By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: It’s that time of the year football fans as the 2021 NFL draft is only a few months away and already we’re seeing thousands of mock drafts circulating throughout the internet. Many football experts are already proclaiming that this year’s draft is deeper overall than last year’s draft and if that holds true, this should be another exciting draft for football fans to enjoy. This will be a 13-part series featuring the Top 10 prospects at each position excluding kickers, punters and fullbacks. Part 1 will focus on the quarterback position and we have a very talented bunch of prospects that could see possibly four taken in the 1st round. So let’s get started, here are my top 10 quarterbacks in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft:
- Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)-6’6/220: From day one Lawrence has been the #1 quarterback and first overall pick in the 2021 draft and nothing has changed. Lawrence has elite talent (size, speed and arm strength). Currently the top two teams slated to pick one and two both need a quarterback, so unless a major trade back occurs; you can pencil in Lawrence as the 1st player off the board.
- Justin Fields (Ohio State)-6’3/223: Fields had a late start to the season, but has performed worthy of holding onto the #2 spot on this list. In Fact, Fields has been projected as the 2nd player off the board on draft day in roughly 90% of the mocked drafts being published. Again, currently the Jaguars hold that pick and although they have many needs; quarterback is certainly a top priority.
- Kyle Trask (Florida)-6’5/239: Trask has been picking up steam in the 2nd half of the season despite losing all of his receivers from a year ago to the draft. Many project that Trask could be the 3rd or 4th quarterback off the board; which could land him anywhere from late in round 1 to somewhere in round 2.
- Mac Jones (Alabama)-6’2/205: Jones is having a magical season with the Crimson Tide, leading the #1 team in the nation to a possible National Championship. Jones doesn’t have that elite arm strength as some of the prospects on this list possess. However; what he does have is the ability to read what the defense will give him and he attacks that area with precision passing. Jones is projected to get drafted on Day 2.
- Zach Wilson (BYU)-6’3/210: Wilson has an uncanny ability to be able to throw with accuracy in any situation; whether it’s in the pocket or on the run. Wilson processes well above arm strength along with an high football IQ. Wilson could hear his name on Day 1 at the draft, but in all likelihood go early on Day 2.
- Trey Lance (North Dakota State)-6’4/227: Many scouts have labeled Lance as the next Josh Allen as both share many attributes (size, arm strength and mobility). Lance is a duel threat who projects to have a higher ceiling than some of the names on this list.
- Jamie Newman (Georgia)-6’4/230: Newman could have been a little on this list if had not opted out of the season due to Covid-19. Regardless; the talented quarterback still makes this list as he has shown glimpse of brilliance in the college career. Newman will probably get draft considerations somewhere near the end of the Day 2.
- Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati)-6’4/225: Ridder can be easily overlooked by many quarterback seeking NFL teams as Ridder can hurt with his arm and legs as he has ran for over 450 yards thus far with 9 touchdowns. Ridder should get the opportunity to hear his named called somewhere on Day 3.
- Sam Ehlinger (Texas)-6’3/230: Ehlinger might not have the arm strength, speed or mobility as some of the prospects on this list, but Ehlinger is a competitor who plays with a lot of grit. Ehlinger passing numbers are respectable, but he would certainly need some time to adjust to the NFL game. Ehlinger is projected to go somewhere on Day 3.
- K. J Costello (Mississippi State)-6’5/222: Costello has play making ability and has done well in leading Mississippi State this season. Costello transferred from Stanford to get a fresh start and thus far it has worked out well for him. Costello has experience in the pro set out of Stanford and with his ability to pass and run the ball; makes him an intriguing prospect for a team looking to groom a quarterback somewhere in the mid-rounds on Day 3.
Final Thoughts: This class may not be as talented as the 2018 class overall, but certainly one can argue that Trevor Lawrence is the best quarterback coming out of the draft since Andrew Luck back in 2012. As I mentioned earlier, the projections are that possibly 4 quarterbacks could be taken in the 1st round with an outside chance that a 5th quarterback could slide in on the backend of the round. If so, it will be the 1st time since the 2018 class that this has happened. Next article will feature the top 10 wide receivers.