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Top 14 Quarterback Prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft

There will likely be five quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft — with some mock drafts suggesting the first four picks will all be QBs. If that happens, who are some of the other passers teams might be looking at in later rounds? Here are the 33rd Team’s top 14 QB draft prospects:

 

1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, 6-5 ⅝, 213

Near-perfect throwing mechanics combined with elite natural ability to throw the ball accurately with touch or pace. Very strong arm – can make every throw on the field. Elite accuracy on all three levels of throws. Back shoulder anticipation and accuracy is impressive. Technically sound footwork on straight dropbacks, RPOs, play action, and rollouts. “Missed” throws are in a good location where only WR is protected and only the WR can make a play on it. Deceptive speed and quickness. Agile in the pocket and escaping out. Extends plays with legs while keeping eyes down field. Makes accurate throws on the move to both the right and the left with ease. Has the ability to run when it presents itself but uses the scramble to throw.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Georgia Tech

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Virginia Tech

  • Best Trait – Arm Strength / Accuracy

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 4.3 TD/INT, 3.2% Turnover-Worthy Plays/Drop-back

  • Starts/Games – 37/40

  • Pro Comparison – Andrew Luck

 

2. Justin Fields, Ohio State, 6-3, 220

Ability to stick back foot in the ground and deliver quickly in a closing pocket. Good footwork/balance in and out of the pocket, technical on the run. Solid and accurate short yardage thrower. Impressive anticipation on his throws. Touch pass is impressive (effortless). Not a lot of wasted movement in throwing motion, compact and quick (not traditional over the top, more like a baseball throw, he was a highly recruited baseball player). Footwork is impressive/in rhythm, well balanced, could throw the ball at any time. Impressive speed and power on designed runs and options. Always balanced in the pocket with footwork and is seemingly ready to throw the ball at all times.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Clemson

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Northwestern

  • Best Trait – Deep ball accuracy

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 12.34 ADOT, 71.3% of passing yards through the air

  • Starts/Games – 22/34

  • Pro Comparison – Ben Roethlisberger

 

3. Zach Wilson, BYU, 6-3, 210

Great movement and instincts in the pocket – understands where the pressure is coming from, where to be, and how to deliver in a tight window. Wilson also does a really good job with his footwork. Able to work both under center and from the shotgun – feet are typically where they are supposed to be. Doesn’t have overpowering arm strength but his combination of footwork and hip mobility allow him to effortlessly make throws to all areas of the field. He is currently listed at 6-3, but he looks smaller than that. Good feet, has the ability to get 8-9 yards on a scramble if need be. Upper and lower body are in sync in the passing game, allowing for him to make tough on-the-run throws accurately. All-around athlete.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. UCF

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Coastal Carolina

  • Best Trait – Extend the play

  • Key Stats – Only 3 INTs in 2020 (9 in 2019)

  • Starts/Games – 30/30

  • Pro Comparison – Baker Mayfield

 

4. Mac Jones, Alabama, 6-2 1/2, 217

Does a great job of stepping up in the pocket. Is not afraid to take a hit. Great deep-ball thrower. Extremely accurate and precise. Doesn’t have the strongest arm, but his mechanics allow for him to deliver as well as anyone. Needs to do a better job of seeing the whole field and coverages during dropbacks. Not the fastest player on the field, but has sneaky athleticism. Has the ability to pick up first downs on a scramble. Can make tough throws on the run. Body and throwing motions are very fluid. Jones has matured immensely since his freshman season. This had made him much better.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Ohio State ii.

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Kentucky

  • Best Trait – Pocket Presence

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 131.6 QBR, 8.8% TD/Drop Back

  • Starts/Games – 17/24

  • Pro Comparison – Kirk Cousins

 

5. Trey Lance, North Dakota State, 6-4, 226

Great ball-handling skills and footwork in the run game and on play-action passes. Shows flashes of great footwork in the passing game but lacks consistency – sometimes relies on athleticism instead of technique. When footwork on drops are correct the timing and accuracy are solid. Can make all the throws – looks effortless. Impressive accuracy and tempo on intermediate passes. Throws a catchable ball with a consistent spiral. Has the ability to beat you with arm or legs – had 1,100 rushing yards and 14 TDs in 2019. Is able to extend plays in the pocket but is more comfortable tucking and running when play breaks down instead of trying to use his legs to make a throw on a scramble. Has the speed to score on running plays – had a long of 61 yards and nine games with a rush of at least 20 yards.

