QB Class of 2021
By: Lucas Kochevar
It is officially NFL draft season and the class at QB is causing controversy already. Outside of the first QB, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, everyone seems to be divided on how to rank these guys. Zach Wilson shows unreal placement and makes many jaw-dropping plays. Justin Fields has been at the front of Ohio State's success and showed his tools during the College Football Playoffs. Trey Lance pops on film with his elite mobility and pro-ready tools. Mac Jones had an unforgettable year with Alabama and is highly regarded since the Senior Bowl a couple weeks ago. This article will be my ranking for the time. Circumstances change and with pro days coming up here in March, I can't say these will be my final rankings, but here we go.
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Well, duh. The explanation does not need to be long here. Trevor Lawrence has shown in his three years at Clemson that he is worth every bit of the hype. He will go number one to Jacksonville as one of the best QB prospects of all-time.
2. Zach Wilson, BYU
Wilson made football look easy this past year at BYU. He made a number of plays that were unreal and elevated his talent. He showed great anticipation on throws, especially deep throws. He also does a good job of throwing on the run and has traits that really pop. The knock on Wilson is that his competition was not very good. My concern is that he will play too reckless and depend on his talent instead of letting the game come to him. With decent mobility, Wilson looks to be the prototypical QB for today's NFL.
3. Trey Lance, NDSU
Lance did not get to play a full season with North Dakota State, but that should not take away from the film he put out two seasons ago. It is important to note that he was a redshirt freshman. The mechanics he showed were NFL ready and he made many throws that were placed perfectly. He is the most mobile QB in this class and runs with physicality, which is a slight concern as you would like to see him protect himself. Lance runs a pro-ready scheme with a ton of play-action. The concerns with Lance are similar to Wilson with the competition being low and he didn't play great in the strange showcase game that NDSU played this past year.
4. Justin Fields, OSU
Fields came into this season as the clear cut number two prospect, but concerns arose through the year. Fields showed great mobility and didn't turn the ball in his first year at Ohio State. This past season, he showed regression in his decision making. Fields does a good job at hitting the first read and throwing outside of the numbers. His arm strength is not a question. The best film of Justin Fields is definitely from the Clemson game this year in the CFP. In that game he showed all his strengths and outplayed Lawrence. My concern with Fields is the speed of the next level and the growth he will have to show reading the defenses. I also fear that once he is taken out of the OSU offense, he will look average or worse. I think his mobility puts him over Mac Jones, but it is buyers beware when drafting him.
5. Mac Jones, Alabama
Jones has come on very strong this past week. The buzz around him is loud and he is jumping up the draft board rapidly. The Alabama QB played nearly flawless as he lead them to the National Championship. Jones was very impressive with his accuracy, especially on the deep ball. During the Senior Bowl this year, Jones was applauded heavily by teammates and others in regards to his leadership. His teammates all seem to love him and this is one of those traits that separates prospects. The biggest concern with Jones is the level of talent he played with. He was throwing the ball to the Heisman winner, several more first round caliber players, and the best offensive line in the NCAA. Also, he is not as mobile as the other four ahead of him. His ceiling is the lowest as the four ahead of him too. All in all, Jones is a reliable pocket passer with a good arm. He could really shine if drafted to the right spot.
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I love sports and I'm a local fan of the Falcons, Hawks, and Braves. You can find my quick thoughts and more on my twitter @lucaswkochevar