NCAA Football NFL Draft

The Top Five Quarterbacks of the 2021 NFL Draft: Don’t Overthink It

Featured image credit: TigerNet.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Folks, if you’re anything like me you spent all of yesterday in a football coma enjoying the College Football Playoffs. Yesterday’s games were incredibly revealing to me for a lot of reasons. For starters, the top two quarterbacks were absolutely solidified in my eyes. In previous editions of this article series, I fell victim to overthinking this year’s quarterback class. To be fair, I did have some legitimate questions about Justin Fields.

He struggled against the two best teams he played on his schedule this year. Ohio State looked unprepared to play against Northwestern a few weeks ago. Fields wasn’t elevating the players around him like you’d want a franchise carrying quarterback to do.

Then last night happened.

The arm talent? Check. The poise? Check. The mauxy? Check. The toughness? Check. It was clear as day to me that I was missing these things from watching Fields play previously. They were always there but they were not as apparent as they were last night.

So I’m not going to overthink this year’s quarterback class. If you have to say “yeah, but..” to justify taking one of these quarterbacks then you’re doing it wrong. In my eyes there are three can’t miss quarterback prospects in this draft. All of the other ones have legitimate questions that need to be answered. Let’s get to the rankings.

1. Trevor Lawrence- Clemson

I can’t believe I have to type this but there are actually people perpetuating a reality where Trevor Lawrence doesn’t go number 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars based solely on last night’s game. I’m sorry but you can’t do that. You can’t ignore the body of work of three years and toss that in the garbage over one game.

Trevor Lawrence is a generational quarterback prospect. Don’t overthink this one. He will be the first overall pick should he not decide that he has unfinished business at Clemson and he will make the Jaguars legitimate contenders within the next few seasons. Write it in ink. Get it tattooed across your forehead.

Comparison: None, one of a kind

2. Justin Fields- Ohio State

At last I’ve seen the light when it comes to Justin Fields. I fell victim to overthinking it. I get the concerns that people have but if they weren’t alleviated when watching the playoff game last night then I don’t think you’re being fair.

He clearly has all of the arm talent in the world. He’s accurate. He’s extremely mobile. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I really enjoyed watching him last night. The Jets should absolutely take him at number 2.

Comparison: Dak Prescott with a much better arm

3. Zach Wilson- BYU

Mormon Manziel is flying up draft boards at the speed of light and I completely understand why. This guy is a really talented quarterback. He’s incredibly accurate and he’s got the best pure arm strength in this draft. He’s good at using his mobility to both pick up yards and extend plays. He also possesses a strong ability to go through his progressions and make good decisions.

The critics will say that his level of competition wasn’t great playing at BYU and that they’d like to see him play against tougher competition. Here’s my response to that.

The arm is too good. The ability to go through his progressions is strong. He’s going to be a good quarterback in the NFL. If you’re still not convinced, watch his tape from this season.

Comparison: Baker Mayfield with Josh Allen’s arm

4. Kyle Trask- Florida

Kyle Trask is a tricky prospect to evaluate. He throws the ball with incredibly great touch and in some ways it’s so good that it makes you forget that he has a noodle arm. Once you see the noodle arm you just can’t unsee it. A lot of people think that arm strength is how far a quarterback can throw it. While that’s part of it, it’s more of a quarterback’s ability to fit the ball into tight windows with precision and velocity. Kyle Trask’s throws float.

Here Trask can’t make the throw on an out route from the opposite hash because it doesn’t have enough zip on the ball.

Now when you watch Zach Wilson make a similar style throw, it displays what true arm strength looks like.

Trask will have to go to a place that has a west coast system. He can dink and dunk with the best of them but that arm is just not great. It’s sad to see because I really like the guy but facts are facts.

Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger with Daniel Jones’s arm

5. Trey Lance- North Dakota

Not much has changed when it comes to my evaluation of Trey Lance because he hasn’t played any games since my last write up. Lance has an insane arm and he’s mobile but in my eyes he’s not consistently accurate enough to be a great quarterback in today’s NFL. If everything goes perfectly for him he will be Cam Newton and I personally wouldn’t want to leave my franchise in the hands of Cam Newton. You can read my full write up on Trey Lance here.

Comparison: Cam Newton

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