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Burney’s 2021 QB NFL Draft Predictions

This year’s 2021 NFL draft is one of the most anticipated drafts in years with many stars. It is headlined by the quarterback position. The quarterback position is the most valuable position on the field and if you have a chance to grab a potential franchise quarterback, you don’t miss. Having a top tier quarterback can keep you in any game despite if a team around them is bad or not as Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson has shown.

We could possibly see five quarterbacks taken within the top 10 draft picks; Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. This would set a new NFL record.

Already anticipated and sure fire number one pick from Clemson, Lawrence is a lock to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is said to be the best  NFL quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. He’s already labeled as the golden boy. He has the size, arm, IQ, and underrated mobility. He has everything you are looking for in a quarterback. Lawrence stands 6 foot 6 inches at 220 pounds. At Clemson, Lawrence summited his legacy making it to the College Football Playoff in each year winning a national championship as a true freshman, while losing only two games in the entirety of his career. The only knock on him was his occasional turnover qualities, but I believe this was just him taking chances and believing in his arm abilities too much. This is something that he’ll easily fix and is nothing to worry about.

With the number two overall pick in the draft the New York Jets are expected to pick Zach Wilson from BYU. The Jets desperately need a quarterback after the departure of their former first round pick Sam Darnold. With their offensive line struggles a mobile quarterback is helpful in the near future. Wilson is 6 feet 3 inches at 203 pounds so it is advised he put on some weight to prevent himself from having future injury concerns. He has a very live arm and showed it off in his BYU pro day. He displayed wonderful touch and showed off his ability to throw on the run going to either side. Wilson’s best trait to his game however is his accuracy where he finished with a 73.5% accuracy rating. He has done everything right and skyrocketed up the draft boards this year even though many have doubts based on the level of competition he faced. Although his worst trait stems from off the field where he is thought to be a “know it all”. Being a quarterback this isn’t anything out of the ordinary. Expect Wilson to be a Jet.

Now after the first two presumptive picks that have been locked in for a couple weeks now this is where the draft gets interesting. San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, and New England are all possible landing spots for the last three top quarterback prospects in Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones.

San Francisco has the third pick in the draft. Although they have Jimmy Garoppolo, he has serious injury issues and hasn’t lived up to the big contract he signed with the team earlier despite having a Super Bowl appearance. Everyone has talked about Mac Jones going to  San Francisco, but I personally believe they will select Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. To me Fields is the second best quarterback in the draft behind Lawrence. The 223 pound 6 feet 3 inch dual threat quarterback fits San Francisco head coach Kyle Shannan’s system with the ability to run and extend plays. Fields showed up big in primetime and showed his toughness after suffering an injury in the playoff semifinal game which he fought through and helped win. He also shows great ability to not cause turnovers where his TD/INT ratio was 22:6 with three of those interceptions coming in one game. The only thing scouts worry about when it comes to Fields was lack of progressing through his receivers and usually hitting his first read. I don’t think this is anything particularly worrisome as Fields has the least bust potential out of any of the quarterbacks not named Lawrence.

Atlanta has the fourth pick. At first many suspected they would draft a quarterback but I just don’t see it happening anymore following the contract reconstruction they recently signed with Matt Ryan. By giving Ryan more money, if they selected a quarterback, he would be expected to sit his first year. If Atlanta were to move off of Ryan following this upcoming season the amount of dead money they would have to pay Ryan would desperately hurt the team’s ability to sign or keep players therefore forcing changes to be made.

The next viable team to select one of the top quarterback prospects is Denver. Denver selected quarterback Drew Lock in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft but he isn’t the long term answer. The AFC West quarterbacks consist of Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr. Lock isn’t anywhere near the talent of them or franchise worthy enough to lead a team. In today’s game you can’t expect to win your division having the worst quarterback. As I previously stated quarterbacks are at a premium. With Lance and Jones on the board they would have to select either. This is where I see Lance falling. Lance is said to have the most potential out of any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft. He is thought of as a project but with his ability to run and not turnover the ball like Fields he’s worth the pick. Lance’s 6 feet 3 inches and 220 pound frame with a big arm excites scouts. He played at North Dakota State, a small school powerhouse that former number two overall pick Carson Wentz attended, so scouts are once again worried about the competition he has faced. Lance’s big arm and physical running style with the concerns of accuracy issues reminds me of a smaller Josh Allen coming out of college. I believe he is worth the pick to take a chance on and worthy of the number nine overall pick.

The last team capable of wanting a quarterback in the first round of the draft is New England. Right now New England picks fifteenth overall and with Mac Jones still on the board I expect them to move up in the draft. Possibly trading with Dallas at 10 or even jumping ahead of Denver and trading with Detroit at seven. Even if they jumped ahead of Denver, I would still expect them to select Jones. Jones is said to be the smartest quarterback in the draft. Although he is the least athletic and mobile at 6 feet 2 inches and 205 pounds, his football IQ, big arm, accuracy, and ability to read through his progressions has led him  becoming a top prospect after only showcasing his talents one year at Alabama as a starter. He seems like the most pure quarterback in the draft behind Lawrence, but I believe he doesn’t have much growth in his game going forward having the least potential out of any other top quarterback.

Burney’s 2021 NFL QB Draft Predictions

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawerence
  2. New York Jets- Zach Wilson
  3. San Francisco 49ers (via Miami Dolphins)- Justin Fields
  4. New England Patriots (via Detroit Lions)- Mac Jones
  5. Denver Broncos- Trey Lance


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Burney’s 2021 QB NFL Draft Predictions