  • Best Game – 2019 vs. JMU

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Central Arkansas

  • Best Trait – Athleticism

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 30 TD/INT, 1.6% Turnover-Worthy Plays/Drop Back

  • Starts/Games – 17/17

  • Pro Comparison – Marcus Mariota

 

6. Kyle Trask, Florida, 6-5, 240

Accuracy is hit or miss — nothing on tape has shown consistency, and WRs make big plays on ball to help him out. On deep throws uses mostly arm, does not utilize lower body. Arm talent flashes but needs to be more consistent to be successful at the next level. Decision-making is limited in terms of audibles in current offense, but understands where to go with the ball. Footwork when throwing is poor – not stepping to or away from target leads to inaccuracy/incompletions. Shows limited/no ability to scramble outside the pocket and make a play. Very slow on his feet, can’t plant his foot and run when need be. Hips and shoulders look totally detached from one another. Plays with an unnatural body movement.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Alabama

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Oklahoma

  • Best Trait – Size

  • Key Stats – Had 43 TDs & 5 INTs in 2020 before the Cotton Bowl; 43 TDs & 8 INTs after the Cotton Bowl

  • Starts/Games – 22/24

  • Pro Comparison – Philip Rivers

 

7. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M, 6-2, 205

Doesn’t have traditional over-the-top throwing motion and sometimes over-strides when stepping into throws. Has ability to put both zip and touch on throws depending on what is needed. Would like to see more consistent footwork when inside the pocket. When timing and feet are synced up, Mond is really good. Still lacks NFL level of consistency, which makes Mond a developmental prospect, but has shown an ability to play in a complex offense at a high level. Mond is more athletic than expected. Likes to stay inside the pocket but is athletic enough to escape when opportunities present itself. Wasn’t asked to run the ball a lot but when called upon was more than capable. Decent movement in the pocket but can improve short area quickness and agility. Took some big hits and will need to protect body better moving forward.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Florida

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. LSU

  • Best Trait – Intelligence

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 2.7 AVG Time to Throw, 56.8% of passing yards through the air

  • Starts/Games – 46/46

  • Pro Comparison – Jalen Hurts

 

8. Shane Buechele, SMU, 6-1, 205

Makes up for lack of ideal size with near flawless mechanics. Technically sound footwork combined with quick/smooth throwing motion. Compact delivery with no wasted movement. Uses lower body and opposite arm to get entire body into throw. Can get the ball to all areas of the field easily. Throws a catchable deep ball with excellent touch and location – gives WRs a chance to make a play. Moves well within the pocket. Can beat the defense with legs when the opportunity presents itself – does a good job of sliding and not taking unnecessary hits. Uses legs to make plays in the passing game – keeps eyes downfield when scrambling. Can make throws on the run. Has the ability to make awkward arm angle throws with accuracy.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Memphis

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Tulsa

  • Best Trait – Quick release

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 3.6% Sacks/Drop Back, 2.46 AVG Time to Throw v. Starts/Games – 38/45

  • Pro Comparison – Kyle Allen

 

9. Ian Book, Notre Dame, 6-0, 210

Throws a catchable ball but lacks arm strength and consistent accuracy. Better outside the pocket than inside of it. Likes to extend plays with legs even when it is not necessary. Won’t be able to consistently run away from defenders at the next level – development of pocket presence will be crucial. Has played best games in the biggest games. Proven winner and a guy that seems to do whatever it takes to help team win. True dual-threat quarterback. Doesn’t have great top-end speed but has enough quickness and agility to be an effective runner. Relies too much on legs. When No. 1 or No. 2 WR in progression aren’t there, Book tries to take off and run. Isn’t afraid to lower the shoulder as a runner.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Boston College

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs Louisville

  • Best Trait – Escapability

  • Key Stats – 1,517 rushing Yards 17 TDs (Career) v. Starts/Games – 44/44

  • Pro Comparison – Trace McSorley

 

