The NFL Draft is less than a month away and we have really seen it all in relation to mock drafts, position rankings, and more. It’s always fun to try and determine who will be the best QB or overall player in each draft and hear everyone argue about who’s the best, who’s a bust, or who would end up as a future NFL Hall of Famer.
The NFL Draft in recent years has been glorifying the QB position and teams who need a QB have been aggressive to get their new franchise QB. We have seen the Rams and Eagles trade up for Jared Goff and Carson Wentz who haven’t panned out, but we have also seen teams like the Chiefs and Ravens who hit gold with their stars in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.
Quarterback will always be the most important position for a franchise, so here is the top-five college QBs who have entered the 2021 NFL draft.
5.) Trey Lance, North Dakota State (NDSU)
Trey Lance has all the parts a NFL team is looking for in a modern-day QB. He’s big, strong, tough, has a big arm and isn’t afraid to sling it. Lance threw for an outstanding 28 touchdowns without and interception in 2019, but NDSU only got to play one game in 2020 due to COVID-19. Lance has a high ceiling but he will need to be groomed by a veteran and may not not perform well if thrown into a fire too quickly. An example is current Jets QB Same Darnold. Darnold had top tier potential coming out of USC, but was torn down after being thrown into a lousy Jets franchise with little to no weapons. Lance isn’t necessarily a project, but he’s not NFL ready.
Player Comparison: Cam Newton
4.) Mac Jones, Alabama
Mac Jones led the Alabama Crimson Tide to yet another National Championship, and was a candidate along with teammate Devonta Smith for the Heisman Trophy. Jones had a decent pro day aside from some inaccurate deep-balls and one Bill Bellichick video shown shaking his head during the Alabama’s QB workout. Jones has played with elite teammates, one being the Heisman in Smith and another projected 1st-rounder in Jaylen Waddle. Alabama is usually atop the best draft classes, so the concern is if Mac Jones can fit in the offense he goes to, and if the weapons are to his pleasing.
Player Comparison: A.J. McCarron
3.) Zach Wilson, Brigham Young University (BYU)
According to reports, several NFL teams have Zach Wilson rated as their highest QB, as well as draft expert Chris Simms and more analysts. The Wilson hype is real, especially after his pro day performance that puts the Jets in the position to decide if he is there future or not. Personally, I love Wilson and his athleticism. His play can definitely translate in the modern-day NFL offense, but what is concerning is Wilson’s college competition. BYU is an FBS school and Wilson’s toughest competition was Boise State (W) and Coastal Carolina (L) who were both ranked during their matchups. It’s fair to put Wilson at 2, 3, or even 4 for this QB-heavy class, but bud potential is fairly high even coming from a smaller conference.
Player Comparison: Kyler Murray
2.) Justin Fields, Ohio State (OSU)
Most have Justin Fields in the 3-4 range in rankings, but he has shown me that he is ready for the NFL after competing with the top teams in college, and defeated Trevor Lawrence and his Clemson Tigers. Fields is not quite on Lawrence’s level yet, but he has dominated college and could benefit from an offense with some outside weapons such as the Atlanta Falcons or Denver Broncos. A concern for fields is his hesitation in the pocket, usually waiting for a WR to break or a coverage to open up which won’t fly in the league with lockdown corners. Fields is the perfect prototype for a franchise that wants to turn around their team sooner than later.
Player Comparison: Robert Griffin III
1.) Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Trevor Lawrence is arguably the most dominant college QB in the history or college football, but some believe Lawrence benefited from Dabo Sweeney and his elite college program. Prior to Lawrence’s commitment to the Tigers, he was one of high school’s most elite prospects and was known for his elite accuracy and big arm. Those categories along with most have grown to an elite level and his play will fit perfectly in Jacksonville with Urban Meyer.
Player Comparison: Josh Allen