Reasonably Assessing the Most Controversial 2021 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • Kyle Trask
  • Mac Jones
  • Trey Lance
  • Zach Wilson
By John Vogel November 18, 2020 0 Comment
Please Share!

Fans and analysts get hot on this topic, so let’s reasonably assess the talent of each top 2021 NFL Draft quarterback prospect.

Have you ever spent time on Twitter with other people talking NFL Draft prospects? It can be a cut-throat venture with passionate analysts and fans convinced that their favorite quarterback prospect is the savior that your team needs. Perhaps sometimes they are. Regardless, missing most of the time is reasonable thinking and common sense as people pointlessly argue about quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.

It’s why you have to hate and love Twitter.

This year, there are two clear-cut quarterback prospects that lead the rest. That’s Clemson’s junior, Trevor Lawrence, and Ohio State’s junior, Justin Fields. After those two prospects, it’s a jungle. There are so many quarterbacks making cases to be the third quarterback off of the board. Analysts are picking their favorites, fans have joined into the fray. Now for most observers, it’s unclear who is the number three guy.

Here’s the list of prospects all in the running:

Zach Wilson, BYU
Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Mac Jones, Alabama
Kyle Trask, Florida

At this point in the draft process, NFL teams are figuring all of that out, too.  Each prospect is making a name for themselves right now as they continue to play their seasons providing the NFL with valuable tape and giving teams an idea of what they are capable of doing at the next level. What we’re going to do in this article is break down each of those prospects and offer a reasonable, non-biased look at each individual and talk about why they could, and couldn’t, be the third quarterback taken off of the board.

Zach Wilson, BYU

Zach Wilson (6’2″ 210 lbs) has busted onto the scene this season as a rising quarterback prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft class. The junior from Draper, Utah, majors in Construction Management, and it seems as though he’s been able to take some of his schoolings to the field. Wilson has absolutely deconstructed every team that the Cougars have played this year, putting up career-high numbers already in passing yards as well as passing touchdowns.

Why he could be selected third

Wilson has a good arm and has displayed good accuracy and anticipation. Wilson also has the ability to throw accurately from multiple platforms and even against his body. You can’t expect the against-the-body throws to hold up in the NFL, but he’s done very well with it in college and it’s magnified his ability to accurately place the ball almost anywhere on the field. Wilson’s also pretty mobile, which allows him to create outside of the pocket and even gash people with his legs.

Why he might not be

It’s pretty easy to see, so look no further than the schedule that BYU has played this season. It’s not the school’s fault, they had a solid schedule entering the season, but covid-19 ruined BYU’s strength of schedule. When you watch Wilson over the last couple of years against higher-level opponents, it’s pretty clear that he struggled – especially against Washington last season. Wilson isn’t a slam dunk prospect, but the potential is clearly there and that’s why people like him.

Trey Lance, North Dakota State

Trey Lance (6’3″ 220 lbs) became the Twitter darling at the end of the 2020 NFL Draft as media analysts started looking into the next class. Lance, a redshirt-sophomore, started the entirety of the 2019 season (as a redshirt-freshman) and helped take the Bison to another level of dominance – the first 16-0 finish in a college football season since 1894. Lance is a dual-threat quarterback playing in a power run scheme that allows him to profit on one-on-one opportunities down the field off of the play-action. He officially declared for the NFL Draft following the Bison’s only game this season on October 3rd against Central Arkansas. 26 NFL teams sent scouts to observe.

Why he could be selected third

Lance has been very impressive in his limited action, showing arm strength, powerful running ability, and overall athleticism. He, too, has shown the ability to throw from multiple platforms and retain his arm strength. His arm talent really pops on tape, there is a lot of potentials there. However, it’s his running ability that is the signature of his game. Lance ran for 14 touchdowns last season (18 in his career).

Why he might not

The lower level of FCS is something that will always make people think a little bit more about a person, especially being a part of the most dominant program at that level. A redshirt-sophomore has never declared from the FCS level. Lance is the third redshirt-sophomore quarterback ever to declare for the NFL Draft (Sam Darnold and Dwayne Haskins). His accuracy is still a little bit off, mostly because of his inconsistent plant-and-release technique, which will worry some veteran scouts. Lance needs time to develop, and that might concern NFL teams looking to win right now.

Mac Jones, Alabama

No one expected Mac Jones (6’2″, 210 lbs) to hold the starting job in Alabama over the freshman phenom, Bryce Young, at the start of this season. Young looked like a more athletic version of Tua Tagovailoa in the Toyota All-American All-Star game this past January. However, not only has Jones retained the starting job, he’s produced Heisman type numbers. He has led the SEC in passer rating all season. The redshirt junior has been truly special this season and taken the Alabama offense to another level.

Why he could be selected third

Jones has stepped up tremendously this season following the footsteps of Tua Tagovailoa and proven that he is more than an average game manager. He throws the ball with great accuracy and incredible anticipation. His placement is excellent.

Why he might not be

Jones lacks real arm strength, and it’s evident when he tries to go deep with the football. He can hit it in stride, but most of the time he’s slightly underthrowing his targets while putting everything he has into a throw. Jones also isn’t very mobile, and it more of a traditional drop-back, stay in the pocket style quarterback. Now that NFL quarterbacks are starting to go toward being mobile and running with the football, it’s hard to gauge how many teams will be interested in Jones.

Kyle Trask, Florida

It’s truly amazing that we are talking about a backup high school quarterback being a top NFL Draft pick, but that’s a testimony to just how bizarre the rise of Kyle Trask (6’5″ 235 lbs) has been. Trask was the backup to D’Eriq King at Manvel High School in Manvel, Texas, and attempted a total of 132 passes in high school. Trask went unnoticed by most of the NCAA. In fact, Trask was noticed at a Florida summer camp where he was able to receive a scholarship. The redshirt senior has put together a special season in 2020, a Heisman type season, already eclipsing his touchdown total from last season.

Why he could be selected third

Trask is the big, prototypical body with mobility – that’s attractive to any NFL team. He has taken immense strides with his accuracy, general technique, and stepped up as a leader for Florida who is currently cruising toward an SEC Championship performance in December. The most impressive aspect? The Florida offense has to reset this offseason after losing four receivers and a running back to the NFL. Trask has played better with the new group. He builds chemistry with his teammates quickly.

Why he might not be

Raw prospects at this position have a history of not faring well in the NFL, especially when they are asked to play early. If any of these guys are being selected third, the reason is that they are ready to play. Trask might not be ready to go. He’s improved tremendously over the last two seasons. However, he’s still raw and he still has kinks to work out with the mental part of his game. His arm talent isn’t ideal either, as his arm velocity oftentimes looks weak on deeper throws.


Please Share!

NFL Draft Guru.

0 Comments

Write A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *