- Trevor Lawerence
Pro Comparison: Andrew Luck
Let’s be real, there was a minimal amount of tape needed for me to feel comfortable in slotting Lawerence in here. He’s a near-perfect prospect. Great mental processing of the game, a superb arm, perfect size, and sneaky good athleticism. Lawerence matches all of this up by being a mature and grounded athlete as well. He’s dedicated to the game, and I don’t buy the debate he’s not devoted to this. I think Lawerence is going to embrace the media and embrace the almost “villain” role he had in college. I think back to the LSU game when fans were taunting him, and he just smiled. His confidence is off the charts, for better or for worse. Lawerence has bust potential, and landing in Jacksonville with a situation I don’t personally love isn’t ideal. I think he and Luck are similar in their rise, their mental game, and even their landing spot. The Jags need to surround Lawerence with talent and protection. If they can, then he will blossom into all he can be, and what Luck could have been had he played past 29. If he doesn’t have protection and ends up in a similar situation to Luck, then maybe those whispers about his questionable love for the game grow a little louder.2. Zach Wilson
Pro Comparison: Baker Mayfield
I truly don’t believe the gap between Lawerence and Wilson is as big as you think. I think where Wilson is hungry and has fought to get to this point, there is a risk of complacency with Trevor. That edge and that hunger is the first big allure with Wilson. He has a true fire for the game of football, and he’s willing to do it all to get his team down the field. From hurdling defenders to launching bombs, Wilson is not afraid to take risks. He has arguably the best touch on the ball in the draft, and his off-platform throws are on a Patrick Mahomes level. Size is a concern for some, not for me. The biggest fear for me in regards to Wilson is similar to Joe Burrow last year. The jump in performance can be attributed, in my opinion, to true growth from working with John Beck. I have concerns about how he will handle the NFL game without an elite offensive line, but presumably, the Jets will try to set him up best as possible. I went with Baker Mayfield on the comparison. He’s got raw talent, an edge, similar stature, and he’s a legitimate leader. I would even argue Wilson has the potential to surpass Baker and become a superstar in this league.
3. Trey Lance
Pro Comparison: Cam Newton
I have become more and more enamored with Lance as this process has went on. I spoke to his quarterback coach a few weeks ago, and he spoke incredibly highly of Lance, but none of it was on the field. Lance has blown everyone I’ve talked to away in his pre-draft interviews. They’ve been just as intrigued with the person he is as they are with the player he is. He’s incredibly mature and an excellent leader. He played that lone game of the season, yes to get film, but also to ensure his teammates received their scholarship money. He’s someone who has the mental processing and leadership to be an elite-level quarterback. On the field, he’s an underrated runner, he has a very good deep ball, and he’s got the build to be a more durable player than Fields and maybe even Wilson. My concerns with Lance stem more from a lack of reps. What I’ve seen is good, but he hasn’t displayed enough as a thrower to lock him in as a top-level talent. He has the intuition and the maturity to succeed, he has the athleticism, and if he can progress as a thrower, he will be the total package. This is a comp I’ve not seen as prominently for Lance as expected. Newton is a runner who has a good arm but not a great one. The potential with Lance’s arm is greater, but there is a lot of Newton in the way Lance plays. My last thing about Lance is that I hope he lands in San Francisco. The chance to sit behind Garoppolo will give him a year to work for hands-on with Mike McDaniel and hopefully be ready to take the reins the following year.
4. Justin Fields
Pro Comparison: Deshaun Watson (Ceiling)/ Robert Griffin III (Floor)
It’s ironic how the guy who some viewed with the safest ceiling is now the guy I’d grade out with the lowest floor. I want to preface this by saying there is a route where we look back on this, and Fields ends up as the best or second-best from this class. People forget, but a few years ago, Deshaun Watson was slept on due to coming out of Clemson and factors related to that. The difference in my opinion with Fields is that although he has all the physical tools in the world, his processing of the game needs to develop. Lance, Wilson, and Lawerence all have demonstrated the ability to adapt to more advanced defenses and higher-level competition overall, but with Fields, when his reads are not there, he struggles to adapt. Now, in the right system that can either make his life easy as Ohio State did or teach him how to handle more complex coverages, Fields can grow into a star. His toughness, durability, and as I previously noted athleticism, is superb. His mechanics with his deep ball throws remind me of Kyler Murray and his shortstop-like throws, but the way he lunges his body into longer throws could leave himself vulnerable to injuries. Fields still has a very high ceiling, but his floor is more resembling of Robert Griffin. It’s all or nothing with Fields, it just depends on the fit.
5. Mac Jones
Pro Comparison: Chad Pennington: I have never been in the Mac Jones camp but not based on talent. Jones has great touch with the ball, is arguably the most comfortable and traditional pocket passer in the class, and has sneaky athleticism. He also obviously is well-liked, but Jones fails to resonate with me as a legitimate leader. There are issues off the field with his history of driving intoxicated and other actions that are moderately inappropriate. Jones has the potential to be a franchise guy, just like the other four guys, but it’s less about fit for Jones and more about the talent around him. If Jones were to land in a spot like Denver where he had guys like Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Courtland Sutton, and Noah Fant, he would be well equipped for success. Ultimately, Jones is going to need tools around him to elevate him, but most of all, he needs a support system to keep him on the right track. Pennington and Jones are similar passers and have very similar play styles as a whole, which made the comparison very easy to make.
6. Kellen Mond
Pro Comparison: Colin Kapernick
I think Kellen Mond is very underrated. He does a lot of things well. There is nothing that immediately sticks out to you as his breakaway trait, which is the reason he is at 6. However, he has great potential as a backup, and if he can develop properly, there is a lot of potential to build off of. I think Mond has a hose for an arm as well, which is very underrated. Mond and Kapernick have similar builds and similar skill sets. If Mond lands in a spot where he can learn from a veteran and perfect his craft, there is legitimate upside to him as a prospect.
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