10. Davis Mills, Stanford, 6-4, 212

Mills was the No. 1-rated QB in the high school class of 2017 (ahead of Tua Tagovailoa). Talented prospect that is accurate, especially over the middle of the field. Good poise within the pocket. Lacks athleticism to extend plays with his legs. Played in a pro-style system and will be able to grasp an NFL playbook quickly. Hasn’t been healthy since arriving at Stanford, so sample size of quarterback play is limited. Is a developmental prospect with a lot of upside.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. UCLA

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Colorado

  • Best Trait – Throws over the middle

  • Key Stats – Only played 14 collegiate games, 141.9 Career Passer Efficiency Rating

  • Starts/Games – 13/13

  • Pro Comparison – Jared Goff

 

11. Feleipe Franks, Arkansas, 6-6, 234

Overall skills and technique show flashes, but lacks consistency. Extremely strong arm but lacks ability to tempo or put touch on throws. When drop backs are on time and under control, Franks can make any throw on the field. When first read is open, Franks looks confident and is accurate. When first read isn’t there or play breaks down, inaccuracies and bad decisions happen. Teams will be intrigued by Franks’ raw ability but will not draft him based on the player he is right now. Extremely athletic, especially for size. Can make plays outside the pocket with arm or legs. At times can play out of control. Relies on athleticism, which sometimes leads to poor play – tries to do too much instead of taking the simple throw or run. Has ability to be a physical runner but needs to be smart with taking hits at the next level.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Texas A&M

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Georgia

  • Best Trait – Size

  • Key Stats – (Per PFF) 78.0% Comp%, 2.6% Turnover-Worthy Plays/Drop Back

  • Starts/Games – 34/37

  • Pro Comparison – Paxton Lynch

 

12. Jamie Newman, Wake Forest, 6-4, 235

Low release point on throwing motion – does not take advantage of 6-4 frame – balls batted down at LOS. Inconsistent footwork that leads to accuracy problems. Accurate when drop is in rhythm and throw is on time. Offense at Wake Forest did not ask QB to go through progressions or make throws based on timing. When moving in the pocket, second hand comes off the ball leading to opportunities for defenders to cause strip sacks. Has the athleticism to make plays with arm or legs. Good maneuverability in the pocket. Has ability to make throws on the run to both right and left. Not straight-line fast but can make defenders miss or run them over when running the ball.

  • Best Game – 2019 vs. Utah State

  • Worst Game – 2019 vs. Clemson

  • Best Trait – Size

  • Key Stats – 142.7 Career Passing Efficiency Rating, 60.5 Career CMP%

  • Starts/Games – 16/19

  • Pro Comparison – Jake Locker

 

13. Sam Ehlinger, Texas, 6-1, 222

Ehlinger showed a lot of toughness and an ability to will Texas to victories over the past few seasons. Has the intangibles you look for out of a quarterback but lacks traditional size and ability to throw the ball consistently. Struggles going through progressions and relies heavily on legs to make plays. Would have liked to see Ehlinger stay for another season to develop more as a passer. Don’t see Ehlinger’s skill set translating to the next level and will struggle to learn how to win from the pocket.

  • Best Game – 2020 vs. Texas Tech

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. West Virginia

  • Best Trait – Running the ball

  • Key Stats – 554 carries, 1,903 Yards, 33 TDs

  • Starts/Games – 40/46

  • Pro Comparison – Tim Tebow

 

14. Brady White, Memphis, 6-3, 210

Good footwork and pocket presence. Gets the ball out of his hand quick. Compact and smooth throwing motion. Works exclusively out of the shotgun – shorter drops but understands timing with drops and intended routes. Doesn’t have overpowering arm strength but has good anticipation. Consistently accurate with short to middle throws. Some inaccuracy on deeper throws especially to the outside. Decent ball placement on correct WR shoulder away from defenders. Will need some time to develop in a pro-style system, but has good fundamentals, which should speed up the learning process. Uses legs to make plays in the passing game. Can extend plays inside or outside the pocket and can make throws on the move. Keeps eyes downfield while on the move – doesn’t run with the ball very often. Has gotten into some trouble with fumbling when trying to extend plays in the pocket – would like to see two hands on the ball until he sets to throw.

  • Best Game – 2019 vs. Penn State

  • Worst Game – 2020 vs. Tulane

  • Best Trait – Release

  • Key Stats – 92 TD: 31 INT, 152.5 Career Passer Efficiency Rating

  • Starts/Games – 39/41

  • Pro Comparison – Christian Ponder

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