Folks, it feels like just yesterday we were basking in the glow of summer and anxiously waiting for football to return. We then blinked our eyes a couple of times and it’s now Thanksgiving. By this time in the NFL season, you have an idea of if your team is a contender, a non-contender, or a tanker who is looking for their quarterback of the future.
If your team is in that latter category then you may be in luck because this year’s quarterback class looks absolutely loaded. I’m not going to say that there’s a ton of “generational” prospects at quarterback this year outside of Trevor Lawrence who legitimately is a generational prospect. I will say that I believe there are three really quality guys this year plus Trevor Lawrence who’s generational.
I also want to add this point in and I can’t state this enough: There generally are only 4 or 5 quarterbacks in each draft actually worth taking taking. There’s no point in wasting a draft pick on a guy who you will likely never play. Successful day 3 quarterbacks are incredibly rare these days and if you don’t get your guy in the first round then it rarely ever works out.
Let’s get to what you came here for. The rankings. You can check out my October edition of this article here.
1. Trevor Lawrence- Clemson
There’s no change in analysis for Trevor Lawrence. Below is what I wrote in October and nothing has changed. The man is an incredible talent and will be a franchise quarterback for years to come so long as he doesn’t go to the Jets.
The far and away number one quarterback heading into the 2021 NFL Draft is Trevor Lawrence out of Clemson. He’s been projected to be in this pick since before he arrived at Clemson but when you watch him play, it’s obvious as to why. He has a rocket arm and he’s a highly effective runner. He’s got a big 6’6″ frame but could probably stand to gain a few pounds as he’s listed at just 220. Lawrence is a generational talent and the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck to come out of school should he forgo his senior season.
Comparison: None, one of a kind
2. Kyle Trask- Florida
Yep, I still have Kyle Trask as my second rated quarterback this year. I absolutely love this kid’s game. I love it more than Justin Fields. I love it more than Trey Lance. I love it more than everyone except Trevor Lawrence in this draft.
He’s got an absolute cannon arm, he’s accurate, he’s mobile enough, and he’s got magic when he plays. He’s got the ability to throw guys open. Look at his raw arm talent on this play.
He’s also a quarterback who’s got insane touch on the ball.
His ability to extend plays is also incredibly fun to watch.
This man should be a top 5 NFL Draft pick this spring. He’s easily the second best quarterback prospect in this draft.
Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger but more mobile
3. Justin Fields- Ohio State
It’s going to piss a lot of people off that Justin Fields is my third ranked quarterback because the 2021 draft has been dubbed the “Lawrence/Fields” draft for quite some time but I’ve always been one to call it as I see it. I like Fields as a prospect but I don’t feel as secure about him long term as I do Lawrence or Trask.
What I do love about Fields is his elite ability to extend plays and his ability to run.
His arm is also incredibly strong.
I’m taking him with a top 10 pick and not looking back in this draft. I genuinely like his talent. I just have some genuine questions about Ohio State quarterbacks considering their track record and while Fields has been incredible this season, I don’t think I’ve seen enough to alleviate a lot of those concerns.
Comparison: The love child of Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott
4. Zach Wilson- BYU
The fast riser of this year’s draft at quarterback is Zach Wilson. There’s a lot to like here. Let’s start with the positives, this man has an ARM. He uses his arm to fit the ball into tight windows. He can throw it deep and with accuracy. It may be the best arm I’ve seen in a prospect since Josh Allen and he’s electric enough to earn the “Mormon Manziel” nickname.
Check out his insane arm.
At the same time, he’s incredibly mobile.
He can use his mobility to throw on the run and throw accurately.
The biggest negatives that I see with Wilson are his lack of competition while playing at BYU and his pockets always look clean. Will he be able to be as effective in the NFL when he’s under constant pressure and the game is moving faster? That’s literally the million dollar question. That being said, if you look at his arm talent he’s definitely worthy of a first round pick.
Comparison: Baker Mayfield with Josh Allen’s arm
5. Trey Lance- NDSU
Each year in the NFL draft there comes a point where there’s a cutoff. I believe that the cutoff is just above Trey Lance. As I stated above, there generally are only 4-5 quarterbacks in each draft worth taking. I think you can make a case for Lance in the right system but I don’t think that his ceiling is high enough for him to garner a first round selection.
Let’s go over Lance’s best trait first, which in my opinion is his ability to run the football.
He’s extremely difficult to tackle.
His arm is also incredible. He can flick the ball 50+ yards with pretty good accuracy.
The biggest knock on him is that he’s not consistently accurate in the short to intermediate passing game and unfortunately for Lance, that’s the most important part of today’s NFL. I think he’s going to be the quarterback of this draft class that has a good first season then gets found out quickly and he will never truly be elite.
So in summary, with Lance we have a big quarterback who is a good runner and has a cannon of an arm but can’t throw the ball effectively consistently. Hmmm..does this remind you of anyone?
When it’s all said and done, are you risking the next 5-10 years of your franchise on a quarterback who in the best case scenario has Cam Newton’s ceiling? That’s a hard pass from me.
Comparison: Cam Newton
I’ll be dropping another one of these lists in December!