2021 NFL draft: Quarterback rankings led by Clemson's Trevor Lawrence
The 2021 NFL draft will occur across downtown Cleveland locations that include FirstEnergy Stadium (home of the Browns), the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a select number of prospects will take the stage.
The first round will be held on Thursday, April 29. Rounds 2-3 will take place on Friday, April 30. Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday, May 1. The draft will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.
USA TODAY Network NFL reporters break down the draft position-by-position. Here are the top quarterback prospects:
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
Pros: Plus athlete who can run away from defenders in space, maneuver his way through a crowded pocket, and make off-schedule throws in an instant. Big-time poise in high-pressure situations. Plays with a slow heartbeat all the time.
Cons: Needs to put some more meat on his frame. Will force receivers to adjust their weight and direction on short to intermediate throws too often.
2. Zach Wilson, BYU
Pros: High-level arm talent on all levels. Has a quick, smooth but violent release that shoots the ball out in a hurry. Tough as nails; will not be deterred by hits. Excellent deep-ball placement. Maintains plus-accuracy on the move. Brave and courageous with when it comes to decision-making.
Cons: Footwork gets lazy at times. Needs to consistently hammer away at proper lower-body mechanics. Shoulder surgeries will be vetted.
3. Justin Fields, Ohio State
Pros: Top-shelf athlete for the position; a credible dual threat. Can create something out of nothing with his legs. Can launch the ball with a simple flick of the wrist. Has good deep-ball accuracy and isn’t afraid to test it. A tough gamer who knows how to win.
Cons: Doesn’t always see the whole field. Will get fooled by complex defenses too easily.
4. Mac Jones, Alabama
Pros: Pinpoint accuracy to all levels of the route tree. Great anticipation to throws his target open. Knows how to layer the ball through traffic. Timing in the pocket stays consistent. Can see the whole field crystal clear while anticipating pressure. Successful deep-ball thrower.
Cons: Will never be mistaken as a runner like Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray after he pulls the ball down.
5. Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Pros: Capable of playing off schedule. Comfortable both in the pocket and scrambling in space. Ball shoots out of his hand. He creates tremendous torque form his hips and makes throwing look effortless. Rarely turns the ball over. Rushed for 1,325 yards (6.9 avg.) and 18 TDs.
Cons: Inexperienced and played at a lower level of college football. Wasn’t asked to throw the ball much, didn’t have to go through multiple progressions often.
6. Kyle Trask, Florida
Pros: Excellent arm talent when it comes to power, release and accuracy. Can seamlessly make every throw. Tough and big-bodied; capable of playing through traffic. Shows great deep-ball prowess. Coordinated athlete for his size who maintains accuracy on the move. Brave decision-maker with a short memory.
Cons: Struggles to consistently process information quickly. Too fast to evade pocket. Lower-half mechanics are inconsistent.
7. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Pros: Has athletic lower half that aids him on the move but also translates to extra zip on his throws. Repeatable mechanics and release. Dangerous with the ball in space. Confident and smart. Understands game situations and plays ultra-aware. Protects the ball. Accurate when forced off-schedule.
Cons: Too reluctant to throw the ball downfield and in traffic. Needs to work on NFL throws to the sidelines.
8. Davis Mills, Stanford
9. Jamie Newman, Georgia
10. Zach Smith, Tulsa
11. K.J. Costello, Mississippi State
12. Feleipe Franks, Arkansas
13. Ian Book, Notre Dame
14. Shane Buechele, SMU
15. Sam Ehlinger, Texas
16. Peyton Ramsey, Northwestern
17. Brady White, Memphis
18. Brady Davis, Illinois State
19. Zac Thomas, Appalachian State