I've had a lot of fun working on my Top 100 Prospects of 2021, but perhaps even more valuable than a pure top 100 is getting a feel for where players rank positionally. Today, I'm going to break down my top ten prospects at quarterback. Keep in mind that I'm not projecting what NFL teams will think or where these players will be selected. Instead, this is how I see these players and where I'd be comfortable drafting them.
#1 Justin Fields, Ohio State
Fields has everything I look for in the 2021 QB prospect, and questions about his processing speed are overblown based on the offense he played in at Ohio State. He's the most accurate QB in the draft and a terrific athlete.
Verdict: Top Two
#2 Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Right on par with Fields, I love Trevor Lawrence. I worry about his frame (but I project he'll be able to add mass) and his move from Clemson's wonky screen-heavy offense, but Lawrence can do it all on the football field and should be a Pro Bowl caliber player early on in his career.
Verdict: Top Two
#3 Trey Lance, NDSU
Lance has elite size, arm strength, athleticism, and is a junkie when it comes to studying offense. I wish we got more tape from him, but I'm willing to bet on his remarkable physical tools and mind for the game.
Verdict: Top Five
#4 Zach Wilson, BYU
Wilson is a one-year wonder. His quick release, pocket presence, and mobility dazzled the college football world in 2020. But he's slight in frame and was never tested by elite defenses in college. I'm confident he'll be a fun quarterback at the next level, and I'd be happy to draft him, but he's the riskiest of the top four for me.
Verdict: Top Ten
#5 Mac Jones, Alabama
He's the toughest study of the group. Jones was surrounded by magnificent talent and excellent play designs at Alabama, but he always took advantage of the tools around him. His size isn't a major concern. Jones shows superior accuracy and was effective even under pressure in 2020. He's a strong leader and a likable personality. His lack of adversity on the field at Alabama makes it challenging to get a full grasp on how good Jones really is.
Verdict: Early Second Round
#6 Davis Mills, Stanford
Mills has a projectable combination of size, arm talent, and mental processing. He has modest college production, but the film tells me this passer could develop into a below-average to average starter at the next level, given the right scheme. He puts plenty of zip on the ball and is mostly accurate to all three levels of the field. Mills has a good feel for the pocket and has enough athleticism to make some plays on the move. Mills was a team captain and showed competitive toughness.
Verdict: Early Third Round
#7 Kyle Trask, Florida
Trask has elite size, accuracy, field vision, and pocket presence. What he doesn't possess is a strong arm. I'm not sure he can get enough velocity on his throws to succeed regularly at the next level. Perhaps he can overcome his arm strength issues with elite mental processing.
Verdict: Third Round
#8 Jamie Newman, Wake Forest/Georgia
A 2020 opt-out that really could've used another year of seasoning. Newman was impressive at Wake in 2019 and has a desirable blend of arm talent, size, and athleticism. From a physical standpoint, he's ready-made for the NFL game, but Newman needs development in many areas, including accuracy and decision making.
Verdict: Fourth Round
#9 Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Mond was raised to play QB, literally. His father trained him from an early age to be a gun-slinger. Mond had plenty of ups and downs at Texas A&M, but he played fairly well during Senior Bowl practices and has the physical tools to succeed at the next level. Mond never really developed consistent accuracy and struggles with pocket presence.
Verdict: Fifth Round
#10 Shane Buechele, SMU
At this point, it's a crapshoot. Buechele doesn't have the desired physical traits and has a slow release, but with his accuracy and timing, he might develop into a solid number two in west coast style offense.
Verdict: Seventh Round to UDFA
Other names to watch: Sam Ehlinger (Texas), Ian Book (Notre Dame), Feleipe Franks (Arkansas), KJ Costello (Mississippi State), Peyton Ramsey (Northwestern)
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