2021 Top 8 rookie QB Rankings
Starting to take a look ahead into the 2021 draft class. Starting off with this talented Quarterback group and seeing who some of the new players might compare to in the league.
1.) Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) – With the first overall pick, will the Jacksonville Jaguars select Trevor Lawrence? All directions seem to be pointing that way. The Clemson Quarterback has thrown for 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his college career paired with a career completion percentage of 66.6%. He led the Tigers to two national championship appearances and only lost two games in three years as the starter. Lawrence missed two games in 2020 due to a positive COVID-19 test, but still finished near the top of the ACC in passing touchdowns with 24 and passing yards 3153 along with five interceptions.
PROS: Pocket presence, accuracy, athleticism/escapability, a winner on the big stage.
COMPARISON: Shades of Josh Allen.
2.) Justin Fields (Ohio State) – The Jets with the second pick could have a tough decision to make. If General Manager Joe Douglas decides to move off Sam Darnold the Jets would be primed to take a new quarterback and that could be Justin Fields. The former Buckeye only had two losses in two years as a starter for Ohio State. In his Sophomore season, he complied 3273 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, and adding 10 rushing touchdowns. Fields only threw 3 interceptions in 2019 while completing 67.2% of his passes which was third-best in the Big Ten that season. Some have been critical of Fields’ 2020 campaign with tough games against Indiana and Northwestern while also throwing six interceptions silenced some doubters after having a six-touchdown day against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl and earning the victory.
PROS: Vision, athleticism, toughness, short accuracy.
COMPARISON: Shades of Dak Prescott.
3.) Zach Wilson (BYU) – Someone who really burst onto the scene this past season was the Brigham Young signal-caller Zach Wilson. Wilson put up top-tier numbers in 2020 with 3692 pass yards and 33 touchdowns, both ranking 3rd in the nation. Wilson also finished second to only Mac Jones in completion percentage with 73.5%. He also tacked on 10 rushing touchdowns and showing defenses he can be a dual-threat. Wilson helped the Cougars finish the season ranked 11th in the AP poll which was the best finish for the program since 1996.
PROS: Scrambling ability, deep accuracy, arm strength, field vision.
COMPARISON: Shades of Kyler Murray.
4.) Trey Lance (North Dakota State) – Probably the biggest question mark in this group is Trey Lance. Once Lance took the reins as the full starter for North Dakota State in 2019 he never lost a game and led the Bison to a title. Lance threw for 28 touchdowns and had 2798 passing yards with a 66.9% completion percentage and added 14 rushing touchdowns and 1100 rushing yards to end his 2019 campaign. The Bison did not get a full season in 2020, just one game. In this sole game, Trey struggled as a passer completing 15 of 30 passes but added 15 rushing attempts and accounted for 4 total touchdowns. Lance faces questions about his competition level and pure passing ability. However, Lance could offer one of the biggest upsides in this draft.
PROS: Running ability, arm strength, can hit the big play.
COMPARISON: Shades of young Marcus Mariota, Lamar Jackson.
5.) Mac Jones (Alabama) – A historic season by the Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones was one of the reasons Alabama earned the title this season. Jones helped his team steamroll opponents with an average margin of victory of just above 29 points per game. While putting up massive stats such as 4500 passing yards, with a 77.4% completion percentage, and 11.2 yards per attempt. All those ranked first in the nation while he finished second in passing touchdowns with 41 to only four interceptions. He also earned the Davey O’Brien Award for the most outstanding quarterback. Along with the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the most outstanding senior quarterback.
PROS: Ball placement, deep ball accuracy,
COMPARISON: Shades of Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins.
6.) Kyle Trask (Florida) – Trask got off to a blazing hot start in 2020 throwing for six touchdowns in his first game then not throwing less than four touchdowns until the Gators’ seventh game of the season and earned early Heisman buzz. Needless to say, Trask led the country in touchdown passes with 43 and only throwing eight interceptions. While ranking second in passing yards with 4283 and having a 68.9% completion percentage. Trask had a really rough final game against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl having three interceptions and no passing touchdowns also not playing most of the second half. As bad as the game was it’s hard to hold Trask solely responsible as he was missing his top four pass-catchers due to opt-outs.
PROS: Size, accuracy, field vision, processing speed.
COMPARISON: Shades of Jared Goff, Matt Ryan
7.) Jamie Newman (Georgia) – Newman opted out of the 2020 season after he was a graduate transfer from Wake Forest to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft. In his lone season as a starter for Wake Forest, he posted 26 passing touchdowns to 11 interceptions, 2868 passing yards, with a 60.8% completion percentage. Newman also added six rushing touchdowns and helped the Deamon Deacons finish second in total offense in 2019.
PROS: Size/frame, running ability, arm strength.
COMPARISON: Shades of Jalen Hurts.
8.) Kellen Mond (Texas A&M) – Kellen Mond was a four-year starter for Texas A&M and led the Aggies to a successful 2020 season. Finishing 9-1 in the regular season and winning the Orange Bowl over North Carolina. Mond did not post eye-popping stats this past season as he threw for 2282 yards and had 19 passing touchdowns to three interceptions along with a 63.3% completion percentage.
PROS: Frame, scramble ability, pocket poise.
COMPARISON: Shades of Ryan Tannehill.