2021 Draft Prospect Rankings: Quarterback Edition (1/1/21)

(These are rankings based on current information acquired. Subject to be updated in a different article and assuming all prospects declare for the draft. Thanks for reading and enjoy!)

*NFL Player Comparisons (Comps) are NOT career arcs but more so play style and archetype category. It’s a good way to envision how a player may look in a certain scheme, their best usage or their mannerisms during game situation.*

1.) Trevor Lawrence 6’6″ 220 lbs. – Justin Herbert

“Lawrence fits exactly what NFL offenses are trying to do these days. He has excellent skills as a passer and enough mobility to deliver the ball on boot/rollout action and extend plays. It was difficult finding a comp for recreation’s sake, plus I found ‘mobile Peyton Manning’ to be a lazy take. So I went with something most wouldn’t approve of even more and that’s a comp with a QB from the previous year’s draft. Although Herbert is more physically imposing, they both offer exhibitionist throws and sufficient athleticism. I will say that the difference between QB1 this year and the next 3 prospects are closer than some would like to admit. Especially when you scout from a 360 perspective. Body type, psyche, coaching are things that can even the playing field.”

2.) Zach Wilson 6’3″ 210 lbs. – Derek Carr

“This came down to Wilson’s study habits and projected situation he may land in. Whether it be the Jets, Panthers, or 49ers I believe their GMs will be in positions to surround him with talent and OC’s competent enough to use him correctly. Wilson possesses keen processing ability and recall as well as an exceptional arm and mobility. He has a quick release and his ball placement is one of the best in this year’s draft. Why that comp you ask? Think about it. Nearly identical build and both throw off platform from different arm angles with ease. It’s also important to not take for granted how hard it is to carve out a career in the league. Carr’s done it for a long time now. Wilson is not perfect he’s had a significant shoulder injury a few seasons ago and gets too fancy at times but with a proper plan and coaching; it should offer him protection and the license to let it rip.”

3.) Trey Lance 6’3″ 224 lbs. – Ryan Tannehill

“I’ll start with the comp on this one. Those who disagree may have to turn on some tape. Two QBs who are underrated for their touch and accuracy as well as their running ability? That’s Lance and Tannehill. We know Lance can run but do you really want him doing it consistently at the next level? You’re better off building around his passing ability and using his running prowess to surprise opponents similar to how Arthur Smith uses Tannehill in Tennessee. There’s some Deshaun Watson there but not enough wiggle and escapabilty in the pocket for me. Besides, Watson has had about double as many rushing attempts than Tannehill in his career but is only besting him by .6 in yards per rush. All things considered, I see more Tanny than Watson in Lance. As for him leap frogging Fields? I just prefer Lance’s pace of play. He has a great feel for the pocket and shows sense of urgency. He’s less methodical and deliberate and more about timing and location. Add on his projected landing spot in the draft – Falcons, Panther or later, he’s going to be on a better team with one would assume better weapons. That’s a recipe for success for a young talented QB.”

4.) Justin Fields 6’3″ 225 lbs. – Cam Newton

“His CFP performances would’ve really convinced those on the fence or those who have extreme recency bias but I wasn’t as convinced as easily. Everything requires analyzing context to truly get to truth. Fields is a natural thrower but a very inconsistent passer. Throwers have arm strength and even velocity but passers recognize how important proper ball placement is and throwing with anticipation. Don’t get me wrong most of what’s wrong with Fields can be improved but this is how it is now. When you scout Fields with the lens of what he could be, he could follow a successful formula of a 2015 or 2018 Cam Newton. Some forget that Newton was a top 10 QB in those years and is a valid comp based on Fields’ limitations and ceiling. Newton is another player that gets a bad rap because of recent play but you’d be misinformed to act as if Prime Newton wasn’t a problem for defenses week in and week out. Fields, right now is for the most part, a see it throw it QB. Reads have to be clear and defined but the arm talent and body type make Fields a QB that is bound to rise this draft season especially in his shorts and tee shirt at the combine and pro day. Expect razzle dazzle, expect a rocket arm and expect a future starting NFL QB. Surround him with a good defense and some ballers and see what you have.”

