By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303
It’s that time of year again. The 2021 NFL Draft is just weeks away. Pro-Days are wrapping up, draft boards are being built, and of course, rumors are flying.
Final preparations are well underway, especially for the top 5 teams. All of which (with the exception of the Cincinnati Bengals) could be in the market for a franchise quarterback.
Here are my top 5 quarterbacks going into the NFL.
Clearly, without a doubt, the number one quarterback off the board should be Clemson’s, Trevor Lawrence. I hope he likes sunny Florida. According to Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, this is the way the Jaguars are leaning. I have liked this kid clear back to when he was coming out of high school. He has that ‘it’ factor all around him. The Jaguars will need to make sure this kid is protected. With a good supporting cast around him, this should be a home run pick.
The next QB to come off the board should be Ohio State’s Justin Fields. He is my number two behind Lawrence. Regardless of the criticism he has taken this week, (something we all can expect two weeks before the draft) Fields will bring that duel threat option so many teams seem to be heading towards.
He’s able to use his feet to buy some time for plays to materialize down the field. He has a big arm and put on quite a show during his pro-day. Many scouts think he may need some polishing in the pocket, as his pocket awareness seems to be a weakness many have noted.
The third quarterback off the board would be Alabama’s, Mac Jones. This kid seems to be caught in the shadow of being a quarterback from Alabama. I had a chance to see him practice and play when I was at the Senior Bowl. I also spoke to a couple of scouts about him. While Jones doesn’t wow you with spectacular plays, he does have the intelligence to be a good quarterback in this league.
He throws a questionable long ball, and that got the media talking at his pro day. What he does have is game management ability. He makes smart decisions in the pocket, goes through his reads quickly, and I love his pocket presence. He seems to be able to feel the pressure and knows when to throw the ball away. He is going to surprise some people. Whoever drafts him is going to get a solid quarterback
I am torn between these next two. Trey Lance and Zack Wilson. I have them both as young quarterbacks that can go either way. I honestly can tell you that I am not all in on the Zack Wilson hype. The type of talk that according to reports caused the Jets to trade away their former first-rounder Sam Darnold to acquire Wilson at that number two spot. That’s a lot of hype for a guy that only started 11 games.
His college career was full of injury issues. Played off a weak schedule while healthy, but played lights out. He has that natural, instinctive quarterback feel to him. Most important, he can get the ball down the field. He really showed off his arm talent during his pro-day.
Trey Lance on the other hand, is another duel threat quarterback. His ability to allude defenders brings his game to a whole new level. He always keeps his eyes downfield. But like Wilson, he really doesn’t have that much time in. But what you see is a big strong, athletic, quarterback that can bring that second-level dimension to an offense. Put me in a corner and force me to choose one. I am pulling the trigger on Trey Lance. I like his attitude and his abilities to take over an offense.
Who are your top five QBs off the board?
Talk Dolphins with Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303