB Rankings: 2021 NFL DRAFT

1. Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)

*Ken Ruinard / AP, Pool*

What can be said about Trevor Lawrence that hasn’t already been said? As a prospect, you will not find any better. His measurables (6’6, 213 lbs) along with the natural ability to spin a football can lead you to believe he was made in a lab somewhere.

Trevor has experienced three losses since turning 14 years old. A 21-17 loss to Blessed Trinity as a senior in high school is the lone loss from his pre-Clemson days… while losses to LSU in the 2020 National Championship Game & Ohio State in the 2021 College Football Playoffs Semi-Finals exist as the only blemishes on an otherwise flawless resume.

With all that success, you can raise one question: how will Trevor react to potentially losing two — or three — times as many games in the 2021 season as he did in the past half decade combined? A similar question can be posed to Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer. These two are joined at the hip from here on out, let’s see if they can turn around a franchise in despair… or if they’re just the next chapter in the painful story of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

GRADE: Top Player in Draft

2. Justin Fields (Ohio State)

*AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File*

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Justin Fields is a special, special individual. After running a blazing 4.4 40 yard dash, it would be easy for misconceptions to arise that Fields is merely a runner. I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.

An extremely accurate passer over his career at Ohio State, very few times did you see Fields look overwhelmed. Games against Big Ten rivals Indiana & Northwestern are the glaring exceptions to the previous statement. Applying constant pressure, the Hoosiers & Wildcats were able to keep him flustered throughout the game.

I struggle to understand why evaluators are focusing so heavily on two games though, and seemingly ignoring the greatness that he displayed week in and week out. Fields produced one of the guttiest performances I’ve ever witnessed against Clemson in the College Football Playoffs. After suffering what many believed to be a hit that would end his night — and potentially college career — Justin came back out and played the best he ever has.

I was sold in that moment. His minor flaws (reading progressions, footwork, handling pressure from the pocket) can all be coached up. The intangibles (leadership, intelligence, heart) cannot be taught. Any team would be lucky to have a quarterback like this to build a franchise around.

GRADE: Top Five Pick

3. Trey Lance (North Dakota State)

*Sam Hodde/AP*

Okay now I can definitely hear people saying “clickbait” but give me a chance to explain.

He did not compete against the high level competition that the previous quarterbacks on this list played against, that is a fair concern. Having only one season under his belt is another legitimate cause for concern, that of which I cannot deny. His laser rocket arm is undeniable though and when he gets a full head of steam running downhill… it’s a scary sight for onlooking linebackers and safeties. Standing at 6’4, 227 pounds, Trey Lance is built like a freight train.

In his one full season, Lance put up video game numbers. Nearly 3000 yards on 67% completion and 28 touchdowns through the air to zero interceptions. That is not to mention the damage he did with his legs; posting 1100 yards on 169 attempts, good for 6.5 yards per carry. 14 touchdowns on the ground brings his total to 42 during the 2019 campaign, along with one lost fumble being the only turnover he was responsible for.

Trey also has valuable experience lining up under center and running a play action centric offense, both of which are necessary for a lot of NFL schemes. A landing spot with a brilliant offensive mind and a chance to learn is all Lance needs to realize his true potential. It would not surprise me five years from now if he is the best quarterback from the 2021 draft class.

GRADE: Top Ten Pick

4. Zach Wilson (BYU)

*Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune*

Broadway Zach, at long last has made an appearance! I can already see how this is going to be framed as slander towards the BYU prospect, but I assure you I am a very big fan.

Let’s get the negative out of the way real quick. My main reason for concern comes down to some basic mechanical issues and his desire to play hero ball. What I mean by “hero ball” is that he has a bit of a tendency to choose the more difficult throw, rather than the easiest read. It looks great for college tape but it is much harder to get away with in the NFL. Sometimes taking five yards is better than going for 40 yards every play.

With that being said, Wilson has the best arm talent in this draft, so it is hard to blame him for thinking he can always make the special play. He is able to make throws that 99.9% of this planet would have no chance of making. Off platform throws and improvised roll outs are becoming a key trait for NFL quarterbacks and Zach has those traits in spades. For that reason, you should absolutely take a chance on him in the top ten of this draft if you are a quarterback needy team.