5.) Mac Jones 6’2″ 205 lbs. – Jimmy Garoppolo

“Jones’ skillset almost seems like dinosaur talk with as much hoopla is being talked about getting a mobile QB these days. Although I agree, a mobile QB can give you an advantage like no other, I still believe there’s a place and situation for a QB like Jones to prosper. Teams like the Saints and 49ers come to mind as fits. Jones has a better than advertised arm and sneaky good pocket maneuvering. His footwork can suffer from the off platform movement but that can be improved. His comp Garoppolo is Jones at his best. A quick release, glorified game manager, preferably on a team with excellent YAC skillsets surrounding him. He can distribute like a point guard, accurately and on time.”

6.) Desmond Ridder 6’4″ 215 lbs. – Daniel Jones

“Boy has Ridder climbed my board over the past month or so. At first it was questioning his leadership then I saw how his teammates respond to him. Then it was his wiry build then I remembered he can add bulk. Then it was his 55% completion in 2019 then I said the man is playing in 2020 and has improved that. So I’m left with a 6’4″ 215 lbs. QB with a good arm that can run. In a very top heavy QB class I don’t see Ridder lasting past the 2nd round. Ridder’s ceiling is freaky. He still has some footwork issues to clean up and I’d love to see him vs. better competition. It’s hard not to like what you’ve seen from Ridder thus far. Daniel Jones is a good comp because if you remember some of the same thoughts were said about him.”

7.) Kellen Mond 6’3″ 217 lbs. – Robert Griffin III

“Other than Ridder no one has made more money from this position group than Mond in my opinion. We’ve seen the top 4 or 5 guys do what they do and the QB 6-8 spots have been wide open. You’ve seen supposed locks fizzle out and their weaknesses put on display. As for Mond he’s sat back and benefitted from it all. He has almost every trait that NFL OCs want. Mobility, good arm, and good character. You can win with that. The RG3 comp is more so of Griffin III at his best, which is an athletic QB with a solid arm and can win you a game or two if needed off the bench.”

8.) Kyle Trask 6’4″ 240 lbs. – Brad Johnson/Trent Dilfer

“It was difficult finding a legitimate comp for a 6’4″ 240lbs. QB with surprisingly low velocity throwing power. So I had to go way back to QBs who had good size but average arm velocity. What I mean by that is, the ability to drive throws and fit the ball into tight windows. Trask just doesn’t make that many of those type of throws. It’s hard to discredit the year he had in 2020. A trio that earned them some money during bowl season are the players who Trask was throwing to. Kadarius Toney, Kyle Pitts and Trevon Grimes were all either YAC monsters or high percentage completions for Trask. He desperately needs dynamism around him to have any inkling of a chance at good production at the next level. He does have an opportunity before the draft and early in his pro career to get strong and improve lower body/torso mechanics to improve the zip on his throws. Pair that tedious task with his medical baggage and you got a QB that slides in the draft. I will say he has a ceiling to be an Alex Smith type of QB who can be solid but it’s going to take work. Whoever bets on him and works with him will a have a solid backup with a gutsy disposition.”

9.) Sam Ehlinger 6’3″ 230 lbs. – Taysom Hill/Jake Locker

“Ehlinger is another QB that’s been hard to be sold on. You see the production on paper then turn on the tape and sometimes it hard to see how it came to be. After watching and more study you just come to the conclusion that he’s a gamer and gets it done with grit. His whole identity as a passer needs some reconstruction but his ability to be a redzone wildcat threat is appealing to NFL coaches. That’s where the Taysom Hill comp comes from. If he wants to, I could see him playing other positions as well. Not to be confused with him being a hopeless, true NFL QB but he has limitations. With the right coaching staff he could be used in a way that accentuates his strongest traits and mask his deficiencies.”

10.) Shane Buechele 6’1″ 207 lbs. – David Blough/Colt McCoy

“I had to double back to Buechele after finding out how bad this draft is at QBs the later you get in the rounds. He just showed the best raw traits that projected well to an NFL roster. Yes he’s slightly undersized at 6’1″ but he makes up for it with big hands and a good arm. He’s more than likely a backup at the next level but if he does it right he could be a reliable one that plays for a long time.”

Following Suit 11-21: (Davis Mills, Ian Book, Jamie Newman, Brock Purdy, Zerrick Cooper, Feleipe Franks, Tanner Morgan, K.J. Costello, Aqeel Glass, Levi Lewis, Austin Kendall.)

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