GRADE: Top Ten Pick

5. Mac Jones (Alabama)

*Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images*

If it happened to be 2006, Mac Jones would have a real chance at being the first quarterback selected in this draft. Pure pocket passers are going the way of the dinosaurs and slowly dying out. With the Drew Brees’ and Peyton Mannings’ retiring and the Pat Mahomes’ and Lamar Jacksons’ entering the league, dual threat quarterbacks are in style.

That is not to say that Mac Jones can’t or won’t have a very successful career with the correct franchise. He needs a team that accepts his limited athleticism in favor of his unbelievable precision and accuracy. There are still coaches out there that believe in the latter.

Possessing the best anticipation in the draft, Mac was regularly able to get his throws on the receiver’s hip immediately out of their break. You can argue that he had a loaded supporting class, and no one would push back against that. I will say that after Waddle went down, his cabinet of weapons lost a key competent. Nonetheless, behind the strength of Heisman trophy winner DeVonta Smith, Jones was able to raise his draft stock from Day Three to potential top ten in the span of 12 months. An impressive feat.

GRADE: Top 25 Pick

6. Davis Mills (Stanford)

*Abbie Parr/Getty Images*

My sleeper of the draft at the quarterback position is starting to gain more and more steam as we approach draft weekend. A former number one overall recruit coming out of high school, the talent has never been in question with Mills. The true question is durability and inexperience.

Having never played in more than eight games in any college season, there is not a lot of tape to build an opinion on. Unlike Lance & Wilson — both of whom get knocked for being “one season wonders” — Mills doesn’t even have that one season to lean on. This is why he is not higher on my board, because he is firmly in the top five at the position strictly in terms of talent.

Davis needs to land in a spot without any immediate pressure to start. He needs a full offseason or two to get accustomed to the way of the NFL. I view him as the best developmental quarterback available after round one and worth a flier for any team that has the time to develop him. Don’t be surprised if he gets his name called earlier than anyone expects.

GRADE: Round Two

7. Kyle Trask (Florida)

*Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports*

Kyle Trask is a very polarizing prospect in the draft world. Some see his stats and highlights from last year and view him as a franchise quarterback. Others watch them and see a whole lot of Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney making 50/50 catches and doing a lot of damage after the ball is already in their hands.

I fall somewhere in the middle. While it’s clear to see how much the numbers were boosted by Pitts and Toney, it is unfair to give them all the credit. Trask made some gutsy throws in the biggest games of the year and never shied away from the moment. The bigger bodied quarterback gives off Ben Roethlisberger-lite vibes if you watch him enough.

The potential is there to be a starter one day. Coaching through some of his fundamental issues such as footwork and finishing his throws, could result in Trask being a steal on Day Two of the draft.

GRADE: Round Three

8. Kellen Mond (Texas A&M)

*Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports*

Chris Simms set the world on fire when he had Kellen Mond listed ahead of Justin Fields and Trey Lance on his prospect rankings list. While having a great friendship with Kyle Shanahan goes a long way — I have a hard time seeing what Simms sees.

On the surface, there’s a lot to like. Mond was able to overcome a lot of adversity this past season, having lost many players from his 2019 squad. Not only did Mond cut down on turning the ball over, he also completed the highest percentage of passes in his career last season. All the while he & Jimbo Fisher nearly catapulted Texas A&M to the playoffs.

Going to the NFL is a whole different story though. Mond is athletic and can throw on the move, while also using the unique arm slots being popularized in the league today. However, major concerns are that he has never been known as accurate due to this. Kellen also lacks the field coverage that you’d like to see from his position. Often times on tape I noticed receivers coming open and Mond never seeing them.

I won’t rule out a team like the Washington Football Team or New Orleans Saints taking him in the middle rounds. His future outlook ultimately comes down to where he lands and how patient that coaching staff is.

GRADE: Late Round Three/Early Round Four


9. Shane Buechele (SMU)

GRADE: Round Five

10. Jamie Newman (WF/Georgia)

GRADE: Round Five

11. Brady White (Memphis)

GRADE: Late Round Five/Early Round Six

12. Sam Ehlinger (Texas)

GRADE: Round Six

13. Feleipe Franks (Arkansas)

GRADE: Round Six


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